Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Friday 28/05/2004The Shadow Minister For Economic Affairs: a title straight out of Yes, Minister? No - he really exists, if the bouffant Michael Fabricant can be said to be more a real being than a work of art.

Friday 28/05/2004
The Shadow Minister For Economic Affairs: a title straight out of Yes, Minister? No - he really exists, if the bouffant Michael Fabricant can be said to be more a real being than a work of art. Experts are still out on that one - he may even be an avatar, although the nature of the deity whom he represents is too terrifying for even the Maharishi to calmly contemplate.

Whatever he may be, Fabricant stalks the earth. From time to time, he brings forth terrifying edicts, prophesying doom and casting forth fearsome jeremiads against the government. Today, he has marshalled the forces that drive him and delivered of himself a diatribe against the spam laws. Not enough, he cries, not at all enough. Britain is to be cast asunder into the darkest pit by our international brethren, for allowing too much nonsense upon the wires. Our future poisoned, our children thrown into slavery and our grandmothers gnashing their toothless mouths against strips of festering bark, so deep will we fall.

Ooo-er. This impassioned plea to get tough on spam, tough on the causes of spam is in no way diminished by the fact that he made exactly the same speech - well, plus or minus a detailette or two -- three months ago. The accuracy of his predictions are in no way blunted by the minor point that nothing of the sort is happening or is likely to happen.

Scoop is pleased by this, and decides to run the story. In the interests of impartiality and balance, he feels he should call the Department of Trade and Industry -- another Yes, Ministeresque confection that mysteriously exists in the real world -- to get a counter-quote, or at least a spot of alternative viewpoint. However, a spokesperson said that the department wasn’t able to immediately comment for this story "because it's four o'’clock on a Friday".

Well, if the mighty machinery of state has ground to a halt -- so have I. See you next week.