The Plastic Hippo

October 6, 2014

Lord of the flies



It is as if the entire coalition cabinet has been flying on an aircraft which has suffered an unfortunate but non-fatal crash on some deserted island far away from civilisation and the controlling influence of grown-ups.

Imagine an enclosed society where marooned public schoolboys fight to the death over the death of a government. In 1954, William Golding did. He could never have imagined that his inspired allegory would become reality in, of all places, the Palace of Westminster. We have been treated to some fairly colossal howlers during the 2014 party conference season. When given their go at holding the conch, Ed Miliband forgot to mention the deficit, David Cameron told a massive lie about the deficit and Nick Clegg tried to claim credit for the massive lie about the deficit. With all three parties haemorrhaging membership and distain at politics turning into disgust, the descent into savagery is inevitable. If the Scottish independence campaign was characterised by negativity, threats, scare-mongering and insults, the next seven months of hysterical shouting will make the Jerry Springer Show sound like Gardener`s Question Time.

You might be forgiven for thinking that faced with such deception, profiteering and cruelty; the Labour party in opposition would be challenging the big deficit lie and the attacks on the poor and the attempt of an unelected coalition to do away with basic human rights. You might also expect Labour to be streets ahead in the polls and angry mobs of citizens marching on Downing Street with pikestaffs and Molotov cocktails. Labour, however, will be lucky to gain a majority and the mob are appeased by mindless TV talent shows and dark talk of an imaginary “beast” lurking somewhere on our island. Perhaps if Labour realised that austerity and cuts to public services have never worked, are not working and will never work, then the current Labour party might rediscover itself and once again embrace socialism.



Four and a half years of cosy compliance has resulted in the Liberal Democrats suddenly realising that going along with a bully will not end well. When a Conservative Home Secretary accuses Liberal Democrats of murdering babies because they are a little bit uncomfortable in endorsing intrusive and total surveillance of the citizenry by the state, the desperate rhetoric means that the uniforms have come off, the war paint goes on and the rock chucking begins. It seems odd that the Clegg tribe should now discover that their Tory partners are bashing the poor and rewarding the rich. Now blowing into the alarm conch with vitriolic abandon, the Liberal Democrats have conveniently forgotten that they voted in favour of the Bedroom Tax, a rise in tuition fees, the scrapping of EMA, Iain Duncan Smith`s final solution and the sell-off of the NHS. Nigel is about to drop a boulder on Piggy and in so doing will shatter the conch.

At the end of Lord of the Flies, the savagery has resulted in death and the island consumed by flames. The smoke, ironically, attracts a passing Royal Navy ship and the surviving stranded boys are rescued. A Royal Navy officer is appalled at the feral nature of these British boys and gives them a moment to “pull themselves together”.

Sadly, cuts and austerity means that there is no Royal Navy to rescue us.


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