Posts Tagged ‘ Tories ’


Just An Observation

And on and on it rolls and rolls and…
The election campaign stepped up a notch with Labour’s manifesto pledges leaked a day before they were supposed to be raising the question of how can a party stand any chance of election with such blatant skullduggery within its own ranks? Surely an electorate needs to have some semblance of trust in those they are voting for- total trust is a tall order I am sure you will agree- but if there is obvious dissent and lack of unity within a party then how is anyone else supposed to put their faith in them?
One thing the Tories have always done is stand united- apart from the small matter of Europe obviously and we all know where that led- no matter how despicable their policies or mandate. Even though the party was split over Europe they have somehow managed to form some kind of united front which is pulling the wool over the public’s eyes until they gain total power with a majority then begin their petty squabbles all over again, allowing the rest of us to pay the price. Again!
Hell they even managed to be cleared of any wrongdoing over the election expenses scandal and not content with this their bold leader Theresa May (Tresemme) felt the need to try and accuse others of deploying the same tactics without any evidence or proof. I am thinking here of her assertion that the SNP also had been fined over these malpractices but there is no record whatsoever that there is any truth to this malicious claim.
However having the media on your side is a positive tool and not being answerable to the electorate, opposing parties or anyone at all apart from sycophantic supporters obviously is giving her the smug, arrogant confidence to make such statements. That and reinstating fox-hunting obviously.
It is becoming more and more glaringly apparent that this election is being mainly fought by the media.
One thing that struck me recently is that the SNP who are by far and large the main party in Scotland do not have an ally within the media; at least not one that can make any real difference. In fact if the media were to be believed- which they are not- you would think the Tories had won the council elections here rather than it being a landslide victory for the SNP. The fact that despite all this negativity in the press they have made such a large impression here in Scotland shows that they are appealing to people at a grass-roots level most other parties feel they are actually above, hence the decimation of Labour north of the border.
The media situation is something I witnessed first hand when looking for media jobs and found myself up against young graduates who were prepared to work an internship for free as their parents could afford to support them. This led to the media being saturated by young kids who had merely bought their way into their positions espousing the Tory values they now support in print. I recall bemoaning the fact that every press office I entered during the Edinburgh Fringe as being like an audition casting for Made In Chelsea –vacuous , vapid types who were self-serving, arrogant, entitled and conceited beyond belief- and predicting that this was the future of media in this country. I was right!
On a lighter note it would seem that Joanna Lumley thinks that Idris Elba is ‘not right’ to play the next James Bond. Much as I love Joanna Lumley I must disagree as Idris Elba is very right for just about everything!
Even more ridiculous is the claim that Harry Styles is the new David Bowie-see what I mean about these new media types- which has to be the most absurd thing I have heard in years. Really? Harry Styles? David Bowie? I just don’t see any connection. Whatsoever!
He doesn’t even cut it as an average pop star and surely wearing every haircut rejected by any sensible person in the eighties proves he doesn’t even belong in the same universe as Bowie never mind the same sentence.
If you want to hear some perfect contemporary pop then I suggest you listen to the new Blondie album Pollinator proving that even when approaching her 71st birthday Deborah Harry is still the coolest person in rock and roll. Of the two Harrys it is the blonde one who wins out as the one to watch in 2017!



