Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Our silence over Labour's e-mail shame is deafening....

. Nick Clegg rightly observed a two minute silence for the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy today. However, other silences from our leadership are less dignified. The blogsphere has been awash with comment and criticism for the government over the antics of messers McBride and Draper. It is not hard to see what the whole episode tells us about the actual state of the government; a) it tells us it is bereft of ideas and visibly decomposing in office b) it tells us that there are indeed people at it's very core who have decided enough is enough.

Gordon Brown's reported anger at the 'vipers nest' within Downing Street reminds me of John Major's 'bastards' outburst. I suppose in their position I would feel angry at the personal betrayal as would the cruelly exposed Emperor who was left without no clothes. However, we have been left cruelly exposed too; here if ever there was one, is a gilt-edged opportunity to show our party in a different light. It was/is a gilt-edged opportunity to make the case that Britain does need a new kind of politics, one we are hoping to embody.

This is not achieved by saying nothing and standing-aloof from the fray. People assume you actually have nothing to say if you say nothing not that you are somehow 'morally superior'. It has been put to me that this is a 'Westminster village' issue. So are expenses but yet Nick felt the need to make this a centre-piece of his most recent Guardian article. Nor do I accept the argument that this is a private matter between the Labour Party and the Conservatives; the fact that Gordon Brown's closest advisers have nothing better to do with their time than make-up lurid details about their opposition's private lives would probably worry most people in this climate.

The fact that it is in the media and is an opportunity for us to present ourselves to the wider electorate through the media should be cause enough to spend the 10/15 minutes necessary on drafting one press release. The issue will undoubtedly pass but it will do so sadly lacking in much comment from us....

10 comments:

Bernard Salmon said...

Spot on Darrell, and I've been making similar comments on LDV.

Darrell G said...

Thanks Bernard :)...it's very frustrating that on the one-hand we complain constantly about the lack of media exposure but on the other not take opportunities like this when they arise....

Alix said...

Yeah, I've been thinking something very similar. We do seem terminally unable to take good opportunities off silver platters.

Having said that, Nick did very well on the MPs expenses thing, beating the other two to the correct position by miles and being proactive about a solution, and got all the media coverage one could wish for it, and it doesn't seem to have done us much good.

Darrell G said...

Alix,

I agree he did do well on expenses....however, its really yesterdays news as things stand.....what we say is sometimes very out of sync with the media agenda ...its all very well saying we are doing well which we do but there needs to be some sync with what the 'hot issue' of the day....he could have at least mentioned the McBride/Draper affair in his article and woven it into the 'broken politics' theme....

Aristander of Telmissus said...

Could silence be the very best strategy for Nick Clegg? After all, the LibDems have an inglorious track-record themselves in smearing their opponents; not by email, of course (yet), but certainly in very dirty tricks at election time, with leaflets and so on.

Could it be that Clegg is unwilling to reap the whirlwind? It is the Tories who have been 'wronged', so it might well suit him to stay above the fight.

Darrell G said...

Aristander,

It's not as if the Tories are innocent as I am sure our Watford party will happily testify and as for them being 'wronged' I dont see why they should be allowed to parade their wounded feelings around the national stage.

However, there is a wider issue here about how our country is being run.....

Elizabeth said...

In the interest of balance I would like to disagree with most of the posters; I'm glad we have kept out of this nasty little spat between labour and tories.
After all what could NC say, except to deplore it; better to let public perception be the judge. I suspect the latter is not very interested, putting it down to political mud slinging; so best to be seen to be above it. The tories are not above doing the same sort of thing...remember that they tried to destroy Paddy with a very old affair in the run-up to an election some years back.

And Guido Fawkes posing as the Knight in Shining is a bit false
because he also seems to enjoy personal destruction. Many of his commenters are full of really vile abuse; I have to stop reading it.

I do agree with the majority on NC having bravely led the way on expenses. But here we have a genuine political quandary which needs resolution; public perception of this one requires that we find a quick resolution.

Darrell G said...

Elizabeth,

I don't think the Tories are saints at all in this regard; what I do think is it is a good example of how totally unfit to govern this government has become.

I agree about the good work that Clegg has done on exspenses as many have said but I still think this is also an issue for the reasons above...

Elizabeth said...

8 points up on Ipsos Mori! You see it was right for Nick to keep out of Smeargate. It's something they do but not (hopefully) us.

It is also being said that the tories are complicit in the leaking of the emails to Guido Fawkes.
Elizabeth

Darrell G said...

Elizabeth,

And as I have said elsewhere that swing is far too large to be credible so.....