Tory peer Lord Moylan’s tweet it’s a ‘public duty’ to ‘fight with lefties’ is helpless – Tom Richmond

A tweet posted by Daniel Moylan about ‘puvclic duty’ sparking a fight with ‘lefties’ after brandishing Yorkshire as a county of whiners.

Not content to call Yorkshire a ‘county of left-wing whiners begging for alms’ even before the archetypal Londoner (and Tory) arrived here, he described the Yorkshire Post as a ‘sad, chippy cesspool’ and that he would rather eat “sheep testicles” than read a caustic critique of his hypocrisy.

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Now the sneering peer is entitled to his opinion – some will agree with Boris Johnson’s envoy, many others won’t – and such polarizing exchanges are part of the ‘cut and thrust’ ‘ of political debate and discourse as Yorkshire and the North strive for a fairer share of public funds to invest in the nation’s future.

Daniel Moylan was made a life peer by Boris Johnsaon in his dismissal honors after the 2019 election.

But what was unacceptable was Moylan’s rude reaction to a social media post blocking a podcast debate about the furor caused by his opinions – and how he was advised ‘not to fight with Yorkshire’ .

He told you everything you need to know about his unedifying character: “I chose to fight with lefties. It is a public duty.

London Mayor Boris Johnson (standing) is joined by (far left) Daniel Moylan, chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, at an event related to the 2012 Olympics.

A ‘public duty’ at a time when two MPs – including Jo Cox from Yorkshire – have been killed in constituency operations over the past six years and parliamentarians are expected to set a better example to the public? Such a provocation, if not an incitement, should cause the Conservatives to remove the party whip if the government has any moral compass left.

There must be something delusional when an individual – let alone a legislator in the country – thinks, even jokingly, that it is “a public duty” to “fight” with his opponents and then publish his opinions rather than even attempting to take part in a mature debate about how to empower the whole of the UK, not just London and the South East.

That’s probably too much to take from a former Crossrail board member – and former chairman of Crossrail 2 – who was the apparent mastermind behind Johnson’s fanciful plan for a ‘Boris Island’ airport and who claimed nearly £50,000 in attendance fees alone in his first full year as a member of the House of Lords.

This ‘charmer’ is also claiming up to £10,000 a year as a board member of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation – the body responsible for maximizing the economic benefits of the high-speed rail line that runs through Kent – while mocking Yorkshire as a county of beggars.

But Moylan’s colorful caricature of that region should not mask, as MPs and their peers return to Westminster after the mid-term break, more fundamental questions about Parliament.

First, is it acceptable that prime ministers still have undiluted patronage powers when it comes to rewarding their cronies? Moylan was vice-chairman of Transport for London when Johnson was the capital’s mayor and senior council member of Kensington and Chelesa at the time of the Grenfell tragedy in 2017. Is that the best the current Tory leader could muster?

Secondly, is it acceptable for Parliament to ignore a member – whether an elected MP or an unelected peer – who thinks it is a “public duty” to ruffle opponents rather than attempt to win the debate policy on points of principle and philosophy? Third, when will politicians realize that obnoxious individuals like Lord Moylan, who appears to have modeled himself on the fictional MP Alan B’stard portrayed by Rik Mayall in The New Statesman, a satirical Yorkshire television show, strengthen the case for Lords reform and greater democratic accountability?

These are deep points that take on greater significance when you realize that Daniel Moylan was already a much discredited (as opposed to hated) figure when he was chosen by Boris Johnson to serve in the Lords, consider new laws and pass laws.

It’s not democracy. It looks more like a dictatorship after Lord Moylan revealed his true colors in his particularly undiplomatic way and it remains this newspaper’s “public duty” to point this out.

I’m still struggling to understand how BBC tennis star Novak Djokovic overdid it and his skepticism of the Covid vaccine after he was ultimately denied permission to play the Open from Australia.

First, he saw fit to send Amol Rajan, the media editor, to Belgrade to interview Djokovic – presumably as part of his audition to succeed Laura Kuennsberg as BBC political editor.

He then thought that Djokovic’s willingness not to play in future tournaments was more newsworthy on Tuesday than the Ukraine crisis when NATO and Russia were on the brink of war.

And then he aired a special on BBC One in which Rajan’s theatrical interview technique was as pitiful as Djokovic’s attempt to justify his breaking Covid rules after catching the virus. What makes the surly Serb a special case? Game, set and match for BBC critics.

TEN years after having a Horsforth letterbox painted gold in his honour, the lettering on the plaque marking Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee’s 2012 triumph is fading.

Instead of “Gold Medal winner”, it now reads as “Cold Medal winner”. I know the Brownlee boys are versatile, but expecting them to come to the rescue of Team GB at the Winter Olympics might be a step too far. Even for them.

In the meantime, let’s hope the Royal Mail spruces up those golden boxes in time for the Platinum Jubilee and the 10th anniversary of the London Olympics. After all, the British heroes of this special summer are sporting royalty…

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