Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Can Social Mobility Go Too Far?

Should a postman ever become a Chancellor of the Exchequer?

It certainly should be possible but, on the basis of Alan Johnson's performance in the House of Commons today, this particular postman doesn't stand a chance of ever becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer. Let's hope not anyway.

His response to George Osborne's announcements was rambling and, in parts, completely nonsensical. He appeared to have missed a lot of the detail - he obviously completed missed the announcement that SureStart will continue.

Not only does he lack experience but he also seems incapable of grasping the basics. He advocated cutting the deficit but, in practically the same sentence, was then against cuts. Which is it? You think cuts are necessary but are against them? A classic example of what I call 'Labour Denial' - a phrase I would advocate the govt adopting to encapsulate the contradictions of the Labour position.

As Johnson rambled on, Ed Miliband looked uncomfortable and embarrassed. Ed Balls looked on with a slight smirk - no doubt thinking of the future. Yvette Cooper, wedged in next to Harriet Harperson seemed caught up in the tragedy of watching a previous skilled parliamentary operator badly out of his depth and struggling to stay afloat.

I don't share her feeling of sympathy.


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