Below is an extract from my old firm The Daily Telegraph, written by a former Editor and ex-guvnor of mine Charles Moore (pictured below, second left, with Dave -far left, which is a first- on a jolly day out). Moore, known by all as Lord Snooty , and the unlikeliest of all Tory critics, seems to have some concerns. Now if HE is starting tho think like this about Dave, Gideon and co, maybe, just maybe there is some hope. (highlights are mine)
By Charles Moore
30 Mar 2012
When I first heard Francis Maude’s suggestion on Sky News that we might all stock up “a bit of extra fuel with a jerry can in the garage”, I did not, I must admit, panic. His remark seemed a little unwise – and you could hear, by the way he immediately began to qualify it, that he thought so too – but I let it pass.
What I was forgetting is that ministerial words about an immediate problem with basics like fuel or food is the only sort of ministerial statement which people believe. It was like when Edwina Currie, the then junior health minister, said in 1988 that most egg production was infected with salmonella. People stopped buying eggs. After Mr Maude spoke, they swarmed to the petrol pumps.
But now that I have heard the Conservatives’ private explanation, which is being handed down to constituency associations by MPs, I begin to feel angry.
The private message is as follows. “This is our Thatcher moment. In order to defeat the coming miners’ strike, she stockpiled coal. When the strike came, she weathered it, and the Labour Party, tarred by the strike, was humiliated. In order to defeat the coming fuel drivers’ strike, we want supplies of petrol stockpiled. Then, if the strike comes, we will weather it, and Labour, in hock to the Unite union, will be blamed.”
There is a key difference which ministers have not spotted. When Mrs Thatcher piled up the coal at power stations until the strike began in 1984, she was not inconveniencing the public. In 2012, the Coalition is trying to press-gang the public, without saying so, into its political battles. All those people queuing on the forecourts were pawns in a Government-organised blame-game.
So this gerrymandering with jerry cans, along with the rows about pasties, dinners for donors and granny taxes, sheds light on the present discontent. People detect selfishness.
It continues at length, including this
Being myself a southern, public-school, Oxbridge person, I do not feel patronised by this milieu, but even I, as I watched the Budget on television and saw the “Quad” of Messrs Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Alexander all in a self-congratulatory, Oxford Union row, did get that “What do they know about anything?” feeling which, opinion polls suggest, is doing the Coalition harm.
For the rest of the article, please click here and see how some of that lot have started to think. Enjoy and cross your fingers.
Is anyone in the slightest bit surprised that, with the couple of years that Gordon Brown (texture like sun) has spent at No.10, he loses his rag every so often? Just look at the numpties who surround him: Miliband (twice) Ainsworth, Harperson, Darling, the Cheeky Girls: Ben and Peter. (I suspect they like a bit of the rough stuff, naughty boys!)
No wonder he rants and raves. I bet he can hardly believe what’s happened to him. But a bully? Nah, surely not. And even if he is, does it really, truly matter any more? I suspect not.
Chances are, come May 7th we’ll be waking up to our first day of many many long years of a Tory Government. I remember back in the dark days of 1979 going into school on the morning after the general election to come face-to-face with my labour-voting English master, slumped over his desk.
“So the Tories got in then, Sir” I said to him.
“Yes, Bealing” he sighed. “And we’ll never get rid them. It’ll take years for people to trust Labour again”.
He was nearly right. We did eventually get rid of Maggie, then Major, but it did take forever and a day. I fear we are in a similar situation now. A large proportion of the voting public have forgotten what a Tory Government is like. If this current opposition were any where near attractive or believable to the electorate we would be witnessing a landslide in May, a rout of Gordon’s rabble. As it is, the public seem to be reeling at the thought of handing power to Dave, Osborne and all those other chinless berks in blue.
Extraordinarily, some commentators are actually predicting a hung parliament! That this administration, useless, hapless and hopeless as it is, is STILL in with a shout in the election, only goes to show what a loathesome, incompetent bunch this current crop of Tories are. What does Gordon have to do to lose this vote? Considering he’s been blamed for floods, plagues, pestilence,global financial colapse, a corrupt parliament, a dishonest police force (I said nothing, honest) and now bullying within Downing Street, I think 7 points behind the Tories in the polls is a remarkable acheivement.
Personally, I can’t see anything past a Tory victory, as much as it hurts to admit it. However, just in case you, like me, quite fancy another 5 years of Gordo Gaffs, or even the fun of a hung parliament, why not click on this link, print out one of these posters and stick it up in the office/in your front window? At the very least it’ll keep Tory canvassers away from your door.
And if you don’t I’ll send round Peter to give you a damn good thrashing.
