Tuesday 25 June 2024

More "What's sauce for the goose. . . ."


I’m now back from my walking holiday based on Arnside, on Morecambe Bay.  On one glorious day we crossed the Bay and eventually walked into Grange over Sands, which was festooned with a riot of golden diamonds urging support for the wonderful Tim Farron.  There was no sign of any political activity whatsoever in Arnside. I was told that they had formerly been in Tim’s constituency but the Boundary Commission review had now “lumped them with Morecambe.”   The people I asked didn’t seem very pleased about it.

I am a great admirer of Tim.  He is warm, funny, a great communicator and Liberal to the core.  Unfortunately, it was difficult for him to carry out his functions as Leader because of the media’s biased and prurient obsession with his views on homosexuality and abortion No amount of explanation that these were “matters of conscience,” and that all parties recognise that such matters are outside the realm of the Party Whip could deviate them from their line. Presumably SEX in any form sells more papers and attracts more viewers and listeners than discussions serious politics.  Poor Tim’s ability to promote our party’s policies were hampered by the media’s constant probing as to whether or not he thought this that and the other aspect of private behaviour was “a sin.”

Tim’s opposite number as Tory leader at the time as Theresa May.  She is the daughter of a C of E vicar, and rarely a Monday passed without a picture up her and her lawfully-wedded husband either going into or coming out of Church appearing on the front pages. 

If her father was a conscientious vicar he wold have recited the Magnificat daily. Perhaps his daughter joined him from time to time, or sang it at a weekly Evensong.   Yet no reporter, or radio or TV interlocutor ever, to my knowledge asked her what her take was on “putting down the mighty from their seats” and “exalting e the humble and meek;” or  on “filling the hungry with good things” and “sending the rich empty away.”

Yet, these are not matters of private conscience but are basic to public policy. 

“Putting down the mighty from their seats” is about the exercise and distribution of power. “Exalting the humble and meek” exemplifies the Leveller’s view that “the poorest He hath a right to live as the richest He,” which has been part of the UK’s political philosophy since the 17th century,  (and which today includes “Shes” as well as “Hes,” not forgetting refugees and asylum seekers.”)

 “Filling the hungry with good things” may be over-optimistic, but any government should attempt to ensure a basic minimum standard of living for all its citizens, including those who have recklessly had more than two children,  And as for “sending the rich empty away,” well, “empty” might be a bit on the cruel side, but at least we could and should confiscate the top end of their obscene wealth with some swingeing taxes.

Another example of the bias of the media (the Guardian included) is that Sir Ed Davey is one of 17 “Post Office ministers” who were allegedly in charge of it during the sub-postmaster/mistress scandal, but he is the only one who is commonly identified as such when reported on other matters.  However, he seems to be having a successful, if not exactly dignified, campaign

Sir Ed apart, the campaign so far, as reported,must surely be one of the most trivial, biased and irrelevant in our history.  It is hard to believe that we are one of the most mature and highly educated democracies in the world.  Measures to attempt to achieve a more responsible and less biased media should be high on the list of priorities for the next government.

No comments:

Post a Comment