I’m writing this Christmas message rather earlier than previous years, but not because I’m becoming more efficient. Far from it. Had I left it – and the design of the cartoon accompanying it – till the usual date, it would have been after the election, and of course I'd have missed the Christmas post. As it is, I write not knowing how it’s going to go. Logic of a kind says we face the appalling prospect of five years of a hard right majority government (though who knows – his promised constitutional reviews may have banned elections in five years’ time). Some polls are suggesting the gap is closing, and widespread talk of tactical voting may give me some reason to stay up beyond ten o’clock on election night.
But either way, this has been, without doubt, the least inspiring, most cynical, general election in my lifetime. There really is little for anyone who is trying to be satirical to add to what has already been said, and that’s just by the politicians. Some highlights (or should that be lowlights) for me include Nicky Morgan’s insistence that the fact that 19,000 of the “promised” 50,000 extra nurses are already in post and would be retained nevertheless meant there would still be an extra 50,000. Then there’s Swinson’s apparently sincere conviction that she was a genuine candidate to be prime minister. Or the mysterious, and entirely welcome, disappearance of Rees-Mogg. But, to be even-handed, there’s Corbyn’s insistence that he, alone in the country, watches the Queen’s Speech in the morning, before it’s been broadcast. And while we’re on the subject, the bookies are offering odds on whether she mentions Prince Andrew: this year if she mentions an ‘anus horribilis’, we know who she’ll be referring to.
And I haven’t even referred to Johnson yet. Self-evidently a narcissistic buffoon, there is actually nothing amusing about him. His lying has reached Trumpian proportions, to the point where it actually ceases to be lying as we’ve always understood it, now resembling what POTUS’ press secretary called ‘alternative facts’. And the same approach to evidence and facts affects those who support him (or some version of his cause), who dismiss anything they don’t like as ‘fake news’. The social media universe was flooded with apparently evidenced reports that the dreadful picture of the boy on the floor in a
Leeds hospital was an invention from
Momentum. Even McLuskey couldn’t stoop
There are moments when I genuinely fear the consequences for this country if Johnson’s sorry crowd get a working majority. I used to conclude these posts by hoping the next year would be better than the previous one, though last year I changed that, wishing next year even shittier, in the hope I’d be proved wrong. Sadly I wasn’t so I’m not risking any wishes at all for next year: let’s just keep fingers crossed that it’s not as bad as it might be.