Tom Watson MP Shoots Himself in the Mouth

Sirs,

Tom Watson MP’s desire to see himself quoted in newspapers and interviewed on television totally undermined any desire he might have had to get to the truth behind the phone hacking saga.

His closing comment equating James Murdoch as “the only mafia boss who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise” was deeply misjudged and managed at a stroke to render irrelevant anything and everything else he asked of Murdoch, including his conversation with Neville Thurlbeck.

Letting enthusiastic and egotistical amateurs like him ask important questions of people like Murdoch has made a mockery of Parliament and the committee system it relies upon.

Paul Harper

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Pointless Prime Minister’s Questions

Enough is enough. Rant at The Independent after another pathetically juvenile PMQs:

Sirs,

How depressing it has become to watch Prime Minister’s Questions these days.

Planted questions from government backbenchers; pointless posturing from the opposition MPs; pre-written insults from Ed Miliband responded to by unconnected but equally pre-written jibes from the Prime Minister.

The overall impression given after each half-hour session is that we just endured a battle of wits between unarmed opponents. It’s embarrassing, and goes some way towards explaining the ease and freedom with which foreign leaders feel able to tell us to butt out.

Paul Harper

Speed kills, not fireworks

Missive to The Independent after a rugby club is under investigation and the subject of feverish media speculation for setting off fireworks on bonfire night in what seems like a mini version of “Hillsborough Denial” –

Sirs,

I am not entirely sure why there is so much fuss being made over the rugby club firework display in relation to the M5 pile-up. The key factor in pretty much all crashes is a combination of excessive speed and insufficient gap between vehicles for the road conditions. It was foggy and damp and people were not driving appropriately for this.

It is very sad about the deaths and injuries, but the primary responsibility for events like this lies with the drivers.

Paul Harper