Guest blog…

Well not quite, but Stephen Pound emailed me last night with a copy of an article which appears in today’s Sun. So for those of you who aren’t Sun readers, here it is. Obviously I am posting this because I like it. (P.S. Busy, busy, busy today, might blog on train. If indeed there are trains.)

The Sun. 8th.January 2010.

I strolled out of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday with a light heart and only my worries about Bobby Zamora’s collarbone matched the damp and depressing weather that was bringing the nation to a slip-sliding halt.

Within minutes I had been plunged into a depression that was as all enveloping as the snow. From the highway of hope I had skidded into the defile of despair because a couple of ex-Ministers had decided to give aid and comfort to the enemy by an act of monumental foolishness that came as a source of immense delight to the Conservatives.

My Parliamentary colleague Geoff Hoon had decided that what the country really needed was to forget about the economy, the awful weather and indeed the whole business of government and, instead, devote the next few weeks to a bloodstained bout of backstabbing aimed at dumping Gordon Brown.

It would be easy to define the polar plot as another case of a bitter former Minister putting his own ego ahead of the issues that really matter and within minutes there was talk of Geoff having gone from no job to snow job by attempting to plunge an icicle into Gordon’s back.

First reactions from my constituents confirmed that the prospect of politicians hurling snowballs at each other instead of getting on with the job we’re paid to do was not one that they found appealing.

The blizzard of e-mails that swept over Geoff and Patricia Hewitt in the hours after their declaration confirmed to me that majority opinion was clearly not on their side but I still find if insulting to the people we represent that so much time has been taken up on a matter which may be of deep fascination to a few but which the rest of the country views with icy indifference.

Soon the nation will have the opportunity to vote on Gordon Brown’s Prime Ministership and it is in the court of public opinion and at the ballot box that these matters should be decided – not in the dank alleyways of Westminster.

When I was in Rome, for the match which Fulham unluckily lost on some very dodgy refereeing decisions to Roma, I picked up a book of poems and sayings by Ovid and one stuck in the mind.

“Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason”

That seems to imply that if you organise a successful plot then everyone thinks you were not indulging in treachery but motivated by nobility.

Somehow I doubt that this will apply to Geoff Hoon and I fear that he will be remembered for slipping on the black ice of self indulgence and back-sliding into a snowdrift.

Making up an execution party to see off the Prime Minister may have been Geoff’s intention but, in reality, he and the plotters have formed a circular firing squad.

It’s not just the snow that is flaky at the moment and I’m pretty sure that in years to come any who asks what happened to the person who proposed the polar plot the answer will be “Geoff who?”

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