...a blog by Richard Flowers

Friday, August 24, 2007

Day 2425: Daddy on the Radio


This morning, just as we were settling down on my sofa to watch the PG Wodehouse Playhouse, half-a-dozen strange men wearing FEDORAS and TRENCH COATS burst in, bundled Daddy Alex into a SACK, retuned my digital telly to Channel Radio Five Live and DISAPPEARED!

Before I could UNFLABBER my GHAST, Mr Simon Mayonnaise was on the radio announcing that Daddy Alex was to be his next guest!

It turns out that that CHARMING CHAP Mr the Don Liberali has taken over the Liberal Democrats Press Office… or as he calls it the Press GANG Office… and "volunteered" my Daddy for a "hit" on Mr Mayonnaise's afternoon radio show.

Wednesday is Politics Day for Mr Mayonnaise and normally he gets a collection of ODDBALL backbenchers to come in and discuss the week's political news. But since all the MPs are on their hols at the moment (except Mr Balloon, who is too junior to count) Mr Mayonnaise decided to get some IMPORTANT people instead.

So he invited My Daddy Alex as a TOP LIB-DEM BLOGGER; an automatic typing machine from the Labour's old Millbank Headquarters; and the man who runs the ConservatoryHomeCounties Campaign for the Compulsory Worship of Thatchianity, Mr Tim Montgomeryshire (MP Mr Lembit, Liberal Democrat).

Mr the Don tipped Daddy Alex off that they would be talking about hospitals and health, crime and anti-social behaviour, the EU Constitution and anything else that Mr Balloon faxed over before they went on air. As it happened, the discussion focused mainly on Mr Balloon's new policy of "Anarchy in the UK", and by "mainly" I mean entirely and by "Anarchy in the UK" Mr Balloon meant "Ugh, kids and/or foreigners today!"

You might have thought that this was a bit of a STICKY WICKET for a Liberal Democrat, but you would be WRONG! Daddy was EASILY knocking them for six, because he sounded both passionate and different to the other two!

Mr Montgomeryshire (Liberal Democrat majority: 7,173)'s position was that there WAS a crisis, the streets of England were running with uncontrollable gangs of hoodies and it is all the government's fault because they aren't doing enough! The automated typing machine said that there WASN'T a crisis because the government WAS doing enough.

Daddy Alex said they were BOTH WRONG – because the government simply CANNOT SOLVE CRIME EVERYWHERE. It doesn't have the ability – no matter what Mr Frown, with all his efforts to grab more and more draconian powers, might think. Different local communities need different solutions: working with community projects to turn around the lives gang members in one area, improving neighbour communication in another, getting a bobby back on the beat in a third and so on.

"My dad comes from Wigan," offered the automatic typing machine.

(Your dad comes from Wigan and he named you Karen? What a SWINE!)

Later, Daddy told me what he WISHED he'd said was: "the government doesn't have the power to solve local crime – but it DOES have the power to stop the police doing so."

What he DID say was that the police need to be allowed to do their job – making a new thing ILLEGAL every twenty-four hours only keeps them home learning what today's new laws are!

"New laws may catch headlines, but they don't catch criminals!" said Daddy.

(He thinks that this is CHEESY but I think that it is GOOD!)

But equally, talking about a CRISIS across the country is silly and scaremongering. The good people of Mr Balloon's constituency in Witney would be INSULTED. Their streets are NOT awash with anarchists!

(They WERE awash with floodwater, but Mr Balloon was in Rwanda at the time – perhaps that is why Mr Balloon is worried about made-up disasters and it is Sir Mr the Merciless who is taking action on flood defences. More on this story later!)

Then Mr Mayonnaise took an e-mail from a listener asking what he should do about gangs of youths throwing stones at him. "Go on, Daddy Alex, solve HIS problem!" said Mr Mayonnaise, a bit meanly (since it was the OTHER TWO who were saying they could sit in London and solve crime anywhere in the country).

But Daddy kept his head and answered saying that, obviously, if there are people throwing stones, the listener needed his local police to come and stop them. And the police need to be freed from the Labour's bureaucracy so that they have the time to do so.

The second half of the show focussed on the sad story of Mrs Lawrence and the young man who murdered her husband.

Mr James and Mr Jonny have already written movingly and Liberally on this subject, and said much of what Daddy said on the radio.

