The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Let’s Get On With It

Posted by The Futility Monster on February 16, 2010 @ 09:51

Tick tock, sang Ke$ha...

In politics, there is nothing worse than a lame duck administration, but whenever they seem to happen in the UK we have to suffer them for a remarkably long time.

John Major was doomed by Maastricht, the ERM and then Tony Blair. The country had to sit and wait for years before the inevitable finally happened.

Tony Blair was doomed by Iraq. To be fair, he did still win an election in the aftermath of it, but let’s be clear that that is courtesy of our stupid electoral system, whereby Labour, on 35.3% of the vote was able to claim a very comfortable victory against a Conservative party on 32.3%. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. We then had to sit waiting for years until Gordon Brown finally lost his patience.

Since then Gordon Brown has looked like a dead man walking. For years, the opinion polls have been terminal, the “mid-term” election results in-between have been horrendous, shedding thousands more councillors from historically low levels, and a pitiful European election performance which resulted in two MEPs being elected from the BNP.

But still, we have to wait. If there’s one thing politics teaches you, it is patience.

The art of waiting for the exact moment to strike was lost on Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt. So too it was on Gordon Brown, with his various coup attempts over the years. James Purnell did a better job, picking it right once the local election campaign had ended. Sadly, he was badly let down by his former colleagues, who, if they’d had a spine, could have toppled Brown with consummate ease, quickly elected a new leader – who could have presented a grand vision of reform to end Britain’s political malaise – and called a snap election.

The British public, however, have no such luxury of influencing the timetable. We tried. We got really angry about expenses. Got really pissed off with our politicians. But they were never going to give us what we wanted. Had there been a provision in our constitution for a petition to force an election, I suspect it would have gathered the necessary signatures.

But no. We wait. And still we wait now, even though the election campaign has effectively already begun, and all we’re waiting for is for Alistair Darling to deliver his final budget, and then Gordon Brown to officially announce when his premiership will be ending, even though we all know it’s going to be May 6th.

Politics is a guessing game at its heart. Everyone sits around speculating about what the other side is going to do and trying to outmanoeuvre them. It would be nice if we could just get on with it, just this once, but twas ever thus…

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