The House is a Stage and You are..?

December 18, 2010

I’ve got my media hat back on this week, after watching the Labour backbenchers properly fired up at PMQs, as Ed Miliband listed the Tory promises at the last election and our MPs chanted “broken” to every item on the list.

I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago, calling for them to shout Cameron down, after he made the mistake of accusing Labour people of being nasty. It’s worth revisiting that clip and analysing it in a little more detail before I continue my point about the lack of confidence of the PLP.

When you hear the chant begin, see Nick Clegg lean around Cameron to look at where it’s coming from. However, when Cameron realises something’s happening, he looks toward the Labour benches, and with that, Labour MPs fall silent, and Cameron recovers his composure.
This is the power and the authority he has over them. David Cameron can silence the entire Parliamentary Labour Party simply by casting an eye in their direction. How shameful. David Cameron; the Tory leader whose A-List of selection candidates excludes 90% of the MPs behind him. The PLP cowers in his presence. The PLP need to better understand their role at Prime Minister’s Questions.
You are not there as innocent bystanders to cast judgement on Ed Miliband; you are there to fire him up, and that includes the bad days, as well as the good. Right now, Ed is delivering, but what about on the days when he’s not? Are we going to see our MPs cowering on the back benches, frightened in case David Cameron thinks they are not being sufficiently respectful towards him? When we, the grass roots, lose an election, we don’t cower; we go home and get a good night’s sleep, then the next day, we’re back, ready for the next fight.
I’m not saying that we have no analysis; of course we do, but we don’t focus our minds on the negative, because we are not a bunch of losers. If we were thinking like victims; if we were frightened of the Tories, then I can guarantee that you lot would not be MPs anymore, because you would never get elected.
Imagine a great rock band, let’s say The Who, on stage at a major concert. Roger Daltrey is tired and he’s had some bad news, so he simply hasn’t got his mind on his performance. Does Pete Townsend also get depressed and not play with the energy we’ve come to expect? Would Keith Moon tap his drums with no passion, because Roger isn’t leading him well?
No! Absolutely not! That band behind Roger Daltrey would play with double passion and energy, because they know that they have to inspire Daltrey to come out of his depression. And you know what? It would work. With that sound coming out of them speakers, Roger Daltrey would find his energy and forget his problems and give the concert of his life. This is what the Labour leader needs from the backbenchers at Prime Minister’s Questions.
So when you, as MPs, walk into that chamber at the next PMQs, and you hear that voice in your head asking, “Will Ed do well today?” Correct yourself! The question you should be asking is, “Will I do well? Will I do my job of encouraging Ed? Will I… will we fire him up and give him the Labour Party spirit that will down these Tories, so easily, when it’s energised?”
If you’re in the lobby before PMQs and you hear Labour MPs questioning whether Ed’s going to deliver today, you tell them that they’re the ones expected to deliver. Tell them that they were selected by their Labour Party members to go in that chamber and cheer on that Labour leader, as if the World Cup depended on it.
And on those days when everything’s going against us, when it seems like we just can’t win, remember this one fact that will always give Ed Miliband an advantage over this particularly nasty Tory leader. Remember that no matter how much you hate David Cameron and everything he stands for, it is nothing compared to how much his own backbenchers hate him.

