Tag Archives: Great

BoJob has shown us all the great weakness of democracy (Vox Political Scrapbook)

This is excellent from Martin Odoni at The Critique Archives:

Now of course we have the all-time nadir of Prime Ministers. Boris Johnson has hardly put a foot right since he at last reached 10 Downing Street in July 2019. His only purpose in being Prime Minister, on examination, just seems to be that he wants to be, and that he feels with his upper crust background that it is his natural right and place to be. A bit like so many of the worst monarchs of English and Scottish history (and there have been shockingly high numbers of bad ones in both countries); first-born Princes of the Realm brought up to be King would grow up much too used to no one daring to disagree with them, to nobody at all daring to blame them for anything, and to receiving the throne when their fathers died because it was simply their Divine Right. In a disturbingly similar manner, Johnson seems to think that it is simply his right to be Prime Minister because he went to Eton. Never mind that his school reports have become notorious for describing idleness, complacency and impunctual habits. Those basic personal inadequacies only underline how entitled he thinks he is.

Johnson is manufactured in the sense that he has a public persona that is somewhat fake. His bumbling, laddish, unkempt crudeness may be quite opposite to the very straight-laced, heavily-regimented appearance of New Labour, and it is not altogether unreal, but it is played up and exaggerated e.g. he famously chooses to mess up his own hair deliberately before being interviewed. The reason he does things like this is that he finds it wins him favour with the sorts of people who, were they properly informed, would know better than to vote for the Conservative Party ever – many working class voters seem to take it as a strange form of self-validation. If a racist, sexist, homophobic, messy, gaffe-prone, bumbling fool can be Prime Minister, obviously it ain’t that bad to be like me, seems to be the rather depressing and self-underestimating reasoning.

Because they get away with it at Elections, British politicians think they are allowed to lie to the people the rest of the time too.

What wins Elections, a lot of the time, boils down to being a good ‘cheerleader’. Johnson, it must be conceded, is very good at that. It is not a great skill, and requires little intelligence, but even so, it must be acknowledged that Johnson is one of the best cheerleaders in the House of Commons. He clearly wants to lead in the same way that Winston Churchill led the country during World War II. Hence Johnson’s silly, inappropriate, battle-crying rhetoric when talking about fighting the pandemic; he means ‘fighting’ it literally, as though every time the new vaccine has been adminstered, a bomb has been successfully dropped on ‘CoVid-19 Headquarters‘ (wherever that is). But this cheerleading quality hints at the ugliest aspects of Johnson’s nature. His love of fighting talk in part stems from a barely-hidden love of violence, leading to the disturbing and bullying impulses to which he is prone.

People forgive Johnson these things because they somehow think a man, who has never had to do a day’s real work in his life, who was born into wealth and privilege, who got a massive headstart up the greasy pole by virtue of the ultra-aristocratic school he went to, and who has seldom suffered any serious repercussions for his history of pathological lying, is somehow “one-of-the-people.” Just because he is clumsy, crass and has messy hair.

Source: Eighteen months of BoJob have showed up the big weakness of democracy | TheCritique Archives

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Tory disrespect stains WWI centenary commemoration

Disrespectful: The laminated messages that were attached to the wreaths. David Cameron was the only political leader allowed to write a personal message by the Conservative-run Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Disrespectful: The laminated messages that were attached to the wreaths. David Cameron was the only political leader allowed to write a personal message by the Conservative-run Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

This is a new low for the Conservative Party.

Leaders of British political organisations laid wreaths at Glasgow’s cenotaph to mark 100 years since the beginning of the First World War – but only David Cameron was allowed to write a personal message.

Worse than that, the Conservative Party and its allies then attacked leaders of the other parties – in particular Ed Miliband – for failing to do the same.

Former Tory MP Louise Mensch showed exactly why she deserves to be out of Parliament by tweeting: “Really we need to ask where we are as a society, when politicians are so casual as ‘hand me the wreath’ without asking to write on it.”

And Telegraph blogger Dan Hodges brought his paper into disrepute by tweeting, without checking the facts: “Just seen the wreath. Ed Miliband is becoming a parody of Ed Miliband.”

Asked to explain Mr Miliband’s actions, a Labour spokesman told the BBC that his wreath – with a card stating only “From the Leader of the Opposition” – was handed to him by a representative of organisers the Department of Culture, Media and Sport only seconds before it was laid.

“Ed Miliband was not given the opportunity to write a personal message on the wreath,” he said.

Perhaps an even worse indignity was that into which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was forced. His read “From the Deputy Prime Minister” and a Liberal Democrat source said the gap between Mr Clegg being handed the wreath and laying it had been “a 10-second thing”.

The BBC checked with the manufacturers of the wreaths – Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, and was passed on to Poppy Scotland, whose spokeswoman said: “We were asked to send [the cards] to the DCMS and the wreaths were sent through to Glasgow in advance, but the blank cards to London.”

So what happened, in fact, was that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport – which is run by the Conservative Sajid Javid – decided that the Conservative Prime Minister should be the only person allowed to write a personalised tribute. Every other political leader – including those of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – had to lay wreaths with a laminated description of their job, so they could not even scribble something quickly in the few seconds available to them.

The tell-tale was the fact that all messages other than Cameron’s were written in the same handwriting.

Worse still is the fact that Cameron’s message wasn’t even appropriate. He had written “Your most enduring legacy is our liberty. We must never forget.” Very stirring, but it would be more appropriate to attribute that to those who died in the Second World War, rather than the First.

Also, as Thomas G Clark pointed out adroitly in his Another Angry Voice blog:  “I´m pretty sure that most would agree that the practice of remembrance is a much more tangible and enduring legacy than the general concept of “liberty“, especially given that Cameron and his rotten government have striven relentlessly to undermine “liberty” with grotesque totalitarian and anti-democratic legislation such as the “secret courts” bill, retroactive workfare sanctions, the “Gagging Law” and the “DRIP spooks charter“.”

Worst of all is the fact that the sacrifice of more than a million British lives, and the suffering caused to more than 1.5 million British people who were wounded, some so severely that they suffered the consequences for the rest of their lives, has been overshadowed by a petty squabble engineered by small-minded Tories who wanted to make themselves look better than everyone else.

It was a silly tactic, easily exposed. David Cameron’s only logical move was to apologise for what happened, for the insult to his fellow political leaders and for the upset it has undoubtedly caused to all those who lost loved ones in the war and wanted them commemorated respectfully.

True to form, he showed he had a yellow streak instead. Our gutless Prime Minister had nothing to say.

We should all send him the White Feather.

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