Saturday, February 11, 2006

Poison Prescott

We Liberal Democrats have had to endure being the butt of satirists' jokes over the past few weeks, at least until the Dunfermline result was announced. On Radio 4's News Quiz, which is recorded on a Thursday evening, the panellists had much fun at our expense, but the witty asides seemed curiously dated by Friday when the programme was broadcast.

Labour, meanwhile, in the twilight years of Blairism appear almost beyond satire. Take John Prescott's speech to the party's spring conference in Blackpool, which apparently had the assembled delegates laughing like drains.

According to the BBC News website

Adopting a comedy "posh" voice, he mocked "Dave" Cameron, "David to you and me" - and his privileged background - "Just an ordinary lad from Eton".

As opposed of course to '"Tony" Blair, "Anthony Charles Lynton Blair to you and me" - "just an ordinary lad from Fettes".

Maybe my sense of humour is letting me down here, but for me this sums up all that is unpleasant about the Labour Party. Aneurin Bevan once notoriously described the Tories as 'lower than vermin', although he later apologised. But I suspect that somewhere deep down in the psyche of the Labour Party is the belief that their motives and intentions are so much better than everyone else's that no jibe at their political opponents can ever be too far below the belt.

How else do we explain why Labour delegates great with hilarity a speech mocking an opposing party leader for having a privileged background, a public school education and an abbreviated forename in contrast to their own leader who has er… a privileged background, a public school education and an abbreviated forename?


Tristan said...

But its okay for Labour to have such a leader as he was a trot and have been converted to the 'one true cause' of politics and the only party which can possibly care for poor people.

Selective amnesia is also a great thing...

Angus J Huck said...

Question: What do John Prescott and Nicholas Van Hoogstraten's father have in common?

Answer: They were both wine-waiters on cruise-liners.

Appealling to class hatred is something Labour will always do when it is desperate.

Remember the "Algernon" PPB in 1977? Dennis Skinner boasted that membership applications rocketed that week.

And how about Councillor Phil Portwood of Ealing Borough Council? When planning permission was refused for a wine-bar in his ward, he told the local press that East Acton is a "decent working-class area" and the last thing it needs is a "yuppie wine-bar". (This is the same Councillor Phil Portwood who is now being investigated after his council computer hard-drive was found stuffed to overflowing with pornographic images he had downloaded from the internet.)

And yes, I recall a haranguing I once received at a Labour Party meeting when I made the mistake of admitting that I came from Guildford. "Guildford?! What about Welsh miners and Liverpool dockers?!" Well, what about them?

As for Aneurin Bevan, I'm not inclined to listen to homilies from someone who allowed himself to be fellated by Tom Driberg in his House of Commons office.

But, yes, I can think of plenty of Tories who are lower than vermin, a few of them in Ealing!