I read with interest that they’re going to let cyclists travel the wrong way up a one-way street. Brilliant! I have enough problems crossing the road and avoid being mowed down by these bastards as it is, never mind getting rammed up the arse by one of them cos I was looking the wrong way. No, I’m not gonna start again, I have nothing more to add to what’s gone before (see previous rants) . Suffice to say I am considering buying a Renault and may be Piquet-ing myself across the road should I see any of the lycra fascists peddling towards me against the traffic. I’m not sure if Lewisham council employs a safety car, perhaps they can buy one out of the cash from all the parking tickets they dish out around Blackheath. Hurrumph.
I don’t know why I am surprised at this news as I have the feeling I’ve been looking the wrong way at life in general for some time. It’s all gone a bit how’s yer father, hasn’t it?: The Tories, if and when they get in, are gonna make massive defence cuts, while the Labour Party are attacking the BBC and wanting to “cut it down to size”. How are we supposed to know who to vote for (or indeed if)? Gordon’s been trying to please all sides for two years now and managed to please no-one. Osbourne enrages his natural allied voters by dropping schemes for aircraft carriers and fighters, while Bob Ainsworth (yes, isn’t he?) wants more nukes.
Under this supposedly socialist (small ‘s’) government, nothing is built without private money sticking it’s snout in, the poorest are still getting a kicking by the tax man and Gordon Brown courts big business and tabloid newspapers for their support next election (small ‘chance’). I was once at a press awards ceremony when the then Chancellor Gordon appeared, live by satellite, to laud praise on Paul Dacre, the editor of The Daily Mail. That’s The Editor of The Daily Mail. I felt distinctly bilious, it nearly put me off my champagne and canapes. The writing was on the wall there-and-then. Blair had already wooed The Sun and here was his McHenchman cuddling up the The Mail. Stone me.
Time was when you knew who was who and where you stood. Tories cut taxes to save their rich mates, Labour upped the rate to pay for schools, health and a cheese sandwich and a warm bottle of light ale for any passing Trades Unionist. Unelected Peers were given seats in Tory Governments, while the honest working man rose up through the (elected) ranks to become a lowly, humble, under-paid Labour MP. What now?:Baroness Mandelson even ran the country for a brief period this summer with four fewer votes than Hamid Karzai raised in Afghanistan (none).
Back in the day public spending soared under a Labour administration and those of us on the right (or is it left) side-of-the-tracks were happy to pay more for the common good. Tories would hack away at the Welfare State and sod anyone who couldn’t afford private hospitals or education. They defended and invested in the military and weaponry and invaded anyone who so much as look at us in a funny way, while Labour cut the Services budget, were the party of Ban The Bomb…and invaded anyone who so much as looked at us in a funny way.
And bikes rode the correct way up the street.
During the war….
Years ago, me and my old flatmate Mickey Flynn had a punch-up while trying to stand upright on a mattress on his bedroom floor. I was punching him on the the nose and he was smashing me round the head with a squash racket— taking turns to deliver our blows: whack, ping, whack, ping. Lots of claret about but I don’t remember any sword being involved, any more than I remember what the fight was over. I know it would have been Guinness-fueled as our off-licence didn’t sell Absynth at the time. Bloody hurt though.
I suppose it’s the nature of friendships that sooner-or-later they involve full-blown rows. Most of us don’t reach for the Wilkinson, like Gauguin apparently did, but history is littered with mates who have fallen out: Julius Caeser and Mark Anthony; McBeth and Banquo; Mike and Bernie Winters— all friends and brothers who fell out, with varying degrees of violence.
I suppose here you’d expect me mention the jaw-dropping in-fighting within the Labour Party at the moment, with former friends and colleagues lining up to have a swing at Gordon Brown (texture like sun). Hazel Blears, Charles Clarke and David Blunkett—all chums and workmates who’ve reached for the squash racket and swung at the PM over the past few days.
Well I’m not going to mention that. Politicians, especially this lot, can never really be expected to remain loyal to anyone but themselves, and what goes around comes around—Gordon did his share of mud-slinging when his old mate Tony was dragging his feet leaving office. I have to say I did chuckle in amazement when Blunkett said Labour should avoid any more “self-inflicted” wounds. That’ll be D.Blunkett MP—the man who resigned twice over a couple of bouts of brazen naughtiness.
