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

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Norovirus the food poisoning bug that causes violent stomach flu  

A flu pandemic could decide next year’s election

Matthew Norman
J. Jayalalithaa gestures to her party supporters while standing on the balcony of her residence in Chennai. Former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram is one of India's most colourful and controversial politicians  

The jailing of former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram is a drama even Bollywood couldn’t produce

Andrew Buncombe
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?