Wednesday, 19 April 2017
There’s an old joke which goes: I do a lot of work for charity – pause for effect – on a rollover week I buy two tickets. (Ba-doom tish!) Like many people I buy a weekly lottery ticket by direct debit and forget about it, but I labour under no illusion that one day I will wake up wealthy... and yet. There is no harm in dreaming, but you can’t put all your hopes into the remote possibility of a chance event; on a roll of the dice coming up in your favour.
However, despite the obvious drawbacks of living life in the expectant hope that the impossible will happen, millions of people the word over do exactly that. Take Liberal Democrat leader, Tiny Tim ‘minor fart’ Farron; he believes that his cherished dream of a second EU membership referendum has come true and that, on the 8th of June his party’s phoenix will rise from the ashes to influence events on the world stage and brave, brave Timothy Mitty will be lauded as the nation’s saviour.
Nicola Sturgeon inhabits a realm where she is allowed to perform hypocrisy at such an expert level that she can, having used the Scottish National Party as a vehicle to promote one single cause already rejected by the Scottish voters, accuse Theresa May of acting in narrow party interests instead of in the interests of the country. In Ms Spudgun’s fevered brain the agonised echoes of cognitive dissonance must be muffled by the sheer amount of cotton wool stuffing that keeps her cranium from collapsing.
Or, imagine living in Jeremy Corbyn’s head where the mighty Labour sleeping dragon rises up to sear the flesh of rapacious Tories, hell-bent on devouring every scrap of public money, stolen from the pockets of upturned poor people. A world in which all you have to do is promise £10 a week extra for carers and lo, it shall be so and thou shalt be raised on the shoulders of the grateful populace and carried to a place of oratory where the masses wait, eagerly, to hear how they will become, on average, £43 richer per year when kind Sir Jeremy makes the rich people pay more tax.
But wait, rich people DO pay more tax. In fact they pay ALL the tax and poor people not only pay zero tax, they get given extra ‘free’ money, taken from the rich, to pay the rent on their hovels and to breed their filthy brats and cover the cost of locally provided services. But poor people are often poorly informed people and they, too, live in a dream world where Conservative politicians dine on baby’s brains scooped from their opened skulls and use the poor as furniture while robbing the NHS to send their children to private schools in offshore tax havens. (Diane Abbott told them this.)
You didn't see that coming, did you?!
Believe what you like, but on observation the vast majority of people are no better or worse off than they were a year ago, ten years ago. The vast majority of people don’t much care for deep political analysis of events, preferring to believe the headlines of their partisan press ahead of the evidence of their own experiences. And that same majority will vote the way they generally vote, give or take a few swings. For what it’s worth, I think Theresa May has been an exemplary PM in the few months she’s been in the job and I believe she will be given a mandate to crack on with it. But what do I know?