May 7th – The Circus Comes to Town

On Thursday we have a General Election. I mention this because I accept a lot of what follows may not directly interest my American friends; but stay, I beg you! Tarry awhile. You could find many parallels to your own electoral process.

To explain British politics would take at least thirty pages of long sentences strung together with endless un-comma’d clauses and extravagant jargonistic verbs which have no meaning to anyone and probably don’t enhance anyone’s understanding of the general process let alone serve to enlighten the reader as to the true nature of our historic democracy, so I won’t.

For those who are uninformed, here are the principal players – the stars, if you will.

The Conservatives

David Cameron (our existing Prime Minister and lover of the ‘Nuclear Deterrent’ – Cameron Osbornefour submarines*) and George Osborne, his Chancellor of the Exchequer (he looks after the money). Think of them as Penn and Teller, because this pair can make anything disappear (apart from the immigration problem, that is). George’s favorite trick, that of making money vanish from your pocket and reappear in his, is equaled in mystification by David’s hypnotic ability to make you believe not only that the money is still in your pocket, but that you have more of it than you did five years ago.

The Liberal

Nick Clegg (who only wants three submarines*), junior partner in coalition with Penn and Teller, usually seen prancing about the back of the stage in a yellow leotard, handing George rabbits to put in his hat.

The Socialist

Ed Milliband (what’s a submarine?), who wants to be Prime Minister, and Ed Balls Wallace_and_gromit(yes, that is the right name), who would like George’s job. Think of them as Wallace and Gromit. They are sworn to never divulge the whereabouts of the secret Money Tree, that enables them to go on handing out cash to everyone and somehow never quite run out. Like Wallace, though, Ed M. is a compulsive inventor with a penchant for dreaming up new policies almost every night. Unlike his colleagues in the Labour Party, he arrives at Westminster every morning through a system of chutes and levers operated by the faithful Balls. Due to an inconsistency in the system he is occasionally to be seen there still wearing his pyjamas.

The Viking

Viking BorisBoris Johnson. There are no portraits of Attila the Hun when he first got out of bed in the morning, but if there were the resemblance to Boris would be startling. Although slightly to the right of Churchill and outrageously privileged Boris has charisma enough to endear him to us common serfs. He treats politics as a bit of a sick joke, you see, and so do we common serfs. He is very much the man who would be King. Currently Mayor of London, Boris is widely tipped to take a parliamentary seat at this election, and David Cameron’s parliamentary seat soon after that.
Which means our beloved country will be run by an acknowledged buffoon: something I’d personally endorse for these reasons:
1. I believe all good Acts of Parliament should have a tag line.
2. No-one knows or even cares what Boris thinks about ‘Nuclear Deterrent’*.
3. Boris is the one man who really could re-negotiate our relationship with the European Union. After an hour of Boris even Angela Murkel would be reduced to compliance.
4. Liverpool hates him. That’s enough reason to vote for anyone .

The Scots

Nicola Sturgeon, witch-queen of North Ayrshire. She leads the Scottish Nationalist Party, which means she wants to rule Scotland and sail it away from England. She also hates the ‘Nuclear Deterrent’* (four submarines). The wholesale poaching of Scotland’s almost exclusively Labour-run seats will give her unique power over the next parliament, if everything goes according to her cunning plan. She will not take a seat atAlex Salmond Westminster herself, however. She will send a gnome magicked from her garden, known as Alex the Salmon because of his former pose sitting on a toadstool with a fishing rod.

The Xenophobes?

Farage CensoredNigel Farage, representing the United Kingdom Independence Party. Nigel’s politics comprise an entire manifesto of reasons for leaving the European Union. This reflects a view widely held in serfdom. His party may gain a number of seats, but his own electability is in question. He has made the basic mistake of believing it is possible to initiate any new and real change in Britain by launching a new party in the face of the relentless ‘impartiality’ of the BBC.

So, why am I troubling you with all this drivel? I suppose it must be because of the macabre fascination our Democratic System© holds for one such as I. The complications of holding a united kingdom of four constituent parts together seem mighty and disproportionate, and never more so than at General Election time.

Whatever the real issues are, we can rely upon our politicians’ failure to address them. Instead, on May 7th we will all be rolled to the polling booth in a golden coach of lavish promises drawn by prancing horses colored blue, red, yellow and green. We will faithfully put our crosses beside our respective choice knowing that when we wander back out into the Spring sunshine our coach will be a pumpkin once more and the horses will have gone back to their stable of exclusivity.

