Thursday, 25 July 2013

Not even a Minister yet, but already with a handle on one especial piece of politico-lamespeak

"It is just a shame that a number of people in the UK don't want to talk up the UK ..... What BT will do is continue to talk up the UK ..."

Said soon to be trade and investment minister in succession to the former HSBC boss Lord Green (and this is being achieved by taking up a seat in the Lords, natch) and present BT chief executive Ian Livingston, taking serious umbrage at Margaret Hodge and her "publicity seeking" public accounts committee calling in for questioning and actually daring to question his BT Head of Strategy Sean Williams about the amount of public subsidy that BT is receiving, or as Margaret and some PAC colleagues appeared to see it, demanding for building rural broadband networks (or providing broadband to a new housing development in the London suburb of Barking?) under the Broadband Development UK programme, for which BT has won every contract so far, and which is running nearly two years behind schedule.

The accusation that by voicing a criticism someone is "talking down the country" is of course one favoured of ministers in a corner when themselves accused of failing to produce what they previously boasted about intending to produce and spending a considerable lot more than they said they would and still failing to produce it; the implication being "when you attack me/my department/this government for being useless you are attacking the country you know" school of politico-think.   I wonder how often it will be deployed by Ian when he is a minister.


Ian Hills said...

I just wish the Commons would expend the public accounts committee's remit a little, to take in the chairman's tax peccadilloes.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Even better, the sub-text here is "If you attack the subsidies to my employer, you are attacking the country".

L'état, c'est mon employeur.