Just an Observation

Just in case anyone hadn’t noticed there has been the first full Tory budget in nearly twenty years this week. Perhaps the most telling thing about this whole thing, which predictably enough hit the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, was the fact George Osborne required a significantly higher and more visible police presence to escort him deliver his ‘fair’ budget, A raised police presence; to deliver a budget? Why? Could it be he knows, despite his protestations, how harmful, unfair and divisive his proposals actually were.
Certainly the under 25’s in our society seem to have been well in his sights and it would now seem that if you come from a stable home with a reputable background and a reasonably comfortable lifestyle-like Cameron, Osborne, Duncan Smith et al- then you will be fine. If you don’t have these advantages however then housing benefit if you are under 21 will no longer be available and the new living wage-formerly the minimum wage but the Tories seem to be rewriting the English language as they go along as they also last week changed the meaning of poverty to one which suits their agenda better- is denied to the under 25’s.
Likewise the family values they attach so much value to seem to be fine as long as you stick to a maximum of two children-again those making these decisions have more than they deem acceptable for everyone else- and working tax credits are to be abolished thus ensuring that those on a low wage who received help with benefits and housing benefit will no longer be in receipt of these essential things which made life a little more bearable.
But wait! They have also raised the minimum wage-sorry living wage as it has now been re-branded- so everything is fine!
Except it isn’t really, is it? Anyone who works in these low paid jobs knows exactly what this means and that is in a bid to save costs employers will cut back on staff hours thus upping the workload of those already working for a pittance and possibly cut back on staff as well as a means of saving money. This will no doubt apply most to the hospitality and cleaning trade where people will more than likely not be any better off as they will have hours staggered and possibly doing more work for the same money if not less. No wonder Iain Duncan Smith was fist pumping in the air as this was announced as he has continually made it clear how much he loves poor people i.e. not at all!
Small businesses will also suffer as the wage hike will cut severely into their wages bill and many will have to let people go as they can’t afford to pay them. At least with tax credits and help with housing benefit those on a low wage could eke out some sort of lifestyle which was beyond poverty. Oh, but I keep forgetting we don’t have poverty anymore!
No doubt these observations are only the surface of a pit of bile that is raging in our society. I am still unsure why Scotland is having these draconian measures enforced especially when so many here clearly and overwhelmingly voted against these measures in the last elections but when every proposal suggested by the SNP is blocked by the very same people who less than a year ago claimed Scots were an integral and important part of the UK I suppose that is just how it is for the unforeseeable future.
Scottish summer in the meanwhile seems to have been and gone with daily rain replacing the more traditionally acceptable sunshine of this time of year. At least at this rate we won’t have to blame it on the festival when that trundles into town next month and those at T in the Park this weekend can get back to their wellies after the excessive heat and sunshine of the last two years precipitated a ‘taps aff’ epidemic alongside a flip flops and shorts malaise. Not had much of a chance to look through the Fringe brochure yet but as soon as I have picked out my top tips then I will share them on here.The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival is also making its way here again in the next couple of weeks and again details of this once I know more.
This weekend however, for those not partaking in T In the Rain, sees the arrival of the Artisan Market in Dock Place in Leith. Already a huge success in Stockbridge on Sundays it will be interesting to see how Leith takes to sampling chilli infused vinegars and the like at what are usually heavily inflated prices. It is certainly a great idea as Leith has such a thriving and creative community in its sphere but I often balk at some of the prices at the Stockbridge Market but know from experience that those in the New Town almost feel obliged to pay more as it is their civic duty. I am curious to see if the prices are adapted accordingly. If the Marshmallow Lady is there I look forward to someone buying me a pack of the chocolate chilli jam variety at a bargain knock down price. Personally I feel this is the only way a market of this calibre can survive.


Just An Observation Friday May 3rd


And on and on the list keeps growing! Yet more leading figures from the entertainment industry caught up in sexual scandals which may-or may not-be linked to the whole Savile debacle, which is the scandal which seems to keep on giving. This week has seen Stuart Hall admit charges of sexual abuse taking place over a considerable period of time whilst Coronation Street actor Bill Roache-the longest standing member of any soap opera in the world playing slow but steady Ken Barlow whose marriage to Dreary, her of the specs and the wrinkly neck, has seen some ups and downs of its own-has been arrested in connection with rape charges against an underage girl dating from 1967.

