It seems as if each week primarily inside Parliament that senior members of the Government raise themes that most of us do not treat seriously or indeed find very deeply disturbing. As Parliament meets this week for the last few days before their first holiday break, let us hope that some strong statements get made that can focus on sensible issues. Clearly one of the positive themes that could be raised today is to acknowledge that yesterday was the 70th Anniversary of the tragic death of the Queens Father, King George the VI. The Platinum Jubilee celebrations have now begun and so Parliament can acknowledge that as a significant subject for our nation. Another theme that could now be explored by many MPs is based on a very positive call by a local MP last Wednesday in Parliament which came from Peter Bottomley as part of the discussion of Levelling Up. He set out that people in the South East of England
hope this will be successful, giving individuals opportunity and changing the economic geography of the parts of this country that need to be connected to the thriving country we hope to create together.
Peter then went on to ask Michael Gove to “heed council leaders” who want the Government to help Councils and to stop doing actions that are not helping
because all over the country we need Ministers to pay more attention to local leaders?
It was fascinating that while Michael Gove responded positively to this call which inevitably was focused on Worthing by Peter, that he ended with a comment
while deprivation is concentrated disproportionately in the north and midlands, there are pockets of genuine poverty in communities such as Worthing and Hastings that we need to pay close attention to.
Clearly the concept that poverty in Sussex or indeed across the South East as that was the theme that Peter set out, is treated as only existing in Worthing and Hastings is very concerning. Perhaps we can get the other MPs across Sussex and indeed across the South East to get the Levelling Up scheme to refocus in a meaningful way for our Nation. Sadly, Michael Gove is not very competent much of the time and if he makes the decisions without a meaningful response from all Council Leaders things will not go well. I recall the comment from another senior Minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg a few weeks ago on the 20th January who suggested that Parliament might need to have
days of debate to discover all the failings and corruptions in socialist councils.
We clearly need Parliament to ensure that this week the credible members of Parliament will raise a call for all Councils to be treated seriously apart from any that are genuinely broken down as indeed are parts of the Government. Even in settings where the Council is not working well, if there are vulnerable communities, we need Parliament to find ways to support them. Of course, we cannot ignore the damage being created by some of the most Senior Ministers. Along with Rees-Mogg there is Gove who a week last Sunday appeared on a TV programme in an attempt to speak up for his Prime Minister. His words were very concerning
I’m sure that when the [Sue Gray] report is published, there will be from individuals concerned recognition, contrition and so on and you know we owe them an element of Christian forgiveness.
It is of course interesting to see when Gove has spoken in the past to focus on Christian activities. In the House of Commons he has referred to Christian twice in Parliament during in his career. Once when he stated he was a Christian and the second time when he commented about Margaret Thatcher. It seems strange that he is referring to that same theme now when the failure of his boss is becoming very clear. It was disturbing that last week Boris Johnson during his defence to the Sue Gray criticism sought to attack Keir Starmer with these words
he spent most of his time prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile.
and later when Michael Gove was questioned if Johnson needed to apologise for such a comment he said “no” which is very concerning. It was encouraging that along with many other Conservative people that Amber Rudd who was previously the Hastings MP and also a senior Minister has spoken out about this appalling comment. She made it clear that it was wrong for Johnson to distract attention from the Partygate row and that his comment was “a disgraceful thing to say” and it was “a Trumpian response to try and deflect from himself” Let us hope many others in her party will reject Johnson along with Gove and Rees-Mogg in order to improve their government.