It is of some concern to me that a die hard Labour member like myself has two Tories and one Liberal as his three big British political heroes. Namely William Wilberforce, Sir Winston Churchill, and William Ewart Gladstone (although my favourite Labour politicans are varied, such as Keir Hardie, Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Hugh Gaitskell, Harold Wilson, Denis Healey, Anthony Crosland, John Smith, and Tony Benn (Pre 1970) ).
Anyway I digress. My Liberal hero, Gladstone (being the devout Christian that he was), had a unique and bizzare way of trying to keep prostitutes from soliciting and that was to pay them without asking for sexual favours.
In the past twenty four hours, the Liberal Democrats have also gone for method of payment, only this is a bit shabby in comparison. Namely, and I quote here from the BBC Website: "Cash incentives are being offered to local Liberal Democrat parties who recruit women and people from ethnic minorities to stand for election."
This goes to the lowest common denominator and is quite insulting to local associations, because what the Lib Dem leadership are effectively saying is "We know you are a pack of sexist morons, so be good chaps and shut up and take this money and do as you are told!" I have to say, I have always had problems with Labour's women only shortlist policy, but this is far worse because it is patronising, rather than confronting head on, the problems within one's party and sweeping those problems under the carpet by offering cash.
In other Lib Dem news, I found myself agreeing with Rod Liddle's comments in yesterday's "Sunday Times" concerning Mark and Belinda Oaten
I have to say that, whilst I felt sorry for Mark Oaten's fall from political grace earlier this year (and I wonder how many of those quick to heap abuse in public and private have skeletons in their closets), I do wonder if he and his wife are doing the right thing by hawking their private recovery to the Media.
I mean, I am glad that their marriage seems to be recovering (many don't under less stressful circumstances) and that says a lot for them, but surely it is better now to keep a low profile and take each day as it comes and gently plan for a better future!
Plus blaming Charles Kennedy's alcoholism is very unhelpful as well. For themselves, for Charles Kennedy and his family, and for all else involved.
But politics can be a bizzare world! :/
Hat tip to Kerron BTW for the cash story.