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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No, I Haven't Been Hiding... Well, Just A Little Bit

To be honest, the past few days have been nothing short of a nightmare. I'm sure my spoofster will have been posting away merrily, trying to make me look like Captain Smith commanding the Titanic on an Arctic Ocean weekend cruise, but you won't have been taken in by that sort of thing. Where to start? Oh dear.

Gordon Brown calls the faithful to bedEven where there was genuine good news, as with the peace and harmony between Gordon and Ken as they visited the Gurdwara Singh Sabha London East the previous weekend to celebrate Vaisakhi (New Year), the press chose to ignore it. Where was the report of Labour sharing the Sikh values of tolerance, equality, justice and treating people with fairness? Where were the reports of Gordon and Ken being presented with orange robes of honour and sacred books by the temple's President? Where were the warm and friendly quotes from our Prime Minister about the Mayor of London? - "Ken Livingstone has been a Mayor who has, with great innovation, great determination and great support right across London, invested more in policing and protecting the people of our community than any local authority or any local leader before him. As well as earning praise for increasing higher visibility policing, Mr Livingstone deserves credit for investments in transport and housing." What did we get instead? Well, we certainly didn't get any more full-page pictures of Gordon picking his nose - the appointment of former Brunswick PR CEO Stephen Carter as Principal Political Adviser on a £137,000 p.a. salary ensured no more embarrassing photos like those ones. No, we got this one.

This weekend didn't start much better. First there was the news that Wolverhampton South West Labour MP and cycling campaigner Rob Marris had been arrested and charged with criminal damage after celebrating the Party's achievement in reducing the crime figures by climbing over the bonnet of an illegally-parked car to board a bus. OK, maybe that was just an error of judgement. Maybe he didn't realise that his action could be unlawful. After all, he's not a judge or a barrister. Just a humble solicitor.

Some daft bastardThen we had the motor-mouths. First up was John Wiseman, Labour PPC for Westmorland and Lonsdale, writing in LabourHome: "I seem to be in the middle of a nightmare at present. The BNP are standing all over my home constituency. Everyone seems depressed where I am standing for parliament. Gordon has decided to take money away from his core vote, PPS's are threatening to resign!! When are we going to wake up!!! There is hundreds of councillors who are going to lose their seats if Gordon doesn't listen. I am asking please Gordon for the last time wake up and smell the coffee and save the party as in rectify the tax change!!!" This was followed up by David Miliband airing the other side of the sheets in public across The News of the Screws with its "Get A Grip Gordon" headline and encouraging Stuart King, Labour PPC for Putney, Roehampton & Southfields to mouth it in support of John Wiseman. Why can't they all just shut up and stop tearinbg the Party apart in public. I mean, would you see me attacking the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in public? Calling him daft on my blog? Would I hell.

Most of the weekend was spent pondering the looming disaster otherwise known as the London Mayoral Election. Obviously I spent some time out canvassing - people would have noticed if I'd cried off altogether - but to be honest it made me so sick that I hid in a pub for a large part of Sunday rather than face the wrath of the electorate. I'd love to be able to tell you that across Hackney North & Stoke Newington there was uniformly strong support on both estates and owner-occupied streets and that it was easy to get people to put Ken Livingstone posters up in their windows. If I didn't think I might be sued by someone laughing so loud they split an internal organ, I'd report that some doddery old fart was so pleased to see the Labour Party come round that they rushed over and hugged me. It's not that I don't know how to spin the stories - it's more that they're becoming so unbelievable even I can't write them any more. I might as well tell you there's a house-price boom, or England is heading for World Cup victory.
Things aren't looking at all bad for Ken
Still, I've got to have a go, I suppose. Wow - just look at the fantastic position Ken Livingstone is in based on the bookmakers' odds above. Only a week ago it was all gloom and doom, and admittedly it is still the case that Boris the Buffoon is odds on with every betting establishment between Lima and Svalbard. But the good news is that 7 out of 14 bookies have Ken's odds shortening and 6 others have him stabilised in the betting, with only 1 bookie showing Labour's odds drifting. Another few months nine days of this and we'll be home and dry.

There's nowt like a fillet steak, bottle of claret and wafer-thin mintPrezza's Sunday sick-bag revelations didn't help much. Not exactly a reason to be cheerful. The Sunday lunchtime image of Labour's most celebrated glutton, pugilist, lecher and foul-mouth puking up his foie gras, claret and stilton is hardly one that would make most people think "I must pop out on Thursday week and vote Labour". And with the working class vote turned off by the tabloids, we hardly needed Paul Staines to remind middle-class intellectuals like me that over-eating followed by vomiting was the favourite pastime of Julius Caesar, thereby raising the spectre of the ruthless and tyranical ambition of so many Labour MPs.


Tom Watson said...

...thereby raising the spectre of the ruthless and tyranical ambition of so many Labour MPs.

Surely you aren't suggesting that Labour MPs are ruthless and tyranical in their ambition?

Luke Akehurst said...

No, no. You are missing the point. That was a reference to people's perceptions of Labour MPs, not what you are actually like.