Saturday, May 8, 2010

Layer 301 . . . The Day After The Day After : Demanding Democracy, Taking Back Parliament, All Along The Watchtower, and Having A Laugh

“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth”

“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl . . .

Oona King, ex-MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, on the radio this morning, spoke about her 'inheritance track', and incredibly chose my own track - Jimi Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's 'All Along The Watchtower'. Amazing woman, this Oona. Love her to bits. She's so well-off being out of politics - and she knows it.

I don't know why I'm so amazed that Oona chose this track. I'm more amazed that everybody doesn't choose it.

There was a superb episode of The News Quiz yesterday - one of the best ever. It's now in its 71st series. A real national gem. Thank goodness for Sandi Toksvig, Jack Dee, Jeremy Hardy, Francis Wheen, and Sue Perkins. Comic geniuses, every one of them.

"The UKIP campaign didn't really take off, did it?"

"Zak Goldsmith's mate! - Hooray!"

"Hazel Blears is back in Eccles and Salford . . .  or Salford and Eccles - depending on which way she's flipped them."

"Nick Griffin blamed his rout on immigrants that didn't vote for him."

The polling stations were obviously run by the people who run the Post Office.

In Hackney there was a sit-in after disgruntled voters realised the polling station was much nicer than their homes.

The markets! - "We're all disoriented! - let's do something something mental, like sell pork bellies."

Four points all - we've got a hung quiz!

The headmaster at Eton says he's not just looking for brainboxes, but all-rounders who can rub along with other boys.

Lembit Opik lost his seat - but at least he's now free to return to the mothership.


Actually I take back what I've said about The Opik. He was on Election Have I Got News For You, and was very funny indeed - in a hurt, humbled and unemployed kind of a way. Great gurner. Can also play the harmonica - for spare change.


Two more of the nation's comic geniuses also appeared in an election special yesterday - Paul Merton and Ian Hislop. At one point in the programme they moved around and sat together in a coalition, at the suggestion of Jo Brand, who was chairing.

"Especially recorded after the election so that we'd know what the result is."

"We have no government. Does that mean we can do whatever we want?"

"The result of the election's still up in the air - unlike UKIP's plane."

Merton even made himself laugh at his mime of Gordon Brown slipping out of his troosers round at the house of that "bigoted woman".

"You should really write porn", said Jon Richardson, who was also very good.

Quick as a flash Merton replied, "Too busy living it, mate!"

"Now they're applauding pornography! After the air crash this audience'll applaud anything! I've got a dead kitten in my pocket!"


Malcolm Tucker's May 7 outbox

It's time to throw in the towel and call in Dave "Dude, Where's My Majority?" Cam and let him deal with the horrendous fuck-pie of cock-stew that's bubbling. Let him do the cuts. Where there is discord, may he bring petrol bombs. Where there is error, may he bring bullshit. Where there is doubt, may he bring Osborne. And where there is despair, may he bring the noise.

Let's get some kip and catch you on the flip side.


M x


Polly Toynbee has another must-read column in the paper today -

The hopes of decades rest with Clegg. He must hold his nerve

For once, Lib Dems are in a position to demand crucial voting reform. A once unthinkable progressive coalition is on the table

If not now, when? For the first time the prize is within grasp. The people have spoken – and none of the above won. Radical reform to an electoral system that has fallen apart is at last on offer. The deadly duopoly between two moribund parties has broken. But will it be cobbled together again as if nothing had happened?

All depends on the nerve of Nick Clegg. Has he the spine and the iron resolve to stick to the one condition that offers a chance of a progressive future?

All through the election the Conservatives' City friends have done all they could to spook voters into fearing coalitions, though coalitions offer the most stable economies across Europe. Imagine the reassuring sight of Alistair Darling and Vince Cable working together to steady the markets, deciding together how to cut the deficit with the least damage and the fairest tax rises. Those who believe in electoral reform want exactly this kind of open pluralism. To make it happen, join the electoral reform protest in Trafalgar Square today at 2pm.


Demo for democracy, Saturday May 8th 2pm Trafalgar Square

POWER2010 is joining together with other organisations to Take Back Parliament.

If enough of us turn out and join the call for reform the politicians will be forced to listen.

"The Tories got 36% of the vote, but Labour and the Liberal Democrats, promising a referendum on electoral reform, got 52% of the vote. There is an undeniable, democratic mandate for Parliament to deliver that referendum."

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