On returning from conference I spent Monday and Tuesday lying on the sofa thinking I was going to die, then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lying on the sofa hoping I was going to die. Accordingly my crabbiness rating increased markedly and so, unhappily, did my internet activity.
Following the Budget that Ambition Forgot the usual shower of no-hoper NuLab apologists had to fix on to whatever desperate material was to hand. Thus, Jackie Ashley:
His very blandness gives him a sort of quiet authority
She is “cautiously optimistic”. Oh god, we’re all doomed. She rightly gets short shrift in the comments from people who despair of Labour but would never dream of voting Tory. Hellooooo!
Also hanging out on CiF was ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie, reflecting with apparent puzzlement on the fact that Their Dave, while skewering Darling, darling!‘s shortcomings pretty effectively, had not actually
provided any policies of his own outlined an alternative direction in his response to the Chancellor. Naturally, it was left to your correspondent to point out to poor Tim that Dave’s reticence in the matter of policy announcements is not actually to do with your actual reticence, and is more to do with your basic lack of, well, having any policies.
This was particularly pointed up by the headline currently halfway down ConHome which reads, thoughtfully “What should the Conservatives do next?” Christ knows. Open a gardening centre? Flee for higher ground? Answers on a postcard, please, and if the front bench fancy getting actually anything passed, now is the time to hand it over (at least it’ll be of our own free will; like handing over your wallet to a mugger before you get hit).
Even better, I see that Gorgeous Georgina Osbourne, who sat in total silence during the debate itself looking like – what was it? – a classicist at a chemistry seminar, has now had the budget explained to him and accordingly has posted a CiF piece and a video on ConHome explaining that “you’ll be £110 worse off”. Good soundbiting, that researcher – no, no, not for the press, for Georgina.
Elsewhere on ShoutyPlonker.com, Graeme Archer outlines an education policy which Lib Dem readers may find spookily familiar, with the emphasis very much on empowering parents and communities to set up schools, run them how they wish and keep them open as long as they remain viable – the state’s role is to fund this, not to direct it. And what happens in the comments? Oh you know, the usual, racism, shouty plonkerism, leftie-bashing but almost more alarming even than that was the number of Tory posters who totally and utterly missed the point about the lack of state interference – we should bring back phonics, we should ban mixed race schools (yes, really!), we have failed the nation by no longer exercising absolute control over every aspect of the education system. Not. A. Clue. You wonder how the more intelligent Tories don’t seriously despair (in fact I noticed one in the comments doing just that). And they say we’re split. At least when we are divided over something it doesn’t disrupt a whole lot of complex brain-cell sharing arrangements.
Back to CiF, a Tory grub writes seeking to “decontaminate” the Tory brand by intimating that some of them don’t think everything went to the dogs after women were invented, and that it might be a jolly good wheeze to have a few more fillies on the Tory benches, because then the plebs might vote for us a little more. Actually, I ended up feeling sorry for this guy, as I do for many young, well-meaning Tories, because they are saddled with this impossibly out-of-touch leadership that couldn’t come up with a policy for getting out of bed, and a membership that is still, basically, a bunch of barking mad mysoginists. Tories seem to be writing for CiF in increasing numbers, by the way – ever since Their Dave published this piece a while back announcing that the Tory party recognised the existence of the internet.
Naturally, I did not pass up the chance to congratulate him on his discovery.