Monday, 4 April 2011

Uppal smackdown

The Mediocre Millionaire, aka Paul Uppal MP, gets righteously biffed for his second-hand, second-rate 'poor me' bullshit:

Specifically in relation to one of the points that she raised, one of my constituents recently approached me. She is one of two families in her road who work. She has not had a holiday for three years. Both parents work to support their children. Neither of their children has a mobile phone, and yet neighbours next to my constituent have children who continually tell her children that they have  mobile phones. I come from a humble background. My parents never had a holiday and I did not have a holiday until I was 18. We will probably not agree, but I honestly believe that the very ethos of the hon. Lady’s idea about expanding the debate on social thinking actually entraps in poverty the people that she seeks to help.
Really? What was she asking her MP to do? Take the phones from the kids? To be honest, I smell a massive, stinking rat with this anecdote. He should tell his constituent that piad holidays are a legal right (though he probably disapproves of this). And as for his 'I come from a humble background': shame he doesn't find the time to mention that he's now made many millions from the socially useless and parasitic practice of property speculation. 

Thank heavens for Kate Green MP:
I would say two things to the hon. Gentleman. First, it is wrong to extrapolate policy on the basis of two families in one street. We politicians have a tendency to do that because it gets us popular support. It is how the public currently view the experience of poverty and disadvantage in this country, but it is unfortunately an overall misrepresentation of the way in which families in poverty live.
But Uppal has a comeback:
I specifically referred to my constituents because I did not want to refer to my personal experience. I am being genuinely honest and speaking from experience
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahah
We are talking about the poverty of ambition and aspiration. 
Enter Kate once more with a massive smackdown citing the Tories' own favourite economist and philosopher:

I do not think that we are talking about a poverty of ambition and aspiration, but a poverty of resource. I mentioned Adam Smith earlier, because the point that hon. Gentleman makes about poverty in other countries is one that we hear often, and it is an important one to address, but we address poverty in this country by making sure that people can participate fully in the society in which they live. That is why Adam Smith has always explained to us the way in which we need to think about poverty in time and in place. In talking about how necessity should be defined with reference to present-day standards within a particular country, he says:
“By necessaries I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life, but whatever the custom of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even of the lowest order, to be without. A linen shirt, for example, is, strictly speaking, not a necessary of life. The Greeks and Romans lived, I suppose, very comfortably though they had no linen. But in the present times, through the greater part of Europe, a creditable day labourer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt, the want of which would be supposed to denote that disgraceful degree of poverty which, it is presumed, nobody can fall into without extreme bad conduct.”

And then she and Karen Buck MP double-team to taunt Uppal with his leader's more caring (and no doubt insincere) words on poverty. 

It's such a relief to see Uppal get what he deserves from his more intelligent colleagues. I assume they've been trying to ignore him hitherto (I love that word) but have at last snapped and doled out the beasting he so richly deserves. 

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