Dodgy frontal lobes, y'dig?

Neo-Darwinist professor Richard Dawkins made some startling remarks in the Guardian during the week, about my mate Tom Watson MP.

A sickening preview of how New Labour might woo the 16-year-old vote is given on the website of a Blairite MP, whom we shall not name for fear of embarrassing his children. In a special section addressed to “Teens”, he remarks that “Politics is cool, m’kay” and adds:

“Hey, chill with the anti-Europe vibes already! You totally won’t be able to wear the word ‘fcuk’ on your shirt anymore if we break our connection with France, y’dig? ROFFLE! So, cut it with the bling bling and do something for the community, man. Join in and take action with any of the groovy sites we’ve listed, or just drop Tom a line for a quiet rap by the electronic email. Tom’s well-up on the Interwebnet, and he won’t harsh your buzz or dis you down the line.”

“Tom” is the MP. It’s tempting to think that this cringeing suck-up to the youthful wing of his constituency must be a joke. But no, other pages on his site, not least the attack on the admirable Robin Cook, reveal Tom to be straight from the same humour-free mould as Private Eye’s wonderfully true-to-life guitar-playing “Rev Tony”. Tom really means it.

Tom is understandably irate at this non-sensical diatribe, I especially dislike “we shall not name for fear of embarrassing his children”, that’s if Tom did have children, and even if he did that would be a pretty underhanded thing to say.

If only Dawkins had read my brief article in the New Statesman this week on the virtues of any MP that dares to blog. Or if only Dawkins, who has always impressed me with reasonable arguments, had bothered to read Tom’s weblog. If only he understood sarcasm or irony.

I’m not happy, I shall have to find Dawkin’s email.

2 thoughts on “Dodgy frontal lobes, y'dig?”

  1. I left a comment here a few weeks ago but you obviously filtered it out. I said that if the extract from Tom Waston’s website is supposed to be ‘sarcastic or ironic’ (and that’s not at all apparent from just reading it)who, exactly, is he satirising or being ironic about? People who actually use this kind of language? Or those who attempt to use it in order to improve their street cred? I’m not at all surprised that Dawkins reacted as he did, or that ‘Tom is irate’: egocentricity is an essential feature of the MP’s job description. Hey ho – I don’t suppose you’ll publish this one either.

  2. Oops – I take the ‘you filtered it out’ comment back: my comment seems to have been posted straight away. Must have done something wrong last time. Anyway, look forward to responses.

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