Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No One in a Democracy Wants a PM Who Bullies Anyone Who Disagrees with Him

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

No One in a Democracy Wants a PM Who Bullies Anyone Who Disagrees with Him

Article excerpt


LAST week we were told by Mark Pritchard, a Conservative MP, that he had been threatened by the Prime Minister - or at least the PM's office - because of his motion to ban wild animals from circuses.

"I was offered incentive and reward then I was threatened... I was told that unless I withdraw this motion, the Prime Minister would look upon it very dimly indeed."

At the same time newspapers were reporting on the surgeon who ordered the Prime Minister''s entourage out of his hospital ward.

David Nunn's furious face as he yelled at the PM and his team went viral on Youtube, making David Cameron and Nick Clegg look like naughty schoolboys. Now the surgeon has vanished and a leaked memo said "At this stage we do not know when Mr Nunn will return".

The First Sea Lord, Sir Mark Stanhope, suggested that Britain would have to "make challenging decisions" once Nato's 90-day extension to the Libya campaign ended.

Cameron disagreed and the First Sea Lord has now been dropped from an important MoD committee. The Admiral is keeping shtum, but Mr Pritchard is defiant.

"I may just be a little council house lad from a very poor background, but that background gives me a backbone. I am not going to be kow-towed by the whips or even the Prime Minister of our country."

What Mr Nunn has to say we don't know because he's incommunicado. No one in a democracy wants a PM who bullies anyone who disagrees with him. I'm inclined to think David Cameron is too savvy to do something so crass and may even now be beating about the head the minion who did, but if Mr Nunn isn't soon back on his ward, the admiral back on the bridge and Mr Pritchard disappears from the House, I might have to revise my views.

HOW sick I am of women banging on about having to work longer for their pension.

We didn't shout when men had to work longer, we can't shout now when it happens to us. Even the most unlucky will only have to wait two more years.

All around us people are losing their jobs and facing the rigours of unemployment, maybe years on the dole.

Having to draw a salary for a few more years doesn't seem such a bad deal. Of course, long-held arrangements may have to be altered, but that's life. We wanted equality. We've got it.

ICHUCKLED at the College of Psychiatry's suggestion that those over 65 should limit themselves to half a pint or a small glass of wine a day.

But as anger mounted and radio and TV stations contacted me for comment, I ceased to be amused.

Viewers and listeners felt patronised. 'Why pick on us?' one pensioner asked. 'Look at what the young ones do, criticise them.' Emma Soames, the CEO of Saga, declared: "The right of a chap - or a lady - to get quietly sozzled in their own armchair is sacrosanct. …

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