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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Chwarae Teg (2)

I must confess that when I picked up the Western Mail this morning and saw the headline, "Rhodri outrages Tories with mother-in-law jibe at Howard", I immediately thought of Bernard Manning. It turns out that the story is far too serious for such levity.

Nevertheless, there does appear to be a bit of over-sensitivity on the part of both sides here and not a little hypocrisy. The scenario is this: Michael Howard endorses a campaign in which posters and mailshots concentrate on MRSA rates in UK hospitals as a sign of the failure of Labour to get to grips with the NHS, and in support of his policy of introducing Hattie Jacques in matron's uniform to every hospital ward. The figures quoted in almost every instance, bear no resemblance to the situation in the area in which they are used and create a misleading and exaggerated impression of the scale of the problem. Whenever, he is challenged on this issue the Tory leader refers to the death of his mother-in-law from MRSA. In addition the Tories have focussed their entire campaign on the character of the Prime Minister, accusing him of lying.

Rhodri Morgan gives an interview to a political website in which he repeats everything I have just said but in very much more intemperate language. To be precise he attacks Michael Howard for "hiding behind" his mother-in-law's death from a superbug to tell lies about MRSA infections. The Tories go ballistic. Out comes Tory AMs, Jonathan Morgan and Alun Cairns to accuse the First Minister of ungentlemanly conduct. In jump Plaid Cymru to accuse him of hiding behind personal insults.

Please get a grip, all of you. It was after all Michael Howard who used his late mother-in-law in this way and who started the name-calling, but that is no excuse for Labour to join in. Trust is an issue, but that is no reason to start branding Party leaders as liars. MRSA is an issue, but let us not sully the memory of a victim by using her as a political football (and that applies to both parties). If the two main parties cannot discuss the issues in a civilised way then it is no wonder people are being turned off politics.
Comments:
Have you seen this?
http://isthisagoodidea.blogspot.com/2005/03/are-you-thinking-what-were-thinking-no.html
By the way, has anybody got hold of www.daviddaviesmp.blogspot.com yet? It would rather annoy a certain somebody if he does well!
 
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