Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The most hopeless, the most despairing, general election...

I do like dear old Alan Watkins. He's one of the very few reasons I ever call in at the Independent's site (I haven't picked up the paper in years). I missed this column from a couple of weeks ago. He sums up why a lot of people who are disaffected with Labour are nevertheless not inclined to declare as Tory voters:
The reason lies in the deeply dispiriting nature of the Conservative Party.
The more I know of Mr Cameron, the stronger my doubts become. His career in Carlton Communications seems to have consisted mainly in trying to please the boss, Mr Michael Green, in bullying his subordinates, and in misleading various journalists.
There are those who claim to discern a calming influence in the form of Mr William Hague, but I cannot see it myself. Mr Hague was the most belligerent politician to urge on Mr George Bush in Iraq – more so than Mr Tony Blair was himself. I have already referred to Lord Ashcroft. Mr Hague has hardly covered himself with glory in this respect.
As for Mr George Osborne, I confidently expect the Fraud Squad to arrest him at any moment for trying to pass himself off as a competent finance minister. Happily, or alas, it is not going to happen. Mr Cameron should switch Mr Osborne with Mr Kenneth Clarke. That is not going to happen, either.
There is no means of voting for a hung parliament. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is more rather than less likely to lead to such an outcome. But it is by no means certain. It is, I think, the most hopeless, the most despairing, general election since that of October 1974.

Watkins coined - or was instrumental in popularising - such phrases as 'the chattering classes', 'young fogies' and, a personal favourite, 'a complete ignoral'. This last was an invention of George Brown and very useful it is too. I'm inclined to give the election one of them.

I think I'll re-read Watkins' excellently gossipy and stimulating memoir of where journalism and politics met (and drank), 'A Short Walk Down Fleet Street'. It also contains added rugby, so even better.

7 comments:

worm said...

I've always been a 'complete ignoral', but may have to change that at this election - not to vote in the odious Cameron, but to stop Labour from making any more stupid laws

Sean said...

Well before I left for booming Australia (interest rates up today,yippee what ive lost here ive made up for in OZ .Bonzer) I had the UK down for a 1.3 trillion debt for the middle of this decade...and what do I come back too? an admitted 1.4 trillion hole with attached fairytale growth figures, so we are probable looking at something like 1.6trillion baring anymore shocks.(which is unlikley)

In short, we are in a world of 100% pure Obamacare economics. This is what will decide the politics of the coming years..needs must, a world of economics not politics is what the next few years will revolve around, If George, Dave and William are up to being the most hated men in Britain the they will succeed, let hope they are also lucky we need them to be.

We had the hopey ropey Changey thing in 1997 it was a disaster, which contrasts to Australia's fiscal conservatism, which lead it to regulate its banks properly and to save up for a rainy day, thus its relative lack of depression.

As for my mate Bill, I asked him about Iraq a few months ago and we both agreed it would have been a better idea to have gotten rid of Saddam in 1997, but the other Bill was too busy getting a blow job in the cupboard in the Oval Office to notice that cruise missiles were not working.

I suppose being the anti-war type as opposed to us warmongers the present fiscal situation places limitations on how many cruise missiles we can afford to shoot at mad mullahs or anyone else like saddam with few Kangaroos loose in the top paddock

My Tory election poster

zmkc said...

This is not the moment to be thinking too deeply. They are all politicians and the only thing to do with politicians is kick the ruling mob out every few years. Don't start worrying about whether you like/trust/admire them or not - they are politicians and no-one else is available just now. And at all costs avoid the Lib Dems, who embody the worst of the English character - high minded self-righteousness.

Gadjo Dilo said...

The Romanian solution to its own governance woes has usually been to import Germans. Britain sometimes does that with South Africans. I reckon Michael Edwardes of British Leyland was the best PM we never had.

Recusant said...

Something good has come of it already: the Cider Tax has been pulled. Zup up me 'ansoms.

Gaw said...

Worm: I'm looking forward to your election punditry! The worm turns...

Sean: Very sensible fiscal management down under, that's for sure. Though they are helped by China's still-insatiable demand. The only real way out of this hole is growth - which is why, joking apart, I think taxes such as the cider tax are bad ideas.

z: Wise words. And an excellent nailing of the Lib Dems.

Recusant: It feels strange to be part of a successful political campaign, if I may imagine myself as such. Perhaps this democracy thing does have something going for it.

Gaw said...

Gadjo: Sorry, missed you. Probably blown away by your impressive grasp of British industrial history. I don't think I've heard the name Michael Edwardes since the Nine O'Clock News's theme tune was played on a tambourine.