Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Ya-Boo Politics, Uppal Style

A little cognitive dissonance from my favourite MP and yours, Paul Uppal. First up:
Following on from my question last week, could my right hon. Friend find time for a debate about the use of parliamentary language in this place? A specific theme of such a debate would be the public perception of parliamentary procedure. Does he agree that this would be a debate in which hon. Members from both sides of the House would actively participate?
Basically some petty point-scoring because he didn't like Jeremy Hunt being called a liar. Which he is, by the way.

But don't worry, readers: he's not going to let sanctimoniousness get in the way of the pettiness:
Continuing the “Newsnight” theme, last night Lord Myners, when asked about the previous Government’s role, shrugged his shoulders and said that this was nothing to do with them. Does my right hon. Friend agree that although Opposition Members are anxious to distance themselves from banking involvement, the anything-goes culture was driven by light-touch regulation, and that if we are to make progress, those who sit on green benches or on trading desks must ultimately take responsibility for their involvement?
This is too, too easy. OK: New Labour, that horrid rightwing clique which seized control of the party never met a rich man, bank or hedge fund it didn't like. But this is hypocrisy of the highest order.

For instance, who said this?
As a free-marketeer by conviction, it will not surprise you to hear me say that a significant part of Labour's economic failure has been the excessive bureaucratic interventionism of the past decade too much tax, too much regulation, too little understanding of what our businesses need to compete in the modern world.
That's right! It's David Cameron in 2008, calling for more deregulation to free the banks from the pesky rules which held them back. Great timing, Dave!

What of little Uppal's approach to regulation? Well, I can confidently say that he's against it. He's never spoken out against deregulation in any field. Far from it: he's joined campaigns against regulating herbal quack treatments and is campaigning against plain packaging of cigarettes. Indeed, the letter he signed contained these magic words:
Given the continued difficult economic climate, businesses should not be subjected to further red tape and regulation"
What a dumb attitude: regulation in general is bad for business (except for the drugs laws, for some reason). Get those kids up the chimneys! What do you mean, 18 hours is too long to spend down a mine? Shut up and eat your asbestos sandwich.

And oh yes, these brave new thinkers have come up with a stunning new category:
a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech
This is a new one on me. So while he votes through draconian spying regulations, helps ban public protests and generally cracks down on citizens' freedom of speech, we're to shed tears when the merchants of death have their activities slightly curtailed. This is rank hypocrisy. He'd have had William Wilberforce thrown into jail for damaging slavers' 'commercial free speech'. 

But at least he's been consistent until now:
To borrow a phrase from Reagan in the end it is free enterprise, not government regulation, not high taxes nor big government spending, but free enterprise, which will lead to the creation of a better Britain.
He also thinks environmental controls should be deregulated 'in partnership' with destructive landowners) In the very interesting article he wrote, 'Making Regeneration Happen', he's very clear about what he wants from the taxpayers and local government:
land and other assets
and of course control over any of this land. Rather cheekily, he also writes 'we in the UK government', which implies he's actually in government, rather than lowly backbencher voting fodder.

So he opposes regulation when it's convenient, and supports it when there's a neat point to be made in a parliamentary debate and/or money to be made for his friends in the property industry. But still he thinks that parliament is being brought into disrepute by… someone else?

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