Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Election Blog (5)

The Conservative manifesto was launched yesterday and Michael Howard promises to address "the simple longings of the British people".
I didn't know that addressing my longings - simple or otherwise - was within the remit of Government. But I now know what commitments from my Conservative candidate will secure my vote:

A daily lunch of smoked salmon sandwiches, followed by some good sex.
A walk-on part in Coronation Street.
A strain of Lupins resistant to leaf rust.
A free blogging service that, unlike Blogger, never crashes.
A law to prevent the BBC showing more than one trailer between programmes.
A therapy that would stop me making lists.

What are your simple longings?


Congratulations to Charles Kennedy on his wee bairn. I was just surprised it was only one. When I saw his wife at the royal wedding she looked as though she had an entire kindergarten class in there and I feared she might not make it through the service. Playing Handel's Water Music seemed to be tempting fate.
But the naming of Ginger Junior has slightly shaken my resolve to vote Lib Dem.
Oh Charles, how could you?
Such a horrible, dated name and with such a hard sound.
And the most famous Donald of the last century was an animated duck.

Both major parties are committed to saving millions of pounds by cutting 'waste' and causing redundancies on a scale that makes the job losses at Longbridge seem insignificant. But history shows that the scope for such savings is always wildly exaggerated.

It doesn't help that the parties have a string of new initiatives to implement that will need staffing. For example, the Tories plan to open lots of new 'Turnaround Schools' to educate the thousands of pupils that they want expelled from mainstream schools for bad behaviour. Presumably they'll need another tier of schools (Turnaround and Put Your Hands Up Schools) for those expelled from the Turnaround Schools. In any event, it won't be cheap.

The inescapable fact is that you can't provide good quality frontline services without people to administer them. If someone starts a home-based business that becomes successful, the first employee that they recruit is likely to be someone to deal with 'administration', freeing them up to concentrate on delivery.
That's not to say there is no dead wood in public administration. But having worked in the public sector I know that there are lots of people working themselves into an early grave because of ill-thought out cuts in their organisation.

Is digital photo-editing going to claim its first election scalp?
The Tory candidate in Dorset South has been caught out changing the words on a placard he is holding in an election photo. I wonder if it's any worse than parties producing different leaflets for different wards in their constituencies - photos of them standing with smiling white families in white areas and with smiling Asian families in Asian areas. This kind of thing is widespread. And the Dorset candidate has said sorry, which is more than Blair has ever said for Iraq.

If I'm being uncharacteristically kind to this Tory it's because the photo currently on this blog is highly misleading. For a start, it's over 30 years old and it's also been through a process called 'solarisation' which I thought gave a Warhol-like effect.
Of course, preserving anonymity to protect me from people serving ASBOs was a prime consideration. This is achieved because all those years ago I looked like the ageing Woodrow Wyatt whereas today I look like the young Tom Cruise.
(That last sentence has been digitally enhanced).


At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Graham said...

It's wonderful to know that i'm no longer a hard working Civil Servant (Yes we Bloody are) but now according to the Tories,I'm back room waste just needing to be cut.For what ,a 1 to 2 pence in the pound cut in tax.Really gonna change your lifestyle.
Well when you need a tax rebate or a giro or help to find a job just remember the 104,000 jobs labour want to cut or the 240,000 the tories want to get rid of thats jobs BTW **fun Times**

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Alan said...

Oh dear. Being Scottish, the poor boy is going to be pursued through life by the strains of "Donald, whaur's yer troosers?"

If the Conservative party would please address my longing for Ashley Judd to suddenly become bored of her Indy-Car motor racing champion husband and develop a taste for slightly overweight long-haired beardy-weirdy true crime writers, that would be grand thanks. Probably still wouldn't secure my vote, but I'd be grateful nonetheless.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Graham, we are as one on this. One expects it from the Tories, but Labour??

Alan, I'm entirely unfamiliar with Ashley Judd but anyone with half a brain would prefer a beardy-weirdy true crime writer to someone who drives very noisy cars round in circles.


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