Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Blair and Browne [with an 'e']: lies and humbug

Have you noticed how haggard and shifty-eyed our Dear Leader is looking as he clings on to the doorposts of No 10 by his fingernails, draining the long drawn out wearisome last days of his premiership to the dregs with muted self-praise for his vaunted record, and subliminally telling us “you’ll be sorry when I’m gone”. [Shades of Nixon: "Soon you won't have me to kick around any more."] Our very own Archie Rice and Walter Mitty rolled into one!

Yesterday’s Labour Party “celebration” of his ten years in office looked more like a wake when I happened to see it on television. Not only was the hapless Bliarypoppins given a macabre bear-hug by John Prescott grinning ghoulishly with ill-concealed delight, he was surrounded by glum looking people wearing expressions more appropriate to a wake then a celebration. The PM’s exhortation to his Party to “make the next ten years as good as the last” had me rolling in the aisles. Is he really unaware of what his ‘legacy’ is going to be? Like Bloody Mary and Calais, IRAQ will be graven on the nation’s historical memorial to Blair, and will overshadow all else he is remembered by, however worthy some of his other achievements may have been.

Another, unexpected, item on the same news bulletin provided food for thought as to why our Tone is looking so subdued. The precipitate fall of the hitherto unknown [to me] Lord Browne from the pinnacle of BP because he told lies in court about his personal life raises the spectre of perjury charges for Blair and various members of his entourage if the ‘cash for peerages’ affair comes to court and they are called as witnesses. There are almost certain to be uncomfortable questions which it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for them to answer truthfully; and if they put a foot wrong, their growing band of political and personal enemies will pounce relentlessly. Blair is between a rock and a hard place over this one.

As for Lord Browne, it is extremely sad that such a thrusting paragon of big business expansionism should be brought low [and lose a fortune of £15 millions which may be peanuts to him but seems obscenely large to me] because he was ashamed to admit in court that a gay affair had a commercial aspect. However impeccable his business ethics, his rather strange personal slant on things seems to be that it’s perfectly OK, and admissible these days, to pick up someone in Battersea Park, but too disreputable to admit that you met them through a gay chatline.

What pathetic humbug! It would seem that even powerful figures like Lord Browne still feel obliged to dance to the hypocritical tune of the red-top press, whose warped attitude to sex is a national disgrace. On the one hand, the tabloid ratpack ceaselessly promote sex and peddle lust for all they are worth in salacious articles and titillating advertisements, and then switch in an instant without even pausing for breath from rabellaisian ‘phwoar, phwoar’ bar-room bragging to prudish tut-tutting over the sexual misdeeds of the great and the humble, baying for ever more draconian punishments for anyone whose private life has the misfortune to attract their spotlight.

The Lord Browne saga should be a salutary reminder to all the self-congratulatory gay activists who have recently been crowing that the work of gay liberation has been finally achieved, and that there is nothing more to be done on that score. The task of campaigners for more relaxed and commonsense attitudes to consenting sexual behaviour of all kinds will never be remotely near its end while ignorance, prejudice and punitive attitudes to peoples’ private behaviour abound as they still do. As has been well said, the British vice isn’t buggery – it’s humbuggery.


Jose said...

The more I look at it, Anticant, the more I notice how far away are our politicians from the sheer reality of our lives.

Excellent article.

ranger said...

Well done anti. LIving in a fantasy world, Blair is.
I was unaware of the Browne story, but /of course/ heard about George Michael's latest escapades on the CBC radio today. My first thought was, If the date-chained to the wall- had been female, would we have heard anything about this?
Great article, thanks.

Richard W. Symonds said...

Interesting AC - thanks.

Blair's legacy : The Independent summed it up in one word :


Along with 'BLIAR', that will be his legacy.

A tragedy for Blair, the Labour Party - and Humanity.

Emmett said...

THE Point about Lord Browne is that he is already identified in the american popular mind (/sic/) with unsafe cost-cutting industrial practises by 'BP' that resulted in explosions, death & murder at a refinery, here. So, just because a chappie is queer does /not/ convey sanctity any more than being a dim & dull-normal, 'christian', heterosexualist; just as perhaps having had relations killed by the Nazis makes /me/ neither a victim, nor a saint deserving reparations and a 'free' homeland off of other people. 'Lord Brown' seems to have gotten his up whomever's jacksey that offered either cash, thrills or both -- so, that puts him on all fours with /all/ of the other ageing males-not-men, all /leering/ at smut in their computers, all flogging their /inflamed prostates/ -- and, when up and dressed anyway, cursing one another's /style/ of -- lust.

ranger said...

I'm counting the days until I can wave goodbye to Bush as Britons are waving goodbye to Blair right now. I doubt Bush will attempt to wear the sincere earnestness or humility that Blair is putting on though. Our presidents have an amazing way of shrinking into the night on their way out of office under all the glam and gloss, pomp and circumstance of the run-up election for the new stooge. One day, POOF, they're gone, they next time you see them, they're cutting the ribbon on their new library in a corn field somewhere.

Saw the Browne story and the 'canadian-bacon' connection on the news this morning. What a disgusting joke. As I said about George Michael, if the canadian sex toy had been a young doe-eyed canadian las and not a lad, would we be seeing this story pushed as a lewd and lascivious sex scandal or perjury scandal, I think not. But than I remember Slick Willy's fall from grace and that sort of contradicts this 'theory'. Just shows to go you, If you're stupid enough to put yourself in a place of power and authority- exposing yourself to this world's media sharks-aka ' the world's moral compass', you'd better be smart enough to keep your business in order and... maybe shy away from the role of 'sugah daddy'.
Perhaps not the most fair thing to have to do, but surely a smart thing to do.
Then again, if the 'powers that be' want to find some shit on you, or make it up for that matter, they will no doubt find a way to do it.
Why do I feel a bit greasy myself defending this robber-barren? Oh way, he represents just about everything I hate about the corporate world.

Merkin said...

The Browne affair is perfect humbug because everyone and his auntie knew of his status - that is, those in the City did.
As soon as the proles are invited to the party everyone goes apeshit.
Bottom line is, if I was asked by a policeman 'IN THE STREET' where I met my partner, and I lied, I would be up on a 'conspiracy to pervert' charge.
This guy lied repeatedly in Court. He should go down (so to speak).
I shall immediately go through my cupboards and look for my black cap. Ppsshhhaaaaw.

Harlan said...

Freedom of speech.
What really sucked about this case was the way the Human Rights Act has created a de-facto privacy law in the UK which, along with our absurdly harsh libel laws, serves to crush freedom of expression.
Publish and be damned is the credo of the free speaker.
Prior restraint, invigorated by the vile Human Rights act, may now have superseded Libel laws as the worst constraint on freedom of speech and expression yet.
The distinction between public and private lives was a spurious one that benefited only the rich and privileged.