Monday, 8 March 2010

Choosing a new House

This is supposed to be a cheerfully neutral website, promoting Budleigh Salterton and transatlantic friendship rather than ranting on about political issues, even in election year.

But how could I fail to mention some of the characters who over the next few months will be trying to sell themselves to us as best qualified to represent us in Parliament, having seen the wickedly funny 'On Expenses' BBC4 drama on Tuesday 23 February?


For the benefit of those who didn't see it, and especially for my readers across the pond, this outstanding TV comedy summarised some of last year's eye-popping, hilarious and shameful revelations at Westminster which moved me to post in June last year http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2009/06/plague-on-all-your-houses-and-on-your_05.html




'On Expenses', scripted by Tony Saint and directed by Simon Cellan Jones, was essentially the story of how the British Establishment, represented in the drama by House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin, came unstuck when faced with the demands of the Freedom of Information Act.

His nemesis, American journalist Heather Brooke, convincingly played by actress Anna Maxwell Martin, was born in Pennsylvania to British-immigrant parents from Liverpool.

Picture: Former House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin



There is a good review by The Times's Andrew Billen at http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article7039079.ece
The Houses of Parliament, seen across Westminster Bridge.
Photo by Adrian Pingstone
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Houses.of.parliament.overall.arp.jpg

I can't boast of any serious political insights myself, and I would hate to stand in any election - especially in this year's. It promises to be a rather messy affair, with plenty of hurtful personal attacks on the contestants judging by UKIP leader Nigel Farage's recent activity in the European Parliament, and the savage lampooning of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

But I do remember as an impressionable 14-year-old being told by a family friend, a distinguished British World War Two general, that integrity was the most important thing in life. This is what he wrote back in the 1960s: "It is not the countries which lack the atom bombs or the big battalions which should be called 'second-rate' powers, but the countries which lack the big ideals."

I shall be very happy to give space on this site to any idealist who feels like telling Budleigh voters over the next three months why we should trust them to represent our best interests in a new and hopefully more edifying House of Commons.

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