Friday, 5 June 2009


Well of course I voted along with all the silver-hairs and saw nary a yoof in or out of the polling station.

After the Attack of the Fifty Foot Women, the Attack of the Sideburns. I cannot honestly say I like, or have ever liked, Gordon. His bullying, blustering exterior may hide a heart of purest gold, but it would probably require a seriously invasive operation to get to it. Nor have I ever seen the great gulf in policy between him and Blair, as though they represented conflicting ends of the party. What the Blairites and the Brownites are fighting about is the equivalent of the mouse droppings of power. And the parliamentary party - not much to add beyond what has already been said by everyone everywhere. Not that the opposition or the Lib Dems are any cleaner or more appealing.

Nevertheless it is neither the leader nor the representatives I vote for. It is an idea that seems to me a better, more humane idea than the other one generally available. It is a much reduced idea, of course, and one unlikely to blossom in rural Norfolk, but it is still an idea.

And politics had better have some ideas otherwise it is just power and mouse droppings.

Now to London to introduce Katharine Kilalea's book One Eyed Leigh at the Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon. Back late. Again.


But I did like this by Robert Tait in The Guardian today:

After the debate, pro-Mousavi students took to the streets of Tehran chanting: "Ahmadinejad, impolite person, shame on you. Leave this country alone".

I'm sure Tait knew what he was doing when he put it like this, but bless him, the ducks, for raising a smile on my absurdly furrowed visage. Teach Ahmadinejad to be impolite.


Picture added (Saturday 6th) for lack of resistance. And now Caroline Flint..


James O'Fee said...

Agree that Brown v Blair is not about policy, but disagree that they represent opposite wings of the Party. Ken Livingstone was on Newsnight last night and he does represent another wing. Ken's supporting Brown, for fear of an alternative, I guess.

Politics was about personalities long before it was about policies

George S said...

The point I was making was precisely that I didn't see a great gulf of policy, and I certainly don't think they represent opposite wings of the party. Read the sentence again, James.

James O'Fee said...

Sorry, I did, but after posting the comment. Dense I know.

But hasn't it been a great week? I've laughed a lot. Today Caroline Flint, Alan Sugar and the TIMES 3rd Leader.

Isn't it wonderful that we don't live in North Korea or Venezuela? There Gordon would be "the Beloved Leader" and on his way to becoming President-for-Life.

Poet in Residence said...

I'll admit that I'm out of touch with the fine points of the UK/EU debate and the latest no-confidence scenario etc. but I have the nagging feeling that Gordon Brown is having to take the flack for the George Blair / Tony Bush Crusade.
By the way, with the expenses scandal have we opened the Blair Files yet? The 3.5 million house. Who paid for that?

George S said...

I don't think Brown is taking it for Blair and/or Bush, Gwilym. He is doing it all for himself. Neither Blair nor Bush have been mentioned, not once, and they are nothing to do with this.

This is to do with a combination of factors, in no particular order:

1. The recession;
2. The expenses scandal;
3. The abolishment of 10% tax rate that hurt the poorest;
4. The circumstances under which Brown took over, without an election, without even a race;
5. The perception of Brown as a dour, expressionless, blustering, charmless bear of a man, this being the product of:
a) his performances on radio, TV and public
b) his performances in the House where he has been shown to be a far poorer debater than Blair;
6. The development (continued from Blair but exacerbated under Brown) of an autocratic inner circle within the cabinet that takes the major decisions;
7. The growth of invasive state surveillance of the public that worries and irritates people;
8. The perception and jokey resentment of the suspicion that England is being run by Scots, which would not be serious in itself but together with the other factors, does count;
9. The indecision, the reversing of decisions, the denials of reversed decisions;
10. The appointments and re-appointments of ministers;
11. The whole country's vague sense of being rudderless;
12. The squandering of the sympathy that greeted his appointment. Disappointment is worse than low expectations;
13. The doubts cast even on his long period as a prudent chancellor by the unravelling of the financial threads he had so 'prudently' been holding together.

I am ending on 13 though I could go on. Because there are other issues, which are not my issues, such as immigration, multi-culturalism and the rest, which the right will and do feed on.

As for the expenses scandals, the biggest fish have yet to be caught and fried. We shall see.

Poet in Residence said...

Wow George, I'm voting for you! I believe there's some kind of honest men in white suits alliance you could stand for/with. Next time, perhaps?