You will doubtless think me naïve, but there was a time, when I was young (ie until I was about 30), when I assumed that politicians who were older than I and ran parties and governments had the wisdom that went with experience and could be be entrusted with such important matters. Even if I disagreed with their politics, I assumed they knew what they were doing, acted in good faith and that everything would turn out OK in the end. When I reached 45-50 it dawned on me that I was as smart as some of the people who stood as MPs and that I, as a journalist, sometimes knew more about certain matters than they appeared to do. I began to grow concerned that politicians, who controlled large aspects of my life, were doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons and could get millions of people into financial and other trouble by their thoughtless egotism. Things would no longer automatically be OK in the end and could, actually, go disastrously wrong. The worst examples of this for me are the periods under Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan when this country pretty much went bankrupt and the decision to attack Iraq which has left the world with an, as yet, unsolvable global terrorism problem that may one day result in a nuclear war.

But my most immediate problem, even greater than global terrorism which I can shove to the back of my mind for the time being, is Miliband. I’m nearly 60 now and I’m damned if I see anything whatsoever in Miliband that commands the slightest respect. The thought that there are people out there who will find themselves capable of putting a cross next to Labour in the privacy of a polling booth, knowing that the man who will sanction any decision the party makes is a total buffoon, is utterly terrifying. He is clumsy in his delivery, especially for a politician, he is childishly petulant in his responses to Cameron at PMQs and he makes absurd mistakes in public by constantly saying the wrong things in front of cameras. But above all, he fails to convince me that he is any more capable of running Britain than I would be – and that, for me, is a huge problem – huge; to paraphrase Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. He cannot be stupid and yet he gives me every impression that he is. “I tend not to watch the news,” he told us yesterday as though he were some precious actor insisting they never read the critics in case something depressingly untoward is said about their performances. Too late, as always, he realised that in suggesting that his vanity is so fragile that he cannot bear to listen to anything that might feature him in the media glare of TV he was also admiting that he is seriously uninformed about current affairs. So he pretended that he was joking: “That will sound a little strange (sic). Look, I don’t tend to spend much time watching myself on TV. Obviously I do watch the news, but I tend not to shout at the screen.” I mean, honestly, how bad can it get? How stupid is this man? Talk about giving someone a shovel and then watching him dig! Blink and eye and Miliband’s through to Australia without a Tory is sight. I don’t know why Cameron even bothers. Mad Eddie does all the work for him.

And then there’s the way he either doesn’t know his facts, is incorrectly briefed or simply deliberately lies when it comes to trying to score political points against the Conservatives. He claimed in his debate that people are worse off under the coalition than they were in 2010 although the latest official Quarterly National Statistics make clear that households, taking low inflation and wages into account, are actually £900 better off per year than they were under Labour. He continues to claim the Conservatives will raise VAT and “carve up” the NHS despite  Cameron stating that he will categorically not raise VAT and that his party has absolutely no plans to “carve up” (presumably this means privatize in plain English) the NHS.

The fact that this man stands the slightest chance of ever heading a Westminster Government is a frightening testimony to something I cannot begin to understand or quantify. But I suppose, in the end, history shows us that one should never overestimate the ability of the electorate to do the sensible thing.

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So here’s the thing, and it worries me. The media are raving about the performance of Nicola Sturgeon in Thursday’s televised party leader debate. “Woman who now holds all the Aces” shouted the Daily Mail, “Sturgeon Triumph has Labour in Turmoil”, asserted The Times. It took the FT front page to remind us that the “Nuclear deal (with Teheran may be the) first step to a less hostile relationship with West” – not that many of us would even know what it’s talking about, never mind that the world may just have taken a small but momentous step to peace, because that’s not what’s important this Easter morning. What’s important to Britain is that Nicola Sturgeon, a little known Scottish politician until her party lost a referendum to cede from Britain six months ago, put up a solid performance during a debate with Britain’s other six party leaders two days ago.

