Friday, February 27, 2009

Cynicism of the Day

Just a quick throwaway post to start the day, but I couldn't help but notice yesterday that there was quite a bit of commentary that said: yes, Ivan Cameron's death was tragic but, no, PMQs should not have been cancelled and replaced with just statements of sympathy.

This got me wondering that if PMQs had not been cancelled we would have seen commentary that said 'what a bunch of insenstive tossers these politicians are. Shouting like children over the Dispatch Box on a day when such personal tragedy has happened to the Leader of the Opposition and his family'.

Does this make me cynical about politics, cynical about the media, or just plain cynical?


Duyfken said...

It just makes you indecisive.

mark said...

Aye because it is commentary for commentaries sake.

'Gossip' if you are old school..

Anonymous said...

Just plain cynical, of course. Doesn't mean you're not right, however.

Anonymous said...

They could have had the statements and a moment of silent acknowledgment. A symbolic halt, if you will. In fact, every week one of our soldiers dies in Iraq or Afghanistan, we should have a symbolic halt.

Ruari C said...

Nothing wrong with a little cynicism.

One of the things that I found intriguing was the comparison to Thatcher after the Brighton bombing. She refused to let the national and personal tragedy get in the way of politics and bravely, defiantly carried on even in the face of the loss of friends.

As laudable as that was, it bears no comparison to the personal tragedy suffered by the Camerons. Their son was not killed by terrorists, there is no place for a brave and defiant stand.

When a colleague suffers a personal loss, you should respect that. I suspect your cynicism would have been well founded had PMQs gone ahead - and the quality of debate would have been negatively impacted by the mood of the house.

Constantly Furious said...

There was a certain "damned if you do, damned if you don't" about the whole thing, but I also think that cancelling PMQ's and making statements in the house was way OTT.

We were all told that Brown had sent a private, personal message to the Cameron's, so why did he need to get up and make a public statement in the house? The Cameron's wouldn't have watched it.

It all smacks of the "takes out onion" approach to events pioneered by one T.Blair...

kinglear said...

No, it makes you what we all are nowadays - distrustful of politicians,journalists, each other and yes - ourselves.

haddock said...

Ivan Cameron was just one child who died, it just follows the cult of celebrity to make a fuss of Diana proportions of it.
I wept when I heard details of Baby P's death.... I didn't when I heard that a child expected to die early did just that.


I'm beginning to worry about the accuracy of these computer generated words

Oldrightie said...

Snotty's bitten fingers all over it including copying Bliar's "DI" speech. Probably same person wrote and directed it. bet you he didn't do it. Cynicism is the only bastion left to use.

Anonymous said...

Because there are posters and commentators on both sides of the argument, of course there would have been comment if it had gone the other way. There may even be a law of the blogosphere which determines the proportion of dissenting/agreeing comments on any blogpost (I suspect that those who agree with posts on controversial subjects are rather less likely to post than those who disagree).

Even Guido conceded he had called it wrong on this occasion and had misjudged the mood on the floor of the House.

There are a series of complex bonds and obligations and considerations which tie political friends, opponents and enemies in the Commons into a single system. There are occasions when an event occurs which tugs at those strings so brutally that all the main players are pulled out of their places for a period. This was one of those moments -- a temporary but huge shock to the system trumping all normal political considerations.

The brief suspension of the House after the 12 noon statements on Wednesday was described by the Speaker as a mark of respect for Ivan Cameron, but in truth it was a period to allow the system to reste itself.

Incidentally, had the Queen Mother died while the House had been sitting it is certain that tributes would immediately have been paid and that the sitting would then have been suspended. The Queen Mother in fact died on Easter Saturday 2002 and the House was recalled on 3 April for tributes and to agree an address to the Queen.

has the House marked the passing of any other child of a senior politician? Well yes, as it happens: in January 2002 the House formally granted leave of absence to the Speaker to attend the funeral of Jennifer Brown.

Unsworth said...

Anonymous 12:37

"even Guido"? Some sort of authority is he?

"Would have" is conjecture - only.

The Speaker's absence was agreed for a funeral. It was not agreed on the child's death. And The Speaker was present in his official capacity, representing Parliament - and as a personal friend of Brown.

You have placed your own interpretations on this event. Others may not be so generous - or so unquestioning of Brown's motivations.

Anonymous said...

Unsworth has spoken!

All kneel before the Great Unsworth!