Thursday, 13 August 2009

Please excuse me while I bang my head on the wall

Arlene Phillips, formerly of Strictly Come Dancing, has been appointed by the Government to be our official ‘dance champion’.

In fact, there's even more to it than just Arlene:
The Government’s “Dance Champions Group” will be chaired by Rod Aldridge, the former head of Capita, and feature Angela Rippon, the newsreader who danced into TV history on Morecambe and Wise; the Strictly star Darren Bennett; and the model and TV personality Lisa Snowdon.
I despair; I really do. We face a monumental financial crisis, Government tax receipts are falling and spending is ballooning hopelessly out of control and out of proportion to the money that is available, and now a “Dance Champions Group” is being set up and paid for.

The purpose of this is, apparently, to get us all dancing until we are fit and healthy. Which is all well and good, but misses the point. IT'S NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S JOB TO MAKE ME DANCE! Can I make that any clearer? It is the Government's job to keep me safe via an effective army, an effective police force, and an effective justice system. It is the Government's job to enable me to do my business, by providing a stable economy and an efficient transport network. It is the Government's job to alleviate real poverty by providing a safety net to catch those that would otherwise fall into destitution. It is, arguably, the Government's job to provide reasonable and necessary medical care for me when I become ill or am injured.

It is emphatically not the Government's job to hire people to nag me to do stuff that the Government may think is in my best interests but which I have chosen of my own free will not to do. Gordon's last-but-one desperate attempt to slur the Tories was to label them the "Do-nothing Party". I think that what he missed in his analysis is that a lot of us would actually prefer that to the "Get-involved-in-absolutely-bloody-everything Party".

I am reminded of Captain Blackadder's telegram to Charlie Chaplin during the fourth Blackadder series. Sick to the back teeth of endless Chaplin films being sent to cheer him up, his message read:

"Please. +++STOP+++"


  1. Bravo!You really could not make this stuff up. Beyond parody.

  2. I can't dance, I can't talk, the only thing about me is the way I walk.

    Now stop starting at the screen for such long uninterrupted periods and go and have one of your five-a-day.

  3. I think I'll be heading for my nearest wall, too.

    Do you think that if enough of us bang our heads on the wall, the walls will come tumbling down?

  4. That reminds me.. soon time for another Brownadder adventure.
    Elizabethan this time I think.

    shameless plug {non bath type}

    Brownadder's Bunker

  5. "Gordon's last-but-one desperate attempt to slur the Tories was to label them the "Do-nothing Party". I think that what he missed in his analysis is that a lot of us would actually prefer that to the "Get-involved-in-absolutely-bloody-everything Party"."


  6. Can I ask are they being paid? - Lisa Snowdown in particular, as she was merely a contestant on a dance show - does that qualify someone for a government position?

    These idiots are wasting our money on publicity stunts

  7. Welcome the the blog, Tarquin.

    There seems to be a dearth of information as to the cost implications - the DoH press release on the subject is silent on the issue. I think we can take it for granted, however, that (like any organisation) Government can do nothing for no cost. Even if the celebs are unpaid, there is a civil servant somewhere organising this shindig.

    As for whether Ms Snowdon is qualified for a government position, one could equally ask why Mandelson is in the Cabinet. Or why Gordon is in No: 10, for that matter.

    Bill - keep them coming, and plug away!

    YMB - I think not. I suspect that a mental health advisor will turn up to order us to accept voluntary treatment.

    Blue - ooops, I only had four yesterday. Do I need to have six today?

    Julia, CF - thanks!