Farridge definition

To farridge, verb, pronunciation blleurrgh. To arouse xenophobic passions, stir up populist animosity. Alternative, to make an idiot of oneself in mustard trousers. Other definitions, to gurn in the manner of a puzzled turtle, to insult one’s audience, to invite derisive laughter.

Beware of Tories bearing gifts

Beware of Tories bearing gifts.
Suddenly it is all sunlit uplands. Forget the fact that the Conservative-led coalition backtracked on virtually every promise in 2010. Forget that George Osborne missed every economic target on the deficit. We are now supposed to believe that, just weeks after being told that there was no money and that we faced another parliament of grinding austerity, there are suddenly twenty-five billion pounds of windfall surprises dropping from the money tree. In a recent interview, Michael Gove summed up Tory thinking. When asked where the money for all the Tory pledges on tax, the NHS and childcare were coming from he said, in immortal phrase:
“The trajectory.”
He meant that the upswing of the economy would solve everything. Now this is highly contentious. We are some way into a belated and fairly weak economic recovery, the longest delayed upturn since 1830 thanks to the bankrupt and immoral religion of austerity. The well-rehearsed problems in the Eurozone make the UK’s performance look more robust than it is. This is no roar away success. In fact, the UK’s growth rates lag well behind many countries around the world and not just the obvious brand leaders China, Indonesia and India.
A report just out from the admittedly wobbly International Monetary Fund indicates that relying on the Tories’ promise of economic wonders would be naïve to say the least. It points to the failure of the government to secure a more sustainable recovery after the 2008 crash. The IMF forecasts global growth of 3.5%, which is fairly static. It also warns of ‘complex’ issues affecting the sustainability of the recovery.
The recovery is variously described as ‘mediocre,’ ‘slow’ and ‘fragile.’ The UK’s growth is forecast to drop from 2.7% to 2.3% next year. The housing market is a particular concern.
In short, if you think it is Springtime for Cameron and Osborne and they can be trusted to shower us with the fruits of a coming economic boom, you are living in La La Land.

Dear Austerity Politician

Dear Austerity politician,
Yes, that is you Mr, Mrs or Ms Tory, Labour, Lib Dem or Uracist.
This is not a grumble about the big issues of the campaign. I will have my say on an issue-by-issue basis. No, it is the culture of the campaign. Some of the words you use just irritate me.
Let’s take ‘our country.’ Look, I know where I live. I am entirely comfortable with being English and more widely British. OK, some of the actions of its imperialist past and neo-imperialist present make me deeply uncomfortable, but I am not going to run around screaming unclean. We share a common patch of ground and it is quite pleasant, but I don’t go round shouting about it just because my parents had sex here sixty-one years ago. It is an accident we all share. Parading around wailing about ‘our country’ is cheap patriotism and patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. I assume you are choosing to identify yourself as a scoundrel. Very odd.
Then there is the plan. You all seem to have one. You have costed it and ironed it so it doesn’t have any creases. It used to be called your Manifesto, but that obviously doesn’t sound fiscally responsible enough. Just get on with answering journalists’ questions about how exactly you are going to pay for your promises please.
Finally, what is all this tosh about hard-working families? Most people work hard. They have very little choice. Most of those out of work are on their way into different work and the remainder are not scroungers, skivers or, God help us, the largely mythical ‘benefit tourists’, but the people in a tough spot the Welfare State was set up to help when circumstances stopped them joining the holy tribe of hard-working people. To drone on like this, mantra-style, just makes it sound as if you are demonising the disabled and the down-on-their-luck. There but for fortune go you or go I. I wish you were as keen to clamp down on tax evasion or MPs’ expenses fiddles.
I would like to think you will change your behaviour, but frankly, I don’t think you are listening.
Ta ta for now.

Quote of the day

“What qualities go to make a school teacher? The wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, the character of a saint, the knowledge of a doctor, a midwife and a sea-lawyer. These, combined with skill and determination and the hide of a newspaper reporter add up to the most difficult and rewarding profession.”

George Tomlinson
Minister of Education in the 1945-51 Attlee Government