Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another prick in the wall?

The last word from Charles Clarke on The Politics Show today went something like: "If we don't change our leader now we will walk into a wall".

For some reason the following quote from John Major in his darkest days as Prime Minister came to mind. "When your back is against the wall the only thing you can do is turn around and fight." We all know what happened to him.
So what is Clarke really suggesting? That Gordon Brown should reverse into the wall?

It seems to me that, either way, he is trapped against a wall. A wall of unpopularity that is likely to be so wide it is impossible to breach. To adapt William Shakespeare: "Fill up the wall with our English dead and just hope that the Scots give us a majority".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Has Clegg given Cameron a clear run-in to victory?

The latest poll from IpsosMori shows the Conservatives breaching the 50% barrier for the first time since Margaret Thatcher was in power. Whilst Labour's share is unchanged on 24%, the LibDems have dropped five points to 12%.

This poll was carried out between last Friday and Sunday so included the heavily hyped £20 billion of "tax cuts" that Clegg and his disparate band have said they would offer when they are elected to government. As this is likely to be sometime in the future - remember that his stated aim as leader is to double the number of LibDem MPs over the next two general elections - I think we can safely assume that he will not be forming the next government. In fact, if this poll was proved to be accurate then he would be lucky to retain his seat after the next general election!

The key point though is that by adopting a tax cutting agenda, coupled with talk of reducing public spending, he has opened the door for the Conservatives to speak more openly about their economic programme without being accused of wanting to "slash and burn" the public sector.

Go to it David!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Arctic Monkeys' fan gets stuck in the ice?

Great quote from Gordon Brown, that well-known Arctic Monkeys' fan:
"We wake up to find we're trapped. Overnight we've been drifting amongst the ice floes and the wind has blown them together, tight around the [government]. As the captain I grind the engine backwards and forwards in an attempt to free us. Getting frozen in would be bad news, as it's the end of the summer and the weather is about to get a lot colder very quickly. We make grim jokes about only getting out in the spring, and having to eat each other to survive....".
It would be great to think that this was an allegory for the inevitable demise of Gordon Brown and the Labour Party. But, in fact, it is an ironic story via Mr Eugenides about the chap who was hoping to kayak to the North Pole and prove that all the ice has melted. According to Tom Nelson, he came to a halt because of the ice and said: "We’re stuck"!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Charles Clarke stirs up apathy?

I don't often link to Guido Fawkes's site but one of the comments on his blog on Charles Clarke's article in the New Statesman is so sublime it needs wider circulation. It's from "Stanislav, a young Polish Plumber", one of his regular contributors who also appears to have built up a bit of a fan club himself:

"From the telly.

Andrew Marr for you here, Clarkson-BBC’s impartial political editor and chief spokesman for Mrs Brown, the outgoing prime minister of England. I’m in a small aircraft and for the next few weeks, in the company of rich business people whom I hope will give me some money. I will be flying over England, pointing out sights of significance. Look, down there is my wife and family. And over there is my other wife and family - although if anybody else mentions this they will very soon find themselves in front of His Honour Mr Justice Bent; investigative journalism is all very well but there’s no room for it when it comes to investigating Clarkson-BBC pretend journalists. Like me. And now over to my junior colleague, Gavin Jock in the Newsnight Studio.

Thanks, Andy. Welcome to Newsnight and I should say that this interview with Mr Alistair Badger contains scenes which some viewers may find completely unbelievable. But they are. Chancellor, of all the European economies Britain’s is the most fucked.

Well, this is because fundamentally the UK economy is actually the strongest, that’s why it is the most fucked, the underlying economy, the one in my imagination, is fundamentally the strongest it’s ever been. Even though it’s fucked?

Well, you say that……Not just me, the OECD and the IMF and the WTO and the man on the Clapham Bendybus, they all say it’s fucked.

Well, in common with all other countries….

All other countries aren’t in recession.

No, but the reason the UK is sliding into recession, which it isn’t, is because of the underlying strength of the economy, because all the old people - whose pensions Mrs Brown, my dear friend and sworn enemy, liberated and set fire to – are working down B&Q, which is doing great business because of the booming housing market, which is never going to return to the days of bust, even though it has.
The pound, Chancellor, is at it’s lowest since records began in 1066.

Well, because of the underlying strength of the economy, more old age pensioners than ever are working until they drop - only not Mr Prescott, of course - and this means that even if the pound is worthless, which it soon will be, there will be enough people to pay MY pension when I get sacked. Next week, or maybe tomorrow.

The gold, Chancellor. The gold. Your predecessor and the man in charge of economic policy, Mrs Brown, he gave all the gold away. Didn’t he?

