PMThank God that’s out of the way – summer, I mean; mind you, it’s not as neat and concise as that; these seasons have a habit of overlapping. It may be September 1, but England are playing Pakistan at Headingley, and the schools won’t reopen for business until next week. The party conference season will serve as a prologue to Parliament’s resumption, and that officially starts tomorrow with the Greens. UKIP and the Lib Dems will follow, though these initial get-togethers are not unlike the opening rounds of the League Cup, wherein lower division clubs battle it out before the arrival of the big guns from the Premier League. Decrepit Victorian halls in rundown seaside towns were always the traditional locations for such events, though it’s now more common to hold them in major cities, with their slick and somewhat sterile conference centres reflecting the rise of the professional politician.

As they kick-off the season, both the Greens and UKIP are looking for new leaders, with Natalie ‘Brain-fade’ Bennett (sorry, I have a cold) and Nigel ‘Donald Trump’s my mate’ Farage having fallen on their respective swords; and neither party appears to have a suitably inspiring candidate on hand to supersede them. The Liberal Democrats are next on the circuit, but as the much-discussed imaginary alliance with disgruntled anti-Corbyn Labour MPs has yet to progress beyond the optimist’s drawing board, their Brighton shindig probably won’t attract much attention. If anything, the TUC Congress – taking place between UKIP and the Lib Dems – will perhaps provoke more headlines than the first three party conferences, what with most unions buoyed by the rise of the Corbynistas. When it comes to the actual parties, the Labour and Tory bashes will prove more intriguing.

By the time Labour decamp to the stubborn socialist heartland of Liverpool, Jeremy Corbyn will undoubtedly have been re-elected Labour leader and the party’s ownership by the far left will be complete. Back in the days before specialist Parliamentary TV channels, when your average viewer couldn’t opt out because the party conferences used to take up hours of empty telly time during the day on BBC2, the Labour conference in particular could often provide unlikely entertainment. Between the speeches of the suited and booted MPs, shabbily-clad amateur orators took to the podium and occasionally used the word ‘comrades’ when addressing the multitudes swathed in swirling pipe and cigarette smoke. Bearing in mind the way Labour are going in Corbyn’s capable hands, I have a feeling this year’s conference may well revive that neglected tradition bar the tobacco, which used to give those old conferences the look and feel of a mid-70s Rick Wakeman gig drenched in dry ice, albeit without sequinned cloaks.

The fact that this year’s Labour conference is scheduled to begin the day after the announcement as to whether Jezza or Owen ‘Welsh like Bevan, not Kinnock’ Smith has won the leadership should make it worth watching, if only to see how the split affects events. Household names could well be in short supply, though not necessarily down to the Socialist Workers Party vibe. At one time, Cabinet Ministers who’d lost their seats would pen their memoirs and retire to the Lords; now they appear on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ – though I wouldn’t have expected anything less from such an undignified clueless bruiser as Ed Balls.

Once Labour’s born-again lefty love-in has concluded, it’ll be the turn of the Tories – the nation’s eternal party of government and the first conference with Mrs May at the helm. The fact that the Conservatives recovered relatively quickly following the fallout of Brexit and Cameron’s hasty exit (leaving the clear-up of the wreckage he caused to his successor) doesn’t necessarily mean all is well in the blue corner. May has entrusted the task of wrestling the country free from its European ties to a trio of prominent Brexiteers who don’t apparently care much for each other, and amidst the good will usually exerted towards a new PM she will have to keep an eye on the recently-installed residents of the backbenches who owe their place there to her broom. It’ll be the first real chance the country and the party will have to see her in action now she’s had a little breathing space to get used to her promotion, having returned from the hiking holiday that provoked an especially puke-inducing article of fawning arse-licking in the pitiful excuse for ‘The Independent’ that now exists solely in cyberspace.

The final major party conference will be the SNP’s in a rather late mid-October. Fired-up by the Brexit decision Scotland didn’t vote for, Nicola Sturgeon will milk the indignation of her nation by reviving the subject of a second Independence Referendum whilst carefully not giving the impression it was exactly the result she wanted to exorcise the ghosts of 2014. This in turn will supply Theresa May with another constitutional headache on top of invoking Article 50 – if indeed it ever is invoked.

So, the Silly Season is drawing to a welcome close and the serious business of alternately rescuing and f**king up the country is back with our elected representatives. It may take some time before we know for sure how they’re managing with that unenviable task; but from the point of view of writing on the subject, I’ll be happy not to have to trawl for hours every day, fruitlessly searching for stories with substance, which basically constitutes my daily experience of the past couple of months.

© The Editor

3 thoughts on “SEPTEMBER SONG

  1. As a feature length episode of The Thick of It, the script for this summer’s events would have been rejected as too fantastical. However, I would like to point out that Natalie “Brain-Fade” Bennett has a rival for the “Stupidest Woman in British” politics award: she has several, actually, including those ever reliable stalwarts of density, Dawn Primarolo, Pennt Red (whoever or whatever she or it is) and of course Harriet Harperson. But step forward Anna Soubry. a woman so dense she resembles unrefined North Sea Crude. The devout acolyte of the EU has been pronouncing that we need more EU immigration not less, that there was no proper debate on the issue, and anyway nobody who voted “out” understood the issue or what they were doing.
    Well. I can tell Ms Soubris this. Not only did 17 million people vote leave, a very strong concern of those people was unrestricted EU – and other – immigration. The recent influx of Romanian or Bulgarians into my area, where I live Ann, has not been pleasant. These are not doctors, nurses or civil engineers. They are threatening and I have personally watched them commit crime. I do not like them. And I am not alone. And of the 15 or so million who voted Remain, a large number of people share my concerns: but Project Fear and Project Punish and Project Guilt were potent enough. Speaking of which, whatever happened to the Emergency Budget George Osborne had said would be needed? What I really despise about dumb f**ks like Soubris is they think they are smart when they are just blinkered, rude, self aggrandising and totally out of touch with ordinary men and women who pay the taxes that pay them.

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  2. Sorry Gildas, but you’re wrong when you say “I can tell Ms Soubris this”, if only because you can’t ever tell her anything, she exists only on ‘transmit’, never on ‘receive’.
    It surprises me that the Tory Party media machine doesn’t realise how damaging her chronic verbal diarrhoea is, otherwise they’d have her gagged – hence the BBC and Ch4 get her on at every opportunity, knowing that the only beneficiary of her dismal drivel will be their own leftward-leaning agenda. How they must chuckle in the editorial suite and at Corbyn Central (often the same place).


  3. Why do we let politics be the most important driver of our news cycle? Yes the decisions they make will change our lives (mostly for the worse), but we will adapt and fight as we need to. We really should relegate the twats to the minor paragraphs and just report what laws they have passed and how they will affect us, and what alternatives were put forward by whom. All this personality stuff is just showbiz. May as Kardashian. Corbyn as Hiddleston (that takes some imagining, but you get my point).

    We have had a summer of Olympics and other sporting events, the immigration crises from Syria and Libya are escalating again, and living standards are slipping in this country (all benefits frozen – if they are not withdrawn completely – until 2020, while massive inflation, which will result from the fall in the £ following Brexit, is to be encouraged to wipe out government debt and improve pension funds). There are books to read, films to see, music to be heard, festivals to attend. Let’s have more of those. I wish the politicians would all fuck off a little bit longer.

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