We will have performed as asked.

The establishment, the inner circle of our secretive Civil Service whose collective identity is never truly revealed, will continue to run the country as before. No promises will be kept, essentially nothing will change.

Unless, of course Nicola Sturgeon’s plan succeeds, in which case most of our legislation will be shaped by Scottish interests.

And in two years or so, four submarines will probably turn up on eBay.

* Nuclear Deterrent. Our status as a nuclear power is upheld because we have four incredibly ancient submarines docked at Faslane Naval Base in Scotland. These subs are stuffed with nuclear missiles, apparently, which they can fire from underneath the sea, although it is important to ensure the submarine is the right way up at the time.

We need new submarines, and there is some dispute as to whether we can afford them, whether we can afford another four, or whether we can make do with three. It has been a talking point for some time, this replacement of our nuclear deterrent, a case with striking similarities to a recent decision to uphold our status as a maritime power by building two new aircraft carriers. We can’t afford the planes to put on them, which seems a little bizarre to me – perhaps we could compromise on the submarines in like fashion? After all, no-one would ever know…

12 responses to “May 7th – The Circus Comes to Town”

  1. I love your summary of Britain’s democratic system, Frederick. You seem to have about as much faith in it as we thinking people in Australia have in ours! 🙂


    1. Hi Linda! Isn’t the Australian system modeled upon ours? A loose quote from ‘Pretty Woman’ – “Big Mistake! HUGE!” You’re right. I just thank God the establishment doesn’t allow our politicians to actually run the country. If they did, who knows where we’d all end up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are already getting to where I don’t like!! 😦


  2. My magician son would love your Penn and Teller reference. Always a pleasure to read your words no matter the topic. I’d love to see what you could do with the next US election. 😉


    1. Thank you Carrie. I’d love to trot out a few thoughts on the US election, but I hesitate to intrude upon what is, after all, essentially a family affair…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, that it is. 🙂


  3. Have the Greens paled into insignificance now Frederick? I think you’ve almost convinced me to vote for Boris but I may yet have to look to Plaid Cymru to provide something for the Welsh ( like passport controls at Chester for instance).
    I’m not a fan of the EU or the adopted Human Rights Act as per Cherie Blair and certainly not of some of the rules regarding immigration quotas from Brussels. I object to the high pay of Euro MP’s and the cost of their junkets but I’m not sure I’d like to vote in UKIP only to find the BNP are bankrolling it after all.
    So do I vote for The clowns with Happy Faces or the ones with Sad Faces since clowns are what I’m likely to get?


    1. Hi David. Yes, I regret missing out the Greens in a way, but I felt I would be lampooning something unfairly. Also, I feared I was waxing at too much length. There are a few faces at the top of UKIP with an unpleasant air of nationalist aggression about them and I agree they might well have BNP sympathies. I would, unreservedly, vote for Boris – not because I have any faith in him but precisely because I have not. I can see the virtue of having the country run by a comedian for a term or so. I would love to see them rocking in the aisles in Brussels.

      Happy Clowns or Sad? Let’s go for the Happy ones and just let the bankers get on with it. They seem to do it so well.



  4. Sounds like your political system is like the US’ – politicians who 1. are out of touch with the average American; 2. are in touch with the average American and don’t give a damn; or 3. see only dollar signs and free health care (for them) the rest of their lives. Oh, and did I forget the 11 month vacation they take every year in Washington, D.C. sitting around, chewing the fat and doing nothing? I do love a Democracy!!


    1. Yes. Whatever happened, I wonder, to government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’? Sadly, although the model of democracy is often stated, it is rarely followed. Ah well, on into another five years of darkness and despair! Be of good heart!


  5. It seems no matter who we structure “democracy”—whether in the US tripartite system of so called checks and balances or the Parliamentary system used in England and other places around the world—we never get democracy. Too much corruption and far too dependent on corporate greed to make any true progress in doing what is best for the ordinary citizen. At least you have universal health care. Thanks for these insights!


    1. You have of course hit upon the key word, and the word is ‘greed’. The lust for power finds it far too easy to use the people as its tool and the only restraint we can offer is morality. It always strikes me as odd that the rich and the powerful use Christianity so assiduously as their totem: this compels me to accept that the true word for religion is ‘guilt’.

      Liked by 1 person

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