Lectures on responsibility from the totally irresponsible…
One of the most repugnant features of any government is the incessant personal morality chatter that spews forth from Westminster like a constant stream of raw vomit. I’d love to be able to claim that Labour never did this but that simply isn’t true – however, it generally tends to be the occasional light shower of vomit from Labour in power compared to the torrent that the Conservatives feel the need to send forth. It’s made doubly disgusting by the fact that politicians are amoung some of the least personally responsible people on the planet. Drunk on relatively small amount of power afforded to them and the mistaken notion that representing people makes you inherently better than them, they imagine their recklessness is simply a perk of the job – a bit like expenses really.
It is in this light that we should judge the latest comments of Iain Duncan Smith who said ‘feckless’ parents would only spend extra benefits on themselves. A bit like MP’s and expenses then? Ironically, these remarks are actually part of a gargantuan effort on the part of Mr Duncan Smith to explain away this governments failure to tackle child poverty. I hope all you ‘feckless parents’ are taking notes as our Work and Pensions Secretary really mans-up and admits to his complete and utter failure to do his own job.
Duncan Smith patently doesn’t understand what its like to be either a drug or a gambling addict (or, indeed, to be without work for a long period of time). This is clearly proved by the fact that he avoids the word addict and uses instead the softer colloquialism, ‘habit’. Obviously he is under the impression that having a major – life destroying addiction – is a bit like sucking your thumb, all you need to do is tie a ribbon around the syringe or pack of poker cards and there you go – job done.
However, I would imagine there is much admiration within the Cabinet for IDS’s buck-passing skills. The Chancellor in particular has done an exceptional job of turning the ritual of receiving the latest suicide-inducing economic news into a bigger standing joke than an Alan Carr show with his imaginative ability to find fault in anything except his own policies. This is a government founded on the principle that it is anybody but its own fault.
It started off badly when it blamed everything wrong in the world on the last Labour government. Rather than objectively asses the issues it managed to reinvent history to the point where even the decisions it actually supported in opposition are the root of all evil. You would think it couldn’t get any worse but it actually has; Cameron still regularly uses this at PMQ’s and so does every single government minister – especially the Liberal Democrat’s who agreed with Labour even more in opposition and now have to curse them doubly in a rather disturbing self-flagellation/disavowal ritual which has successfully destroyed relations between the two parties for at least several decades to come.
If it weren’t against my democratic principles I would be tempted to suggest that politicians should be banned from pronouncing on personal morality by law, under pain of having to watch paint dry – in the middle of the coldest arctic tundra. Sadly, since we can’t outlaw we it we have to endure it and wearily repeat anytime a politician dares to whisper about it, physician, heal thyself!