Thursday, March 20, 2008

The definition of hypocrisy

Chutzpah is not a term usually associated with Andrew Smith, former Cabinet Minister and, for the time being, New Labour MP in Oxford East. From those who know him, the highest compliment is 'he's a nice man.' Commentators have been less kind. But, considering what Mr Smith has just managed to do, perhaps assessments should be revised.

Mr Smith was not among those yesterday who rebelled against their own government over Post Office closures. It's not really his style: he prefers to be considered a loyalist to the Blair / Brown administrations. When he was in the Cabinet, that was understandable. Quite why he continues -- unless he's the only person who thinks he has a chance to return to the long table in Downing St -- is not so clear. Let's be charitable and say it is out of conviction: he actually believes in the policies for which he votes. There would be something honourable in that.

Problem is: he started the week waving off from Oxford Rail Station a local journalist weighed down with 'Save Our Post Offices' petitions. The journo departed with Smith's endorsement ringing in his ears - and, in return, Mr Smith got the coverage in the local paper, complete with unflattering photo. So, on Monday, Mr Smith was determined to save post offices from cuts imposed by the Labour government; by Thursday, he was voting with the Labour government in favour of those same closures.

Mr Smith has not bothered to explain what made him change his mind, so we can only speculate. Perhaps he baulked at the fact that the motion postponing closures was proposed by the Conservative party -- that's understandable, especially when the Tory tradition of privatizations made the cutting of public services something of a national pastime. They are no doubt hypocrites, but they're left standing on the foothills in comparison to the heights of hypocrisy that Mr Smith has managed to scale so rapidly in one short week.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Mr Smith has slipped up, as he has done time and time again. And only weeks before local elections in Oxford. But, perhaps this is where Andrew Smith's Machiavellian skill truly lies. After all, Labour on the City Council, despite being the largest party, sit comfortably on the opposition benches. They're not very good at it, but it seems to suit them. Indeed, they may well realise that their best way they can assist Mr Smith in his desperate attempt to hold on to his ultra-marginal seat, only 963 ahead of the LibDems, is to stay stuck there, in opposition. They probably judge being in administration a tough challenge -- and they'd be right that it's beyond their competence. So, Mr Smith's singular act of hypocrisy might not be an act of folly by a mediocrity but a skilful move intended to do what it will surely achieve: remind people exactly why they shouldn't vote New Labour in May. Then again, he needn't have bothered. We can do that well enough, thank you very much.


Anonymous said...

Andrew Smith is a nice man. Which is more than can be said for the Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, eh, David?

David Rundle said...

Since when has niceness, untrammelled by ability, been an effective political virtue?

Anonymous said...

情趣用品,情趣,情色,成人,A片,自拍,情趣用品,情趣,色情,成人影片,色情影片,免費A片,情趣用品,情趣,成人網站,A片下載,日本AV,做愛,情趣用品,情趣,美女交友,A片,辣妹視訊,情色視訊,情趣用品,情趣,色情聊天室,聊天室,AV,成人電影,A片,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣,情趣情色,A片,AIO,AV,日本AV,色情A片,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,A片下載,情色A片,哈啦聊天室,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,色情聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,免費視訊聊天,上班族聊天室,080中部人聊天室,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天,成人聊天室,一夜情聊天室,辣妹視訊,情色視訊,成人,成人影片,成人光碟,成人影城,自拍情趣用品,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,日本AV,寄情築園小遊戲,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,色情遊戲,一葉情貼圖片區,色情網站,色情影片,微風成人, 嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人影片,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,080視訊聊天室,視訊聊天室情趣用品,A片,aio,av,av女優,a漫,免費a片,aio交友愛情館,a片免費看,a片下載,本土自拍,自拍,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,一葉情貼圖片區,色情影片,情色網,色情網站,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人小說,成人電影情趣用品,情趣,情趣商品,自拍,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,H漫,A片,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,SEX,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣商品,A片,A片,A片,A片,A片,A片