Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meaning of the word 'Honourable'.

Once Lembit Opik gave his public support to Peter Hain last week, he was doomed. Tonight, the Liberal Democrat seems to be the only MP who does not think the resignation was inevitable. He seems to think its ok for a Minister to carry on in office at the same time as he is being investigated by the Police! Ah well, there's no accounting for some people's opinions.

I really cannot see how a 'forced' resignation can be passed off as 'Honourable'. Yet that seems to be the word that every Labour 'spokesman' has been using to describe today's resignation of Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for Wales (and Work and Pensions). If he'd resigned on the day he disclosed that he had failed to declare over £103,000 of donations towards his Deputy Leadership bid, he might just have got away with the use of the 'H' word - but surely not on the day that the Electoral Commission referred the matter to the Police! Oddly enough, every Labour 'spokesman' who has used the word 'Honourable' has also described the resignation as inevitable. I suppose the New Labour dictionary has something of an unusual way with words.

The other theme of comments emanating from the mouths of Labour 'spokesman' today is personal sympathy for the ex- Secretary of State. So I've been delving into the deepest recesses of my heart to see if I can find any sympathy there. I found no more than a smidgen - and that only because I rather liked Peter Hain. But I can and will never forgive him for joining with Rhodri Morgan to force through the ban on 'dual-candidacy' at the last National Assembly for Wales election. I daresay you've forgotten what this row was all about. Too complex to explain in a blog post. But let me remind you that these two men distorted the electoral process in Wales for partisan advantage in an utterly disgraceful way. I told both of them, to their faces, in the Assembly Debating Chamber, that such a constitutional outrage would pollute both of their legacies for ever. So No, search as I might, I cannot find more than that smidgen of sympathy. But I can see quite a bit of 'just desserts'. And you can call me bitter if you like - because I am.

I've always had great respect for Paul Murphy. The Prime Minister got this one right, in my opinion. Should be fun watching how he works with Labour's coalition partners in the National Assembly, bearing in mind the total condemnation which has laced every utterance he has made on the coalition deal. Happy days ahead.


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

I think there should be an early morning motion in Parliament calling for Lembit's jaw to be wired up!

Normal Mouth said...

What partisan advantage?

Glyn Davies said...

NM - The ban was a device to prevent the sitting Conservative (and other opposition) 'regional' Assembly Members from contesting constituencies as well as being placed on their party's regional list. Personally, it put me in a tricky position and I was seething about it. I have 'moved on' but when Peter resigned (and when Rhodri eventually goes) the anger re-surfaces.
As it happens, Labour's poor Assembly result caught them out, and they lost some of their leading members as a result of the ban. The bottom line is that if you value democracy, you hold in contempt any attempt to fiddle the electoral system to suit your own party, and that is what Labour did. They declined to introduce the same change in Scotland, because it didn't suit them there - where an independent commission (Arbuthnott) condemned it as an unacceptable intrusion into the rights of a party to choose candidates. The move was condemned by the Electoral Commission (perhaps that influenced the E C's attitude on this issue!). Truth is that Peter Hain knew exatly what he was doing. anyway, its still a free-ish country, and I can stay mad if I want to!

Anonymous said...

Do you think the dodgy Lembit was giving Peter Hain his support because there might be something worth investigating in his parliamentary dealings?? After all, the honourable member aka car crash in slow motion, wouldn't want to be branded as a hypocrite, would he?!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

A quote from someone not far away on Facebook:

"The local pigeons are taking over - someone must be "feeding the pigeons" ... the mess they dump is astonishing - even worse than Peter Hain's diatribe."

'nuff said

Anonymous said...

The Police have marched through the streets of London demanding more money, what next – a strike? It is illegal for the Police to strike, but who is going to arrest them? The Army? Could it be time for martial law? This is indeed a disagreeable bouquet for the Labour Government, especially now Peter Hain is being investigated for electoral irregularities. It couldn’t happen to nicer bunch of people!

Gordon Brown was in India pushing for that country to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, yet has then offered this burgeoning superpower nearly £1 billion in aid of our money!!!! It should be them helping us! It’s our industry that’s going to the wall and our banks needing taxpayer bailouts!

Going back to the Police, they are moaning they are undervalued – but I am rapidly losing my respect for them. I know of an instant where an elderly gentleman kept having his garden fence smashed by a gang of teenagers. He kept reporting it to the local Police but never got any response. They were either too busy or said they had no evidence! One night this law-abiding war veteran videoed the yobs smashing his fence and took the evidence to the Police. He was immediately arrested for taking video of under-18s without permission. If this is how our Police Force operate, then who’d notice if they did go on strike!

Normal Mouth said...

Labour gain no seats from preventing dual candidacy, so I fail to see how doing so advantages them. It obliges you to choose between list or constituency, but it doesn't make defeat or victory in either section more or less likely.

Glyn Davies said...

roman - disparate comments. I'm meeting our local Inspector in half an hour in Welshpool - routine meeting. Inevitably, police priorities are bound to be an issue.

NM - I don't agree with you about this. The ban meant that 'regional' candidates were disconnected from the voters, and as far as Conservatives were concerned, it was some of our higher profile candidates. It also introduced the 'gamble' element into individual decisions - for no reasonable reason. Labour, of course did not expect their vote to fall to the extent that some of their own AMs were caught out. I have heard no-one supporet this - except Labour activists (and Alex Carlile for some obscure reason). Anyway, we all have things which we detest to an irrational extent, and this is mine. Never forgive the two of them. For ever be 'gerrymanderers' as far as I'm concerned.