The Plastic Hippo

February 25, 2013

Background noise

Filed under: Law,Politics,Society,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 4:04 pm
Would I lie to you?

Would I lie to you?

It requires an extraordinary amount of brass to construct the neck of a politician. Ironically, the weaker the intellect, the absence of spine and the more dubious the morality, the more brass is needed. Only the purest, most precious brass is reserved for the necks of creatures that call themselves Liberal Democrats.

It is a given that the Tory party is nasty and that the millionaire Conservative front bench are intent on returning to the dark ages of gentry and peasantry, master and servant. The Labour front bench, after 13 years of spin and glossy news management now seem too tired to put up a fight and cannot be bothered to question the outrageous statements peddled by the Tory propaganda machine. With the gullibility of Nick Clegg being exposed as the wheels come off this failing coalition, the only role left for Liberal Democrat ministers is to appear before the cameras to gloss over the latest disaster when their Tory masters are “indisposed”. So we have the unedifying spectacle of Vince Cable earning a crust defending Osborne as the Chancellor anticipates a Sunday lunch of roast swan lovingly prepared by family retainers and Danny Alexander gibbering in an idiocy contest.

Daft old Vince, of course, is quite right to describe credit rating agencies as nothing more than bogus “tipsters” who regularly get things wrong and provide only “background noise” in the serious business of global economics. Fiscal stability is better served by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility rather than vulgar traders who are happy to ruin a currency for personal gain. According to Vince, the downgrading of the triple A battery to Austerity Anonymous One is merely symbolic. It seems a shame then that the only semblance of economic policy imbedded in the coalition is Osborne`s benchmark of an AAA rating from credit rating agencies and the projected income for the sale of G4 provided by the OBR. The British economy is now dependent on a failed auction and the whims of sharp suited shysters who would sell their own mothers as a substitute for horse meat. But don`t worry, poor people will pay for the mess.

The coalition agreement was signed with the Liberal Democrats actually believing that they could be of some use in curbing Tory destruction of society; and, as a self-interested bonus, end a century of obscurity and irrelevance. Now facing destruction, liberal activists must nostalgically yearn for safe, local anonymity and must need therapy before and after knocking on the doors of voters. Here in the thriving, beautiful borough of Walsall, Liberal Democrats are also propping up an inept bunch of charlatans more interested in the contents of the trough than in public service. Sharing all the lack of principle with their national leadership, the locals still cling to the belief that they are in some way making a difference. Unfortunately, they are not.

The decline of the Liberal Democrats into betrayal and duplicity has been astonishing and their painful death difficult to witness. Debt reduction, an equitable taxation system and stimulus for economic growth seemed to be their first goal. Sadly, the Liberal Democrat financial architect of the coalition agreement failed the equivalent of an early dope test and after two weeks in government was kicked off the team in disgrace. In certain coalition circles, the fiscal ability to fiddle £40K in expenses is an essential qualification for a treasury minister. Having formulated savage cuts and the philosophy of unfair austerity, David Laws work was done and he became expendable. Fortunately his successor Danny Alexander has consistently passed dope tests and Laws, unbelievably, is now back in the cabinet.

Electoral reform, with the holy grail of Proportional Representation as a guarantee of political survival, was the next big thing the Liberal Democrats wanted. The chances of that ever happening are nil so Clegg settled for a referendum on Alternative Voting, a system he himself described as a “miserable compromise”. After a woeful “Yes” campaign that saw the Liberal Democrats out smarted at every turn by those who find the thought of representative democracy as unnatural, electoral reform is dead and buried.

But the crowning glory, the fulfilment of Liberal Democrat ambition and the gold medal for all that is good and decent was to be reform of the House of Lords. It is at this point that incredulous sniggers turn into blatant guffaws. Clegg and his party, blinded in the headlights of actual power, have been stitched up more times than an Olympic BMX rider. It is common for athletes to suffer injury but hearing a commentator during our glorious summer of sport that just about held triple dip recession at bay report that a competitor had returned to the track after suffering a broken collar bone and the removal of his spleen left this viewer aghast when the bloke fell off his bike again. The Liberal Democrats have suffered broken promises and the removal of any principle but, bless them, have got back on the chopper and head out for another face plant. The Lords Reform Bill was so cleverly drafted that it was destined to fail and contained so many deliberate flaws to make the passing impossible. Clegg, like any other addict, keeps coming back for more.

