Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Intimidated nitwits who are beneath contempt

Share
Related Topics

"No one's reputation could fail to be damaged by his name on a paper alleging contempt of Parliament." So said an MP of some sort, in sympathy with Trevor Phillips, the head of the Equalities Commission.

It may be true for quango heads and other baronial elements in the political class – but my stock would rise sharply, I can't help thinking. So would yours. So would anyone's. We'd form a club and have dinner together. At the last toast we would rise and bare our backward parts at an effigy of Andrew Dismore MP.

The House was debating a privilege motion examining... exactly what I can't say. Trevor Phillips has been accused of bullying his staff and colleagues, and is now accused of contempt after he telephoned three members of the committee reporting on his institution.

Dismore brought the motion and Speaker Bercow allowed it. The solemn suggestion was that telephoning three committee members before the report was published was an infringement of parliamentary privilege.

What shrinking, shivering, cringeing, flinching, intimidated nitwits we have in the House. Is that contemptuous enough to get my name on a motion?

Committee member Fiona Mactaggart stood up for Phillips saying she'd been phoned by him, hadn't felt pressured, thought he was perfectly within his rights, and that the committee itself had treated him to a "show trial". Dismore was stung to reply that she was a new member and didn't know what she was talking about. Oh! Bullying!

Politics sometimes has elements of a contact sport. It isn't always, "No, Claude, after you." MPs should set an example of resilience. Health questions came first. If you want an image of Tory failure to put the moral case for Conservatism, here's where to start.

Lord help us if there's a hung parliament, both parties will be bidding up the largesse they can offer us from the public purse. Free home care for the elderly is but one of the bargains they'll compete to give us. The only real competition will be in who can be seen to lead the "consensus".

Labour's 12-year achievement shouldn't be underestimated. Socialism is all but here, unchallenged and unopposed. The state runs education, health, pensions and the banks. It spends more than 50 per cent of GDP and tells us where we can smoke and with how many hands to hold the steering wheel.

The Tories have no answer to this other than, "Bring back common sense!" It's why the gap's closing.

And finally, please let me share a Sarah Palin quote – you may have caught it already, it's not new but it was new to me. She contrasted more neatly than I'd thought possible President Obama's soaring campaign rhetoric with his current stumbling in the government. She said: "How's that hopey-changey thing going for ya?" The audacity of scorn!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The traditional Boxing Day hunt in Lacock  

For foxes' sake: Don't let the bloody tradition of the Boxing Day hunt return

Mimi Bekhechi
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all