...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Day 2046: Built to Last Six Months


I have accidentally received the following NOTE from Conservatory Headquarters:

"What ho, Binky! First thought for the change policy thingy, just needs a few changes, would you mind, old bean? Change any of the lingo that would frighten the hoi polloi. Keep on changing, Dave

"Our Party seeks to quash freedom, keep opportunity to ourselves and avoid responsibility. Because we don't trust people, we help government grow stronger; by taking away your autonomy, we help ourselves grow stronger. We believe that there is no such a thing as society, but we are the same thing as the state."

I am not CERTAIN, but this MIGHT be something to do with Mr Balloon's announcement that he has discovered his principles.

Or rather that he has discovered his principles AGAIN – the astute reader may have a STRANGE sense of DEJA VUE.

This would appear to mean that Mr Balloon's first statement of principles has not lasted as long as my diary. Which is IRONIC – back in February, Mr Nick Assinder of the BBC said:

"Let's hope Mr Cameron's agenda is "built to last" longer than his predecessors'."

Ho very ho!

But, TRAGICALLY, it wasn't.

It seems that Mr Balloon has rushed back from his holidays and caused no end of fuss. Upsetting the Minister for Magical Accidents and now rushing out this. Perhaps his holiday photos are not ready yet so he has had to spring a re-mastered and expanded edition of his "Built to Last" instead?

How soon, our Greatest Hits albums come out, these days!

This time, though, Mr B's statement of principles comes with examples of policies.

Well, I say policies; I mean policy aspirations.

Well, I say policy aspirations; I mean some fluffy-foot waving in the general direction of maybe one day having a policy. Or something policy-esque… Ooh, look, bunnies!

It is full of lots of big fluffy warn hearted expensive wish-list items like huge increases in drug rehabilitation (privatised) and support for special schools (Eton); promoting the building of affordable eco-friendly homes and promoting the building of eco-friendly affordable homes (yes, that IS in there twice); and increasing overseas aid to 0.7% of national income (spot the LIBERAL DEMOCRAT policy!) so it is a GOOD thing that Mr Balloon says he won't cut taxes unless there is enough cash left in the magic money monkey! (remember HIM, Mr Balloon?)

There are some GOOD things, like the flip-flop on ID cards which they would now abolish.

And there are some BAD things, like:
  • increasing student tuition fees;
  • or abolishing the Human Rights Act (to replace it with a Rights for Humans Act);
  • or the coded nonsense about getting people off Incapacity Benefit and back to work;
  • or the promotion of flexible working (i.e. unpaid overtime) like it's a good thing;
  • or opposing ANY European Constitution (or possibly NONE, since they qualify this promise by saying they'll oppose a constitution that "creates a superstate" which no constitution would actually do!);
  • or promising to answer the West Lothian Question (code for disenfranchising Scottish and Welsh MP's, but not Northern Ireland Unionists in the event that Mr Balloon need their votes in a hung parliament) thereby weakening the United Kingdom in their own favour.

And there are some TOTALLY FATUOUS things, like:

  • "Liberating the enterprise of public sector professionals";
  • and "Action on public health that helps everyone to lead healthier lives";
  • and "Supporting the shared experiences that bring us together and promote well-being".

Oh, and among their GREEN ideas: "Encouraging greater corporate responsibility by offering a lighter regulatory regime" sounds a funny way of going about things, too.

We should welcome the Conservatories recognition of their need to be better on minority representation:

"Taking action to ensure more women candidates, candidates from black and minority ethnic communities, and candidates with disabilities."

Can you spot anyone missing from that list?

The last word should belong to Mr Balloon:

"That is the mission of the modern Conservative Party: a responsibility revolution to create an opportunity society – a society in which everybody is a somebody, a doer not a done-for."

The last word SHOULD belong to Mr Balloon, but that is just rubbishy management-speak dribble, so I'm going to have the last word myself.

Mr Balloon, if you want to create a distinctive identity for yourself and your Conservatories, you are going to have to do something a bit less OBVIOUS and EMPTY than this. Or the last one. Or the one before that.

People are going to start thinking that you don't really MEAN it!

I do hope this does not mean we are going to see that baldy man from the BBC regurgitating all his old puff pieces about how ground breaking and wonderful his chum Mr Balloon is. It is bound to get my Daddy Richard shouting if he does!


Will said...

I'd quite like flexible hours actually...

Millennium Dome said...

I suspect it depends on whether Mr Balloon means your employer should be flexible for your benefit, or YOU should be flexible for your employer's benefit... what do you think he means?

Will said...

I rather suspect the latter...