I read on the BBC News Page today that “John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, and Labour Lord Toby Harris are among those who have called for Mr Maude to resign if it turns out his comments contributed to the burns accident suffered by 46-year-old Diane Hill.”
Let’s get this straight. Mr Maude – rightly or wrongly – told people to consider keeping a jerry-can of petrol in the garage. He did not say anything about decanting it in the kitchen, with the cooker on.
Furthermore, this was not a command, it was a suggestion. Mr Maude did not say “citizens found guilty of not buying and storing extra quantities of petrol shall be fined or banged up in jail.” We can argue to the cows come home about whether his advice was necessary, but if you went out and bought petrol in a panic it was entirely your decision. If you were following the news enough to listen to the government’s advice you would also have known that no strike had been set.
I despair at the fact that people blame the government rather than taking responsibility for things themselves. If you’re going to whinge and demand rights, which people often do, then you can accept that you have responsibilities as well. Personally, I think that John Mann, Karl Turner, and Toby Harris should resign for encouraging people not to have their own sense of responsibility.
Mind you, I wouldn’t complain if in the face of the next crisis Mr Maude suggested jumping off a cliff. Think of how much better things would be if we lost a few of those who are really too irresponsible to vote.