June 2024

Reputation is like virginity

Blundering Theresa Lagaffe?

“A reputation is like virginity – once lost, it’s rather difficult to get back”. I don’t know which genius wrote that. It might even be me?

It was excruciating and somewhat sad watching the Tory conference in Manchester, particularly Saint Theresa’s great leader’s closing speech. The Tories are probably not hugely liked by most people. But since the disastrous Blair/Brown years, when it comes to elections and choosing the party that will govern most competently, the Tories tend beat Labour with most voters apart from the idiotic, narcissistic, safe-space, we want-to-be-ruled-by-Germany, immigrants-welcome, snowflake generation.

But a reputation is fragile. And like virginity, once lost it’s rather difficult to regain.

With May’s seemingly endless prevarication over triggering Article 50 to leave the EU, with her bungled and unnecessary election and with her cabinet constantly at each other’s throats, the Tories have lost their reputation for competence. And once they’ve lost that, what have they got to offer voters apart from a few watered-down policies – stuff on student fees, council houses, energy prices etc – all blatantly plagiarised from Comrade Corbyn’s resurgent Labour? Perhaps Saint Theresa’s hapless offering yesterday was the last straw that will have turned the Tories from the party of competence to a complete laughing stock?

There used to be a French comic-strip character called Gaston Lagaffe. “Gaffe” is, of course the French for “gaffe”. Gaston was a gag-a-day comic strip created in 1957 by the Belgian cartoonist Andre Franquin in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Spirou. The series focuses on the everyday life of Gaston Lagaffe (whose surname means “the blunder”), a lazy and accident-prone office junior. I guess Gaston was a kind of French Mr Bean.

After yesterday’s farce, it’ getting ever more difficult to spot the difference between the blundering, hapless, accident-prone office junior Gaston, Mr Bean and our very own accident-prone political superstar Theresa May – a woman clearly promoted well above her level of competence:

Generally, it’s not great for a political leader to be seen as an accident-prone bungler. To be successful, a leader should command our respect, not elicit our pity.

This rather leaves the Tories stuck between a very big rock and an even bigger hard place. If they get rid of Theresa “Gaston Lagaffe” May, then Labour and the public will probably demand a new election which Comrade Jeremy “Maduro” Corbyn would win with a landslide and then turn Britain into Europe’s Venezuela. But if the Tories keep Theresa “Mr Bean” May as leader, then we risk another two to three years of recidivist slipping on banana skins till May eventually quits for supposed “health” or “family” reasons to be replaced by someone less accident-prone.

At a time when our enemies – France and Germany – have strong leaders, Britain has a total shambles of a government.

As we approach Brexit, it’s not looking great for once Great Britain.

2 comments to Reputation is like virginity

  • Stillreading

    Not sure that either France or Germany have such strong leaders now as appeared to be the case some months ago. Macron’s popularity is on the wane, the ridiculous euphoria which greeted his election having now melted away like the snowflakes which generated it, and in Germany the AfD party has members in the Bunderstag for the first time. Merkel’s CDU, received barely 30% of the vote in the recent German election and she’s only still Chancellor because she was just able to form a coalition and at present there’s no other obvious candidate to replace her. Theresa May is indeed fairly disastrous as PM, being in reality, as we all know, a closet (or not so closet) “Remainer”. Furthermore, she lacks totally that elusive quality, charisma, without which it appears impossible for any politician to acquire an enthusiastic following in this age of broadcast media. That, surely, is the reason David Davies is not Tory Leader and PM? He comes across “merely” as a decent, honest, capable, grey-haired man-in-a-suit. No bells and whistles, no witty turn of phrase, no flash of teeth or ghastly grin, just a man who would have been infinitely more effective in the Brexit negotiations than May has so far shown herself to be. Those of us of a certain age remember of course the “reign” of T. Bliar, who was believed to have charisma in spades (could never see it myself!) and who lied to the country and took us into an illegal war. Today’s broadcast media are, predictably I suppose, concentrating more on poor Mrs May’s cold and consequent loss of voice than on the fact that the “policies” she announced were merely watered-down versions of Corbyn Communism, and were brought forth in a desperate attempt to appeal to the snowflake generation. I doubt they will and she’s lost much support from older, traditional Tory supporters. Waiting for a bus yesterday I got into a conversation with others of my free-bus-pass generation, all of whom are so disillusioned with all things political, from all parties, that they invariably switch off as soon as the news is political or when a politician pontificates. Ordinary older people, those who quietly struggle on modest incomes are, in their disillusion and cynicism, generally taking the view that since the Reaper is inevitably lurking, it’s more conducive to peace of mind to think about something else and let the younger generations sort it out for themselves. Good luck with that! So much is now wrong with the UK that it is, in truth, impossible to see an effective, workable way forward. NHS being ruthlessly privatised, nurses so stressed they leave the hospital for Macdonald’s, Police admitting they no longer respond to cases of minor crime (define “minor” please, Chief Constable?) Teachers leaving the profession within a couple of years of qualifying, being unable to tolerate the mayhem that is the modern school and the constant imposition of ever more regulation. How much supressed anger is there, I ask myself frequently, currently silently simmering, coming gradually to the boil, not only in the UK but in other European countries whose native populations have had the will of politicians, in the name of multiculturalism and inclusivity, imposed upon them against their better judgement? We can only wait and watch.

  • Joe Schmoe

    When the prankster got to the front of the stage to hand Mrs May the P45 and then turned to talk to Johnson, all the front bench just sat there and did nothing.

    However when Mrs May had her coughing fits, it was Amber Rudd that got her colleagues up to clap to give her time to recover.
    She appears to me to be the only credible leader from the front bench.

    As for that lying, self serving, cheating on his wife, egotisitical, hump Boris Johnson. He should be fired.

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