On Biscuitgate, barmy Tory policy, and BNP v Generals
Posted on 21 October 2009 | 10:10am
I really hope this is my last word on Biscuitgate. But with yet another Times leader on the subject today (admittedly in the context of their criticism of GB for slow congratulations of gymnast Beth Tweddle for her gold medal) I thought you might be interested in this fact. The Prime Minister was not actually asked the biscuit question when he did a webchat with Mumsnet. So it is something of a triumph for media spin over fact that his non-answer became such an issue.
I understand that while questions were being posted online – several hundred of them – Mumsnet intermediaries were sifting them in batches and then putting a selection of questions to the PM. He answered 28 of the total, but was unaware until afterwards of the ‘what’s your favourite biscuit?’ question.
It is pretty remarkable that this has since generated more column inches than the Tories’ policy on Europe, but then I have been saying for some time that Labour leaders are more spinned against than spinning.
As for the Tories and Europe, finally William Hague may face some serious questioning over his party’s desperate policy, when he meets the American foreign policy establishment in Washington today.
The Obama administration is known to be concerned that a Conservative government would be weakened in Europe as a result of the party’s alliance with far-right parties at the expense of relations with major powers like France and Germany.
The concerns show that while the ‘special relationship’ may be more important to Britain than to the US as the world’s only superpower, the Americans do still look to Britain for its influence within a European Union.
It would also be good to see America’s famed Jewish lobby get stuck into the Tories for their links to parties with anti-semitic tendencies and neo-Nazi links, rather than saving all their energies for anyone who dares to criticise Israel.
And finally, talking of racism, and neo-Nazi links, Nick Griffin’s condemnation of the General, who dared to criticise his attempts to link the BNP to patriotism and the UK military, as being on a par with Nazi war criminals, suggests he is prone to saying stupid things when under pressure. Regardless of whether the whole thing is a BBC stunt, tomorrow’s Question Time matters more than most, and if Griffin comes out with much of that kind of nonsense, it will hopefully do him a lot more harm than good.