Thursday, 8 November 2012
Uncle Eric goes down with Foot-in-Mouth Disease
It seems that our wonderful Secretary of State has had a bad bout of foot-in-mouth disease this week. In the Commons on Monday he accused the London Borough of Hackney of being the worst performing planning authority in the country. Hackney indignantly denied this, and Pickles has now had Hansard corrected by having the official record of his remark corrected to read ‘Haringey’. Unless I have missed something, I get the impression that Hackney are still waiting for an apology. And they may have to go on waiting - I don’t get the impression that Uncle Eric is the apologising sort somehow.
So now Pickles has insulted not one but two London Boroughs. Needless to say, we are all agog to learn on what basis Pickles makes these accusations. In fact nobody can quite understand on what criteria the assertion about Haringey’s performance is based. Can we look forward to a correction of the correction in Hansard? And which will be the next LPA to be named if Pickles is forced to retract his strictures with regard to Haringey?
Maybe the Secretary of State should refrain from this sort of nonsense, and concentrate on getting on with his job, instead of dishing out gratuitous and apparently ill-founded jibes about hard-pressed and cash-starved local authorities, whose performance has probably been more seriously undermined by the cuts imposed on them by this government than by any other factor.
© MARTIN H GOODALL