Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bigmouth strikes again

He may be a semi-literate, bulldog-faced pugilist who would probably be outwitted by a pair of socks. His stand-in role at prime minister’s questions may bring to mind a large strawberry cheesecake put into bat against skilled fast bowlers, who are using it as aiming practice. With hammers. But I had to smile at John Prescott’s outburst yesterday.

Having been royally wound up by William Hague (standing in for Big Dave), Prescott, alluding to the Conservative Party’s anti-debt ad campaign which compels young people to “ignore the tosser in you” (never understood this one, I must say. Presumably it’s a play on words, but to my mind there is only one real definition of the word ‘tosser’), said:
I do not know which person this man was modeled on from the Tory frontbench. But let me tell him, I always thought that party was full of them and that is why they lost three elections.
Touché. Is it unparliamentary language? Is this appropriate? Do we care? Well, the speaker didn’t intervene, so it seems that this word is now permissible and, to be frank, it’s a pretty fitting epithet for most of them, whatever side of the Commons they sit on.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Polly Ethylene

The point is, ideology is dead and political labels are increasingly meaningless.

I wrote these words in the first ever post on this blog, in March 2005. I was reminded of them last week with the news that Greg Clark, a Conservative Party policy adviser, recommended that, when it comes to tackling poverty, the party should divorce itself form the absolutist ideas of Winston Churchill, and instead embrace the relativist philosophy of Polly Tonybee, Guardianista extraordinaire and fully paid up member of the real liberal elite (© Peter Hitchens). This really would be a u-turn for the “Nasty Party” under Cameron, as it suggests many of them are prepared to ditch their Thatcherite legacy and work instead towards a European social democratic model. My, don’t we live in a topsy turvy universe? I expected such a stance to split the party wide open on the subject – which it did, to an extent – but when I read that even John Redwood supported Mr Clark’s findings, I wondered if I’d been transported to some parallel universe where up is down, black is white and Compassionate Conservatism isn't a contradiction in terms.

Personally, I find Polly Toynbee’s champagne socialism rather wearisome. It is hypocritical in the extreme to extol the virtues of welfarism and state education while earning a really rather healthy salary as a Guardian columnist and sending your child to an exclusive private school. Especially when The Guardian could be paying ME that money instead. I guarantee I’d be more entertaining than Toynbee and her patronising platitudes.

Say It Loud: I'm Back And I'm Proud

I’m back, and I’m as deadly as lunch at Itsu Sushi.

Actually, that’s not strictly true. It’s not even loosely true. In fact, I am forcing myself to write this, a gun held to my own head, lest I never write anything again. Every day I see my site’s visitor traffic flagging like an ageing Lothario’s libido. The few regular readers I have are becoming less and less likely to check for updates. That picture of the tumbleweed below has taken on an eerie resonance, as life imitates blog. It’s heart wrenching, like watching a family pet waste away. Rot is setting in and the longer I leave it, the more difficult it becomes to get back into the swing of things.

As recent blogging activity (the sum of fuck all over the last month) will testify, I have had zero appetite for writing of late, to the point that any attempt to do so produced nothing but an overwhelming wave of sleepiness. This could be seasonal: Citizeness Sane thinks I might suffer from SAD, but I’m not convinced. The fact that I have had a cold for something like seventeen years hasn’t helped, either. Or it might just be the ever-encroaching lethargy brought on by getting older and complacent. We have also been busy sorting out our house, which is currently being decorated, and the whole place is a complete pigsty. Chuck in numerous boozy nights and feeling like shite the next day, and you get the picture.

This is passing now and I hope to get back to it this week. Consider this post my first foray back into emptying my brain onto the screen and satisfying the resurgent need to mind-vomit at least a couple of times a week. Something akin to intellectual masturbation.

Anyway, few readers, your visits to the blog are appreciated. Readers are always good. Otherwise it's a bit like screaming in the dark. Therapeutic, but solitary and pointless.

But enough of this. Let us turn to other matters at once.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld (Slight Return)

I'm still suffering from Blogger's Block, so no real post from me. But I saw this and thought it was pretty funny, so thought I'd share it. If nothing else, it's a good opportunity to embed a You Tube clip into the blog for the first time. (Hat tip: mAc)