Bully for You

Posted on: 18th May 2011

Originally posted on February 24th 2010

With my characteristic consideration I have slackened off the grip I had on the lapels of a colleague to convey this week’s news from Westminster. Budding Prime Ministers have got to get their tantrum training in somehow…

I bring you word that Westminster villagers have, once again, given up politics in favour of the customary tittle-tattle and, this week the pursuit of unprovable and undisprovable allegations which are designed to promote light intrigue and gossip, book and newspaper sales and to divert attention away from serious politics and the routine policy catastrophes going on in Westminster.

The Prime Minister, dealing as he has done with global economic meltdown, climate change, war, pestilence and back-stabbing in his own Party, not to mention an extreme and hostile media in overdrive, would be accused of not being human if he didn’t occasionally lose his temper. Wouldn’t you?

He’s accused of throwing down a newspaper, shouting and swearing and – heaven forefend – hitting the back of a car seat “with such force that a protection officer in the front flinched with shock”!

Faced with possibly less stressful situations have these things happened within the privacy of your home or your car?

Clearly not in some cases. Because one of the less attractive sides of Westminster’s tribal politics show is the tendency for one’s opponent to do or say almost anything to “get into” the “story of the day”; even a cringe-making effort from my own colleagues to stand in front of a camera and to make a purposeful sounding call for “an inquiry to clear the air.” This is but one of many reasons why respect for politicians is at an all time low.

Whatever does or doesn’t happen in No. 10, we did witness an attempt at bullying by no less than the National Bullying Helpline, with national media, as ever, weighing in for good measure.

Andrew Rawnsley certainly sold a few more of his books. “Bully for you,” I say.