Friday, May 20, 2005

Hoodies and the truth

On Question Time tonight, George Galloway was peddling the cobblers that the PM wants to ban hoodies - something that John Hemming also believes.

All this comes from the press conference last week, where the PM was asked about the news that morning that a shopping centre in Kent has banned teenagers wearing hoodies (oddly, following their publicity stunt, that same centre has reported a 23% increase in visitors compared to the same weekend last year).

He answered the question and concluded as follows.
And I think if that means that in situations like the Bluewater centre that they just simply say we are not going to do it, we are not going to have these people, I am afraid that is just the way it is, then I would back that up completely.

The full, verbatim transcript is here.

So does the PM want to ban hoodies or does he just back Bluewater in their decision? Make up your own minds.

By the way, John H made his maiden speech today. Catch Hansard tomorrow morning for the full exciting details and watch out for a review here later after I have trawled it for pearls of wisdom.

Sadly, John couldn't be bothered to find out that Danny Alexander is the Liberal Democrat MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey (not 'something and other'). But who needs accuracy?


James Henderson said...

Off topic I know, but what is your position on the future of the monarchy. You quote Billy Bragg, an ardent republican, so I'm wondering whether you follow his footsteps. By the way, I'm a member of the national Republic campaign.

PoliticalHack said...

I don't like the fact that anybody can be in a position by dint of an accident of birth and I don't like the fact that some members of the royal family are just freeloaders, so I guess I'm an instinctive republican meritocrat.

While I have a deal of respect for the style of the current Queen, I have serious doubts about the future of the monarchy. Charles has a record of speaking out on issues that bother him, regardless of his knowledge. If he gets to be king, he can't do that anymore and I'm not sure how he'll cope with the restriction.

They seem to be more a media circus act than an important part of our constitutional structure and I tend to think that they should be gently eased out and replaced by an elected head of state.

Incidentally, I also back Billy's view on electing the Lords.

James Henderson said...

Thanks for the lengthy response.

I'm originally from Northern Ireland, and I suppose my british republicanism stems from there. Although a unionist by upbringing, I was always concerned by the fact that the Union was always a cold house for catholics. I wanted to change that, and I began to understand why our catholic neighbours had little affinity for British institutions. After all, we have an Act of Parliament which ensures that no Catholic can ever ascend the throne. Not to mention the fact that the Act of Settlement prevents a future monarch from marrying a Catholic, or bringing up their children in the Catholic faith. Its a shame that in this day and age the last great repository of anti-Catholic prejudice within the British constitution still remains in place. This ulster presbyterian wants the act of settlement repealed, and the monarchy swept away along with it.

Manfarang said...

Where are all the other Ulster presbyterian republicans?(Maybe they are non-subscribing)

James Henderson said...

o'Brien, I'm afraid to say that I'm in the minority when I say that I'm an Ulster presbyterian and a small-r republican.

You must bear in mind though that there has been a rich history of Protestant republicanism throughout these Isles. And some unionists do have the courage to acknowledge this every year when a wreath is laid in Co.Antrim for the Irish Presbyterians who were executed by Crown forces in 1798.

Today it seems remarkable that my co-religionists - now generally regarded as the epitome of political and social conservatism -were once advocates of violent revolutionary action. Who knows what might have been achieved had we succeeded, maybe we would be living under a Federal Republic of Great Britain and Ireland today rather than a partitioned Ireland.

Manfarang said...

The Church of England should be disestablished.This seems to be an issue which the Labour Party is unconcerned about.Too many atheists? We live in a multi-faith country now.

James Henderson said...

Yep, the attachment of church and state in this country is long out of date and needs to be abolished. From a rational perspective the Church of England has no more right to a special relationship with the state than the Boilermakers Union, and is no more intrinsically qualified to offer an objective moral opinion.

But Labour is perceived to be a pro-establishment party these days, so you cannot expect them to support the idea of a religiously neutral state.