Monday, 27 October 2008

Drawing a line under things

All of us make mistakes and it's nice when politicians admit that they have. George Osborne was right to draw a line under the Queen K affair by doing just that. Media attention may now switch again to Mandy, fortunately in Moscow at present. Sadly, once again, he has been shown to have been economical with the actualité.

The problem for the Conservatives with this relatively minor squall was that it allowed generally sympathetic papers like the Sunday Times to dig out their old stories and photos about the Bullingdon club. Chaps from fee paying schools in white (and blue?!) tie; swilling champagne; rolling a chap down a hill in a portaloo after more champagne at 'brekkers' etc. etc. It all creates an image of the idle rich which is not helpful when many people are financially stretched.

The class obsessed inverted snobbery that John Prescott displayed on television is just as bad. The best moment came when one of three young women from Lewisham asked 'Who is Gordon Brown?' when asked for her opinion of him. All these young women, who were insistent that they should not be labelled as 'chavs' were evidently NEETs (not in employment, education or training). Which shows once again that in labour market policy, as in any other policy, implementation is everything.

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