A little under a year ago, I wrote a post for this blog called He’s In There Now, So Let’s Just Get On With It. David Cameron had just wangled his way into power and, despite some quite serious misgivings about him and his cronies and the Conservative ideology in general, I was sick of the endless, empty tweets and blogs full of vitriol and insults and hate but without any sense of balance or the requisite facts to back them up. Much of the ‘opinion’ being bandied about was focused more on what the new PM’s, admittedly quite funny, face looked like than an actual desire to debate the facts.
I wrote that I hadn’t wanted Dave to get the keys to Number 10 but that this wasn’t anything to do with his, admittedly quite funny, face. I wrote: “It’s not because Big Dave has a slimy face, although he quite patently does – in fact he looks like a porcelain man who has been slathered in Vaseline before having his eyes smashed out, his soul hooked out through the holes and a creeping mass of deep, dark contempt for the human race piped back in its place.”
Fast-forward to today. Now I can’t really substantiate the Vaseline comment but I feel pretty damn happy about backing the “creeping mass of deep, dark contempt for the human race” bit. I had tried to write a balanced piece, holding the Conservatives to account for some questionable stuff from the past but giving them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a streak of naive optimism; maybe I was just playing Devil’s advocate. What I was really trying to get at was that as none of us really knew what was going to happen we should just wait and see. Except we did really know what was going to happen, didn’t we?
“So let’s just get on with it, eh?” I wrote. “Perhaps it won’t be that bad.”
It is quite bad, it turns out. I’m not going to write about the fact that the City bankrolled the Tory election campaign; that Michael Gove is playing with our education system as if he’s just found a big, school-shaped dolls’ house but doesn’t understand what all the bits do; or the box of savage cuts that has been opened and unleashed on the public sector, on care, on provision for the elderly; because we all know about all that and it’s already been documented much more eruditely by many people better placed than myself to comment. This excellent blog is one example.
But what I will comment on is the arrogance and ignorance of Cameron himself. It makes me a little bit sad, for example, that a country as culturally varied and exciting as ours can have a prime minister who will stand up, on our behalf, and state that multiculturalism has failed. The context doesn’t really matter; whether he made some sensible points doesn’t really matter. He surely must have known that there was only one sentiment that would stick from that speech but he went ahead and said it anyway. And that gives massive tumescent pricks like the English Defence League something to grasp on to, as they did. And the problem is that for all the balanced, sensible people out there, there are a scarily large number who will just read that headline and think, “that’s what I’ve thought all along and now even the prime minister agrees”.
Anyway, that’s just the one thing. There are obviously many more but as I’ve said you can read much more informed stuff elsewhere. I just wanted to get this off my chest. Can we have an election now, please?