Sunday, 16 September 2012

Nudity, death, cant and Tories (plus hags)

Occasionally serendipity works in politics.  The rightist pseudo-controversy, fuelled by a number of tabloids and rent-a-gob backwoods Tories, over various ephemera in potentially dubious taste on sale to trade unionists wishing to commemorate Thatcher's demise appropriately, was supplanted by the cover-up, conspiracy and Establishment humiliation over the Hillsborough disaster.  For light relief, the "Evening Standard" reported on Brian Coleman FRSA, and a social-climbing parasite found herself on display in a range of publications.

These are all manifestations of the same rottenness.

To start with, let's look at the Thatcher death-kits.  Offensive T-shirts are not the preserve of the left - it was after all members of the Federation of Conservative Students who paraded around with their professed desire to "Hang Nelson Mandela" - and the "party kit" reflected a poor-taste response to market demand - there are thousands if not millions who will rejoice and speculate, if of a religious bent, on the precise destination of her soul.

The delightful hypocrisy extended to the doltish member for Cannock Chase, the delectable Aidan Burley.  Mr Burley achieved much as a student at Oxford, including rustication for unspecified offences.  Since then, Hamster-face had to sack him as a PPS for alleged indiscretions involving the hire of Nazi uniform at a house party in France (emulating the Windsors, but at least he didn't go topless), and then he embroiled himself in controversy denouncing the Olympics Opening Ceremony for celebrating social solidarity and multiculturalism.  In other words, a typically bone-headed Tory whose hagiographic attitude towards Thatcher extends to the idolatry that allows him to supply pithy, condemnatory statements to the media at the drop of a Tweet.

Burley epitomises the type of Tory, too young to remember and therefore easy enough to bounce into the Thatcherite myth.  His public statements are beneath contempt.  He is a new generation rent-a-gob bully boy.  The missing link had nothing on this - and hopefully the good electors will see him on his way in 2015, much as the denizens of Barnet and Camden humiliated Brian Coleman in May.

Coleman, on the other hand, remains firmly anchored to the bottom of the septic tank of Toryism.  Reduced to a £30,000 pay-off for loss of office in the GLA, and stripped of his Cabinet post in Barnet, he cuts a pathetic figure.  One of the principal reasons for his humiliation was his inability to relate to humanity (a Tory prequalification) so it was hardly a surprise that his most recent outburst was to describe the public gallery at a Council meeting as full of the "mad, bad and sad" and containing "a couple of hags", sneering at people who for a mixture of motives despise and oppose the Tories' policies in a London Borough.  Doubtless there will be a number of Standards complaints, but this epitomises the Tories who are more than happy to dish out abuse and complaint but regard themselves as being above the law.

Rather akin to the Windsors.  The cant and double standards about topless photographs of someone who has married into the family, following from the teacup-storm over nudity in a Las Vegas hotel room (the real scandal should have been why these state servants can afford $5,000 nights away when public-sector workers are having their pay cut and pensions salami-sliced), demonstrates the extent to which the reversion to feudalism is meant to be taking hold.  A more cynical being than I would consider the possibility that the Middleton midriff was on duty to counteract the multicultural messages being sent by respecting other countries' sensibilities in the Far East.  It's not even of any general prurient interest, although I was amused to note that the echoes of Diana (goddess of bling) were being prayed in aid of the leeches' embarrassments.

Much more serious, and of much greater resonance than these non-entities playing to the gallery of celebrity-obsessives with no attention span, was the extensive revision to the Hillsborough narrative.  Hillsborough, and the miners' strike, define much of the Thatcher era, especially with respect to attitudes to the north and the working classes.  The revelation that over 40 people died needlessly, and that the police "amended" statements is only shocking in its unsurprising nature.  There is a burning need for justice, including punishment for those whose malfeasance led to the magnification of the disaster.  To give Cameron his due, he recognises at the least some of this - whereas right-wing rant-factories such as Kelvin MacKenzie, Boris Johnson and most of the staff of the "Telegraph" have not been particularly happy about having their murky past raked up.

You don't have to hold a brief for football fans to realise that this was a public order disaster, tragedy and communal snub played out over a long period.  Liverpool in the 1980s was a strange, isolated city where Militant and social disaffection were present, but the communal response to the unfolding events revealed resilience and pride.  The long-term circulation decline of the "Sun" for playing out police lies and fantasies, calling the victims and their friends "scum", is legendary.  The least that can be done is for the left to keep up pressure for proper investigation, prosecutions and reforms of the police that improve accountability.

Another week of revelations - some trivial and some more serious.  Another week that shows the Tories to have learned nothing in the last two decades - and another week where their denizens continue to live down to expectations. 

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