Cameron’s Catastrophic Lack of Control

Having previously written to the Evening Standard (see May 14th blog entry), they emailed back asking for 100-200 words on Cameron’s failure to reign in his MPs after 114 of them voted for a motion expressing disappointment that the Queen’s Speech contained no mention of a referendum on Europe. This is what I wrote:

Control is a rare and precious thing, and in politics it is essential. David Cameron knows this because he has none.

He has no control over the economy because he stopped investing in it, he has no control over banks and The City and as events yesterday showed he has no control over his own political party.

Instead of positioning Britain at the centre of a rapidly-changing Europe, he has allowed us to be dismissed as irrelevant because his weakness means his actions never match his rhetoric.

This has allowed the lunatic fringe within the Conservatives to align themselves with the even more looney UKIP, and has given an undeserved credibility to nonsensical, racist extremism.

The protest vote – and that is all it was – at the local elections has him spooked and like the ideology-free opportunistic PR politician he is, he has no idea how to control it. Because of this, UKIP has gained a credibility quite out of proportion to its actual importance.

It’s always fun watching a political party implode. It’s rather more serious when it’s a government. I just hope it doesn’t do too much damage to the country on the way down.

Having asked for it, they didn’t use it. Of course!

Ageism and sexism in media is not a male-only problem

Rant at the Guardian after a particularly whiny front-page piece about the rarity of over 50’s female presenters:

Sirs,

You highlight that only 18% of media presenters over 50 are female.

Over 50% of the population of the country is female – why don’t these presenters have massive viewing figures? Surely if women wanted to support this “cause” then they’d watch and be supportive in huge numbers?

The answer is, of course, that it isn’t a “cause” at all, it’s just a few gobby individuals who feel their ‘special talents’ aren’t being appreciated.

They are right, they’re not being appreciated. But they’re not being appreciated by both men AND women equally, so the issue is NOT one of sexism.

Any female presenter who thinks she’s striking a blow for equality by appearing on shows for cooking or shopping or country walks is delusional. They are reinforcing stereotypes, not breaking them.

Paul Harper