Saturday, 23 May 2009

Political Commentators

When considering those journalists that earn their living as political commentators and thus, through their work, 'guide' the opinion of their readers, one has, with few exemptions, to question the standard of their 'musings'.

An example of this is Matthew d'Ancona, writing in tomorrow's Sunday Telegraph, his article headlined "Reform can wait; what the people want now is an election." The article contains these 'pearls of wisdom':

"The corollary is a high-minded demand for (but of course) a “new politics” – “a blueprint for reforming government” as the Guardian called it on Thursday – and a carnival of constitutional reform. I don’t buy it. There may be arguments for aspects of the so-called “reform agenda”. But the notion that what is required right now is a grand process of constitutional introspection – a talking shop on unprecedented scale – is spectacularly misguided." and "The first thing it needs is a tight tourniquet to stop the arterial bleeding, not a series of elective cosmetic procedures,....." and, calling for an immediate election, "They are owed nothing less: in a general election, now." and lastly: "Sometimes, looking at the wood can distract you from the trees:......"

Why is it that someone who is supposed to be a highly respected journalist - open to dispute, I know - can write such utter rot? It is exactly that 'grand process of constitutional introspection' that is required - otherwise we are, in effect, allowing the foxes to install a new security system for the chicken coop! Such a 'constitutional introspection' would 'stop the arterial bleeding' and could hardly be termed an 'elective cosmetic procedure'.

There is no logic in allowing those who have abused the system to resolve the problem that they themselves have created; hence my analogy to foxes and chicken coops.

With regard to d'Ancona's last statement that 'Sometimes, looking at the wood can distract you from the trees' only shows that he is totally lost in the forest of his own illogical mind!

On the other side of the coin, there are political commentators whose words are to be admired and who can only be held in the highest regard. One such example is Christopher Booker who has a weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph and who also occasionally writes for other newspapers, for example the Daily Mail. His column in tomorrow's Sunday Telegraph is a case in point. Discussing Section 292 of the Income Tax (Pensions and Earnings) Act 2003 and how MPs voted to exempt themselves from being liable for income tax, he ends his article thus:

"In other words, the Government that, under the same Act, insisted that "council members and civic dignitaries" must be "treated in the same way as any other individual who holds an office or is an employee", gave MPs a unique exemption from the tax rules. This was the same House of Commons that insisted the Queen should pay income tax. Thus was a whole new dimension craftily added to the nest-feathering of our political class."

That neatly encapsulates the matter, with a few notable exceptions, of our politician's probity!

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