It doesn’t really matter, to be honest. Just a few weeks after GB‘s G20 triumph when he was set to save the world, his own little world seems to be collapsing around him in a whirlwind of bad judgement, bad luck and bad company. Half of me thinks he’ll be glad to get shot of the job and let the Party opposite pick up the pieces of the train wreck. It ain’t gonna get much better in the foreseeable future, whatever his (present) mate Darling thinks, so maybe the best thing might be to let the other mob have a go for a while, and hope they take the blame for some of it. On the other hand, dear old Gordon waited so long for his stint in the limelight he’s almost certainly reluctant to leave the stage.
There’s another chilling factor to consider. Blair won a landslide (Thing’s can only get better) because there was a huge part of the electorate who’d forgotten or never knew what a Labour administration was like. in 1997 the memory of Callaghan’s shambles was a distant memory to most, an entry in a history book to others. We’re about to witness something similar next year: There are people who will vote next year who would have been very, very young when Thatcher, Normo Tebbs, Aitken, Archer, Tarzan, Lawson et al had their snouts in the trough and led the single-most arrogant and wicked Government this country has ever seen. You think THIS lot are bad? Those Tories were Masters of Evil. Money grabbing, crooks who viewed the ordinary voter with staggering contempt and disdain. So when the landslide happens at the polling booths next year, which bar a miracle it surely will, we’ll be faced with one, two maybe three terms of that lot before the voters forget enough about Gordon and his feckless buffoons to vote Labour in again. That could be 15 years of Cameron. 15 years of Theresa May and Liam Fox. 15 years of George Osborne. Time to hand out the cutlasses
British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, wants EU countries to up their efforts in Afghanistan. There’s a feeling by the Brits (and the Yanks) that our continental partners could lend more men to the war effort. As Miliband puts it,”Some countries are doing significant amounts but other countries have got either significant caveats on the deployment of their troops or they’ve got their troops in parts of the country where there isn’t the same level of insurgency.”
In other words, European armies don’t want to get shot at. And fair enough: not being shot at is pretty high up on my to-do-list also.
Ever since Carry on up the Khyber, Afghanistan has been a little sod to conquer. The British Empire failed to control the Mullahs, the Soviet Army got its arse kicked, and the Yanks are having a few probs with the Taliban too (who, it turns out, were supplied arms by Tom Hanks in the first place). So what are the chances that the 3rd Copenhagen Rifles or a battalion of the Luxembourg Light Horse will fare any better? It’s a scary place, the Hindu Kush, with a soldier’s life-expectancy only slightly higher than that of a diner at Heston Blumenthal’s Dead Duck.
No. Leave it to the professionals. The US did, after all, defeat Nazism single-handedly, having captured Enigma machine and deciphered Ultra, landed virtually alone on the Normandy beaches, forced Hitler to retreat from Moscow and all without a single bit of help from anyone else. Rock Hudson chewed on a huge stogey throughout the D-Day landings, Steve McQueen was the only man on either side not to have to wear a uniform, and only William Holden understood war’s cruelty and madness. In-between shagging nurses on beaches.
The Brits were buffoons. If you were British and managed to grab a line you either sounded like Sam Kydd or Donald Sinden (right). While GI Joes were challenging strangers with the rather cool “Thunder” to get the friendly reply “Flash”, the silly Tommies used the rather more clipped “Leicester” and “Square” (pronounced “squar”). Brits were rescued from Stalags and Bulges by the the Marines or the Airborne, were always depicted holding a cuppa or downing a brown sludgy pint though buck-teeth, and sported some of the finest moustaches seen in modern warfare. And every Man Jack of them was a complete Berk. Edward Fox deserves particular credit for this one.
Alec Guinness built bridges for the Japanese, Dirk Bogarde sent Gene Hackman’s Polish Brigade to be slaughtered at Arnhem, Gordon Jackson said “thank you” when he meant “merci” and poor old Donald Pleasance couldn’t see a bloody thing. Only Richard Todd, who stormed the Pegasus Bridge ( “Up the Ox and Bucks, Up the Ox and Bucks”) gave any help at all to Ike and co. (In fairness, the actor actually WAS in the invading forces at D-Day). Richard Burton was Welsh and is therefore excluded from this conversation. But the rest? :Useless Limey wankers.
No-one, for the whole war, ever stopped for a pee. .
So perhaps the British government’s initial reluctance to attend the 65th Anniversary of D-Day is completely understandable. Miliband is only about 12 so all the movies he would have seen on the subject would show him that the Brits were never there. (In Saving Private Ryan Ted Danson does mention Monty once, as the bloke who’s cocking up everything). I wouldn’t turn up either— if I didn’t even make the end credits.
So Mr Miliband, the next time Obama asks you or your EU pals to supply more troops for Operation Certain Death, tell him you want at least 2nd billing, more and better lines and a cut of the royalties. Dunno why they need us there in the first place. We’ll only bugger it up.