Week 12: Prat – Danny Alexander

by Ray_North on March 23, 2015

prat_iconThis Week’s Prat of the Week, overwhelmingly, is the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Lib-Dem MP, Danny Alexander.

There is a fine line between being endearingly enthusiastic and a prat.

Now, I don’t know if I’ve shared this story with you before – and if I have, please bear with me, but once upon a time (well, 1996 actually), when I was employed in the Lib-Dem Whips Office in the House of Commons, Danny Alexander was the Scottish Press Officer. He would come down once a month from his hideaway in Edinburgh to attend at a meeting with the Scottish MPs and gallump into the Whip’s Office like a labrador dog upon which he would be immediately dispatched to get a round of teas in from the cafeteria – in fact even now, when I see the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on the Telly, I feel a pavlovian urge to shout out, ‘no sugar for me, Danny, and if you can stand me a Twix…..’

At that time, Danny was endearingly enthusiastic.

Since then, he has gallumped (I’m not sure that that is actually a word, but I’m sticking with it), across the fine line that separates harmlessness and prat and is now heading away from prat and towards a cliff, upon which Danny will jump headlong back to whence he came (actually he’ll probably get a well paid job in the City and a peerage).

Since he became a Government Minister, Danny ‘is that three teas, one with, two coffees, and a Twix?’ Alexander, has proved himself a prat of the first order – it has been clear that he has rolled over and capitulated to everything that his master George Osborne has demanded, but, at the same time, every time he has announced some government proposal or success, he has simultaneously tried to claim some vague Lib-Dem triumph, the result has been a man who comes across as being confused, disingenuous and, well, a total prat.

Last week he took being a Prat to new levels, it was a performance of such world class partishhess and made one think of Barcelona at their best or Mohammed Ali Rumbling in the Jungle or Usain Bolt at London – there he was, on the Wednesday, he helped deliver the Government’s budget – a budget, that, one assumes he must have signed up for, after all, he is the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, number 2 at the Exchequer, or perhaps is it a case of, as soon as Danny turns up at Number 11, he is met with cries of, ‘two sugars in mine Danny….’

Then the next day, Danny appears with a yellow box, with the words ‘Lib-Dem Alternative Budget’ written on it, on the steps of the Treasury, attempting to make it look as though he was the Chancellor and that he was putting in place some kind of economic plan. I felt sorry for the box, it didn’t ask to be part of the worst ever political stunt in the history of the known world.

Then, it got even worse, the Lib-Dems decided that Danny should be unleashed upon the House of Commons, and so he appeared at the dispatch box to tell the House about the Lib-Dem plans and how bad the Tory plans were – there was about twelve people present, to listen to this remarkable feat of treachery – even Nick Clegg left after twenty minutes. Whoever thought that this was a good idea should be taken out the back and shot.

All it proved was what many of us have said for years, Danny ‘and if they’ve got any of those buns…’ Alexander, is the most over promoted politician since Caligula made his horse a member of the Consulate – he is a total prat.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Samuel F March 26, 2015 at 1:47 pm

And what exactly is your position in HM Government. Do I perhaps detect a whiff of jealousy that your former junior leapfrogged you and probably now wouldn’t even remember you?

Slay the green eyed monster my friend!

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Ray_North March 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I have no intention of slaying the green eyed monster – jealousy is one of the purest and most reliable emotions I feel together with honesty, guilt, honour, self-perspective and confusion. Oh, and I’m fairly confident Danny would remember me.

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Samuel F March 27, 2015 at 4:54 am

A legend in your own mind I’m sure!

You keep on rallying on the Internet from behind the safety of your keyboard against those no good high-flying sorts.

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Ray_North March 27, 2015 at 7:59 am

