You have to hand it to Mr Frown… and that is exactly what the Labour have done!
Still he put on a JOLLY GOOD SHOW of being keen on there being an election, debating against his opponents, putting out his policy announcements day by day: eco-towns, special tuition for mathematics. And all the while his little band of STALINIST ENFORCERS were twisting the arms of all the MPs to make sure the opposition got shut out.
Or as Daddy Alex put it: who would have thought that there were 308 MPs who STILL want to be ministers?
There was on course no chance at all that Mr John McDoomed might actually WIN in a ballot of all the members, so you have to ask yourself why Mr Frown would be so keen to get hold of seven-eighths of the Labour MPs and thus make it mathematically – even with special maths tuition – impossible for anyone else to get on the ballot.
Does this, in any sense, actually MATTER? After all, 318 out of 354 is a better result than 185 out of 379 that saw Mr John Minor elected Prime Monster in 1990.
The unwritten letter of the unwritten law in our unwritten constitution (what Mr Frown now want to write) is that if he can command a majority of members in the House of Commons (which with 318 of the Labour under his big clunking thumb he almost certainly can) then he is Prime Monster. End. Of.
And as Mr Jonny among others have pointed out – and this is COMPLETELY TRUE – we do not NEED to have a general election. We elect our MPs and THEY choose who is FIRST AMONG EQUALS, as they say.
I have heard the Labour ministers describing their parliamentary party as a very "sophisticated" electorate. Just like the Conservatories used to say THEIR MPs were the most sophisticated electorate in the world.
Although, I suspect that they are using the word "sophisticated" to mean "small"!
(After all these are two bunches of people who you can watch in Parliament on the telly, being as "sophisticated" as a two cages of CRAZED BABOONS, and whose most complicated decision is usually whether to throw their bananas at the other lot or at each other!)
But this is POLITICS and there are more complicated things than RULES and TRUTH going on.
Both Mr Balloon and Sir Mr the Merciless were elected by a ballot of all the members of their particular parties (with perhaps a little help from Fluffy Mr Frank Luntz on one party's part!) This gives them a (possibly dubious) CACHET in comparison with Mr Frown. Somehow they seem more "legit", while Mr Frown seems like he has fixed it for himself to be Prime Monster without anyone getting a say in it.
That may not REALLY be true – the good electors of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, at the every least, have had a say in him being in Parliament (and, incidentally, can I just say that being an MP for a constituency in Great Britain Mr Frown is ENTIRELY ENTITLED to be Prime Monster for Great Britain, whatever the Conservatories in their guise as the ENGLISH NASTY PARTY might try to imply about which BIT of Great Britain that constituency happens to be IN!) – but as I say, this isn't about TRUTH, it is about POLITICS.
The APPEARANCE of things, the way those appearances make people FEEL, these oftentimes matter more than what is really going on. Which is SAD.
It is down to the media too, of course. They have been deprived of a good old old-fashioned knock-down drag-out fight between Mr Frown and Mr McDoomed. So there is a lingering sense of "wahh!" about their reporting of this coronation.
But it also adds to the current MALAISE of politics: people feel that they are not being listened to.
This goes back to the march against the War, when the biggest ever demonstration in Britain was pretty much ignored because the government really, really wanted to invade a Middle Eastern country. But it goes back further than that too – all the way to 1997 when Lord Blairimort promised that "Things Can Only Get Better" and though people voted for change… things kind of stayed the same but more so.
Pundits and politicians talk about the "Westminster Bubble" as though the MPs and government live in their own little SPACE CAPSULE separate from the rest of us.
People feel shut out of the big decisions that affect their lives.
People feel – rightly or wrongly – that the Political Parties are all the same.
Mr Balloon has reinforced this idea, even encouraged it, with his APING of Lord Blairimort. He has done this because (a) the difference used to be that the Conservatories were the ones who were EVIL and now that isn't the case. At least now they're not the ONLY ones who are evil(!) and (b) it breeds apathy and that means fewer people vote and that means that the Conservatories have an advantage because their voters turn out more often and more reliably than anybody else's.
But we Liberal Democrats have to shoulder some of the blame too! We like to think that we are so very different from the others, plucky little fighters for freedom we, against the authoritarian government and the autocratic Old Etonians. But all too often we end up SOUNDING just like the others. A bit GREY!
This is why Liberal Democrat Mr Clogg is calling for us to develop a NARRATIVE. That is management speak for "the story of us"; I have seen "The Apprentice"! The idea, pretty simply, is to have a pretty simple idea that everyone will think of when they think of us. They might not remember our POLICES but they will remember the sort of thing that our policies might be.
Mr Balloon has been VERY SUCCESSFUL in developing his own narrative: his narrative is "We are NICE now!" So it does not matter that people cannot think of a single policy that Mr Balloon might have – whatever it might be it just MUST turn out to be "nice"; that is what the narrative says, right?
(Though remember: "he's got no policies" is ALSO a narrative, and one that is in danger of sticking! Remember how Lord Blairimort's narrative of "I'm tough" has MUTATED into "I'm COMPLETELY INSANE!")
We need our own "narrative". It needs to be something like "we're the one's who are on YOUR side" or "we're the ones who'll make a DIFFERENCE!"
That is NOT to say that we should have CRAZY policies just to BE different. But we need to find issues where we can make ourselves heard with consistent liberal statements. We should for example be more against BANNING THINGS (even when it's for people's own good)
Mr Frown's narrative, reinforced by this week's carryings on, is: "I don't trust anyone!"
And that's not the BEST way to start a new job.
Meanwhile, there is to be a genuine contest in the race to be Mr Frown's deputy, as the requisite number of nominations has been received by all six candidates, representing the FULL SPECTRUM of Labour opinion all the way from AVOCADO to GUACAMOLE.
Those candidates in full:
Tweedlebrownite – vote for me, I'm a woman!
Tweedleblairite – vote for me, I'm a headless chicken!
Tweedleboring – vote for me, I'm a postman!
Tweedlebackbencher – vote for me, I'm a radical (just ignore that I used to work for Number Ten)!
Tweedlbenny – vote for me because although I am my father's son, although politically speaking I'm not my father's son, but having worked as a political researcher for a union and then as an MP and never having held down a proper job in my life, and as a scion of a political family and nearly the inheritor of a vicountsy (thanks dad), I think I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I'm properly the authentic voice of the common working man in the street… (continued p94)
And peach painted preener, Mr Peter Vain – mmm, he's lovin' it.
Isn't CHOICE marvellous!