The political class offered their favourite cartoons of themselves to the Telegraph in celebration of Matt's 30 years at the newspaper. All except one that is. He really is the most humourless, dreary, self-important and priggish arse imaginable.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." T.E. Lawrence; Seven Pillars of Wisdom
After Labour's Diane Abbot's epic brain freeze yesterday, when she proved that amongst all the other things she can't do, she is definitely in the remedial class for arithmetic, Jeremy Corbyn held a strategy meeting.
The Bank Holiday weekend has delivered a welcome respite for most from the General Election campaign which actually, is delivering all that was expected with few surprises. The Conservatives are pitching the ‘strong and stable,’ script with tedious monotony and downplaying their strong lead lest the volatile electorate begin to sniff some trace of a sense of entitlement from them. Labour continue to veer off in so many directions it is difficult to keep up, especially so for the blundering idiot charged with leading them over the cliff which he will achieve with almost no effort at all, (although I’m convinced he won’t make it to the end of the campaign and suspect he’ll have a breakdown long before the end of May). The LibDems have got themselves in a right old tizzy with their leader, Tim Farron, (he’s the one that looks like a Spitting Image puppet thats been left in direct sunlight for too long), seemingly unsure of where he stands on the gay sex thing and he now tells us he’s ‘a bit of a Eurosceptic.’ Right on Timmy boy. All those supporters who knit their own clothes and cut their own hair will have been pulling it out in clumps over the weekend. The SNP meanwhile are still being mean about the English and deflecting criticism about education in Scotland like true Dodgeball champions while UKIP appear to have spontaneously combusted without many people having noticed. Across the main parties there is an unseemly rush to the exits with shouts of ‘Carpe Diem,’ from a raft of special political advisors and party apparatchiks, anxious to grab a safe seat from retiring members of Parliament and the political press can’t believe their luck that Westminster just keeps on giving with their workload brimming over with yet another election.
So far so good.
There is change though. Some of it subtle enough to be missed, or ignored by the mainstream. The first concerns Corbyn, which I will deal with in this post. There has been a gentle hidden hand on the tiller attempting to alter the narrative where Corbyn's relationship with Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA is concerned. The historical canvas is being recoloured to suggest that during all the years that Corbyn was involved with, and supported PIRA, he did so in pursuit and attainment of peace. This is facile nonsense. Corbyn voted against the peace process and with it the Anglo Irish agreement. This is the man who hosted Sinn Fein in the Houses of Parliament just weeks after the Brighton bombing. The same man who was a mouthpiece for the Republican pressure group in the UK, Troops Out. Corbyn regularly attended and spoke at commemorations for terrorists in the eighties and was general secretary of the left wing publication Labour Briefing,’ which supported PIRA atrocities and backed the Brighton bombing which lets remind ourselves, killed five and maimed 31. While Corbyn was honouring dead PIRA terrorists, PIRA ‘prisoners of war,’ and the active ‘soldiers of the IRA,’ families across the United Kingdom were grieving for those men women and children murdered by the terrorist and those left with broken bodies and minds, civilian and military alike. Corbyn and his acolytes are being allowed to rewrite history and it stinks. This man wanted the IRA to win and to win at any cost. If he had been sincere in pursuing a peaceful outcome he would have supported not criticised John Hume and the SDLP. He did not though. Instead he supported the bad guys and moreover, supported a continuance of extreme violence.
The difficult truth for Corbyn is that the Provisionals lost. They were forced to negotiate when they realised they their organisation was riddled from top to bottom by British security intelligence and the cost of continuing was unsustainable. Even when the peace process was gaining traction Corbyn and John McDonnell could not bring themselves to support it. Corbyn in fact was a very long way from helping any successful outcome and over the years made a contribution to prolonging the conflict.
Certainly, as far as I am concerned the concept of anyone voting for a man who supported people who would have liked nothing better than to give me or any one of my friends a headshot or blow us to bits all over the nearest three villages is total anathema. To my mind, anyone who does is spitting on the grave of all those who suffered at the hands of the terrorist and is disrespecting their memory. So too, are those who choose not to report the truth.
So, in an elegant example of the dark arts of political craft Theresa May is to be Prime Minister by Wednesday evening. The Tories have always been unsentimental if not brutal in removing and installing their leaders. Not for them the hand wringing and drawn out public debates that beset the Labour Party. No, they remain the finest and best drilled exponents of political assassination on the planet. That is not to suggest for a moment that the best person has not won for she probably has and it is to the good that the uncertainty is at an end. I suspect that very early in the campaign Mrs May was taken to one side and told, "Stay aloof and don't get involved. If the vote goes against us we'll need a unity candidate and you are it." She played the part fantastically well and embarks on her premiership with the "safe and competent," badge.
Boris was never a serious contender for the majority of MP's, except in his own mind, and they've been telling anyone who would listen so for many months. The demise of Michael Gove is regrettable because despite his earnest and sometimes severe demeanour is a genuine reformer who cares deeply about the very large sections of society who have been left behind. He has more to give. Andrea is well, we don't quite know. After being lauded as a City name people in the City have for weeks been asking each other 'who is this women, have you ever come across her?' and of course none of us had. For spicing up her CV she deserves to have fallen by the wayside rather more than for the 'mothergate,' thing. The CV episode would see a junior grad trainee uncerimoniously booted out of any reasonable firm, never mind a prospective prime minister.
So have was Crumble's choice? Actually, none of the above. I would have ticked the box for this lady, Gisela Stuart. She is of course ineligible given the rather inconvenient fact that she is a Labour MP but she rather impressed me during the campaign and I would very much enjoy the irony of having a Bavarian born prime minister taking on Mrs Merkel in exit negotiations. If the Labour party were struck by a sudden flash of sanity they would install Mrs Stuart as leader tomorrow. Now that really would worry Tory backroom fixers.
The Sunday papers are dominated by three themes. Japans fantastic win over South Africa yesterday, the refugee crisis, (and here we see the insufferable lie-down-and-cry luvvie lefties are quietly figuring out that perhaps their reflex, 'save them all, it's 1938,' reaction was perhaps a tad misplaced with only 1 in 5 migrants being in fact Syrian), and the car crash first week of the new Labour leadership. With Labour, all the papers miss the target.
While the media are diligently monitoring every move and utterance of Corbyn they are looking in the wrong direction. The key player is the new Deputy Leader, Tom Watson. He is Len McCluskey's old flatmate and the Stalin to Corbyn's Trotsky. When Corbyn gets the metaphorical ice-pick in the forehead, Watson will automatically become leader, just as they planned all along.
Apologies for the absence but back and with much to say after a month in which we've said goodbye to, amongst others, the Labour party, (probably for a generation), Sepp Blatter, (hurrah!), Charles Kennedy, (anyone who described my mum as the Helen Mirran of Inverness must be a good soul) and the television series Mad Men, (bereft). What with the current series of Modern Family now ended I'm left only with the hilarious comedy Silicon Valley to justify my license fee. Anyway, we're also coming to the end of school exam season and with it A Levels and the last of my cohort to finish school. Should I be encouraged or dismayed by these recent snapchats received from said student with a cunning plan?
which was unfortunately followed by this,