Wednesday 25 June 2014

Blank Slate

I’m sometimes asked how I come up with ideas for the blog. Well, occasionally there is a story I have been wanting to tell and something triggers an opportunity to do so. More often than not the germ of an idea comes while driving and listening to the radio news. Usually a chance remark, a sound bite or a profoundly stupid political reaction can bring inspiration and every now and then, like today, I just start with a blank slate and let the words pour out to fill it. Spoiled for choice, I was:

How about the news that 84 state schools in England have not one single white, British pupil, with the majority of their non-white contingent having English as their second language, even when they have been born here? In this nasty, clearly racist and extremely offensive story, entirely dreamed up by imaginary neo-Nazis the obviously fictional issue of white flight rears its ugly head. How very DARE those white bastards leave the poor ex desert dwellers to dismantle a thousand years of civilisation all by themselves!? You’d think they would be grateful for all that multicultural enrichment.

Or the story that estimates that almost 50,000 (You can almost certainly double or quadruple this figure) ‘visitors’ have fraudulently obtained visas following wholesale cheating in English language tests on a near industrial scale. Mind you, it’s not as if people near to the whole corrupt system knew anything about it and had been blowing that whistle with all their puff, year after year after year… but they were just more racists, obviously. I mean next thing you know they’ll be suggesting there is corruption in the administration of the islamic republic of Tower Hamlets. The very thought!

But then I heard the news about the phone hacking trial and the suspicion formed that Rupert Murdoch clearly favoured Rebekah-kah-kah-kah over Andy Coulson. Realising the baying mob of the Leveson loons needed some scraps it’s not a huge leap to surmise that while there is still a chance that Cameron's old school mate Charlie Brooks may in time re-forge a link to the PM it was Andy C who had to be fed to the dogs. Now I really couldn’t give a shit about the whole Leveson showdown, but what caught my ear was Labour’s response to the verdict.

That response was straight out of the textbook chapter on how to make political capital while wearing the mask of innocence and outrage on behalf of a population you have already royally shafted and would seek to shaft again. If they thought they could get away with it, Labour would do exactly as the Tories did and recruit somebody on the inside of big media. After all, Tony Bair was elected by Sun readers after its editors told them to ditch John Major. Oh and, anybody remember Alistair Campbell? 

Ed Miliband and Chris Bryant merrily poured on the scorn from mouths in which it seemed all the butter had yet to melt. While Cameron delivered the long-rehearsed apology Ed said “This taints Cameron's government.” But of course it doesn’t, not really. Most people care as much as I do about Leveson; most have forgotten what it was all about anyway. As I heard Chris Bryant take his turn to say all the same things Ed had said my attention began to fade as I realised just how far disconnected the political twonks are from the concerns of ordinary people.

There was nothing sincere in any of it. The investigation process is certainly flawed, the apology was a sham, the condemnations mere political reaction in a game that long since lost most of its spectators. It is little wonder that next year’s crucial election – it will decide the minor niggles such as the choice between prosperity or Labour, and whether we stay with or ditch the millstone of the EU – will be settled by a dwindling band of real believers on both sides and a desperate last-cynical-gasp bid for votes based on bribery. The majority of voters will still stay at home.

Politicians respond to the concerns of the public

So, if you ever wonder how I come up with ideas for the blog, I just take my cue from the politicians - I start  off with a blank slate and fill it full of cynical, opportunistic, sound-bitey bollocks.

1 comment: