Friday, April 23, 2010

Organising a piss-up in a brewery

British-election-related quote of the day, via The Economist (which also makes the good point that for a debate on 'foreign affairs' the discussion was strangely parochial):

A Labour MP I know tells a story about the young Tony Blair, campaigning in a tough council housing estate years before he was famous and powerful. At the time, Labour was still promoting a platform of more cordial relations with the Soviet Union, and nuclear disarmament. According to this (supposedly true) story, the young Mr Blair began explaining to an elderly woman that only Labour could avert nuclear armageddon. "Can Labour stop the yobs peeing in the lift?" she replied. Mr Blair waffled, sticking to his lines about disarmament. "Young man," said the voter severely. "If Labour can't stop them peeing in the lifts, how are they going to stop a nuclear war?"

Perhaps perversely, I tend to think that the latter is, somehow, easier to prevent than the former.



Francis Sedgemore said...

Talking about the parochial, this evening I was listening to BBC Radio 4's Any Questions while on my weekly hunting expedition. One of the questions was along the lines of:

"Today is St George's Day. Can an immigrant celebrate that?"

Unfortunately, owing to my need to dodge some particularly fuckwitted beasts of the two-legged, four-wheeled and small-penised variety, I didn't pay full attention to the discussion which followed.

Maybe one of the assembled politicos pointed out that St George was actually a Levantine, and is today the patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal and Russia, as well as England.

Or maybe not.

KB Player said...

One of the panel - celebrate being English - tolerance = welcoming immigrants - let’s give a big cheer - [everyone cheers].

Jack Straw - cheers for immigration. St George would have been an immigrant with a face the wrong colour for the BNP and points out his mixed race parents.

Caroline Spellman - irony of BNP parading St George and points out his European and Middle East character. St G stood for justice and courage.

As for Sir Menzies Campbell (Scots) - he celebrates all saints, Scottish & Welsh too. So we should celebrate diversity and our union. Laments hi-jacking of St George flag by BNP [loud cheers against BNP] so people are inhibited about waving flag.

I can’t stand these silly nationalist saints and flags myself but this seems unexceptionable.

John Carter Wood said...

I have to say, the panel's answers sound pretty encouraging.

I think Billy Bragg was out on the streets in Barking making a similar point.

There's also a St. George in Germany