Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Peter Hain Flies into Sleaze Row

The Belfast Telegraph reports today that Peter Hain has used taxpayers' money to fund flights to sporting jollies in the Republic of Ireland. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. The Bishop of London will not be pleased about Mr Hain using flights, and taxpayers will even more vexed. Click HERE for the full story.

9 comments:

Chrisco said...

Hmmmm, a bit of a non-story. There is something of a security issue here: motor cavalcades in South Tyrone/Fermanagh or British Army helicopters landing in Sligo are not going to be terribly popular with the locals...

Anonymous said...

I told you before - this man is a Prime Minister in waiting! He is ideal material!

Rick said...

Peter Hain has Liberal blood in his veins - it is thick and yellow - but he has only Labour thoughts in his head - they are Power and Privilege

Anonymous said...

Please, Please, Please do not tempt fate by mentioning that this man is a 'Prime Minister' in waiting. We really need some sleaze to stick to this guy.

I am thinking of a non-vulgar way to describe his attitude to Tony Blair. I think most people will know what I mean when I say 'O.B.N'.. This dreadful turncoat sycophant shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the levers of power. Luckily, his powers as Welsh secretary as now curtailed by Devolution. Let us hope that the peace process does the same for his role in Northern Ireland.

Anonymous said...

Is Sleaze Row where he gets those awful suits?

philip walling said...

What is going on when nearly everyone in the limelight seems to be arraigned before the courts at the moment? There's some deep problem with the people in authority's attitude towards authority.

I would be pleased if some clever person could explain it to me in historical or psychological terms, or whatever terms he likes to use.

For reasons which I can't explain even the prime minister seems incapable of acting as a responsible adult. A lot of the most prominent people in modern Britain seem to have fallen foul of the laws they themselves have made over the last ten years and seem actually to welcome the intervention of the 'authorities' in their lives when they are caught doing something they and their own kind think is wrong - usually breaching their own expressed code of morality. I am bewildered by these goings on. They have echoes in the Stalin show trials of the thirties, which were incomprehensible to the observers of the time (apart from Fitzroy Maclean who did his best in Eastern Approaches). The difference between then and now is that none of the present day alleged malefactors is prepared to own up, although in a strange way they seem to welcome the discipline imposed on them by the 'authorities'.

In 1945 Rayner Heppenstall wrote an essay in the magazine Orion in which he quoted the words of one Dr Winnicot written in a paper 'The Problem of Homeless Children'

'The thief's inability to keep and enjoy what is stolen is well known. The boy who steals apples from an orchard and who eats the apples himself is not ill, is not a delinquent. He is just greedy, and his greed is relatively conscious. The anti-social child steals apples and either wastes them or gives them away. Intermediate is the boy who eats them and is sick, the sickness being a bodily form of feeling guilty'.

His general view was that a child requires to have his original feeling of infinity closely delimited and his life confined within a circle. If the laws established by a child's parents prove unreliable, if the child can break them with impunity, the feeling of infinity becomes an abyss of nothingness and sets up acute distress and indeed despair in the child. He looks elsewhere for his circle of authority and tests the law personified by his teachers and later by the police.
'The young delinquent values and loves the policeman.'

I recall Eric Anderson, Blair's housemaster at Fettes, on some Radio Four programme a few years ago, regretting that when ought to have beaten Blair for some indiscipline he allowed him to talk himself out of a beating. Do all Blair's chancer characteristics stem from this failure of authority to stand up to him when it was necessary? And do we all have to suffer as a resultof this individual's experience; or does he represent a generation that has never had been disciplined?

Discuss.

Colin D. said...

is this the same man who preaches to us minions fron the pulpit of Q. time. Had a run in with the bogies over a game of cricket and something about a typewrier ribbon, way back when he was a "Young Liberal" on the run from Saud africa. cant be! can it??

Anonymous said...

Very good analysis Philip Walling, I think most of the current lot (all political sides) are suffering from variations of "spoiled brat" syndrome, a lot to do with modern upbringing. Classic examples on the Tory side are Heseltine, Archer and Portillo. Labour side people are a bit different if they are working-class origin since the way the lapses in child care work look different, but posh does not make for trustworthy in quite the same way it was once (wrongly) assumed to do; the bastion of Tory votes in old Britain was the deferential vote. Now it's all image, so the kids who were allowed to flaunt win through. I expect things here will go more and more the US way where actors and reformed drunks rule the roost; so long as you are willing to go on TV with your smirking wife and say sorry. So expect the next wave of leaders to be more in that mould. The process is already heading there with talk of primaries (beauty contests for the under-loved and over-praised) and all the corrupt money stuff which replaces the old-fashioned need to win genuine support in constituencies such as tory clubs or union meetings. This is happening across the western world and I regard it as a symptom of decadent decline, bit like the last days of the Roman Empire. The barbarians are at the gates; if you compare it with Rome, we are entering the Marcus Aurelius phase (the period in the movie Gladiator for those who don't know their history well) of endless warfare; this will be followed by attempts to settle the fanatic muslim hoards in our lands on a large scale (already began - it will accelerate) - and then eventually full take over. Washington DC will be rubble. Fettes will be a distant memory, regarded a bit like the latin schools of Rome were regarded from early medieaval times, as fond ancient memories of better times. People like Blair will be looked on much as we now look upon Neville Chamberlain or the hopelessly "lost-to-evil" priests of the counter-reformation and inquisition in Spain.

philip walling said...

Historical analogies are tempting but I think misleading, Anonymous, but I thank you for your kind words. (I do wish you'd reveal yourself).

The barbarian hordes infiltrated and eventually took over a society based on large scale slavery and turned it into a Christian empire. They turned out to be a refining force, but when they first came they were not trying to impose some alternative religion on the lands which became Christendom. They were all too ready to abandon whatever version of paganism they brought with them.

Contrast that with the Muslims who wish to impose Islam on us. We have no defence to that because we have no moral system and no religion other than global consumer capitalism and yet we cling to a long rejected Christian moral code to justify our existence. Were we still Christian in the west, they wouldn't get a look-in. It seems to me that we will either become a Muslim society in the next fifty years or we will destroy ourselves or be destroyed.

I can imagine a few high-profile conversions to Islam in the next decade - an academic or two or some reformed alcoholic celebrity (as you hint at Anonymous) pace Cat Stevens, and the Christian churches would have a real problem on their hands, because superficially Islam would offer what the common man seeks - authority, certainty and purpose. And there is nothing difficult about Islam, so long as you obey, which is what people are being trained to do now by the neo-puritan society we live in. There are no difficulties for most people believing in a God who acts, rather than the much more subtle Christian belief in a God who forbears to act. When a society wants the imposition of discipline because its members have no self-discipline, the God of Islam who is vengeful and punishing makes sense and becomes attractive.