Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: Power and the Fear of Losing It

tony_blair_1553707cA lust for power does strange things to politicians. History has illustrated the point so depressingly frequently that only the most unglued would consider it a topic meriting further debate. GE 2015, however, is revealing in stark form the bizarre impact that the fear of losing, or not attaining, power has on our political class.

Take Labour, for example – not that the polls are suggesting many are going to – someone, probably several someones, decided it would be a good wheeze to wheel out Tony Blair (henceforth to be referred to by an abbreviation of his near-anagram, Tory Plan B) to give the Jellyfish’s campaign a boost.

Plan B, one of the nation’s leading war criminals, an impressive achievement given the stiff competition historically provided by the Empire on which the sun never set, is an unusual choice of popularity-booster. For starters, the Jellyfish’s desperate and forlorn bid to win the keys to Number. 10 rest mainly on him convincing us that the NHS is Labour’s uncontested home-turf. How novel, then, to draft in the man who did the unthinkable and first set in motion its demise at the hands of the market.

Still, say what you like about Plan B, while his messianic saviour-of-the-world shtick might well owe everything to narcissism and corruption by power, he at least avoids cutting a pitiful figure. Not so the Jellyfish, alas.  How broken must his judgement be, how great his desperation, how cheaply he must value dignity that he’d Tweet about the hugely-despised Plan B thus: “When a serious figure like Tony Blair warns UK national interest is threatened by a Tory 2nd term, people from all parties should take note.” One is almost moved to hug the poor wee fella. Or, as my good friend and comrade, Eddie Truman put it: “The dafty is reduced to punting the thoughts of a man who hates him.” Quite.

Meanwhile, in the land of my infant nurture, or God’s Own Country, as most know Scotland, Jim Murphy’s proximity to reality continues to be at great remove. His performance during the Scottish party leaders’ debate provided several examples but let’s restrict ourselves to just one: “Labour is the party of the common man and the common woman.” Which must be why common men and common women are flocking to the SNP in numbers not seen since the Israelites Exodus from Egypt.

He invited further disapproving frowns by sporting brown shoes with a gray suit, something for which, had I committed such a faux pas,  my much-missed mother would’ve skelped my arse. One doesn’t wish to be shallow, however, and reduce a man’s essence to his clothing and surface appearance. We confine that sort of behaviour to commentary regarding women, of course.

Another pal from North Britain, James Stuart, is clearly enjoying a Wonderful Life as the SNP insurgency shows as much sign of abating as The Eton Rifle not exploiting his sadly deceased son for cheap political gain. James observed, with some satisfaction, “Says a lot about the political environment in Scotland that all the unionist alliance leaders were trying to outflank Nicola Sturgeon from the left. You just know times are getting interesting when even Tory leader Ruth Davidson tries to come across as a bash-the-rich lefty!”

And yet the terror of losing power was revealed in its starkest form, thus far, by The Grubby Chancer. The pusillanimous Clegg, who effortlessly attains a standard for duplicity, opportunism and self-preservation best described as Olympian, is currently leading the pack in terms of gasp-inducing cheek.

The Grubby Chancer insisted that he and his band of Tory-supporting brigands represented the best chance of keeping any future coalition anchored to the centre ground. Indeed, if anchoring to the centre ground could be said to willingly aiding the Tories in quadrupling food banks, killing the sick and disabled and demonising the most vulnerable amongst us, then he’s certainly done that. Oh, and don’t forget tripling tuition fees. Mind you, in today’s Britain that pretty much is the centre ground so, aye; fair point, Cleggy.

Given that the Grubby Chancer is set to lose his Deputy Prime Minister’s job and, possibly, even his own Sheffield Hallam seat, his behaviour is perhaps understandable. Personally, it’s his family I feel sorry for. You can just imagine them begging him “Please don’t tell mam you’re Nick Clegg! She thinks you play the piano in a brothel.”

Politics & Current Affairs

GE 2015: The Beautiful Game

threeBritish politicians, It’s not unreasonable to suggest, are not held in especially high regard; for reasons too numerous and wearyingly familiar to expound here. And yet last night’s leadership debate offered fresh delights. New opportunities to sharpen one’s contempt and indulge in some, as the parlance of the day would have it, LOLZ.

Watching The Grubby Chancer attack the Eton Rifle for his recent governmental record, for example, you’d be forgiven for assuming the Lib Dems had spent the last five years furiously manning the barricades and lobbing Molotov Cocktails into the bourgeois eateries where the 1922 Committee meets. Instead of, as we well know, actually being part of that government and rejecting any and every opportunity to withdraw Lib Dem support and see the coalition crumble.  It would, therefore, have been a most uncharitable soul who would’ve denied The Jellyfish his moment of unadulterated glee: “They’re blaming each other!” he exclaimed, before delivering, in all fairness, a truly great punch-line: “And they’re both right!”

The Racist, disconcertingly resembling a bellicose bullfrog more and more these days, is not a man to allow taste, decency or humanity to interfere in the serious business of demonising foreigners. His impressive resistance to those qualities displayed itself in even bolder form, however, when he insisted those AIDS-ridden dregs daring to come to the UK so they might just be able to, you know, live be denied. You just can’t fake the class a decent public school gives a chap.

The Lass from The Valleys was quickest off the mark suggesting The Racist be ashamed of himself. A suggestion that, one can only conclude, is as likely to be heeded as The Jellyfish declaring that “We will now proceed to construct the socialist order.”

Talking of lasses, there can be little doubt that Mz. Sturgeon was the surprise turn of the evening. So effective was she that those English persons previously given to bitching about Jocks coming down here and founding their national bank, sharing their penicillin, steam engines, telephones and whatnot, underwent conversions which could only be described as Damascene.

Yes, now it seems a significant number of our English brothers and sisters are demanding SNP candidates stand in the leafy Tory shires. One wag of my acquaintance going so far as to suggest the Scottish border be extended to the Watford Gap. Which would certainly make the phrase ‘the Deep South’ amusingly analogous…

The reaction of the Brit left was instructive. Once upon a time breaking up states, wrecking constitutions and so forth, was popular among communists, socialists and assorted revolutionaries. These days, seemingly, such things are passé. They’ve even got a new name for it: ‘pandering to nationalism’ they call it. As opposed, one can only presume, to pandering to the state, the Union and continuing austerity?

For example, twice The Jellyfish hung his head in what must be the closest thing to shame a machine politician can ever know. Firstly, on his assertion that under his premiership the minimum wage would rise to eight quid an hour by 2020, The Ozzie’s left-hook response of ten quid an hour landed the first of a number of embarrassing blows.

There was more. The Jellyfish, vainly scrambling for some lefty high-ground, insisted that corporate interests be allowed to make no more than five percent profit from the NHS. Whereupon the female trio successfully deployed outflanking manoeuvres stating that no profit at all should be made by anyone from the NHS. Ouch.

And that, in essence, was what really mattered about last night, insofar that such political beauty contests can ever be said to really matter. On one side The Eton Rifle, The Jellyfish and The Grubby Chancer comprise the Austerity All-Stars. On the other hand Progressive Social Democracy United with Captain Sturgeon as striker, Bennett spraying crosses from the left wing and Wood, in a holding mid-field role, offer an anti-austerity alternative.

Politics as the beautiful game eh? It could be…