Sunday, September 30, 2007

Return to Action

Ed Balls
Bit of a Balls up?
This has been a good weekend. True, my own life continues its inevitable course down the toilet bowl, but a combination of a birthday party for someone whose popularity is not based on spin, but on the fact that she is just naturally one of the world's 'good guys', coupled with the markers set down by some so-called minnows in the Rugby World Cup has more than compensated (more to follow).

I even thought that the weekend had got off to a good start when the BBC posted its pre-Conservative Conference piece on line, just as I went to celebrate with my new Fijian friends on Saturday.

Naturally it has been updated now but this is what I cut and pasted directly from Auntie before 40 hours of alcohol induced oblivion:
The Tories will propose an Airline Pollution Duty, designed to encourage airlines to fly with full planes and penalise them for flights with only a few passengers on board.

The government has dismissed the policies, saying Mr Cameron has to explain how the ideas are going to be paid for.

"It's not proper opposition politics, let alone government politics, to come along with billion-pound announcements which you can't show where the money's going to come from," said Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls.

"The question, I think, in families' minds is 'will we be hit on our mortgage rates or on our taxes to pay for these kind of proposals'."
Source: BBC News
This was the only Conservative proposal raised in the article at the time I first read it, and, to be fair, I suspect that Balls was actually talking about something else, as clearly the idea that he would imagine that a new tax should somehow require yet more taxpayer money to fund it would be ridiculous (yes...even as I write it I'm wondering about that sentence), even for a sufferer of leftism.

Two issues do come to mind though. Firstly, why, on Saturday afternoon, was so much prominence (at the time pretty much half the article) being given to hostile government reaction to proposals that, good or bad, had not been formally made. Of course there are briefings on and off the record, but to allow ministerial critique to be made of what was effectively non-policy at the time had a bad smell about it.

Secondly, I wonder if we might see some action with Auntie for once, as for at least about 4 hours someone made a government minister, even incorrectly (in a journalistic sense at least), seem like a half-wit.

Perhaps for once a stern ticking off will be given, and it will be explained that slavish devotion to the cause and loyalty to the supreme leader is a necessary, but not in of itself sufficient basis for advancement within the national news team.

No comments: