Flight Of Fancy

I know every vaguely lefty blog in the interweb has done a little piece on the about-to-be-ennobled ‘Lord’ Flight, but I

Soon-to-be Lord Howard Flight

couldn’t not join in. Believe me, I tried to resist but it was too tempting.

Can you remember Lord Flight from last time he made the news? Back then, in 2005, he was plain old Howard Flight. He was then the MP for Arundel and South Downs and deputy chairman of the party, serving under the leadership of the Dark One, Michael Howard.

He made the grievous error of being recorded at a meeting telling the truth. He admitted at this public meeting that if Michael Howard won the approaching general election, the Conservative party were planning much deeper cuts than they had admitted to up to that point.

The vampire-like leader was swift to bring his punishment upon Flight when he had him deselected as the parliamentary candidate, effectively ending his parliamentary career. Horrible for Flight, uncomfortable for the Tories, but hilarious to everyone watching.

Last week he was elevated to the peerage in what Flight claimed the Prime Minister had privately said was ‘a tacit admission’ that Michael Howard had been wrong to axe his career. 

Just a week later and Flight is already issuing unreserved apologies!

This time it’s because he told the Evening Standard that child benefit changes would “encourage the poor to breed”. He went on to say:

 “We’re going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive. But for those on benefits, there is every incentive. Well, that’s not very sensible.”

The arrogance of Flight, and indeed his naïvety in making these awful comments to a newspaper, reveal a lot about how out of touch he and his party are and, more importantly, show again the poor judgement of the Prime Minister.

Cameron was asked at a Downing Street press conference if he would now block the peerage of Mr Flight for making these comments, the PM said:

 “I don’t agree with what he said and I am sure he will want to apologise for what he said. And I’m sure we can leave it at that.”

The Tories later went on to point out that Flight wasn’t a member of government, but on the back of Lord Young’s comments, having a peer hand-picked by Cameron turn around and make such statements in public reflects poorly on the Prime Minister and the Tories in general.

Is the man just an out-of-touch fool or could it be that Howard Flight, just as in 2005, was showing the true beliefs of the Tory party that they’d rather the public didn’t hear?

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