It is also noticeable that as she gets older she has become an ever more promiscuous patron of politicians. The objects of her desire retain her affection for less time as she has become more impatient.
She first fell for David Owen’s good looks and silky social democratic ways and even stood for the SDP in the 80s before they fell apart. It took some time for her to get over that until she was then seduced, like so many others, by Tony Blair’s charm and third way. It was quite a while before she fell out of love with him and got so sniffy she told us to wear nose-pegs. She switched her affections and cosied up to Gordon, stroking his ego and boosting him in her columns, praising him as an intellectual colossus, master-strategist and political titan. Like so many woman before her, she was blinded to a man’s faults by her hopes for him.
That fling has now come to a bitter end and she has nothing but scorn for Gordon for deceiving her. Young Miliband has now set her 62 year-old heart a flutter with his “bold adrenaline shot of optimism“. Summer is here and love is in the air again. How long will her affection last this time?
Guido would like to apologise for calling “the Brown bottom“ and doubting Labour would lose Glasgow East. The SNP won a fantastic 22.5% swing against Labour in what was a rock solid safe seat. Gordon Brown remains in free fall…
John Mason(SNP): 11,277 votes (43%) Majority: 365
Margaret Curran(Labour): 10,912 (41.6%)
Davena Rankin (Conservative): 1,639 (6.3%)
Ian Robertson(Liberal Democrat): 915 (3.5%)
Guido didn’t get beyond the first line before laughing:
There may be more than a billion books in the Library of Congress but there are only seven basic plots.
*See “I Might Be Ugly, But I’m Smart“.
Like many in the City, Guido reads the FT for the markets section and the excellent arts section. The political commentary however is often woeful – it is like the Indy in pink. This morning the leader castigates Cameron for a lack of hard policy positions. Fair enough. It also has this barking Europhile non-sequitur:
Mr Cameron has rightly said he wants to tackle global challenges, such as climate change and migration. To succeed, he must work closely with the European Union. This will be difficult if he is also pandering to the eurosceptic right of his party by pledging to pull out of the EU’s main centre-right grouping.
What difference does it make to global warming if the Euro-Tories agree their line with the French centre-right party or the Czech centre-right party? Mad.
Rupert Murdoch has bought the Wall Street Journal, if the European edition of the WSJ sources more editorial content locally, many in the City will switch, since the FT has already become the preferred journal of record for the Brussels bureaucracy, the WSJ could become the preferred reading of the Square Mile and the business community, which is overwhelmingly wary of Brussels. The FT’s centrist establishment tone alienates more readers than it pleases, many of whom feel they have to read the paper on sufferance. Somehow Guido doubts Murdoch’s WSJ will be Europhile…
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
Guido miserable? Has she seen the polls? Labour polling the worst since polling began, Gordon the most hated Prime Minister in history with the most negative ratings ever? If Quentin Letts and Richard Littlejohn fancy coming out to lunch we would probably all die laughing… (don’t get your hopes up Polly).
UPDATE : According to a co-conspirator Polly said on Radio 5 this morning that she earns £117,000 for her column.
Richards accepts that a referendum on Europe would be lost in Britain, he blames this rightly on “distant bureaucrats that run the EU, apparently incapable of producing documents that are comprehensible to voters. We cannot hold these officials to account if we do not know what they are doing or supposed to do.” Does he accept this signals that Europe needs to be reformed? No, it means a referendum should not be held.Bizarrely he goes on to argue that politicians “are so in touch with the mood of voters they are fearful of their own convictions… Party lines are already blurred because leaders fear the voters too much. If they became less neurotically attentive, politics would become more interesting and, I suspect, more progressive.” There we have it. In print. If only politicians ignored the voters, the policies he favours could be implemented. If only the voters weren’t in the way…
The arrogance and contempt for the will of the people that Steve Richards shows again is breath taking, he makes no bones about it, he wants a progressive tyranny run by people who think like him. He knows the voters do not want the same, so he thinks politicians should ignore the voters. He laments that this is “unfashionable”, on the contrary, it remains a core belief of many members of the political class in the Westminster Village and in Brussels. Is it any surprise that an anti-politics culture is growing as people and politicians become disengaged?
Johann Hari has an article today in the Indy arguing that since Gordon Brown is going to lose the election anyway, he might as well go down with all guns blazing. Liberated from the need or indeed possibility of winning an election, he can swing madly to the left. Hari reckons Gordon should apologise for Iraq to the Iraqis and in doing so shame the Americans. Then Gordon should put up tax rates to 60%, price big family cars off the road, and as a finale, fly in Iraqi refugees from Syrian and Jordanian camps. Hari advocates all this political Hari kari for Gordon with the cheerful words “If you are going to lose, Gordon, lose with style”.
Gordon will no doubt be chuffed to bits with the, errrm, sensible advice Johann offers. This follows on from Hari’s article last Thursday; “Why bananas are a parable for our times“, in which we learnt about the CIA’s use of the banana to fight communism. On Sunday Hari wrote an article entitled; “Are GM bananas the answer?“ Apparently if genetically modified they will overcome “the current bananapocalypse” caused by mega-corporations because “we have to muddle through now as best we can, trying to keep six billion people alive.”
Guido is a teensy weensy bit concerned and called Hari to ask – “Are you on drugs?” It turns out that he was but he is alright now. He was necking Modafinil earlier this month, a stimulant cognitive enhancer that is a “wakefulness promoting agent” used to treat narcolepsy, depression, schizophrenia and fatigue related conditions.
We touched on Xanax use – which he pops before hopping on a flight – Guido suggested that based on his own experience some drugs seem positively subtle at first but manifest themselves in ways not immediately recognisable by the user, but easily identified by others. No, no, no says Hari, with Modafinil he “was just able to glide into a state of deep, cool, effortless concentration.”
“It was as if I had opened a window in my brain and all the stuffy air had seeped out, to be replaced by a calm breeze… The next morning I woke up and felt immediately alert. Normally it takes a coffee and an hour to kick-start my brain; today I’m ready to go from the second I rise. And it continues like this for five days: I inhale books and exhale articles effortlessly…”
Not at all bananas…
Norman Baker is Wrong | Alistair Thompson
Career Politician Label Will Hurt Ed | Rafael Behr
Home Office: Stop Banning Legal Highs | Guardian
Miliband Drops Heathrow Opposition | FT
Universal Credit Will Work | Peter Oborne
BBC Fury at Savile Blunder | Sun
Mark Thompson ‘Lied’ Claims Pollard | Telegraph
Red Balls Going Down | Speccie
BBC’s Lord Patten Under Pressure | Guardian
Leaked Tape Raises Thompson Questions | Press Gazette
Tim Yeo to Fight Deselection | EADT24
Dave on selfie-gate:
“When a member of the Kinnock family asked me for a photograph I thought it only polite to say yes. Nelson Mandela had a history of bringing people together.”