The Plastic Hippo

October 5, 2015

So much to answer for

Nice but dim

Nice but dim

You might think that having experienced the Peterloo massacre, the Christmas blitz of 1940; various visitations from the Provisional IRA and having to endure the presence of the Gallagher brothers and Morrissey, Manchester and its people have probably suffered enough. Sadly, the cradle of the Suffragette movement and the host in 1868 of the first Trades Union Congress now once again “welcomes” the Conservative Party Conference presumably through gritted teeth.

Karl Marx travelled to Manchester to meet a certain Friedrich Engels, then a resident of the city, and between them the two bearded weirdoes began to hatch the Communist Manifesto. Almost 170 years later, it seems elegantly apt that “class struggle” was re-enacted by a Tory toff being on the receiving end of an egg thrown by a violent anarchist. The footage of this incident is utterly hilarious.

Having been told by Conservative Central Office not to draw attention outside the “ring of steel” protecting Tory delegates from the great unwashed, this chap dressed in his Sunday best and brandished the Telegraph`s front page showing an image of Margaret Thatcher. The right leaning media described him as being surrounded by a “mob of Marxist thugs”. Instead, he was surrounded by a mob of conveniently well-informed photographers and camera crews who were able to coincidentally record this vile assault on democracy. One can almost imagine the briefing;
“Look here, young Giles. Go outside and create a distraction and perhaps we will let you join our exclusive dining club and become a junior minister or something. If the Thatcher thing doesn`t work – try burning a few £50 notes.”

As the egg landed on the highly polished forehead, the dexterous hand to eye co-ordination of the egg chucker will surely attract the attention of both Special Branch and the England Rugby selectors desperate for someone skilled enough to throw the line-out against Uruguay in Manchester next Saturday. Manchester has suffered enough.

Beyond the “ring of steel”, somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 people turned up to protest against Tory austerity which, by almost any measure of economic and fiscal credibility, is more to do with ideology rather than financial prudence. Estimates vary, but the number of arrests reported by Greater Manchester Police range from a disgraceful four to an outrageous six. A couple of journalists got gobbed on provoking dark talk of revolution, insurrection and an end to the rule of law. Perhaps the journalists now outraged at spit and egg yolk should attempt to ply their trade in Egypt, Libya or Saudi Arabia. The Met have not released the arrest figures or incidents of gobbing at Manchester United`s away thrashing inflicted by Arsenal. You can bet your old Eton College school tie that the “ring of steel” was not manufactured in Redcar.

The British economy is being failed by the deliberate hands of Cameron and Osborne and the poor are being punished for being poor and the rich are being rewarded for being rich. The headlines will be dominated by eggs and spit and will not be allowed to expose what this government is actually up to.

There will be the gloating triumphalism of an election victory yet no mention of a majority of 12 that represents a mandate as fragile as United`s defence or England`s ability to control a scrum on the 22 metre line. There will be endless personal attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and constant reassurance that increased debt, deficit and borrowing are all part of the long-term economic plan. There will be incessant references to “hard-working families” but absolutely no talk of working people dispatched into poverty by the removal of tax credits.

The unexplained “delay” in publishing NHS accounts is definitely off the conference agenda as is the crisis in the legal system and the increasing reliance of “hard-working families” on food banks to feed their children. There will be no mention here of the decision to make nurses and midwives pay for their own training or the exemption of Free Schools from Ofsted inspections or the cessation of claims against the miss-selling of PPI policies by the banking industry. It seems that the banks are a bit miffed at having to pay out “compensation” for what, in other businesses, is considered criminal fraud.

Boris Johnson will anoint another middle-aged, Old Etonian, white son of a multi-millionaire as the Conservative candidate for the office of London Mayor. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” as Boris might say as he chucks an egg at Cameron and a dozen or so at Osborne. For all the glib and oily art of spin and deception, Europe will prove to be the internet parody downfall of a deeply flawed and rather unpleasant Conservative Party.

It is obvious that you can`t make an omelette without breaking eggs. Looking at this dog`s breakfast, I would rather go for a curry on Wilmslow Road in Rusholme. Mind you, such an act of blatant extremism might result in the deployment of police marksmen on the roof of a boarded up shop on the other side of the road.

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1 Comment »

  1. Good to see the left’s idea of reasoned debate and respect of alternative points of view on public display.

    Comment by Rob — October 10, 2015 @ 8:10 pm | Reply


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