The government really hasn’t been doing enough to flex its authoritarian muscles of late. Seriously though, what on earth is the whole point of being in charge if you’re not willing to abuse your position every now and then? Nine times out of ten when it comes to this variety of situation going down it’ll be some brand of self serving nonsense related to personal vendettas or randomly trying to promote junk you like. Approximately ten per cent of the time though, something halfway to kind of alright occurs.
I’m afraid I can’t tell you the particular story I was thinking of. Not because it’s totally made up but rather more down to the fact that it involves the bribery of an official, a little smidgen of nepotism and an enduring grudge against a slice of life most people wouldn’t honestly consider to be a problem. I did get my way in the end though.
Anyway, let’s move away from my supposed misdeeds and into the ever so slightly less murky waters of getting problems sorted. Something bad and genuinely contributing to public harm? Ban it. No sweat, once people know that it’s no longer permitted they’ll both not want to do it anymore or even feel the urge to participate in whatever activity it is. What about if you simply generally disapprove of something for ill defined reasons? Ban that too.
This is the thinking that has lead the Ministry of Transport (or whoever. They had official forms and headed notepaper so it was definitely all above board) to the conclusion that it should ban this BA chaos and all that chicanery. If non-service has been downright outlawed then even if the computers are on actual fire then the support staff will just have to work that much harder to find a workaround because anything else has been banned. End of.
Even her closest aides are starting to worry about her. In fact, given that they spend so much time with her they have more cause for concern than most. She isolates herself and has become completely obsessed with the pursuit of power.
One advisor, who has since been sworn to complete and utter secrecy (I, however am highly persuasive and was able to coax the story out of them with coquettishness and a heroic amount of alcohol) was accidentally privy to the sight of Mrs May prancing about in a cloak designed to be a replica of the Queen’s. It was rather disturbing, sure, but not as unsettling as the notion that she’s going to take these delusions of grandeur further into the public sphere. She’s determined to have a reign more glorious than any other previous Prime Minister.
It is for these reasons and others (not even a full bottle of vodka was enough to get them to spill certain secrets. She has properly dug the boot in to the point that people are really rather scared), that said trusted political allies may have ever so slightly gone totally behind Theresa’s back. Their plan was to sketch out a few rough draft trade deals with the EU in preparation for the actual negotiations later in the year. This would ensure an easy win for the lady Prime Ministeress and secure a glorious legacy for her.
The real truth is that all the rhetoric has gone to her head and those close to her don’t trust that she can get the stuff she’s promising done. Also, it’s actually the case that she won’t be the one at the table and as unstable as Theresa’s showing herself to be, Boris is very much the same and then some. If the groundwork isn’t done for him who knows what farcical nonsense he’ll walk out with?
One of the biggest problems with the whole election cycle nowadays is that it’s all really rather doom and gloom. We’re forced to consider in lurid detail precisely how the country is going to dogs under the current administration or how it would definitely descend to the depths of hell were their bitter rivals allowed to have a go at cracking the whip.
It’s unclear as to whether or not Donald Trump kicked off this whole trend or merely perpetrated it. However, it’s clear that it’s an attitude that’s around to stay if we don’t do something or other about it. One of the problems of using fear as a motivator when it comes to attempting to get people to vote is that it’s all too easy for the mood to tip over into apathetic depression. Once you’ve hit emotional rock bottom you’re not going to care too much either way regarding who’s in charge.
Luckily, spin doctors and election consultants have at long last realised that it’s time and past for just a little injection of joy. Now, this is hardly going to come from the fulfilment of campaign pledges so the fun is going to have to come from a different source. Therefore, in a melding of the need for lightness and the new old climate of opponent bashing a delightful event has hatched.
I mean, who hasn’t daydreamed about the excellent exercise in ridiculousness that is a leaders debate performed through the medium of a rap battle? This is the real reason why Theresa and Jeremy couldn’t bring themselves to participate in the lacklustre effort on ITV. They were far too busy practicing their mad rhymes ahead of the epic throw down that at this moment in time is just around the corner. Brace yourselves and take a moment to indulge in a smile.
How dare people even contemplate the notion of state sponsored time off? To lay down one’s tools (or more increasingly, abandon the keyboard in favour of more frivolous pursuits) for leisure time is an affront to modern society in general. Of course, there will be those who trot out those tired old excuses that bank holidays mean time spent shopping and in various tourist destinations which in turn stimulates the economy. But that’s nonsense. The only way that we’ll make our way out of the black hole of austerity is with noses ground all the way down to nubs courtesy of grindstones.
So if you’re so much as considering a trip to the seaside, time spent on home improvements or anything of that sort you really ought to be branded as an enemy of the state (my own personal plans of using the weekend to host my other half’s parents and then indulging on some downtime on Monday is obviously especially heinous. We may even go to a National Trust property, how heinous). Forget about terrorist planning to blow their fellow humans to kingdom come or hackers fleecing poor computer users for all they’ve got, you’re the literal worst.
