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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
30th August 2013: Isn't sarcasm a wonderful thing?
25th August 2013: Operation Yewtree has turned British justice on its head
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Why 'human rights' is nothing of the sort ...
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
6th August 2013: How the British nation treats its friends ...
8th July 2013: The BBC biased? How can that be? They're so NICE!
26th June 2013: Think this country is a bastion of freedom and justice and a shining model for the world? Think again.
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th June 2013: is the end finally approaching for this evil woman?
31st May 2013: Now it's official - the BBC really is a left-wing propaganda machine
31st May 2013: Those evil bastards are at it again. Yes, you've guessed it - social services!
27th May 2013: Well-known TV presenter talks sense. No good will come of it.
24th May 2013: British justice is best? Only for the very poor, apparently ...
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
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It sounds as though the Conservatives are a bit rattled about the growing popularity of the United Kingdom Independence Party. They've let out their attack-dog, veteran incoherent big-mouth Ken Clarke. He has described all those who vote for UKIP as racists and its politicians as clowns. This does little more than echo Cameron's 2006 assessment that UKIP is packed with ‘fruitcakes and closet racists’.
 

... incoherent big-mouth ...

 
“Clarke’s astonishing onslaught came,” the Daily Wail says, “as polls showed that Nigel Farage’s Eurosceptic party has overtaken the Liberal Democrats and is set for its best local election results ever on Thursday, when 35 county councils and unitary authorities in England and one in Wales go to the polls.”
 
Clarke and Cameron could well be right about the fruitcakes. There seems little doubt that some pretty shady figures have flocked to the new party.
 
People like Peter Cruddas who offered interviews with the Prime Minister for £250,000 ... oh no, wait, he was a Conservative. Or criminal expense-cheaters like Denis MacShane, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Margaret Hodge ... no, wrong again, they were Labour. Or Lord Hanningfield ... no, Conservative again. Or Chris Huhne .... no, LibDem. Or Liam Fox .... oh well, you can see where I'm going with this, can't you? They're all f*cking twisters, so what's the difference?
 
Sure, UKIP is a young party with no track record and no experience. But Labour was a young party once, and did valuable and essential work representing a previously unenfranchised section of society, before under Tony Bliar it came of age and scrambled into the dizzy sunlit uplands of privilege, expenses claims, seats on the board, highly-paid consultancies and speaking engagements.
 
Sure, leader Nigel Farage is a bit of a plonker, but he's engaging and likeable. Ken Clarke is a bit of plonker too, but no one could call him likeable. Harriet Harperson is a plonker as well, and she's not just unlikeable, she's bloody dangerous. Being a plonker has never prevented anyone from being quite successful in politics – look at Boris Johnston, look at Lembit Opik, both of whom are idiots of the first water but who have over the years expressed some of the most sensible views we've heard.
 

... a bit of a plonker ...

 
Sure, UKIP doesn't appear to have a particularly well-thought-out manifesto, but as political manifestos are regarded (by politicians) as vote-catchers rather than a statement of any real intent, what does that matter? Remember that Cameron always promised us a referendum on EU membership?
 
Sure, UKIP stands little chance of gaining any real power either locally or nationally. But what they do have is the power to rattle the other parties, to put the wind up them as Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement has in Italy. What politicians need is a stark reminder that they enjoy their power and privilege only by courtesy of the voters, and that while they can ignore the public and treat them with contempt most of the time, just occasionally they need to shape up and take notice of what ordinary people think and want.
 
And would it be so bad if UKIP actually grew strong enough to have a deciding voice in real politics? We have in this country a deep-seated suspicion of coalition government. Look at Italy, we say, do we want to be like that? Well, no, we don't. But never forget the enormous self-interest our political masters have in perpetuating the two-party, first-past-the-post system. It's what keeps them in power. There hasn't been a single government since World War 2 that was elected by as much as 50% of the electorate – the two-party system ensures that we always have the government the majority of us didn't want.
 
We now have a coalition government, and has it actually been so bad? There's food in the shops, crime is falling, there's no more civil unrest in the streets that there has been in the past, our economy is stagnant but it's in slightly better shape than many in Europe. No, we probably wouldn't be any better off if the Tories had got an outright majority, and we'd be flushing ourselves down the pan if Labour had. There could be worse things than a coalition, and there could be much worse things than a coalition that included a few UKIP ministers and depended on the votes of some UKIP MPs.
 
Some years ago in a small town near the GOS, a young man was arrested for having indecent pictures of children on his computer – you know, the usual thing. The difference in this case was that the young man was a parish councillor, and also a district councillor. He'd left school and university, and immediately plunged into politics instead of getting a proper job. His career plan was to get elected as a local councillor first, and then stand for the county council. After that, he'd seek selection as a candidate for parliament, and a full-blown career in politics would be launched. He'd then join the thronging fight for power and advancement along with all the other political tadpoles beneath the surface of the pond, struggling and wriggling, pushing some aside and forming brief alliances with others, gobbling up any that seem weak, f*cking one or two who seem tasty (so not quite like tadpoles, then) until one day he'd pop above the surface, gaining a foothold on the heads of his erstwhile friends, and emerge as a beautiful junior minister frog, and the rest of his life would be gravy. Or whatever frogs eat.
 
Before Thatcher you were either a Tory, representing the landed gentry and the fat cats of business, or you were Labour and came up through the unions, representing the interests of the common working man. Or perhaps you were a wishy-washy Liberal and represented the intelligent middle-classes who spawned you. Either way, you'd probably have held down an ordinary job at some time, and at least people could easily see where you were coming from and what you stood for, even if they didn't like it. These days, all you stand for is yourself. Politics is just a job you choose in preference to real work, and has nothing to do with the real lives of the people – rich, poor, clever or stupid – who are expected to elect you.
 
So this is why The Grumpy Old Sod will totter along to the village hall on Thursday and put his cross against someone he doesn't know but who stands for the UK Independence Party. It'll probably be a wasted vote, but what the hell. He doesn't know the man, he doesn't know what he's like or what he stands for. He has no idea what UKIP's policies are on education, the economy, badger-culling, road-pricing and so on, and he can't be arsed to find out.
 
He's just going to vote for someone who represents the views of a largish section of society instead of being intent on feathering their own nest, who has a strong position on a real issue that affects a lot of us, rather than just trying to carve out a lucrative career in the manipulation of power. It doesn't matter whether the GOS agrees with that position or not. It'll be a vote for ordinary people whether the GOS is one of those people or not.
 
And that's something that's been missing from British politics for the last forty years, and something we badly need to recover. Ken Clarke is right about one thing: a vote for UKIP is a vote for “none of the above”.
 
And “none of the above” is just what we need. We've seen how The Above perform, and it was crap.
 

 

 
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