Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 15 March 2005

Paxo jibe rouses Commons 'numpties'

Jeremy Paxman, you gotta love 'im. His response to 'Dr' John Reid, in a recent edition of BBC2 Newsnight, who had taken offence (genuinely, or for rhetorical purposes, you be the judge - I know what I think!) by stating that Paxo was belittling him becasue of his Glaswegian accent, was to retort that a "a sort of Scottish Raj" was running the country. Exaggerated, no doubt, but it is not completely and utterly ridiculous as the Commons motion signed by 20 Scottish MPs seems to imply. Those behind this motion all appear to be Labour MPs, rallying round the pugnacious 'Dr' John Reid. Good luck to them - at the cost of making themselves look ridiculous, they have at least added to the gaiety of the nation, so to say.

On a more serious level, people 'happy in their own skins' are not constantly on the defensive when people such as Paxo use their well-honed interrogatory interviewing techniques to attempt to get more than bland 'Party-speak' from those they interview. Paxo applied the same ruthless techinque years ago against then Home Secretary Michael Howard, by asking the same question 13 (or was it 12?) times, but Howard remained pretty imperturbable (outwardly - I bet he was seething inwardly). Reid appears, to me, not to be 'happy in his skin', a puzzle really because he is obviously a very clever man, even if I detest what he stands for. That's the only thing wrong with Paxo's remark, of course; the Raj, in general, ruled India with miniscule numbers largely by bluff and would rarely let slip the fragility of their position because they truly believed they were 'superior' or 'blessed' - Reid has, quite obviously, no such inner strength to succour him, but is still stuck in the mindset that he is a 'supplicant', rather than the one who (with his colleagues) actually does run the country.

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