Saturday, April 29, 2006

Poor Patricia

Me and the Rioja Kid pick up a couple of easy points with today's bit on the general theme of "those fucking nurses, Patricia Hewitt is doing an excellent job". Apparently the problem with the nurses is that they have "non-negotiable demands". Whereas Tony and Patricia are notorious for the flexibility and lack of dogma with which they have foisted a load of managerialist, PFI-financed shite on the world. It is partly an article about sexist portayal of female politicians in the media, co-written with some bird from the Times (joke).

It's quite an astonishing piece in its way. Aaro and Hewitt both seem to genuinely believe that the reason Patricia Hewitt is coming in for a ton of abuse at the moment is that she speaks funny and doesn't come across as the warmest of people. On the other hand, Patricia Hewitt has had that irritating manner for years and years, but I don't recall her being booed, slow-handclapped or mentioned all that much at all in the newspapers while she was at the DTI, or while the NHS looked like it was doing all right. Tony Blair has this problem too; the inability to understand that there is a connection between a) fucking up really badly and b) getting a bollocking. It's practically a trait of New Labour, all of them except, curiously, Charles Clarke. They honestly believe (seemingly for psychological reasons related to the Kinnock years; Aaro is a good enough journalist to tell you what you need to know even when he doesn't know it himself), that what people don't like is them, not the fact that all the canapes appear to have been delivered to the wrong brewery and the band haven't turned up.

What do you do when your dog is too dumb to realise that every time he shits in the house, he sleeps in the kennel? I say we beat the bastards harder for a while and see what happens.


Blogger Benjamin said...

By the way, the Euston Manifesto now has 905 signatures in a month (roughly.)

That works out at about 1.3 signatures per hour on average in the time since its inception, which strikes me as not particularly impressive considering all the publicity it has got at the Guardian, New Statesman and blogosphere generally.

4/29/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not bad. But "Unite Against Terror" go 2850 signatures. Although that gained support from a) the publicity surrounding the 7/7 bombings and b) the fact that it rather concealed its Decent agenda, I would say that 2850 marks the threshold of actual embarrassment. They have to pass that surely, and it's going to take a load more publicity to do so. I think they got a mention in the (Moonie) Washington Times today which will bring in a few more.

4/29/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

The Labour NHS story is a poignant and ironic one. Many Labour supporters being hoodwinked about the real nature and intent of these reforms.

The Tories know the real story better than most Labour Party people.

I'm no stick in the mud; the NHS needs reform but it doesn't need slicing up, marketisation, PFI and privatisation.

Am I an old time socialist? Well, I live in Hong Kong perhaps the most purely capitalist place in the world. Do we have PFI here?

You must be joking. We got honest accountants, comrades!

4/29/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They've been a little more scrupulous this time. Of the 2830 signatures on UAT, I've found 130 duplicates, though I think the two Alan Johnsons are different people (how many bloody Alan Johnsons are there?). Ann Clwyd signed twice, at different times, as did Francis Wheen, and there are also quite a few obvious duplicates of the familiar blog double-comment sort. But even 2700 is still three times the O'Neills Manifesto. I'm waiting until NG gets to platform 9 on his blog so I can counter with Platform 9 3/4 (I doubt I'm the first to think of that), which of course was in King's Cross.

4/29/2006 06:02:00 PM  

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