Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time To Make Our Minds Up

Today's opinion poll (albeit a bit of an outlier) claiming the Conservative Party's lead over Labour is down to just 2% might seem like bad news for them, but I think it is the kick up the backside they need and also a timely reminder for the remaining apathetic, potential voters that have yet to make up their minds.

Many people have assumed that there's no way Gordon Brown could win the next election. Now they will see there is a real danger of five more years of Labour. My hope is that it will motivate people to look at the real and very serious issues facing this country at the moment. Whether they focus on issues related to the economic crisis, social cohesion, broken democracy, honesty in our government, I am sure most, not wedded to big state socialist ideology, would come to the conclusion that now really is a time for change.

In 2005 I felt that the voters of Britain made a fatal mistake by returning a Labour government that had so clearly been lying, spending too much and achieving too little for eight years. One of the lowest turnouts for a general election ever, pointed to the apathy many felt at the time. Only 61.4 % of those eligible to vote felt it worthwhile, Blair won with just 37% of that vote to the Tories 34%. Although I'm sure Cameron is wishing it were possible for the Tories to win on such a slim lead right now!

So, Blair wasn't popular and most knew you couldn't trust a word Brown said about the economy (or anything else for that matter). His budgets were a running joke with all the double counting and you had to wait a week or more after his speech to actually find out the truth about his plans from the small print and leaks. Although the government was renowned for spin and dishonesty it was sustained in power by the luck of governing during the longest period of global economic growth ever and a seemingly disunited opposition with a lack of charismatic leadership. As a result of Labour's 2005 victory the political establishment lost respect for the electorate. It confirmed to the likes of Brown, Campbell, and McBride that lies and spin would always win the day.

The Tories need to get back to showing the people that they are different. Not just in policy terms but that they are more trustworthy and less likely to lie and cheat their way through their tenure like this lot have. The "airbrushed" poster, while containing a positive policy based message, allowed Labour's spin machine to leap into action and portray Cameron as nothing more than a slick salesman. For me this showed how Labour are more fixated on the image (Cameron's face) than the message (the actual words on the poster), but their campaign was effective and has probably contributed them closing the gap in the polls.

For an opposition party the Tories have put a lot of effort into defining what it is they stand for. Anyone saying they don't know what the Tories stand for or that Cameron is "policy light" needs to start paying attention or stop towing Labour propaganda lines. Their draft manifesto is available on their web site, George Osborne is getting positive reviews for his plans for the economy and while Cameron may well be a better communicator than Gordon Brown that is hardly a reason to criticise him. Labour would do well to start defining it's plans for the next 5 years in as much detail. They, after all, are in government with armies of civil servants at their disposal to do the work at tax payers expense.

But if the Tories really aren't for you that's no reason not to vote. Choose the party best placed to beat the Labour candidate in your constituency. Because, unless Labour lose the next election and lose it big, the whole political establishment would have been right to hold us in contempt as an electorate. No opposition again will attempt to set out its stall in a positive way and our transition to a US model of negative political campaigning will be complete. Labour called their conversion to it in the mid nineties "Clintonisation", that was until Clinton was caught sticking cigars up female interns.

Clintonisation is the very last thing the people of this country need more of. That is unless we really are all just a bunch of pussies.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gordon Brown To Appear on Tower Block of Commons

Following David Cameron's appearance on MPs-do-reality television programme, Tower Block of Commons, Gordon Brown has insisted on appearing himself, as soon as possible.

When he heard Cameron had filmed his appearance last week, Brown was overheard passionately asking a member of his staff to arrange an appearance of his own:

"This is a fucking election year you useless turd! If that posh felching sponge gets to pretend to care about these poor bastards on TV, then so should I. Now piss off and shitting well arrange it."

The arrangements were duly made and he is being lined up to spend a day with a gang of youths as they roam the local shopping centre. Brown has already worked out a way to build his credibility with the group of unruly yobs. He's going to share with them his favourite past time - happy slapping.

We have obtained a picture of him yesterday, catching Tessa Jowell (or Tessa Bowel as he insists on calling her "because she's full of shit") up-side the head after she failed to nod approvingly enough during Prime Ministers question time.

