Friday, July 13, 2007

'Moral Compass' goes awry

Talking 'morality' is a dangerous business for politicians. Best avoided. Yesterday I posted on the subject of 'marriage' - but refused to link the issue to morality. The idea that any political party, stuffed full of extroverts as they are, should stand on a platform of morality is just asking for trouble. John Major's 'Back to Basics' policy was a disaster. Blair's claim to be a 'regular kinda guy' and that New Labour was 'whiter than white' made the Ecclestone and Cash for Peerages issues much more damaging than they would otherwise have been.

As soon as I heard Gordon Brown banging on about his moral compass earlier this month, I knew he was in trouble. But it came a lot sooner than I expected. Today, according to the BBC, the Labour Party invited a convicted rapist to buy a table at a Labour Party fundraiser, for which he paid £10,000. Even more damning was the reason that Owen Oyston is reported to have given for accepting the invitation. He thought it might advantage some of his business companies! Gordon Brown's problem is that he's tried to give the impression that he and his party are as pure as the driven snow.

I watched this story being covered on Newsnight tonight. Stephen Pound, ultra loyalist Labour MP was on reassuring us that the other 599 guests were 100% pure. How on earth does he know? Anyway, ex-MP, Martin Bell made Stephen Pound's claim to look very hollow when he pointed out that the Government has failed to appoint a Chair of the Parliamentary Standards Committee for over three months. It really is best if politicians avoid making silly claims about a moral compass in their public speeches. It nearly always backfires.


Alwyn ap Huw said...

So what do you suggest as an alternative, Glyn, politics that has no moral basis?

Glyn Davies said...

No alwyn - its just better if politicians do not talk about it - trying to give the impression that they are morally superior in some way.

Keir Hardly said...

I,Mr Hardly, maintains that a moral compass doth not mean that every action under a government will be to quote that pipsqueak Blair 'whiter than white'.

Mr Hardly believes that the vast majority of politicians enter politics to make a difference to people's lives. Mr Brown has a moral compass, just ask the people who now have the minimum wage, Mr Hardly believes it moral to have a minimum wage.

Mr Hardly asks Glyn Davies to state whether he was for or against the minimum wage? David Cameron was against it and on the record doing so.