Monday, 1 October 2007

Electile malfunction

Usual nonsensical political coverage over the weekend:

The big day: The fuss about choosing the date of the election is just inner circle politico gossip. As far as I can see there are only a handful of days in any year which are likely to have elections on them anyway. Also what all the columnists etc fail to see is that most people are just interested in when the election is, the machinations around the date are rather dull.
Political reporters’ obsession with the process of politics is a general malaise. This morning on the Today programme in an interview with the shadow Chancellor George Osbourne the interviewer (sorry couldn’t remember which one it was) kept trying to work up rifts in the Tories rather than looking at what there official policies where. Now I’m all for holding politicians to account but time taken discussing internal politics is time not devoted to actual policies. Every weekend the Observer et al have endless columns by Andrew Rawnsley etc which spend inches of newsprint mulling over internal party politics, Westminster feuds etc. All portrayed as nationally important but of little interest to even engaged informed people.

HWF Championship.
George Osbourne sounded like he was playing a drinking game when interviewed this morning. You may remember the Fast show sketch with Ted and Ralph where Ralph has to tell Ted some bad news, unfortunately Ted and his mate are playing a game where you have to put a veg name in between each word or pay a forfeit.

Well, Osbourne was doing this, this morning but with the insidious meaningless phrase “hardworking families” He slipped it or similar prose into virtually every sentence.

Tax for hardworking families will be reduced to help hardworking families; capital gains will rise to benefit hardworking families. We hardworking families are hardworking families so hardworking families desperate hardworking families to hardworking families get hardworking families elected hardworking families we hardworking families will hardworking families ignore hardworking families 2/3rds hardworking families of hardworking families the hardworking families population and hardworking families only hardworking families mention hardworking families all hardworking families the hardworking families time.

Funnily enough “hardworking families” doesn’t really include a lot of people who think it refers to them. In Britain it means white middle/upper middle class families where both married biological parents and children share the same house: Where both parents work full time. If you are mixed race, mixed up family, divorced ,gay, a single parent, single, old, disabled, born overseas, un-employed, not driven by material happiness it doesn’t refer to. It’s basically the chippy Daily Mail/Express reading constituency for Tory and Labour who have recently started to see themselves as victims. See Speed cameras, congestion charge, Capital gains tax campaigns.

They are only people in society who can expect help from the government everyone else is either expect to pay up and shut up or be glad of whatever pittance is left. Don’t expect to buy a house, be treated in a clean hospital, not have your liberty infringed, travel of pleasant uncrowned trains, if you are not a hardworking family.
There’s various interesting expansions of this point elsewhere on the web.

It almost makes you long for the days of the "deserving and un-deserving poor" !

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