It is believed the picture was taken by Peter Mandelson, who eye witnesses claim, was cackling like a demented school girl as Jowell cowered and wept following Brown's assault.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Incredible Sulk

He's got a temper on him, apparently. Don't make him angry, you won't like him when he's angry...

I know it's not big and it's not clever, but I have this new app on my iPhone (ToonPaint) and I was bored while feeding my little 'un in the early hours so... DONT JUDGE ME.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 21, 2010

National Socialists or Irrational Socialists?

It's amusing to see all the faux outrage being aimed at Iain Dale for his post publicising a controversial picture by artist Louis Sidolo.

I'm not convinced it's the best piece of satire I've ever seen, but it conjures up a smile just with the word play "Reign of Terror / Error". Louis Sidolo explains the piece on Dale's blog thusly...
The first piece is called 'Reign of Error' . It is a play on words from the recent book which described Gordon Brown’s leadership at No10 as a ‘Reign Of Terror’. In this piece, he is ‘morphed’ into an image of Hitler! Of course it is provocative, but if you think about it, there are strong similarities: Both started out as chancellors, both bullied their way to the top and seized power without being democratically elected, both tried to rig the electoral process, both prone to flying into uncontrollable rages and both caused huge economic damage to our country etc...
After a twitter exchange with, the normally sensible, Labour MP Tom Harris, I was left in no doubt as to the offence this picture caused. In response to me suggesting that Iain Dale wasn't comparing Brown to Hitler, that the artist was making the Terror/Error word play (something very topical today), Mr Harris said...
@fullabeanz No, he's publicising and linking to (thereby endorsing) an artist who claims there are "strong similarities" between GB and AH
I can understand his point. Sidolo does write "but if you think about it, there are strong similarities". But he goes on to list similarities that are obviously meant satirically but not literally. For example, the office of Chancellor is obviously different in Britain compared with Germany; "both caused huge economic damage" - well Hitler had to lose a world war to achieve this, Brown managed it with just pure economic incompentence; "both prone to flying into uncontolable rages"... well yes, okay, that was probably is literally true. 

No one is suggesting Gordon Brown is a Nazi, hell bent on committing atrocities like the holocaust. There are a few similarities between the two mens' behaviour and circumstances - some real and some coincidental, that provide a little bit of humourous material. The point is, the artist is making a joke. An edgy joke, yes. A provocative joke, yes. But a joke none the less and not a very original joke either. I remember seeing this on Guido's site ages ago...


And the picture Iain Dale has on his site hardly compares to this kind of thing from Spitting Image in the 80's...

Suggesting Thatcher's government was similar to the Nazis is more offensive in my opinion, as many on the left did actually believe that. Many of them today believe Tony Blair is a fascist! Surely Stalin is more offensive for a left wing Prime Minister? Stalin killed more people than Hitler, after all!

Yet, no one got enraged when the avuncular Vince Cable (as well some colleagues of Brown's in the Labour party) compared Brown to Stalin.

I suspect the faux outrage has more to do with Iain Dale's influential presence on the internet than anything else. It also presents an opportunity for those who would like to see his attempts to be selected as a PPC for the Tories scuppered. "An this man wants to be an MP" is a quote I've seen a few times on Twitter (not from Tom Harris BTW, but other Labour activist, certainly). If not this, then I suppose this is an election year and blog post presents Labour with an opportunity to paint the the Tories as "nasty" once again.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Piers Morgan - Too Toxic For Room 101

On Sunday evening, ITV viewers will be subjected to cruel and unusual levels of torture (the occurrence of which will be vehemently denied by David Miliband).

Turn off your twat-o-meters for they will surely overload and explode in your horrified faces as the image of Gordon Brown and Piers Morgan fills your teleboxes. Such a concentrated serving of overbearing, pugnacious, mendaciousness on one screen will test all your powers of toleration to the limit.

God knows there is already enough on this blog about Gordo's failures, bullying and general distastefulness. So I thought it would be worth looking again at the cockhole Piers Morgan (or Moran and Private Eye know him)...

