Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What was John Prescott's greatest achievement?

Further to my earlier question (thus far unanswered), 24dash.com has a rather amusingly biased poll on PRescott's acheivements. Apparently, he was responsible for:
Creating more affordable homes

Delivering sustainable communities

Urban regeneration

Tackling poverty and social exclusion
Apparently, anyway. They provide no evidence there, but the results of the full poll are worth a look.

Yes, it's nasty. I've seen comments elsewhere that the constant Prescott attacks are "classist" or "snobbery". Bollocks, the man's a pathetic failure without a decent policy success to his name. That's not snobbery, it's fact.
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Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I do think there is a lot of snobbery in the way Prescott is attacked - he's not alone in being a bit useless, but he attracts an unusual amount of venom considering that, for all his failed initiatives, he's not done a huge amount of damage either (compared to, say, Charles Clarke). The problem is he's an easy target because he's inarticulate and a deeply, deeply unattractive figure.

He has made a serious contribution to this government - but it's been in terms of politics rather than policy. Apart from attracting some of the fire away from his colleagues, he is by all accounts an important figure in holding the Labour coalition together and keeping things moving in committees etc. So I don't think it's accurate to see he's achieved nothing, as such.

That said, of course, it's not a reason to keep him there. 

Posted by Jonn

Anonymous said...

Oh, in many ways, you're right. The thing is, if he is  good at the politiking side, why did he power grad such a large area of policy at the beginning?

As I asid in an earlier post, much of the stuff he took personal responsibilty for in '97 was stuff I thought was very important. Transport, devolution, localism, areas of environmental policy, etc.

All of these have been messed up in some way or other. Essentially, his failures have destroyed any chance of regionalism as initiall planned in England. That's something that hurts the constitutionalist in me big time.

DPM could have had a purely political role from the outset, and no one would have minded, but now? Power grabbing at the beginning was a cause of failure. He's failed at all the major policy roles he set out for. Background stuff isn't relevent to that one. 

Posted by MatGB

Anonymous said...

The snobbery attacks on Prescott would be worse if he wasn't guilty of inverse snobbery when attacking others.
He's most comfortable with 'class warfare' and will readily attack based on the opponent being 'upper class'.
That's why the croquet story was so big, such a trivial thing, but since Prescott has so often cast himself as the 'working class hero' playing a game associated with the upper classes smacks a bit of hypocrisy to many.
(of course, to me, as a liberal, class makes no difference, but he's opened himself up to it all by defining himself as a class). 

Posted by Tristan

Anonymous said...

Jonn, I hope you're not suggesting we shouldn't attack the inarticulate, just for fun, like :) 

Posted by Paul