Monday, 21 January 2008

Being Home Secretary can be a lonely job

Yes being Home Secretary can be a very lonely job I think. Although one of the top ranking jobs in government it is in some ways a poisoned chalice. The 'Question Time' programme on BBC TV started again last Thursday and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was one of the panellists. Almost throughout the show she appeared very downcast but right at the end of the programme one of the others on the stage said they agreed with her. With that her face momentarily lit up and she mouthed a "thank you" to her rescuer (I don't remember who it was I'm afraid).

Ms Smith has just been in the news with the revelation in the 'Sunday Times' that she would be afraid at going out at midnight in London not only in Hackney but in upmarket Kensington and Chelsea as well! This doesn't seem to reflect too well on the past 10 years of this government's attempts at reducing crime. I don't know how I would react to finding myself in a melee of alcohol fuelled humanity at midnight in a metropolis, something I've not experienced for myself - yes I know I've led a sheltered life! Conversely I have no fear whatsoever about being alone, in the dark, in the countryside at midnight, something that might worry those who have never been in that environment.

Going back to the Jacqui Smith article she apparently said in reference to people wandering around at midnight "I just don't think that's a thing that people do, is it, really?" Well sorry Jacqui you really are out of touch with the real world, a criticism of many a government minister I have to say. Because of her position she has police protection so I would suggest the occasional foray at this unearthly hour just to see the reality of life.

I have long been a critic of ministers who have never done a "real job" and who find themselves cut off from the way people live today. Time for them to get out and about, in fact if they didn't get bogged down with all the new legislation and bureaucracy so prevalent today and got a better perception of people's hopes and problems we would be a better country.

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