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Anorak | Walter Walter Everywhere

Walter Walter Everywhere

by | 30th, September 2005

‘“F*****G Tony Blair.” Well, he started it when he started talking about the “f****g Welsh”.

‘Look at me, mum, I’m on the telly’

And in any case, it’s only words, and they cannot hurt all that much. So here’s another one: “Nonsense.”

Ooer! Our mistake. Look out! Here comes burly Joe Ifill (You In) to tell us to pipe down or else. The Sun says he’s the Labour steward paid to chuck out hecklers and people off-message, like 82-year-old Walter Wolfgang.

For those readers who missed the cathartic moment in the New Labour programme when an elderly man was dragged off, the Sun reproduces shots of Ifill going about his work.

And he’s not alone. Like Goldberg and McCann in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, Ifill, the car clamper and pub bouncer, has a sidekick. And he’s revealed to be the former Labour councillor Wally Hobson.

Sun readers get to relive that moment when Hobson takes a firm hold on Walter’s collar, lifts him from his seat and then, with Ifill pushing the heckler from the rear, bundles Walter from the conference chamber.

Unluckily for Labour, the doltish stewards didn’t drive Walter to a secluded spot well out of Brighton and dump him there, but went and placed him directly under the media spotlight. In an instant, Walter was changed from being just another pensioner with an axe to grind into a man to be reckoned with.

So here’s Walter splashed over two pages in the Mirror. He’s had his conference pass returned and been apologised to by Tony Blair and Jack Straw. Both have promised that it won’t happen again and that they will not order his home to be bombed.

Walter is glad to be back. But he’s far from contrite. “If I considered it necessary, I would,” says Walter when asked if he would heckle again. “We cannot stifle debate by hiring heavies,” he adds.

“We’re really, really sorry,” says Tony Blair, proving that even he can apologise when faced with compelling evidence of wrongdoing.

“We didn’t want it,” says Defence Secretary John Reid. “It shouldn’t have happened. It’s not the way we do things in here.”

Nice apologies. Full and frank. But, as we’ve seen, “it” is the way New Labour does things in the conference chamber, and too often it’s the way the Government goes about its work in the wider world.

But if one good thing did come of the heavy-handed attempts at silencing Walter it is that the issue of Iraq took centre stage.

Or “f****** Iraq”, as Tony may well be wont to call it…’



Posted: 30th, September 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink