‘Never mind debate, give us headlines!’

I’ve always been aware of the pitfalls to blogging, especially as an MP and more especially as a minister. With every post I’ve written, I’ve asked myself: would I be comfortable if this found its way into, let’s say, The Daily Mail? Well, I’m about to find out.

Today, as I was driving home up the M6, I received two calls from journalists. Apparently Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is a fan of my blog and has decided my comments about people being miserable are worthy of exploiting for party political reasons. So read the Mail tomorrow.

Seems a shame if ministers and MPs can’t provoke a debate about serious subjects without having some headline-chaser making capital out of it.

UPDATE (10.40pm): BBC Five Live have just invited me to be on their show just after eleven tonight to defend my “insensitive” comments. And I’ve just switched on Sky News to find I’m the front page splash in the Mail. Golly!



Filed under Blogging, Conservative Party

10 responses to “‘Never mind debate, give us headlines!’

  1. scotto voce

    aw shucks….. you love it, front page of the Daily Mail more attentio than you’ve had to date as an MP. better to have them talking about you than ignoring you, hence the point of a blog, i presume?

  2. You’d think they might have at least linked to your ‘blog’ from their ‘story’

  3. Surely the real story is what the Rail Minsier is doing driving up the M6, when when so much has been spent modernising the West Coast Main Line?

  4. Yes, why not? I am the minister for the trunk roads network and Highways Agency, after all.

  5. Harry

    I totally agree with you Tom.
    British people are generally just too selfish and greedy and just won’t look beyond their own blinkered life.
    My therapy would be to make everyone watch Aljazeera (English) for at least 2 days a week and see how most of the rest of the world have to live. Perhaps then we would all appreciate how lucky we are.

  6. The Brits are miserable AND whiny. I have been saying for years that it would do them a lot of good to live in a third world country for a while. Every time I go “home” I am astonished at how easy life is and how little they recognize this fact. What would be considered “poor” in the U.K. (or whatever the p.c. word is) is well off in most of the rest of the world.

  7. I think people have lost their neighbourly spirit. Possibly from a combination of long working hours for whole families (unlike the 50’s), and news papers portraying 3 or four similar horrible events as a “terrifying trend!”. (Historical statistics show we’re the safest we’ve ever been).
    Poverty, possibly homelessness for many is a few percent in the costs of necessities.
    People are taught to compete, that self worth and importance is financially based, and people who aren’t are ‘losers’ and inferior.
    So today’s generation are trying to justify there own existence in self defeating ways, that ultimately lead to a futile attempt at self worth – and therefore happiness.

    Well, that’s what I think.

  8. Stan Rosenthal

    Had to come back on this one after listening to the usual attempts by the callow opposition to trash your remarks on Any Questions?.

    No doubt in fifty years time when our standard of living will have trebled there will be an economic setback due to our insatiable appetites outrunning the resources available. People will then be complaining about not being able to afford cordon -bleu meals every day, the latest hologramic TV, household robots to do all their work for them and flying cars to get them to where they want to go, all considered to be essential to their sense of wellbeing.

    And of course there will be those “caring” opposition politicians and commentators arguing that they have every right to be upset about having to suffer such terrible deprivation.

  9. quixote

    You refer to your childhood and your parents limited spending. Was this because they did not have a credit card? Perhaps if they had done your childhood might have been different. How do you think all the recent spending has been financed?
    Why are we not happy? In England it is because of the ability of Scottish MPs to interfere in English affairs without a reciprocal right of our MPs to influence Scottish affairs. Still, I think we can see the end of this unfairness in the not to distant future. Then you will see some unhappy faces in Scotland.

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