Labour Support Surges – Good – Now for a Proper Election Campaign

I want the Conservatives to win the election with a handsome majority. But I have been desperately uneasy about the way they have, so far, been conducting the campaign.

What one might call the “leader cult” is certainly not new to British politics (remember Tony Blair?). But I think it fair to say that it has never before been advanced in such a shameless way as the Tories are now promoting it.

Mrs May’s endless demands that we should vote for “me”, rather than for Conservative candidates, were bound, eventually, to backfire on her. That seems to have happened. The latest You Gov poll for the Sunday Times suggests that Labour is now (on 35%) only nine points behind the Conservatives (on 44%). Continue reading

With One Look

Fair is my Love and cruel as she is fair;
Her brow-shades frown, although her eyes are sunny.
Her smiles are lightning, though her pride despair,
And her disdains are gall, her favours honey:
A modest maid, deck’d with a blush of honour,
Whose feet do tread green paths of youth and love;
The wonder of all eyes that look upon her,
Sacred on earth, design’d a Saint above.
Chastity and Beauty, which were deadly foes,
Live reconcilèd friends within her brow;
And had she Pity to conjoin with those,
Then who had heard the plaints I utter now?
For had she not been fair, and thus unkind,
My Muse had slept, and none had known my mind.

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A Minor Vent..

Now that the second Middleton daughter has been married-off to a man of more than tolerable fortune, will the press begin to report something interesting? I have no doubt the younger Bennett sister is perfectly delightful company and a thoroughly decent young lady, however this doesn’t seem to be reason enough to lose our reason over her wedding.

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Shatter Your Illusions of Love

“I am going to get fat and lazy in Hill House,” Theodora went on. Her insistence in Naming Hill House troubled Eleanor. It’s as though she were saying it deliberately, Eleanor thought, telling the house she knows its name, calling the house to tell it where we are; is it bravado? “Hill House, Hill House, House House,” Theodora said softly, and smiled across at Eleanor.

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Tribute to a Pub

“What was that rather sordid pub called where your father used to hold court?”

Those were the words, spoken the other day, which led me to cast my mind back and remember an extraordinary institution, one which played a surprisingly large part in the development of what came to be known as “Thatcherism”.

I never thought of the Kings and Keys in Fleet Street as a “sordid pub”. I always found it comfortable and friendly. But I did spend a great deal of time, in my childhood and youth, there. It was a second home to me and to my siblings. Continue reading

The Old Razzle Dazzle

In reaction to the result of the 1975 EC referendum, Mr Enoch Powell described the ‘yes’ victory as a ‘provisional result’ which would require ‘the continuing assent of parliament’. He said of those who had voted in favour: ‘the people do not mean it,’ ‘they are mistaken,’ and ‘they have still not been able to credit the implications of being in the Common Market.’  Those who try to dismiss the result of the ‘brexit’ referendum – by saying the same things of those who voted ‘leave’ – should feel a strong sympathy with Mr Enoch Powell. This might be a sympathy they were unaware of. It might take a disaster such as an earthquake to draw from a person their heroic qualities; of course, not everyone has a hero hiding under the surface. The person who told me about Enoch Powell’s comments said

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You Choke Behind A Smile

This morning Quentin Letts suggested that Tim Farron had ‘sold his soul’ over the question of his views on homsexuality.

He doesn’t have one to sell.

The story is a little old now, but it oughtn’t to be, for Tim Farron has some questions to answer; alas nobody would let the likes of me ask them.

Apparently, Mr Farron has ‘clarified’ his views according to Christopher Hope:

‘Tim Farron has finally clarified his view on gay sex after admitted that it had come a distracting “issue” for his general election campaign. The Liberal Democrat leader said in a BBC interview that gay sex is not a sin, after five days of pressure to clarify his stance on the issue. Mr Farron had faced criticism for days for failing to answer questions about his position on homosexuality. Mr Farron refused to say four times in an interview with Channel 4 News last week whether he believed being gay was a sin.’

The most interesting story is missed.

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Tory Manifesto – Not a Total Disaster

I have ploughed through it. That wasn’t a particularly enjoyable task, but I knew I owed it to my reader to do it.

So, what did I make of the Conservative Party (sorry, the “Theresa May and her Team”) manifesto?

It doesn’t contain much, or any, stirring rhetoric. It won’t put fire into the bellies of Tory canvassers. Liberty is dismissed as being an extremist notion. But so is Socialism. The overriding message is that Mrs May is firmly placed in the middle of British politics, she is a Heath not a Thatcher. Put aside the endless repetition of “strong and stable leadership” and what you are left with is a lengthy document devoted to the glories of state regulation. Pretty well every section contains a promise to have more regulation. The man, probably now the woman, in Whitehall knows best. Continue reading

Should Children have the Vote?

Almost all countries have a minimum voting age of eighteen or older. There are a very few exceptions (sixteen, for instance, in Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Scotland – the latter only for independence referendums, Scottish Parliament elections and local authority elections). Interestingly, the UK was one of the earliest to reduce the age to eighteen (in 1970). But now the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the SNP want the age to be reduced again to sixteen. I wonder whether that is a good idea.

Various reasons are advanced by politicians for their stances on the minimum voting age. but the reality, of course, is that those who advocate a reduction do so because they calculate it would lead to their getting more votes and those who oppose the reduction (now only the Conservatives) do so because they assume that most children would be likely to vote for left wing parties. Continue reading

Private School Allows Boys to Wear Skirts

Highgate School has changed its uniform policy. Boys will be permitted to wear skirts. This is because the headmaster thinks a great many boys now want to be girls: they are questioning something called their “gender identity”. What is more, according to the headmaster, most parents are stupidly unaware that their sons think of themselves as their daughters. It is up to schools to stop parents being “binary” in their thinking.

I assume that Highgate School seeks to make its profits from the Champagne Socialists of North London. The rather dotty sounding headmaster probably thinks there is money in spouting all this jargon. He is almost certainly not as mad as he appears to be. The good Socialists of Highgate are understandably desperate to have “correct” reasons for turning their backs on the local bog standard comprehensive and paying more than the national average wage in school fees. What could be more correct than going for a private school which asserts that masses of boys want to be girls, especially when most state schools are stuck in the stone age? Continue reading