A Tale of the Bleeding Obvious

This morning, The Jam’s 1979 classic song Eton Rifles is repeat playing in my unpredictable mind. Within the song lyrics, Paul Weller’s rhetorical question ‘What chance have you got against a tie and a crest?’ particularly resonates among GJ Strachan’s cranial corridors.

I’m not sure what triggered thoughts of this punk/mod anthem, released shortly after I started working as a 16 year old lad. It was the year Margaret Thatcher ascended to the Downing Street throne.

Little did I, or indeed anyone else, know this political development would result in my new employers, the National Coal Board (latterly British Coal) being privatised within 15 years. The 15 pits still in production sold to a company called UK Coal plc.

Perhaps my thoughts of The Jam song followed this morning’s witnessing of a video clip on social media. Movie pictures of our ‘fragrant’ Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, being ticked off by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

A scolding resultant from his discourteous use of a mobile phone in the lower house. An action rightly deemed rude, taking place as it did while a member on the opposition benches was addressing the House.

Hunt, a man who exemplifies the privileged public schoolboy that Weller refers to when he penned the line ‘What chance have you got against a tie and a crest?’ One of many in the Tory party who, through the absence of a credible opposition, behave with distasteful arrogance in the knowledge their jobs are safe for a few more years.

After all, in the up and coming General Election, no one’s gonna vote in big enough numbers for the lefties led by the bloke who dresses like Wurzel Gummidge……. Are they? He’s a chap of well meaning intentions and obvious humanity, but he appears to wear his ‘disarm trident head’ too often for the liking of the electoral majority.

As a result, in all likelihood after the 8th June General Election, Wurzel, sorry I mean Jeremy Corbyn will have more time on his hands for a cup of tea and a slice of cake with Aunt Sally.

This kindly chap, who looks like he’s clothed from the House of Commons ‘Lost Property’ section, surely robbed of the opportunity of fulfilling his dream of being Prime Minister.

A role that would have seen him peering across at the opposition benches, at a hopefully less smug Hunt, with his ‘tie and a crest’ cohorts……. An unlikely victory that would answer ‘Every chance.” to Paul Weller’s rueful enquiry in Eton Rifles.

Let me be clear, I don’t believe in the judging a person’s worthiness to run the country on how sartorially elegant they are. Surely knowledge, party policies, humanity and leadership qualities maketh man (or woman)…….. Or at least maketh a capable Prime Minister.

Unfortunately, like washing up liquid and chocolate bars, aesthetics are one of the elements used in contemporary politics to sell us our leaders. One of Corbyn’s predecessors as Labour leader, Michael Foot would be spinning in his donkey jacket at this facile development in the electoral process.

“What is the moral of this story, Gary?”, I hear you ask.

“Why have you penned this nonsense that has little message other than what we knew already, ie Jeremy Hunt appears to be an arrogant so and so, while Jeremy Corbyn has more chance of a date with actress Margot Robbie than becoming Prime Minister?”, I hear you further enquire.

Well, my parable of the two Jeremy’s has a very simple meaning. It is an expression of my personal observation, for what it’s worth, that Labour will never have a chance against ‘a tie and a crest’ with it’s incumbent leader.

Cue the collective sound of jaws dropping on tables, followed by a disparaging exclamation of “No s**t, Sherlock!”

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