Tuesday, 23 May 2017
A conspiracy of incompetence?
I was going to write today about the issue of competence in government and the utter lack of it shown by the various parties contesting the election. I was going to explore how it is that with access to all the expertise of all the country’s thinkers and strategists and all the experience of reaction to former policy announcements, Theresa May managed to set her own trap and then u-turn straight into it. Didn’t she know that any move, whatsoever, to reduce the amount of free stuff, will be seized upon and dubbed a tax.
Over the years we’ve had Poll Tax, Pasty Tax, Bedroom Tax and now with the gift of the ‘Dementia Tax’, the mechanism for going into reverse once more grinds into gear. Andrew Neil also managed neatly to expose exactly why she would not participate in a televised debate. Fortunately for her, the Labour Party are in such disarray that she will recover from that mauling and the other parties are wedded to ideologies so barmy only a complete fruitcake could vote for them. Sadly, we do seem to have a few million of the permanently bewildered that they would even vote for the Greens; it’s little wonder they are so fixated with dementia
But why is it that our leaders and would-be leaders are always so unprepared? Could it be because in trying to appeal to everybody they appeal to nobody? In setting a course they imagine to be straight down the middle they end up veering wildly from bank to bank, churning up the river bed and frightening the wildlife? So frequent and so appalling are some of the gaffes that in the wilder regions of the press they mistake simple incompetence for grand conspiracy: there has to be a reason surely? They can’t be just... you know... stupid?
But suddenly, all this is irrelevant. Following the nothing-to-do-with-you-know-who attack in Manchester last night, all hands are on deck and the virtue signallers are out in force. “We must not make political capital out of tragedy!” goes the cry, as they all concoct soundbites to suggest greater compassion than the next. “My heart goes out”, “My thoughts are with”, “My prayers go out”... notice how they all start with ‘my’. Little, mini-pledges to show how much more they care than *insert main rival party name here*.
But after the platitudes we need something more. We need action. Not vigils, or silences; not pleas to ‘come together’, nor understand. We understand it fine; the west is under attack and whether or not we ‘learn lessons’ we want to see something being done. We want a highly visible armed response, resulting in arrests, detentions and deportations. We want recognition that our supposed leaders have the first idea how to combat this war on our on soil and most of all we want the source of the violence – islam itself – called to account, or called on to leave the west.
As it happens, this latest atrocity has the potential to become Theresa May’s finest hour. What leader, besieged by blunders over bungled policy announcements and embarrassing climb-downs on national television, wouldn’t welcome this very real test of true character? What a vote winner a Churchillian call to arms could be right now. How welcome might a public rejection of ‘islam is the religion of peace’ be to a population drowning in the ordure of electoral claptrap? This could be May’s Falklands War. I can already hear Guardian contributors queuing up to call it a conspiracy.