The Plastic Hippo

May 11, 2015

Willow, Portillo, Tit Willow

Via Sydney Morning Herald

The snag with silver linings is that they are invariably accompanied by enormous, dark and threatening clouds. Quite how the UK electorate decided on another five years of Cameron, free at last of those pesky Liberal Democrats, is as baffling as it is disturbing.

It is as if the populous are channelling their collective unconscious duty after centuries of serfdom into obedience of aristocratic masters. Perhaps we have become a nation of masochists or we are possibly suffering a mass outbreak of Stockholm syndrome. It`s not good, but that`s how democracy works and the result has to be accepted because the result is the will of the people. Daubing graffiti on war memorials and chucking traffic cones at policemen is as sensible as invading the pitch after the skilled away team scores a goal against the useless home team. It`s not that Labour were useless, it`s that Lynton Crosby and that American bloke were more clever and more ruthless.

Regardless of the impending nightmare that is about to unfold, the general election result has provided numerous silver linings and many “Portillo moments”. We can wave goodbye to the “straight” choice for Bermondsey Simon Hughes, a hypocrite of the highest order. Farewell Ed Davey, an idiot, and see you soon Vince Cable; the man who sold the Royal Mail to the wealthy pals of his masters. So long fraudster David Laws, don`t bother coming back. Nick Clegg has done the decent thing for a change and has resigned as the leader of a political party that once stood for decency and fairness. The enormous, dark and threatening cloud on the horizon is the demise of British liberalism. If you join in with the bullies, sooner or later the bullies will turn on you and Clegg led his party to near extinction in exchange for 15 minutes of fame. Well done Nick.

Ed Balls now becomes Mr Yvette Cooper. Those of us with long memories might recall that in spite of his obvious gift in understanding economics, he was an utterly useless Secretary of State for Education.

Esther McVey has gone. This is a creature who only qualified for a high office of state due to her hatred of people with disabilities, a regional accent and by having nice hair. Goodbye Esther, enjoy being a Baroness after your constituency kicked you out. I`m sure you and Lord Freud will get on like a house on fire.

George Galloway – oh how sweet is this silver lining. Proof positive that defending Palestine does not excuse anti-Semitism or misogyny; he was soundly defeated by a Muslim woman with a back story that will make you weep. Goodbye George, ply your ego elsewhere.

Then there is a specimen by the name of Nigel Farage. The political earthquake he predicted turned out to be nothing more than mild flatulence under a duvet. He resigned but will be back no doubt shouting about the invasion of foreigners that didn`t happen two years ago. Adieu Nigel, we will miss your buffoonery over the next few months until you return to bother us again.

Ed Miliband is gone which, in terms of fairness, is a bit of a shame. He seemed a decent sort of chap and did very well in the campaign in the face of extraordinary attacks on his personality. He remains an MP but the public have decided, or have been told, that he cannot be a Prime Minister because he is not very good looking and is incapable of eating a sandwich with decorum. It really has come to this.

As we wave goodbye to the defeated, another five years of Cameron means that we can also wave goodbye to the NHS, any semblance of social care, compassion, fairness and social justice. As final confirmation that satire is officially dead and buried, Michael Gove becomes Justice Secretary tasked with getting rid of the Human Rights Act and Iain Duncan Smith inexplicably remains at large and not detained at Her Majesty`s pleasure. It is tempting to make some weak joke about the Samaritans phone lines being busy over the weekend but this is anything but funny. I cannot recall a time when I have felt this frightened of what the future may hold for this country.

It is clear that Cameron did not expect to win but the fear and smear strategy of Crosby has delivered an outright majority even beyond the masturbatory fantasies of the Eton old boy. Say hello to five more years of unnecessary austerity, more zero hours contracts, more bedrooms being taxed; embrace the fact that money will be taken from those that can`t afford it to give to those with money to burn, welcome the news that increased surveillance will squash free speech and, in short, be compliant and be quiet. Chilcot, Leveson, Hillsborough and the CSA Inquiry will be slowly forgotten about and buried in the same hole as the “British” values of decency and fairness. Rupert Murdoch will finally be able to dismantle the BBC and so make his media monopoly complete. Another silver lining is that at the age 84, the evil old bastard might do us a favour and die before the next election. In a land now blanketed in desperation, we must grasp what little hope there is left wherever we can find it.

Cameron`s scare-mongering has secured him unfettered power yet there is a price to pay for such dominance. Having promised Scotland greater freedom of self-determination, he reneged on his word within minutes of the “No” vote being declared with talk of greater power for England. All those lovely Scots who voted to remain within the United Kingdom are now branded as marauding Picts crossing the border to steal our babies. Successfully wiping out Labour in Scotland yet aspiring to “One Nation Toryism”, Cameron has done more to hasten the break-up of the union than Edward II who lost the Battle of Bannockburn in 1312. Ironically, Edward was Welsh.

As we commemorate the end of a world war in Europe that put fascism on hold for a while, Cameron can now add breaking Europe to breaking the union on his “to do” list. The short-term tactics of divide and rule will have profound consequences and the biggest silver lining is the prospect of witnessing the Conservative party again tear itself apart over Europe. The parallels with John Major`s unexpected victory in 1992 are impossible to ignore.

All the “Portillo moments” last Friday morning cannot mitigate or obscure the coming maelstrom. Democracy can be a cruel mistress.

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2 Comments »

  1. Utterly brilliant summary.

    Comment by lightbluefish1964 — May 11, 2015 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  2. Same old story, minority Government, a barely democratic electoral system, what do we expect,,how many voted SNP for 50 plus seats.and UKIP for 1 seat,or welsh Nats 3 seats,
    Minority of the electorate vote to be governed by Dave but we get him.

    Comment by D.Johnson — May 11, 2015 @ 9:44 am | Reply


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