Thursday, 6 October 2011
(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)
Phew, glad that's over.
We've just been through three of the most balls aching weeks. The gathering of the lost tribes - the Political Party Conferences.
First up we had the Lib Dems - the junior partner in this benighted country's governing Coalition. There's not much to say about their do. I can't remember where it took place, if I ever knew, or what happened.
And so to Labour's outing to Liverpool. Memorable for their second attempt to bury the not much lamented last Labour administration. It was their misfortune and, many would say, the country's to have been headed by a fantastist and a paranoid control freak. They played safe and elected a school boy as their new leader, and it showed.
Finally, the Conservative Party and their wake in Manchester. Ironic that their conference should have been in what was once the heartland of the greatest industrial nation of its day. That's forward planning for you. No doubt when they booked the conference centre last year, the doyens of the party believed the country would be well on its way to economic recover. How fitting, therefore, the conference of the party of business and growth should be in Madchester.
Actually, in truth, the Tory Party is the bastard child of the Women's Institute and The Federation of Small Businesses. It's metiere is handstitching and car repairs, but somehow the bastard was adopted by Eton College and the British Bankers Association, and it showed.
I've got to admit that as a country we're in a bit of a pickle, and it would be a challenge for any government of whatever hue to sort us out. Yet it occurs to me that you couldn't find a less qualified bunch to get us out of this mess than those heading the Tory Party.
They're very plausible. Listening to head honcho Dave yesterday you'd start believing that we're all in it together, we can defeat the Germans yet again...except. There is no vision, other than harking on about how great we were. There is no plan to get us where he claims is our rightful place on the top table, just scraps here and there. One nation my sweet fanny! While he's banging on about that listen to what his lieutenants were saying at the party gathering.
Theresa May - the Tory party's own Madam Whiplash. Her speech played on fear, images of disorder, an island nation overwhelmed by immigration.While her leader was boldly marching to "Infinity and Beyond", her cry was "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid".
She conflated immigrants with criminals who happened to be immigrants. She paints the law as an ass for allowing an immigrant to remain here because of a cat. It was not true. How careless with language and the truth is a Minister allowed to be in misrepresenting our courts and their actions.
Iain Duncan Smith - the quiet man, and ex leader of the Tories. His leitmotif was more fear.
Fear of EU free loaders on our benefits system. Fear of an underclass running wild. ".... the steady rise of an underclass in Britain – a group too often characterised by chaos and dysfunctionality...and governed by a perverse set of values." Replace "underclass" by "the priviledged" and you'd describe perfectly many who bear much of the responsibility for our current sorry state, and the plight of many desparate families..
Eric Pickles - he can't help being fat. He can help being a fat head. His speech to conference was nothing more than a series of one liners aimed at fanning all the Tory's prejudices. At no point did it get above the gutter. His one "big idea" is the reintroduction of Thatcher's "Right to Buy" for council home tenants. There are quite a few people who suggest that one of the reasons we've got a dysfunctional housing market is because the Tory's got rid of social housing.
The Tory's changes to the planning law he characterises not as a charter for the housing industry but to protect law abiding citizens from rampaging gypies!
We're all in it together.My arse.
What we have is a political party preying on fear, and feeling the collar of minorities. Immigrants, the underclass, gypsies...it could almost be The National Socialist German Workers' Party all over again.