Well I don’t know about you but the general election year has got away to a cracking start. It’s hard to tell policy from parody as Labour seem intent on whipping up hysteria from every formerly forgotten corner of the realm, on enlisting the help of anybody gullible enough to cast their ballot in favour of state ownership of their very souls. Not content with their usual ‘cruel Tory’ stories - you know the stuff; half eaten babies discarded in bus shelters to be sexually abused by grandees and Lords under the protection of Her Majesty herself – they seem intent on self-destruction by comedy construct.
Pink battle buses, presumably to appeal to the under-tens, a refusal to properly condemn the abusers of the under-tens if there’s a vote in it, Ed Miliband’s potentially slanderous statements in the House of Commons, Tristram Hunt’s nun-bashing, Ed Balls forgetting Bill Somebody’s name, Diane Abbott's mayoral ambitions, rent-control, fuel price freezing... the list goes on. And on… And on. The ‘an owl for everybody’ spoof doesn’t seem so far-fetched now, does it?
It is clear to those with an independent, un-addled brain that all of Labour’s pretend policies are made up on the hoof; knee-jerk gimmicks to try and be all things to all people. The trouble with that approach - as Kinnock discovered to his electoral cost - is though you can fool some of the people all of the time, those people are already voting Labour and as fast as they breed, there still aren’t quite enough of them to be sure of tipping the balance. Kinnock of course had to swallow his pride, give up on British socialism and go off to and become a multi-millionaire… as a passenger on the juggernaut of much less accountable European socialism.
What ought to be abundantly clear is that truth has no place in politics – especially as so many voters demand it – what matters is how you package up the lies you control. While David Cameron can disguise his offerings with an expensive and flashy gift-wrap and a nice shiny bow, Nigel Farage will offer you a no-frills what-you-see-is-what you get package, in a plain brown wrapper. Even Nick Clegg can still at least pop his cheap plonk in a Tesco’s single bottle gift bag and Natalie Bennett, eschewing the damage that unnecessary packaging does to the environment, unapologetically brings no gift to the party. Ed Miliband, meanwhile, is still in the corner, a sticky ball of uncoordinated glitter, bells and saggy bows, gibbering slightly and high on Sellotape™ fumes.
Labour's not-very-magic Battle Bus
With the SNP about to eliminate Labour in Scotland just as the Scots did for the Tories (Scottish independence is surely in all our best interests?) and the Greens and Ukip taking great bites out of Labour’s former shoo-ins I have a sneaking suspicion that Ed, like Gordon before him, would actually prefer to lose. Why, given Labours’ abysmal record with money, would they risk taking over the reins of an economy not yet out of the slump? No, let the Tories fix it up, get us into the black and then there’ll be more to spend – pink buses for everybody! My money is on Ed leading Labour to another five years of whinging and moaning and belittling success from the sidelines; after all, it’s where they seem happiest.
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