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Sunday 29 April 2012

Chester’s Useful Tory Idiot

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Those looking in on Zelo Street regularly will have seen two recent items on Chester’s Tory MP Stephen Mosley, who has managed to spend rather a lot of time campaigning not in his constituency, but in and around London in support of occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, while occasionally giving reassurance on law enforcement to people not resident in the UK.

And that’s not all: Mosley has managed to shamelessly claim credit for projects like the reinstatement of a second track on the rail link between Chester and Wrexham, even though this is being funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and he had nothing to do with it. But he does attend functions in the community, even if they are at hotels where 99% of his constituents wouldn’t get through the door.

But there is good news for those who wonder where their elected representative has been recently: he was out campaigning in Gresford yesterday afternoon. So that’s all right, isn’t it? Well, no it isn’t: Gresford is not only not part of the City of Chester consitiuency, but it is also not in the same country, being part of the administrative area of Wrexham – in Wales.

Chester’s citizenry must be starting to wonder if their MP has done anything of interest or use to them in the recent past. But he has made an intervention in the Commons recently, during the debate following the statement by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week (this was precipitated by the revelations in correspondence released when Murdoch Junior testified).

Sadly, the Mosley intervention was yet another act of basic idiocy: by his own account, he asked “why Gordon Brown’s Government refused to act on phone hacking”. Very good, Stephen. A little word in your shell-like, if I may: before you asked that question, could you not have done a teensy bit of research, like consulting a time-line for Phonehackgate?

The story – including the first sign that hacking went beyond the “one rogue reporter” defence offered by the Screws – was not broken until the Guardian published in July 2009, no more than ten months before Pa Broon left Downing Street. The Press Complaints Commission reported back the following November that hacking was no longer going on (which we now know was a sham).

The Commons, though, did investigate via the Culture Committee, which reported back in February 2010, although the Murdoch empire disputed its conclusions. Only after the New York Times story and Sean Hoare’s revelations the following September did momentum start to build, and by then Brown was out of office. So that, Stephen, is why his Government did not act: it wasn’t there any more.

Is there a more clueless, shameless and wilfully stupid MP than this?

[UPDATE1 30 April 1150 hours: while Stephen Mosley is slavishly spending time in London campaigning for Bozza, his Conservative colleague Edward Timpson in Crewe and Nantwich has been working in his constituency. On Thursday next, for instance, he has organised a jobs fair at the Alex Stadium.

Commenting on the event in his latest email bulletin, Timpson observes: "That's the same day as Boris Johnson's election in London, and I'm in trouble for not helping out, but I'm Crewe and Nantwich's representative to Westminster - not the other way round!"

If only all Tory MPs were so minded. We're watching, Mr Mosley]

[UPDATE2 1 May 1115 hours: a new item on Stephen Mosley's website (which proudly proclaims "Member of Parliament for The City of Chester") tells his constituents "Lacrosse World Cup Launch Draws Ministerial and MP Support". Mosley is supporting the bid to host the 2017 Lacrosse World Cup.

He is quoted as asserting "This bid gets my support as I know the value it will bring to the sport across the country. England will do an excellent job hosting this tournament and I wish the English Lacrosse Association every success in this venture".

So where would the tournament be held in the event that the bid succeeds? Er, Surrey Sports Park, which is in Guildford. That's around 200 miles away from Chester. As Littlejohn would have said, you couldn't make it up]


Anonymous said...

"Is there a more clueless, shameless and wilfully stupid MP than this?"

Nadine Dorres perhaps?

D Griffin said...

Dash it all, Anonymous - I was going to say that!