Accusations have been levelled by the Tories against Kier Starmer and Andy Burnham of late that they have been ‘playing politics’ over Covid. Which is a bit rich of course, particularly in the case of Starmer who has bent over backwards to appear as unpolitical as possible. The phrase ‘playing politics’ is one a failing government always dusts down to throw at the opposition, when the opposition attempts to do its job. It’s interesting to note how long it has taken this government to get round to using it. Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock said ‘I’m sure the willingness to put politics aside in the national interest, and in the interests of the people we serve will save lives and protect livelihoods.’ Put politics aside? What does that mean? That Hancock and the rest of his crew are no longer politicians, but have become dedicated professionals, like GPs and first responders? The irony is that the statement demeans the profession of politics, and that it is a profession is not in doubt. Look at all those who have started their political careers in Oxbridge. Why would any politician wish to be taken seriously when they themselves accuse their peers of ’playing politics.’ They give a very strong cue to the public to think the same. The statement is doubly ironic when one considers who or what the Prime Minister is. The more mendacious overtone of the statement is that there is only ever one breed (i.e. whoever is in government at the time) capable of running the country. This tautology is the basis for a great deal of arrogance, and the hubris which almost certainly as night follows day leads to the downfall of the ’serious’ politicians.’
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