Sunday, 17 February 2013

IT MAY BE THAT THE TOXIC COCKTAIL THAT IS WISBECH PARTY POLITICS is no more poisonous and vile than anywhere else in the land. I would only say that there are two full months to go before the County Council elections, and if our would-be representatives carry on at this rate, they will need to follow the hapless Gazza to his American rehab centre. This cartoon is from a bygone age but, with a little embellishment from myself, just about sums things up.  
 I WAS SADDENED TO READ that our town Post Office may be on its last legs. But every cloud has a silver lining. One of the acquired skills in my late and unlamented management career was an ability to talk fluent bull***t. Thus, nasty things were not challenges, they were OPPORTUNITIES! So, as we speak, and as the sheets of stamps and tax discs, and bundles of currency are being boxed up to be traded from a Portacabin somewhere out the back of QD, we must rejoice that the shelves, chiller cabinets and vegetable racks for yet another 24/7 convenience store and off-licence are being assembled. No doubt one or two of our finest dignitaries will be penning their supportive speeches for the day when the licence application comes before the district committee. And while our Cambridgeshire coppers bang their heads against the nearest brick wall about this lunacy, we can be thankful that the signs - promised to us by the visionaries at Wisbech 20/20, have finally arrived. They will leave the visitor to our fair town in no doubt what kind of cultural experience awaits them.

FURTHER MUSINGS ON SPRING, SNOWDROPS AND EMERGING BLOOMS. Despite yesterday's ravings, I want to reiterate something I said in an earlier post. It is utterly pointless to blame local politicians for the failings of a succession of national governments. Yes, I said it. Don't blame town, district or county councillors for the immigration mess. They are here to serve us, they will tell us, on local issues . BUT - and this is a skyscraper of a BUT which will loom over all the other tower blocks in Butville. The May election will not be about purely local issues, regrettable though that may be. It will be about frustration. It will be about people feeling hurt and bewildered that they are not being listened to. It will be about lashing out. It will be about sending a message. And it will not be a pretty message in a scented envelope. 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

We have had a few spring-like days, and along with the snowdrops, certain other species are pushing their heads up towards the sunlight. No, not daffodils, not just yet. I'm talking about an even more fragile and threatened variety - local politicians (electus incompetens) You might question the unseasonal appearance of these delicate and rarely seen blooms - but had it escaped your attention that on May 2nd, 2013, there will be elections for Cambridgeshire County Council?

And so the gloves are already off, certainly in terms of political cliches. Battle lines are being drawn, the electorate is to be consulted, favours are being called in, positions are due to be clarified, canvassing is amazingly encouraging…Are you still awake? Yes? Well, there is much more to come. No promise will be left un-made, no vitriolic dart in the direction of the opposition will be left un-thrown. No badly-spelled slur or counter-slur will be left un-posted on Facebook, and no Tweet will be un-retweeted.

Saturday saw an impressive display of handbag swinging over the right to campaign in Wisbech Market Place. In the yellow and purple corner was a redoubtable lady from UKIP, who is determined to deliver Wiz from the clutches of the evil migrants, and in the blue corner were two feisty dames of the Conservative persuasion who were prepared to lay down their lives for….erm….hang on….. give me a second ….ah yes!…for the right to have everything stay absolutely the same, with no-one breaking cover or suggesting anything remotely resembling change. There was even a territorial dispute about who could sit on which bench, and who could speak to who, and anyway, it's OUR Market Place, so push off…! Immensely edifying, and a tribute to the timeless legacy of political debating skills. No, actually, forget that last bit. It was more like something off Little Britain. The most treasured remark from one of these Tory ladies was regarding the derelict buildings of Wisbech. "Oh, they'll sort themselves out," she said. Of course they will. Why didn't I think of that?

A planned march to protest against immigration is not due until after the May elections. So what's the point of that? Not a lot, really. It will only serve to infect open wounds. No one in their right mind welcomes another unchecked wave of migration from Europe's answer to the Third World - Romania and Bulgaria. But what's to be done? Cameron's pathetic speech earlier this month was less a throwing down of the gauntlet, than an elderly lady forgetfully dropping her lace glove. A huge political conundrum opens up. Vote Labour or Liberal Democrat, and very soon all border controls will be relinquished, and we will actually be offering grants to folk from Papua New Guinea, North Korea and Iran to come and  colonise our high streets and doctors' waiting rooms. Vote UKIP, and you will probably split the right wing vote enough to let in the Labour Party. Vote Conservative and…mmm ….just let me check…Got it! Nothing very much will happen, rich people will get immeasurably richer, and the deserving poor will be put in laundries to wash and iron the toff's shirts. AND our membership of the EU will go unchanged, because we don't have migrants in Whitney, thank you very much!

So what to do? Pickwick offers no solution, no panacea, no easy fix. A sudden death…? Early-onset Alzheimer's Disease…? A private health-care lobotomy? An undetected meteorite striking PE13 with massive casualties? A misdirected North Korean nuclear test missile? Who knows. All of these may be favourable alternatives to the shabby individuals who will be scratching at your doorstep pleading for your vote over the coming weeks and months.

A final request. Do not vote for, talk to, shake hands with, or fart in the general direction of ANYONE who does not use capital letters appropriately, cannot spell, or is confused over the correct use of 'their', 'there', 'its', 'it's', 'of', 'have' and other things people should have learned by the age of eight.