I usually try and stick to hating the policies of people I have never met rather than crossing over to the person, but there are two and only two politicians I have ever felt myself cross the line from reasonable disagreement over a political ideology into a visceral revulsion. And unfortunately they sit next to each other every Wednesday on Prime Minister's Questions and they are two of the most senior members of our current government.
David Cameron and George Osborne.
A lot of people in my group of friends (not to mention my father) seem to feel similarly about Nick "The" Clegg, but to be entirely honest, all I can feel toward Clegg is the occasional twinge of annoyance. Much similar to my feelings towards his namesake. He's screwed his own chances in the next election, he screwed his Scottish counterparts' chance in the 2011 election as well as the Welsh Liberals and he's screwed the Liberal Democrats in general for the next goodness knows how long. Remember in 2009 when one poll put the Lib Dems ahead of Labour? Willing to bet that's not happening again for a fair wee while. They said Tony Blair was George Bush's lapdog, Nick's more like Cameron's neglected hamster.
Back to the topic of this 'quick' post though: Mr Cameron. That is, I mean to say, The Right Honourable David Cameron MP, Prime Minister Incumbent of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, First Lord of the Treasury, our lord and master standing on high (I'll stop now). What is my problem with him? Policies aside.
- I know Prime Minister's Questions is notorious for being full of rude, arrogant, noisy twelve year olds but Cameron is the worst, the absolute nadir when it comes to pointless, idiotic, extraneous insults being slung around.
- The 'jokes' when he is being asked something serious. Patronising git.
- And I'm sorry to be petty enough to insult his looks, but seriously, he's an Auton (and not the Rory Williams type - I'm talking plastic-y, smashing up restaurants with his hammer-hand Mickey in Rose).
What prompted this reasonably short rant? The Guardian did an interview with the man himself ("David Cameron, we have a few questions for you…") and a few of his responses got my back up.
Richard Dawkins, ethologist, evolutionary biologist and authorWhy do you support faith schools for children who are too young to have chosen their faith, thereby implicitly labelling them with the faith of their parents, whereas you wouldn't dream of so labelling a "Keynesian child" or a "Conservative child"?"Comparing John Maynard Keynes to Jesus Christ shows, in my view, why Richard Dawkins just doesn't really get it. I think faith schools are very often good schools. Why? Because the organisation that's backing them – the church or the mosque or the synagogue – is part of the community. And it brings a sense of community and the backing of an institution to a school. The church was providing good schools long before the state got involved, and we should respect the fact that it's not just the state that can provide education but other bodies, too."
I despise the use of "just doesn't get it" - both of the main parties in British politics seem to have become absolutely obsessed by it recently. They correct response is to yell, "OH YES HE DOES!" at the offender (oops, panto is definitely seeping into my conciousness). No, seriously though, saying someone like Professor Dawkins "just doesn't get it" is leaving yourself wide open - seriously, the man has spent a good fifty years practising his responses to being told he's a strident, silly old fool who just hates your imaginary friend. You could write an essay on where Cameron goes wrong on this response, but I have fifteen minutes before I have to get to work, so I won't start. Aside from that, others have argued against the system faith schools follow in Britain better than I could, so a little Googling would be best.
Mike Leigh, film-makerWhat is your moral justification for the state not providing free further education for everybody, and for the principle of student loans? And I do want to hear your moral reasoning: not any economic, political or historic excuses."I think there is a strong moral case for this, which is the evidence that going to university brings a benefit to that individual person over the course of the rest of their life. Therefore, I think it is morally right that they make a contribution to the cost of that course, which is what our fees policy does. And I think it would be morally wrong to ask the taxpayer to bear all of the burden of that cost, not least because there are many taxpayers who don't go to university who don't have that benefit."
When I first read this, I was at work and honestly, I thought I was going to put my fist through the computer. Lucky for my finances I remembered that would do no-one any good. All I can say in regard to this is that I have never been so happy to be under a devolved Scottish Government in this area. I dislike that universities such as Edinburgh have raised, have been allowed to raise, tuition fees for non-Scot, UK students to match the horrendous situation down South as much as the next person, but the one thing I can be sure of - glad of - while we have the SNP in office is that they won't share the UK Tory/Liberal/Labour Parties goal of alienating the lower middle and working class from entering university in Scotland.
Miranda Hart, comedianWhat's the least favourite part of your job (apart from the difficulty of ordering takeaways to Number 10)?"The thing I dread the most is news of casualties from Afghanistan, because that's the greatest responsibility. The thing that is odd and weird is having to have people open car doors for you because they weigh two tonnes and if you tried to do it yourself you'd cut your leg off."
Liar. You freeze the pay of tens of thousands of men and women involved in the forces and order them to continue on wars that cannot be won abroad (as well as suggesting they cover the duties of striking UK Border Agency workers). If you cannot afford to pay the armed forces, you cannot afford to fight.
Oh and, har-di-har ha! LOL!!!!!!11!11!!!!1!, at the door.
Terry Wogan, broadcasterWhat does the PM think the public think of him?"All sorts of things. Of course, there are people who profoundly disagree with you – and sometimes people can get very angry with you. But I think people are basically very fair-minded and as long as they see you trying to do your best, and doing what you believe in, they will be reasonable with you."
I do not think you are trying to do what is (whether you are doing your best at whatever it is you're trying to do, only you can know) best. If what I'm hearing you say and seeing you do is what you believe in, I cannot respect you, I can only be glad I will probably never meet you because I am one of those 'very angry' people who might have difficulty even being civil.
Angela Eagle, Labour MP whom Cameron told to 'Calm down, dear'Your cuts hit women harder than any other group. What's your problem with women?"It's absolutely true that, when you face a big budget deficit and great debts and all that Angela Eagle's party left us, you have to take some difficult decisions. But I don't accept this characterisation. Labour wants to make a series of political points about cuts and women because they see it to their political advantage."
There we are again with "it's all Labour's fault". Has anyone seen a week of BBC Question Time in the past year and a half where Labour haven't been blamed? I'm not even a Labour supporter, I'm not all that keen on Miliband a lot of the time, but for fuck's sake, give it a rest with the Labour blaming.
I've really got to get to work, but basically, he personally attacks Alistair Campbell and Jeremy Paxman (don't like these two either, but it's childish, I don't want a childish PM), Tony Benn on nuclear weapons, belittles Salman Rushdie's point on university education, weasels over the NHS... just read it. If you want to know why I dislike David Cameron, he makes it wonderfully clear in that interview.
And Gideon? Gideon's just... well... maybe another day.
PS. It's weird, maybe it's because they're so dinky (almost as dinky as my own party) and pathetic, but I am reasonably fond of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. I miss old Annabel Goldie, I may have disagreed with her on a few hundred points but she really was a politician "trying to do [her] best, and doing what [she] believes in". She was a pretty good opposition to Alex Salmond and that gent really needs someone to keep a check on him, I'm wary of Ruth Davidson's ability to do so.