Samuel – ouch! That’s a bit personal for this blog, but, fair enough, my attack on Danny was personal so, I suppose I can’t complain if you’ve responded in kind.
You seem to suggest that I have a high opinion of myself – crikey, that’s prescient – I do! I have an ego the size of Peru, so well done there.
Then you seem to suggest that we (and I take it you mean all of the ATL team) rally from the safety of our keyboards – well, that’s not really true or fair – at least one of our number has sent the last twenty years as a councillor in one of the most deprived areas of the country and is very active in a political party; whilst another of the team has spent the last year trying manfully to help the Lib-Dems.
Although I am no longer active in party political politics – I spent six years in the 1990s writing speeches and conducting research for the Lib-dems as their Senior Researcher, my father is a Lib-Dem peer, I was a candidate in 2005 – I’m not saying that to somehow expand my credibility (you have almost certainly reached your own opinion about that), I’m telling you that to show you how much I have in my life I have invested in the Party, and I did so, because, when I was active in the Lib-Dems they were a party that accepted the notion that capitalism had to be underpinned by the safety net of the state and that the true aim of government was to try to create a society where everyone’s abilities were rewarded and encouraged and everyone had a chance – indeed the slogan for the 1997 election (in which I played a fairly significant role) was Unlocking Potential.
Since then we have reached a phase in the socio-economic development of global capitalism where the pursuit of money for the sake of it is deemed to be the only model worth pursuing, and as a result of this, we are creating a totally fractured world, a dystopia made up of those who have and those who are there simply to consume when they can or be left disenfranchised and ignored. I for one won’t stand for that – so, yes I do rally from behind my keyboard (among other things, which are less safe), and my friend I will continue to do so, because there is a better fairer more productive, more creative, less brutal way of living together than the god-awful selfish society we are currently creating.

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Samuel F March 29, 2015 at 8:51 am

So you’re attacking a man who didn’t come from your upper-class-my-dad’s-a-peer background, who he proved himself better than you by leapfrogging you into a high office of the state. You seem to think people like him (and me I suppose) should still be taking your tea and chocolate biscuit order.

And then you turn around and with your other face you say you want “a society where everyone’s abilities were rewarded and encouraged and everyone had a chance”.

For someone who played ‘fairly significant’ roles in elections past, a Google search turns up next to nothing except similar rants on this site against anyone who doesn’t agree with your Grand Poobah Pronouncements.

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Ray_North March 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

Hi Sam,
Against my better judgement I’ll respond to your comment – mainly because I want to disabuse you of a couple of things – first, your assertion that I am somehow from the privileged upper class is understandable as I’ve disclosed to you that my dad is a peer – but, it’s not true – I went to a comp and lived in a 2 up 2 down – my fathers peerage came when I was in my 30s so long after id left school.
You also seem to think that I’m somehow jealous of Danny, because he’s ‘leapfrogged’ me – ok, but that pre-supposed that I have political ambition – which I don’t.
Finally, you seem to assert that I am lying about my previous roles, as ‘Ray North’ doesn’t feature on google – well Ray North is a pseudonym.
I tell you what Sam why don’t you say something constructive and we can take the debate further.
Ray

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Samuel F March 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm

You mean something constructive like ” Danny Alexander was a prat when he was my junior – now he’s a government minister and I’m a bit jealous so let’s call him a prat some more. Time for a joke: Two sugars in my tea, Danny! (Repeat four time) Aren’t I hilarious?”

It’s not exactly political commentary at its most incisive, so forgive me for piling on the criticism.

And forgive me too for supposing you have political ambition – unlike any other person who stands for Parliament, you’re obviously made of nobler stuff, above those mere politicians, including of course, Danny Alexander!

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Ray_North March 29, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Christ – I’m going to regret this, but, I feel like I’m being attacked by a random drunk who’s out on a Saturday night, and has taken umbrage because he thinks that I’m looking at his bird.
Samuel – if you read our humble blog you’ll see that the overwhelming number of pieces about politics are well researched and fairly positively written – our Prat of the Week award is designed for us to take the piss a bit, and I’m really sorry if my wit is not scabrous enough for you, I don’t have any pretensions towards being Oscar Wilde. And I’m sorry if you are unhappy that the object of my piss-taking last week was Danny Alexander, but, what Danny and his colleagues did, when they attempted to use Parliament to make an overtly political point was utterly naff, possibly un-constitutional, and deserved to backfire – and, sorry, is indicative of the way in which Danny Alexander and his colleagues have behaved in government.
I’m not jealous Sam, more fucking angry.
(and I stood for Parliament in my home seat in 2005, knowing I wouldn’t win, but because I wanted to engage in a debate about the Iraq War and tuition fees – sadly, I found the whole process depressing – if want to criticise me for not having more ambition and more confidence and strength of character to build on my candidature and seek a safer seat elsewhere, then, fair enough, but that clearly isn’t the same as blind ambition)

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Samuel F March 29, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Criticise Danny all you want. I’m no particular fan of his. But disparaging him because he used to have the courtesy to make you the odd cup of tea is a bit below the belt.

You might say it’s utterly naff and deserves to backfire, as well as being indicative of the way Danny Alexander’s opponents choose to operate (see Harriet Harman’s comments regarding the “ginger rodent”)

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