Now that Terry Kelly has become too boring to worth mocking, I've been looking for a new scratching post and I'm pleased to announce that Denis MacShane is today's target. In all honestly I hate the lot of them but it does no harm to pick one and make an example of them.
Beside this Guardian column is just too awful not to mention and does in many ways typify what's wrong with the whole arrogant shower. Denis is writing in response to ten proposals put forward by Guardian writers as ideas for a new Labour manifesto.
One writer proposes that Labour reform the electoral system by introducing proportional representation. Denis is against it on the basis that the BNP would get thirty MP's elected which is of course a very bad thing. Whilst I can't say I'd be jumping for joy, people are entitled to vote for anyone on the ballot paper and if they do so in sufficient numbers be represented accordingly. In other words Denis takes the view that PR would be fine and dandy if it was likely to result in Labour gaining 30 extra seats. Denis further attempts to put us off by declaring it would herald the end of the Labour party. Who cares? If the Labour party was a thing worth having surely it would not be relying on the electoral system to keep the BNP out but would seek to do so by tacking the problems that lead their supporters to leave them for the BNP and making the case against BNP policies. Why he didn't simply explain that he's only in favour of democracy if it produces a result he likes and have done with it is beyond me.
He is also casually scornful of the 'old-trot' proposal that politicians should be paid the average national wage because the Tory front bench only use the wage as small change due to their vast wealth earned elsewhere. Quite why MP's need to be paid more because some of them don't really need the money is not explained. Presumably he means that Labour MP's all being working class types (no laughing at the back) can't afford to enter parliament for less than £60,000 p/a + vast pension + expenses. That being the case I take he'd be supportive of us all walking out our jobs tomorrow and refusing to return until we got the same. After all if only people with private wealth can afford to live on less then I'd suggest the minimum wage want's looking at as a matter of urgency to lift us all out of this terrible poverty.
Personally I'd go further than the national average wage I'd pay the buggers the average constituency wage as an incentive for them to do everything in their power to raise living standards in their constituency. If it's good enough for their constituents, then there's no reason at all why they can't manage on it. I'd go further -no funding for 2nd homes! We should build them a very basic no frills halls of residence to live in whilst they're at Westminster and if they're too grand for that then they can fund their own sodding accommodation. As for the rest of their expenses the folk at the DWP who administer the social fund would be the ideal candidates (except for Tom at Atlas Rd who is a gentleman).
Moving on Denis would also like to end trial by jury for people accused of rape because we aren't locking up enough rapists. He describes our rape conviction statistics as a global disgrace. To be fair they are shocking and tempting though measures like this may be to lock up more rapists, it's the thin end of the wedge -anyone who honestly believes the loss of the right to trial by jury would end at rape cases is deluded. As for our statistics being a global disgrace is he quite sure? Stories like this , this and this suggest attitudes to rape in other parts of the world might be a teensy bit more alarming than in blighty. Nevertheless in Mac Shane world the Saudis tut tut at our low conviction rate. He might also wish to reflect on the damage his government and their 'targets' have done to investigations of rape allegations.
Everyone who elected this monstrous halfwit should be ashamed of themselves.