Sturgeon is part of a population of just over 5 million people who happen, by accident of birth, to live on a northern section of this small island. Many, but by no means all, of these 5 million like to think of themselves as having a separate, glorious history from the rest of the island’s additional 56 million people. At the last election the SNP, which Sturgeon now leads, gained the support of 45.4 % of the vote (that’s less than half the people who bothered to vote who, in turn, represented half the people eligible to vote). Granted, enthusiasm for the SNP has been building steadily in recent years and is liable to reach a crescendo within a few weeks at the May election. But even at last September’s referendum, which occasioned a flood of often nauseating jingoism north of the border, only 1,617,989 Scots voted to cede from Britain while 2,001,926 (53.30% of the 84.5% of the electorate who bothered to vote), elected to stay with Britain. So what we’ve got, when we boil it all down, is that Sturgeon speaks for around 1.6 million people out of some 4.1 million eligible voters in Scotland and for not a single one of the 44 million people eligible to vote in the rest of Britain.

This is the person the Daily Mail tells us now holds all the aces in the political poker match we are heading for. And, yes, she put on a far more professional and convincing performance as a committed politician than the buffoon chosen to lead the Labour party, but, frankly, a monkey could have improved on Edward Miliband’s nerd-like attempts to connect with the electorate. The fact that Sturgeon appealed to us is neither here nor there. Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin appealed as well and look where that kind of charisma took us. The point is that Sturgeon and the SNP seem to think it appropriate to revel in the extremist policies their party will insist on if they become the pivot on which Labour power will rest in a hung parliament. Instead of showing a smidgeon of humility and a willingness to accommodate the vast majority of voters on whose behalf (or not, as the case may be) she may one day be influencing policy in Westminster, she emphasizes that if Labour are returned with her help Britain will effectively be run by a minority pressure group. Make no mistake. If Labour scrape in to power their policies will emerge from a swamp of disenchanted, bolshie and nationalist elements in Scottish society, obsessed by an irrational hatred of the English, born of a self-inflicted inferiority complex and a skewed view of history. If that’s part of a functioning democracy you can almost understand why the kind of Russians who admire Putin regard western democracies as a pathetic joke.

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The absolutely worst aspect about tonight’s debate, the moments when my family had to sit on me to stop me throwing things at the television, were having to listen to Miliband’s saccharine-laden pocket-sized party political broadcasts that rarely bore any relation to the discussion around him. Instead of responding to his fellow panelists and clearly incapable of actually answering any questions directly, the wretched man robotically turned to stare into the dead camera lens rather than use body language to relate to those sharing the platform with him or the audience in front of him. Of course Johnny and Terry with their planted questions on austerity and the NHS were given regular name checks by the leaders to denote their sincerity, but only Miliband jerked round awkwardly to stare at the camera like some demented puppet, churning out a waterfall of statistics. You could almost hear the Labour spinners before he went on stage: “Remember to keep looking at the camera, that’s your audience, not the people in the studio. Just get the message across….” “zzzzzzzz”.

While the other leaders, particularly the Sturgeon, the Greens Natalie Bennett and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood with her lilting Welsh sing-song – bless – peppered their responses with “we”, Miliband was all about “me” until you wondered whether he thought he was running for President rather than acting as the leader of a party that he wanted you to elect.

“Use your vote as a weapon” he cried before the gates of our election. “I believe in fairness for the working man” (as opposed to those earning millions who presumably never work at all), “the Mansion tax will pay for 20,000 more nurses, 3,000 midwives…” on and on it went. The Mansion tax will underpin Scotland’s NHS and Britain’s midwives, nurses, doctors, medicines, cleaners, ambulances and bloody well everything you never thought was possible in your wildest dreams. Let’s be honest. He doesn’t really have a clue. I mean even the Sturgeon sounded coherent and fluent compared to him.

We saw the future of an SNP/Greens/Labour coalition, and goodness it was terrifying. “We don’t believe in cuts, we believe in more borrowing” exclaimed Bennett to nods from the Sturgeon who wittered: “and in increasing immigration”. Sound politics? Well, maybe if you live in Scotland with the vast majority of the country under-populated, you might think a few thousand more people to hate the English might be worth it. You can see them cornering Ed over a dram and a plate of salad of an evening, telling him what they would require for their visions of utopia while he grins manically and agrees to everything just so long as he can win next day’s vote.

