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Post 224: Labour Pains

No, I haven’t got a major announcement to make, it’s honestly just a hernia and I sincerely hope that final relief will come via a surgeon and not a midwife. I’m not even in any great pain at the moment, … but I suspect that Gordon Brown might be. Last weekend I went to see the movie ’The Boat that Rocked’, a Richard Curtis comedy about the growth and eventual demise of Pirate Radio in the 1960’s and 70’s,…. and since then I’ve come over all nostalgic. While I’m now busily downloading a whole new range of music onto my iPod and wishing that they’d bring back Spitting Image, Gordon’s hoping that Spitting Image will remain in it’s box but that Alistair Campbell will make a return to Downing Street instead.

I’ve absolutely no wish to get ‘Political’ here, either correctly or incorrectly, but as my week has progressed on the shady side of dull, I’ve got absolutely nothing else to write about. Damian McBride, one of Gordon Brown’s closest personal friends and senior advisers, has been sending scurrilous emails to a ‘’Labour Blogger’’ in which he claims to be developing stories that are designed to undermine the credibility of David Cameron and George Osborne. Now, I’m certainly not against dishing the dirt on our political elite, but I’d expect that any gossip emanating from 10 Downing Street would be a little more credible than that found in the school playground or the Daily Express.

David Cameron and Gideon Osborne -he wisely changed his name to George before entering politics - are men born into aristocratic families and have thus enjoyed the privileges that their family fortunes have afforded them. They’ve enjoyed the finest educations that money could buy and have passed through the venerable gates of St Paul’s School, Eton College and Oxford. At Oxford, as undergraduates with money in both their pockets and their trust funds, they became members of the notorious Bullingdon Club, a posh dining club where an excess of money seemingly more than compensates for any lack in behavioural standards. With the Darius‘s and Sebastian’s of David and George’s set now feeling the fiscal pinch and hawking their Old Masters down at Cash Converter‘s in Belgravia , just how dim is Damien McBride that he feels the need to ’invent’ any stories in the first place? Get the Sun or News of the World to flash some cash in exchange for some dirt, they get the ’Story’ and Darius and Sebastian can keep their paintings. If this story had been in a preliminary script for ’Yes Minister’, it would have kicked back for being too unbelievable. For heaven’s sake, surely you can’t go through the English boarding school system and not leave any skeletons clinking away in your designer travelling trunk, …. can you? It might not have been quite so bad if the stories had simply concerned the two Ministers because at least they chose to enter politics in the first place, but the attacks were also aimed at their families. Apparently Mr McBride thought that it would be a good idea to question the mental state of their respective wives, ...... less than four weeks after the death of the Cameron's eldest son,... what a nice guy! Gordon Brown has expressed his 'Regret' to the families concerned, but has so far refused to actually say that he is 'Sorry'. The metamorphis of New Labour into Old Tory is now seemingly complete and Downing Street is once more the 'comedic', and sadly not 'tragic', gift that just can’t stop giving. My advice to Gordon Brown is not to call for Alistair Campbell‘s return, ….. but to instead seek advice from Sir Humphrey.

The other thing that distracted me from my boredom this week were the new demonstrations in Thailand. This week it was the turn of the folk’s wearing Red to be vexed with the Thai Government and this in turn provided an ideal opportunity for the people dressed in Blue to get angry with everybody else. I assume that the Yellow’s simply couldn’t think of anything new to be annoyed about and so stayed at home to enjoy the weekends Songkran festivities instead. I don’t pretend to understand anything at all about the politics of Thailand but I think that the Red's support Taksin because of his 'Buy One Get One Free' offer on cows for the farmers and that the Yellow's didin't like that policy because they were asked to pay for the cows. As for the Blue's, well I think that they just like throwing stones at anybody dressed in any colour other than blue. Every time that I travel to Thailand I carry an assortment of coloured tee shirts in my hand luggage, ….. just in case.
Meanwhile in North Korea, Kim Jong Il has kicked out the Nuclear Inspectors because they didn't believe that the satellite he launched two weeks ago was simply for the purposes of playing 'Revolutionary Music' to the rest of the world. Kim Jong Il is an interesting looking man, and if you ever wondered what 'Brains' did after he retired from Thunderbirds, .... look no further,...... but I often wonder what happened to the delicious Tin-Tin.

On Saturday morning, I collected a rather heavy package from the printers. It’s the latest draft of the book, a word document, four hundred pages of double spaced ‘Ariel 10’ words, it weighs several kilo’s and cost a small fortune to have printed. Unfortunately, before saving the document onto a memory stick, I’d forgotten to employ ’Tools’ and hadn’t added ’Page Numbers’ to the file. After inadvertently rearranging the sequence, Sunday evening and the majority of Monday have been spent trying to put the pages back into the correct order. You wouldn’t think that this was a difficult task, but it bloody is in a room measuring 4m x 3m and when your reading glasses are nowhere to be found. Now that it‘s finally back in sequence, I’ve got to find my glasses, buy a pack of red pens and edit the whole thing again before hawking it around to see if anybody is willing to publish it. Perhaps they will, perhaps they wont, and while the labour of writing it has been a pain ….. actually doing something worth writing about has been the biggest blast of my entire life.

Hopefully I’ll have something more ‘Bikey’ to write about next week, … for tomorrow I pick up a new Triumph from Hinckley. I still don’t know what I’ll do with it or even where I’ll take it, but I’ve promised Triumph’s press department that I’ll try not to crash this one, … so fingers crossed.

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