Where to start? I thought that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘Peppa Pig’ speech at the Confederation of British Industry’s conference was getting close to an all time low point in his administration. However - silly me, so called ‘Party-gate’ seems to have even topped that in terms of political uselessness, stupidity, crassness - call it what you like, but it ain’t good now is it?
I could go on to mention former Health Secretary, Matt Hancock’s bottom fumbling episode, not to forget certain MP’s working the system to extract hundreds of thousands of pounds from commercial clients whilst acting as their ‘consultants.’ And I haven’t even talked about our useless reaction to the Afghanistan crisis - Oh and by-the-way, does anyone think the governments handling of the cross channel refuge crisis has been in any way coherent?
Indeed, you know when a government is in trouble when their Prime Minister is heckled by his own back-benches during Prime Ministers Questions. I suppose you might ask yourself the question - “How many self imposed balls-ups can a government cope with at one time?” Well, the answer to that must be “quite a few” if the Prime Minister maintains his 80 seat majority in the House of Commons. In fact the opposition Labour Party can huff-and-puff as much as they like, but it is on the Conservative benches where the danger lies for Prime Minister Johnson.
It is often forgotten that Mr Johnson has never had a large ‘fan club’ sat behind him, but Tories quite like the way he wins elections when perhaps he shouldn’t (London Mayor - times two!) and unlike the modern Labour Party, they are - and always have been interested in power. Nevertheless, I suspect that the moment Boris is perceived to be a potential loser, watch out for an attempted backbench coup-de-ta and an internal Tory battle to be their next leader and Prime Minister without reverting to the unseemly business of calling an election.
Speculation is already rife regarding who might eventually replace the man with the unruly hair and disheveled shirt and tie and I have no doubt that BJ knows this all to well, as he played that game himself a few short year ago. Theresa May anyone?
Strange as it may seem, or perhaps not - in all of the political embarrassments of the past months it seems to me that this Downing Street Christmas Party scenario has had the most damaging effect on the Great British public. A classic case for many ordinary (non political) people of ‘one rule for them, one rule for us.’ Once that creeps into a nations psyche, it is - and always has been hard to dislodge and many Conservative MPs know that all too well as they eye their own, sometimes slender majorities, gained over Labour at the last general election. However, just homing-in onto individual policy meltdowns and presentational gaffs is only part of the unfolding story.
By general agreement, government as presented to the electorate at this time is becoming a growing embarrassment and I think the politicians in power must know that as well. All governments of whatever colour constantly seek the opinions of voters via their own opinion polling and I would be very interested to see the results of those that have been conducted over the past few weeks. I suspect that pollsters will be getting used to some of the following words as they go through the data - i.e. silly, childlike, shapeless, unfocused, and perhaps most damaging of all - lies.
I think that over the years the British people have always had a rather healthy mistrust, verging on cynicism, when it comes to politicians of all persuasions. In terms of the present Prime Minister, it maybe that he will overcome his present self-inflicted problems and do what he has done many times in the past and sail on undisturbed - because there is no doubt about it, the British public in the past have been rather taken by his raffish charm and ill disguised sense of humour. Nevertheless, are we observing the end of this electoral phenomenon? Moreover, to misquote his hero Winston Churchill, are we set to witness - “Not the beginning of the end….Just the end of the beginning”? We shall see soon enough I reckon!
Some people don’t like ‘em!
I have been watching some old comedy shows on Britbox and what struck me wasn’t the quality of the humour (patchy, just like today!) but the fact that the producers felt the need to preface some old episodes of the dangerously revolutionary ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’ with a warning.
Yes, a warning! This was because a viewer complained that when Frank Spencer dresses up as a pixie a child addresses him with a homophobic slur. No wonder they daren’t re-run ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ - although for many of us, this comedy series absolutely nailed the stupidity of racism as far back as the 1960’s.
Poor old Fergie
One had to smile somewhat the other day when the Duchess of York declared herself to be “the most persecuted woman in the history of the royal family.” Well, Anne Boleyn might have argued with that assertion, if she hadn’t had her head removed from her body in The Tower of London on trumped up charges of adultery with various family and friends.
Come on, we can all see that this was if nothing compared to being caught on camera having your toes sucked on a sun-lounger by a Texan millionaire who was not your husband. Then there was that business, when the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, gave you £15,000 to pay off your debts. Need I carry on? What a trooper!