The Have I Got News For You footage is expanded upon in this video (skip to 7mins)...

I will be out enjoying a Valentine's meal with my wife when this horror show is on. I can only hope you will be too... I don't mean having a meal with my wife, obviously... three's company and all that. Jeez!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spinning Tears

There has been a lot written about whether or not the interview with Gordon Brown (due for broadcast on Sunday) is an electioneering stunt or not. Few doubt his tears are genuine over the loss of his new born baby, 8 years ago but the timing of the interview, so close to the general election, raised eyebrows.

Now, call me naive, but when I first heard about the interview, and the weeping, I didn't think it was an overtly political move. Sure, they were attempting to show Brown's human side, but it seemed too cynical to suggest this was blatent electioneering.

However, the subsequent heavy leaking, last weekend, of the details of the interview, focusing primarily on his emotional responses, makes it look more like a spin operation. It looked like they wanted an early blast of coverage followed by a second, after the broadcast.

My expectation, therefore, was that we'd hear nothing more until after the broadcast this Sunday. But no...

Enter arch-spin meister, Alastair Campbell on Andrew Marr's show last Sunday. That performance ensured continued discussion throughout the week about not just Campbell's "tears" (I didn't actually see any) but Brown's, and general discussions about men showing emotion in public etc. All very attractive coverage for a party that has already identified the female vote as a potential growth area for them. Personally, I think it was a mistake. Most of the women I know were turned off by what they saw as Campbell's insincere emotional acting. But you can see how Labour spin doctors are thinking. They'll be hoping Brown's weeping will be more heart rending for being genuine and about an undeniably tragic event.

So, after all this I'm starting to get cynical. But really, would Mr Brown really stoop so low as to use this personal tragedy for political advantage? I still couldn't believe that. I despise the man for how he's run (and ruined) this country, bullied and lied his way through government etc. But this? No. It can't be.

But today I notice that, despite having comprehensively covered the same details last weekend, the BBC is now plugging the story again, two days prior to the broadcast and adding nothing significant to what was spun to them a week before.

This smacks of further spinning by Labour and acquiescence by the BBC. This goes for any other channel that covers this story so needlessly today or tomorrow. I note the BBC website had the story up as the main headline in their political section. Is a rehashing of week old news really the most important political story today?

It's not as if this is even self publicity for a BBC programme as the interview will be going out on ITV.

It is still shocking just how easily manipulated our media is by this government.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Poster Silliness

Ever since that airbrushed Cameron poster, Labour supporters have been endlessly creating spoofs of it. They're now trying the same thing with the latest Tory "Labour's Death Tax Tombstone" poster. I suspect that has less legs but still they bang on about it. All very tiresome and childish.

So, when I saw that the new Labour "two faces of Cameron" poster was being spoofed here, I thought to myself, "two wrongs don't make a right"; "Don't stoop to their level, rise up above their silly, negative games".

But then I thought, Oh to hell with it, after all the stories about the way he treats his staff, I can't resist...


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brown's "Reign of Terror" - The Independent

Looks like the "bully Brown" story just won't go away. Tomorrow's Independent front page...

According to PoliticsHome... "[The paper] is serialising a book by former Downing Street spin-doctor Lance Price, in which he quotes aides to the Prime Minister saying Brown's treatment of junior staff is 'unforgivable'."

And this shortly after the Andrew Rawnsely account of senior aid bashing and secretary yanking; before that Labour ex-chairman General Secretary Peter Watt's insights into Brown's bunker, describing similar intemperate behaviour.

Brown wants to personalise the coming General Election by focusing on Cameron's background and schooling. Such low politics is to be condemned. Many would say this story is just the same low personalisation and we should focus on policies only. But as an increasing number of ex-colleagues and Labour insiders become free to comment we are seeing ever more convincing evidence of Alastair Campbell's description of Gordon Brown as "psychologically flawed".

Brown himself is an issue for the General Election. His judgement, temperament and honesty have been called into question too many times for him not to be.

UPDATE: The Independent article is now on-line: Brown's 'reign of terror' at Downing Street