Thursday, 28 February 2008

Climate Change and spin

I've just read Martin Salter MPs speech in Parliament emphasizing the importance of climate change. What a difference a year makes, last year he rarely mentioned it, when he did he got it wrong. Now the talk is about the Stern report, refugees from flooded areas like Bangladesh and melting ice sheets. He and others say the time for action is now, but this government is famous for its lack of action despite the torrent of words. He starts his speech lambasting others for speaking at great length, then speaks at great length himself. He also scores cheap political points all the time, while saying others are doing just this.

I caught the end of Question Time and saw George Galloway making a fool of himself, praising Castro and castigating the USA. Does anyone think the USA is he most aggressive regime of the 20th century, and that by opposing them would excuse any amount of human rights abuse and lack of democracy? The audience had several people cheering, they seemed to be his fans. He defended Commons speaker Michael Martin by saying he is the fist Catholic speaker for centuries and the first working class one ever. Its great to have no barrier to being a speaker due to someones class and religion, but surely they also have to be competent and do a good job? His arguments were childish. Having the audience loaded with his fans made his views seem far more popular than they actually are, he has learned the art of spin. Last weeks QT was in Newcastle and was all about Northern Rock, and the audience cheered the prospect of the government defending jobs in the area. Shareholders also were cheered when they made their case. Audiences in the rest of the country would be less likely to cheer £100 billion of our money being wasted in this way.

I'm watching the rest of last knights QT now, and what a poor panel it was. Usually they get somone independent, from the media or arts world, who is free to say anything; who contrasts with the party line from the others. This time we've Lab, Lib D, Cons, SNP & Respect(old Lab). They seem for the most part united on most things, I would have hoped for more from the SNP.

Galloway seemed a constant bully, making some very snide points about the others and often interrupting them. He started on the Tory, but had to stop as he wasn't allowing her to say anything. He seemed very happy with being described as a one man party. He suggested that the media not reporting Harry in Afghanistan was part of the war effort. He described the British media as poodles, excused for himself not reporting this because he 'would have been censored if I had done so'. This was patently silly as he has a voice, and is often heard using it, he can say anything on his website. He is giving lefty anti war politicians a bad name. Its possible to be anti war and not against the individual soldiers fighting it, or indeed the media reporting it under security restrictions.

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