The world is crammed with people too dumb to realise their dreams will never be realised
The foreign resort catering for Anglo-German tastes promotes a very special kind of dream. It is an unrealisable dream, a fated dream – the sort of dream that keeps X-Factor bombarded with wannabe superstars destined only ever to achieve the wanna part of be.
Rejected by local talent contests and clubs, they sit alone in the corner of pubs and play pap-pop on moog keyboards. Without Sinatra, Abba, Engelbert Humperdink and Tom Jones, they would have nothing to play, no standard ballads to which they can pull faces of great emotion, while trying to hit those top and bottom notes that elude most of us – and all of them.
Still following the dream, quite often they move to the sun, where packed into relatively tiny areas are enough restaurants, bars and clubs to keep them gainfully employed. As we ate a truly historic meal of omelettes last night, one of their number sat behind keyboards and played medleys and melodies without pause. These earned him sporadic, mainly sympathetic clapping from an audience of diners whose last remaining vestiges of discernment had been washed away by cheap beer and fizzy rose wine.
So addicted to even the most obligatory applause are these performers, it takes but one single whoop to encourage them from behind the moog synthesiser and onto the small stage to strut their stuff, and our chap was no exception.
He enjoyed the looks of one who could very easily have been the commissar in charge of the next Cuban 5-year plan for tractors, but once he started to sing it was obvious the guy was actually Dutch.
“Thanyoo verr mush guysh an’ galsh, dat woss ‘Eesh good to toush the green green grash of home’ by Tom Jonesh, and now, clap your handsh, becaushe ish the time right now foor shome Abbaaa,” was the giveaway as to his nationality. Later came ‘Wheeshper wordsh of wishdome, le it bee-ee-e-ee’, and later still dry ice.
As this was a fairly intimate restaurant – and dry ice has an unpredictability to it that can cause mass panic very quickly – the rest of moog-Man’s set was surreal. I haven’t enjoyed an evening so much in ages.
On the way back to our accommodation, all along the seemingly endless seafront girls in spangled tights and blokes in tight black trousers were prancing about in a hundred bars and restaurants. They sang, they danced, they begged people to clap their hands, and they never referred to them as anything less than The Audience. Only by doing this can they carry on with the fantasy that one day, Michael Grade will be in The Audience and sign them up on the spot. The Audience might consist of a dozen bright red diners whose main problem is fitting into their seats and under the table, but the dream will always be there.
The less talented but more deluded versions of these lost souls become Finance Ministers in the EU, bureaucrats in Brussels, and politicians on the international stage. Their dreams are more likely to involve phantom leveraging and imagined recoveries, but they are every bit as sad. Unlike those who struggle for our attention in the restaurants of Southern Europe, however, they always wind up costing us a great deal of money before disappearing into the dry ice forever.
We’re not short of evidence about continuing (and increasingly surreal) projects and costs involved this weekend as the EUnatics continue their bold attempt to solve the insoluble. Despite the Troika issuing a gloomy report on Greece’s ability to pay the cost of flights to Luxembourg (let alone its debts) lenders remain grittily determined not to take a haircut, and the eurocrats remain equally steadfast in their desire that they should. It remains a hand of poker in which everyone has a busted flush, but the money at stake just keeps piling higher and higher.
The gulf between France’s idea of a Paris-directed slush fund, and Germany’s preference for a dam that it alone controls, remains as wide as ever. Sarkozy and Merkel met last night, and the word this morning is that France retreated. This is what France does best in any confrontation with the Germans, but it seems highly unlikely that the retreat will have been enough. Meanwhile, in the reality-infested short term, the Franco-German tussle over how to increase the firepower of the €440bn EFSF fund comes down to one simple but worrying question: is there enough money in Europe to prevent a full market attack on the €2 trillion Italian bond market?
Personally, I have always thought not. Even at the greatly enhanced speed of summitry now, the EU’s big players are still miles behind the game. They have until Wednesday to sort it out. After which, they’ll have until the following Monday. And so on….but not ad infinitum.
For once, I was somewhat underwhelmed by Tom Watson’s new revelations about computer hacking at Newscorpse. Perhaps the whole thing was trailed too much beforehand, but the ‘exposure’ of blaggers being used across the piece in contemporary commerce is hardly news. Nor, indeed, is the pathetic inability of government to deal with the problem. But Tom has now got the scent in his nostrils about Newscorp, and thus tends to see every form of techno-wickedness through the kaleidoscope of Murdochian companies and employees.
As regular Sloggers know, Newscorp in the States is already being investigated by the FBI over computer hacking in order to obtain information about takeover targets – a much more serious crime there than hacking celeb phones in order to obtain tabloid exposes. The Slog has sent Mr Watson all our findings in this area; I’ve no idea whether he’s read them or not, but a cursory glance should’ve told him that Newscorp evil is not big news any more in the US. The Americans hate the Murdochs even more than we do.
Watson told the US press corps that British police are looking into at least three private investigators who have done computer-blagging work for News Corp. newspapers, in addition to Glenn Mulcaire. “In the U.K., the Serious Organized Crime Agency holds the hard drives of a number of those investigators,” said Watson. “News Corp. is potentially facing Mulcaire 2.”
Problem is Tom, most Americans haven’t a clue who Mulcaire is.
And so to David Cameron, the man so gratuitously pictured at the head of this piece – and yet at one and the same time, so deserving of such treatment. Where we are billeted at the minute, sales of the Daily Express do spectacularly well. So I’ve been unable to miss the fact that, according to the Express’s research last week, 75% of we slightly mad and foolishly naïve Brits now not only want an EU referendum – we want out, tomorrow. This is a considerable rise from the 53% of eight months ago, but hardly surprising given the Fred Karno’s Chainsaw Massacre letting blood across the Channel.
Dave being constructed from high-born genes, this is unlikely to move him greatly, especially as anything in Sums beyond fractions was probably beyond him. However, as this figure converts neatly to three-quarters, or 3 in 4, he can scarcely plead ignorance.
I’m glad this has come up, because for a couple of days now I’ve been mulling the latest Opinion Poll trends. They show conclusively that, steadily tucked in 4 points behind Edhead, Cameron remains unable to make a dent in the support of Labour….a Party that hasn’t been in such a parlous state since those potty days of donkey jackets and loony Councils. Further, earlier last week another poll (rapidly seized upon by Lord Tebbit) showed that Cameron is now officially the worst leader the Tories have ever had.
Here too, we see how out of touch The Bubble is, whose media wonks have been giving Dave an easy press for some months. Not to put too fine a point on this, the electorate at large think he’s a wanker. All things being subjective and relative, I can use simple statistics re this one to point out a simple truth: with David Cameron in place as Prime Minister, the Conservative Party would lose any election called now. Given the depth of doodoo still to come, I think one can confidently predict he would lose big time, say, a year from now…and the LibDems would be almost wiped out at Westminster.
Those who lack spine on the right of the Party – and those who think UKIP a peripheral joke – need to have a serious rethink. Because Tory plonker + economic disaster = Labour Government, the way things are panning out at the moment. For the first time since Cameron’s election as leader in 2006, David Cameron is a liability. Those about to be swept sway unless they do something should stop courting the media clowns, and start reading the polls more carefully.