Politics.co.uk Blog

Friday, 16 October 2009

X-Factor politics has gone mad!

So there I am on the train into work flicking through the Metro when I come across this little gem: Kirstie Allsopp set to join House of Lords.

No I'm not kidding. The paper tells us the 36-year-old Location, Location, Location star - daughter of Charles Henry, 6th Baron Hindlip – will be elevated to the House of Lords by David Cameron should he become prime minister next year.

Now I'm no Kirstie hater. I'm really not. In fact I genuinely think she's quite lovely but I'd really like to know what Chris Grayling thinks of this appointment.

After his rather public gaffe over the appointment of former Army chief Sir Richard Dannatt at last week's Conservative party conference he's probably going to keep schtum. But nonetheless this seems like a headline grabbing – yet ultimately pointless - appointment. What's Kirstie going to advise the government on? The best drapes to hang in Number 10?

This is a woman who, bless her, knows nothing about scrutinising the laws of this country. And in case I'm mistaken I was somewhat under the impression that was the job of the House of Lords. This might sound somewhat snooty to some people but honestly it's not. When Kirstie Allsopp came out against Home Information Packs two years ago she was asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme to justify why she thought they were a bad idea. It was a train wreck!! She basically just kept saying 'Hips bad', without being able to put together a cogent argument.

David Cameron is going to be treading on thin ice if he appoints people like Miss Allsopp as government advisers. Personally I'm with Grayling on this one - it just looks like another publicity stunt that if there's any justice in the world will blow up in the Tory leader's face. Hasn't he himself criticised Gordon Brown's 'government of all the talents' nonsense before. Yet he chooses to ape him. Worst still, according to the Metro Allsopp is close friends with the Cameron's and "mixes in the same social circles". If that's true then we can already begin to get an idea of what the Conservative government is going to look like and it ain't good.

I'm fairly certain that the current government suffers from nepotism and there have been plenty of accusations of cronyism. But if you're trying to get elected on a platform of change this isn't the way to go about it. I don't mind the likes of John Major being elevated to the House of Lords. That's perfectly acceptable. After all, plenty of former prime ministers have been elevated to the Lords.

But the revelation that the Miss Allsopp is part of a list of twenty people drawn up by PR firm Mandate after speaking to MPs at their recent party conference is very disturbing as is the below quote:

'As they prepare for a difficult first year in power, the Conservatives are planning to use Lords appointments to sprinkle some star dust on their front bench,' said Fiona Mason, Mandate's managing director of political affairs.

Stardust? Stardust? It's not bloody X-factor!!!!

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