As ever, lots to report in La Comedie Humaine:
The Italian ferry: it seems that the Captain ordered the ship sail close to the rock so that he could wave to someone onshore. And while he was waiting to get near enough to wave he was at the bar chatting up a dishy passenger. It has of course always been one of the many onerous duties of a liner captain to reasssure the passengers just in case they hit a reef and capsize, or in this case just BEFORE they hit a reef and capsize. In addition, the rock they hit “wasn’t supposed to be there.” I do hope the rock gets a jolly good kicking for moving out of position. One is tempted to say “Only in Italy”, but we have our share of lunatics, too.
The Royal Yacht. At a time of severe cutbacks and misery Michael Gove wants to spend GBP60,000,000 on a new royal yacht, thus qualifying for the “Tactless Waste of the Year Award”. The thing is, while the plebs might stomach this as a prezzie for the much-loved Queen, the sad truth is that she is getting on a bit and it is inevitable that the number 1 sprog will take over in the foreseeable future. Even for a staunch royalist the idea of the public purse shelling out sixty million quid for Charles and Camilla to cruise about in is a bit much to contemplate, while the ghost of poor “There-were-three-of-us-in-this-marriage” Diana stumbles bulimically along the vast, cold corridors of Buck House with the occasional stop to vomit up her breakfast.
However, regarding the cost, it is only THREE DAYS’ UK CONTRIBUTION TO THE EU, so we should perhaps get things in perspective.
The Labour Party’s woes rumble on. The problem with the endless mea culpae is that one is prompted to ask: “If now, then why not before?”, and as Eric Morecambe would have said: “There’s no answer to that”. In addition, they are forced into convoluted wordcraft to try to explain it away. I copied this from “The Independent”, so brilliant it is:
“If we were in government, we wouldn’t be cutting this fast or this much. But because the Government’s cuts are damaging economic growth, there will be fewer tax revenues and more spending on unemployment benefits, so even with their cuts, the deficit won’t shrink as fast as the Coalition wants. That means, by the time of the next election, the deficit won’t have been eliminated, which means, if we win, that we’ll have to make even more cuts. So we won’t be able to reverse the ones that have already been made.”
If you were a Labour canvasser, I suspect the front door would have been politely shut in your face long before you had time to get to the end of that explanation. Labour’s argument may turn out to be economically correct but politically it is almost impossible to sell. And from now on, the Tory or Liberal Democrat riposte couldn’t be simpler.
Each time a Labour spokesman opposes a Coalition cut, the minister will be able to say,”But you’ve now said you accept our cuts. Are you for them or against them? If you’re going to accept them in three years’ time, why not now?” At which point the Opposition politician can do little but squirm, particularly if the cut is a really noxious one.
Unfortunately, Ed and Balls just cannot argue their way out of the truth, which is that they are now A) accepting cuts but B) refuse to accept that Labour spent too much during the Gordon Binge Years. Even Chomsky and Wittgenstein woud have had trouble with this one.
I also note that Balls is now distancing himself from the unions. Good ploy – nobody ever got elected by sucking up to the Unions (See “Getting Elected for Idiots” by Tony Blair.)
SAF was good on Rooney: “He had his moments but can do better.” Why does this remind me of most of my school reports? Of course, we would have more respect for SAF if he could bring himself to tell the truth as he sees it. (Ís there a consultancy opening for Jeremey Clarkson here?) and go on to say. “Rooney is an overweight, stroppy overpaid tub of puerile lard whose career will be over before he knows it unless he gets his act together.”
Scottish dependence rumbles on, too – as it will for ever no doubt. Now it seems that Salmond wants to keep the currency of the detested southern bully until the time is ripe for Scotland to join the euro. Well, full Scottish independence always was a long-term project. Let’s hope they manage it before the Sun turns into a Red Giant.
Meanwhile the pesky eurodebts just can’t be summited or pledged away, no matter how many and expensive the former or solemn and repetitive the latter. A three-way poker game currently is going on in Athens between Baddies A (the hedge funds, who are supposed to take a “voluntary” loss of half their “investment” since if it’s not “voluntary” the game’s up and the French banks collapse); Baddies B (the EU/ECB/Goldman-Sachs/Merkozy troika (in reality quintet)) and Goodies A, the Greek people. As the Baddies outnumber the Goodies two-to-one and the former also have the German panzers on their side one doesn’t hold out much hope for the latter (Goodies, not Panzers), though of course only the plebs are good (as usual), the rest having stuffed the plebs, pillaged the EU grants and salted the proceeds away in Switzerland. Still, Greece may yet enjoy a Colonels’ coup with subsequent invasion by EU forces determined to reinstate the legitimate government of Greece. You know, the one led by the PM who falsified the statistics when Governor of the Bank of Greece so that his country could get into the euro and now imposed on Greece by the EU. And I thought the Anglo-Saxons were the champions of soap-opera.
The rail link? The Great, Good and above all Rich are up in arms about their homes in Middle England being blighted, even though one MP had the good sense to flog hers before the plan was announced. So far there is no word from Jeremy “Insult-the-Bastards” Clarkson, who I believes lives somewhere up there. Too busy slagging off Austria the last time I checked. A bit OTT this time, surely? Any country with Vienna, Salzburg, Schnitzel and the hills which are alive with music can’t be all that bad.
The USA? A moron looks like fighting Obama for the presidency. Sorry, that should be “Mormon” of course. I can”t see the rust-belt Bible-bashers voting for a Mormon, though a moron would clearly be no problem. And Romney apparently made his money asset-stripping companies and making its employees redundant. That will really go down well in the industrial heartlands of the USA once the Democrats focus on it, as they wisely haven’t – yet. Obama must be convinced God is on his side, which is a bit strange that he is likely to facve a Mormon. Is there in fact a word combining Mormon and moron? What about Mormoron?
Cleggo? Usually good for a spot of news, the main element of interest being whether he has managed to edge ahead of Ed Minubruder in the polls down in the 5% popularity bracket . Anyway, now he wants to force companies to sell shares to their employees, to turn the UK into “a John Lewis Company”. Great if you work for a decent firm, but what about the rest of us? Of course, the vast new govt organisation needed to monitor all this and the accompanying bureaucracy not to mention endless litigation will improve competitivity with the Chinese no-end and naturally help to build up an engineering industry to rival the Germans. Still, better to be fair and poor than unfair and rich,
Speaking of which slimy, evil, capitalist hell-hole (Germany) I actually saw a beggar yesterday. He was sitting outside the minimarket, strategically-placed so that you had to step over him to get a trolley. There is of course a major problem with male beggars. They almost always have a few beer-bottles lying around them and a fag between their lips, so you know damned well that the first thing they’ll do with your dosh is to replenish their supplies. Which of course, is bad for their health. So it is a bit of a poser, though one can just walk by arguing that one is in fact doing them a favour. Of course, one does not encounter beggars in socialist paradises, where I believe that even the abject poor are terminally happy and – in Cuba’s case at least – spend their time joyfully playing beach-volleyball in the sun. Not that I’ve been to many socialist paradises, but that’s the kind of impression one gets from the cognoscenti, or should it be incognoscenti – or even non-cognoscenti?
SECTS? My own is going fine. I managed to double the membership yesterday, though that was only my seven-month-old grandson. When I asked him if he wanted to join my sect he said “Coo”, so I took that as a “yes”. Now I am sorting out an application for govt funds to start a faith school. It won’t be big, but that means I can be Principal, Secretary, Teacher, Spiritual Advisor and Caretaker all at the same time and pay myself five salaries. “You know it makes sense.”