The Plastic Hippo

April 9, 2015

Four weeks to go

By yon bonnie banks

By yon bonnie banks

There was a time when clairvoyance, mind-reading, second sight and extrasensory perception were considered to be witchcraft and anyone speaking in tongues would be burnt at the stake or thrown into a duck pond to see if they floated or not. In this more enlightened age, we allow desperate politicians to dabble in the dark arts free from any threat of inquisition, scrutiny or comparison to the relative buoyancy of an average mallard.

It is becoming clear that both major political parties have accepted that an overall majority in parliament is as likely as a fair trial in Salem and governance will be bestowed to the coven that can cast the most powerful spells intended to disguise unpopularity. To become the next Prime Minister, deals will have to be done with all manner of devils.

Ask a Tory a straight question and they will talk about the Labour Party. Ask a Labour politician a straight question and they will talk about the Conservative Party. David Cameron claims to know what Ed Miliband thinks and Ed Balls can read George Osborne`s mind which, if you think about the capacity of that particularly slim volume, is not that difficult. The Conservative Party have categorically stated that there will be no increase in VAT leading the Labour Party to categorically state that the Conservative Party will increase VAT. The Labour Party has categorically ruled out a coalition with the SNP resulting in the Conservative Party claiming that Alex Salmond will end up dictating the future of the entire UK.

This bottomless pit of negativity is predicated by the breathtaking and false assumption that the entire electorate is irredeemably stupid. It might be true that some voters are thick enough to believe preposterous false promises and accept as gospel ridiculous smears and dire predictions of chaos, ruin and disaster but the rest of us can see through outrageous posturing and downright lies. Sadly, many will simply not vote for any of this nonsense and it will be democracy that is slaughtered on the sacrificial alter of desperate ambition.

In exactly four weeks, the polls will close and the votes will be counted. Between now and then we can expect howls of hysterical scorn every time any sort of policy is announced by an opponent. When Labour announced it would tackle “non-dom” tax avoidance, the screams of outrage from Tories incensed at the thought of rich people paying tax fell on deaf public ears and a familiar failed strategy was quickly adopted. When in doubt or on the back foot, Conservatives cannot resist deploying ad hominem to deflect attention away from their grubby dogma. Miliband has repeatedly dismissed any notion of a coalition with the SNP and has stated that he is committed to replacing Trident. All this was too much for that nice Michael Fallon who trotted out to state that Miliband would join the SNP and scrap Trident to appease his new Scottish overlords because he stabbed his brother in the back. Miliband is clearly a witch.

It is difficult to know where to start with this example of bilious cant (not a typo) without descending into mutually assured ad hominem so it is probably best to ignore the black magic conjured up by Lynton Crosby and his familiars. Remember when the Tory press attacked his dead father and attracted sympathy for Miliband rather than derision or the infamous bacon butty incident which resulted in an increase in the popularity of the Leader of the Opposition? His dirty tricks and smears always seem to backfire but Crosby knows no other way and is proof that it is his employers and not the electorate who are irredeemably stupid.

The major parties will continue to scream negative abuse at each other whilst keeping their cards close to their chests at the likelihood of another hung parliament. We can be sure that discreet conversations are taking place with the minor parties to cast some spells over a minority government. That there Leanne Wood seems a decent sort as does that there Natalie Bennett and Ms Nicola Sturgeon is playing a bit of a blinder at the moment. The Farage creature, however, is being found out and we can dismiss the Libdems as a sordid footnote in political history after Clegg and his chums have removed any credibility from a once honourable party.

At the risk of being burnt at the stake following accusations of satanic divination, let`s polish the crystal ball, throw some runes in the air and open up a chicken to see if the guts foresee the future. Imagine a Tory minority government propped up by kippers and the last Libdem left standing. Then ignore the urge to book a flight to a Turkish airport as close as possible to the Syrian border and consider a centre left coalition of Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. Finally, keep a close eye on any legislation quickly introduced to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act. Both major parties are banking on a second general election, probably in October. Anyone remember Harold Wilson?

There was a time when witches were hanged without any evidence. Now, without any policies, we hang parliaments.


  1. Why aren’t you working for the Guardian, PH?! Your commentary is pure genius.

    Comment by Angela Ramsell — April 10, 2015 @ 6:41 am | Reply

  2. Great stuff

    Comment by medici2471 — April 10, 2015 @ 7:41 am | Reply

  3. Ohhhh to live in a proper democracy ! Not one where only 30% of the electorate put a party in power and the remaining 70% suffer 5 years of !!!!!!!

    Comment by D.Johnson — April 10, 2015 @ 9:07 am | Reply

    • It is always the case that between them, 100% of those who are entitled to vote decide the outcome of an election.

      That some choose not to vote is regrettable. After all, enfranchisement is a responsibility, as well as a right.

      That those who use their mandate sometimes make self-interested choices is entirely predictable. That the electorate is fickle is to be expected.

      That voters should be treated as no more than advert fodder is utterly reprehensible.

      The most lasting legacy of John Major is the National Lottery. Promoted relentlessly by the apparently neutral BBC, it’s mantra is something along the lines of ‘you have to be in it to win it’.

      After May, we are all ‘in it’.

      Comment by The Realist — April 12, 2015 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

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