Rod Liddle

Tower block of bollocks

Tower block of bollocks
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The Channel Four television programme Tower Block of Commons, which concluded last night, may have been a stupid and opportunistic idea, but it may too have one beneficial outcome. No matter how reviled and loathed are our politicians, set alongside some of the untermensch featured in this show they appeared paragons, saints, beacons of decency. The idea, of course, was to humiliate the politicians as much as is humanly possible and – as they kept asking – “see how they cope”. But it wasn’t enough simply to quarter them with poor people who work long hours for low wages, or people who have recently been made unemployed and were desperately searching for work; nope, they chose (in the main) smackheads and indigents, the pig ignorant, the feckless, the whining idle. Not exclusively so, but not far off.  

The Tory MP Tim Laughton came across very well indeed, stuck in a Birmingham ghetto, and while he empathized and helped out his temporary landlords (they were nicer people than the rest), he did not quite relinquish the view that the government was not entirely to blame for their predicament. He was funny, decent and principled. Nadine Dorries was sectioned with a bone idle, whining, 20 year old dopehead who stole electricity and insisted that she cook for him. The boy was bright, undoubtedly, but reveled in acquired victimhood which to her cedit she did her best to expunge. Mark Oaten, the Lib Dem, did the Lib Dem thing of local action, organizing protests about living conditions and so on, but the movement evaporated as soon as he went back to Winchester. The Labour MP Austin Mitchell refused to play along with the production team and should not have been included at all.

My suspicion is the great mass of the public ended up liking the MPs a lot more than Channel Four might have intended...