Sunday, July 02, 2006


Turn the Hypocrisy Up To Eleven!

Those of us foolish enough to have The Politics Show on rather than playing last night’s edge-of-the-seat-brilliant Doctor Who episode again have just been treated to Tory Shadow Cabinet member Alan Duncan whining about how scared they were about the Lib Dems nearly thrashing them in one of their safest seats, then saying it’s impossible for any Scot now to be Prime Minister because, well, he just wouldn’t be English. Not that this is any way personal against Mr Brown or Mr Campbell, good heavens no, but in the United Kingdom only English people are local to England, you see.

So, let’s recap: it’s wrong for Liberal Democrats to point out Four Jobs Bob isn’t local to Bromley because he lives somewhere completely different – which is a statement of fact. But it’s all right for the Conservatives to say the leader of a country that’s a union of different nations can only come from the bit that the Tories have all their votes in, ruling out Scots not because of their ability or their ideas but simply because of where they live. Which is a wholly negative opinion that Scots should be second-class citizens in the Britain made up of all of us, based on their being not ‘local’ to England.

Whoosh! “Turn the hypocrisy up to eleven!” goggles Richard. ‘Double standard’ seems too generous. Is this a quintuple standard by now?

And of course the BBC have yet again broadcast wholesale the whinging, wimpish Tory spin about “dirty tricks” without a single interviewer challenging them on it, still less having a Lib Dem on to point and laugh at the chutzpah of it.

Oh, and Mr Duncan had a splendid answer to “Are you for or against nuclear power?” ‘Well, we don’t have any policies on anything at all so you shouldn’t be asking, but as this is one of the few things the Government haven’t made their mind up on either, that goes double.’ I paraphrase, but not by much.

In other news, Peter Hain the other day launched another salvo in his flatlining campaign for the Labour Leadership. Sorry, I’ll read that again – Mr Hain expressed his deep and unshakable concern that there should be absolutely no new nuclear power under any circumstances. Unless, you know, he decides we need it after all. Nothing to see here, move along…

A couple of weeks ago you may have noticed Ming Campbell condemning nuclear power as “the ultimate stealth tax”. And as well as being enormously expensive, nuclear power involves accidents with appalling long-term effects, creates hugely dangerous waste that can only be ‘safely’ dealt with by being contained for about as long as the recorded history of human civilisation, keeps us reliant on energy supplies from other countries and is an open invitation to terrorists. So we should find something else.

There you are, Mr Duncan – a firm, principled policy decision instead of, er, just waiting to see what the Government says so you can go negative on it instead of thinking up a policy of your own. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

I dinnae ken. We help to make the country and this is all the thanks we get.

We found the Bank of England, invent the means to surface their roads, the tyres to shod their vehicles and provide the oil to power them. We invent the way to set up quick chats and the means to get a visual message across to the nation simultaneously. We discovery chloroform as a anistetcic and the power of penicillan.

And now their papers are crying out for one of our sportsmen to make up for the defeat of their national teams at their two national sports.

Hypocrisy is one thing but this in ingartitude. ;-)

Well, though I suppose by blood I'm more Scottish than English (and more American than either), I've always felt wholly British. Of course Scotland doesn't need to boast of its achievements to justify its place in the Union; it's just a Union. Besides, I'm sure there was an edition of QI which de-Scotticised some of those achievements ;-)

My problem with the Tory proposal is simply that they've forgotten that they live, incidentally, in Britain. You know, the country for which Mr Brown, Mr Campbell and Mr Cameron want to become Prime Minister, and that's the only country qualification you should need.

Other good postings on this subject: Cicero and Mr Paul Walter.

Though if we are to assess the United Kingdom on who makes the most deserving contributions, it's clearly Wales. What could be more British than the BBC? And all praise to BBC Wales for Doctor Who. There you go - Wales, top constituent nation, no question ;-)
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