Monday, 15 August 2011

Slurpy slurpy cheap cheap

This hurts me more than it hurts him, but it's got to be done. I wish I didn't have to spend so much time fisking the outlandish and uninterrogated nonsense that passes for Paul Uppal's political vision (and that of his party), but nobody else is going to do it.

He's popped up in Parliament to spout off about the riots. It is of course the same dreary old derivative stuff, but there's a lot of it, and I'd hate readers to think that this is the intellectual level of the region. We all know what he's doing: reality and boundary changes mean that he'll lose his seat in 2015. As a Sikh/Asian Tory, he's assured of a place in the House of Lords because the Tories are desperate to look like a diverse party, when really they're not. An ermine cape will give him a bully pulpit without the inconvenience of needing to get elected, and strawberry leaves (the traditional insignia) will grace his disgusting little property speculation business letterheads very nicely.

OK, to business. This is what he's been saying in Parliament, in this instance to the Prime Minister.
I also spoke to about half a dozen young Muslim men, who said to me quite directly, “You will not stem this tide of irresponsibility unless the House speaks with one voice. It is important that the issue is not hijacked for political point-scoring.” Does my right hon. Friend concur with that view?
(Nothing, of course, about the murky death of Mark Duggan or the fact that his black and Asian constituents are routinely discriminated against by the police).

Now, does this sound like the kind of language routinely used by 'young Muslim men' or - to be less racist about it, 'young men'? Or does it sound like the kind of made-up quote frequently used by Mr Uppal and Mr Cameron? Because to me - and admittedly I've only been teaching English since 1997 - it sounds like the stilted, hackneyed, cliched press-release English beloved of second-rate MPs.

Seriously, how many young people met on the street call Parliament 'the House', and employ tired old phrases like 'stem this tide of irresponsibility' and 'hijacked for political point-scoring'?

Anyway, he hadn't finished. He later launched into quite an extended speech for him - normally it's 3 lines of arslikhan as Private Eye calls it, then home to polish his wallet. This is where it gets both unpleasant and unintelligent.
It is always a pleasure to follow Hazel Blears.
Liar. Even Hazel Blears' mum doesn't think so.
Shops were emptied and our city centre became a no-go zone. Businesses that took generations to build were destroyed in a matter of minutes. Livelihoods that took years to create vanished in a couple of hours.
Up to a point, Lord Copper. Coral Betting didn't take 'generations to build'. NISA has been there for under a year. Which isn't to belittle the damage, but quite honestly, it's not as bad as he claims.
During the clean-up the next morning, I was struck by a mental image. There is an Indian saying that it takes a lot of effort to grow a flower: it needs water, love, time and effort, but anyone in one callous moment can come and stamp on it and destroy it.
I'm rather suspicious. I note he didn't have the gall to claim he actually did much cleaning, though he's certainly implying it. But I smell a rat when he claims he was thinking of proverbs then - it smacks rather of a carefully written speech. The scaffolding is too intricate.
Many hon. Members will have seen last night’s footage of Sham Sharma’s shop, which was completely looted by thieves. He and I have been struck by the total lack of respect and the disregard shown by some young people for the rights and property of others.
Now we all know that property is close to Paul's heart: as a property speculator and millionaire, he's campaigned hard for the right for property speculators not to have to pay tax. Now, let's hear about the right to work for these young people? No? Oh dear.
There is a need to restore confidence in the safety of our towns and cities, so that they are no longer boarded-up ghost towns of an evening.
Well, it's certainly good to hear him call for a whole new economic system to transform our city from one hit so hard by the recession that 28% of its shops are boarded up. What's that? He's not referring to the Tories' abandonment of small business in favour international capital markets at all, Sooty? Silly me!
Many are questioning the values of society and wondering how the country has ended up in this situation. I have had many conversations with a constituent, Mr Gurdev Rai, about what he calls the three Rs: respect, responsibilities and rights.
OK, Sweep, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I'm brighter than that. He doesn't mean that tax-avoiding billionaires, incompetent, greedy bankers, fraudulent MPs and absentee millionaire politicians should have 'respect, responsibilities and rights'. He means naughty teenagers should be grateful for what they're given, e.g. EMA, decent benefits, basic housing, employment prospects, access to education). Well, you know what I mean.

