Prescott takes the complicated route to simplify policy

Click to follow
The Independent Online

If you like violent, hectoring, bullying clods with an IQ lower than microwaved tripe (which I do, rather) you can't help having a soft spot for the Deputy Prime Minister. That face of his, like a deformed boxing glove; the lower lip with a life of its own. He is a picture. To be specific, the Leonardo grotesque that is trying to swallow his own face.

If you like violent, hectoring, bullying clods with an IQ lower than microwaved tripe (which I do, rather) you can't help having a soft spot for the Deputy Prime Minister. That face of his, like a deformed boxing glove; the lower lip with a life of its own. He is a picture. To be specific, the Leonardo grotesque that is trying to swallow his own face.

Now, because the poor fellow is thick, he gets taken in by complexity. So he weighs into his administrative programmes, creating bodies and boards and partnerships and quangoes and assemblies and strategic visions to create the impression he knows what he's doing.

As far as we can judge, Mr Prescott is encouraging Market Renewal Pathfinders to react through Arm's Length Management Organisations in association with the Warm Front Programme to contribute to the Sustainable Communities Plan which will benefit from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund in the overarching, cross-cutting New Deal for Communities to an extent measured by a new liveability index.

I think what he means is: more slums.

A great shout of laughter greeted his assertion: "One key element of our approach is to simplify funding". Mr Prescott fears simplicity. If people could understand him they'd see clearly his value to the Government has nothing to do with administering billions of pounds of public money. No, he's important for other, secret, more purely political purposes (interestingly, Gordon Brown chose to sit in on the statement, something I've never seen before). Mr Prescott told us his building programme would create sustainable communities in the crowded South-east. If he runs true to his track record, the price of houses in the South-east will rise sharply, as thousands are lured south andstart trying to buy somewhere nice.

If you wanted to consider the draft European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their member states and the Republic of Croatia) Order 2004 ... there was only one place to be.

Denis MacShane spoke for an age in order to tell us that they were restarting the parliamentary ratification process of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement which confirms Croatia's accession aspirations and forms the contractual basis for ... (I'm just showing off, to be honest).

Richard Spring, in reply, announced the draft under consideration was not contentious so, naturally, I left. It must be the only uncontentious thing to have come out of the Balkans. So why was it being considered? The scrutiny of Euro-legislation is very mysterious. As far as I can tell it isn't scrutinised at all. But this is a continuing story and we shall have to wait for further episodes.

simoncarr75@hotmail.com

Comments