And then there was Farage, the joker, putting across the prejudices of the common man as he stuck it to the EU and gave us his spiel on immigration. He sought no allies, reveling instead like some madman in his alone-ness, pointing out that “they’re all the same” and only he could break the mold. Lonely he stood in the middle of the line up with mad ED demonically addressing the nation through the camera lens on one side and vanilla Clegg, aspiring to hold the middle ground in all matters, on the other. What a shambles, what a mess one thought. Thank heavens that at least the man on the end in the dark blue tie knew what he was talking about. A safe pair of hands in sea of immature dreamers.

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Paxo: So people say you’re a dolt. There’s also a perception that you have no idea how to eat a bun in public. How do you respond?

Millie: Right, well let me just say, what I do in public, right, is nothing to do with anyone and if I chose to have a cup of tea in a kitchen I’d forgotten about, well that’s my affair.

Paxo: How do you answer critics who say the SNP will simply pull your strings as you dangle on the Westminster stage in front of hysterical MPs and an appalled nation day in day out if you ever formed a government?

Millie: Just let me say, that, yes, right, I don’t answer hypothetical questions. I will not answer anything that I have not been briefed about nor will I answer anything that requires a complex response or accurate statistics. But I will answer any question by telling you that our track record speaks for itself.

Paxo: But this is not a hypothetical question, this is the only possible alternative to a Conservative-led government or coalition.

Millie: Right, right, well in that case let me tell you this. Right. I have no intention of running a coalition government. It simply won’t ever happen. People have always underestimated me. Right. They said I would never stab my own brother in the back and I did. Right. They said I couldn’t possibly forget to marry my current wife for nearly six years, and I did. They said I could not possibly forget to register the name of my first born, and I did – I forgot for 16 months. So, right, people have always underestimated me, always. They said I could not lead the Labour party and they were wrong. Right.

Paxo: Yes but I asked you how would respond to the SNP pulling your strings?

Millie: Yes, well, I want to say that I have no intention of working with the SNP and that I have always been underestimated. People said I would never win an outright victory and I will. That’s not hypothetical because It’s true. You just wait and see if I don’t, and if I don’t, that won’t surprise anyone, least of all me.

Paxo: I deliberately have not asked you any difficult questions about the economy or why you bang on about the NHS despite repeated evidence that the Conservatives have no intention of implementing the swingeing cuts you accuse them of planning because I don’t think anyone can bear to hear you drone on about them for one more second, let alone the next six weeks. But I will ask you about immigration and why you and your party have suddenly gone quiet on the issue. Is there a point when, say, Britain sinks into the sea under the sheer weight of all the people trying to cram on board, that you will say  ‘enough is enough’ on immigration.

Millie: Well, I’m sorry I simply will not answer those sorts of questions because they call for ideologically unsound reasoning, populism,  decisiveness and the sort of statements which I will regret as soon as they are uttered. But above all I won’t answer because they are invariably based on scenarios on which I cannot be briefed because they are hypothetical and would put an end to pumping this country full of the sort of people who will vote Labour for generations to come as the nation becomes increasingly impoverished and public services collapse under the sheer weight of Labour voters.

Paxo: Well, David, thank you.

Millie: Thank you Jeremy. I just want to say I love the British people and have tremendous respect for the working classes. I don’t have any definite statistics on whether this love is reciprocated but I do know that despite the fact we have absolutely no policies based on anything but an envy of anyone who has anything we don’t have, I can safely say that if only my brother would promise to return to England to lead the Labour party after David Cameron has served a second term, everyone would have something to look forward to.

Paxo: Are you alright, mate?

Millie: Yes, thanks. I think so.

 

 

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It’s a bit like handing Labour, UKIP and the SNP loaded guns and giving them strict instructions to take aim at a single target like, for instance, the Tory party. And then laughing yourself sick as they point it at their feet and let fly. Every day brings fresh disasters for UKIP: Racism, channeling EU funds to their partners, racism, financial corruption…round and round it goes and each time Farage says something like “we’re a young party finding our feet” (after they’ve been turned into bloody stumps, presumably), before he sacks someone else.