What I mean is that Uppal is quite content to assume that the poor have no rights as citizens: they should just accept what little is doled out, and leave government, money and power to those who've inherited it (Cameron) or beggared others to achieve (Uppal: property speculation isn't work, it's parasitism).

Anyway, on with his rhetorical masterwork:
However, they display very little acknowledgement of their responsibilities—responsibilities that each of us has to one another, to our communities and to this nation as a whole. Maybe that has been neglected in the education that young people have received, both at home and at school. It is clear that if everyone were to behave in this manner, our society could not exist as it does.
Funny he should say that, given that his contribution to society has been worse than nil. Uppal could have founded a company making and exporting things, or at least found work in a company that does. Instead, he joined the get-rich-quick charlatans in the rentier class, then grabbed a Parliamentary seat which he has abused by a) telling lies in the chamber, b) lobbying on behalf of his friends in the property industry and c) pursuing a relentless programme of self-promotion. Uppal's a bit elusive on his educational background (what degrees classification did you get, Paul?), but clearly Warwick University hasn't taught him any civic values, based on his behaviour since he graduated.
To live in a positive and enriching society, we must all ensure that we live by the principle of respect—respect for each other, our communities, authority and the law that maintains it. If we are to restore respect for authority in our society, we must start at home and especially at school. We need to return to the values that make our society great. That is not celebrity, fast cars, and a culture of “Me first,” regardless of the consequences. This is the real world where young people should look at those who aspire to respect others and work hard for what they achieve. These are the real heroes of our society, those who know their own value, respecting not only themselves, but their families, community, society and country.
Now hold on to your seats: I completely agree with Paul's sentiments here. You could say they're the basis of my political beliefs.

However (and you knew there was a however coming, didn't you?), hearing these words from Paul brings up a little vomit into my mouth. It's not just that they're clichéd and predictable, it's that they're so utterly, massively hypocritical. How on earth does he square this with the things he personally has voted for, donated towards and applauded during his rise to prominence?
Is property speculation and the pursuit of unearned income 'working hard'? 
Who said 'there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families'? 
Margaret Thatcher. She was a Tory, Paul. Just like you!
Who closed down industrial Britain, with its jobs for working class people? 
Your party, Paul!
Who abolished banking regulation so that bankers and speculators could destroy the national fabric? 
I've  vague memory that it was… the Tories! And their New Labour shadows.
Who's abolished the welfare state just as the world economy collapses? 
Sorry Paul, but I think it might be your party again. You may recall going through the 'aye' lobby on this one.
Who abandoned the educational route out of the ghetto by abolishing EMA and introducing £9000 per year fees?
Do you know, I think it was your party. And you personally voted for it.

I could go on. But I'll end on this note. There are Tories who believe in society. They were called 'One Nation Tories': Disraeli, Heath and many senior Conservatives believed that a rising tide had to float all boats, if only to stave off revolution. But Margaret Thatcher called them 'wets'. 

Most Tories believe in freedom for bankers and the truncheon for the poor. Freedom for them is the ability to hide their wealth offshore: they have no conception of the social contract, in which all classes contribute in return for mutual respect. Instead, because these hereditary millionaires and their billionaire friends honestly believe that they're self-made men and women (it's nothing to do with Eton, Oxbridge, contacts and cash), they literally despise everybody else. While they talk of society, their day-to-day behaviour smashes it into ever smaller pieces. They keep the nice bits, we get the rest. Or as Tory Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli out it, we end up with The Two Nations

Everything Uppal says is cant, humbug of the worst sort. When he talks about society and respect, he means that YOU should shut up while he carries on enriching himself.

Are we going to stand for this? Apparently we are, because I feel very alone in this little crusade.

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