With both these latest figures  now in their eighties  it now means I will be eyeing any unassuming octogenarian with a suspicious eye in the coming days. It certainly brings new emphasis to that immortal line uttered by Harold Steptoe to his lecherous father Albert, in one of that era’s better sitcoms Steptoe and Son, ‘You dirty old man’. I am beginning to wonder whether they should just arrest the whole of the nineteen sixties and seventies or perhaps my whole childhood televisual experience.

 What with Rolf Harris, Max Clifford-I would like to see his obnoxious press team attempt to get him out of this one- and Michael Levell (yet another Coronation Street regular begging the question who next? Norris Cole?) among recent public figures arrested for sexual offences on under-agers it just confirms what many have presumed for years; that the entertainment industry is full of rampant egos who believe they can make up their own rules and normal laws don’t apply to them.

 Not that the whole of the industry can be tainted in this way and paedophilia exists in many other spheres apart from this. It would just appear from evidence already presented that some form of collusion and agreement seems to have existed amongst the participants who being in the public eye were rightly or wrongly considered figures to be looked for to moral guidance.

 Therefore whilst my parents may have worried about the effects David Bowie was having on my almost pubescent self-their reaction when I waltzed in with the first New York Dolls album cover clutched lovingly in my black nail varnish adorned hands eclipsed this obsession and had them wondering what could possibly be next and, fair to say, I never disappointed- but in hindsight he may have been the safer option. Attending an episode of ‘Jim’ll Fix it’ would probably have been fraught with more sleaze and unwanted sexual corruption than a Ziggy Stardust concert could ever have conjured up. Likewise Rolf Harris’s catch phrase ‘Can you see what it is yet?’, as he seemingly haphazardly applied daubs of paint to a large canvas now seems inextricably linked to something more sinister in my psyche. What is more disturbing is how overt all this was with the main perpetrators playing out their twisted fantasies- Gary Glitter’s child catcher movements during ‘Leader of the gang’ spring to mind here- very blatantly  before our eyes.   Perhaps the best advice that anyone could have given any young person visiting the BBC centre in the sixties and seventies would have been ‘Run!’ Followed by ‘Fast!’

 And as the country’s top rated show Coronation Street has to rewrite scripts and has lost two of its stalwart characters in as many months – if this continues pretty soon we will be left with a show consisting of Rita singing wartime favourites to Emily Bishop- the whole industry is tarnished and obviously needs looked at and with its archangel publicist, Clifford, at the centre of the maelstrom then at least there may be less places for those who seek to abuse their positions of fame, wealth and success to hide.

 News has emerged this morning concerning by elections in England and Wales showing that the Tories are rapidly losing their vice like grip whilst the Lib Dem’s are no longer a party with any credibility –securing a place within a coalition with party whose parties policies are anathema to most of their supporters has placed them in a place that is almost impossible to came back from- but showing the rise of the dubious UKIP party. This has actually worried me and whilst I usually stray away from politics it would appear that things may actually get worse rather than better. A lot of disillusionment has set in and unfortunately the UKIP policies focus on this and are playing on people’s ignorance and frustrations. Unfortunately their manifesto is very clear-if not wholly revealing- and in a world blighted by mistrust and lies this may go someway in securing them even more votes. This however is not a good thing.

 On a lighter note one of my favourite film makers Pedro Almodovar returns to our screens this weekend with a piece of over the top camp outrage called I’m So Excited And guess what? I so actually am! Moving away from the serious nature of his more recent works this is a return to the style of movie which first drew so much attention and gained him so many plaudits in the nineteen eighties when his star was very much in the ascendant. I will be seeing the film later today and a review will be posted not long after.

Elsewhere the arrival of May did not usher in any summertime weather and I still have to consider whether I will be warm enough every time I leave the house. At least I have managed to lose at one layer and have not made the foolhardy- and tempting fate- mistake of investing in a summer wardrobe. Over the last few years it has proved itself a waste of money and last year’s still hangs in my wardrobe largely unworn so the least I can hope for is it may actually get an airing this year at some point.