In his latest disaster, Miliband repeatedly refused to rule out raising national insurance, the jobs tax, at PMQs, while Cameron promised not to raise VAT. Day after day Labour newspapers like the Daily Mirror and The Guardian lament Miliband’s un-electability. His two kitchens, his attempt to emulate Cameron on the school run, his pathetic performances at PMQs.

But the star of the Conservative campaign – the one weapon in its “friendly fire” armoury that consistently attacks its own, is Alex Salmond. It is becoming increasingly difficult not to believe that Salmond must actually be working for the Tory party. The former leader of the SNP and the man who assured us he would lead Scotland to independence…and failed to deliver, is clearly hell-bent on turning absolutely everyone in England against the SNP. His rants about his plans to defy the democratic process in Britain by using the 40-50 odd seats his party may win to distort the will of the British electorate is staggering. Vowing to bring down a Tory minority and install Miliband on Tuesday, one felt he had probably reached the limit of crass stupidity. But you really don’t know with him. There’s always hoping.

As if the English had not learned to despise the Scots following the vitriol that poured out of politicians and ordinary folk north of the border in the run-up to the referendum, Salmond and Sturgeon, the other aquatic politician, have used this election to drive home a wedge as permanent and far less contrived than any spurious grievances left by scores of historic Scottish-English battles that ended nearly 270 years ago with the battle of Culodden.

Any way you look at Salmond and Sturgeon’s performances, the Conservatives cannot fail to capitalize. Apart from totally alienating British voters, their threat to the democratic process – real or imagined – plays beautifully into Conservative hands. Even if the SNP succeed as kingmakers, any government deploying power aided by Scottish votes is bound to fail at Westminster. The vicious press criticism that will be deployed regarding any legislation passed with the help of the SNP will very soon force a vote of no confidence in a Labour-led government. It is inconceivable that Britain will put up with the SNP deciding any policy whatsoever in Westminster after more than a year of hatred-fuelled attacks on England. And a no-confidence vote in a Labour-SNP administration can only result in one thing. A Conservative-led government, probably with an all-out majority– obvy, as my children would say.

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There were a brief few days after the publication of the King’s Fund in early February – when the independent quarterly report stated clearly that Labour was “crying wolf” with “ill-founded” claims about the NHS being privatised – that we were spared the relentless drone of misinformation about the health service from Labour. With nothing left in its election armoury, we’re back to the NHS, considered by Labour to be its personal gift to Britain and which it – and only it – has the right to oversee. Same old, same old with a supremely negative poster attacking Tory plans for the NHS. No detail, of course, there never has been detail because it simply doesn’t exist. The best Miliband could do on budget day was to talk of a “secret” plan. But how can Labour know about it if it’s secret? It would be laughable if so many people were not actually being taken in by this naive and dishonest propagandising. Why stop at the NHS? Indeed, the vast proportion of Labour’s arguments in their election campaign boil down to a raft of unsubstantiated claims. “Tory cuts would amount to £70 billion in cuts”, insisted Ed Balls without any evidence. Another secret plan, presumably. Miliband’s supremely negative, scatter-gun approach to campaigning is a symptom of desperation in the face of Britain’s startlingly good economic and financial statistics. It speaks of the chaotic campaign management at Labour HQ that their only response is to disseminate unprovable rumours in the hope that some of the people can be fooled some of the time.

 

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The BBC alone lost 4 million viewers on Sunday over the cancellation of a single Top Gear program, never mind the overseas viewers of now binned future programmes – a staggeringly wanton squandering of our license-fee. But the did-he-or-didn’t-he-hit-Oisin-Tymon saga is about far more than a bunch of BBC executives having the right to prove that their power is greater than the sum of the popularity of Jeremy Clarkson and the several million pounds of profit it has thrown away. King Canute at least confronted the waves in order to illustrate his impotence to the sycophants surrounding him. The BBC executives, or at least Danny Cohen (who suspended Clarkson), are apparently intent on proving the opposite to a left-wing phalanx at the BBC and millions of fee-paying viewers. Clarkson’s suspension is ultimately political.

