Posts Tagged ‘Ordinary People’
That was good whilst it lasted. Albert’s little chest was nowhere to be seen this morning, he was enveloped in a hoodied duffle coat, looking for all the world like one of Snow White’s companions. It has to be said that a sudden halving of temperatures does nothing for morale, and the pursuit of three hens heading off for the petrol queue lacked the vigour so evident over the past week. But those of us who, until a fortnight ago, were inclined to give the coalition the benefit of the doubt were encouraged by the sudden assault launchd by David Davies, the Tory that challenged David Cameron for the party leadership.
He suggested that “striving” voters believe that ministers like the Prime Minister and the Chancellor do not listen to their concerns. In fact he went on to claim that working-class voters increasingly “resent” what they see as over-privileged Cabinet ministers who simply “do not understand their everyday lives. Mr David has what the Old Etonians suddenly suspect are ideal credentials – he grew up on a council estate in south London.
Given the shambolic nature of the past week, this triggered an immediate search for spokesmen with whom “ordinary” people would identify. One can imagine the conversation between Dave and Gorgeous George. Dave undoubtedly argued that he is doing his level best to appear ordinary, having agreed tto be filmed playing badminton. Goerge for his part had posed with a Cornish pastie. Neither will have entirely grasped that not all “ordinary” folk regularly follow either occupation.
But they clearly made progress. Angus Maude, who has the disadvantage of looking like a serial-killer accountant, has been banished and in his place they have unearthed Mike Penning, officially the Roads Minister but unofficially one of the few ministers who actually sounds as if he lives on this planet. He immediately appeared on the Radio 4 Today programme and, although he was there to talk about the petrol “emergency”, chose instead to state that whilst he was not the minister responsible for pasties, he does enjoy them and would be happy to show anyone exactly where he buys them. It as all very reassuring, so much so that his very ordinariness may well have served to make his senior colleagues seem even more remote. If the sudden exposure to the public spotlight overwhlems so ordinary a bloke, the coalition has Eric Pickles on standby. He wasn’t first choice on the grounds that he speaks like Donald Pleasance playing a Nazi General and looks like someone who has eaten rather too many pasties.
For what it is worth, I believe that in searching for new spokesmen who appear ordinary is fraught with danger. The idea that outside of parliament dwells 30-odd million ordinary people all acting and thinking as one in the manner of a Borg-collective is a little wide of the mark. As if to prove my point, the government made a late change to its representation on last night’s David Bumblebee’s Question Time. The woman they sent reminded me of a middle-class lady from Greenpiece, who regularly assails my ears in the local pub. She is always right, everyone else is unenlightened. She, and the “ordinary” politician that appeared last night, is anything but ordinary. Both are a pain in the bum.
The truth surely is that there is no such thing as an “ordinary” person. Cameron has attempted to demonstrate that he understands rhyming-slang, little realising that no one more that a couple of miles from Bow Bells uses it. He should leave the lower end of the social strata to The Sun if he can maintain his close links with Murdoch. He needs to focus on the middle-class where the swing-votes lurk, and that in itself is a major challenge since in this day and age that embraces Mrs Bouquet at one end, and a chap in last nights audience at the other. He believed that the answer to strikes is imprisonment for all who contemplte such an act.
Better still drop the whole pretence altogether. Both Attlee and Churchill held great sway with the masses, yet both were from privileged backgrounds. Their secret was competence and, when that deserted them, honesty.
A dose of both would do the coalition a power of good. It is true that only last week almost 70% declared Cameron and Osborne to be rich and socially unconnected with them. But a year ago, when the coalition was riding high in the polls’ the fugure was only two points lower.
People don’t expct Old Etonians to go around munching pork pies, what they hate is their habit of telling them. They don’t care if they speak with a plum in their mouths and ride ex-police horses, they hate their corruption and favouratism to their own kind.
Even using big Eric as a frontman can’t save them now as we move back officially into recession. They may not be like us, but they have brains. The time to start using them has arrived!
GALLOWAY VICTORY SAYS IT ALL! The absolute thrashing dished out by George Galloway in the Bradford by-election says it all about the total disaffection the vast majority now have with all three of the main political parties. Although George Galloway represented his ‘Respect party’ he, in effect, stood as an independent yet was able to exceed the Labour vote by 10,000 and the Conservatives and Lib Dems by even more.
It bodes well for the new Doctors party at the general election!
