Thursday, 20 March 2014


MP for Hartlepool, Iain Wright.


Hartlepool MP and Chancellor Osborne.  Two peas from the same pod.

When I stared this blogging lark, I had no idea it would be such a messy business.

I can assure you it is. I've just spent five minutes cleaning porridge off the screen of my laptop after spitting a huge mouthful over the screen. I bet there were many people in Hartlepool similarly exasperated as I was with the Hartlepool Mail Budget story today,

In a nutshell it was an attack on the budget and the Chancellor in particular. Normally I'd applaud anyone who describe George Osborne as smug and complacent. Such a description would have my 100% support.

But when the criticism comes from Hartlepool's Labour MP Iain Wright then it's two other words that come to mind. POT and KETTLE.

It's a perfect description of the lacklustre local lad who took over from Peter Mandelson in the safe Labour seat. Many times I've heard people describe Wright in such terms. Lots of them have been lifelong Labour supporters who have not only become disillusioned at the national party under the stewardship of Ed 'Mr Bean' Miliband, but are becoming visibility angry at Wright's ineptitude.

The rot began to set in with the long-running hospital saga. Wright made endless pledges to the public to the effect that Hartlepool's hospital would remain in place as long as he was MP. I'll give him his due, the hospital is still there. Unfortunately almost all of the wards are empty as services and most have the staff have been transferred to North Tees. Wright has been impotent and has sat idly by as there has been a gradual chipping away of services.

If this failure to prevent the dismantling of vital services was Wright's only red mark on his homework, the loyal Labour voters of Hartlepool might be persuaded to forgive him. In the face of public service cuts and a devious and dangerous Tory plan to privatise the NHS, there is perhaps little headway that a North East Labour MP is going to make in the commons. But at least he could have shown a bit of fight and passion. Frankly I've seen more grit and determination from Dale Winton. 

Here's THAT photograph again. Ian Wright opening Hartlepool Food Bank, complete with a sickly smile that angered so many people.
I get the impression that Wright simply can't or won't do passion, anger and commitment. The picture of him cutting the ribbon to open Hartlepool's first food bank is the sort of photo opportunity most savvy politicians would run a mile from. Not Wright. Such is his determination to get his face on the local newspaper, he'd turn up for the opening of an envelope.

The sickly smile on his face in that picture got my back up and angered lots of other people.  A comment from a reader to a previous blog asked whether I'd have preferred him to have a scowl on his face. Actually yes, I would. And I think the electorate would as well. And better still. Perhaps while his angry face was set firmly and resolutely in the face of the inhuman Tory policies that are condemning decent people to begging for food, Wright could have got angry. Like really angry.

If he'd used the food bank opening to really kick off against Government policy, thousands of people would have backed him. Let’s face it, he's friendly enough with the local paper so if I'd been in his place I'd be doing a deal with the Hartlepool Mail to get my angry face on the front page with a personal piece written to deliver a damning attack on the stinking, inhumane policies that make food banks a necessity.

Then of course we have the perennial favourite of unemployment. I'm 58 this year. All I've ever seen in my home town is high unemployment. In fairness it's varied from mildly depressing levels to crippling levels.

During my early years growing up on Owton Manor Estate, I watched my father endure long spells on the dole. He had a party piece to get us by when he was skint (cos there was no need for food banks in those halcyon days) and there was nobody to borrow money from (pre Wonga as well) and the local shop wasn't allowing tick.

We had a slot TV. Hard to believe, a TV coin operated device on the back to make it work. My mam put coins in and me and my sister got to watch Blue Peter or whatever. The old fella worked out a way to pick the lock. He used to open the money box and give my mam enough for food for us all.

Years later when we'd gone seriously upmarket and moved to Rift House Estate, I used to look along Sinclair Road and marvel at the only two blokes on the road who had jobs. And one of them was a copper.

Seeing that unemployment not only gave me an almost insatiable work ethic and a determination never to have to find a slot TV to break into, but it made me angry at the political decisions that cause this misery.

Now. Wright's a Hartlepool lad so how come he just accepts high unemployment? Indeed, he not only accepts it but the hypocrite contributes to it. Employing your wife part time on £27,000 a year when you get paid handsomely to represent a town crippled with unemployment is just not on in my book. I know many agree.

So there you have it. He's smug, complacent and he's had the anger gene removed.

Wright seems firmly of the school of thought that believes the meek will inherit the earth. Wright is wrong. Unless good people stand up and do something, the uncaring, selfish bastards who are running the show now, will take an even firmer grip.


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  1. I fail to see your logic on Food Banks Harry. They started opening under the previous government during the 'good years' yet you put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the current lot.

    I say blame but I don't think there is any blame to be made. If people are having to "beg" for food by going to foodbanks how is that any different to the alternative of turning up to the Job Centre and begging for more money?
    The difference is that food banks show that in times of need we, the caring British public, are happy to help our neighbours directly when they are in need rather than leaving them to be even more dependent on state hand outs that we ultimately pay for anyway.

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