Politics demands sacrifice and compromise and the Liberal Democrats know a lot about sacrifice. Having decided to abandon any shred of honesty along with a fictional election manifesto, Clegg continues to justify cowardice and betrayal by claiming national interest rather than self interest as a categorical imperative. Clearly unfamiliar with the works of Immanuel Kant, the boy Nick cannot differentiate between “right” actions which benefit the entire human race and “good” actions that benefit the individual or groups of individuals. Kant argues that anyone who deliberately breaks a promise and is focused on self-interest rather than the common good can only be considered as immoral. Clegg speaks a different kind of cant.

In a compassionate, caring world, it is possible to feel some sympathy for Clegg and the self-destruction of his career and the future of the party he currently leads. But when citizens of this nation are suffering and, in some cases, actually dying because of his desire to prop up a villainous government in exchange for the trappings of power, the sympathy stops on the steps of Southwark Crown Court where Chris Huhne awaits sentencing for perverting the course of justice. Even after the illegality of Laws and Huhne, Clegg might wish to reflect on the character of the company he keeps, not least his new Tory chums. Quite how five year old allegations of impropriety of a sexual nature made against a senior Liberal Democrat came to the surface just days before a by election is anybody`s guess. The result, however, hands victory to the car crash standing for the Conservatives in Eastleigh and is a reminder to Clegg that he is now playing with the big boys when it comes to dirty tricks.

Like David Laws and Chris Huhne, Clegg has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing and promises “investigations” to confirm the truth. In the cases of Laws and Huhne, it was not the crime that brought disgrace, but the subsequent cover-up. David Laws got lucky and a blind eye was turned. Clegg, however, is in serious trouble. The allegations made against Lord Rennard might prove to be completely without foundation but if Clegg knew about “indirect and non-specific” concerns in 2008 and did nothing, it indicates and extraordinary lack of leadership in a party committed to equality or a desire to turn another blind eye. Absence of trust is not limited to a pledge on tuition fees.

Meanwhile, the Tory cabinet laugh behind closed doors and the Labour front bench howl for blood yet remain publicly silent on the real damage being done. But it`s okay, unlike the rest of us, our senior politicians at least still have brass in pocket.


  1. Reblogged this on Getting There.

    Comment by Aiden McHaffie — February 25, 2013 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

  2. A super post that has triggered all sorts of fantasies.

    My latest is the legendary Whitehall Farce, whereby a gauche youth, the Lord of Eastleigh, is chasing a pouting and spoilt brat, the Duchess of Cameron of even more impressive heritage in order to further his aims. His attempts to consummate his ardour are continually frustrated by incompetent and incorrigible servants.

    These comprise the wrinkled old retainer (Vince Cable is a shoo-in), corrupt footmen (step forward Huhne and Laws) and a lecherous personal valet (Rennard springs to mind). Between them and by accident, they manage somehow to put Eastleigh and all that it represents at risk.

    However, they had not considered the possibility of even greater levels of incompetence from the Cameron vassals. At the last moment, a dinner is held to celebrate the forthcoming and complete transfer of the House of Eastleigh to the House of Cameron.

    Unfortunately, it is prepared by a chef who has no clue as to how to make a silk purse and delivered by servants who could not distinguish arses from
    elbows. As a result, everyone gets rancid pie in their faces.

    Meanwhile, the peasantry press their noses against the stained glass, say nothing and return to their intermidable plotting. Until their Leader and his right-arm man realise that this may just be the chance that they were looking for.

    The rabble then invades the stage and much custard is thrown. All of the cast drop their trousers, fart at the audience and leave to much applause.

    I think that this could make money in London. If only it wasn’t a farce.

    The Realist

    Comment by The Realist — February 26, 2013 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

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