Friday, March 31, 2006

The MP and the supermodel

One way or another I haven't read a newspaper all week or watched television, so I'm reduced to piggybacking on an old Liberal England item about the unlikely spat between Phil Willis MP and Jodie Marsh.

There are a couple of issues here. First, this kind of thing is typical of Phil Willis. While clearly an intelligent and charismatic man, his political always strike me as patrician and Fabian rather than obviously Liberal.

While he describes his parliamentary question about whether Ms Marsh is a suitable person to lead an anti-bullying campaign as 'tongue-in cheek', the precise wording is interesting. He invites the Secretary of State to 'take steps to deny Jodie Marsh access to schools for which her Department is responsible'.

If I were Ruth Kelly I would reply

Liberal Democrats usually accuse the government of attempting to micromanage public services that you say should be controlled locally. Now you are asking me to issue a diktat to all headteachers in the land about who they are allowed to invite to speak in their schools. Come on folks - make your minds up!

On the main issue, however, for once I agree with Phil Willis. Even from the brief extract from Ms Marsh's blog quoted here it's pretty clear that she freely uses the language of the playground bully and could hardly spearhead an anti-bullying campaign without unintended irony.

One of the strange phenomena of our age is the attraction people find in adopting victim status. So Ms Marsh is effectively saying to the world, without any sense of self-contradiction: 'I was bullied at school. That makes me a Victim and gives me the right to be as boorish and offensive as I like to people who get in my way. Anyone who disagrees is a fat ugly minger.'

7 comments:

Rob said...

A minger? I thought Willis supported Hughes!

James said...

In what way is Jodie Marsh a supermodel?! Replace "super" with "glamour"!

Iain said...

Am glad to see you take a keen interest in such things James! I'll defer to your superior knowledge. I hadn't heard of her until she attacked Phil Willis.

Angus J Huck said...

I, too, had never heard of Jodie Marsh until she decided to pick a fight with Phil Willis.

It is difficult to see a "supermodel" as a "victim", or indeed anyone making huge sums of money for little effort.

But you are right. Attach to youself the label "victim", and you acquire a kind of elevated status and a measure of immunity from criticism.

I won't list any of the religious and ethnic minorities who play this game, because it might cause offence to those of a sensitive disposition.

A really dangerous and undesirable trend is the move towards "justice for victims of crime" in the criminal justice system.

Criminals are punished to protect the public as a whole, not individuals (to "preserve the Queen's peace").

When someone tells a tabloid newspaper that a paedophile, rapist or child-killer should be locked up for longer, I am tempted to ask if that person is willing to stump up the bill for the offender's continued incarceration.

Oh, and then we had the farmer whose field was trashed by Sussex Police investigating the murder of Sarah Payne, who (quite reasonably) asked for compensation. He was crucified by the lynch-mob press.

If we adopt the Islamic system of inviting the victim's relatives to choose the punishment, then we end up with the bizarre situation (as happened recently in Saudi Arabia) where a murderer is allowed to walk free! (instead of the usual beheading preceded by 300 strokes of the cat)

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Askinstoo said...

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I sold mine and got some extra cash!

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Recess Monkey said...

James, you're a pussy

:)

Recess Monkey