My song for today is Billy Bragg’s Between the Wars. I love Bragg, the Big-Nosed Bard from Barking; love his patriotism that refuses the my-country-right-or-wrong stance; love some of his daft lyrics especially “No amount of poetry can mend this broken heart, but you can put the hoover ’round if you want to make a start”; love the way his mum still wishes he’d stayed in the army where he could have had a *proper* career.
Over the last couple of days I have heard with increasing despondency about Cameron’s cabinet; George Osborne, tipped as a successor; IDS in charge of making £12bn worth of cuts in the public sector; Michael Gove, Minister for Justice.
If you are not a citzen of the UK maybe you don’t know George Osborne, the son of a man who co-founded Osborne and Little, a man shown here being booed at the Paralympics, something of an achievement given the general lovefest that was London 2012.
Here he is being booed again, also at the Paralympics.
By now you might realise you should be counting yourself lucky not to have heard of him. His father-in-law, David Howell, who was the Conservative MP for Guildford when I was growing up, is the one who suggested fracking could be concentrated in the North East of England because it is ‘desolate’. He later explained he had meant the North West. Neither part of the country was impressed. Nor anywhere else come to that.
Appointing IDS, or Iain Duncan Smith to give him his full name, to the job of axeman is stroke of genius because a) he will love doing it, and b) it means he’ll be the bogeyman rather than Cameron and Osborne. How to explain IDS? That is something I may have to leave to Wikipedia, but this from the Independent may give you some idea of why there have not been street parties celebrating his appointment at Work and Pensions.
As for Michael Gove, ask any teacher how they think his stint at education improved our schools and you may have to wait a very long time for an answer.
So thank goodness for cats say I. These are uniformly dreadful photos, but they do illustrate MasterB’s ongoing love of playing with a string.