How Not To Run Britain
Tony Blair. Not by rail. Spot the connection? Many journalists have done so in recent times, as even the most ardent Labour supporters seem to be surprised at the ineptitude of the current government. That is, when we can see it in operation.
Usually it's key members of parliaments are overseas feathering their own nest, tucking into hearty dinners and enjoying the many, many trimmings that come with their position. But politics? Well, come on, a man, or woman, can't possibly work all day now! So seems to be their argument.
So, if you look at some of the key players in the party, what do you see: nothing to fill you with confidence, that's for sure. Gordon Brown has taken prudence to its limit, it may be prudent for him to take huge sums of money from us, then give us a few pounds back in a budget, but not for us.
He seems to be more engrossed and embroiled in taking over from TB (not the disease, Tony Blair) at the soonest available moment.
Then there is good old John Prescott. He's the one that, come rain or shin, summer of winter, is always snoring next to Tony Blair in Prime Minister's questions, apart from the occasional moment where he wakes up to shake his fist at dear old IDs and Company on the other side of the house, practising his jab to try and stop him getting egg on his face.
(Yes, the house has two sides still, apparently... though Labour and the Lib Dems (aka Labour II) are no doubt in plans to reform the house and turn it into a circle to remove the hard edges)
Who else? Well, there is Jack Straw. He doesn't really seem to do much. But perhaps that is a good thing. The same cannot be said for David Blunkett, one of the only people who we regularly hear about.
Perhaps he cannot see the overall Labour principle as clearly as some of the others "the less you do, the less policies you implement, the less your policies can be criticised" appealing to the simple logical fact that if you have no policies, then there are no policies to be criticised, apart from the policy of having no policies itself, of course, though then most people start to get confused.
Really starting to struggle now... oh yes, that odd education secretary Estelle Morris. Not as odd as her idea of what the education system should look like in this country, however. Or perhaps the problem is that she doesn't really know, so she just stumbles from mistake to mishap, then back again, imitating the walk of one or two royals in the process.
Finally there is Stephen Byas, who even the best spin doctor in the world - who doesn't go by the name of Jo Moore - could salvage respect for. But then that never bothers Tony. The worse some of his subordinates looks, the better he looks for being comparatively mediocre. Talk about managing expectations - spot any comparisons with a certain rail provider?
The only thing more invisible than the Labour party seems to be Ken Livingstone (last seen winning the Mayoral election for London). Apart from good old Tony, that is.
So what is Tony up to then? Well, no surprises, avoiding Britain at all costs. Setting himself up for some cushy little international role when he retires, where he can get the respect from international leaders that he has always craved.
Doesn't matter that Britain is crumbling on the back of it - after all, in his new role he won't have to live here. He quite fancies the Clintonesque lifestyle as well, so anyone getting married in a few years beware - Tony and his cheesy smile might turn up. Well, you know, I tell you solemnly, he might.
None of us can get to work on the trains, but Tony insists that he is still justified never being in the country - and he is right for the simple reason that when he is here, he doesn't seem to do anything about it. Well, come on, there is a good dinner party to go to every night.
And it takes him so long to say something that if he did come up with an idea it would be 2010 before he spat it out. After all, when.... you can only....say three words..... at a time.... to add emphasis... to what you..... are currently saying.... an annoying and.....very basic speaking.... technique, it really..... does take forever.... to say what.... you want to. Amen.
The saddest thing of course, about British politics, is that there is simply no choice at all. The Conservatives managed to spectactularly not learn from their mistakes, and decided to turn to IDS - so-called because he is so dull, boring and unknown that people don't know his real name - or think he is two people, which probably wasn't the best idea.
They turned down the Tory's answer to John Prescott, aka Kenneth, mmm, Clarke, and also they turned down (how could they?) Michael 'mellowed' Portillo.
We are all hoping and praying for the parties to get their act together, or for another party - like those Lib Dems - to perhaps steal a march. Because currently we have a unique political situation - at the moment, all the parties are losing ground, yet not of them are gaining it. Again, just like the rail network, the only thing the government always manages to do currently is collect our money.
Well, someone has to pay for Maam's corgies to be fed and perhaps Britney Spears has agreed to come to supper tonight. Smashing.
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