Beginning by prefacing his remarks with the statement that IF Mr Chindamo is still DANGEROUS then he should remain IN PRISON, Daddy calmly and patiently explained that if Human Rights are to mean anything then they have to apply to nasty people as well as to nice ones.

At once, Mr Montgomeryshire (Assembly Member: Mick Bates, Liberal Democrat) rudely butted in to say:

"Oh, you Liberal Democrats, always taking the criminal's side!"

This got Daddy a bit CROSS, but I cannot say that I blame him. In fact, if I had been there I would probably have picked Mr Mayonnaise up in my trunk and used him to club Mr Montgomeryshire (Powys Unitary Authority: Liberal Democrat 16/Labour 4/Independent 53/Conservatory nil) about the head. And that would have been WRONG!

Daddy was much more restrained and only bludgeoned him VERBALLY.

"When I and Daddy Richard were mugged at knife and gunpoint," said Daddy Alex firmly, "if there had been a magic word that could have made the muggers DEAD then I would have used it. And THAT is why victims cannot be allowed to decide what is JUSTICE."

Mrs Lawrence speaks from the heart about her shock at the news, and we should have every SYMPATHY for her. But that does not mean that she is correct. And it doesn't mean that MACHO POSTURING by the Government is going to help either.

Mr Chindamo did her a TERRIBLE wrong when he murdered her husband, Philip. But it would be doing HIM a wrong to expel him from the only country he has really ever known. Revenge is not a human right.

"I said that if he was a danger then he should remain in prison," Daddy continued, "and I notice that Tim DIDN'T say that. If he was a British murderer – like the vast majority of murderers in our prisons – then we wouldn't be able to dump him on another country. But if you believe that prison is about rehabilitation and not just revenge then you have to accept that he will be released someday, or else admit that your only solution is just to lock every criminal up forever!"

And Mr Montgomeryshire (Liberal Democrat Vote Share 51.2%) was left with nothing to say.

"I think we should let vigilantes hound him out of the country," said the automatic typing machine.


There was just time for one last quick question about MPs' holidays and Mr Mayonnaise thought he could slip in a last quick dig at Daddy Alex.

"Have the Liberal Democrats disappeared this summer?" he asked.

"Well, not according to your headlines which said Sir Mr the Merciless was campaigning to prevent the next flood crisis before it happens," replied Daddy, who had wisely been paying attention.

I hope that people listening enjoyed My Daddy's starring role. He can be a bit wild and wacky (opening with the news that it was the one-thousand-four-hundred-and-forty-second anniversary of the first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster, by Saint Columba no less, left Mr Mayonnaise staring at him like he was going bonkers… at least until it was clear where he was going with the story) but he spoke with PASSION and PERSONALITY. Which is more than anyone else in the studio managed.

"I hope as many people rang to complain as they did the last time I made a media appearance sounding Liberal on crime," says Daddy Alex.

I think that a few people may have decided to check out the Liberal Democrats as a result!

Now, apparently, I need to deliver thirty-thousand Focus leaflets to buy Daddy back from Mr the Don!

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice


Jonny Wright said...

I wish I'd heard it - do you know if it's available on Listen Again? I went to the Five Live site, but they only had yesterday's Mayo available. I'll try again in the morning. (Any idea how many minutes in it is? That show's three hours long according to the website ...)

Thanks very much for the plug, by the way!

Ryan said...

In theory this link should work, but it claims it's the week before. As I don't have RealPlayer on the work PC I can't test it.

Jonny Wright said...

Ryan - you're awesome. The link works fine, and the discussion is just a couple of minutes in, despite the date being wrong.

Tristan said...

Ooh, I rather like the
"New crimes catch headlines not criminals".

It may be cheesy but its succinct and gets the message across well.

Sounds like it was a good show with lots of good liberal points put forward by your daddy Alex.
Well done to him.

Don Liberali said...

Grazie infinite Signor Elephant,

The Little Sicilly human rights commission have alternative proposals for Mr. Chindamo's future in the United Territories.

It involve commissioning him to explain the errors of knife crime to some of the local cugine gangs.

We going to dress him up in big pink suit with pom poms and ask him tour old industrial estates with megaphone annoucing he is looking for naughty children.

We think this effective route to rehabilitation that fully respect level of human rights he deserve, and reintroduce him, briefly, to job market.

Don Liberali