Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 01/06/17

More Old Ballots

Sometimes, I'm dissuaded from posting about something simply because I can't think of any remotely non-banal title for the piece. This was nearly another such case. I'm sure that the redoubtable Philip Challinor will be able to come up with something good; he always does...blast the boy!

I have to comment though, because I get the distinct impression that desperation is taking hold in certain quarters. This is one side of the latest screech of panic emanating from Conservative Party Central Office (the fourth in as many weeks) which landed on my doormat the other day, delivered by the same Royal Mail which the Big Blue Dog with the Little Yellow Tail sold off to its chums at a cut price a year or three ago. With a second-class stamp on it, natch; they're clearly keeping the bulk of the money thrown at them by the pollution industry lately for more important things...like lunch:

Scan of a Conservative election leaflet

Leaving aside the simple effrontery involved in apostophising my name on the front, this odious bumf is as full of 'rampant bollo' (© Ian Dury) as one would expect. One well-worn phrase is, however, conspicuous by its absence compared to its ubiquity last time around. For not only does that wearisome cant, "Strong and stable" not appear anywhere on either side, but the word 'stable' doesn't appear at all. Moreover, the word 'strong' only appears twice, both in conjunction with the word 'economy'; which, of course, is a laugh in itself.

Rather like its four-page predecessor, however, the word 'Conservatives' only appears four times (not including the legally-obligated publishing details in tiny print at the bottom). And two of those instances are found in the combination, "Theresa May and the Conservatives", which sounds like some all-girl singing group out of Wichita, Ks. in the early sixties, before all those hippies and niggras started getting uppity; close your eyes and you can still see the bee-hive hairdos.

The reverse side of this recycling-in-waiting (the sight of which I will spare you, dear reader) gives us more of the same. Not only do we have the same three photographs of Corbyn, Sturgeon and Farron as last time, but we also have a promise of what the Tories will do on education and the health service...seemingly oblivious to the fact that both are devolved powers, and so little if anything that Westminster does in those areas will have any impact here...

...or will they? Leaving aside the manifest belief on their part that the border - should it be deemed to exist at all - is about forty miles west of where cartographers and other discredited 'experts' tend to draw it, it is an open secret that the Mayflies wish to use the 'repatriation' of powers from the EU as an excuse to remove competency for those areas from the devolved administrations. So, 'free' schools and 'academies', and the bit-by-bit privatisation of health-care could be coming to you soon, even if you live in Bathgate or Blaina.

But we finish with something of an uplift and an incentive. We are told:


Now if that doesn't get you off your arses next Thursday, then you deserve all you will get. We are also told:


This conjures up one of the most uninspired election posters of all time, that for Stanley Baldwin in 1929:

Election poster for Stanley Baldwin, 1929

And we all know what came next, don't we boys and girls? Couldn't happen today, of course.

I have just had the pleasure of running this latest contribution to the growing science of anti-communication through the shredder, and derived a certain satisfaction from seeing the image of someone who - far from being considered sufficiently able to negotiate with twenty-seven other heads of government - looks scarcely able to negotiate the fire doors which seem to be her preferred entrance and exit points to her carefully-staged publicity events; as I said, I gained some simple satisfaction from seeing her image disintegrate before my eyes.

For what it's worth - and always bearing in mind that my psephological talents leave a trail of tears in their wake - I still think that the wretches will gain a majority, if only because the tendency for otherwise sane and balanced people to shoot themselves in the foot (having drowned their children first) seems to have fanned out across the developed world like a sort of socio-political Ebola. Nonetheless, that majority will, I aver, be scarcely any larger than the one they went in with, which would be a beautiful irony.

Should they fail to achieve even that, however, the European Schadenfreude Mountain faces severe depletion; May will likely be toast, leading to the ascent to the throne of the ineffectual but comparatively inoffensive Hammond, and the setting up of an informal agreement with the Tories' only remaining potential parliamentary allies, the folks who like to party like it's 1689. Interesting times are set to continue.

For my part, I intend - health permitting - to live blog this one just like I did the last couple of times. Stay tuned...