If those squares at your current workplace insist on shutting up shop (although, shops stay open so that was probably a poor choice in wording. I pointed it out though, so it becomes a post-modern observation. Excellent, and clever to boot), you could always use your time in taking up a second job at short notice. Work those fingers to the bone and perhaps your children, or if not your children’s children,, will be able to afford that beautiful sustaining gruel they’ve been hearing so much about of late. If you relax for so much as a single solitary minute though you’re basically guaranteeing a nosedive in the value of the pound.
She’s been working on her disapproving face for some time now. You really don’t want to put yourself in a position wherein it will be turned on you, it’s far more devastating than a death sentence (it’s hardly as if one of those is going to deter a suicide bomber anyway). The Prime Minister will fix you with an icy glare that will seemingly fix you in place and, just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, begin to purse her lips. Then potentially slap you with a crippling fine or a prison sentence. But the look will be worse.
In a time when the leader of the government is basically just a figurehead (even more so than the Queen put in place by that whole hereditary monarchy nonsense) they have to have something to do. I mean really, the economy pretty much looks after itself and we have more than enough laws to keep us going for the foreseeable future. It makes total sense for the nominal leader in charge of a first world nation to turn to the deliciously tempting world of crime fighting.
For a random example, if you told Donald Trump that he could forget all about this foreign trips nonsense where he has to spend time in buildings that don’t bear his name (the gold medals don’t quite make up for the inconvenience), don a leather jacket and drive around beating up criminals he’d jump at the chance. Melania wouldn’t dare bat his hand away if it was dripping in the blood of all those violent illegal immigrants he’s determined to rid his country of. You’d certainly get a wider demographic of people putting themselves up for the top job of heading a nation if they knew it wasn’t going to be irritatingly desk and diplomacy based. Watch out ne’er-do-wells, Theresa’s coming for you.
I could totally kick things off by mocking. Imagine my cutting remarks that will no doubt change everything you’ve ever thought about the nature of darkness and the methods we’ve previously employed to fight it. It’ll be downright satirical and incredibly worthy. But you definitely don’t deserve that so welcome to a rambling incoherent mess that won’t actually go anywhere. That’s more your level (not mine).
Another way for me to go is to crow for an extended period that I was totally right – there’s nothing but the Manchester attack in the papers. Ah, that pure vindication coursing through my veins. It’s all about terror and its associated links, sorrow, killings and the army heading out and about to protect people or something. Short of an entirely separate attack going down somewhere else, the media were hardly going to find anything else to talk about.
When this sort of thing happens, there are all sorts of thoughts you’re not supposed to have. You’re definitely not meant to be influenced by the media to in any way glorify the attacker (I’m not saying that’s happening but it’s something that comes up in these sorts of situations. Especially with the field day some journalists are having attempting to track down families of the victims. That may not have made sense but I just saw a thing on Twitter and it made me angry. Let people be).
Another thing that you certainly shouldn’t think about is the disruption to your personal schedule. Rather than fixating on irrelevant ephemera, forget entirely about the regular programming you were looking forward to and the extent to which you don’t want the voices coming out of your radio to fixate on the tragedy. Don’t worry, there will be unexpected surprises. Like martial law being declared on the beleaguered city and the consequences that will reveal themselves in time.
While there is a slight scattering of diversity among the newspaper headlines there is only really one story. I’m sure that the papers that were put to bed prior to the terrorist attack will redress the balance tomorrow. A coward blew himself up in the foyer of a Manchester arena at the time filled with predominantly women and young girls. Terror isn’t as far away as we can sometimes trick ourselves into believing.
Was it a failure in the venue’s security? Did the intelligence agencies allow the bomber to slip the net? At the end of the day, it probably doesn’t even matter. Well intentioned protocols are already in place, there are networks of hard working individuals keeping us safe in ways we’ll probably never hear about. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for anyone to get through. The cruder methods I heard all about on the radio (vehicles and knives) are incredibly difficult to protect everyone against all the time.
So you have to lay the blame at the feet of the perpetrator rather than the authorities or venue staff and operators. The person in question, as has been pointed out, deservers no glory, no build up. I could start with some wild speculation about his intentions or how he managed to get himself to the point of killing himself and murdering those around him. But that’s not useful.
All you can do (well, not all. If at all possible you can get yourself up to the scene to try and help out but that can be a tall order. If you’re someone with social media influence and reach – i.e. not me – you can spread the word about missing children in the hope of reuniting them with worried parents) is try and be sensitive, thoughtful and constructive. And do your best to spread a little joy amongst the sadness. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.