Saturday, 4 February 2012

Rejoice - we have collective hysteria to come

2012 looks to be a vintage year for the flag-waving troglodyte.  We have the Diamond Jubilee to thank for that - very well-timed from the perspective of diverting attention from the economy and the bizarre constitutional depravity that we still experience.  All around the country, local Tory councils are spending money to encourage communal celebration at the same time as the destruction of the remaining vestiges of public services - while in some cases seeing it as further camouflage to outsource yet more jobs and reduce accountability.  Given the municipal Tories' predeliction for feudalism this may be more apposite than we dare think.

Whenever I consider that evolution is a tenable hypothesis, up pops Michael Gove.  The self-aggrandising and parodic nature of this pumped-up toad is now becoming predictable.  As one of the cheerleaders for a replacement royal "yacht", he might consider whether an Italian salvage job might be appropriate - there's even a captain looking for another position.  While Gove is blithely reeling back on the Coalition's commitment not to introduce private profit into state education, he is tugging his forelock (I may have misheard the last word) to the Royals, trying to wrap himself in the Union Jack to disguise his utter odiousness.  At the time of national austerity this is akin to suggesting a whip-round to pay off the board of Lloyds/TSB.

Once the Jubilee is over, we can then look forward to the Olympics.  These are bound to be a fiasco, even if there are no extraneous disruptions from intruding global politics and the weather.  But "Lord" Coe pops up on the television basically blaming anyone else if there's even a hint that London won't be able to cope with it, and Boris is pushing himself to the fore to endorse it all.  For anyone who has to live or work in London, the impression being given is that there is going to be a state of siege and gridlock. 

In order for the city to cope, for around two months, the public transport system will be overloaded and the road network truncated to allow the self-appointed sporting elite to move around (closing cycle routes, pedestrian crossings and condeming bus passengers to twice as long in the company of the sodcasters), with draconian penalties for anyone who breaches Olympic discipline.  Workers and businesses have been told that they are really not welcome unless they alter their lives to suit the expected hordes of tourists and parasites - even to the extent of "working from home" and thinly-veiled threats that there will be no chance of travelling at times that are suitable for working - and we should all be grateful for this.

At the same time, it's clear that the alleged boost to the economy this summer will be a complete lie - but then Blair was behind the initital proposals.  Tourism is down, and will be deterred yet further by the extortion of hotels and the message that London can't cope with the additional pressure.  Cultural venues, already hit by the cuts, are likely to shut up shop for long periods, and the latest is that the way in which the road network is being expropriated may even stop pubs (where the Transport Commissioner from London wants people to go to avoid the rush hour) from having beer delivered for the duration of the fiasco.

Rejoice.  We're all in this together.

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