The problem with a professional political class is that when it is their turn to hold power they have this irresistible desire to do things. Even more annoyingly they then contrive to do all the wrong things.
They just cannot leave things alone. Little wonder really when we hear the howls of outrage from the media when an MP sticks their head over the parapet and suggests a shorter week or day, or longer holiday. Here’s us all slaving until two years after we’re dead, and these bastards have voted themselves another week off. But on balance I’d rather have the MPs sitting on the beach at Dawlish, brooding on how they’ve got to spend a week screwing the wife instead of their SpAd, than have them sat around at Westminster doing things.
This government seems to be especially bad at doing things. That is to say that it seems to do rather a lot. The past few weeks has seen more u-turns than the London to Brighton rally for people with no sense of direction. In the normal scheme of things I’m not adverse to a u-turn, I see nothing wrong with a politician standing up and saying, ‘look, this isn’t working’ or ‘new data shows it won’t work, so we’re dumping it. Good job we figured it out now, eh?’ I understand that politicians are (for want of a better word) human, and humans make mistakes. Surely it is better for someone to realise a mistake and correct it than to pretend there’s nothing wrong and press on for fear of being seen as ‘weak’?
Of course this being Westminster the other side hoots and points, like infantile pupils in a lesson where one of their classmates has made a mistake, as if their shit doesn’t stink, and we then have the even more ridiculous sight of the u-turner wriggling around on the end of a fish hook trying to persuade everyone that it isn’t a u-turn, that this was what they intended all along, that the other side really weren’t paying attention, and anyway the Honourable member for Plaart spends every morning sat in the House Master’s study in tears because Ponsonby Majority put a weasel in his bed, again.
However this government has now gone beyond stretching credibility. Indeed it has stretched credibility so far it has snapped and flown back in its face leaving an unsightly red mark on the cheek. The latest one is the whole forests thing. It isn’t so much the argument over whether they should be sold or not, as long as they retain that foresty quality it doesn’t much matter who owns them, not selling them to the Rapacious Paper and Furniture Company Ltd would be a good start, but really beyond that I have no strong feelings. One of the reasons they were considering selling them is because of the cost of managing them. This is the sort of thing that drives me up the wall. Forests just stand there, being all green and full of trees and fox shit, how much managing do they need?
Yes I know some people will talk about arboreal disease and competition on the woody floor, coppicing and the like, but it always strikes me that this is the nature of, well, nature. It is typical human arrogance to suppose that man can do a better job of managing a forest than nature can. Nature has been doing it for millennia we’ve been doing it for the geological equivalent of the time it takes to eat a creme egg. Yes, some plant species will die out, but this is evolution, this is how things work. There is some woodland just a couple of miles down the road from me here, it has probably been there for ever, but if I went back in time two million years that spot of woodland would look very different to how it looks now, it will have evolved and changed, but like Trigger’s broom would, still be the same woodland.
Like these patches of woodland, we too are prodded and poked in a cack handed attempt to manage us, to make us fit some sort of utopian ideal that doesn’t exist, will never exist, has never existed and completely disregards our own nature.
Meanwhile, the man who has decided it is his job to fashion us into this ideal doesn’t seem to know if it is arsehole or Christmas time. I’ve been meaning to blog about his Euro . . . I was going to use the word posturing, but that suggests a degree of standing still, perhaps I’ll go for a mediaeval serf who is wibbling about the place because he’s eaten some grain with an interesting fungal growth infecting it. But every time I sit down to do it, we’ve got another message. Thus far over the last few days we’ve had:
- No referendum
- No referendum unless the transfer of power triggers one
- A referendum after a renegotiation
- A referendum before a renegotiation
- A referendum ‘when the time is right’
- A referendum after the next election
- A referendum alongside the next election
- A referendum that isn’t a straight in/out referendum (which makes me wonder what the question will be, perhaps ‘do you want to stay in the EU?’ With the options being yes and maybe.)
And now this morning we discover that he’s talking about imposing border controls on Greeks if Greece leaves the Euro.
Note, that’s the not the EU, that’s the Euro. By the same token we should be turning away Danes and Swedes because they aren’t in the Euro either. He just thinks we’re going to ignore our obligations under the treaties and have staff at the border say ‘Sorry, Stavros, you can’t come in.’
Really, this man is supposedly competent enough to run the country, and never mind a collection of trees, I wouldn’t trust him to manage A tree.