Shout him Down

December 9, 2010

J Edgar Hoover originally brought scandal upon himself when he worked in the private sector. However, he was saved from his disgrace when the American President offered him a job as his head of communications, one of the most powerful civilian ranks in American Federal Government, directly answerable to the American President and without the constraint of civil service accountability to stand in his way.
That paragraph is, of course, ridiculous. Why would anyone hire the disgraced J Edgar Hoover? Who in their right mind would be interested in a man whose view of the private lives of others was so contemptible that be bugged literally thousands of public figures, not for national security reasons, but to pursue his own selfish ends?
Why would an American President chose to hire J Edgar Hoover after his came to public notoriety following a bugging and deception scandal where people around him had been sent to jail, and he had only narrowly avoided prosecution himself. Inconceivable!
Yet that’s exactly what David Cameron did when he hired Andy Coulson. Then there followed a spate of bugging and burglary scandals (Labour List, parliamentary expenses, Damian Green) all involving the Tory Party as beneficiaries, questions were asked and The Guardian investigated.
A Police Officer on the original investigation told Nick Davies, the Guardian journalist, that there had been literally thousands of suspected cases at the News of the World. So the investigation had been ended prematurely? What could possibly have caused that?
The officer in the case was Assistant Commissioner John Yates. Does this man have a reputation for ending investigations without every stone unturned? No! He’s the one who prosecuted Tony Blair for 18 months and at a cost of £1.4 million. He produced absolutely no evidence whatsoever.
The simple fact is that there is no such thing as a tabloid editor who knew nothing of the source of a story he publishes about a public figure. The notion is ridiculous. It’s his job on the line and his evidence that would be heard in court. To argue that he was incompetent would be equally ridiculous; the News of the World had scoop after scoop during this period. Now we know how they got those stories!
David Cameron invested huge amounts of effort in convincing the British people that he’s a nice guy. This business with Andy Coulson has chipped away and chipped away at that image. Nothing has blown up, there has been no great scandal, but the voters know about it and every time they hear about Cameron’s man and the allegations of bugging and stealing, Cameron’s likability is eroded that little bit more.
So why didn’t he just get rid of him in the first place? He wasn’t at Eton with this man, nor is Coulson a Tory voter; he’s never done anything for the Conservative party. What possible hold could Andrew Coulson have over David Cameron, that he could ride this never ending wave of negative news?
David Cameron is not a nice guy. When Harriet Harman was at the despatch box during Ed’s paternity leave on 17nov, Cameron suddenly lost his cool and started slinging mud at the Labour Party. Accusing the Labour Party of every nasty allegation he could think of. You’ll notice from the film that it was completely unprovoked, but the nasty party behind him started calling for more.

The Labour backbenchers started chanting, “Coulson! Coulson!” and only with that did Cameron realise he’d made a mistake, and he quickly finished off with a made-up reference to a made-up person.
It was just a glimpse of the true character of David Cameron. He is the nasty leader. They are the nasty party. While the problem with the Labour Party is that they are too nice; their chant was timid.
I say to the Labour backbenchers that the next time the leader of the nasty party wants to mess with the reputation of the Labour Party, throw it straight back in his face, and use no timidity. Next time, shout him down!

On this one, Cameron is our Leader!

December 3, 2010

 Before the Olympic vote, I would have agreed with Ken Livingstone, that it would be better to put off this broadcast till after the vote. After all, there is corruption in the world and we do our bit to discourage it. It’s probably asking a bit too much to ask us to be martyrs for the cause. I’m sure you agree.

But how do you feel since the vote?

How do you feel, since they taught us a good lesson?

Do you feel chastised?

Having had your wrists slapped by FIFA, do you feel sufficiently regretful? Perhaps we should apologise to them? Admit that we were wrong to allow the BBC to behave in such a critical manner to the good people of FIFA? Perhaps we should promise never to do it again? Do you think so?

I don’t think so.

 You wanna know what I feel; I’ll tell you…

!!!!!!    HOW…..      DARE…..       THEY?   !!!!!!!

How dare they treat us with that shear level of utter contempt?

That we should go away with our tails between our legs, having learnt our lesson?


That we should be humbled? Harried? Humiliated?

I’m with David Cameron on this one. I’m a Labour bloke, but political parties don’t come into it on this one. As far as I’m concerned, when I saw him humiliated, I felt humiliated. I felt my country humiliated. I felt every British citizen had been humiliated.

And that was the point. They wanted us punished for the audacity of criticising their corruption. As if we were arrogant, to believe that it was for us, the pompous British, to criticise theft, the stealing of money? Because that’s what corruption is. Theft! Pure and simple! Theft! We had the audacity to criticise a bunch of thieves and for that we should be taught a lesson, by that same bunch of thieves.

Well I say this, I’m with you Cameron.

I’m with you and so is the whole of the Labour Party. Every MP, every councillor, every party member. We’re with you on this one all the way. You’re the leader and we look towards you. So now show us… now we’ve been publically humiliated in front of the whole world, show us what you’re gonna do about it!

Come on Prime Minister. Come on Mr Cameron, we’re waiting and we want to know. What you gonna do about it?