Yes, but only after he had prudently burnt all the money. And you see this demonstrates the far-sightedness of our working relationship; first you prudently burn all the money, then you encourage the bankers to act irresponsibly by lending lots of money to, well, anybody who asks really - except sometimes they didn’t even have to ask, the banks just sent them letters saying have some money and don’t worry whether you can afford it or not, there’s a gay Jock nutter in charge of the Exchequer, doesn’t know what fucking day it is, never had a job in his fucking life, couldn’t count the small change in his pocket, the fucking shithead, and bellows on about how he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread - and then you give away all the gold. And by this time, of course, all the banks are fucked, only not the directors, and we were in the fundamentally sound economic position of having to bale-out the bankers who’d helped us fuck things up so prudently by lending all the money to people so they would think that Mrs Brown was wonderful, which he is, and which they could never pay back even though people just starting work will, for the rest of their lives, always assuming they don’t die in the food riots and race wars which Frau Schmidt at the home office mistakenly prophesises, would be able, which they won’t be, to pay back the bankers for all the money they lent to the private finance initiatives in order to build the filthy deathcamp hospitals which usefully exterminate sick and old people and which Mrs Brown prudently kept off the books by pretending that they didn’t exist. Like the gold now doesn’t. So you see, Gavin, with billions earmarked to compensate the bankers at NorthernLabourRock for their own fuck-ups, and indeed all the bankers in the country, billions needed to pay off the PFI debts which don’t exist, billions more for the various wars which we are losing, only not really losing, more like winning – as my unlearned Brummie friend, Mr Bob The Cunt Ainsworth, says, people don’t recanoise that the more squaddies cum ‘ome in a box from Afwotsaname the more Oi can turn round and say we’m winnin’; the more them aircraft burst into flames and fall to the ground, the occupants shittin’ themselves all the way down, the more Oi can turn around and say how well-equipped the troops am, an’ anyway, people don’t realoise we’re payin’ these blokes a pension, only not, of course, as much as wot we pay us selves, but loike Oi always say If you want the best you ’ave to pay the most to the worst - billions more to pay for Trident and show President Putin who’s boss; trillions more for public sector pensions, on which we will prudently have to develop a sound mechanism for reneging, despite the nurses and all that lot having paid-in for years. In short, Gavin, with debts totalling far more than the GDP of the entire planet, with every child lifted out of poverty and into debt, with unemployment and inflation taking off nicely, repossessions and bankruptcies coming on-stream, with absolutely no national financial reserves, the pound worth thruppence-halfpenny and with Mr Ali Baba and his forty head-chopping, women-stoning, thieving, coke-snorting, eyeball-chomping, beardy, arse bandit playboys buying-up the premier league and everything else, I can confidently sit here and say to you that not only will I still be Chancellor in five minutes but that the UK economy, thanks to the NewLabour Project (c. 1995, Sir Peter Mandelbugger) is fundamentally the strongest it has ever been, uniquely well-placed – better than all the other economies which aren’t in recession - to weather the economic shitstorm which a child could have predicted, even though Mrs Brown couldn’t, and come out the other side queuing for soup, if we are lucky, which we won’t be. And tomorrow me and my good friend, Mrs Brown, will be announcing a package of measures to help kickstart the NewLabour Party even though it is dead as a Dodo. Our first initiative will be to recruit to the government, for the trifling sum of a million pounds a year, plus John Lewis vouchers, the brilliant financial mastermind and wunderkind, Mrs Carol Vorderman, off the telly, whose task it will be to show us all, as a nation, and me especially, how to borrow enough money to get completely out of debt.

Chancellor Badger, thanks for coming out of your hole in the ground and barking at us.

My pleasure, Gavin.

You can watch this again, if you didn’t believe it the first time, on the iBeeb. Goodnight and don’t have nightmares about your money, which is worthless, anyway."

Surely, this must become a blogging classic especially if it is linked to Charles Clarke's article in the Daily Telegraph in September 2006 on Brown: ".....he lacks courage and vision, he's delusional and a control freak".

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ed Balls "goes to the mattresses"

Wonderful piece from Paul Waugh in the Evening Standard about Ed Balls giving David Miliband a 'mafiosi-style' warning if he tries to take on Gordon Brown for the leadership of the Labour Party.

"I’ve known him (Miliband) for very many years and I know that he is a sensible, rational, sane politician; and a good guy and I don't think that he would ever do anything so crazy, destructive, and divisive and that is why I am totally confident that's not what he was doing".

As Waugh says, it sounds like "You mess with me, you mess with my family."

Perhaps Miliband will just say "so what"?