Clameur de Haro has just been watching the extended Channel TV interview with Fugitivus Laxativus Diminutivus, courageously upholding his fight for Truth and Justice (yawn) in the Big Smoke.
Most of the local media are, understandably, focussing on the Persecuted One himself, so let’s shine a brief light on his current host, the LibDem MP for Birmingham Yardley, John Hemming.
Hemming is, to put it mildly, something of a serial oddball, noted more than anything else for the number and frequency of his extra-marital dalliances (his wife puts the number of such instances at 26), and for being memorably described by The Times as “an eccentric who left colleagues aghast” when he modestly put himself forward for the LibDem leadership early in 2006. Among his other accomplishments [sic] are being a founder-member of the Phoenix consortium which pulled the wool over the government’s eyes over the purchase of Rover Cars for £10 and then made a hash of running it, and being described in the Birmingham electoral fraud case as a “dreadful witness”, possessed of “an inability to give a straight answer to a straight question”, and whose evidence was “largely inadmissible hearsay”.
All of which probably goes a long way to explaining why he is the refuge-provider of choice for our own home-grown serial oddball.
However, Hemming has been astute enough to trouser about £394,000 from the UK taxpayer in MPs expenses over the past three years, including designating his flat in Covent Garden as his second home, charging £80 for a hotel “when locked out of flat (lost keys)”, charging £681 for bedding, and trying to charge £1,499 for a television. So Fugitivus Laxativus Diminutivus has some way to go yet in learning how to live off the state while doing not very much.
Syvret has comprehensively lost the plot. Pressed several times by the CTV interviewer as to why he continued to draw his States Member’s salary while absenting himself, Fugitivus Laxativus Diminutivus maintained that he is doing “important political work” on behalf of his constituents. Well, although CdeH would never vote for Syvret in a thousand years, he is, he supposes, one of the Persecuted One’s constituents, so it needs to be stated clearly and unequivocally “Not on my behalf, you aren’t”. And judging from the vox-pops and comments on media websites, most people agree.
Fugitivus Laxativus Diminutivus professes, and clearly still believes, that he was ousted for making claims about excessive punishments at a childrens’ institution and institutionalised corruption. He cannot accept that he was, quite simply, voted from ministerial office, by a majority of the Island’s democratically elected legislature, in open debate, because of his manifest refusal (or, in the opinion of a very great number of residents, because of his congenital inability) to conduct himself in ministerial office, or indeed any public office, with the remotest degree of civility and balance.
He is a man who labels democratically-reached decisions as “disastrous and incompetent” because they do not accord with his own views; a man who considers as evil and enemies those who are merely opponents; a man who insists that political setbacks must be by definition the result of “right-wing” or “establishment” conspiracies; a man who assumes the inevitable synchronicity of his own views with the (presumed by him) will of the people; and a man who embraces gesture politics in preference to mature, civilised, reasoned debate.
The self-delusion about self-protective exile and the claim for political asylum are risible. Long may he stay away from our shores: and continuance of his member’s salary may in fact be a small price to pay for the benefits to the Island’s polity of his non-participation in it. Clameur de Haro occasionally takes issue with the content of Jersey Evening Post [sic] editorials, but credit where credit’s due - Chris Bright’s recent “..not much point going into hiding if nobody is actually looking for you” was masterful.
Endnote: Hemming also takes pride on having converted his car to run on vegetable oil. He’s been refused permission to store all the vegetable oil in the precincts of Parliament, so now apparently, cans of the stuff are required to travel around with him. If I were you, Stuart, I’d keep well away from the chopping board and the kitchen mixer when stocks are running low………Add to del.icio.usDigg It!Stumble This