Apparently Frank Field has made a Tory cry. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean he kicked Boris Johnson in the nuts.
Oh no ,the Tory involved was Heidi ‘ Uriah Heep’ Allen, the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire. Who clearly needs to get out of her constituency and the House of Commons more and appreciate what her political party are doing to the rest of the country. Heidi from on high (and mighty) said :
“I’m humbled by the words from my honourable, good friend from Birkenhead [Field],” she said. “No government is perfect, no benefits system is perfect, no debate, no motion is perfect, but by God we work together and make this better.”
Field intervened to give Allen a chance to compose herself, saying: “I’m just amazed for the first time I’ve been able to report those events publicly without weeping. I’m so affected by them, I’m affected as she is. That’s the debate we’re really having – how do we represent here the desperateness of many of our constituents when many of us feel we can’t offer them hope.Earlier Field said his constituents were being hit by the cumulative impact of reforms under Labour and Conservative governments.On my last surgery Friday, for the first time ever a gentleman rose after we had spoken, I had tried to persuade him not to commit suicide, such was the desperateness that he saw the future for himself, and I realised the hand that shook my hand was wet. He’d been crying. And the hand that shook my hand was the hand that wiped away those tears,” he said. Universal Credit Impact speech
Wirral Globe upped the ante on the sentimentality by additionally quoting from Frankenfield’s poverty travelogue :
On Friday, Feeding Birkenhead – which is the most brilliant but ought to be unnecessary organisation – reported a family coming in of husband, wife and young child.The child was crying with hunger. The family was fed.The father said it had been a lucky week for him because neighbours had taken pity and invited him to a funeral so they could finish off the food after the other funeral guests had been fed.When the little boy was shown a shelf where toys were, but also on that shelf were lunch packs, he chose the lunch pack. Frank goes on sentimental journey via Wirral Globe
Bleedin’ hell , pass the sickbag Alice. Frank puts Charles Dickens at his most mawkish to shame with that particular speech. Remember this is the man who uses the term ‘starving mites’ in the 21st century and takes no responsibility for the fact that his greatest political achievement in 38 years as an MP is ‘ Feeding Birkenhead’. A Wirral Council ring-fence funded evangelical ,ego trip.
We can’t help thinking he’s using his downtrodden constituent as a Dickensian plot device or a political prop in the vein of Little Nell (The Old Curiosity Shop) , Pip ( No, not that one, the one from Great Expectations) and particularly Tiny Tim ( A Christmas Carol) . It’s like a Victorian melodrama – pious ,patriarchal, sanctimonious ,self indulgent, self righteous and utterly vomitous.
The right response to his constituent’s predicament is not political points -scoring and sentimentality . It is ANGER. However we’ll leave the last word on the subject to our old friend Oscar Wilde :
From De Profundis:
A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.