Let's play House
Just a few thoughts about Big Brother. I confess to watching more of the current Celebrity Big Brother than any of its predecessors. Some of the characters are rather disturbing and show the vacuousness of celebrity culture. Few are of any serious distinction.
However,I would like to comment on two of the housemates.
The first is Michael Barrymore. For some years, I enjoyed his shows on television. He is a funny man. Sadly his life spiralled out of control. It has become clear that he is a very damaged man. Now he faces efforts to drag up the Stuart Lubbock tragedy. What concerns me is the pure evil of the hatred that many of our newspapers have directed at him over the past week. Compassion has gone on strike! I really feel that there is a section of our media that is determined to keep this man down on his knees and which won't be happy until he is quite literally dead.
Sorry, but I cannot join in with this attitude. I know what it is to be broken. As I posted some time ago, 15 years ago I took a dangerous level of tablets and for a long period of time had black feelings of inadequacy in which I cared not if I lived or died, feelings that nobody should have to endure. Even now, there are times when I experience dark depression. I wish that in this country, our empahsis was on helping people to rediscover their value rather than destroying them utterly. I fear that as his situation gets worse, it will be turned by some of our media into a delight rather than the human tragedy that it is. Indeed, as I look at this frightened, vulnerable man's treatment, I think that "bullying" is the best description of what our country is best at.
Secondly, I turn to George Galloway. I would personally vote Green rather than Respect any day. I think he has been foolish in thinking he would be allowed to get his message out from the House. However I think much of the stir against him has been exagerated. There has been an element of payback from those who committed the greatest of crimes in launching the war. Like Galloway, I would wish that our forces had been able to resist Blair's orders. I guess being away from Parliament may look like a dereliction of duty. And yet i am not sure that that is the reality. Apparently his staff have ben handling his constituency caseload and I question what he could have achieved by being in the House of Commons. After all, the whips of the corporate parties normally carve things out. Parliament has rarely been so sidelined. No wonder, Tony Benn explained his retirement from Parliament on the grounds that he wanted to devote time to politics. The Crossrail Bill is often said to be the piece of legislation that he should have been there for. Forgive me but I had never before known Labour whips so keen for an MP to be present to oppose the Government's legislation. Indeed, it seems the debate that he missed was by no mean the most critical on that particular legislation. Anyhow, who believes this Government would listedn to Galloway when it barely listens to its own backbenchers?
But the ultimate argument has been that he has been bringing Parliament into disrepute. Labour Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong has been particularly scathing about the game in which Galloway was a cat drinking milk from Rula Lenska's hands, the game of Poor Puss. Now I can't see what was wrong with that game. When I was young, it was regularly played in my family. This included the odd professional uncle of mine. Loads of people have played it. Why should politicians be a load of stuffed shirts?
Keen for revenge on a MP who opposed the mass murder in Iraq, Labour has been indecent in its lust for revenge. We have heard of demonstrations in the constituency. It seems that they have ben inspired by Labour Party activists. Even dear Hilary Armstrong whose constituency is far from London, has taken time off serving her constituents so that she can lead an anti Galloway protest. I sometimes look at the Labour Party which should be hanging its collective head in shame at tens of thousands of deaths for which it is responsible, and see their conduct regarding Galloway, and ask myself if they live on the same planet as normal people.
Anyhow for what it's worth, Galloway has come over as a rather pleasant man in what I have seen. So his interets may be served by the histrionics of the labour establishment. As for Hilary, as we belong to the same denomination, there are no hard feelings. Who knows? One day at a Church Conference when we have exhausted the day in serious deliberations, we could play George and Rula!