The Plastic Hippo

April 2, 2015

Five weeks to go

Wisgi Cymreig

Wisgi Cymreig

Only three days in, the proper general election campaign has already descended down a rabbit-hole to not just live next door to Alice, but to maliciously cohabitate with the intent of defrauding benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions. Surreal does not even begin to describe what the bloody hell is going on.

Back in the early hours of Monday morning, what better way to mark the passing of something awful than to raise a glass of something lovely and irrefutably Scottish. Thus, at one minute past midnight on the second day of British Summer Time, a celebratory Lagavulin was sipped in thanks and relief at the dissolution of the most woeful parliament in living memory. A second glass was raised in trepidation at what might come next.

Since the turn of the year and before that the passing of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, the phoney war has been about kitchens, bacon butties, dead fathers and mothers of fabricated invention. Now, with 650 MPs officially out of work, the gloves are off and it`s time to get down and dirty. Interestingly, ministers keep their jobs even though they are no longer democratically elected representatives. Just in case some national catastrophe should befall us during the interregnum, we have Jeremy Hunt in charge of health, George Osborne running the economy, Teresa May at the Home Office and some bloke called Philip Hammond defending the nation. What could possibly go wrong?

The first day of purdah saw a Conservative claim that a Labour government would cost us all an extra £3,000 in taxes. By lunchtime the statistics had been dismissed as nonsense by a group of Year 4 children doing extra maths classes to catch up on their SATS predictions. The always entertaining Grant Shapps popped up everywhere to not answer questions and, true to form, tell absolutely whopping lies. Iain Duncan Smith crawled out from under his stone to not answer questions and tell absolutely whopping lies and George Osborne must have done some whopping lines before his appearance on Channel 4 News.

Labour took out an ad in the FT quoting some rich bastards out of context which made one individual rich bastard “uncomfortable” in being associated with a political party. The Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party retaliated by drafting a letter to the Telegraph signed by Tory peers, Tory donors and others that profit from zero hours contracts, tax evasion and the erosion of employment legislation. Turkeys do not vote for Christmas. If this is the start, the next five weeks are likely to be totally hilarious.

You kind of get the feeling that this election will be won, lost or drawn by a Gordon Brown “bigoted women” moment. Someone will make an almighty gaff and will be filmed with his or her head in their hands. This, of course, is no way to decide a nation`s future but it`s great fun to watch how far politicians desperate for power will go to endear themselves to the electorate. Some enterprising media entrepreneur could pitch this nonsense to a TV station as the next humiliation reality show. Once the copyright issues with Newsnight have been resolved, it could be a monster, maybe even a replacement for Top Gear.

If the Labour party are serious about governing, then a clear strategy needs to be adopted. After a series of toe-curling TV interviews with IDS, Shapps and Osborne, Miliband and his mates need to step away from the self inflicted wounds of the Tories. Labour candidates should switch off their phones, disable Twitter, keep well away from cameras and microphones, stick an out of office notification on email accounts and let the Tories bring electoral defeat upon themselves. Stay at home and lock the door or, as an alternative, take the ferry to Islay and enjoy a five week walking tour of Scottish distilleries. While you are up there, talk to Nicola and use the time to learn Welsh – you are going to need it during negotiations on May 8th.

There is a distillery in Wales.

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