...a blog by Richard Flowers

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 3448: The Return of the Great Awkward Bustard


Isn't great that Britain's biggest booby is back!

What with their awkward flapping not to mention dangerously flamboyant mating habits making them all too tempting a target, it was once thought to be all over for Britain's answer to Big Bird. His habit of crashing and burning, a consequence of flying blind into electrical cables, didn't help either.

But now, thanks to a programme of careful conservation, the bustard has been given a SECOND CHANCE!

And for those of you NOT interested in BIRDS, Mr Simon Hugs has been chosen as the new Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Everyone loves Mr Hugs. Even if everyone also has their "Oh Simon!" moments.

He could be described as one of those MARMITE politicians – if only MARMITE had a habit of changing its flavor every five minutes so that at one bite you love it and the next makes you want to spit.

Just recently, the speech that he gave at the Special Conference to endorse the Coalition deal was widely judged a CROWNING MOMENT OF AWESOME™ and was deservedly given the biggest standing ovation of the day.

But just a couple of days earlier he had appeared on radio show Any Questions with Jonathan Dimbledonkey and totally fumbled the defense of the Coalition's fixed term parliament proposal by not being properly up on the brief – not just leaving an open goal, but actually moving the goal closer to the opposition and then tipping the ball over the goal line himself by suggesting that the 55% rule was to help the GOVERNMENT.

(As any fule kno: the 55% rule is to protect PARLIAMENT from GOVERNMENT; NOT the other way around. Parliament can get rid of the Government on a vote of 50%+1; Government can only get rid of Parliament on a vote of 55%+1. That's why it's actually TOO LOW, not TOO HIGH; Scotland has a more reasonable 66% protection. And if no one can form a government, then you get an election after 28 days ANYWAY. But you know all this.)

DOUBLE but, the day before THAT Mr Hugs had appeared on TV's Questionable Time with David Dimbledonkey, and speaking to an audience that started off apparently largely hostile to the Coalition won them over by calmly and sensibly explaining that grown up politics was what they had voted for and was what they were getting.

I think that I can understand WHY the Liberal Democrats in Parliament chose him to be their new Deputy. I think he is the biggest woolliest security blanket in the whole of toytown, and with when you want to feel BETTER about yourselves for getting into bed with the big bad wolf, what could be better than hugs from Mr Hugs.

Of course what the Parliamentary Party NEEDS is not the same thing as what it WANTS. If you're getting into bed with the big bad wolf you need the BRAVE WOODSMAN and not GRANDMA!

Being deputy leader should not be a CONSOLATION PRIZE or a merit badge for LONG SPEECHES SERVICE. Yes, you CAN use is as a handy soap box for a non-Government Liberal voice, but the irony is that Mr Hugs is so popular and well-known already that he doesn't really NEED another soap box to stand on.

With a lot of the best of Liberal talent is now IN government, we need to be developing our next generation. I think Mr Tim would have been an excellent and exciting choice, though my personal choice would have been Ms Jo Winsome, though she chose not to stand.

Because what the Deputy Leader should REALLY be doing is preparing the Party, in Parliament and out, for what happens AFTER the Coalition: they should be leading the independent policy development and developing the campaigns. That means it's a job for someone with drive and energy and organisation and new ideas. And Mr Hugs has lots of drive and energy.

So many congratulations to Mr Hugs and do try not to fly into any electric power lines!


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Like you, I wanted Ms Winsome to stand and I'm sad that she didn't.

I actually think by electing Simon, the Parliamentary Party have done the rest of the party a favour.

I said that Simon was like comfort food, not dissimilar to a security blanket - but not for the Parliamentary Party, for we activists and footsoldiers who are going to have to watch the news from behind a pillow for the next five years. When I'm locked in the cupboard with the gin bottle when we're abstaining on the evil marriage tax break when we should be voting against it, I'm going to want someone telling me it's going to be alright really in the way that Simon does so well.

Yes, Simon has his questionable moments but on balance we need him.