Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh, for fuck's sake...

... David Cameron has put the odious Ken Clarke back on the front bench.
Former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke will return to the Conservative front bench as part of a major reshuffle on Monday, BBC News has learned.

Tory leader David Cameron has given the role of shadow business secretary to his former party leadership rival.

At the time of the Tory leadership race, of course, some media outlets (the Beeb, mainly) were talking about Clarke and Cameron (in that order) being a "dream ticket". Your humble Devil was not tremendously impressed and made a few comments on Fatty Clarke (as he was traditionally known in the Devil's household).
Essentially, because [Clarke] is insane, and here's my reasoning:
  • Ken Clarke believes in the EU, and believes that Britain should be in it.

  • No one in their right mind believes the EU is a good thing.

  • Therefore, Ken Clarke is mad. QED.

One could take it further, and say that he is not, in fact, a conservative. My reasons?
  • Ken Clarke believes in the EU.

  • The EU's philosophy is that of micromanagement of the population by the state.

  • A conservative believes in personal liberty, business as the engine of wealth, light regulation, and in small government—the agents of which are servants of those who elect them—which is always able to act in the best interests of the people who elect them (i.e. not being tied by diktats from Brussels).

  • Therefore, Ken Clarke is not a conservative. QED. He is, however, mad.

That all seems pretty simple,eh?

Furthermore, Ken Clarke has absolute contempt for you, the voter. First off, he totally disagrees with referendums: here he is, in his own words, outlining why the British people should not have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

As you can imagine, your humble Devil had a few words to say about that...
Westmonster quotes Ken Clarke, one of the most unpleasant, authoritarian cunts ever to occupy that Chamber—and there is, let's face it, some stiff competition. Lest one should be in any doubt about Ken's commitment to democracy, here's a telling extract.
I personally think that referendums are a way of weakening Parliament and getting round parliamentary authority in regard to key issues of this kind. I have never accepted that they should be the way forward. For example, the House should vote this evening that it is in favour of the Bill and of the treaty. If we were then to hold a kind of organised opinion poll in which the right-wing press would seek to achieve the result that it wanted, and if ratification of the treaty were defeated, would we all be expected to come back to the House and vote against our judgment of the national interest in line with the result of the referendum?

Yes, Ken, that is precisely what you should do, because this is a fucking democracy, you fat, fucking piece of dried up dog-crap. Fuck you and all of the other evil, self-satisfied scum who are of the same mind, you patrician cunt-rag.

Ken Clarke may think that referendums weaken Parliament, and he would, no doubt, employ the same argument as David Miliband:
... we are a parliamentary democracy and this is an amending treaty...

I note that Miliband does not use the normal form of words, i.e. "representative democracy". And why?

Because when 98% of those MPs elected represented themselves to the electors—by means of their published manifesto—they promised a referendum on the EU Constitution. Committees and authoritative figures, both here and overseas, agree that the Lisbon Treaty is the EU Constitution in all but name.

Therefore, the MPs have reneged on their promises to the voters: in fact, they have represented themselves falsely (an action which, in any other area, we would call fraud, and a criminal offence). In other words, those MPs who promised a referendum on this issue now occupy their place in the House under false pretences: they should either insist on the promised referendum, or resign en masse. All of those MPs who voted to pass this Bill without a referendum are proven liars, cheats and frauds.

But did you expect anything else?

It will come as no surprise to even semi-regular readers of The Kitchen that I expected no honour from this particular pack of thieves, a bunch of people—and I use that word in its loosest possible sense—who are interested in nothing more than maintaining their fat fucking taxpayer-funded salaries and even more generous taxpayer-funded perks (an attitude that is amply illustrated by the perfidious Clarke's ever-burgeoning waistline and multiple dewlap chins).

What is particularly galling about that fat cunt, Clarke, setting himself up as the arbiter of good sense on our behalf is that he was also very in favour of the Maastricht Treaty. He was extremely vocal in the campaign to push it through Parliament and then, after it had gone through, had the absolute fucking cheek to admit that he hadn't even bothered to read it.

Many people would say that Clarke was, at least, a good Chancellor of the Exchequer and that point could certainly be argued. However, so flawed is his judgement in every other field, that I am beginning to believe that his success was as premeditated as Tony Blair's; the grinning jackanapes famously said, at a Yale lecture, late last year...
"It is true that we had 10 years of record growth when I was Prime Minister. I have, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that it was luck."

Well, maybe it was down to Clarke's handling of the economy. Maybe not.

What is most certainly true is that this fat, authoritarian, pro-EU, deeply corrupt, lazy fucking cunt should not be on the front bench. If nothing else, it will allow NuLabour to turn around and oh-so-predictably intone that "this is a sign that the Tories haven't changed"—and I am getting seriously fucking bored of that line.

