...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Day 5533: 1% - A Decade of Millennium


T'was ten years ago, I first opened my VERY FLUFFY DIARY and shared my GENIUS with the World.

How many things have changed in that time!

There have been three* James Bond films; four** Doctor Whos; and for five years the Liberals ran the country. A bit.

And I used to think that IMPORTANT things needed to be EMPAHASISED and so I used a lot of ALL-CAPS!

Nowadays I realise that in the Internets this is considered VERY FUNNY and should be ENCOURAGED!

So if you think YOU feel old remember… next year THE FLUFFY ELEPHANT GETS THE VOTE!

Daddy's Little Spectre

*also "Quantum of Sausage".

**Dr Dave, Dr Mat, Dr Hurt and Dr PeterC (Dr Chris just missed).

We've see the Rise and Fall of Prime Monster, Mr Frown...

From the resignation of phoney Tony... and the Government of All the Goats... to the election that never was.

From Stalin to Mr Bean. From economic crisis to 10p tax debacle to the Expenses Scandal.

Through the plottings of Milipede Snr to the Coup that Collapsed.

To I Agree With Nick.

We've lived through The Coalition...

From the decision to go into government

to the first 100 days that no commentator would have predicted the government would survive…

…through the difficult middle years

…to the last Coalition budget (where I spot that Milipede Jnr has spotted his forthcoming defeat).

We've discovered it really IS the economy, stupid


We've seen what happened to Northern Rock and the fall of Bear Sterns (who even remembers them!).

We've seen why Ed Miliband was wrong about the "myth" of Labour overspending …and fisked of a Labour Troll who tried baiting me!

And recently we've asked what does a Cobynite Labour economic policy actually MEAN?

and what should a Liberal Economic Policy Look like?

We've watched a LOT of movies…

Some old favourites GLORIOUSLY reinvented...

...and some that would have been better left alone!

Some Harry Potter and some Pirates and some More Pirates

Superman and Batman (good) and Batman (not so much)

Star Wars (cartoon version) and Star Trek (likewise)

Narnia and His Dark Materials


…and we've watched some REALLY bad television


Robbing Hoodie...

and, Crotchwoot

With special mention for The Amazingly Awful Mrs Pritchard (hang on, that's Daddy Alex's!)

We've had a few Christmases...

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells

Fluffy All the Way

Oh What Fun

It Is to Ride


Open Aston Martin...

And we may even have touched upon religion

When I may have occasionally disagreed with The Beardy-Weirdy of Canterbury. Once or twice.

Not to mention the Cardinal arch-bigot of Westminster

or Ruth Kelly and the Elder God Delusion!

But here are my absolute top ten favourite things about my diary for the first ten years…

#10 Mr Balloon Cartoon

OK, the silly names.

Over the years, I've had my little, er, misunderstandings about people's names, whether it was calling the leaders of my own Party Captain Clegg (as in the notorious Pirate Clegg) or Sir Mr the Merciless (as in the notorious Emperor Ming) or those of the (Hard) Labour Party Lord Blarimort, Mr Frown or Mr Milipede.

…or there are the ever changing adjectives to describe the perma-tanned pestilence that is Mr Peter Vain, er Hain. He been:

An Orange-hued apostate

A Tangerine-toned Turncoat

A Satsuma-skinned surrender monkey

A Clementine-Coloured Catspaw

A Peach-painted preener

A Sepia-stained stool-pigeon

A Fuchsia-finished old fraud

A Beige-Basted Bumbler

A Ridiculous russet rogue

A Terracotta-tinted twit

and a Heliotrope-hued hole in the head not to mention firebrick-brushed fraud!

…but from very early on – okay, in fact from my VERY FIRST diary – I have called the then leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and now (as absurd as it may seem, and with whatever culpability for it that the Liberal Democrats may have) Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Rt Hon David William Donald Cameron… Mr Balloon.

He just LOOKS like a Balloon. An empty pink bladder with a smile painted on it.

So OBVIOUSLY I was delighted when a national newspaper cartoonist came to the same conclusion!

see also my favourite "interview" with the Rt Hon Dave Balloon.

#9 Coining the term "Unpology"

The era of New Labour came and went like a bout of gastric flu, but it left behind a legacy of political spin doctoring – ironically usually reduced to just "spin", when the whole point of Labour's news management strategy as run by Mr Alistair Henchman was to counter the "spin" that the (mostly right-wing) press were already putting on their stories about the non-Tory Party.

Terms like "remaining on message", sticking to "the grid" and "burying bad news" have all added to the public feeling that politicians – ALL politicians – are manipulative, deceptive even downright deceitful.

But the apogee (or nadir) of this technique comes with the dark art of appearing to deliver an apology while actually not doing so, and often managing to blame the person to whom you should be apologising for their misinterpretation of your perfectly acceptable behaviour being the only reason for taking offence.

