A new low?



I watched some of the Queen’s Speech debate yesterday, with the intention of watching it all. Instead, I didn’t. I thought that the increasingly brutal exchanges between Gordon Brown and David Cameron were ugly, and not nice viewing.

Fundamentally I blame Gordon Brown and his cheap-shot politics. I increasingly adhere to the view that Brown is a Prime Minister without a strategy. He resorts to doing everything he can to derail and discredit the opposition, never mind how low he has to stoop, and never mind how undignified he might look.

For instance, to disorientate the opposition he allowed talk of an early election to snowball out of control. Tactically, it was good while it lasted, though he failed to jump off that particular train before it hit the buffers.

Inviting Margaret Thatcher to Number Ten is about the lowest Brown stooped to get one over David Cameron. And it certainly looked low, though not that he cared. It might, after all, win him a few votes.

And then there was the visit to Iraq in the middle of the Conservative conference. Not one of his best, though again, not that he cared. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

Cameron should refrain from stooping to Brown’s level. While Brown has enough credibility to play gutter politics, Cameron doesn’t. Yet, he can’t resist teasing the PM at every opportunity.

Yesterday, some serious questions should have been raised about the role of the state. Increasing the education leaving age to 18 is a very serious policy, which requires serious debate.

Instead, the Six O’clock news featured Cameron poking and sniping at Brown for copying Tory inheritance tax proposals, which in truth is debatable, and even if it isn’t, won’t have gone unnoticed by the general public.

The sight of the Tory front bench, red-faced and wriggling with laughter, slapping their knees and jeering at the government bench, looked unattractive. Brown, standing awkwardly at the dispatch box, embarrassing himself again, looked no better.

And what was the Conservative’s non-election day poster about? Surely people have already judged Brown on his election u-turn. The poster looked a bit ‘yesterday’s news’.

Cameron may not have heard of this saying: It goes, “Never fight with a chimney-sweep”, or you yourself get covered in soot.

It strikes me that here are two opponents virtually neck a neck. The polls seem to suggest that while the Conservatives have improved their position since the summer, there’s not much distance between the two parties. If analysts such as Peter Riddell are correct, this could be where the polls finally settle after a period of volatility.

In one sense Brown and Cameron are equals. Cameron is too nimble for Brown to keep up with, but Brown makes Cameron look light-weight. So they chase each other’s tails, in what is an increasingly angry tussle for public opinion, in which both sides will stoop to win a headline.

Brown, being the initiator of this politics, will be judged by the electorate at the next election. Though at this rate, they won’t have much of an alternative.


One thought on “A new low?

  1. The perceived view is that brand new labour (bnl), aka a bunch of Scots in London, having realised if they are talented at acting they cannot make headway in a Mickey Mouse country, are in the perfect place ruling the English, the Welsh and those in Ireland who believe in an Easter Bunny which shuns the pope (unlike an southern Easter Bunny who is quite fond of the pope), vs Tories is a replica of Republicans vs Democrats.

    The truth is British versions of those parties have very similar policies and basically squeeze out left and right thought (Note: Whether the left is capable of having thought or being a lefty could give rise to consciousness is a hotly contested topic as far as philosophers of mind are concerned. But then some are superstionists so who cares?).

    In any case, both parties (and this started with George Osborne’s Blackpool speech) have “aspirations” now. Both parties are tax and spend junkies (allegedly). Both want my children Isolde (put that Oboe down and read Wittgenstein!) and Tristan (leave your sister’s pony alone, you have several horses!) as well as yours do as badly as those given to Diane Abbott [nameleadstoqualiacrisis] by god. Therefore there cannot, by definition, be a difference between bnl and the Conservatives.

    In fact behind the glamorous facades (very much like Potemkin villages) lurks a scary lying Newtist on one side and a very sensible John Redwood on the other.

    There is, and there cannot be, much more than a consensus in the very middle. Convergence and congress, yes, but there will be, there has always been, an impasse.

    The simple truth is that at some stage “a political actor” (I considered substituting the term by “a blair” for that is exactly what he is) but decided not to due to crass connotations) is either on the side of a doctrine, following it like bishops, tom cruise or they do not. The moment someone can write a coherent book on what constitutes a British Conservative I shall lobby the Nobel Price committee.

    The arrival of “Mary Ann With The Shaky Hands, not elected by anyone” Brown has changed things. I watched GB and DC open gobbed. It was wild. I approve. Go Ad Honinem all the way. Do not relent. This is a government in power (in power, not in office, as pointed out by themselves) for the sake of it pursuing socialism when you look at the detail. There is no purpose apart from spraying tax money around.

    What other belief system apart from socialism has had to undergo so many about turns? No, superstitionists like Ratzinger still believe in the same nonsens. You have to come up with more enlightened stuff, I am afraid.

    What my government will do, said Our Gracious Queen, is to legislate on top of legislation to improve legislation which already exists. No enforcement is required because the sheer force of the law “lifting people” like legal aid recipient Cherie Blair “out of poverty” will suffice. We have not much more at the mo, Her Majesty implied, cos we dunno wot comes from Brussels or Strasbourg, innit.

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