22 December 2019
In the week before Christmas, on the first day of Hanukkah, when we heathens are just expecting a week of relaxation and over-indulgence, let’s find some good news in the election that appointed a well-known racist, homophobic, lying, narcissistic, philandering bastardfather (hereinafter referred to as Bonzo) as prime minister for the first time:
- 56% of those who voted didn’t vote Conservative; if you include those who didn’t vote at all, 89% of people eligible to vote didn’t vote Conservative
- the LibDem vote increased by 4% to 12%
- candidates for remain-supporting parties took 53% of the vote while those for leave-supporting parties took 47%, which might indicate that, now they know what’s actually involved, ‘the people’ would rather remain in the EU
- it proves that the First Past the Post electoral system is no longer fit for purpose
- in a survey by the People-Power Index, East Devon’s former MP Hugo Swire was judged the 649th best MP (out of 650) at being open to and responding to his constituents
- Bonzo can now release the report on Russian interference that MI5 and MI6 have approved for public consumption
- the word ‘johnson’ is, of course, slang for dick.
There is also, of course, some bad news so let’s get that out of the way before moving on:
- the 1% increase in the Conservative vote produced a 22% increase in the number of their MPs
- the 8% decrease in the Labour vote produced a 17% reduction in the number of their MPs
- the 4% increase in the LibDem vote produced a 52% reduction in the number of their MPs
- one in 3 people didn’t vote at all
- Bonzo’s already paving the way towards one-party government with an unassailable Dear Leader (under the Parliament Acts, the Commons already have absolute power to decide public tax and spending and the Lords can only delay, not veto, other legislation)
- Bonzo’s further diluted the Brexit Bill and given much more power to the government to shape a harder Brexit without the checks and balances of parliament (the so-called page 48 material)
- a lot of people are likely to get angry.
As Mark Steel tweeted on the day after the election: “I can’t BELIEVE Boris Johnson has broken his promises to increase the minimum wage, and protect employee rights in Brexit. It just doesn’t make sense, why would he lie? It’s SO out of character, I feel so let down. Maybe he’s just forgotten as he’s tired.”
America too has problems, of course: their system allows a candidate who gets 3m fewer votes than their opponent to become president.
Didn’t Donald Trump, when he still was a C-list celebrity hosting a TV show, refer to himself as ’The Donald’? I’ve always assumed this was so people didn’t confuse him with ‘The Duck’.
So, onward we go, with a spring in our step, and clenched teeth.
Greta Thunberg was selected as Time magazine’s person of the year, leading Donald Trump to tweet “…go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill, Greta, Chill!”. Thunberg immediately changed her biography on Twitter and it now reads “Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend”.
Morris Pearl was managing director of Black Rock, one of the world’s largest investment firms, and earned millions. Then he retired and now leads a group called The Patriotic Millionaires which calls loudly for higher taxes on the rich. Other members include Abigail Disney, Walt’s great niece, who has been critical of the amounts paid to corporate CEOs and made headlines when she recently described the $60m pay packet of Bob Iger, the Disney CEO, as “insane”.
She also believes that ‘self-made’ millionaires overestimate their own contribution to their wealth. For example, she mentions those such as herself who inherited lots of money, and that she believes Disneyland couldn’t have been built without President Eisenhower’s massive investment of government money in highways that allow people to get to it .
In the UK, of course, we’re proud to have people who became dukes because one of their ancestors brown-nosed the right monarch at the right time and passed the title on to their oldest sons (their daughters were only allowed to marry vicars) and they’re still rich despite having about one average brain per five dukes. (Yes, yes, of course there are exceptions but the principle remains true, even if I made up the bit about their daughters marrying vicars).
Australia and California are on fire, the UK and New Zealand are having floods, the latter also thought a volcanic eruption might help, the Alps are short of snow, but let’s congratulate Gaia on her Cunning Plan to rid the world of mankind.
And this week’s tale of kindness: Darryn Frost, one of the heroes who restrained the London Bridge killer, has launched a project called ‘Extinguish Hate’ to “challenge hate and spread kindness”.
Have a good one. (How I hate that expression – a good what? Day? Holiday? Shopping trip? Nervous breakdown? Orgasm? Take your pick.) Anyway, I hope you all will enjoy whatever you will or won’t be celebrating in the coming week.