Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why Hazel Blears is a crap communicator

I was trying to work out what bothered me so much about Hazel Blears appearing on TV waving her cheque for £13k which she will repay to the taxpayer. Why was this so much worse than other MPs like Margaret Moran, and David Davis merely saying that they were repaying money?

It came to me that there was a touch of "loads-of-money" about Blears actions. Waving cash at people, waving cheques implies you have got a lot of money on hand. Essentially she was saying with her body language, I'm rich, I can write a cheque for £13 grand just like that (imagine smug click of the fingers). Which makes things so much worse.

The median income in Britain is about £25,000, which implies that about half the workforce, 14 million, earn less than that. They don't have £13k on hand to be able to write cheques to wave in people's faces. And if you've got lots of money on hand, why do you need to nick from the public purse?

Hazel Blears has been making a big fuss in recent weeks about how she is a better communicator than Gordon Brown. It's perfectly true that Gord doesn't know how to do anything but serious. Put him in front of a camera and ask him to smile and he struggles. But he has never been known to wave cheques in the faces of people either. If Hazel Blears was really the great politician and communicator she claims she is, she wouldn't have done it. Instead she'd have been contrite and apologetic. If she's such a useless politician, should she be an MP?

Today's NEC meeting has provided some guidelines of what will happen. There is going to be independent scrutiny of every claim made by every Labour MP in the last four years. The people breaking the spirit of the rules will be made to return the money. An NEC panel will recommend the deselection of the worst cases regardless of whether they have repaid or not (i.e. repaying will not save you). I hope Hazel Blears is one of those given the chop.


Hughes Views said...

Being a better communicator than GB isn't all that difficult but it does take a bit more than just an inane grin.

Having as much stuff worth communicating in your head as he does in his is, however, mighty hard. I reckon she has about the square root of diddly-squat of the that...

Mike said...

"Spirit of the Rules": isn't this a nebulous, worthless concept? There's either the rules, or there's nothing.
For example, legislation can have loopholes: errors in construction, where undesired actions (against the spirit of the law) are legal. They're accepted as legal, and the law is corrected.
What is the "Spirit of the Rules"? Should the second home allowance cover mortgage interest, London homes only, improvements, furnishings, maintenance?
The expenses reforms, which should have decided these issues a year ago, were rejected.
MPs, such as Blears, are repaying expenses, which are legitimate under the rules, because of media hype or perceived public opinion.
So, how or why, should MPs be judged against the "Spirit of the Rules"?
Just a thought.

broncodelsey said...

'Crap communicator'

That's one description others would include arriviste,chav,smug & vulgar.

Her latest communication piece is to claim that her Salford PLP has approved her behaviour,if that's really the case then that's going to be a Lib Dem gain in 12 months time.

Quietzapple said...

I don't.

She was trying to demonstrate that she was paying the money immediately, others we can we absolutely sure will be looking to do so rather more slowly. There are always MPs who are in financial difficulties.

She was door stepped and harassed as she went to get in her car, and shortly thereafter responded promptly and simply to the questions re her 'case.'

She had not broken the rules. She also knew that she was being victimised for her affiliation, the Dully Tele didn't put Cameron and Mackay/Kirkbride alongside Brown and Blears on day one did they?

The current mood which requires that those who did not break the rules, or the law (as she did not she assured us with some confidence) is, in a way, something of an insult to the rule of Law.

In our kind of democracy the rule of Law is important. To elevate those mores which are not incorporated into Law, or the H o C Rules, to become imperatives is something which may yet be done by an uglier mob.

It is not a long way to victimising the little enders, or anyone who knows anything at all about political history, or whatever.

Anonymous said...

I think Blears has lost the plot in the last month. Possibly she knew she was going to get dropped in it and has been panicking badly since...

Quietzapple said...

Well she disappointed me, I suppose she couldn't take the pressure and her judgement collapsed.

Leaving as she did, with no word to Gordon on his efforts was as ignominious a goodbye as I have heard of.

Have you considered listing the oft repeated lies about individuals in the rolling crisis show? (Lies about other facts are harder to disprove, because denial is less authoritative)

Ian Dale's repeated statement on the BBc that John Reed had told Gordon to go for example, which Reed has denied, but the BBC feels quite able to let by.

The "rumour" that David Miliband would go, denied very promptly thankfully.

Essentially there is a campaign of lies and abuse calculated to create crisis after crisis until they force a General Election. It may well be the IMF next week, or Jenkin's Ear . . . anything will do . .