The entire sorry saga actually boils down to the sanctimonious arrogance of Auntie in seeking to stand for the guardianship of all that it deems morally and politically correct in today’s Britain. As the story drags on it should become clear that it is not so much about Clarkson as about politics – left-wing one’s at that – whose tentacles reach deep into the BBC, and the image some of its top executives have of themselves. It is unfortunate, but probably not coincidental, for Auntie that the Clarkson epic broke in the middle of its attempt to portray itself as the custodian of the British democratic process in trying to shame David Cameron into participating in debates of its own design. As Lord Grade pointed out, the BBC was attempting to interfere in politics by seeking to shape the election agenda. By harassing Cameron into participating in debates it already knew he was not bound or wanted to take part in, it was shamelessly siding with Labour in a relentless attempt to discredit him.

These liberal-left politics that permeate the corporation are now emerging as the alarming subtext to what has happened to Clarkson. For anyone with a Facebook account it should be clear that despite the nearly one million signatures of a petition to reinstate Clarkson, thousands have a loathing for him that has nothing to do with the latest fiasco and everything to do with class hatred and envy. “I don’t hate (sic) him, I don’t care (sic) about him, I despise everything he stands for,” writes one Facebook contributor to scores of ‘likes’. For class warriors, Clarkson represents the stereotypical entitled public school product, arrogant and right-wing. And when the BBC’s Danny Cohen, it’s director of television, decided to summarily suspend him he was actually, according to A.A .Gill, TV critic and a friend of Clarkson’s, lancing the boil that the presenter had become for him over the years. Gill described Cohen as “right-on” and one of a clique in the BBC who try to use it promote their left-wing views. In March 2004 Clarkson took a swing at Piers Morgan and connected with the former Mirror Editor’s forehead and temple. The BBC ignored the matter and Morgan, joking, challenged Clarkson to a four-round boxing match at Wembley to settle their differences. Clarkson, a self-confessed coward, claimed a busy work schedule prevented him from taking up the challenge. It was a private, mutual dislike between the two that had been aired in public. OK, so Clarkson and Morgan were equally famous, did not work for the same program and were thus outside Auntie’s jurisdiction. But I very much doubt if the Top Gear suspension could have occurred in an independent, privately-run company. The questionable interference in an affair that did not take place on company property and outside office hours would have been far, far too expensive to deal with summarily and before knowing all the facts. Any privately-owned company would have waited at least for the last three programmes to be filmed to avoid an outcry from shareholders. Sadly for Top Gear fans across the world, the red mist of personal animosity and politics rather than Canute-like pragmatism appear in Cohen’s case to have taken precedent over the BBC’s interests as a public broadcaster with viewers. “The customer is always right” is unfortunately not a saying with which the BBC is in any way familiar.

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What’s the difference between Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Farage? On the one hand quite a lot, on the other not so much. One turns political incorrectness into a highly popular comedy act and gets sacked by his employers for his efforts and the other turns political incorrectness into a campaign act and becomes one of the most popular politicians in Britain. But the real similarity is that neither of them knows when they’ve gone too far. “Jimmy Saville and now HS2, Stoke Mandeville has had it all,” Farage muttered yesterday while touring the town. Was this horrendously tasteless gaffe really worth the headlines? He’s had his share, mind you. He suggested Germany should have been made to surrender unconditionally, he expressed pride in forming alliances in Europe with far-right parties and of course there was Thursday’s call for an end to laws banning racial discrimination at work. There have been plenty more personal faux pas but even they pale into insignificance compared to those of other members of his boorish party. The trouble is, really, that while Clarkson is an entertainer, Farage is hoping to change the way Britain is run. Clarkson loses his job and Farage gains votes that may eventually allow him to use parliamentary privilege to bray sound bites for which he would be arrested if uttered in the street outside. Do we really want five years of Farage saying things that you thought you would only hear on a drunken night out with the Alabama chapter of the Klu-Klux-Klan?

