:sunglasses: 37.5 % :pray: 50 % :laughing: 12.5 %
User avatar
By Andy McDandy
#23597
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... r-wife-tax

In which Marina Hyde casts her acerbic eye over our hapless chancellor.
Hard to pick a low point, but I’ll go with the time he turned down the request from the hugely respected educational recovery tsar Kevan Collins for £15bn in pandemic catch-up funding for children. Sunak would only fork out £1.4bn, which isn’t even twice what he spent buying people free burgers with “eat out to help out”. Collins resigned in despair. It emerged that an internal presentation had shown Sunak and others in Downing Street how failure to invest £15bn now in this failed generation of children would result in the state paying upwards of £160bn down the line in welfare and criminal justice. And still Sunak said no, presumably on the basis that that would all be someone else’s problem in the future. As David Cameron reportedly said to his aides before his post-referendum resignation: “Why should I do all the hard shit?”

And why should Rishi Sunak do it either? Why shouldn’t his wife tick the box and keep paying her 30 grand a year to stay out of things? Why shouldn’t statements of fact be denounced as smears? All sorts of things are optional if ordinary people would only realise it. Let them eat different breads.
User avatar
By kreuzberger
#23851
That final para and a masterclass in not becoming humiliated by a premature hot-take. She's far too smart for that.
Alas, here we are at the last paragraph, and I note Crispin Blunt still hasn’t been relieved of the whip. But the Metropolitan police has just confirmed it has now made more than 50 – FIFTY! – referrals for fixed-term penalty notices for lawbreaking Downing Street parties during lockdown. And No 10 confirms that two of those are for the actual prime minister and the actual chancellor. Just so endlessly, endlessly impressive. Then again, “most homes” and “most businesses” broke the law in the pandemic. We know this, because it was recently stated as fact by a hugely versatile authority figure. His name? Crispin Blunt. What a dazzling run of public service it continues to be.
User avatar
By Boiler
#24132
Stewart Lee: Why Brexit Britain is turning purple with shame

To summarise, at the start of last week the Conservative party included a child molester, a serial adulterer and compulsive liar, a handsome but morally bankrupt financial whiz-kid and a bully who sends immigrants to Rwanda. That’s less like a government and more like a special team of convicted criminals given their freedom in exchange for accepting an impossible mission behind enemy lines in a 1970s Italian-funded war film. Telly Savalas! Klaus Kinski!! Lewis Collins!!! Helga Liné!!!! Operation Dynamite Bastards!!!!!
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... with-shame
User avatar
By Andy McDandy
#24204
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... aking-laws

Marina Hyde on the PM and breaking the law.
The prime minister’s defenders have still failed to grasp one of the most essential truths of Johnson’s lifelong practice of behaving badly then lying about it: that there is always, always more to come. Being dismissive about cake in the cabinet room is very obviously going to leave you hostage to fortune if it turns out that Johnson is fined for more serious lawbreaking down the line.

Yet his allies are currently sticking to variations of a defence that basically amounts to, “Hey – that birthday party was the least criminal thing he did!” By the time we get to the fallout over who did or didn’t pour the first vat of wine at Caino’s leaving do, Johnson will be forced into some truly batshit contortions. Are you familiar with sovereign citizens? A new breed of conspiracy wingnut who argue that, actually, they can opt out of laws they don’t think should apply to them? No? Then do make sure to bone up on them, because you’re governed by one.

In the meantime, consider the sheer amount of time that an entire government and parliamentary party appears willing to spend clearing up after one man. Did they really get into politics to do this? Are they really waiting until the public tells them to stop? It certainly looks like it.
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User avatar
By Andy McDandy
#24405
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... izabeth-ii

Marina Hyde on the paradox at the heart of all royal reporting.
Not only did Harry later reveal that he and his grandmother had had a good-humoured tea – decried as oversharing by the sort of former aides who lucratively betrayed all his mother’s secrets – but he explained he’d been “making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her”. Can’t be sure what he’s on about.
“How CAN he do this to the Queen?” they always demand, apparently unwilling to realise that anyone who really cared about the Queen’s supposed feelings would simply avoid making it worse by ranting about the situation on every available airwave. That would surely be the most civilised course of action.
I’m not sure how much longer we can keep taking lectures in duty and service from people too emotionally incontinent to prevent themselves being exercised by a Dan Wootton article.

If they can’t commit to ignoring Prince Harry’s supposedly incendiary pronouncements, it’s past time for every single one of them to admit to themselves the truth: that they love the drama of the royal soap opera, and relish every new half-baked opportunity to re-enter the outrage cycle.
User avatar
By Andy McDandy
#24631
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... weet-angry

More Marina Hyde, this time looking at social media, and Elon Musk buying Twitter.
It doesn’t feel like a complete coincidence that all social media platforms are owned by men you’d run a mile from, socially.

Musk is one of them – a brilliant, horrid, ridiculous and very occasionally endearing grotesque. A sort of intergalactically successful Dominic Cummings.
The Musk takeover at least makes it easier to see whose pocket you’re putting money into as you delude yourself you’re winning arguments. I’m certainly not saying I follow this rule, but in general I think arguing on the internet is like playing real tennis: even if you win, you’re still a twat.
User avatar
By Andy McDandy
#24964
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... e-pro-life

Marina Hyde on the potential reversal of Roe vs Wade. No quotes, just read the thing.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... t-cronyism

From Friday, her more usual fare of ripping the piss out of the government.
I’ll tell you a phrase you never hear any more: “cut-through”. Whatever happened to people honking dismissively about “cut-through”? A year ago, you couldn’t move for know-it-all allies of this administration waving around a glass of brosé while explaining that this or that would never cut though to ordinary voters – that any amount of substandard behaviour is “priced in” to the public’s support for Boris Johnson and his administration. Voters didn’t care about this or that standard in public life, we kept hearing. Industrial levels of lying in government, raging incompetence, unfitness for high office alleged by his own lieutenants, cronyism, contempt for elderly and vulnerable people, getting donors to pay for luxury holidays and interior design schemes – these moral failings didn’t matter, we were told time and again, because voters didn’t think they mattered. A form of high-concept severance had taken place, where all sorts of individuals who should have known better were quite happy to effectively assert that morality had been successfully divorced from politics.

Yet this has not in fact happened. Far from forgetting that standards in public life matter, and feeling their absence only as the occasional twinge of a phantom limb, much of the public has spent much of this year absolutely furious about what they perceive as outrageous misbehaviour in politics, which they know only too well would not be tolerated in their own workplaces or their own homes during lockdown. And this was before we got the latest explosion of sexual misconduct that could and should blow up into a proper scandal. The risk of knowing the price of everything is that you can end up forgetting about its value. Ordinary people are turning out to have longer memories.
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