Wednesday, December 15, 2004

As described to backbencher by Michael White the Guardian's political editor:
"Michael Howard produced his little Christmas trick: a copy of Stephen Pollard's biography of David Blunkett. As everyone knows, Mr Blunkett has said some pretty disobliging things about half his cabinet colleagues and Mr Howard asked Tony Blair if he would read it over Christmas and then come back and explain himself. Well, Mr Blair was waiting for that one. Tory MPs cheered and the prime minister said: 'There's a book I've been reading, actually: Woodrow Wyatt's diaries.'
"Its a pity Lord Wyatt hasn't been around to keep his diaries going: they would have been pretty good for 2004. But what he said in 1991 was that he had been to see John Major's employment secretary, a chap called Michael Howard, and they had been talking about the upcoming election and when they should have it, and Mr Howard had said: 'Unemployment doesn't matter.' All the Labour MPs loved that.
"As Mr Blair left, Tory MPs started shouting: 'Take the book!' Mr Howard had left the copy of Stephen Pollard's biography on the dispatch box. Mr Blair, of course, ignored it and Hilary Armstrong, the Labour chief whip, walked up, picked it up and threw it at the Tory benches. I'm very sorry to say that it thumped frontbencher Alan Duncan, which is a shame because he is one of the smaller MPs. He looked displeased and Eric Forth, the shadow leader of the house, protested about this technical assault".
My first reaction when I read that was it just very childish. Politicians then worry about people becoming politically apathetic. If politicians behave they way we expect of young children why would people be intrested in their work and why would someone vote for them.

What are labour policies on disciplining students who take similar actions in the classroom? and I have to agree with Phil Willis MP the Liberal Democrats Education Spokesperson "It's particularly ironic that we get this sort of behaviour in the same week as MPs piously debated school discipline and measures to improve it. One big thing that influences children is the behaviour and example of their elders."

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