Notes on the UK: Election, Royal Babies and Stuff

May 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, lots of things about the UK this week.

First is the general election on Thursday. To think, it’s been 36 years on Monday since Thatcher was elected (apparently she ate her first live baby in celebration), and it’s been Conservatives every since. OK, OK, but it’s amusing that Tony Blair MP is an anagram for I’m Tory Plan B.

The fact remains though that the election campaign by two essentially identical parties tied neck and neck has remained deadly dull. Possibly the most interesting thing was a college student who accidentally (I wonder) dropped his trousers in front of Liberal-Democrat Nick Clegg while hoping for a selfie. Ralph Miliband must be turning in his grave over what his offspring are like. And David Cameron is so clueless he likes the Jam’s “Eton Rifles.” (Still, if Paul Ryan can claim Rage Against the Machine, anything’s possible)

And then there was that woman who had a second child. As a parent who has two children, I’ll say that the second one is easier; there’s no less panic. Of course, it’s even easier, if you’re part of arguable the richest family in the world. As a fellow parent, I don’t have any personal antipathy toward William and Kate, but when I read about how the royal couple got a 10% discount at the swishy hospital Kate delivered at because they’re frequent birthers ( is that the word?) there, I think, surely you mean the general public got a 10% discount. Ah, I’m nostalgic for the good old days, the 1990s, when everyone hated them. Of course, there was the astute Mr. Blair who was able to skillfully turn public anger over the cold-hardheartedness of the first family over the death of the “people’s princess” into support for the institution.

Lastly, crime novelist Ruth Rendell died of a stroke yesterday. I never read any of her books, but I think I might have enjoyed the TV adaptation of the Inspector Wexford series at one point.  I was surprised to learn she was a Labour Party member. I was even more surprised to learn she was a member of the House of Lords.  “How can she be a Labour Party member and a member of the House of Lords?” my wife asked. I began to wind up the machine. It’s quite stunning though just uncommitted many-house trained “socialists” are, waiting for their seats in the House of Lords.

What was it the Clash wrote?

Who needs the Parliament
Sitting making laws all day
They’re all fat and old
Queuing for the House of Lords

“Remote Control”

Oddly enough, Blair has repeatedly made it clear he does not want that reward. (funny how he slipped into  this piece so many times)
I feel like reading Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island now.

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