Thursday, 19 November 2015

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em

Frank Spencer and I have something in common – compared to the Labour Party we are the very epitome of competence, meticulous planning and iron discipline. Captain Corbyn, like a day-skipper attempting a global circumnavigation on the basis of ‘how hard can it be?’ is managing to steer his rusting hulk of a party ever closer to the jagged rocks of electoral oblivion and just like watching Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em it is in equal parts hilarious and embarrassing. As his own party briefs against him, cabinet hopefuls are forced to do the solidarity waltz on a slippery dance floor.

Diane Abbott got to do her “no, no, no” response in her Maggie Thatcher voice on Radio Four’s PM when she told Eddie Mair how unfairly Jeremy Corbyn had been treated. Caroline Flint tag-teamed her to deliver a marginally more credible defence and both managed to clumsily sidestep the issue of Ken Livingsone’s appointment as co-chair of Labour’s defence review  without asking Angela (Anne?) Eagle if she minded. Ken insulted sensitive Kevan Jones after what he over-sensitively took to be a challenge to his own competence and the social meeja decided at some point that Ken’s ‘see a psychiatrist’ jibe was equally despicable as racism.

When even the feeble Simon 'Titty' Danczuk can openly brief against you, there has to come a point when you know you’re in trouble: "He's not got any authority and it's becoming an issue for him." Danczuk said and then a whole series of other discontented Labour figures popped up to grumble about the economy, Trident, shoot-to-kill and Corbyn’s former associations with disreputable figures. Captioning a photograph of the Labour leader with Hilary Benn, one newspaper even ventured to suggest this was a picture of both the current and the next party boss. What else is going to unravel before Jeremy is brought, head-in-a-sack to the star chamber?

Then the House of Lords, in a show of utter contempt for its elected colleagues demonstrated its own slide into irrelevance by voting – against all logic – to support the giving of votes to 16-year olds. The raising of the school leaving age to eighteen and the ridiculous extent to which young people are fawned over bodes ill for wise judgement. When the majority left school at fifteen the voting age was twenty-one. Six years of working for a living before getting the franchise. I see nothing whatsoever to suggest that giving a vote to part-formed humans who have not yet finished basic schooling is a sound idea.

Government is EASY!

Tony Blair often used the soundbite ‘joined-up government’ even while consultative cock-ups were being hastily spun as triumphs. Compared to the state of play in government at the moment, his administration looks like a high watermark of coordinated policy. But to look at the current confused and disorganised state of politics in general the possibility of connecting the dots looks ever more remote. It’s as if we already have children making all the rules.

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