A new Conservative MP said: "One of my farmers..." You might think that's just a Tory thing; a proprietorial born-to-rule sort of thing. "One of my farmers" (try it). But it's not just Tories, politicians of every sort find themselves doing it.
It's what happens in politics and may even be what politics is about. They begin by thinking: "A farmer in my constituency, whose interests I was elected to represent" and immediately on being elected change to "one of my farmers".
Because they own us they feel entitled to push us around. And the more they push us, the more they want to push us. The more they do, the more they have to do. Because the more they tell us to do, the less we want to do it. That's human nature.
So, maybe the Vital Villages and Market Town Initiative will work its magic and maybe it won't. The Government funnels money through the Regional Development Agency to regenerate vital villages and market towns (partly by giving them Beacon Status) and those of us who watch will see the slow evaporation of money time and effort in more box-ticking, micro-management.
Ben Bradshaw (whose hair, incidentally, is back on form) told us packaging minimisation is at the top of the government's waste hierarchy and that the steepness of the landfill tax escalator is the best driver of the landfill allowance trading scheme in the government's waste review process.
This very likely means something but it costs a lot of public money to pay people to understand it. It almost certainly comes down to getting people to separate their rubbish.
Political grammarians may like to add a couple of examples to their files. Elliot Morley says parts of the South-east are suffering their worst drought in 100 years. Do you notice the parched white bones of cattle in the dust bowl outside Rose Cottage? What it means is, he has found some figures to justify a hosepipe ban.
And second: Theresa May referred to the PM's assertion that no one in the South-east waited more than 13 weeks for an appointment with a consultant. She had a letter from a constituent who's having to wait 20 weeks . The Prime Minister misled the House, so would he come and put matters right?
Geoff Hoon said: "I'm sure the honourable lady didn't mean to say the Prime Minister misled the House. I'm willing to allow her to correct the record." It's how it works there.
NB: Peter Ainsworth's hair can't go without mention. He looks like a comedy version of an electrical accident, Ken Dodds circa 1956. It looks like a novelty tea cosy or a thick, filthy dandelion. He really needs a haircut.Reuse content