Mr Frown's Hope Secretary Jacqui Smith delivered a particularly fine (by which I mean un-fine) example.

#8 Millennium on the Moon

Labour under Lord Blairimort quite quickly gave up any pretense of Civil Libertiies and started playing the SECURITY card left, right, and centre… tell more like right and far-right and even further right.

Quite early on, I had to go ON THE RUN from the Stormtroopers of the Labour Government after they mistook my SINCERE ADMIRATION for JAMES BOND for GLORIFICATION of TERRORISM. Fortunately, I was able to apply for political asylum on the Moon. Here's the full saga…

In hiding!

In Space!

I was NOT driving!


In the Soup!

Nose Trouble!

Escape… to Danger!

(In tribute to our dear friend Dr Nick, every title ends in a !)

#7 Defeating Mr Frank Luntz

Another early victory was the time we had a run-in with Republican Push-Poller and semi-resident "expert" on Newsnight, Mr Frank Luntz.

He had presented what he called a focus group on the telly. Clearly a sensitive soul, he posted comments on a lot of Lib Dem blogs… but obviously it was MY piece, suggesting how a STAGE MAGICIAN could have arrived at a VERY SIMILAR outcome that most troubled him.

Here's how he might have done it

and here's me replying to him replying to me!

He tried his hand at "predicting" again, with the thankless task of suggesting someone other than Mr Frown might succeed Lord Blairimort (and how did THAT work out, again?)…

…then made an appearance on the Comic Relief Apprentice

…before buttering up our own Capitan Clegg.

Pleasingly, Newsnight stopped billing him as "pollster" and started crediting him as a Republican. Full disclosure is good.

#6 Defeating the "Liberal" Conspiracy

I never REALLY took to the project launched by Mr Sunny Hundal and dubbed (not JUST by me) as "Labour Conspiracy", seeing it as at best a well-meaning BLACK HOLE that would suck in and swallow up non-Labour blogs into supporting that tired old Party, and at worst a front organisation.

But then Mr Sunny Delight's munchkin Aaron Murin-Heath went a little bit, er, over-defensive in response to this little piece putting a sore Green loser in his place

For once read the comments, and Mr God Bless the Liberal Blogosphere for riding to the rescue of a soft toy under fire!

Of course, once Hard Labour went back into opposition, it was safe for Mr Sunny to have his moral high ground cake and eat it, so he slunk back into the party and his fabulous media career™ was quietly wound up.

Meaning my Diary has outlived his PROJECT. So yay!

#5 Defeating the Mr Master

Then there was that time when Doctor Who's the Master would have taken over the Fluffy Diary (and the World) but for one elementary error

#4 Nick Clegg, his hand on my bottom

It remains a source of GREAT PRIDE in this LIBERAL Liberal Democrat Party that no matter how silly or bizarre it might have seemed to have a soft toy in their midst passing satirical comment on their goings on, at every level up and down the Party from grassroots to grandees they have been so willing to talk and listen and take part in bloggers' conversations.

And no one moreso than the Party Leader, Nick Clegg, who really took to the bloggers interviewers and talked to us on many occasions.

Here are two of my favourite, first from early on when he'd just been elected leader and made time for us and our doughnuts between the "serious" press

and second just a few years later from inside the Cabinet Office as Deputy Prime Minister.

I'm particularly grateful to Ming Cambell who, when HE was leader, was the first to talk to the bloggers, and to Chris Huhne who, during that leadership contest, was so easy to persuade to talk, perhaps because he as the insurgent was as much the outsider as we were. They got us going, and thanks to them Nick saw how important it was to open up a channel to talk to friends inside the Party. And Danny and Vice and Ed and others all followed.

#3 The Day of Meeting the Doctor (and all his chums)

But it's not ALL been about the politics. In fact there's been quite a bit of Doctor Who over the years, what with the telly series actually coming back to the telly pretty much in sync with my Diary. Obviously.

The highpoint for many a fan was the fiftieth anniversary and the Day of the Doctor, which we celebrated – of course – but by remembering ALL the eras of Dr Woo and all the many starts big and small who have given us so much to enjoy and think about over the first fifty years.

Some of whom even got the pleasure of meeting ME!

#2 I am Blogger of the Year. Oh yeah!

And so, obviously, the first thing the Liberal Democrats did on getting into government for the first time in EIGHTY years was to give a prize to a stuffed elephant. I was, I have to say, taken somewhat by surprise.

Of course, it didn't QUITE work out first time around… or second… or third or fourth… but, as the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed… throw a TANTRUM!

So this is ME winning Blogger of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, (FINALLY!) 2010!

#1 Daddies Get Married

Because THIS is why I write my Very Fluffy Diary. This is why I keep telling you all this Liberal stuff.

Big Gay Wedding

Because The Liberal Democrats changed the World. For the better.

Remember that. Always.

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