Fuck Clarke and stuff Cameron: they are proven liars, the pair of them.


John B said...

"that is precisely what you should do, because this is a fucking democracy"

No, we're a fucking representative democracy, not a fucking direct democracy.

If Clarke were a Swiss politician, he'd be proposing a radical shift in the way things were done; as a British politician he's merely pointing out what the political system we have, and that has served us pretty well over the last 1000 years or so, is.

(the 1970s decision to have a referendum in the first place was the appalling one in this context)

Devil's Kitchen said...

John B,

"No, we're a fucking representative democracy, not a fucking direct democracy."

There are two problems with this:

1) Politicians represented themselves to the people: that is what a manifesto is for. In this case, politicians have misrepresented themselves by breaking a manifesto promise.

And just in case we are going to get jiggy about the value of those promises, let us remind ourselves that manifesto pledges have a special status in the House (not least the easy justification for using the Parliament Act).

2) It would be fine to allow those who are more well-informed to represent us, but they are not necessarily more well-informed: Clarke's advocation of the Maastricht Treaty whilst not having read it is just one example.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me this is a classic case of political symbiosis.

Yes Clarke is unpopular with the party, but he seems to be popular with electorate at large.

The Tories are ahead in the polls despite their economic message not because of it and so need to up their game, Clarke is good at putting across complex economic messages well.

Clarke handed Brown a golden economic legacy which Brown has taken all the credit for and is a point he is vulnerable on.

So the Tories get an effective economic communicator and Clarke gets to rescue his economic legacy and massage his vanity.

Tories win the next election, Clarke gets reshuffled out of existence - job done.

The Filthy Smoker said...

"First off, he totally disagrees with referendums"

So do I, although I agree with referenda.

Eton. Over-rated I reckon.

- The Filthy Pedant

Anonymous said...

Eton may be over overrated, but at least they appear to teach basic spelling and have some dictionaries in the library:

referendum (rEf@"rEnd@m). Pl. referendums, -enda.
[L., gerund or neut. gerundive of referre to refer.]
1. The practice or principle (in early use chiefly associated with the Swiss constitution) of submitting a question at issue to the whole body of voters.
In terms of its Latin origin, referendums is logically preferable as a modern plural form meaning ballots on one issue (as a Latin gerund referendum has no plural); the Latin plural gerundive referenda, meaning 'things to be referred', necessarily connotes a plurality of issues. Those who prefer the form referenda are presumably using words like agenda and memoranda as models. Usage varies at the present time (1981), but The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (1981) recommends referendums, and this form seems likely to prevail.

Footling chap

The Filthy Smoker said...

It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong about Latin. I retract.

Romani eunt domus.

John B said...

"In this case, politicians have misrepresented themselves by breaking a manifesto promise."

That's true. You've got a clash of constitutional traditions being ignored - on the one hand, holding referendums is A Bad Thing constitutionally; on the other hand, breaking manifesto promises is also A Bad Thing constitutionally. The obvious answer is 'don't fucking promise things in manifestos that you shouldn't be promising', but that would involve politicians not being two-faced pondlife.

I'd rather see manifesto commitments broken than the gradual introduction of direct democracy (or 'tyranny of the majority', as I prefer to call it), on the grounds that politicians are merely grasping egomaniacs, while the general public are authoritarian bastards [*]. YMMV.

"Clarke's advocation of the Maastricht Treaty whilst not having read it is just one example."

He did, however, read detail briefing notes on it prepared by the actual experts within the Civil Service. Even taking an insanely optimistic view of the population's levels of informed-ness, this puts him in the top 5% of 'people with informed opinions about Maastrict'.

"Yes Clarke is unpopular with the party, but he seems to be popular with electorate at large... Tories win the next election, Clarke gets reshuffled out of existence - job done."

I seem to recall a lot of old-school Labour types saying the same thing about Blair and his -ites in 1996.

[*] if you take *any* measure to defend the rights of people who harm no-one but themselves but are unpopular - from hookers through to drug users, smokers and drinkers through to extreme porn fans - you can guarantee it'll be popular among the public. People in general are too dim to get the difference between 'I don't like this, but it has no effect on me so *bothered*' and 'People ought to go to jail for doing this'.

JD said...


Facebook group to encourage all here in Ireland to vote NO to Lisbon since we've been told to vote again!

Wat Dabney said...

Being fat and avuncular, dressing like a child molester and having tabloid name recognition now qualifies you as a Tory political big hitter apparently.
In a party of even mediocre talent someone like Clark would never rise above junior spear carrier. That he is deemed a party heavyweight tells us all we need to know about the state of the Conservative party. In that respect he's very much like that other worthless shit, the mongoloid Chris Patton.

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