Jedi Got News for You





A leading local Labour politician this week compared Government Business Secretary Vince Cable to Yoda, the little green sage from the Hollywood blockbuster Star Wars. John Ferrett, who is standing in the General election in May, was speaking as plans were revealed for a week devoted to political satire, to be held at the university of Portsmouth from Monday April 13-17. Cllr Ferrett is leader of the Labour group on Portsmouth City council and represents Paulsgrove ward. Protesting against the Lib Dems in the Coalition Government, Cllr Ferrett said: “Cable looks a bit like Yoda and in terms of his utterances always sounds similarly opaque. And he’s always trying to paint himself as an honest broker. “I also wasn’t happy about the way uncle Vince sold off the Royal Mail. He didn’t have to do it.” Talking about his favourite satire, he mentioned Spitting Image, which will be one of the subjects being discussed during the event. Indeed, the Voice of Maggie Thatcher, Steve Nallon, will be speaking about his role on Monday 13 April at 4pm. Cllr Ferrett said the show gave him the opportunity in the 1980s to laugh at the then Tory Cabinet. “I liked seeing Kenneth Baker portrayed as a slug and former Prime Minister John Major as a grey character. And then there was Lib Dem David Steele who was this tiny creature sitting in the top pocket of Social Democrat David Owen.” However, when it comes to politicians being funny, many according to Cllr Ferrett, fear a backlash – which is what happened to former Labour Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry MP. She was famously forced to resign her job over a “funny” tweet in which she was accused of sneering at a house with England flags. He added: ”At the end of the day a politician has to be themself. I’ve had my fair share of criticism but that’s politics. You don’t go into it unless you’re prepared to stand up for what you believe in.” Who are the funny politicians today? Cllr Ferrett suggests they include Labour MPs Stephen Pound and Dennis Skinner and Tory Kenneth Clarke. He also criticised the Lib Dems over their about turn on tuition fees at the last General election five years ago. “What can be worse than promising not to touch tuition fees and then putting them up as soon as you go into a coalition government?” Cllr Ferrett added that the effect on the increase in fees has been widely felt by students at Portsmouth University.


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