This is our truth, tell us yours
You know the meme.
It features an obvious fuck up, and is captioned ‘You had one job…’
It was funny, originally.
Now, thanks to, Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind, it’s most useful for highlighting what’s wrong with our democracy. Both Straw and Rifkind have a job. They’re MPs. It’s a well paid job, with a good pension scheme. At their peak both will have been well paid for the additional responsibility of being Cabinet Ministers. It’s safe to say MPs need not worry about feeding their kids from a food bank, or how the mortgage will be paid.
Not content with that, both Rifkind and Straw appear to have been caught out trying to sell their skills to other bidders. Straw’s version of what he offers (‘a mixture of charm and menace’) is not recognizable to those who’ve experienced the strange mix of smug entitlement and outrage at any criticism that is a feature of the Jack Straw experience. Having been talent spotted in the early 70s as an ambitious young student politician Straw was gifted a parliamentary seat by Barbara Castle, and has enjoyed all the privileges and pleasures of high office ever since. In classic New Labour style he’s done his damnedest, too, to ensure his son enjoys the same privileges, despite a lack of any evidence that Will Straw has any experience of the Labour movement as anything other than a convenient ATM for the bank of mum and dad.
Is it any wonder that for some on the left, as well as the anti-democrats of the Daily Telegraph (and make no bones about it, the Telegraph’s mission is to make us all despair of democracy and accept the reality of kleptocracy ‘because they’re all the same’) there will be a sneaking pleasure at seeing Straw caught out?
Straw had a job. He was an MP, a job any man or woman should be proud of. Greed is never good, not in an MP, not in a tax dodging newspaper owner like the Barclay brothers. By being caught outby such a transparent scam Straw has made it easier for the likes of the Barclays to claim there is nothing unusual about tax exiles owning a newspaper that sells its editorial principles to the highest bidder.
You had one job Jack, and it should have been enough.