Friday, October 28, 2005

Defending the Indefensible

When Patricia Hewitt makes an appearance on our TV screens, I usually end up wondering if there's ever been a more patronising politician in the entire history of democracy. I've certainly yet to think of anyone worse.

Tonight she was on the panel for Any Questions and her usually condescending tone totally deserted her. First, she struggled to avoid commenting on the recent critisisms of G.W. Bush , het boss's most trusted ally. Then, asked whether it was still "inconceivable" that there would be military action against Iran as Jack Straw has claimed, she completely lost the plot. Given Blair's hints of possible action yesterday, she just didn't know how to respond. She got so flustered that she ended up calling Jonathan by his brother's name (and more than once before he corrected her). Normally it's only Joe Public who fall into this trap and regular listeners of Any Answers will know that Jonathan is not what you'd call hugely tolerant of this error.

Although the question is undoubted a very serious one, I couldn't help but feel a tremendous sense of pleasure at her lack of composure. To be absolutely honest, it warmed the cockles of my cynical black heart. No wonder she's got nothing useful to say though. It can't be easy trying to defend what may well be the worst foreign policy decisions taken by any government in living memory. Hewitt's floundering brings us another tiny step closer to the day when that fact is fully recognised.

You should be able to listen to it online for about a week if you're so inclined. I'd recommend listening to it from the beginning but the floundering starts in earnest about 8 or 9 minutes in.

Oh dear, I'm afraid I got a bit confused. Patricia Howett didn't sound as patronsing as she usually does because it wasn't her at all, it was Tessa Jowell. Thanks to Paul for pointing that out in the comments below. Er, [insert suitable excuse here]. We all make mistakes I suppose. It's still worth listening to the broadcast just to hear a Neo-Labour Minister struggling so badly. It isn't quite as satisfying when you understand it's Jowell and not Hewitt though.

And here was me slagging Ms Hewitt/Jowell for mixing up the names of the Dimbleby brothers. Dear, oh dear...
*slopes off sheepishly*

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