Roy Hattersley revealed himself as a rank hypocrite on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions on Friday evening. He continually accused the Liberal Democrats of dishonour and betraying their principles. At one point he said “what’s most important about a member of parliament is believing in something.”
This stands in stark contrast to Mr. Hattersley’s deafening silence during the lost years of New Labour when the media men took the reins of power. It was not just Mr. Hattersely, of course, the entire Labour party signed up to the idea that principles were no good if you did not have power. Tony Blair invited Margaret Thatcher to Number 10 while Mandelson and Campbell set about butchering party policy to imitate the conservatives. They cozied up to big business and made waffle the newspeak of government. Let us not forget that at the height of New Labour’s tenure in office John Prescott was pushing through the idea of build super casinos! One has to wonder what could have driven Two Jags to such stupidity? – It certainly was not principle.
Though I listen to Radio 4 a lot I find the audiences to many programs to be completely objectionable. They clap sycophantically after every word from the panel yet roar like football hooligans when they think they smell blood. Radio 4 is a predominantly middle class institution and I believe it reveals the underlying yobbish vacuity of many people who rank themselves among the British middle class. Radio 4’s Any Questions is one of the few occasions when when a sufficient number of them herd together to create a critical mass. The bigoted opinions of each one reinforces the bigoted opinions of the other and as a result they bay like animals at the Liberals for compromising and joining a coalition yet roared their support for the Green candidate, whom none of them voted for, ignoring the fact that the Green’s only real chance at government in the future is likely to be a coalition.