Singing Without Hope on the Boundary

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Punch and Judy Politics.
Back when Davey C was elected leader of the Conservative Party following the stake through the heart that Michel Howard received after the 2005 election he promised to end the Punch and Judy Politics of Westminster. Nearly four years on Punch and Judy politics found its denouement in the sliming of Peter Mandelson (and that link is in super slo mo for all you who can't get enough) by a protester from the group Plane Stupid. They're a nice enough bunch if you're not really into planes, although I could imagine conversations at Plane Stupid parties might get a little bit dull after a while, and they made the news back in December when they brought Stanstead Airport to a standstill. Back then they were mostly castigated by the British public, a few of whom were desperate for at least a glimmer of sun in December and found their plans to escape Blighty hampered, for their selfishness. Having learned from this negative reaction Leila Deen, the slimer-in-chief, said that she had no choice but to give Peter Mandelson the custard he had earned.

Now, people have (and it can be evidenced in the comments to Leila after her piece) had different reactions to Plane Stupid's green custard stunt. Some have outright supported her, some have outright condemned her but most seem to have thought the actions silly and childish and not conducive to debate while being able to understand why she had done it (while having a silly and childish giggle when seeing it happen, go on and click the link again if you want, I won't judge you for it). The problem with that line of reasoning is that this is a government that doesn't listen to debate. This is the type of government that creates gimmicks such as The Big Conversation (conversation means they can answer back and drown you out) and thinks it's enough. This is a government who had no qualms about lying to us about Iraq and still wants to muddy the waters as to why and how we went in. This is a government who has pushed to the forefront of their handling of a recession a man who has been disgraced and left the cabinet/office on more than one occasion, a man who hasn't been voted for by the public and a man who was less popular than a guy in a monkey suit in Hartlepool (and for those of you not in the know Hartlepool has a checkered history when it comes to monkeys). They are clearly not listening to us so how can we debate with them? That is part of Leila's argument and she is dead right and that is why people, even those who argued that it was silly and immature, found themselves taking some satisfaction of the sight of Mandelson getting his 'just desserts'.

This leads us nicely back to Punch and Judy politics because that's what we have in this country and even David decided he couldn't resist it anymore (an interesting allusion perhaps to his attitude towards election promises?). So we are left with PMQs, our big weekly look at what politicians are up to and how they feel about the important issues of the moment, having all the resonance of a poorly acted puppet show. We have daily spats in different columns and blogs with the each sids lobbing metaphorical custard at each other and a compliant media shoving it all out there because it sells damnit. Our political system over the last twelve years has devolved into a state where the public watch on as these ministers in their Westminster bubble play out their puppet show each day hitting each other over head with insults, back-biting and point scoring. We see our lives changing and not for the better and we can't even get through to any of you lot in Westminster because you've cut yourselves off from us. We see you're pointless school-yard game every Wednesday and we feel sick. We see you say one thing and do the other. We see you treat Government as some kind of circus and then you get surprised when somebody lobs some slime over you?

Something in Westminster needs to change soon otherwise more people are going to feel like they have nothing left to do but attack because the whole system we have now means nothing more than green slimey custard in a bowl. Of course they know a Summer of Rage is coming already, they know we're angry. They just don't need to change anything. They're fine...

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You know, at first I thought that said the slimming of Peter Mandelson. And assumed that maybe he'd lost weight.

Fun facts about plane stupid: I met one of them at my friend's birthday. Also one of them used to manage the Oxfam shop in Romford and got fired for having an affair/sex with an underage volunteer.

This is probably true.

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