You’ll have heard the furore about Chris Grayling likening crime in modern Britain to the Wire, the “gritty” US drama. Not only has this man got no grip on reality (rather like Alan Duncan who seems to think MPs live on rations when the rest of us think £64k a year is good-going) but his remarks are not isolated. They are part of a pattern which suggest the shadow Home Secretary makes up policy while watching television. This kneejerk-ism is not befitting of someone who is aiming to be part of a government running the country. Consider the evidence:

“We have a growing ‘Jeremy Kyle’ generation of young men, alienated and drifting without a purpose in life.”
Chris Grayling, The Guardian, 11 February 2008

“But I think many parts of our society no longer know how to bring up children. We live in a country where in many places Frank Gallagher style parenting has become the norm and not the exception. Frank’s kids might have turned out alright but that was more luck than good judgement – and no thanks to him.”
Chris Grayling, Speech delivered on 14 May 2008

“The Wire used to be just a work of fiction for British viewers. But under this Government, in many parts of British cities, The Wire has become a part of real life in this country too.”
Chris Grayling, The Times, 25 August 2009

The Manchester Evening News’ David Ottewell quotes the real Home secretary Alan Johnson concluding that Grayling just wants to look “cool”. I agree: it’s as embarassing as a trendy vicar trying to get down with the kids. There’s a line in the Morrissey song “Reader meets author” this is remeniscent of that goes

You don’t know a thing about their lives
They live where you wouldn’t dare to drive

Even Fergie ie Sarah Fergusson went to the place she was “improving” for the ITV curiosity “The Duchess and the Estate” rather than simply engaging in armchair criticism of it.

Chris Grayling might be good on on one of those tv quiz shows (on the subject of tv) airing at the moment on the BBC and Channel 4 but he really should get out more.