Thursday, 15 April 2021

Playing or practising politics.


Given that he was chucked out of the Conservative Party for his loyalty to parliament and European ideal rather than the party itself, Sir Oliver Letwyn must be one of the more noble of the Tories.

 However, on BBC Radio 4's "News at One" yesterday (15th April), in discussing David Cameron's lobbying on behalf of Greensill and Tory sleaze in general, he was confident the "knowing David" as he did, he was quite sure  that the ex-prime minister couldn't possibly have done anything dishonourable and the Labour Party were merely "politicising"  (said repeatedly) the issue. 

"Politicising" or "playing politics"  I tend to feel mean much the same thing and both are used in a dismissive way to attempt to defuse what may very well be, and certainly are in this case, perfectly legitimate criticism of another party's actions or behaviour.  

It's an easy, lazy, get-out.

From my rather cursory  studies of Aristotle some sixty-five years ago I seem to remember that the great philosopher taught  that man (sic - but I'm sure he'd include women if he were teaching today) is a" political animal" and that taking part in politics, the organised, systematic and  rational way in which public decisions should be made, is our most noble activity.

Taking part in politics in that sense, as we elect MPs and councillors to do, could conveniently be described and "practising politics," in contrast to  "playing politics," which is abusing the political process not for the common good but for peroneal or party ends. 

In this current debate the opposition parties are practising politics, not abusing the system  David Cameron himself said, after the MPs expenses scandal, that the next big scandal would arise through lobbying.  So he's caught with his trousers down.  An opposition's job in our system is to expose flaws in the practices and policies of our government and there's plenty to expose at the moment.

The government has eagerly set up its own very limited enquiry with a hand -picked chairman.  Given that similar enquires  have recently solemnly reported that Britain is in no way a racist society (heaven forfend!) and the police always conduct themselves at demonstrations with due decorum and restraint, (how could it be otherwise?) it is little wonder that Labour is calling for a larger and more independent enquiry.

If anyone is "playing politics" it is the 357 MPs who closed their eyes to the truth, obeyed Johnson's orders and voted against this attempt to make our politics cleaner, more honest and more honourable honourable.


  1. I've not convinced I understand what the scandal here is supposed to be. Cameron's advances were rebuffed, he was given the brush-off by the Chancellor, the rules were not changed so his employer could benefit, and said employer then went bust.

    If anything what's been proved is that David Cameron, as an ex-PM, had absolutely zero influence whatsoever over government policy. Which seems fair enough to me.

    1. I think in the courts you can be charged with attempted burglary. You don't have to be successful to be found guilty.

    2. I think in the courts you can be charged with attempted burglary. You don't have to be successful to be found guilty.

      So Cameron's exposed himself to be a rather pitiful has-been hanger-on, trying to make 'Fetch' happen. So what? I still don't see what the scandal is supposed to be here. What is anyone in the government supposed to have done wrong?

    3. If you want to consider sleaze or cronyism note that Cameron and Johnson were in the same 'class' together (or should that be club. The one beginning with B.!).Also the chair of this 'Independant' panel is an ex lobbyist.Sold as it was it will just be another whitewash with Johnsons 357 doing as they are told.

    4. If you want to consider sleaze or cronyism note that Cameron and Johnson were in the same 'class' together

      Yes, but they hate each other's guts, so how is that 'cronyism'?

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