drivel interesting stuff from Simon Heffer in today’s Telegraph. He devotes much of his column to the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, which he derides as being generally uninteresting:
Various people of whom almost no-one has ever heard were moved around to prove that the Tory party, rather tiresomely, continues its process of “change”.
Simon appears to have missed that the government has reorganised departments, and so the opposition has to reorient to effectively shadow them. This is surprising, as it was in the news. Never mind though, he does continue:
The only reason that I am remotely interested in the event is that in included an act so shabby and disgraceful that it requires a wider audience.
The reason why Simon is remotely interested in the event is because he is paid to be. The act that he mentions was the sacking of Hugo Swire and the reason for his particular excitement is revealed later on in the piece:
Mr. Swire is an old friend of mine.
Simon, at some length, deconstructs the reason for Hugo Swire’s removal and it goes like this: the proximate cause of Mr. Swire’s fall was his statement that Museums should be able to charge for entrance, however Simon excuses this claiming he was ‘merely’ repeating from the 2005 Conservative general election manifesto. In this Simon is being intellectually dishonest in a number of regards. He knows, for example, that the Conservative Party is no longer bound by the policies espoused in that manifesto and that a manifesto from a lost election is always ditched as part of the process of preparing for the next contest. He also knows that front-bench politicians are expected to operate at a high level of political awareness, and not to drop their party in it with ill-thought out comments. So, the idea that Hugo Swire gets a pass because he was parroting an obsolete 2-year out of date policy is absurd and if Simon really believes that he really has no clue about the political process in this country. But Simon has more. He claims that Mr. Swire really got the chop because he was an old Etonian. The thesis appears to be that a David Cameron who went to Eton and who has many colleagues and advisors who also went to Eton sacked someone who went to Eton in order to prove how egalitarian he is. This when most of the public had never heard of Hugo Swire, much less understood where he went to school. This is not just nonsense, it is ridiculous nonsense.
Having disposed of that issue; Simon then goes on to casually advocate an invasion of Zimbabwe in a couple of throwaway sentences. This chap is a grown-up writing in a broadsheet and he treats the subject of committing British troops to war in Southern Africa it with less analysis than his musings on Bert the Dog’s academic achievements. One thing can be certain, if there were to be a war in Zimbabwe Simon would be no-where near the front line. He’s much more interested in Bert the Dog, and trashing the Conservative Party.