The Westminster Village may have well polished floors are well polished and comfortably carpeted corridors of power. But there are also many, often invisible, booby traps and trip hazards to be wary of.
Consider Nadine Dorries. One of the more publicity hungry of our breed who was coaxed into criticising some Conservative colleagues in a way which has provoked even opposition MPs to rise to their defence.
Nadine is for far from reclusive but she now walks the corridors with acres of personal space around her. Party colleagues behave as if she has contracted a particularly virulent strain of leprosy.
Describing her leaders as “arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk” has left a sour taste. Whilst the words have curdled around Westminster you’d think butter would not melt in her mouth.
Changing the subject, I asked her if she knew the price of milk at the farm gate!? No. And that’s my point. We really need politicians who realise that farmers are often paid a price below the cost of production. Someone is getting the cream by the time it ends up on the supermarket shelf and it isn’t the farmer.
So what we really have is many urban politicians (posh or not) who actually don’t know the price of milk…at the farm gate. No wonder rural MPs are fed up!
That’s why I’m pleased that a lengthy campaign I’ve been engaged in is about to bear fruit. When the Queen comes again to Parliament next Wednesday I expect her to announce that the Government will introduce a long awaited supermarket watchdog (Grocery Code Adjudicator!) to put a stop to the use of bully boy tactics by the supermarkets on our food producers which have pushed many to the wall.
The Government has also been preoccupied with distant horizons and so been caught out by many trip hazards of their own. Are they becoming accident prone? A succession of negative headlines – about Gerry cans, static caravans, granny taxes, alleged favours for Murdoch, not to mention the earth-shattering proposal to introduce pasty police – have all contributed to a perception of panic setting in.
Next week will provide the Government with a chance to turn over a new leaf as The Queen graces the Palace of Westminster and reads lines fed to her by the Prime Minister.
1st May 2012
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