John Prescott seemed to have been holding his breath as he toured Korea, Japan and China. But, when he reached Malaysia, the buttons pinged across the room and the belly burst out.
To the delight of Prescott-watchers, he finished off the tour with a malapropism, using the colonial name, Malaya.
As Prescott gaffes go, it was small stuff. Geographically, he was in Malaya: that is, in the peninsular part of Malaysia.
His archaism, like John Major’s talk of the “British” Commonwealth in the same city in 1990, had a comforting nostalgia about it.
But – and there is no way of putting this kindly – the man is a belligerent oaf who embarrasses us whenever he represents us. He should go, not for this slip-up, but because, in his limpet-like attachment to office and refusal to take responsibility for his mistakes, he embodies the worst characteristics of this ministry.
Just imagine if Crusade-happy invade-a-tron Bush was British (to have a Colonial history to be full of Shame about) said that? Lawd.