Sunday, 21 March 2010

Tory talk is doing Britain down

Friday, March 12, 2010 by Daily Sport.

NOW I do like David Cameron – he’s a decent fellow. But Dangerous Dave & Co have been getting stick this week for trying to whip up a national panic in the run-up to the General Election. The Torynauts have been telling folk there will be an “economic meltdown” if they don’t win, and that folks who value their jobs should be voting for them.Hmmm, I can see a few problems here. Firstly,the recession was a worldwide matter, not a party political thing. And secondly, the Tories don’t have a great record on the economy themselves! More mature Daily Sport readers will remember Margaret Thatcher’s stint in office when over three million were on the dole. She makes the current PM look like an economic genius! If that’s not bad enough, these doom-mongering prophecies about another potential economic collapse are actually scaring off investors and hurting our economy here and now. And that means what the Tories are saying while not in government is harming us already – that’s quite a trick. I’m no great fan of Labour’s economic record and I reckon Lib Dem money man Vince Cable would do better. But I try to be fair to everyone in this column, and I offer some advice in good faith to Conservative HQ: “Put a sock in it!” If they want to spread panic, why not just say that if the Tories lose we’ll be destroyed by an asteroid – or eaten by Godzilla. They’re also unsupported speculations, but it’s much better than talking Britain down.
MPs often go to conferences. But last Saturday at Birmingham Town Hall I went to a convention with a difference —Fairport Convention. This iconic folk band has been going for four decades, and happen to be pals of mine. Compared to the ready-mix music of the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, Fairport prove we still have world class musicians. The band’s an inspiration — and has been since the 1960s. When they started, the Cold War was still going, Radio 1 didn’t exist, Alec Douglas- Home was Prime Minister, Celtic were champions of Europe, I was two years old, and Raquel Welch was the world’s pin-up . Fairport Convention — and Raquel Welch—we salute you! If more political conventions were like Fairport, there’d be more harmony and less anarchy in the UK. A nicer kind of politics. Two great things happened this week. Firstly, when I was massively delayed getting to a school conference, the delightfully decent Tory Damian Green MP, moved his diary around to stand in for me. Thanks, mate. If you live in Damian’s area, shake his hand and tell him he rocks. He’ll be surprised - but he’ll like it. Secondly, on Tuesday I chaired a schools debate in Parliament and the standard was exceptional. Top marks to speakers Riche Talabi, Aminat Adebayo, Jennifer Labwo, Eleftheria Varouhakis, Ian Hall and Catherine Saunders. But congratulations to young Rabi Niam, who won the debate by a cat’s whisker. It was a pleasure to meet you all. Dazzling Damian’s decency and the super-duper school debaters are a credit to democracy. Thanks for jazzing up my week guys.
LAST week there was a big demo outside Parliament, against dodgy Dutch MP Geert Wilders who turned up at the House of Lords to show his “film”. Unlike The Hurt Locker or Avatar, gruesome Geert’s film Fitma will never win an Oscar. It’s about how evil and nasty Muslims are and not surprisingly, this made many people go mental about him. When little Geertie arrived at Parliament, he was greeted by members of an equally curious bunch calling themselves the English Defence League. They think he’s good and want him to stay in England. Meanwhile,on the other side of the road anti-facists protested against Geertie boy. They stuck around for hours to shout and jeer him. Now, dear reader, you’re sensible. I doubt you lose sleep “worrying” about Muslims. So we should let Geertie show his film, then people can see what nonsense he’s on about. As for “foreigners?” someone might want to tell people who don’t like British Muslims that most are far more, er, BRITISH than wacky Wilders!
THOUSANDS of Swiss folk voted this week in a referendum about a very odd topic. The proposal was a new law allowing animals to be represented in court, with lawyers supplied by taxpayers!! If it was April Fool’s Day, you’d think I was yanking your lead. But this proposal was REAL! As it happens, the animal lovers lost the vote by about 70% to 30%. But if they’d won we would have seen some very interesting cases in the Swiss courts. Just imagine being sued by your guinea pig because you forgot to clean his hutch. Or being taken to the cleaners by your dog because you haven’t been taking him for “walkies” enough. And what would happen when a cat had a feast in the neighbour’s fish pond . . . could we see a murder trial? Switzerland has some very good laws to look after our furry, feathery and fishy pals. But if you think pets deserve state-appointed lawyers, you must be barking!

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