Thursday, 19 May 2011

Illustrious gaffers

Is the Coalition the most gaffe-prone administration that we have seen since the last days of Major?  For the most part, Labour managed to avoid the most bizarre manifestations of the genre (excluding a certain Welsh Secretary's tendency to go out badger-spotting on Clapham Common), although there were the serial idiots such as Milord Mandelson and Blunkett, for whom no grisly fate could have been too exotic.

In the last year, we have watched the come-uppance of David Laws.  Laws, to be fair, had been a serial attention-seeker and his unravelling has a slight tinge of tragedy underpinning the farce.  There has been the slow and undiginfied effort to knife Dr Vince, for nothing more than not wishing to be the fall-guy for Slap-Head Willetts and his woeful apology for an education policy.  However the current crop of idiocy is very hard to credit.

Kenneth Clarke had been doing quite well as Justice Secretary until his recent remarks.  A tendency to inflame the bilious bourgeois hang 'em brigade had been noted - but given the flirty fishing techniques practised by the Torygraph to bring down Liberal wrath on the coalition he should have been wily enough to realise that a simple statement can be taken out of context.  To get Mister Ed endorsed by the Scum takes a certain skill. 

At least it diverted attention from the Honourable Member for Eastleigh.  The noted Successor to Stephen Milligan's marital strife has been grist to the Tory press for the last year - the "Evening Standard" (a London parish magazine best used for the wrapping of fish and wiping the spittle off its jouranlists' faces) helpfully reminding us that his new partner is bisexual in a totally unnecessary way - but the entire episode is somewhat sordid and does not have any bearing upon his political skills.  Huhne's policies have received a ringing disendorsement from Sir Berhard Ingham, who I had fondly imagined to be the late Sir Bernard - the poor man's Geoff Boycott, which clearly means they are right.

All this should provide excellent coverage for the sacking of Andrew Lansley.  Perhaps Clegg should get the former member for Oxford West ennobled as he would do a far better job. 

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