Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Move over, Kissinger

When Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Tom Lehrer announced that political satire was dead, so grand was the gesture of giving it to the architect of the Cold War, Vietnam and the institution of murderous tyrannies in Spain.

David Cameron's reshuffle shares some DNA with the Peace Prize committee. Take Health, for instance. Formerly in the hands of Andrew Lansley, a man who couldn't see an incubator without outsourcing it to Virgin, it's now in the hands of Jeremy Hunt. Yes, the Jeremy Hunt who behaved as the Minister for Murdoch, the Jeremy Hunt who hides behind trees in case journalists spot him and - most relevant - the Jeremy Hunt who believes in homeopathy. The 'treatment' which believes that distilled water cures all ills. I suppose it's not dissimilar to having a Chancellor who believes the secret to a healthy economy is to have no jobs and no money.

Then there's the new minister for the Environment, Owen Paterson. As Northern Ireland Secretary, he resembled nothing so much as a 19th-Century Viceroy, a conduit for the most reactionary Unionist views. What's his take on the environment? Well, he's against it, despite owning a large chunk of it. He fundamentally opposes regulation, and he's a very strong support of environmental destruction: fracking, new airports and the like. He's keen to get on with the Badger Holocaust (the landed gentry don't like anything living on their land which doesn't come with an EU subsidy attached, even though they hate the EU). He's fought wind farms and called for all renewable energy subsidies to be abolished. His brother in law is Matt Ridley, doubly famous as a wack-a-loon environment sceptic and the man who crashed Northern Rock Bank. So we're in for a fun time.

The new Justice Secretary is Chris Grayling,  who wants to abolish the Human Rights Act. Apparently we humans have too many rights for this government's liking.

The new Tory chairman - and therefore Cameron's representative on earth to the faithful is Grant Shapps: three of the best businessmen in the country, if you include the pseudonyms he uses to market really stupid and occasionally fraudulent 'How To' guides.

So there you have it: the intellectual and moral level of the Tory Party has finally been detected, right at the bottom of the (oil) barrel. We have a Health Secretary who doesn't believe in medicine. A Justice Secretary who doesn't believe in human rights and an Environment Secretary who wants to abolish the environment. And to think I despaired of the government 2 years ago. How very premature. Still, at least Paul Uppal didn't get a job. They're not that desperate - unlike him.

5 comments:

Grumpy Bob said...

Forgive me, but you are wrong to assert that the worst thing about Hunt's appointment is his support for alt-med woo. Actually, the book he published in 2009 advocating getting rid of the NHS should have put him out of the running for this cabinet post. Hunt is also anti-choice when it comes to women's reproduction.

Warsi's new role is appalling for one opposed to secularism. Grayling's anti-gay and pro-shooting agenda makes him a poor choice for Justice.

The Cabinet is not a cabinet of curiosities, but a cabinet of shits.

neal said...

When I read the rumours this afternoon the Lansley was being moved for half a second I felt quite pleased, then thought - but what scumbag are they going to replace him with?

Just looking at Hunt's face makes me feel ill, not good for a health secretary.

Shackleford Hurtmore said...

And you also need to remember that the Lib Dems could make this nightmare end at any time by walking away from the Coalition. Every single day they wake up, look in the mirror and make the choice to prolong this. And the longer they collaborate, the less likely it becomes that anyone will trust them again...

The Plashing Vole said...

Thanks everyone - in total agreement with you all. As for the Lib Dems - they've clearly decided that a couple more years in government limos makes it all worth while. Annihilation now or annihilation in a couple of years?

Shackleford Hurtmore said...

I read this earlier today: http://bloodandtreasure.typepad.com/blood_treasure/2012/09/march-or-die.html

It suggests that rather than forming a Government, the Conservatives actually "a horde". I thought it was an apt analogy...