Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Waffle, waffle

If anybody is interested in reading real ministerial waffle, they are welcome to have a look at the short debate that followed a Private Notice Question in the House of Lords on February 12.

The Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their justification for denying Mr Geert Wilders entry into the United Kingdom.
was put down by Lord Taverne, not one of the usual suspects and, indeed, most of those who took part in the debate were not that either. I did rather like the beginning of Lord Pearson’s intervention:
I suggest to the Minister—perhaps he will correct me if I am wrong—that a man is innocent until he is proved guilty.
The Minister did not reply to that, or to Lord Pearson’s further point that none of this would have happened if Mr Wilders had suggested the banning of the Bible, or to any of the various points made by the noble lords and ladies. His excuses were various: he could not respond on hypothetical point; he did not know how the matter came to the attention of the Home Office (a very good question asked by Lord Peston); he had not had time to be briefed; and, anyway, he really did not know anything that had anything to do with the subject.

So there we are. Now we know.