In defense of useless politicians
I may be alone in this, but I feel sorry for Gavin Williamson. A lot of people seem to think the poor guy doesn’t deserve his knighthood, because in their opinion, he’s a clumsy, clumsy fool.
Personally, I think that’s very unfair – even if it’s true. Incompetent politicians can irritate and frustrate us. But, in my opinion, we need them, because they have an absolutely crucial role to play.
First, there is the little question of democracy. Yes, some of our deputies are idiots. But then, some members of the public are also idiots. And they have as much right to democratic representation as anyone else.
In our modern world, we all recognize the importance of diversity and agree that the House of Commons has a duty to reflect the country it serves. And so, just as we must have MPs of all faiths, ethnicities and social classes, it stands to reason that we must have MPs of all levels of ability and intellectual capacity. From dazzling clever to howling dark.
This approach can sometimes have drawbacks. An exam fiasco here, a failed ferry contract there. Nevertheless, we must persevere. Because imagine, just for a moment, what life would be like if all our politicians were smart.
This may sound like a good idea on paper. But in reality it would be a nightmare. Because the intelligent would only act in the interest of the intelligent. Think Orwell farm animal. The more intelligent animals, the pigs, have total power over the less intelligent ones. And the result is a cruel and hellish tyranny. The former enslave the latter. Obviously, the pigs could never have exploited the sheep, cows and horses in this appalling way if the sheep, cows and horses had been properly represented on the farm management committee.
This is a lesson well understood by our own Prime Minister. Boris Johnson is a smart man. But he always ensured that his Cabinet contained a generous contingent of idiots and cretins. The strategy has often drawn criticism, but for my part, I find it encouraging. It shows that he is a real democrat.
So let’s stop with this heartless mockery of our less intelligent politicians. Instead of focusing on their mistakes and setbacks, let’s focus on the positives, praising them when, for example, they manage to tie their shoelaces or deliver a speech while facing in the right direction.
Along the same lines, let’s all congratulate Sir Gavin on his good news. His story should be an inspiration to our children. Because if he can reach the top, anyone can.
Down with poutine
Across the Western world, corporations large and small are determined to do their part in the fight against Russia. The latest example is a restaurant in the Canadian state of Quebec, where the official language is French. He decided to rename one of his most popular dishes – because, to French speakers, “poutine” sounds exactly like “Poutine”.
In a press release, the restaurant announced that poutine would now appear on the menu under the mention “fries-cheese-sauce”, in reference to its three basic ingredients. The decision, he explained, was made to express the restaurant’s “deep dismay at the situation in Ukraine”.
These are noble feelings. Then again, it’s hard not to remember the words of Peter Cook’s senior RAF officer in Beyond the Fringe. “We need a futile gesture at this point. This will raise the whole tone of the war.
If the origins of poutine are Canadian, the dish is also eaten in France. It turns out that the name has also caused controversy there.
La Maison de la Poutine – a restaurant with branches in Paris and Toulouse – claims that since Russia invaded Ukraine it has received insults and threats from the public. As a result, its owners were keen to clarify that the restaurant had no connection with the ruler of Russia.
“The poutine was created by passionate cooks who wanted to bring joy and comfort to their customers,” a spokesperson said. “The House of Putin has worked since its earliest days to perpetuate these values and today gives its most sincere support to the Ukrainian people who are courageously fighting for their freedom against the tyrannical Russian regime.
This statement, however, may not be enough. Until the owners of this restaurant follow the lead of their Canadian counterparts, I fear further misunderstandings are inevitable.
“My dear Jean-Claude, you have to visit this charming little bistro in town. I heard they serve poutine.
“Does it serve Putin? After all the misery he has inflicted on the Ukrainian people? It’s a shame. I go straight there to give the owner a piece of my mind. And if Putin himself is there, I will not be held responsible for my actions.
“Way of the World” is a twice-weekly satirical look at headlines while aiming to poke fun at the absurdities of the modern world. It is published at 7am every Tuesday and Saturday