Anybody want to punch Peter Hain on the nose? OK. Form a queue. Not that we’d condone violence. But Mr Hain made it clear on Tuesday that meeting a Minister in the company of your MP and offering a rational argument is no way to try to influence the Government.
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Mr Hain might classify the concerns of the father of a murder victim about collusion, the worries of the less well-off about water charges, the frustration of rail workers and passengers about possible line-closures, as mere “day to day issues” of the sort which he insists local politicians put out of their minds when they look to the future.
It’s to ensure that such “day to day issues” don’t intrude that he’s decided to spirit party leaders away to some secluded spot in Scotland to sort out the blame for the failure of their talks.
The day to day issues, matters which crucially determine the quality of life, are not to figure at all in the grouse-moor confab. Nothing to do with local representatives. None of the business of the plain people. Hain and his squad of half-timers will make the key decisions. And they tell us straight that normal ways of influencing Government won’t work. Not on them. Not for us.
The tactic mentioned here might not work, either. But don’t we deserve the occasional bit of satisfaction? Aren’t there times you have to think that a clout on the chops would do Hain no harm at all?