At our recent get-together there was a sense of relief that all the hypocrisy, lies, promises, false accusations, insults, non-practical ideologies and outrageous humbug evident in the recent General Election was over, and we could get back to some straightforward grumpiness.
But some members still found time to ask a variety of questions regarding the ignorance of most voters on the important issues and how most politicians regard themselves as experts on economics, defence, policing, health services, education, climate change, international diplomacy, Brexit, terrorism, taxation and kissing babies, when most of them don’t have a clue and just spout out the latest party sound-bite. One member said he had bought a strong and stable table from Ikea but it collapsed.
Some analysis of the result was attempted. Was it the complacency of assuming a Tory victory especially after the Council elections? Was it a sympathy vote for the much-maligned underdog? There might have been a bit of “For a laugh let’s do a Trump”. Was it the younger voters who had never heard of Arthur Scargill and the phrase “Everybody out” but thought it seemed like a good idea to take money off the rich and give it to them? We did acknowledge that when we were in our teens and early twenties we knew everything, but were still vulnerable to ideas that seemed attractive at the time. And there were lots of girls around who also seemed attractive at the time but later proved to be unreliable.
One irritating aspect of the Election was how some politicians seem obsessed with ranting on about how bad things are, with “poverty” and “austerity” being their favourite words. Time was taken out for a few members to begin their sentences with “They don’t know how lucky they are and when I was a lad….”and we were soon reminded of the Monty Python sketch when four Yorkshire men were each claiming that their childhood was even worse than any of the others, culminating in the claim “ You were lucky. When I were a lad we had to get up three hours before we went to bed, had to work 27 hours a day up chimney, and when we got home our father would kill us.” The principle of exaggerated claims somewhat overdone in that example.
There was some relief that the Grumpies will probably continue for a little while longer because there had been a declaration previously by most of the members that if Comrade Corbyn became Prime Minister then they would emigrate, although whereto became a bit of a problem. After carefully assessing the political situations in other countries, one member declared that Outer Mongolia seemed a possibility. There was one voice who said that life under President Corbyn might have some good points for we old men. We would be looked after in State Care Homes and there would be thousands of police on the streets to keep us safe. Although we wouldn’t have any money or property, and could only watch one television station, and Christmas would probably be cancelled and Buckingham Palace would have been converted into Council flats, there would be no more poverty or austerity so that would be a good thing. We all noticed the tongue in his cheek.
We did wonder however that if Corbyn headed a new Government would one of his first missions have been to fly to Iraq for peace talks and ask the leaders of Isil if they would please stop killing our children. The Chairman intervened to say that we were getting ahead of ourselves. He isn’t the Prime Minister so no more time was wasted on the hypothetical.
Things we won’t miss after the Election would include the Caledonian squawker, the so-called neutral BBC using rent-a-mob for their debates, politicians who can’t add up, pompous interviewers on television and radio, anyone who thinks comparing the legs of Teresa May and Nicola Sturgeon has any relevance, and people who think that calling other people “scum” because of their differing views contribute to the political debate. As someone said regarding the level of intellectual debate. It was like being in the swimming baths. All the noise came from the shallow end. We won’t miss the letter-box rattling with leaflets telling us what a wonderful party they are and how terrible are all the others. They promise to do things they never did when they were in power.
Someone then asked whether there was a feeling that, as a country, we were walking gently and blissfully towards the Elysian Fields or about to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel? Before anyone could try to understand what he meant, someone else asked, “Who is it that’s trodden in some dog dirt?” That was more like it. Back on familiar ground.