Yes, a Boar column, and yes I have used a line from a Misteeq song as the title. What you gonna do about that?
I’ve got to say, once more New Labour are letting me down. They’ve done it before, turning out all sorts of lame brained right wing policies dressed in left wing clothing (like a student in a Che teeshirt at an internship talk by an accountancy firm) or generally reacting hysterically to a newspaper article about EU immigration, forgetting that by this time tomorrow said headline will be subsumed in people’s minds by the latest gigantic diplomatic incident with a fellow nuclear power over a reality TV show. But today’s topic for disappointment is the cash for honours affair a.k.a. the least interesting massive scandal of all time.
The latest development roared onto our 24 hour news screens this week. And by “roared” I mean “weakly mewed like a tiny kitten trapped under a newspaper”. Some woman was arrested and released. This woman, Ruth Turner, is apparently some major part of the government’s apparatus of power and control and manipulation. Or at least she was if you read the papers, most of which had her pegged down as the sort of bad guy symbol of all that is a little wrong with the political world. Naturally I was hoping she would be some sort of power suited political dominatrix, pure evil incarnate but a feminist, equal opportunities pure evil of the sort which would at least leave me feeling that New Labour still had some semblance of leftist attempts to include previously excluded groups. She might well be, but the pictures the media used made her look more like that really sweet natured girl in your seminar group who never says very much about the topic but is determined to get you to come out for drinks with the rest of your coursemates because it’s nice to bond. Possibly she wants to do this so she can get you drunk and steal your ideas to use in the next New Labour manifesto, so beware.
It’s just the latest anti-climax. This scandal has rolled on for so long that I need to be reminded what it’s actually about every time something happens. Calling it the cash for honours affair helps, but too many of the details escape me, too many are tedious, petty and boring. One of the 24 hour news channels (ok, it was BBC News 24; Sky News makes me want to bash my TV in with a rock) compared it to the Watergate scandal of Richard Nixon. No chance. That one was interesting. It had opposition offices being broken into and bugged, journalists engaged in indepth investigations with secret sources, and Nixon resigning with his back to the wall. Cash for honours has none of these amazingly cool plot twists. No spies were involved which is an instant bucket of cold water for most people, especially after the awesome new Bond film. No decent investigative journalism has been done, just a lot of correspondents standing around in those ridiculously high winds outside Downing Street trying to look like they were reporting on history. Theoretically what we have here could force Tony Blair to resign but such is the slowness of the police investigation that even Blair’s most determined efforts to hang onto power and piss off Gordon Brown (and everyone else in the country) will have come to an end by the time anything vaguely juicy happens. Going after ex-prime ministers isn’t as exciting. Ask the Irish. Or the French.
You may find it churlish of me to complain about the quality of scandals. Maybe you’re one of those people who would rather have a boring but effective government. I bet you’d also like Bolton to win the Premiership. Or Snow Patrol to win best album at the Brit Awards. Well it’s not going to happen (apart from the Snow Patrol one which remains a high possibility) and if we must have scandals they should at least be fast moving, diverting and contain news reports about events which inspire mental images you just don’t want to think about, probably involving the idea of John Major having sex. It sure beats sitting in a corner, in your Che teeshirt, wondering when the Indians are going to exercise their right to nuke the Big Brother house.