Sunday, December 09, 2007

Political Balls

If you could personify why people are put off politics, it would be Ed "the Spinmeister" Balls.

The Ed Balls 10 Point Interview Plan with Andrew Marr:
1) If asked about falling education standards, announce a 10-year plan so I'm not around when it fails - check
2) If hounded by that bloody Marr on the same subject, announce a new independent regulator - check
3) If he just won't give up, announce a review - check
4) If he brings up that we've dropped from 7th to 17th in world education, tell him that "our standards are rising....but we aren't rising fast enough. Other countries to be honest are going faster" - check
5) If he mentions Northern Rock, say that Darling "made the right calls and has delivered stability in our economy" - check
6) If he dares to ask about Gordy not being up to the job, tell him that he's got "leadership with great vision" - check
7) If he mentions the effing election, say that Gordy was right not to have gone to the polls country (don't mention the polls) - check
8) If he mentions that posh-boy Cameron's performance in PMQs over Gordy's, say that I'm not disappointed in his performance and remind him (patronisingly) that being PM is a very tough job - check
9) If he asks whether I've asked Gordy to raise his game, look incredulous and tell him in no uncertain terms "Of course I haven't" (especially if Marr asks whether I should have done) - check
10) And in the very unlikely event that an Archbishop should tell me to start teaching children and stop testing them, just say "Very interesting" and try not to have a confused, embarrased look on my face - check (but failed)

He's obviously living on another planet from the one I'm on.

Sentamu's Protest

The Andrew Marr show doesn't usually bring me to tears but this morning all that changed when his guest Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, during an empassioned plea for the world to rid Zimbabwe of Mugabe, tore off his dog collar, produced a pair of scissors and cut it up. The Archibishop has promised not to wear it again until Mugabe is deposed.

It was so surprising that it took a few seconds for the meaning of what he had done to sink in, but when it had all I felt was admiration for what must, for him, feel like a one man crusade. Something that hopefully is about to change.

In his own words: "You see as an Anglican, this is what I wear to identify myself that I'm a clergyman. Do you know what Mugabe has done? He's taken people's identity and literally if you don't mind, cut it to pieces. [The Archbishop starts cutting up his dog collar] This is what he's actually done, to a lot of - and in the end there's nothing. So as far as I'm concerned from now on I'm not going to wear a dog collar until Mugabe's gone."

If you missed the programme, you can read the transcript or watch the entire programme for the next week here.