Thursday, 9 January 2014

Prescott is a laughing stock

To: Letters page
Tribune magazine

I bet Paul Routledge could never have guessed that his Tribune piece on Hull becoming the UK City of Culture for 2017 would be so swiftly followed by the first entry for the city’s comedy award. This was in the form of an article by Colin Brown seeking to laud John Prescott because the former Deputy Prime Minister has refound his social conscience so profoundly missing when he actually had the chance to use it during his time when he was Blair’s side-kick.

Of course, there is already a comedy written about Mr Prescott and it’s one he is so scared of that he dare not even utter its name, or even mention on twitter - DUSTBINGATE. This was a book that sold in its tens of thousands - certainly many more than Brown’s biography of Prescott - and helped take its author, Ian Newton, out of a drab factory job with a large wedge of cash to hand. The book featured allegations over re-possessed council house property dealings by Prescott’s family and claims of secret files being removed from a stolen dustbin outside Mr Prescott's house. It made front-page news at the time, although nothing was ever proved and no one was ever charged.

Still it so threatened New Labour that when it looked like some Hollywood producers would turn the book into a film the party sent some of its advisors out to the United States. They successfully persuaded the money men that this would be politically dangerous in an era when Blair was backing up President Bush in the ill-fated - and illegal - adventure in Iraq. If only the movie had been made then maybe we could have laughed our way out of the conflict and saved countless thousands of lives. Prescott, a hero? Even suggesting such nonsense is not funny!

Mark Metcalf

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