Thursday, April 07, 2005

Election Blog (3)

There was a piece on Today this morning about that irritating election mantra "hard working families", in the course of which I discovered a new acronym.
'NEETS' are people Not in Education, Employment or Training. It reminded me of the days when I attended marketing meetings where the air was thick with such terms. WOOPIES were Well Off Older People and DINKIES were Dual Income No Kids. I'm not sure if the term was ever used but I was a SINKIE, Single Income No Kids. Very apt, because you sink very fast financially these days on a single income.

This hard-working families nonsense is reminiscent of the old Soviet Union where Stakhonovite workers who worked themselves into an early grave were national heroes. Yet this Government has a website devoted to the so-called 'Work/Life Balance' and the many families today who have opted for 'downsizing' are doing themselves, and especially their kids, a favour.
But there's another reason why politicians are stupid to bang on about families. A third of British households today are single people so this tedious slogan has no relevance to them at all.


In reply to my comments yesterday, Polly Toynbee tells me she thinks I'll feel pretty sick if Michael Howard is Prime Minister on 6th May. Indeed I would. But not even the most powerful electron microscope would be able to identify my personal share of responsibility for that result.
The greater responsibility would lie with Tony Blair for managing to alienate not just me but millions of other former Labour voters.
And whilst the Tories would do some deeply unpleasant things, it's a great mistake to exaggerate the real differences between the two major parties. Even on taxation/spending, which is at the core of the campaign, the actual difference is very small, as the BBC's Economics Editor, Evan Davis, keeps explaining with his usual flair. After all, in many areas like Home Affairs including crime, this feels like a Tory Government and many Tories think Blair is the best Tory Prime Minister currently available.

If Labour win again, it's virtually certain that David Blunkett will be back in the Cabinet. That's why he's kept his 'grace and favour' house and his ministerial car and driver. Aside from 'Nannygate' and his contempt for human rights, there's a more important reason why he should never hold office again.
He was responsible for wasting millions of pounds of public money on an internet university which proved a complete disaster. Anyone in local government who had done something like that would have been out on their arse.

I was wrong yesterday to say that an election is imminent in Canada. Asta explains that they have a minority Liberal government which is vulnerable to defeat at any time. So it's a bit like the fag end of Jim Callaghan's Government in 1979. We could have a similar situation again here if Labour are returned with a very small majority. We might then enjoy the spectacle of MPs being wheeled into the voting lobbies on hospital trolleys and a repeat of the famous case in 1979 when an Irish MP travelled to Westminster so he could 'abstain in person'. But I'm not sure that we have a Dennis Healey figure to stand in the No Lobby screaming at the Labour rebels "You fuckers!", as dear old Denis used to do.

I was surprised last night to find two young Irish men dossing in my Comment Box. 'Dossin' being their URL, which was their only contribution. It could have been worse. It could have been tossin.
Anyway, I have no plans to serve an eviction notice. We have a laid back attitude here at MFME, especially where the land of our ancestors is concerned. So long as they don't play their music too loudly or take illegal substances.


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