55 plus 18: “Just when I thought I was out…”

Posted: 4 September 2019 in 55 plus, politics
Tags: , , , ,

Quick short one today. And something unrelated to politics.

I mean, I was planning on writing something on the shitshow currently occupying our ‘leaders’ in Parliament but as I talked about on Twitter, I’m not going to.

Definitely not.

I’m unsure, to be honest, whether that’s merely because no-one knows what the hell is going on, and what’s likely to happen. No-one does know, by the way, and the more honest of the pundits will at least admit that.

Or whether I’m just too bloody tired right now, too exhausted by the whole thing to write about it.

And by ‘the whole thing’, I don’t just mean Brexit, but British politics as a whole. The past four years have wiped me out. And that scares me a bit. Why does it scare me?

My honest fear is that, at some point, that exhaustion is going to turn into ‘resigned acceptance’ of whatever fresh hell is current happening; friends of mine in the US tell me the same fear surrounds them as well.

In their case, they’re well used to politics never stopping, never calming down. The US, of course, has elections for their equivalent of MPs every two years. The entire House of Representatives is elected, or re-elected in most cases, every other year, whenever the year is an even one. Which makes sense, I guess. If they limited it ‘odd’ years, you’d have elections every bloody year.

But it means they’re – well everyone is – only just over a year until the next set of national US elections. Not only the US presidential elections – can you believe Trump’s election was almost three year ago?! – but 435 US members of Congress. (And just over 30 Senators, since a third of them are elected for six year terms.)

But in the UK?

No, I’m not going to write about UK politics.

I’ll stop.

In a minute.

Because it’s likely that by the end of this week, we’ll know that an election is on the way. Not definitely – see that comment about nobody knowing right now – but as mentioned fairly recently, until 2011, general elections were held… pretty much whenever a Prime Minister wanted one. OK, if an election hadn’t been held in five years, you had to have one. That’s why we had elections in 1992, and in 1997, and again in 2010. Because ‘time had run out’ for the PM. In the past 100 years, we’ve had 26 general elections in the UK. So the average length of a parliament was between just under four years, around three years ten months.

(Which is in part why, despite my naively supporting the introduction of The Fixed-term Parliaments Act in 2011, I always thought the term of government, the time between elections, should have been set at four years, not five.)

A parliamentary ‘session‘, by the way, is a different, technical, thing, usually lasting roughly a year. It’s been longer on occasion, and we’re currently in the longest one n history.

But no, let’s not talk about that.

Let’s talk about something else.

Did you watch telly last night?

I didn’t, because I was at a comedy night, by which I mean that I was attending a regular monthly thing at which professional comedians made me laugh. As opposed to the unprofessional, entirely amateur, bastards currently making speeches in the Palace of Westminster, speaking untruths and self-serving nonsense, showing less concern for the ‘good of the country’ and more for their own careers and the good of their own parties.

But, today, I did watch the latest incarnation of that now ludicrous thing entitled Prime Minister’s Questions.

It was Boris Johnson’s first as Prime Minister, and Jeremy Corbyn’s… oh, I dunno how many he’s done in four years, well over a hundred, though. Usually he comes off badly in them. He gets six questions, and it’s rare that he – against Cameron or May – is judged to have ‘won’ the clash. Occasionally, surely, and it’s unquestionable that he’s far, far better at them now than he used to be.

Anyways, today’s was Johnson’s first and he started his PMQs not quite ‘as he meant to go on’ but how he’s spent his entire political career this far: bullshitting, dodging questions, insulting other people and blaming anyone else for the mess in which he finds himself.

Corbyn didn’t do badly per se, but he hardly did well. And when Ian Blackford asked a couple of questions, again, he didn’t do badly, but he hardly distinguished himself.

Odd thing is, though, that all three would have finished their ‘bit’ pleased with their performance, convinced they bested their opponent… and I’ve no doubt whatever that partisan supporters of each of the three would and will confirm that impression.

No, no, no, I want to talk about something else.

In a second.

Because I’d be remiss, now that I have mentioned PMQs not to highlight the question from Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi:

Johnson was rattled after it, and deservedly so.

( I saw Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson praise the question, decry Johnson’s response and also demand that the Prime Minister shouldbe “more careful” in the use of his language. I doubt I was the only person watching who thought Johnson being careful at all would be a good start.)

Erm… er… something else. I was going to talk about something else, wasn’t I?

Comics. Not comedians, but comic books. I’ve been rereading Freakangels the past week, the fantastic series – originally done as a webcomic – by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield.

Basically, the set up is ‘what if the Midwich Cuckoos grew up?’ A bit more than that, obviously but set in a flooded London.

The blurb says:

Twenty-three years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment. Six years later, the world ended. This is what happened next.

Every page sparkles with class, and the story about what happens when you have power but are too immature to know how to use it properly and…

…oh, ok, I’m angry again about what’s going on in Parliament.

Fuck it.

Something else tomorrow.

Comments
  1. Mr. Dhesi rightly struck home there.

    Of course, over here in Canada, you’ll recall that the local problem is that we likely have to settle for Trudeau the Younger lest we bring in fellow-travellers to the likes of Trump and Johnson by mistake…or, worse, by the design of those we oppose.

    • Mr Dhesi did indeed; however, as you’re more than aware, his own party has its issues about antisemitism and he seems quite content – as do other MPs highlighting Johnson & the Tories weakness in this matter – to stay without demanding their Leader apologise and go. He’s studiously avoided the subject, in fact.

      So, the hypocrisy is in both parties, deep and large.

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