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Straw's big idea for Parliament - turn it into a radio phone in show

Well, not as such, but this suggestion "if we don't debate here issues that are in people's minds at the time it's not that they don't get debates, but that the focus shifts to the television and radio studio, to the websites, to the newspapers" takes us to about that level. Source

Never mind that any Parliamentary 'debate' about, for example, the hostages in Iran would have about the same degree of gravitas as a whoopee cushion and that it would be a race to see who could come up with the soundbite that would most appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Never mind that the rabble to which he attaches himself announces policy to the meeja in advance of Westminster and makes unattributed leaks to its sundry homunculi in the print and broadcast media whenever that suits.

Never mind that much of the most useful work done by Parliament does not generate much immediate public interest as it is not particularly glamorous.

Never mind that Jack 'it's not what I do, it's what I say' Straw has managed to vote in 52% of divisions this year and speak in 65 debates.

Never mind that whoring after 'relevance' in debates will result in discussions of football results, soap operas and whatever else occupies the minds of this week's favourite focus group.


The Onion carried a report on a Congressional debate on the coolness or otherwise of Rush a while back. Enjoy - this will make Straw debates look like Socratic dialogues:

"Continuing its long-running debate on the subject Monday, members of Congress argued the merits of Canadian power trio Rush. "'The philosopher and the plowman, each must play his part'?" asked House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX). "C'mon. Neil Peart must be the most pretentious lyricist in arena-rock history. Gentlemen, forget these bloated, overrated '70s dinosaurs." Countered longtime Rush loyalist Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR): "Keep talking, man, the tunes say it all: 'Passage To Bangkok'? 'By-Tor And The Snow Dog'? That part in 'Red Barchetta' where [Rush bassist/vocalist] Geddy [Lee] sings about the gleaming alloy aircar shooting toward him two lanes wide? Look me in the eye and tell me that doesn't rock, motherf*cker!" The deliberations are expected to continue throughout the week".

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