Thursday, 30 June 2016

Michel Sapin - A Breath Of Fresh Air

The French Finance Minister was interviewed on British TV last night. What a contrast with our sorry politicians. How dignified, how strange to see a politician politely and succinctly answer a direct question with a direct and common sense answer. No avoiding the question, no posturing.

Compare that with Sajid Javid's appalling display on Andrew Marr's show at the weekend. He avoided a straight answer every time, back pedalled and made excuses for the lies and disinformation given by the Remain team. His team.

By comparison Nicola Sturgeon, on the same programme, was surprisingly good. Mind you, she doesn't have to play games at present, her position and the Scottish one is pretty clear. They didn't fall for the lies and untenable promises of the Leave campaign and they don't want to pay the price just because we the English did. Quite right too.

Whilst we're on the subject of politicians being interviewed on television, Ewan Davies had a Boris supporter on Newsnight last night. Don't know who he was and don't really care; how anyone can support such an evil, untruthful campaign is beyond me. However Ewan Davies needs to come down a peg or two as well. If you're going to interview someone let them string two sentences together before you jump down their throat. There's a difference between tough interviewing and it being all about the interviewer. I turned off in disgust at both of them.

Stephen Crabb has joined the Conservative Party leadership contest for the next un-elected Prime Minister saying that people don't believe a word politicians say. That may prove to be the only thing he's right about. Both referendum campaigns played on people's emotions and fears, both of them. It's little wonder then when people get emotional, angry, sad and anxious. It's little wonder that all respect for politicians in general gets lost in the fog of lies and promises that can never, will never be fulfilled.

Nigel Farage is trying, on the 100th anniversary of the ghastly Battle Of the Somme, to tear down the great European push for unity, cooperation and advancement. His crowing to the European Parliament was reprehensible. There was just one thing that had a grain, just a grain, of sense at the back of it. He accused members of never having had a proper job. I don't know if that's true or not, in Europe. However, getting back to the concept of respect for politicians.

I for one was hugely impressed by Michel Sapin. We could use his kind here. One thing we don't need is politicians who come straight out of university, having studied only politics, where doubtless they get to see the terrible tactics which work and go straight into the political arena with virtually no life experience whatsoever to practice them. We laugh at a US President who's never travelled then elect twenty somethings who've never done a thing.

At least our young politicians are probably motivated to do some good in the world, even if they don't know how. It's puzzling that a private e-mail between a wife and a husband has become public. I don't know how that happened, but certainly Mrs Gove understands where the real power is in this country; Murdoch's papers and the Daily Mail. Her husband may come across as a polite and gentle man but the truth outs in the end, it's a career and it's about him not us.

Our politicians are a sorry bunch, especially the senior ones. I don't trust them and I don't respect them and frankly after this debacle I doubt I ever will. I'm no supporter of the Labour Party, yet neither do I rejoice in its disarray. The circumstances of it do support my case that British politicians are an arrogant self serving bunch however, on both sides of the house.

I agree that Corbyn is very unlikely to ever win a General Election and I think his role in the referendum was utterly pitiful. However, it's the grass roots members of the Labour Party who elected him and Labour Party MPs damn well ought to respect that. If Corbyn reflects what the party stands for then the MPs of that party, and especially those he honoured with a post in the Shadow Cabinet, have a duty to support him. 

Certainly Blair got power, but look what he did with it. If you stand for something stand up for it. There's nothing wrong with socialist principles, just their blinkered incompetence with the nation's finances. Which, barring the miracle of a Liberal resurgence leaves us with the evil, split and manipulative Conservative Party in power for the foreseeable.

If European politicians are generally more in the Sapin mould then that amplifies our mistake, because we've taken power away from European politicians, more democratically elected than ours, and given it to the Goves, the Johnsons, The Crabbs and the Javids.

Just to justify the democracy point I would let it be known, voice in the wilderness though I may be, that the European Parliament uses proportional representation, not first past the post and winner takes all and that its not just more democratic than the Commons but it might laugh at the Lords. The idea that un-elected civil servants run Europe is an urban myth and another damn lie.

With many vote leavers starting to realise that they will not see empty hospital waiting rooms, not now, not in one year, two years, five years, that immigration is unlikely to change in any significant way, that reciprocal health care and all those opportunities abroad are heading for the bin, that the young will have to live with the consequences as vote leavers die off in droves its time for a root and branch re-organisation of British politics and British media ownership. I'm not saying we shouldn't have a free press, but as the Gove's have recognised, too much power is in the hands of too few.

A referendum based on lies and false promises should not stand - it's not democracy in action.

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