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Thursday, August 11, 2005
Prescott's paramount problem

Mary-Ann Sieghart says the public and pundits are too soft on John Prescott:

I just don't get the Prescott thing. Here is a man who punches a man in the face during an election campaign in which he is seeking our votes and people say, "Aaw, bless!" He delivers V-signs in the House of Commons and people think he's a bit of a card. That's the sort of behaviour that earns teenagers an Asbo round my way.

... Why do we let Prescott get away with it? I know this country is famous for its tolerance, but there must be limits. If Tony Blair were caught delivering a right hook or sticking two fingers up in Parliament, we would be appalled. The man has no self-control, we would say, no manners. What a terrible example he sets, how embarrassed we feel to have such a man as Prime Minister.

And imagine if Blair were as excruciatingly incompetent at Prime Minister's Questions as Prescott.

It is an insightful question, actually: why do we find barely noteworthy a sort of behaviour from John Prescott that would be laughable and contemptible from almost any other senior politician? Honestly, I think my answer would be that it never occurred to me to expect anything better - and I doubt I am alone in that. This says something very sad about the man. It's one thing to fail to meet high standards. It's another to be so plainly incapable that people never trouble to set them for you.

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