|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
5 October 2018
|Running on Empty
Devotees fill the auditorium the first day of the Tory conference
The second day of the conference
"Back me on Brexit and I will end decade of austerity.” Oh. Those austerity
policies that violate international law. Blackmail? Surely not, eh Theresa?
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) director Paul Johnson said an extra £20
billion would be needed by 2022 to meet the pledge. Oh Theresa…. Hmm. And
what about that similar pledge in the wake of last year’s snap election?
No need to mention ‘the dance’ is there? No need to use the ‘c’ word is there?
No need to say another word about ‘the new and improved’ Theresa is there?
OK. One: rhetoric. OK. Two: more. Queen for how long? Oh no. Is that Boris
A Field of Dreams
Oh Boris, Boris, Boris. All right, your devotees will be guffawing – as you do with
Boris – over your latest desperate attempt to get attention; enough to become
PM of course. So what do we have then? Boris being ‘naughty’.
Yes, we’ve all enjoyed Boris frolicking through Theresa’s ‘field of dreams’. Or
was it an attempt to thrash her field of dreams? And how did this photo
opportunity come about? Who was the photographer then? Just hanging about
in the field of wheat dreams? As they do. Uh oh. The field is not even of wheat, it
is apparently ‘false oat grass’. Ahhh. Running free in false oat grass….perfect.
PMs in waiting…and waiting…and
The latest in entertainment: the Tory conference of course. The non-event,
except for Boris of course, of course – but nothing new there. Even if Boris-for-
ever militant devotees did line up three hours in advance – oh that is just so sad
– evidently filling and blocking stairways and corridors and filling the hall with
1,500 of them, cheering giving him a standing ovation before and after his anti-
Theresa speech. Ah Boris, celeb Boris. Ah devotees, pathetic devotees.
Another desperate for the crown, home secretary Sajid Javid, who after truly
cringe-making attempts at jokes – oh dear oh dear - told the audience(?) during
his keynote speech: “We will fight fear with optimism, prejudice with tolerance.
We will fight hope…” Goodness me. Truth revealed. Naturally Sajid quickly
corrected himself saying “hate… fight against hate…” Now it’s being considered
as ‘the Freudian slip of the year’: “war on hope”. The year? Oh no. Surely there
will be so many more to come – eh Boris? Sajid promised to introduce an almost
impossible test to pass - the ‘British values test’ for new citizens. Not joking.
Back to the ‘I want to be PM’ queue. Who wants to be next? Where is he? Oh
right: in hiding. Jeremy Hunt is ‘back in the USSR’. As predictable, EU was not
best pleased was it? The Foreign Secretary's comparison of the EU to the USSR
was offensive and alienates the very people Britain needs for trade deals.
Clever. Best to alienate as many of our close allies as we can while possibly
hoping to make major trade deals with. Those ‘close allies’ who immediately
offered support regarding the Salisbury poisonings. Congrats, Jeremy. You win
the ‘Blundering Boris clone of the day’, week, year.
Mana from Heaven
More reasons to be cheerful - if you are leaving the country that is. Chancellor
Philip Hammond’s response to the cash-strapped councils’ desperate pleas for
funding have finally been answered. The government will cut the main funding
grant to councils by £1.3bn during 2019/2020. Be of good cheer – if you are a
Tory. 168 councils won’t get any grant money - at all. By 2020, nearly £16bn in
government funding has ‘gone missing’ since 2010…a 60% loss. Some councils
are now simply unable to operate at all. Thank you, Phil.
Any Tory: “We are so optimistic. We are totally self-assured that we will stay in
power for years and years. And the proof? All those peasants suffering from
abject austerity love us. We only hope they will come out to vote next election
even when they are homeless. Did I say they love us? You say there is a history
of peasant revolts? Hmm. I think there might be, but our peasants are happy with
their lot. No riots here. We’re going to give them bread and circuses with the
Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – after we celebrate the new Little
Britain post Brexit. Oh wait. It is meant to show off Britain's business,
technology, culture, sport and arts expertise: peasants irrelevant. Over to you,
“We want to capture that spirit for a new generation, celebrate our nation’s
diversity and talent and mark this moment of national renewal with a once-in-a-
generation celebration,” Theresa told The Sunday Times. Ah. Theresa’s ‘new
optimism’. Unfurl those flags!
The previous festivals? The Great Exhibition of 1851 and the 1951 Festival of
Britain. Possibly best to wait until 2051. Just saying. Oh dear. Possibly not. This
latest fab festival will fall four months before the next scheduled general election.
Not obvious at all is it? The cost suggested so far? £120m to plan the event:
So Jeremy Vine has become a reality TV prosecutor. OTT, Jeremy. A blatant
attempt to increase ratings? Oh never that. His attack on the HALF-sister of
‘Meghan the Menace’ bordered on harassment really. He feigned ignorance by
referring to her as MM’s step-sister. Oh really, Jeremy. Really. Not a bit of
contempt, condescension? Then, he reneged: “You share the same father.”
The HALF-sister stood her ground, stayed dignified and didn’t fall for his
unrelenting attacks. Was he channelling the nasty, rude, attack-dog Matthew
Wright whom he replaced last month?
“Princess Pushy”? Not Megan. Never. Well, it seems the palace staff would add
quite a lot to that – yes, you surely remember they gave her latest sobriquet –
Megan the Menace. We know her half-sister has a long list of suggestions, if
only they would get in touch with her….
VDrop? Never heard of it? Not surprising. It’s a vending machine for your dry
cleaning. Yes, yes, vending machine and why would we be interested? Because
it is at the tube stop. No. really. Won’t the new eco machines quite quickly
become ‘normal’? Don’t you reckon?
Anxious to know how it works? You get to your favourite tube station, drop your
yucky stained smelling clothes into the vending machine — £3 per garment -
then you return 24 hours and voila! All clean and lovely. And in a biodegradable
bag. You could even change outfits right there, couldn’t you?
Ready with your pile of garments? The first vending machine - Epping Station on
Saturday 6 October. No need to panic. There are plans to offer them to
Greenwich, Loughton, Woodford and South Woodford, and more. Wait. You
just know this is only the start. Offices and gyms next. And – no toxic
perchloroethylene used. See. A clean sweep.