Will the leaders of the two main English Political parties ever realise that consensus politics simply don’t work if there ain’t no consensus?
But first let me introduce my main characters: Blimp and Fudger.
Firstly Blimp, or Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Blimp to give him his full name.
I’ve started with Blimp because he’s in charge (nominally) and I’ve always been drawn towards the alliterative: The Boris Blimp. This flew above London during our recent troubles, full of gas, wind, presenting an over-inflated view of its alter ego. It is only part of my inspiration for this image of our glorious leader in times of such awful strife.
Colonel Blimp was a chubby cartoon character developed by David Low in the 1930s who specialized in issuing proclamations whilst waving some kind of prop to stress the importance of the point he was making. He was particularly adept at sowing confusion through these pronouncements, often containing direct contradictions which, just as often, petered-out into bumbling burblings. It was as though he had set out on a sentence having absolutely no idea where it might end up.
His emotion was often apparent in his demeanour and this led to his suggestions such as a clarion cry that “The government is marching over the edge of an abyss, and the nation must march solidly behind them.”
Blimp was a reactionary; an isolationist, with no time for the concerns of the common people, and he exhibited a distinct lack of enthusiasm for democracy.
Does any of that sound familiar?
Orwell described Blimps as having “bull necks and diminutive brains” and our PM certainly fits that particular bill.
So, all that and pompous and conservative – does this sound like anyone you may have seen cycling in a park near you, or heard on TV recently? If so, please contact the Police or CrimeStoppers before he causes any further damage.
Warning: Blimps may go down as well as up with inflation/deflation and can cause significant damage if they fall from grace.
and remember the Blimp message:
Talk crap Deny it Do it again
Now to Fudger, or Sir Kier Fudger to give him his full title
Hard fudge, soft fudge, or maybe somewhere in between?
Not sure? Well just leave it on the fence for a while and see what happens.
Fudge once meant to adjust or fit together and later went on to mean hoax or cheat, which both fit my intended use to describe the Leader of the Opposition. However, in the interest of completeness, let me set out the two main present-day meanings of Fudge.
Firstly, fudge seems to sit somewhere between a fondant and caramel and may have been discovered and named when someone in the US was trying to make caramel and fudged it up! This may be true because “Fudge!” has long been used as an anodyne expletive (One of the “Sugar!” in place of “Shit!” variety no doubt). Even this may be a bit of a fudge, because the edible stuff does seem to be a softer derivative of the Scottish “Tablet”, which has more integrity and at least has something to get your teeth into.
Personally, I find this whole family of confectionary too cloying and, to be frank, a bit sickening. Just about OK in very small doses.
The second and more appropriate use of the word for my purposes is the one that relates to a distinct lack of plain, honest and decisive speaking.
So, what is a fudge?
Well to start with, it is a contrivance made primarily to fit a particular situation; it blurs issues rather than making them clearer; it bends the truth to suit; it lives in the murky waters of compromise where it hides from its arch-enemies: Principles, Truth and Justice.
It is a bottom feeder where it lives on vagueness and half-truths and conceals its real intentions under a cloak of sweet reason.
Fudge is not even a reliable cheat as it can turn to a grainy inedible mess at the drop of a hat because it never really believes in its own destiny.
So, on balance, I think the Leader of our Opposition, such as it is, can reasonably carry the mantle of Fudger with pride – at least until he stops skulking in the muddy waters of chasing consensus at the cost of principles and justice.
By the way, extensive research has revealed that marshmallow fluff is an interesting ingredient in modern day fudge! I have no idea what it is but please don’t tell our Fudger, he’ll be all over it!
Fudger’s message :
Abstain Complain Abstain again
A clear choice of allegiance
We are faced with a clear choice. Unfortunately, it seems to be which kind of Tory government we prefer.
Do we prefer the self-absorbed and self-obsessed Blimp Tory, intent almost entirely on making money for himself and his backers and creating some kind of imaginary legacy that his many offspring can be proud of at the expense of the rest of us?
Or would we rather go for a sort of oversweet, eminently unctuous, café crème sort of Fudger-Tory that follows basically the same path but with a heavy topping of fudged positions, dripping with caramel expedient that can be turned any way the public taste swings? Beware though, for its hidden shallows conceal shards of broken dreams that may cause choking hazards.
It is easy to con ourselves into believing that the small decisions we make don’t make much difference in the scheme of things; that our little lies, compromises or omissions don’t matter much. After all, we all make less than ethical decisions from time to time, or appropriate someone else’s ideas, or fudge some position or argument. The trouble is, that when you are the one in charge, much more is required of you.
So, Blimp or Fudger?
Me? I think I’ll just go without, or maybe pray for a plague on both of their houses.