Apolitical Muse: Week In Review
13.10.14 / Words: John Mullin
Strange ghosts echo through the room. Apparitions from years past and more recent days waft through the hall, as a Jewish teenage boy wearing a yarmulke and a chocolate brown seventies porn-tie catches my eye at the Conservative Party Conference 2014.
Prime Minister Dave is busy spelling out his pre-election promises before the next general election, when he flashes across the screen again - this Jewish teenage boy- and I wonder what has brought him here.
Admittedly this is an offensive question. After all, what brings any sane person to a political conference, in this or any other year? He has his opinions and political bents like the rest of us, this Jewish man-child, hopes and aspirations, like any other, sat there rapt amongst the ex-army majors, the turban-wearing doctors and the wild-eyed middle-aged Hertfordshire housewives.
Probably my own nasty prejudices in-play, truth- be-told, but when minorities appear stage-left at Tory conferences, the same condescending thought occurs; ethnic window dressing.
This is an ugly confession yet in spite of it, unless they are lighting flares, hanging off lampposts or drunkenly defecating on war memorials, teenagers at any political function never seem socially engaged regardless of their ethnic heritage. They just look odd, removed.
A current cohort of Prime Minister Dave - sat not far from the boy in the porn-tie - Foreign secretary William Hague, once gave a speech as a sixteen year old Tory activist at the Conservative Party Conference of 1977, where he had rallied against the terror and slow, deathly drum-march of Jim Callaghan’s nightmare socialist state.
Hague sounded older then than he does now, like some neutered marionette doll from a b- movie horror film. Thatcher at the time had called him thrilling. Unfortunately not for the last time, she was right.
The more pertinent terrors currently haunting the Conservative Party are many and just as disturbing. Ed Sheeran - another death-eyed Village of the Damned left behind - has recently dedicated a song to Prime Minister Dave, after spotting him from the stage, bobbing up and down, mouthing the singer’s lyrics at a recent gig. Conservative spin doctors have been holed up ever since, strategising; sleepless and jacked up on orphans blood, in the first known case of politicians trying to distance themselves publically, from a number one selling pop artist.
As for the other creepy, dead-eyed Ed of our times, Milliband finds himself in the twilight zone of political polling. 53% of the British population hope Labour shall win the next election while conversely, 60% of the same people polled don’t want Ed as their leader, yet if those numbers hold, such a paradox will be their lot.
Though perhaps not Scotland’s lot, at this juncture no one is really sure.
The political Hiroshima of that near miss still hangs over the Conservative Party Conference like a strange tartan turd.
Prime Minister Dave - who came within a hairs breath of overseeing the break-up of the three-hundred year old Union - looks at once invigorated by the events, yet stunned by what almost came to pass. Like a man almost run over on a footpath by an old-age pensioner on a Harley.
The Scotch should have known which way to blow the wind, when the Westminster cabal of Cameron, Clegg, Brown and Milliband descended upon them on the eleventh hour to sway the swinging middle class to stay put.
They did, but at what cost? What’s the permanent damage to the national psyche of such a decision? “We are not to be trusted with our own affairs” makes a grim political manifesto in any hue, the constitutional equivalent of never moving out of your mums.
Will the Scotch now grow tetchy, prone to violent outbursts and become addicted to cheap booze and calorific food stuffs like all forty-five year bedroom locked sociopaths?
We can’t be sure.
2008’s Gordon Brown had also reappeared for the referendum, as if by magic to save the Union. Ah belligerent, brilliant, razor sharp Gordon. The only politician of recent times who could threaten to beat you to death with the soundest of political economic policies known in modern capitalist parlance, before actually threatening to beat you to death. Although Gordon being Gordon there was a catch, a twist of rancid fate, a fly in the stab wound and all other weather-worn clichés that seem to have attached themselves to the man’s entire political career.
The right man. The right place. The wrong time.
In helping save the union, Gordon inspires Prime Minister Dave to take inspiration from the Scotch and their nationalist debate and declare English votes for English laws, the very morning after the referendum. If enacted, this will rob the Labour party of 41 crucial MP’s and the Tories of just the one. Gordon will have helped strike the first death knell for the democratic socialist movement in Britain; the very movement he has spent his life defending, defining and distinguishing.
The right man. The right place. The wrong time.
George Galloway had also rallied against Scottish independence with that condescending twinkle in his eye, claiming that the mirage of a ‘Cold water Cuba’ would soon give way to the bitter colder reality of a closeted Unionist state.
George - like bumbling calculating Boris and the vicious hate stain Nigel Farage - are known as characters in politics. Joesph de Maistre once said ‘society gets the governments it deserves’. As Prime Minister Dave finishes promising to take another three billion from the welfare bill if elected - and in a stroke, promising to condemn the most vunreable and poorest with the heaviest load of a problem they never created - you wonder what we did to deserve ours?
Cookie cutter men, in their Identikit suites, scrambling from one headline to the next, trading on ours and their own fears.
Only this week Reuters predicts that 1.3 million cases of Ebola will have been diagnosed by January in West Africa at the current rate of infection, ISIS behead another charity worker and The Daily Star’s front page screams of black-eyed ghost children haunting the land and our apathy drifts on and on and on.
There is also another war coming. Only this time no boots on the ground just bombs in the sky, the cookie cutter suites assure us, between X factor repeats and Big Brother Bake Offs. The children of the Middle East sleep easy now.
I look around the room and wonder what the Jewish teenage boy wearing the yarmulke and the chocolate brown porn-tie makes of it all?
Then I wonder, what’s on the next channel?