Tuesday 11 October 2011

This Is What Passes For A Tory These Days?

It's becoming crystal clear that the Conservative party's experiment in open primaries - interesting as it was - has a major flaw. It doesn't produce conservative politicians.

Well, not if Totnes is anything to go by, anyway. Instead, the result is anti-alcohol stooge and all-round nag, Dr Sarah Wollaston.

You may remember her from previous posts here as the member (an apt term, in this case) who introduced a ten minute rule bill - valiantly countered by our Phil - to ban alcohol advertising.

Her most adventurous move yet, though, must surely be an attack on MPs and their natural enjoyment of alcohol. The problem being for Sarah that they're allowed to do so*

It's a serious issue, and it has been an issue in Westminster for some years.
Presumably, since Sarah was only elected in May last year, this is not an opinion which has been fostered from experience. Fortunately for her, though, there would have been any number of season ticket holding medical righteous and fake charity lobbyists on hand to point Sarah 'special interest in reducing alcohol related problems' Wollaston in the right direction upon her arrival.

The fact is that if you take an area like medicine [...] you'd be horrified if you rocked up to your surgeon or your doctor and they'd been drinking up to a bottle of wine or equivalent at lunchtime.
Having compared apples with angle-grinders, she continued ...

I think there is an issue [...] what is the acceptable amount that you should be drinking when you're at work?
I have many an answer, but I'm sure you can fill this part in yourselves.

And the reason I think this is particularly important is we're coming up to deciding on our alcohol strategy, and I think if there's a tendency to minimise what the effect of drinking is within Westminster, I think that's why for decades politicians haven't seriously addressed the issues we have with drinking culture nationally.
I think this one thinks too much about what she thinks. And also uses the word 'issue' too much about something that - quite frankly - isn't.

We have a really serious issue with alcohol in this country.
Indeed. We're reducing our alcohol intake year on year - as detailed extensively by the ONS - and the number of teetotallers is increasingly worrying.

Still. Despite departing from statistical fact, she warms to her task, throws in some righteous-supplied soundbites (alcohol costing between £25bn and £55bn per year was hilarious), and finally lands the blow she was primed for.

If politicians don't take drinking seriously [...] maybe that's why we're not seeing enough action.
No dear. The reason that we're not seeing action is that there is no particular British problem in your chosen hobby horse. We are firmly mid-table as far as per capita consumption of alcohol is concerned in the EU. The trend is downwards, and only someone who is under the thumb of the temperance industry believes hysterical Daily Mail photo-journalism would believe otherwise.

Personally, I think it's more of an 'issue' that Sarah Wollaston is entrusted with part of the UK's steering wheel when intoxicated with false facts and dodgy logic, while allowing hare-brained lunatics to drive from the back seats.

In times past, I'd be convinced that Cameron's idiots had been punked by a campaign to install a right-on quisling by way of allowing voters of any persuasion to decide their safe seat candidate.

But then, with this Tory party being less blue and more an odd shade of mauve, you just never know.

* Only available for a day or so from 28:40 to 32:30 (and if someone can record and URL it, I'd be grateful)

UPDATE: As if to prove my point, I see she has even taken to writing for the 'progressive' audience at the Guardian.


Curmudgeon said...

I'm sure I said at the time that open primaries would result in anodyne, principle-free centrist candidates. And few professions command much public respect nowadays - bankers, journalists, social workers? But people still have this often unjustified defence towards doctors.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

Liam Fox is married, I believe, to someone who works for the Roy Castle Institute of blaming Lung Cancer on Smokers Only.

Funny how perceptions go:
David Cameron: Solid chap, should get us in, do the right things
Liam Fox: Sound, potential leader
Careless Cock.

This whining nag Wollaston is doing her best, along with these other two knob jockeys, to throw us back into the abyss of Labour government.

You stupid, ugly bitch, we voted for you to get rid of this rubbish. Stop menstruating over my world and having hot bloody flushes because of your menopause or whatever calamity comes up in your woeful,sad life and get back to work for me.

The same goes for you, Sarah and Liam.

Mark Wadsworth said...

"the number of teetotallers is increasingly worrying"


"We are firmly mid-table as far as per capita consumption of alcohol is concerned in the EU. The trend is downwards"

WTF? Are you dragging 'facts' into this? What do facts matter if the DM can publish its usual soft porn photos of half-naked young people?

Plus, isn't there a sort of myth that people who drink too much get red bulbous noses, look at the photo of Ms W..?

Curmudgeon said...

"isn't there a sort of myth that people who drink too much get red bulbous noses?"

That IS largely a myth, apparently.

"Although alcohol may be a precipitating factor or trigger for rosacea, the stigmata that all patients with the large overgrown nose seen in rhinophyma are in fact alcoholics or "boozers" is absolutely wrong."

Anonymous said...

She is my local MP (not voted for). The biggest problem in her area is massive unemployment and oil/gas/electricity costs.
She ignores that. Her hobby horse is raising the price of booze and that is that.

Anonymous said...

So what exactly did she promise when she fought the primary? Were the others more Tory-like? Or did she win because most Tory voters actually support what she is doing?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Curmudgeon: Spot on. I spoke to someone last month who used to be a health service professional, he assured me that the obsessive anti-everything lobby is only around 100 or so individuals, and that most of the NHS are comparatively laid back. People trust their GP and probably get a good reception from him/her. They wrongly transfer this trust to people like Wollaston IMO.

Anon @ 04:41: My sympathies to you.

Anon @ 10:03: That's a very good question. It could be answered partly by Curmudgeon's first comment, or by the preponderance of Daily Mail moral panickers in the Tory party. Having said that, commenters at Con Home generally dislike this kind of nannying, so it would appear they've been mugged.