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Grayling's high wire act [Aug. 26th, 2009|12:04 pm]
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"Never work with children or animals" is an old rule. Perhaps politicians should add another: don't invoke popular culture unless you are sure of  your ground. As we report today, the shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling has stirred up a controversy by comparing conditions in "broken Britain" to those depicted in Baltimore in the hit US TV series The Wire. Grayling has a good eye for a headline and won't mind getting some flak over whether Britain is really as bad as Baltimore because he has drawn attention to the problems in our  run-down areas after 12 years of Labour rule.
But some Tories are muttering that he didn't sound totally convincing in a TV interview in which he said he had seen most of the first series of The Wire, adding that he had also watched "a number" of other episodes. Indeed, I couldn't help wondering what that number was. He looked a bit like a politician in another TV prog -- The Thick of It. As a fan of the programme, I can imagine David Cameron watching it (he loves it) but somehow it didn't look natural when Grayling started talking about his viewing habits. Perhaps he should have whizzed through the five box sets during his summer hols before making his controversial speech.