Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Well that'll teach me, eh? Depressing night against fucking Villa, and we got no more than we deserved out of it. The struggle goes on, and I will never again be tempted to tempt fate.

Reading the endless screeds of print about David Mitchell and (may god forgive me) Plebgate, I am intrigued by the concepts of leadership as revealed in the details of this latest pathetic little story. Mr Mitchell is, we are told, the enforcer for the government (or at least the Tories - as if there's any difference) and ensures that MPs toe the party line. This may include - wait for it - losing his temper with them.
This concept of leadership is all too familiar in the football world of course, its greatest contemporary exponent being old Bacon Face himself, with his tea cups and flying boots and legendary Pifco treatments for those who dare to cross him. Unless you actually think about it, it could be seen as quite surprising that such tactics are used in the environment of the Houses of Parliament or Portcullis House. Verbal and psychological abuse is only to be expected, but actual physical violence - or at least the threat of it - seems a little beyond the pail. Yet, dipping guiltily as always into the Daily Mail over the weekend, I read a prĂ©cis of some of Jack Straw's memoirs. Our Jack was talking quite candidly about a formidable Labour Deputy Chief Whip named Walter Harrison, around the time that he started out, and I was quite surprised to hear that Jack actually had his bollocks squeezed by this chap while standing in a corridor at the Palace of Westminster. Squeezed that is until the pips squeaked and Jack backed down (no sign of Jill) and changed his mind on the subjet du jour.

Grabbing someone's nuts and giving them a good squeeze is hardly the apogee of the art of rhetoric, I know, but is I'm sure quite an effective means of persuasion. Does it happen now, and are the (admittedly quite small number of) women treated in the same way? Doubtful, I would guess, in terms of the latter question, though perhaps not the first, which might be one of the reasons for there being so few women in Parliament. If you can't crush their knackers, what can you do to keep 'em in line, eh?

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