For many blindingly obvious reasons, it was an absolute joy to spend last week away from the United Kingdom. As the aching disappointment at the outcome of the general election gave way to abject terror at what is likely to happen to this country now that Cameron has an actual mandate, boarding an aircraft and flying away has never been so pleasurable.
Mercifully missing out on endless post mortems, excuses and recriminations; the end of the road for the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party tearing itself apart again and the Farage creature making a complete fool of himself by resigning and then not resigning, the overseas media hardly reported the tawdry UK bun fight. The only evidence I saw was in a crowded bar as the barista flicked through the channels looking for the Real Madrid Juventus game. He paused on a news report that showed smug Tory ministers banging the table as Cameron entered to chair the first meeting of his new cabinet. My heart sank and my flesh crawled. Juventus held on for a draw and I held on to the thought of not coming back. (more…)
There are, according to recent estimates, about 200,000 paid up members of the British Labour Party which means that there about 200,000 different definitions of socialism and about 200,000 alternative manifestos. Labour`s failure to oust a government of crooks, liars and shysters did not come about due to a last minute surge of support for more misery and pain but by an addiction to self-harm and a perpetual identity crisis.
It is impossible not to feel at the least a modicum of sympathy for Ed Miliband. He is undoubtedly an honourable and principled man and has endured distasteful personal attacks from a shameless Conservative Party and a shameful right-wing press. By challenging multi-national corporations and the Murdoch Empire he targeted himself as a danger to wealthy vested interests that did all in their power to neutralise him. He joins John Smith, Neil Kinnock, Denis Healey and Nye Bevan in the growing ranks of great Labour Prime Ministers that never were. (more…)
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. (more…)
If the Labour Party gain a parliamentary majority tomorrow; or Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister thanks to a coalition of anti-Tory parties, I fully intend to leave the UK… months ago me and the wife booked a three-night, mid-week break in one of my favourite European cities…three-star en suite including flights.
This might be just my opinion, but I am unlikely to vote for any particular political party because some c-list celebrity tells me to do so. I don`t give an airborne intercourse about the depth of constitutional insight and influence Gary Barlow, Delia Smith or Russell Brand bring to bear in forming my participation in the democratic process. My decision about the future of my country is based on experience and before I head off for the airport, I am willing to crawl naked across a minefield covered in broken glass to reach a polling station in order to get rid of this vindictive, divisive, incompetent and breathtakingly awful government. (more…)
Via Ryan Tear-Bartlett
If the first rule of comedy is sometimes but not necessarily always timing then the first rule of parachuting is to always check that you are wearing an actual parachute. Skydiving is risky enough so spare a thought for the three Conservative parliamentary candidates being parachuted into the three Walsall constituencies.
Whatever the result of the General Election, I shall miss the social media presence of the Conservative candidate for Walsall North because in victory or defeat we will never hear of him again. At first, I thought the constant stream of unsubtle cliché satirising Tory stereotypes were part of a parody account to cheer us all up yet the discovery that the nonsense was intentional made the output even more hilarious. The charm offensive comprises of photographs of the candidate being posted almost hourly. Here he is with old people, here he is with young people, with other people wearing turbans, here is drinking a pint of beer or abseiling or at a football match. Fortunately the season is over and he managed to avoid the Cameron moment of confusing Walsall FC with Wickham Wanderers, a team much closer to home. (more…)