Comedy double acts come and go. Some make us laugh, like Laurel and Hardy or Morecambe and Wise, while others, such as Hale and Pace or the Krankies, reduce us to tears for all the wrong reasons. God knows we need a laugh right now, so why can’t Dave and Cleggy inspire our nation to chortle with joy. Or are they hell bent on bringing the salt water to our Ok, so the pair have a supporting act of unfunny clowns with a habit of fluffing their lines or seeking too much of the limelight. Alexander, Osborne, Gove and Cable possess a level of ineptitude that surpasses anything the Carry On team could have aspired to. Even the Millibands finally decided against a life together in front of the political footlights. Do Dave and Cleggy really think they have what it takes, or are the cracks appearing faster than the While friendly fire on Libya’s’ rag and bone rebel army, the prospect of Japan melting, or even how much shit we’re in generally, might all be good comic material for some, Team Dave begs forgiveness. But telling the world we are worthless hardly makes for light relief. It would be refreshing to hear some words that were a tad more upbeat. God knows, we need something to amuse us, like in the olden days when ‘Carry On Doctor’ didn’t mean outsourcing the NHS for private profit. Even Cleggy explaining to his kids why he is so hated only provides minor relief; his comic timing is all off and we laugh bitterly for all the wrong reasons.
In these impoverished and fraught times comedy and the gift of laughter can be elusive, but ‘Seek and ye shall find’ as the good book says.
There was an interesting statistic in one of the broadsheets last week. This joke could have gone unnoticed amid the frenzy of money being fired over the Med, or high street retailers discovering the joys of paint removal. However
this precious gem of comedy, although hardly measuring on the Richter scale, could erupt to rival
anything the more tasteless likes of Franky Boyle or PC Simon Harwood can offer up.
Hayes (the recruiter) has announced that, from market indicators, there has been an increase in
profits, signalling more people getting jobs. Now, any increase in the souls finding work in these
Dickensian times has to be good news. With so many workers facing financial penury, any statistic that proves employment is up
has to be sung from the nearest watchtower by the government. Especially when one considers the importance Team Dave has placed on this country’s economic growth, riding on the back of private sector jobs as public sector cuts hit home and hard. This is a golden gift to spin. So why is Team Dave silent on the subject? Lord knows, Cameron is in need of some good news regarding the economy, or anything come to that. Business as usual; everything’s gonna be alright, carry on and keep calm;
Any success story, no matter how small, enforces Osborne’s mantra that ‘market forces will fag the void’ and means George can express a national sigh of relief. I mean, just look at his reaction to Portugal’s’ woes. Even Osborne could be forgiven for a bout of “I told you so” if the job market has somehow picked up.
Yet still no mention, not a peep. All we get is a lame story about Cleggy’s kids asking Dad
why he’s so hated while Nick C weeps softy to muzak and hopes his woes will go away. But
this is where the upbeat turns into a tragic comedy. A close look at the figures in the Hayes
announcement reveals why the government is slow to embrace this particular story. We’re
still at the bottom of the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme masquerading as the answer to all
our ills. Hayes sees “growth in every market except the UK and Ireland”. This equates to a
23% increase in fees from Asia and the Pacific, 35% in continental Europe (mainly
Germany), but a 2% decline for us and the Irish.
So, what does this mean?
Everyone knows the banking crash is to blame for our financial woes, even if the present incompetents continue to blame their predecessors with the same tired jokes. We realise Asia can make everything we used to produce cheaper and better, we see that Germany is in better shape than us and the luck of the Irish is about done. No amount of blarney stone sucking can revive an economy so much in debt without outside help. And now Portugal joins the queue; hands out, looking for cash, trying to stave off ruin. Perhaps Spain is next, but all George can do is gloat, argue that if it weren’t for his austerity regime; blah blah blah blah…. But where are the jobs George? And why is our economy still such a joke?
To carry on regardless as one would in an unfunny comedy of errors, blindly clinging to the hope things will get better as the job market picks up, is like burying one’s public school head up one’s own arse. Even if the joke is lame and we’ve heard it so many times before, what is Team Dave actually doing to mend ‘Broken Britain’? The punchline becomes predictable; no new jobs, no new investment, no new ideas that will lead to social mobility. Hope in a future beyond the stark
reality of a harrowing drop in income and a return to eighteenth century living standards
dissipates for most, and for generations to come.
There was a time when recessions, like a politician’s lies, were accepted as part of the fabric
of our daily lives. The bubble and burst ideology that comprises perpetual motion didn’t worry
us. We knew the good times would come again within a couple of years. Just as in that tired
Carry on Movie, we foresaw another boom, like an old joke, would come along soon enough
and make us chuckle once more.
This time it’s different. All the gains made over the past half century, including the welfare state and rights to free medical care, even the state pension, will be gone. Lost for good, sold to the highest bidder. Maybe Clegg’s kids are more astute than he gives them
credit for. Perhaps they can find a future as paid interns like the children of his cabinet chums, off to work in a bank or similar. At least that would mean someone gets gainful employment out of this government’s market force-inspired ideology. Cuts to benefits, services and schools, sky high tuition fees, NHS outsourcing, a stagnant economy, increased carbon tax on top of rises in fuel prices, VAT increases, the price of oil, unavoidable interest rate hikes, inflation on the up; the list goes on. The banks, those authors of our destruction, get off the hook. They go on enjoying the rewards
with unjust bonuses and obscene profits while continuing the practices that got us into this mess. It seems
we have learned nothing from our mistakes. Rather than seek redress we find ourselves scapegoats for the
greed of others. We want to laugh, not be laughed at. That joke isn’t funny anymore.
Kenneth Williams’ Caesar proclaimed: “Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it in for me!” Robert Diamond Jnr and
friends tried a similar line to stave off state intervention in their practices. Maybe it’s time to end this Carry
On. Team Dave needs to take a long hard look at how unfunny they’ve become, work up some new
material, and perhaps even provide policies for the people, not in spite of them.