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“Better Plan for a Better Future” – catchy, right? Well, maybe, but as far as Labour (who claim the slogan) is concerned it’s a beautifully centred own goal. Where have you seen it before? Yup, something almost identical is headlining the Conservative Party website and Top 10 Tory slogans for over a year. And to save you the trouble of looking it up: “Together, we’ll secure a better future for you, your family and everyone in Britain” – Vote Conservative. After dropping it’s “NHS carve up” mantra, in the wake of the King’s Fund Report that made clear there was never going to be such a thing, and discovering that its education tuition fees cuts had backfired, Labour’s sharpest minds have come up with a Tory party slogan to take them to the election. You couldn’t make it up – and they didn’t. “Oh, I’ve had this brilliant idea,” someone cried at strategy planning 132a. “Let’s take the Tory idea for a “Long term economic plan” and stick it on our logo. That way people might think we’re them and vote for us. We’ve tried bashing them, now let’s copy them and do what we’re best at – confusing  the punters.”  “But, what about imitation being the  sincerest…” Then there’s the semantics. The grammar of the whole thing, if you will. Do Labour mean they are offering a better plan (than the Tories) for a better future (in which case you’d better vote Tory since they thought of this long before us) or do they mean – “You’d better plan if you want a better future”- or else? Or else, what? Rather begs the issue of what they want you to do in terms of voting. Hardly a slogan to convince anyone to change their minds. People will merely go on planning for a better future with whomsoever they were planning to have a better future with in the first place – and guess who that was?

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So now we have it. It’s official. Yet again Labour’s brazen hypocrisy over immigration is cruelly confirmed. During Tony’s Blair’s period in office immigration ballooned to 3.6 million people over 13 years, according to Migration Watch UK, an independent and non-political organization. That’s the equivalent of the combined sizes of Britain’s five largest cities outside London – Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield and Bradford, the organisation said. The damning report says this surge was partly because of “incompetence” and partly a conspiracy by some in the party to make British society more multicultural. But almost more alarmingly this callous indifference to the concerns of the electorate was that it was also designed to advantage Labour at the polls because migrants from Asia and Africa are more inclined to vote Labour than for any other party.

The indifference to the legacy that the opening of the floodgates to immigration means for the UK is staggering in its irresponsibility. What plans did Labour have to increase the level of water extraction, the number of hospitals, schools and social services to meet such an immense demand on Britain’s services? Absolutely none that exceeded it’s run-of-the-mill plans for improvements. No wonder this country is creaking under the weight of five new major cities without the means to cater for the extra influx. No wonder our NHS is bursting at the seams. Meanwhile Labour’s cynically calculated population explosion is designed not merely to create an additional mass of underprivileged Labour voters, but by causing the service infrastructure to all but collapse it aimed to create further mass resentment among indigenous Labour voters over the failure – under the Conservatives – of the services it purposely overloaded. It relied on what it assumed would be the public’s naïve association of Labour being the sole trustworthy guardian of the NHS which it then brought to breaking point along with all the other service infrastructures of our daily lives. Together with Labour’s redrawing of the political boundaries to slew voting patterns in its favour, Labour has compromised severely the very foundations of democracy in the UK. It’s lust for power, now being seen again in virtually every single promise it makes to tax and spend, is part of its irresponsible, ruthless determination to gain power at any cost. Power for its own sake. One simply cannot find an atom of humour to extract from this sort of corruption. But let us take warning, already indicated by Labour’s newfound reticence to speak about immigration controls, – other than to criticise the Tories for failing to meet their declared quotas. Labour has abandoned any concrete plans to limit immigration; obviously intending to relax border controls once again to flood the UK with even more supposed Labour voters. Shame on them.

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Peter Hain warns whoever may be interested that a vote for the Greens is a vote that could facilitate a Tory victory. A somewhat unnecessary intervention from Mr Hain, one might think, in view of Greens leader Natalie Bennett’s appalling “car crash” interview on national radio. This was followed within a couple of days by a further pile-up in Brighton, the only constituency where the Greens have any power. Here they actually managed to vote against their own party on budget issues, thereby scuppering their chances of getting the measures passed. Their extraordinary behavior within the space of a few days makes even the Monster Raving Loony Party appear a safe pair of hands come election time. All the more strange why Hain thought it timely to warn against voting for the Greens, given that anyone contemplating such a step in the immediate aftermath of their recent chaotic performances might be considered somewhat deranged themselves. But then, doubtless, Greens voters and the more extreme Labour supporters may have a lot more in common than might immediately be obvious to outsiders. In view of that link, an intervention by Hain, who’s political career has on occasions been somewhat more shades of grey than whiter than white, may be seen as in keeping with previous examples of questionable judgment on his part.

