A few years ago, I was watching England hammer the Aussies at cricket when a picture of a beleaguered Shane Watson came up on my TV screen. Momentarily, I felt for him as the barracking echoed from the stands and his lip quivered to the sporting misery that was unfolding around him.
I have a terrible trait for taking pity on people who have previously inflicted misery on others and the feeling I had for Watson a few years ago emerged once again as I watched Theresa May’s disastrous conference speech unfolding in Manchester.
With letters falling off the wall, comedians handing her P45’s and an inopportune coughing fit, it could have only got worse if a clown had ridden past her on a fucked pushbike and smashed a custard pie in her face.
Of course, most of this was out of her control (apart from wearing a bracelet decorated with a Marxist) but it did epitomise her disastrous leadership that seems to lurch from one calamity to another like some sort of slapstick sitcom.
Brexit will be a success (cough, splutter, cough)
What it demonstrated to me was that if you do not have conviction in what you are doing, disaster will follow you around like a hungry spaniel. Further calamities will be queuing around the metaphorical block as Boris Johnson looks on, licking his big, fat self-serving lips like a pompous Lord at a medieval banquet.
What has followed Theresa May into her job as Prime Minister is her deep down knowledge that Brexit is going to smash to UK finances into oblivion. Presumably, as she coughed and stumbled through her lines, she had wind of the news that the two thirds of her chancellors £26 billion Brexit war chest had been wiped out by over ambitious growth forecasts.
That’s right, around £18 billion has gone quicker than you can say Michael Gove. They should write that figure on a big red bus with picture of a hospital corridor next to it, then people might starting smelling the Jacob Suchards.
Across parliament, there is a deep seated knowledge that EU exit costs make just about everything unaffordable and whilst Theresa May must be desperate to be a good leader, she hasn’t got a hope. Not only is she a poor orator low on charisma, her convictions were always centred around us being active members of the European Union, so any ‘British dream’ she pretends to have is just folly really.
She is hanging on, perhaps unwillingly by now, because her party are telling her to avoid a Boris Johnson run at the job, followed by another general election and then, in all likelihood, a Labour government who are also committed Brexit and will face their own task to perform fiscal miracles to adhere to their ideology.
When you look back on it, all this chaos goes right back to the 2008 economic crash when, if we are honest, was when capitalism went into intensive care. We have never recovered but just disguised everything by borrowing more and more with Philip Hammond borrowing more money last year than any chancellor in history…and he is supposed to be Mr Frugality for god’s sake.
Conservative capitalism in its current form is a busted flush and they are now a party in total denial. All the plutocrats have nicked the money and stashed it offshore, they have nicked all the quantitative easing cash as well and they are looking to see what else there is to nick before they leg it. They are like magpies on roadkill and when the last penny has gone, they will be unaccountable and living far away from the pitchforks, in a gated community in Provence.
Whilst all the socialist policies are ideologically logical to anyone who isn’t lighting cigars off £50:00 notes, my concern is there won’t be any big money left to tax and realise a dream of equality as it will have all been syphoned out of the UK by bankers, aristocrats and newspaper barons who have, with delicious irony, been demanding we are more patriotic.
I didn’t feel sorry for Theresa May for long, as she knows we are teetering on the edge of disaster and if she had any bottle she would say it. However, as someone said the other day, she is a follower not a leader and that was for all to see on her big day at conference. Her only smidgen of fortune is she has a job no one sensible wants, or will want, once they get it.
While all this was going on, and I’m not joking here… Michael Gove was celebrating his fringe effort where he bemused onlookers with a dashing speech about selling pigs ears to China. Talking about pigs ears and silk purses during the worst victory conference in history, seemed incredibly apt.
You really could not make this shit up.