That sinking feeling that's not all plain sailing

Published: 19 Apr 2012 09:300 comments

IN A week when we have commemorated the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic it's worth reminding ourselves that our three main political parties all contrived to lose the last General Election.

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Everyone probably still recalls the growing sense of anxiety and mounting uncertainty as those televised leadership debates guaranteed that between us we couldn't muster sufficient confidence to give any of them our unqualified support.

Despite all that saccharine stuff in the Number 10 garden barely two years ago now, Dave followed his White House love-in by embarking on one of those away-from-it-all tours beloved of politicians needing some light relief; in his case from the rampant alienation of Tory supporters who realise they've been stitched up, and the disruptive treachery of Cleggies who've never quite forgotten their halcyon days in the after-school anarchy club.

While Dave's Far East performance was more impressive than anything achieved by his predecessor, who didn't do abroad and never seemed that bothered about improving overseas trade, the sound bites came straight from a PR person's manual and didn't take our minds off life back in Blighty.

His praise of Indonesia as a model of democracy and modern Islamism must have come as quite a surprise to the nation's Christians, their churches destroyed, closed or under frequent attack. That said, he's pretty disdainful of Christian views back here too.

Then again, five minutes in briefly democratic Burma and Dave wanted sanctions lifted immediately, something which smacks more of sheer arrogance than mere soapbox ignorance.

Meanwhile Wee George, cockily joining Dave's US junket when he should have stayed home checking his Budget small print, stunned us by announcing his shock at discovering that rich people dodge tax. Presumably he's never wasted time investigating what bears don't do in the woods. Wake up George, the latest tax dodgers' guide was already in circulation long before you even opened that red box.

Perhaps it was a cunning stab at a leadership coup, trying to rob charities of their donors when Dave's so attached to his Big Society idea, which relies on said charities taking on the responsibilities of what ought to be Big Government. But, with granny tax and the 'green deal' rip-off on home improvements, it's only the latest PR cock-up, along with u-turns on the forests sell-off, secret courts, child benefit cuts and free school milk.

Boarding the ship in the shambolic aftermath of Gordon Brown's Labour should have been plain sailing, but having reached the bridge why keep building your own icebergs?

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