As George Orwell said: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Thanks to the wonders of the webcam, I can bring you a classic example of the sort of “pure wind” Orwell had in mind.
Below is a transcript of Deputy Leader Cllr Rev Huw George’s contribution to the debate on the vote of no confidence in the Chief Executive.
My observations are in square brackets.
“And with that we come to the evidence. We’re talking about the chief executive – the role.
And today we’ve discussed budgets .
And earlier someone mentioned headlines. I’ve got no doubt what the headlines will say.
But the headlines are that we in Pembrokeshire have got challenging times ahead of us.
But not as challenging as other local authorities.
And we need to keep that in mind.
And somebody mentioned: what do the people of Pembrokeshire want?
What they want is that their roads are kept in good repair and that the rubbish is collected.
That’s what the people of Pembrokeshire want.
[He forgot to mention the bit about the trains running on time]
And it seems to me that we’ve had all the negatives and it’s become quite personal. [I don’t recall him objecting either at Cabinet on December 2, or full council on December 12, when his Leader and Cllr Pugh launched savage personal attacks on Cllr Paul Miller and myself].
I think it was Newton’s third law of physics [law of motion, actually] for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
When we’re asked to vote today there is an action, what is going to be the reaction to leaving that void.
Cllr David Lloyd mentioned the word trust.
I’ve listened to everyone this afternoon and I’ve come to an agreement with myself [if you both agree it must be alright!] – what is the best thing for the people of Pembrokeshire.
Who do the people of Pembrokeshire trust? [If the comments I hear are anything to go by, it’s not Huw George and his cronies.]
Not in headlines, but in fact.
We’ve had people saying tax avoidance at the top.
We’ve had people saying this was done to avoid tax [As Cllr George seems so keen on facts and evidence he might like to consider the minutes of the senior staff committee where these pension arrangements were agreed: “As a consequence, at certain points in their careers, staying as active contributing members of the pension scheme would create substantial tax liability for individuals (including on promotion), thereby reducing incentives for recruitment.”]
Pembrokeshire was in a bad place [That would be when Cllr George was the Cabinet member with responsibility for education]
But Pembrokeshire is in a better place [That would be after Cllr George was sacked from the education portfolio] because of the hard work of everybody from scrutiny all the way through.
To pick on one individual and say he is responsible for all the bad things and say we’ll take the glory for all the good things cannot be right.
Evidence says you are innocent until you’re proven guilty [Evidence says no such thing]
Until that happens, I ask members to go by fact and evidence and not some tawdry headlines that we see from week to week.”
And we pay him an extra twenty grand a year to spout this drivel.
The attempt to apply Newton’s laws of motion to human affairs is simply incoherent.
The third law depends on the conservation of momentum, so Cllr Rev George would seem to believe in some sort of law of conservation of virtue – for every good action there is an equal and opposite bad action.
Not much point in all that preaching then!
Cllr Rev George would do well to avoid spouting about things he doesn’t fully understand.
Indeed, judging by the facts and evidence contained in his election expenses return (below), it might be better if he mastered basic addition before moving on to difficult concepts like Newton’s laws.