“Labour is on course for big win,” says Cameron-hating Lord Ashcroft (left), who of course has no agenda here. As a blogging observateur and occasional satirist, I like Lord Ashcroft because he’s the kind of outsize glass chin you can’t miss. He’s such a power-freako, mean-lipped arse, he is the side of a barn even Cat Ballou could hit. It’s almost unfair to poke fun at him, but then poking fun at people who turn money into power without bothering to go through the hoop-la of getting elected is sort of a duty for anyone with his or her head fitted on straight.
Can you imagine just how stupid a jerk, how pompous a prick, how self-dishonest a creep you have to be to frighten people by suggesting Ed Miliband could win so much as a foot-shooting contest – just so you can replace Cameron with somebody much nastier? Yes, I know, it’s tough. That’s probably why it’s never been tried. But ask yourself this: does Ashcroft or does he not bear a striking resemblance to the ARP Warden in Dad’s Army?
There is something about people like Lord Ashcroft that ensures nobody will spend too much time worrying about the bloke: he’s so totally unpleasant and so obviously anti-democratic, he goes largely unremarked as a real and present danger, because people see him walking down the street and say “Oh look, there goes Lord Ashcroft, the very rich person who wants to manipulate the King on every Throne without accepting any of the responsibility”, and then they stop thinking about him. It’s a very clever strategy on his part.
Don’t be misled: I’m not suddenly turning all Right-On and desperately Camerlot. It’s just that the thought of a Penumbranaut like his Lordship persuading every Pringle sweater in Surrey to remove the threat of Mad Labour by ditching Cameron (the better to install Boris Hunt out of Michael Gove via Lord Fallon) makes me want to do something inappropriate. Something really quite horribly inappropriate, like turning up at the Liberal Democrat Conference this afternoon, and shouting “Leon Brittan!” in the middle of Nick Clegg’s speech.
However, things could be a lot worse: we could all be living in Greece or – God forbid – Egypt. In Egypt, events develop in a way that can only be described as chucking high-octane petrol onto burning petrol. A football riot occurs and people are killed. An entirely brainless Judge then sentences twenty-one rioters to death, and more riots occur protesting the injustice of the death penalty for the original rioters. So the death sentences are confirmed amid much media hype, and worse riots follow in which, at some point, more people are killed.
There is something about Islamist Arabia that guarantees escalation…just for the sake of argument, like fans of Cairo’s Al-Ahly soccer club storming Egypt’s football federation headquarters, and torching it. What this situation obviously needs is Lord Ashcroft to do some polling research and show that 93% of respondents think the Judge is a lickspittle in the pay of the Army. That should calm things down a bit.
Meanwhile, somebody has to take an interest in the antics of the Socialist Workers’ Party, and of course it’s bound to be The Guardian every time. It turns out that – surprise surprise – hard Left SWP chaps are just as likely as Sun readers to be misogynist control-freaks looking for ways to brand every woman a slut. But you have to love this bit: having dragged a rape victim through a Kangaroo Court in which it was virtually put to her that she was “gagging for it”, SWP splinter-bloggers have now revealed that senior Party officials pleaded with hundreds of activists to trust in the committee’s verdict, reminding lay members that the SWP had “no faith in the bourgeois Court system to deliver justice”.
This was the best excuse they could come up with for not handing the mountainous evidence against the rape suspect over to police. But fear not, because Comrade Ashcroft’s latest focus groups are suggesting that 38% of trade unionists suspect Ed Balls of being a secret paedophile.
More than half the cost of an ordinary can of beer goes straight to the taxman, The Sun reveals today in an Exclusive. An early mentor of my efforts as an internet journalist once quite rightly pointed out that you can’t have an exclusive on information that is in the public domain anyway, but this is Rupert Murdoch we’re dealing with here, and so the only cast-iron rule is that there are no rules. Either way, the dear old Currant Bun adopts that lachrymose tone only hypocritical tabloids can, proclaiming that:
‘The Sun is campaigning for George Osborne to scrap the beer duty escalator, which increases duty by two per cent above inflation every year. Tory MP Andrew Griffiths, chairman of a cross-party beer group, said: “The hated beer tax is making beer a luxury. At a time of austerity, we shouldn’t be making one of life’s simple pleasures unaffordable. It’s time that George Osborne scrapped the beer duty escalator and gave Britain’s drinkers a break.”’
A break to do what, we wonder – get even more pissed than they are already? Is it a bad idea to make toxic mind-altering drugs a luxury? Wouldn’t that assuredly wipe out the befuddled rich quicker than anything else? I’ve no idea, but I know a man who’ll be keen to find out: his name is Lord Ashcroft, and even as I type you can be reasonably certain that Ashers is on the case. I can see the headline now: ‘PEER’S RESEARCH SHOWS CAMERON RAISING HATED TAX TO ENSLAVE ORDINARY VOTERS IN PRISON OF SOBRIETY’.
But there is hope for us yet. According to the Daily Star, leading figures in the NHS have attacked Jeremy Hunt for frightening the public and demoralising staff after he criticised some hospitals for only meeting minimum targets. Representatives of GPs, nurses and physicians hit back at the Health Secretary following his speech at Nuffield Trust’s health policy conference in Dorking, Surrey, where he warned that too many middle-of-the-road hospitals are “hitting targets but missing the point”. Given Hunt was addressing one of the larger private health groups poised to pick up the NHS for a song, I would’ve thought that fact alone would be enough to condemn his very clear intent to destroy the NHS with a million carping tweets.
That said, one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. After all, it isn’t fair to use irresponsible innuendo about a man whose predecessor in the seat for West Surrey now works as a consultant aka lobbyist for Nuffield and their mates in the House of Lords. I personally think this sort of thing should be left to their Lordships to decide: and who better in that august chamber to do so than the man with bottomless market research pockets, Lord Ashcroft?
The sort of study I had in mind would be one wherein Michael ‘The Baron’ Ashcroft might ask an unrepresentative sample of dickheads whether they thought a medical bill of £70,000 would be affordable for 95% of Britons….to which of course, 95% of dickheads would answer “Yes”.