My wife and I were coming out of a house in Camden where we had been viewing a flat to rent. Standing on the steps with us, the owner of the flat suddenly saw the retreating rear of his moped, two boys aboard and half a dozen of their friends pelting along behind.
Like the pair of prats we were, the owner and I tackled youth crime. When we caught up with the pedestrians, we received between us a black eye (owner) and cut lip (me), and no moped.
My main memory of this incident is rather horrid: the spit-filled mouth of the little rat-faced boy who punched me. Short, white, in a grey hooded tracksuit, he shouted at me with all the rage of Cain: the most astonishing indignation.
A rise of 218% in ten years.
*Not including travel, source: Select Committee on Members Estimate Committee Third Report
Perhaps the magnitude of the moment we face is too great for us collectively to bear. Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase its majority, and in so doing utterly shatter the glass paradigm of cyclical politics which has contained us for the century since 1906. This ought to herald another decade of strong, confident, consensual Labour government. Which will finally and irrevocably transform the nature of politics and civic life in Britain.
That is a frightening responsibility. The young princes who now stride the parade ground with the confidence born of aristocratic schooling can never be afraid. They never have been. Like latter day Pushkins drilled in the elite academy of Brownian blitzkrieg, they are bursting with their sense of destiny. It’s not the Milibands, the Ballses or the Burnhams who are unconsciously nervous. This is the moment for which they were created. They are ready.
But for the rest, the officer class as much as the rank and file, it’s a daunting inheritance. The decade to date has been a long march to sustain. Those who led it have changed and re-changed, been shuffled and sidelined, died and retired from the field. But we – the poor bloody soldiers – are still here. Our boots are fresh and our uniforms re-supplied. We are rested and invigorated. Morale, if it anywhere was, can only be high. Yet still it’s a decade since we have been home. As we prepare to strike out again from our camp, we don’t wonder which army will triumph, but begin to ask what we will do if this march never ends.
Guido is moist-eyed with laughter. Sion Simon really does have exceptional judgement.
Hat-tip : Dominic Fisher
More to follow…
Liam Byrne has just told the BBC’s Asian Network radio station that “what we want to do is have a new system but punish people if things go wrong.” He was referring to people coming over for family weddings and then disappearing. Byrne said the government now wanted to “make sure that we can just hit people and hit people hard if their family member breaks the rules”.
When French resistance fighters killed German soldiers the Gestapo would round up innocent villagers and shoot ten of them for every dead German soldier. It was called “collective punishment”, this policy works on the same principle.
The Labour Party seems to have given up on the centre-ground triangulation of the Blair era. Remember “British jobs, for British workers“? They are now triangulating the BNP’s white working class vote. Where is Gordon’s moral compass?
At first the co-conspirator suspected a terror threat – heavy coats on hot day, bulky bags, quick Sir Iain, shoot ’em. Closer observation alerted him to their feminine disguises. He thought Guido’s readers might be able to answer his questions about these gentlemen (they might, given the direction they were headed in, even be readers).
- Are they secret agents on an undercover training mission from spook HQ at Vauxhall Bridge? If so the taxpayer deserves better.
- Are they just your average transvestite commuters on their way to their Westminster office?
- Are they Liberal Democrats?
Answers in the comments please…
Hat-tip : www.jamiederooy.com