Douglas Bastard's Rants of Rage


This article was written on 03 Sep 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

Too inept to hate

When I was a kid, there was a satirical TV programme called Spitting Image. In it, latex models of politicians with their features exaggerated and made ridiculous with Hogarthian levels of crudery acted out scripts that showed up just how grotesque and hypocritical they were. Spitting Image was essential viewing and I know of nobody who didn’t watch it and enjoy, with a kind of unholy relish, how whichever politician they hated most was sent up. There is no modern equivalent.

Why? That’s easy. The present generation of politicians are too blandly inept to hate.When you can’t even start drooling when you imagine a successful Day of the Jackal style hit on a cast of people who are supposed to be in charge because they’re too laughably shit, we really are at a pretty pass. I could have entertained myself for hours thinking of ways to do away with Margaret Thatcher and people like acclaimed kiddy fiddler Leon Brittan, but this present crop aren’t even worth that. They’re just blah.

Equally, there aren’t any you can really get behind, like John Smith, and feel that Spitting Image was unfairly traducing (they weren’t). You can’t say ‘yes, these are people who reflect my values.’ Because none of them do. When they talk, you find yourself yawning and abstractly wondering whether you’ve washed enough pants to see you through the week. Our living standards will collapse, the NHS has had it, but these people are too inept to hate.

Possible exceptions are Farage and Corbyn, who are vile. Old Farage is as close to overt racism as you can get without blacking up, dressing as a golliwog and dancing around with your thumbs in your waistcoat sleeves to the tune of ‘The Camptown Races.’ There’s comic potential in his penis head and yellow teeth, or in the fact that he wants to expel everyone who isn’t white. This can’t happen, of course, because some of them were born here and even the ones who weren’t are working in jobs that contribute to the economy, so that’s sort of comic. Kicking them out would be overtly fascist, unworkable and like chopping off your right arm because you picked your nose with your left. And you’ll also get back all the expats which, judging by the state of the ones in Spain, nobody wants.

Corbyn is arguably more tragic, because he’ll never even get close to what he wants. He says that he’s a socialist and wanted Brexit because he thinks it’ll speed the adoption of socialism. What he’s not seen is that the polls show that his opponent is romping ahead in the polls and he’s shown that he has the ability to handle the media evidenced by Dr Crippen. People won’t be discovering socialism, they’ll be deciding that socialism is the preserve of idiots and loonies, best given a very wide berth indeed, so he’s shot himself in the foot.

You can kind of see them as puppets, Farage with his foul head and Corbyn with his sense of messianic certainty that will end with him having five MPs, but it’s a bit of a stretch. Similarly, even Gove and Johnson are denuded of power and largely impotent. Gove has become a sort of quiz show answer waiting for a question, and Johnson is as out of his depth as a toddler busily drowning in the shallow end. Neither will have any kind of career, other than as a director of something for which they’ll get a small fortune but have all the relevance of a corpse with chlamydia. There’s Jacob Rees-Mogg, but he only gets airtime because he’s some entertaining hangover from days gone by who wears comedically dated suits and talks like a minor cast member from Billy Bunter, like a dead old man in training.

I can summon myself to hate Farage and Corbyn, but the rest are too colourless to bother with. When Thatcher died, I played Morrissey’s ‘Margaret on the Guillotine’ over and over. Somehow, I can’t imagine playing any similar song for Theresa May or Philip Hammond. They’re the grey people who aren’t very good. They don’t have a Machiavellian plan for Brexit, because they don’t have any kind of a plan at all. If there was a plan, they’d be talking about it and putting it into practice, rather than holding a meeting at which Justine Greening, another one who is too useless to feel any flicker of emotion for, is pictured trying to look statesmanlike but instead looking like a confused primary school teacher watching as one of her class shits on the floor.

Maybe it’ll change with time, but even Cameron and Osborne who seemed like they were shaping up nicely to be loathsome, are fading away to obscurity and continued existence as a political footnote. In the same quiz in which Michael Gove featured, someone would ask ‘Which Prime Minister and his Chancellor were in charge shortly before everything collapsed’ and they’d be cited, perhaps with a few people getting their first names wrong or misspelling Osborne. Again, they ultimately proved to be too inept to really hate, too much about surface and blandness when they should have been about competence. No matter.

The writing is on the wall because people have put it there. A health service that better people built is doomed, because people don’t want to pay tax anymore. The social service safety net is also doomed, for similar reasons. And now the normal people can’t access the EU, or won’t be able to soon, because some thick racists and xenophobes are afraid of it. The politicians responsible for delivering this, now that Farage has buggered off, Gove has been catapulted into non-existence and Johnson has had his cock cut off and put in a box marked ‘Foreign Office,’ are non-entities, too shit to feel much for. Welcome to modern Britain, too inept to hate and yet not too shit to be pitiable.

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