WERRITY LIVES! Readers who enjoyed the Werrity saga will be relieved to know that our much envied hero is not yet an extinct species. Annual accounts for Pargav Limited show Werrity collected £73,850 in the year to October last. The accounts, now filed at Companies House, show the payment as being for “consultancy charges” paid to Mr Werrity who was a “shadow director of the company”.
Pargov received £147,000 from four Tory-donating businessmen and an international investigation company staffed by ex-MI6 employees, and paid for Werrity to take a string of first-class flights to meet Liam Fox at 18 exotic locations while the Defence Secretary was on government business.
Faced with all that stress, our hero was surely entitled to some relaxation and £379.60 went on a bill at Larry Flint’s Hustler Club topless bar.
Today is said to be the hottest October day since Eve offered Adam a Tesco apple, and it feels that way. Sounds daft I know but in such heat we feel resentment at the hens which stand around like people in the Post office queue whilst we old geezers scuttle and sweat. We were a man short this morning for Alan has headed off early for the Conservative Party Conference, something he has attended as regularly as others do Wimbledon or Raymond’s Review Bar. His advance press release told him that he was in for a treat, top feature will be “modern compassionate Conservatism”. Frankly I would rather lie in a cesspit but everyone to his own.
We did point out to our departed delusionist a poll published only yesterday which showed only 27% believing that the Tories are “on the side of ordinary people”. Mind you, only 45% say the same of Labour so there are 28% out there who think neither of them is. We fogeys identify with them!
Apparently George Osborne is going to speak out for people who create wealth, hardly surprising perhaps since he has created quite a pile of his own. But we’ve no quarrel with poeple who work hard and succeed, however we do baulk at those who rake it in at our expense thanks to some rather handsome hand-outs from their friends at the top.
If you fancy making a fortune you could do worse than have a go at making electronic tags. We have learned that the companies handed this lucrative task charge the taxpayer £1,100 for a 90 day version. The cost to them is £400 to £500 depending on the number of call-outs to the offender. Not a bad little earner for G4S and Serco, the current suppliers. The contract is due out for tender again shortly and it seems probable that donations to the Conservative Party are climbing rapidly right now. Why? Because not only is the profit margin enormous but the number required is about to go through the roof!
Ministers are preparing for a massive expansion in electronic tagging of offenders, with private security companies being invited to tender for more than £1 billion. That’s right, a billion quids worth. This is part of Kenneth Clarke’s campaign to close down prisons and monitor criminals in the community. His sentencing and punishment bill, which is now before parliament, will give the courts powers to extend the tag curfew limit from 12 hours per day to 16 and will double the length of sentence to a full year. So from now on most villains will suffer no geater punishment than staying with ‘er indoors for longer periods that they would normally envisage. I guess Fletcher and the other inmates of Slade Prison would have settled for this.
Such prisons as survive are being handed to private companies to manage. Yes, you’ve guessed it, G4S and Serco are again the chosen. The former is about to take over the Victorian inner city prison in Birmingham, and Serco is about to start “payments by results” services at Doncaster prison with similar schemes to follow at eight more prisons. Hot on the heels of all this will be invitations to tender for nine more major prisons.
It seems that this is likely to be just as lucrative as making tags. Private companies pay much lower wages (and presumably employ much lower quality warders) and earn huge bonuses for preventing escapes. Presumably they achieve this by making life inside so comfortable that no one even contemplates leaving early.
If Ed Miliband ever gets around to understanding all this he would be ill-advised to claim that we are not only going soft on crime but are dishing out fortunes to private companies into the bargain. Should he do so the media will have even bigger headlines about ‘Red Ed’.
And quite right too. Only a rabid left-winger could suggest that violent criminals should actually be punished, or that their soft treatment should not provide rich pickings for entrepeneurs!
YOUR WEEKEND GENERAL KNOWLEDGE QUIZ; 1. In the music world what did NKOTB stand for? 2. Hartley was the fictional town setting for which TV police serial? 3. Variola is the proper name for which killer disease 4. Who competed against Messala in a literary chariot race? 5. Where did Laika, the first dog in space, die? 6. In which musical did “Pop Idol’s” Darius Danesh win a coveted prize? 7. Which sheriff killed Billy the Kid? 8. What was the first Madonna hit not to mention an item of food? 9. Which Liverpool top scorer in 2004-2005 was rewraded with a transfer? 10. Is a piri-piri sauce sweet, or hot and spicy?
ANSWERS WILL BE INCLUDED WITH TOMORROW’S BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!