I watched Tony Blair today talking about the European Union. He spoke at length, but he reminded me that – of all the dissemblers of the last two decades – he remains the only one whose words could all be poured into a gigantic sack of sh*t, and the sack would weigh exactly the same beforehand as afterwards….and smell just as bad. How he keeps up this look of being serious about his empty utterances remains a mystery to me.
When he entered Downing Street in 1997, I was in Jamaica. It was the first election in which I’d deliberately not voted, and his landslide victory was the most predictable and depressing thing I’d encountered since the Cuban Crisis in 1962. On my return, I was called upon to give a speech at the leaving party of two friends about to leave for America. I told my audience of Blair that night, “In time we will all come to see this grinning Bambi as Beelzebub”. There were quite a few boos.
I read an article in the Torygraph this afternoon about the use of the anti-homosexual term ‘fag’. It was perhaps one of the most affected columns I’ve ever read. Almost every word in it sought approval rather than debate. All up, the piece was just one more example of a pc robot trotting out the homophobia thing, without even giving thought to what an autonomic, meaningless word homophobia is.
Since arriving home from the Midlands today, I’ve been watching the news about Mario Monti’s Lying Circus. Throughout the coverage, I’ve been wondering why (a) anyone anywhere thinks the downfall of Berlusconi is going to make a jot of difference to Italy’s situation, and (b) why anyone would bother to turn up to a news conference being given by the grey technocrat who is to replace him. 24/7 news has becoming the living, media embodiment of the urgent overtaking the important.
The UK’s manufacturing PMI survey showed the sector ‘unexpectedly’ shrank in October. There’s that word again. Actually, it’s not just the one: ‘surprising’ and ‘disappointing’ are the alternative versions. I would feel so much better if, just once, a statistic was accompanied by the phrase ‘as predicted’.
What do these examples illustrate? Well, how about ‘lies, process, image, hypocrisy, irrelevance and incompetence’? Except that, The Slog has rammed this obvious point home so many times now, it’s all starting to get a bit boring. These elements have been around in our political life forever; but never, I would submit, in such great abundance. That’s why we have to take a radical, imaginative approach to helping Britain (and the World) get real again.
Stay tuned for a major blogpost about this. But in the meantime, welcome the newest addition to Sloggers’ Roost: