22 Jul 2009

End of term and more

Bye Bye to my member, and a word to Chris, Joe10 and Ken on yesterday’s class war blog.

That’s it, they’ve gone! Eighty two days now before we see another MP in the House of Commons chamber on October 12th. And in what a parlous state they seem to be leaving British politics.

Tomorrow, The people of Norwich North go to the polls to elect a new MP to replace Dr Ian Gibson – rather a good MP over time, in my experience, but undone by the crazy expenses deal most MPs allowed themselves to get involved in.

Curiously, I sense that MPs DO know in how much trouble they are in, but think it will all go away if they go away for a bit longer than usual (seven days longer holiday than last year). I think they are wrong.

Most people that I have talked to who have been out on the ground in Norwich North detect serious ‘MP fatigue’. They predict a very low turn out which will leave the Tories winning by default.

None of this is good for politics, none of it is good for confidence in fixing the huge problems with which our country is beset.

I’m very taken with the reactions and comments to my blog yesterday about class. There is real frustration out there. Most of us try not to think what life is like on a sink estate in Middlesborough or Scunthorpe, Glasgow or Bermondsey. But there is a very deprived life out there for which even the Hope Obama espouses means all but nothing.

The disconnect to the bonuses and corporate theft that has burdened these same people with the prospect of losing the poorly paid job they had is vast and potentially dangerous.

Beautifully exemplified by the newspaper editor Ken who, responding to my last blog talks of the suffering of the Chippy in his town…subjected to terrible abuse and the rest…there is an ugliness in out interrelating that we ignore at our peril.

On the other hand the businessman Chris, responding to the same blog speaks upliftingly of what he is achieving in spite of our class divisions.

Finally a word to Joe10 who asks what I may have said to Nick Clegg the Lib Dem leader as we were chatting at the end of last night’s programme…was it he asks, “See you in the Fog and Duckett.” Well, no Joe10 it was more, “What an utter shambles MPs are leaving behind them at Westminster!”

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