Saturday, August 20, 2005

Keep 'Em On The Back Foot

Once DD is leader we can look forward to an unbroken stream of punishing jabs raining down on Labour, mercilessly exposing their manifold weaknesses and contradictions. Talk about a whirling maelstrom- they'll be lucky to stay in the ring.

I say, steady on Major. We're the nice party now. Remember?

Right. Yes. Sorry.

Anyway, in case you missed it, DD has just landed one on the unfortunate Labour MP for Aberavon, Hywel Francis, who 'voted nine times in favour of the Government's controversial new licensing laws. But he has now written to Westminster Council saying allowing his local pub to stay open later would "destroy the peaceful character" of the area. "This is overwhelmingly a quiet residential area and a licence of this kind would destroy the peaceful character of the locality," he wrote.'

The Morpeth Arms in London's Pimlico asked for an extension so it could stay open an hour later once a month to take advantage of late opening at the nearby Tate Britain gallery. So not exactly 24 hour binge drinking.

As it happens, DD is a regular at the Morpeth. He rightly points out the hypocrisy:

"This is a typical 'do as I say, not as I do' approach. [Francis] is prepared to visit all-night misery and mayhem on our towns and cities in the form of 24-hour drinking but objects to even an hour's extension on his own doorstep."

Note three things about this. First, it is no wild jab- Davis is picking up a media attractive story that connects with and supports one of our key policy positions.

Second, it connects with that long running sin of Labour politicians- the immoral mismatch between their policies and their private behaviour (eg Diane Abbott's school choice etc etc).

And third, DD makes his point in the clear everyday language we've come to expect. Measured but bruising.


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