9 May 2009

He's Welsh, and don't you forget it

There are many things I detest about John Prescott.

I hate the national assumption that he is Hull born and raised, which he isn't. He was born in Prestatyn and had next to nothing to do with us until he was elected to the Hull East constituency in 1970. I'm not suggesting that the good people of Prestatyn should embrace him, just that we in this cherished corner of the nation don't wish him to be seen as one of our own, as he isn't.

I hate the hypocrisy of the man. He was as scathing as any left wing politician about the Tory sleaze of the 1990s, and yet was himself slipping a scabby length to one of his underlings. He is also a proper left winger who kept his big gob shut in order to acquire and then keep his job as deputy leader as Labour reformed.

I hate his temper. He has been a man of considerable power over the years, and yet aside from the infamous twatting of the egg-throwing mullet man in 2001, he has become renowned for being rude and obnoxious to interviewers over perfectly acceptable political issues that needed raising.

I hate his ego. I suspect that his position as deputy prime minister made him officially entitled to take an active role in policy making, but it wouldn't surprise me if Tony Blair never once consulted him. Then there was the time he and his wife drove 200 yards to conference on a day when conservation and the environment was under discussion, and he brusquely claimed, aside from the remark about his wife's hair, that it was because of "the security implication". He genuinely believed he could be a target for someone and that his sudden, violent demise might somehow affect the country's very stature.

However, I will always have sympathy for him when people decide that the best thing to mock is his grammar, as Have I Got News For You did for the umpteenth time last night. That brand of snobbery irks me to high heaven. When I hear him being interviewed, his mangled verbs and participles don't affect the point he makes, which is invariably a point that I'll disagree with. There are far more salient issues about Prescott and politicians as a whole to criticise; having a pop at a bloke because his manner is authentic to his upbringing is sneery and genuinely unfair.

I still hate Prescott though. I hope when he stands down as an MP next year he moves house.


Callum said...

You're right about his temper. He once told a Hull Daily Mail reporter friend of mine, for no good reason it would seem, to fuck off.

There are a couple of Prescott redeeming features: one is that Brighton and Hove Albion probably wouldn't have a new stadium without him (even though his civil servants bollocksed up the original decision, forcing it to be re-made by Hazel Blears)

Secondly, when he was accused of corruption by the weirdo Liberal Democrat MP, Norman Baker, because he'd received hospitality at a Brighton v Hull City match shortly after the decision was made, he stated in a parliamentary written answer: "The extent of my hospitality was a ticket to watch the match, a meat pie, and a glass of water."

Thirdly, whenever he stands up in the Commons, it gives the exceptionally corpulent Nicholas Soames MP a chance to recall Prescott's days as a cruise liner steward by shouting: "Make mine a G&T, Giovanni!"

A Write Blog said...

I find Have I Got News For You patronising these days. Very rarely watch it.

They have replaced satire with cheap sarcasm.

As you post illustrates sarcasm merely misses the point and, if anything, engenders sympathy where it may not be deserved. In that sense it can be counter productive as we lugh at politicians and other influential people for the wrong reasons allowing them to get away with murder.

I have little respect for Prescott too.

Mark X said...

Oh, thanks. Remind everyone that Prescott is from Clwyd. Do you know how many people in the media we had to bribe in order to spread the assumption he's from Hull?

Funnily enough, the association most people make between Prescott and Prestatyn is the time he punched a bemulletted protester there. Lest we forget: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XTiI1e-wVc

Matthew Rudd said...

Cal, you've reminded me of another reason I detest him. I was at that Brighton v Hull City match at the Withdean, and he had the nerve to wear a Tigers scarf when he came on at half time to obsequious Sussex applause and barracking from us. While it's laudable what he did (eventually) for Brighton, the way he ignored Hull City's plight as the club went closer to the wall than any club ever has without actually hitting it was appalling.

Anonymous said...

OK,this isn't going to make me popular, but: JP's not the worst of the bunch by a long chalk. And he's much, much, smarter than he appears. Yeah,I know .. . but it 's true.

Fidothedog said...

Bloody hell, poor Wales.

First Max Boyce now that hoon.