Tuesday, 13 October 2009

One and the same

THE Lib Dems blustered in Bournemouth, Labour blathered in Birmingham, and this week the Tories were mincing in Manchester. Our right-wing revivalists had their chance to put forward a clear, distinctive, unconfusing message. But DID the Tory Party — which wants to ban 24-hour drinking—lead by example? Take a wild guess! Despite likeable senior Tory Eric Pickles optimistically trying to ban champagne at the conference, various big players like MP Alan Duncan were necking the bubbly anyway. So what? Who cares if they drink beer or champagne? I’m more worried about the fact that if they DO get into government, it looks like they won’t be very different to the Labour government they want to replace. For instance, they agree with Labour’s decision to freeze the pay of public-sector workers. On Tuesday, George “Ozzy” Osborne announced that all public workers — apart from those on the lowest salaries and our boys on the frontline in Afghanistan—will have their pay frozen. Lovely! And they’re going to increase the retirement age — just like Labour. They also aim to get tough on crime, apparently by letting people stick pictures of criminals on lamp posts. But how about this — they’ll cut incapacity benefit for 500,000 people, even though the Tories used that same benefit to get people off the unemployment figures when THEY were in power!
In an amazing attempt to look like they’re “one of us,” Georgey Boy declared “We’re all in this together!” Yeah, right mate. When’s the last time people like the Tory front bench stood in dole queues, or ran market stalls in East London? Back in 1983, the real Ozzy Osbourne released a rabblerousing song entitled You’re no Different. I suppose it’s pop history repeating itself. Tory Shadow Chancellor George “Ozzy” Osborne did prove the Tories ARE no different —from Labour!
THERE’S always interesting stuff going on in the background at a party conference. Having attended the Tory one in the past, I can privately reveal that their’s is, er, “odder” than the others. For example, Conservative baby clothes were the top- selling item in the conference shop. Why? Do they have a campaign plan of “breeding for victory?” Then a 15-year-old called Annabelle demanded that the Prime Minister “apologise”. Hmm . . . an attack against Labour by a Conservative who was three when her party was last in charge. She must have been a very mature toddler to remember the old days well enough to make a comparison. My mate Boris Johnson did redeem things a bit. He has a habit of putting his foot in it “up north.” On arriving in Manchester he said it is “one of the great British cities I have yet to offend!” It was a great line.
FOR all the bravado, there’s one statistic the Tory-loving journos don’t seem too keen to point out. If they’re going to put Shiny Dave in Downing Street, the Conservatives will have to gain a whopping 117 seats from other parties. That would be the biggest swing since 1931! Like I said last week, Labour won’t go down without a fight. The Tories are ahead at the moment but it’s far from over. A week is a long time in politics and it’s still 34 weeks until a General Election must be called. Tory campaigners may be happy right now, but come May 2010 they might just feel like they celebrated too soon. Perhaps this calls for unusual tactics. If a Daily Sport stunna like Linda Dee came out supporting a party, they could be very influential. Come on Linda, your assets could swing the nation!
I AM delighted to see the Daily Sport taking a courageous and honest stand against the unwinnable and hopelessly expensive war in Afghanistan. The only WAY OUT is to PULL OUT. Then we can start talks with the other side and find a better way to sort out the mess. In hundreds of years, nobody’s ever beaten the Afghans on their home turf. It’s an away match the British and Americans cannot win — not least because, when they were our friends, we actually trained the enemy we’re now trying to defeat! So a gold star to the Sport for having the vision to call for troop withdrawal. I only hope other newspapers will have the sense to follow this paper’s lead. Any other plan is a strategy for failure, and a death warrant for even more of our brave soldiers.
ONCE again, our Friends in Europe have been getting stroppy over farming matters. The Belgians—who are better knownf or their chocolate and their national mascot (a urinating boy) —have been protesting about milk. On Tuesday a bunch of angry dairy farmers, hacked off at a dramatic fall in milk prices, took to the streets of Brussels. They blocked roads with their tractors, released chickens, dumped farmyard crap everywhere and drove a load of cows down the street. It caused total chaos and the police were deployed to keep order. At this point one talented farmer led his cow forward and managed to spray the baffled bobbies with milk straight out of its udders! That’s got to be the best ever example of “milking the situation”.

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