So the results from the local government elections were just as horrendous as we thought they'd be, and New Labour is in very bad shape. Good. Someone on Radio 4 was just saying that if it hadn't been for 'Lord' Mandelson fighting hard for Gordon's survival then the Prime Minister would have been ditched by his Parliamentary 'colleagues'.
Well that's one way of seeing it. Another way would have been to assume that the likes of Straw, Darling and Miliband managed to reach the only sane conclusion for themselves – that given the state of our politics Brown's resignation would have made a general election inevitable and a Labour wipeout a certainty, and what kind of idiot turkeys actually vote for an early Christmas?
Then again, maybe Mandy did indeed have to talk sense into a bunch of idiot turkeys. And in any case it's not unlikely that some of those people, at least, might just fancy a quiet life on the backbenches right now, or possibly dropping out of the fucked up world of politics altogether - a world in which there are three circles of power: Parliament, the government, and Gordon Brown and his cabal of personal appointees to the House of Lords.
The thing that's truly appalling is that Mandelson, an unelected and unelectable bastard of the first order, is now not only deemed to have such massive power, but Brown has given him a huge promotion – to First Secretary of something or other – and he's now said to be effectively the deputy prime minister. I wonder what Harriet Harman, a far more decent individual, says about that. I seem to remember writing about this a few weeks ago when someone else suggested that Lord Pete is really the deputy PM.
I was appalled to hear today that 'Lord' Adonis, another complete shitbag, has been promoted to Transport Secretary. How can that happen? What's more, 'Sir' Alan Sugar has been given a peerage and will become some sort of business overlord. Brown must be out of his fucking mind, especially if he thinks the vast majority of people will be pleased with Sugar's elevation. What next? Simon Cowell as Minister for Culture? Piers Morgan as Minister for Adminstrative Affairs?
These are the kind of people running the country, very influential in our national life, and supposedly representing us – we, the people. Like fuck they do.
Or then again, maybe they do have a mindset that pretty much corresponds with that of the poor brainwashed citizens of this unenlightened country, where the likes of Thatch, Major, Blair and now Brown have ruled the roost for so long. Think of that little lot, think of Barack Obama, and weep.
Think also of Hazel Blears, lest we forget. As Sue Perkins said on The News Quiz, if a Titian troll walks out on the party, how come that's supposed to be a bad day for our country? Everybody else on the programme jumped in and gave her a good kicking as well. Wonderful.
It's really not so funny though. There were these two excellent letters in yesterday's Guardian:
Having let my Labour membership lapse, I thought I was over any residual tribal feelings, but that hasn't protected me from my shock at the minister for local government's treachery on the eve of council elections. If the Salford party don't deselect the money-grubbing troll, there really is no hope forLabour.
So Hazel Blears wants to get back to grassroots politics. Some party members like myself never left the grassroots and are struggling to win or retain county council seats. In the last three weeks on the doorsteps I have had to face more questions about the antics of Hazel Blears than all other local issues combined.
Why wait to deselect her? Why not just kick her out of the party immediately for treachery ('Rocking The Boat'!), bringing the party into disrepute, and attempted avoidance of capital gains tax? Simple – because Brown, the idiot, continued to support her and say what a terrific asset she was, right up to the day of her resignation.
That was the day I first saw her on TV wearing her leather motor bike outfit, looking for all the world like some new species of cave-dwelling leathery dwarf. She can't even walk with any style or grace. (Sorry about the personal abuse – but if you put yourself up for attention, public recognition and admiration . . .)
A Real Working Class Hero
Blears tries hard to trade on her Salford origins and constituency - to give herself some sort of woman-of-the-people credibility - but she's as bourgeois as they come. She's an embarrassment to the working classes, if that's really where she came from.
Bobby Moore, on the other hand, was the real deal. Waiting for the big match to come on this afternoon (Khasakstan 0 England 4) I watched a documentary (by Tony Palmer) on our Bobby - hero of 1966 and all that.
He went to school in Leyton, near where I worked after leaving college. He spoke with an Estuary accent, unlike his boss Alf Ramsey, who tried to distance himself from his humble roots by going to elecution classes and learning to speak "properly". Bobby was bright, dedicated, humble and decent. He worked hard at his trade, and was a natural leader. As the film said - he led by example, not by being authoritarian and egotistic.
There was an incredible number of ex-players and journalists, plus friends and family, who spoke about him, and about his shockingly early death from cancer, and not one of them had a single bad thing to say about him. People around the world loved the man, just as they loved that other giant of the game, Pele.
Pele also loved Bobby. It was really moving to hear people like Pele, Jack Charlton, George Best and Alan Ball talking about what a great player he was, and what a wonderful human being. They all said how much they missed him. Especially his son and his daughter. And his wife.
He was calm, quiet and thoughtful, and did everything properly and thoroughly, as a player and as a private individual. He obviously excelled in emotional, social and spiritual intelligence. He played the game for the love of it.
As a young player he earned £8 per week - which was less than his girlfriend earned from her job. Of course the bosses and the owners made a fortune from the sweat of players like Bobby. It just didn't occur to them that they should pay higher wages to the very people who brought in the spectators through the turnstiles.
That's how the class system worked - one set of expectations for the bosses and a different set for everyone else. To be working class meant that you did the work and someone else raked in the profits from your labour. It seems incredible now to think that in those days there was a fixed maximum wage that footballers could earn, and no fixed contracts. If a club signed you, then you belonged to them till they decided to get rid of you.
Apparently Blears has said, "I passed my 11+. My brother didn't. He drives a bus. I'm in the Cabinet!"
This is the kind of elitist, snobbish attitude that drives New Labour education policies. Manual work bad; non-manual good. No work at all even better, providing you have plenty of money. In their minds there are hierarchies of jobs and hierarchies of people. With the rulers, the government, at the top, of course. They just wish they were better paid. Which is why so many of them were eventually caught filching money from the public purse. All within the rules, of course.
Ẁikipedia has quite a lot of stuff on Blears, including her voting record:
* Voted for introducing government registers on everyone in Britain backed up by ID cards.
* Voted for introducing foundation hospitals.
* Voted for introducing student top-up fees.
* Voted for the Iraq War
* Voted against investigating the Iraq war.
* Voted for replacing Trident.
Nothing there that any self-respecting Tory wouldn't vote for.