 

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So Balls is a “long, slow burn” in the bedroom department. The man who would be Chancellor of the Exchequer, balancing the UK’s books, ramping up our borrowing on the international stage, addressing parliament twice a year for a couple of hours as he explains his plans for Britain’s economy and takes searching questions…is slow to what? Set fire to himself in bed? If only. No, the pretender to the most powerful cabinet post  who should be one of the cleverest MPs in parliament, a genius with figures, is…slow to get an erection? Slow to have an orgasm? Takes a long time to become aroused? Does not get aroused at all? Is impotent?  What on earth is this man trying to say and why on earth is he saying it at all? How can he possibly imagine that we could take him seriously again when he has attempted with a series of innuendo-laden euphemisms to establish his common touch, in every sense. As one Twitterati wrote beneath news of Balls’s proclivity to arson: “There’s not enough bleach to rid my mind of that thought”. I really, really don’t want to know how a wannabe Chancellor has sex any more than we want to know how our parents do it. The Queen, our parents and Cabinet members simply exist to do a job which needs to command respect – something needlessly negated when you are required to imagine them assuming absurd physical contortions, never mind that you already carry a name that elicits a pavlovian response every time you open your mouth. Balls finishes off his Mumsnet phone-in by inviting a caller who suggested he was 49-1/2 shades of grey to “fill in the other half.” If you thought the Pink Bus patronized women you must wonder why Balls seems to think they should be interested in his ability/inability to get an erection rather than in his economic program – but perhaps that’s actually the point. He doesn’t have either.

 

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Within a week he attacks rich party donors for tax avoidance only to discover his own party is as guilty as the Tories of having their fingers in the honey pot. Then he demands MPs give up second jobs in case they conflict with their parliamentary duties, only to discover that not only are his own MPs guilty of such double jobbing, but that he himself had the highest earnings for such activities until recently. What exactly does the leader of the opposition think he is doing, apart from appearing intent in repeatedly shooting himself in both feet – already rendered bloody stumps? The BBC’s Political correspondent Nick Robinson suggests Red Ed is positioning himself alongside fringe parties by pretending he is outside the Westminster establishment which he recognises as flawed and which he intends to reform. Man of the people not of parliament. Way to go ED. A few years back Mr Clean, an advertisement carried by a household brand of surface disinfectant, depicted a ghost-like creature spinning round the kitchen and leaving behind a trail of sparkling stars. Sadly whenever we now hear Millie proselytizing that absurd image springs to mind. He’s likely to be similarly effective – OK for a while, but a fresh clean is required within hours.

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An irreverent look at today’s opposition parties by someone who has lived through too many elections and met too many politicians.   Call me mad, but I believe the only form of government that can possibly work in 21 Century Britain is one that tries to run the UK as it would a business, balancing the books with enough surplus to plough money back into its infrastructure and care for society’s weak and helpless.  I am not a member of the Conservative party and never have been but I believe that its financial pragmatism in the capitalist world we live in is the only type of government that makes any sense.  The alternative is Miliband’s “Old-Labour” student union-level politics of envy with its anachronistic, populist ideology through which it hopes to filter every idealistic decision it makes. The inevitable result will be to re-create the discredited political experiments many of us lived through under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan which ended in strikes, national bankruptcy, mass unemployment, government by unelected trade unions and a limit of £50 to take abroad on your summer holiday.  This blog is dedicated to pointing out the inevitable chaos that would result in a Labour-knows-best government based on a political premise that I’d hoped had ended with the Berlin Wall. I am convinced that a Labour-dominated government would plunge Britain overnight into a disaster of limitless proportions as the world enters its most economically and politically volatile period since the war. I intend to rant about those dangers in the few weeks left before those of us who bother to vote decide whether to sink or swim over the next decade and possibly beyond.  Whatever your beliefs, be assured that the result of the next election, the most crucial since Margaret Thatcher wrenched Labour’s hands from the national self-destruct button, is likely to resonate at least as long as her legacy.

