Monday, July 26, 2004

Parliamentary "bedblockers"

An interesting article By George Trefgarne and Jonathan Isaby in the Telegraph today, on plans to quietly encourage around thirty under performing Tory MPs to announce their retirement as soon as possible, allowing plenty of time for new parliamentary candidates to be selected before to the general election. The new term for these Billy Bunteresque characters is “Parliamentary bed blockers”. As a nurse I find the analogy all too appropriate.

Another analogy springs to mind as well. One of the most depressing things about today’s Tory Party, or at least the parliamentary party, is it’s faint air of embarrassment. Professionally I encounter potentially embarrassing situations every day. My first job, as a smooth cheeked, eighteen year old was to give pubic shaves to men old enough to be my grandfather. (These days we allow patients to shave themselves, or they are shaved under anaesthetic before the operation starts. Who says the NHS isn't concerned about patient dignity). I learnt very quickly that nothing was more likely to lead to their embarrassment than my own, and I quickly developed a form of manly banter to ease the tricky social situation, much of it involving football and motor bikes, subjects which I know no more about now than I did then.

While the link between shaving others peoples genitals and the current state of the Conservative Party is not obvious, it does lie here; If they are bashful and apologetic what confidence can we have in them. We are told there is a new generation of young Tories, hungry for power, waiting their opportunity their turn to enter the arena. Open the cage doors I say.


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