Dumbwatch from the conference

Dim Dan?The Prawn?

Still battle is joined for the title ‘Dumbest MP in the West’.

Bristol South’s Labour MP Dawn Primarolo, now a government health minister, was at last week’s Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth again showing off the impeccable left wing principles that got her selected to the post in the first place.

During a very busy schedule Dawn, in her new health role, found time to discuss the growing problem of obesity at an event sponsored by none other than, er . . . Nestlé! The company that manufacture such obesity beating products as Kit Kat, Smarties, Aero and Milky Bar.

The company is also at the forefront of efforts to derail the “traffic light” food labeling system promoted by the FSA and has opposed efforts to limit junk food advertising aimed at kids.

Dawn also found the time to address another meeting, this time sponsored by Boots. The subject? Getting high street chemists to deliver NHS services!

Meanwhile Dawn’s colleague Dan Norris was also in Bournemouth. The Labour MP for Wansdyke kept a lower profile than Dawn but still managed to publicly gush unconditional praise upon their new foreign secretary:

“I thought David Miliband’s speech was a particular highlight because he showed the combination of ability, wisdom and common sense that the party is about.”

Unfortunately for Dan his announcement came just hours before the elder of “the brilliant Miliband brothers” was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight and simply couldn’t answer the straightforward questions put to him about the unfolding events in Burma.

Miliband was left mumbling something about the issues being a matter for Douglas Alexander at the department for International Development for most of the interview. Hardly an auspicious start to this “Second wave of New Labour foreign policy” then.

Which is actually a third wave anyway if you consider Robin Cook’s original efforts at an “ethical foreign policy”; then Blair’s liberal interventionism (chief policy adviser at the time one David Miliband I believe) and now this Brown/Miliband policy of carefully calibrated warm words for electoral purposes.

Whatever. It looks like Miliband is shaping up nicely to be the weakest foreign secretary since, um . . . Margaret Beckett!

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9 Responses to Dumbwatch from the conference

  1. Jografer says:

    So, a ‘cut n’paste’ (from Private Eye), without any credit being given… seems to be a habit….
    & a slagging off of David Milliband based on what his brother said…

    … who said the Een Post had cornered the market on sloppy journalism….

  2. thebristolblogger says:

    To clear up any confusion: David is the elder Miliband brother and was the one interviewed on Newsnight.

  3. ‘Red Dawn’ Primarolo has pretty rapidly ‘morphed’ into her Labour predecessor in Bristol South Michael Cocks since he was controversially deselected in the 1980’s.

    Whatever happened to her being against nuclear weapons and nuclear power for instance?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyvsATYoZTM

  4. thebristolblogger says:

    Cocks at least was a skilled, street-wise politician. Remember, he was Callaghan’s chief whip ’76 – ’79 when Labour’s majority was somewhere between three and minus one.
    Keeping that show on the road required skills way beyond anything Primarolo – or any other current politician in Bristol – has to offer.
    Primarolo is also a lot further to the right than Cocks ever was. Cocks was on the right of old Labour (as were Wilson, Callaghan, Healey etc.). Primarolo is just on the right. Full stop.
    Of course the irony is that Cocks was deselected by his own membership for accurately calling his local colleague – Tony Benn – “potty”, which was too much for the south Bristol Labour Party Benn groupies (note most of these twats are still out there) who got Dawn selected instead as a representative of the left.
    What a result!

  5. David says:

    Surely if you want to solve the obesity crisis you need to talk to companies like Nestle who make the products that cause it. Party conferences must be about engaging with people like this as well as with charity groups and lobbyists in other parts of the spectrum to work towards a solution. Engaging with Nestle is exactly what a Health Minister should be doing!

  6. No David there must be other more appropriate sponsors of this event, on obesity, than Nestle.

    Nestle have a bad ethical record too…see
    http://www.ethics.emory.edu/news/archives/000152.html

  7. Robert Ham says:

    I think you might be wrong there, David. The people you need to talk to are the people who are obese and, more importantly, those who are becoming obese.

    Saying “all these people are getting fat because of you!” to Nestle isn’t going to change society. Saying “you’re getting fat!” probably will. Or, less obnoxiously and more helpfully, “what is it that is influencing your eating habits to such a degree that they are impinging on your health?”

    A little common sense tells you it won’t be anything whatsoever to do with Nestle and is more likely to do with how they cope, or rather fail to cope, with the realities of modern life.

    And as Mr Vowles noted, asking the baby killers, Nestle, to behave in a more ethical way is akin to asking Hitler not to be so naughty.

  8. Robert Ham says:

    On a lighter note, I might buy a t-shirt in support of this issue. No idea why…

    http://www.babymilkaction.org/shop/tshirts.html

  9. Pingback: The life and times of Michael Cocks #1 « The Bristol Blogger

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