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Fleet street is rubbing its hands in glee. A win-win situation at the election is almost an understatement. Yes, it would be appalling for the country if Labour got in, one of its newspaper editors tells me, “but can you imagine the avalanche of fabulous stories as a result.  We’d be inundated with brilliant copy cataloging the unfolding chaos.”  

 “Pound collapses as stock market crashes following Labour victory.” And that’s just the first 24 hours. “SNP votes with Labour for third time this week to increase taxes to 70% – except in Scotland”.  “London family sell two-bedroom flat in Notting Hill to buy five bedroom house with two acres in Bucks to avoid Mansion Tax”, “Big business flees Britain for France as Hollande ousted in landslide election.” “Miliband says Greece proves you can survive with 25% unemployment and debt at 175% of GDP”.  “Parliament in meltdown as left coalition fails to unite on any policies.” “Miliband forgets himself and notes at question time”. Bring it on, is What the Papers Say – secretly.

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First Miliband forgets to mention the gaping deficit and immigration, created and facilitated by New Labour, at the party conference; then Balls confesses to a senior moment with the name of one of his party’s major donors. Yes, that’s the same Miliband who forgot to register the birth of his eldest son until he was 18 months old and forgot to marry Justine Thornton until reminded by aides following his election as party leader six years after meeting her. If that lot get in, head for hills.  Chaotic doesn’t even do justice as a way of describing the Alzheimer Party. Ed and Dave, Dave and Ed – whatever. That’s how the wrong one got elected.  They probably forgot which was which. Ed clearly forgot who was his brother otherwise he would not have shafted him so appallingly as to cause a permanent family rift. Continue reading

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Yet another astonishing piece of dissembling from Miliband suggesting that a Conservative referendum on the EU would damage British business far more than his own anti-business rants. Firstly, even if opinion polls suggest a close run thing, I would bet your Mansion tax on the outcome. We will stay in the EU because, quite rightly, the uncertain consequences of pulling out would be far too dangerous to risk. (Footnote: see fear created over Scottish referendum on leaving the hated UK). But far more importantly, Tony Blair twice promised to hold an EU referendum and twice failed to honour his pledge. On April 20, 2004 Blair told Parliament it should debate the European constitutional question “in detail and decide upon it” and “then let the people have the final say.” He terminated the statement in the Commons with pretentious Shakespearean flourish: “Let the issue be put. Let the battle be joined.”  Continue reading

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Much as one tries to avoid reading the Guardian for blood pressure reasons, it is occasionally cross-referenced by other media outlets and becomes unavoidable. But it really isn’t healthy. Some of the cleverest writers provide some extraordinary drivel. Polly Toynbee, the conscience of Britain, rides a predictable wave of hatred against “party donors with Swiss bank accounts” which now, apparently, qualify their owners for instant vilification under the  “corrupt by association” banner. But that piece of sanctimonious libel is not even the worst of it. She launches into a diatribe against donors who, she assumes, give money purely in order to achieve honours and influence in return. Hoping to avoid any counter-accusations she claims that St Miliband selflessly introduced a rule last year to undermine trade union influence on Labour by ensuring that future donations to the party must only come from individual members. Continue reading

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“Dodgy donors, dodgy PM”.  That rings a bell. Of course, a deployment of the already successfully tested adjective used to describe Tony Blair’s file on Saddam’s WMD, based on faked evidence and sold to the British public as a reason for starting a war that we’re still fighting 12 years later.

The “Dodgy Dossier” had its anniversary just two weeks ago – doubtless why it has been preying on the minds of Labour. Miliband should probably have been more careful in the dodgy deployment of that phrase before triggering our Pavlovian recall mechanisms, even without the inevitable blowback on his own party’s donors.

And while we’re on the subject of tax avoidance, which is actually not a criminal activity or in any way against the law, this idea that we are all doing it is actually true, of course.

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Poor Stuart Broad, the England batsman and seam bowler, having to apologise for tweeting that if you earned the minimum wage in England you were in the world’s top 10% of earners – but he’s correct.

Harangued by his Twitter followers and the thought police for daring, as a sports millionaire, to comment on such matters, he had to eat humble pie and claim that he was merely seeking to “emphasise how big the world is”.

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