24 hours after Grant ‘Who am I?’ Shapps threw down the gauntlet to the Beeb, in marches Berkeley-Hunt to tell us that “The NHS risks losing public support because of a BBC-style culture of excessive pay and payoffs”. I don’t think the NHS is losing support at all, but we can see that the two familiar hate-targets are still clearly in the rifle-sights. And in rigid military order, ‘Ministers’ the Torygraph tells us, are falling in behind the march: they want to strip the Beeb of its right to cover crown-jewels sporting events.
Guess which satellite news company has built its viewership on sporting events?
I don’t like overpaid NHS management getting fat salaries either, but whose idea was it again to create an internal market in the NHS? I don’t mind Hunt telling them they need a reality check on pay. Can we now therefore hope that his colleague the Chancellor will write to all senior investment bankers proffering the same advice? Is Dave ‘four pullovers’ Cameron going to read the Riot Act to the six energy suppliers who’ve been ripping us all off when wholesale prices stayed flat as a pancake?
But when the electorate’s thick, and truth is thin on the ground, stuff like this will happen. Truly daft stuff like HS2 – ‘Get to places of no importance more quickly’ – just keeps on ploughing ahead despite endlessly consistent maths showing that ROI from it is well-nigh impossible, the time scales will render it redundant, and track renewals to accommodate it will make commuter life around its path a nightmare for the first five years.
So in a desperate do-or-die of drivel, Downing Street has dictated its latest effort to the MSM by trumping the 5 years of misery: scrapping the proposed High Speed 2 rail line and building a cheaper alternative would condemn passengers to 14 years of “hellish delays” says Number Ten. Pure assertion of course, but I like the idea that we get 14 years of Hell, and then something completely different. Up the stairway to Heaven via Purgatory? Oh how we would all like to purge a Tory.
I also enjoyed the remarks of ‘A Government source’ who told the Indie, “We need to do something because our railways are nearly full”. Well, just as Thatcher closed the mines that we now wish were open, the shadow of Dr Beeching stretches across five decades of crap decision-making by divisive politicians who wreak their havoc, but (like the children they are) never put their toys away afterwards. And listen, Government Sauce, I have yet to see First Class on a train more than half-full ever.
Just as with the water companies and infrastructural renewal, we need rail renewal desperately because fat cats pissed away all the money on bonuses and dividends after privatisation.
To be honest with you Sloggers out there, while I’m tired of people telling me that gangsters are quite nice people really, the truly frustrating thing – for anyone in favour of a radical rethink about our cultural behaviour at all levels – is that most Opposition Party members stare at one impatiently while you explain the need for it, and then launch into soundbite guff about ““It’s now clear what the Government’s strategy is: it’s a divide and rule strategy.” (EdM) or “Our task is to strike the right balance for the British economy between living standards, growth and deficit reduction” (EdB). Beeeowa…bruuuh, oh. Sorry, nodded off for a second there.
None of these clowns have any vision at all about the historical importance of the current era, and how failure to change course by challenging every assumption is about to deliver us unto evil. How nice it would be if the hurricane simply carried them all off to a watery grave.
I hate Mondays, don’t you?