The Plastic Hippo

February 5, 2015

Selective Amnesia

I`m not as drink as thinkle peep I am.

I`m not as drink as thinkle peep I am.

There is more to Ed Balls than an inherently funny name and there is much to criticise beyond him forgetting some bloke`s name on a late-night TV interview after a long day and a few glasses of Pinot Gris. Conflating a lapse of memory as evidence of a dastardly political plot to undermine capitalism is on a par with accusing David Cameron of child neglect because he forgot to take his daughter home from the pub after a photo opportunity.

It is absurd to score childish points over simple human mistakes when real failings are being ignored. Cameron is proving to be the most disastrous Prime Minister in history and Balls has only been spared the ignominy of being remembered as the worst Education Secretary ever by having the good fortune to be succeeded by the very strange Michael Gove. Balls current opposite number, almost certainly a half-wit, remains unchallenged on his blatant lies and his unfortunate habit of turning up at the House of Commons apparently off his face on what might, or might not, be a major contributor to the gross national product of both Peru and Colombia. Still, at least George Osborne can remember the names of Tory donors by adding “Sir” or “Lord”.

With an ageing population, memory loss is not uncommon and after three failed attempts, the Home Secretary has finally remembered that an inquiry into the sexual abuse of children by the politically powerful is – oh what`s the word – hang on, hang on – oh yes – vital. So hello Justice Lowell Goddard and goodbye Baroness Butler-What and Fiona Who? It is entirely coincidental that the CSA scandal should suddenly offer the prospect of an actual start following the sad and tragic death of one of Mrs May`s illustrious predecessors. My goodness, it`s winter, but that grass seems unusually long. Now – where did I put the lawnmower?

In Rotherham, local councillors have forgotten the appalling child abuse that took place on their watch. When reminded, they denied any distant memory and resigned. Sir John Chilcot has remembered that he is in charge of an inquiry into the Iraq war but has forgotten to press the button marked “publish”. With the discovery of a long forgotten manuscript down the back of the sofa, perhaps Sir John intends to emulate Harper Lee by not publishing anything for years and years and years.

The Liberal Democrats have forgotten honour, the Conservatives have forgotten honesty, Labour has forgotten socialism, the SNP have forgotten that they actual lost the referendum, the Greens have forgotten to put the bins out on recycling day and the Kippers have forgotten how to speak in public without sounding irretrievably stupid. That leaves George Galloway, the DUP and Plaid Cymru. Now – where did I leave my passport?

It is always great fun to witness the good and the great making complete fools of themselves in public. There is a long and amusing history of politicians forgetting the plot in public or on camera; Kinnock falling into the surf, John Redwood re-inventing the Welsh language, Gordon Brown with his head in his hands after his radio mic was left open, Jeremy Hunt hiding behind a tree and Boris Johnston on every occasion he opens his mouth. As Confucius pointed out;
“There is no spectacle more agreeable than to observe an old friend fall from a rooftop.”
Sadly, the current collection of descending amnesiacs are not harmlessly splattering on the pavement but are landing forcibly on our heads.

Selective amnesia might avoid litigation and electoral defeat but, as Confucius forgot to mention, elephants and the electorate never forget.

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