Wednesday, May 07, 2008


In view of the paucity of news-jiffies on these pages in the past half month, I'm aware there is much of a public clamour for my opinions regarding last week's local election results. I know this because of the floods of text messages I've been inundated with in the past six days saying things such as "what do you think about these election results then Big Dill?", "the British electorate is a braindead scumfuck collective!", "have you heard that Pedigree Chum has gone out of business? They have called in the retrievers", "Riggott? What's the team?" and, most prescient of all: "Lovely stuff".

For me, the most notable thing about Labour's disastrous showing in the polls is that its tried and tested means of attaining electoral success for the last 14 years has now seemingly become its downfall. With great success, the New Labour project has prided itself on out-Torying the Tories in order to bag the support of the all-important, inherently self-centred Middle England vote. And yet now, it appears the abolition of the 10p tax rate was one of the major contributary factors in the erosion of the party's share of the vote. It's a step too far when it hits people in their own pocket - surely this is the most obvious electoral rule? In many ways, it serves Gordon Brown & Co right for introducing this shamefully Tory policy which demonstrates complete contempt for the lowest earners, in addition to a general lack of sense when it comes to taxation. You have to laugh when you fall off a sofa/when a Labour government increases tax on the lowest earners and cuts it for those earning more! What an utter bunch of bastards. And stupid bastards at that.

The current groundswell of support for the Conservatives is equally preposterous, though. Quite how a party so entirely flaccid can muster any kind of public support is beyond me. It's an essential function of the Opposition to be opportunist, but they somehow manage to appear opportunist while failing to capitalise on the real opportunities. It's a poor do, but that's just how thoroughly incompetent they are. Imagine what they'd be like in government. Nobody's very sure what they stand for these days, if indeed they stand for anything. If their policies had to be described in terms of posture, I'd say that nowadays they are more akin to a rather dapper, privately educated man leaning nonchalantly in the street, perhaps against a disused lamppost, trying to sieze on any old passer-by but failing to make any real impression on anybody (although people do look back over their shoulder at them fondly, most probably because of David Cameron's lovely waxy Oil of Olay, nee Ulay face). And on top of all these shortcomings, it's always worth just getting back to basics and remembering the simple fact: they're bloody Tories, and therefore rotten to the very core.

And then there is Boris Johnson in London. I think the fact Londoners have elected him as mayor should be seen as far more embarrassing for democracy than when Hartlepool elected its monkey mascot in 2002. That was widely regarded as having made a mockery of the government's newly introduced directly-elected mayors, but the fact is the monkey had much more of a clearly defined policy agenda than Boris Johnson has, even if it was just to give free bananas to school children. Johnson had no credentials whatsoever for the job, aside from the loveable buffoon persona he's somehow developed through his constant TV panel show appearances in order to mask his often worryingly bigoted views. But then again, what do you expect of Londoners? London and the rest of the south-east was responsible for 11 years of Thatcher government and for ensuring the ensuing 18 years have been defined by a Thatcherite political agenda. A large portion of the blame for all of society's ills today can be laid at the door of the people who so warmly embraced the rampant and brutal individualism of Thatcherism. Now they have the mayor they deserve, and they will surely rot in hell, a.k.a. London itself. Which is quite handy for them really, as it means they won't have to commute. For once.