Tuesday, 11 May 2010


'As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade...

Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.'

WH Auden, September 1, 1939

Monday, 10 May 2010

Brown Trousers Time

I said all along that Brown wouldn't go quietly. When he made his speech this afternoon outside No.10 I was in the newsroom of a national newspaper. Gasps and incredulous laughter swept across the room. Of course, this was mostly journalistic lipsmacking at the feast of nonsense to come and all the good copy to be derived from it. But there was also a genuine sense of disbelief.
Someone turned to me, a Labour supporter as it happens, and said: 'That's the most insane thing I've ever heard.'
But it was no surprise to me. What, did they really think an arch-control freak like Brown would just say ta-ta? The defining characteristic of the modern Labour Party is a total lack of respect for constitutional normality: the whole mechanism of civil governance is there to be raped as expedience demands.
Only the other week I'd had a conversation in the pub with the same colleague during which I'd advanced my theory that Brown is mentally ill and unstable, as well as being a Communist.
'In what way,' said someone drinking with us, who regards himself, with some good reason, as a political specialist, 'is Brown a Communist.'
'Emotionally,' I replied.
But they were not up for that.
It seems obvious to me that Clegg will side with Labour - a window of opportunity lies in that direction: a voting system that will keep the Tories permanently out of office. Clegg must know that the Tories will never give him anything much on voting reform; turkeys don't vote for Christmas.
In the background, Mandelson politicks - the ol intrigant engineering the last great rolls of the dice to build a thousand-year Blairite reich with Cleggy boy and finally dance on England's grave.

The Rat Parliament ii

I haven't written anything on here for a month or more because I was sick of politicians and related subjects. In fact I had resolved to close this blog down and put my efforts to more rewarding activities.
But the hung parliament is worth a few lines.
Cameron lost the election because he listened to Steve Hilton and Andy Coulson, the marketing men who called the shots on his campaign. They insisted he mouth liberal platitudes to capture the wavering Blairite vote. If Coulson and Hilton ever got their noses out of Notting Hill and saw how real people on average salaries are talking they would have known two things: one, the political attitudes of the young are created largely by 'Uni'. That is to say a decaff Marxoid reading of recent social history in which Margaret Thatcher is regarded as the antichrist. They will not vote Tory because of this and because of being spoonfed the same attitudes via BBC drama and others bits of pop culture. They cannot be wooed by boasting about gay marriages and black candidates.
Secondly, what Cameron lost by 'alienating' the youth and female vote in south by talking straight he could have won back with handsome interest in the North. I don't think it is an exaggeration to say he could have rampaged round the North on the issues that Gillian Duffy raised with Gordon Brown on that fateful afternoon. But these are politicians who only like to gamble with your money not their chance of power.
Cameron will now be firmly in the sights of the Tory Right-Wing.

The result of this election is that the Tories will never govern with a majority again. At least, not until the Union is broken up. Whatever farcical arrangments are announced today, the government will be weak, divided and vulnerable and will be disposed of in due course. Any concessions on voting reform will only bring about the Tories' end more swiftly. I am not overly troubled by the Tories going another step on their way to oblivion; but the fact is that if they now shrivel and make a Faustian pact with any sort of proportional representation then Mandelson's idea of perpetuating Project Blair/Brown through a 'progressive alliance' of LibDems and Blairites becomes a reality and that is not a government I wish to live under. The quickest way to see this country go the way of Greece, Spain and Portugal would be to have a Lib-Lab coalition. The IMF will be a frequent visitor to these shores.

As for Labour, well. I was quite shocked by my friends' sentimentality about them. There can be no doubt they are one of the worst British governments of the modern era, whose cv of folly, corruption, warmongering, incompetence, arrogance and criminality is breathtaking. And yet people, intelligent people, were blithely prepared to vote for them once again. Apart from self-interest - some of them work in the Public Sector - I am at a loss to understand the motivation. Concern for the poor? The working man has been shafted by 13 years of Labour quite as much as they were under 18 years of Toryism. So why this devotion? Because 'they mean well'?
This is the ultimate sentimentality, isn't it? Judging a government on its *intentions* and ignoring the results.
Unlike the Tories, Labour will win again. We live in an era of infantilised minds easily gratified and hostile to complicated ideas or arguments. Someone else will always pay; cake can be had and eaten always; nasty decisions need never be taken. This is the view that Blair triumphed on and Gordon Brown presents to his client base of civil servants and welfare claimants under the 'invesment' rhetoric. Anyone who publishes anything to the contrary is a stooge of the right-wing press.

Clegg. The less said the better, really. Blair redux. They say Cameron will offer him the job of Home Secretary. There's a thought to make you shudder. See my analysis of the LibDems' manifesto from last year for a taste of how well they'll fit into a Tory cabinet.

Let's hope things will be OK. Or, see you in the riots.