The Curmudgeon


Sunday, December 28, 2008

We'll Eat Again, Don't Know Where, Don't Know When

When the race card isn't enough, play the war card. The Glorious Successor has conjured up the spirit of the Dunkirk fiasco, promising blood, sweat and tears for all the right people and noting that, in the face of global recession and runaway climate change, "the scale of the challenges we face is matched by the strength of my optimism". The soundbites are becoming less and less distinguishable from Tony's, apart from the fact that the grin has to be kept dangling in place with real nails these days. Gordon's government will be the "rock of stability" which will squash the unworthy beneath its weight as the earth heats up and the economy goes into deep freeze. Over the other great challenge of our times, "international security", given Gordon's contribution to peace in our time it might be charitable to draw a discreet veil, preferably one as black as Iraqi crude and as thick as Geoff Hoon.

"Today, the issues may be different, more complex, more global" than the Second World War, an altogether simpler and more local affair; yet nevertheless, "the qualities we need to meet them the British people have demonstrated in abundance before". After all, we survived the First and Second World Wars by mortgaging ourselves to the Americans (who could afford us at the time); we survived the industrial revolution by stealing from brown people and subjecting our own people to vile factory conditions, draconian poor laws and the workhouse; we kept smiling through the Black Death by blaming it on Jews and witches: whitewashed with a minimal twenty-first-century gloss, these are all good, sound New Labour coping strategies.

Gordon also reassures us, in that semi-translated-human-resources-manual English of his, that "it will be my unwavering focus to make the right decisions to build a Britain of hope and opportunity in a world of danger and uncertainty". So far he has done passing well on the danger and uncertainty, but the hope and opportunity have been regrettably confined to world-savers like the nuclear industry, the airlines, and Peter Mandelson. Gordon also believes that "we can do - and we can, we must". This is certainly an improvement. Where Tony had an aversion to verbs, Gordon only hates the varieties with which one can form a complete sentence. "The stakes are too great with our planet in peril, for us to do anything less" than something or other.


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