Right foot forward, Left foot back
Have you ever noticed how the 'Right' (in any country) always seem to be bursting with ideas, always looking to the future; always thinking about what comes next? And how the Left is forever looking backwards in an almost masturbatory reverie over the 'great' days of Mao and Marx?
Today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were named as being amongst those to be fined for the 'partygate' celebrations which took place at Downing Street two years ago.
Fines? Fine. You'd expect all those who complained "it's one rule for them, and one rule for the rest of us" to be extraordinarily happy right now. Because, through the diligent efforts of / parting gift from Cressida Dick of the Metropolitan Police, it's now been clearly demonstrated that a serving Prime Minister who breaks the law is punished in exactly the same way as a stoned student from Stoke.
And there was much rejoicing.
Except: there wasn't. Despite a clear demonstration that the rules apply to all - the clearest possible indication that we live in a fair and democratic country - the Left seem still to be unhappy. This is, of course, their default state. Sir Keir Starmer is a curious individual. He has the air about him of an aardvark without an anthill; all the cheerfulness of a sherpa asked to adjudicate a primary school gymnastics championship. One senses that there's very little which would make Keir Starmer happy, save for his own death in a particularly gory incident involving industrial power tools.
And then there's Sir Ed Davey - the most nondescript and eminently forgettable being ever to have lived since Zebedee's spring fell off in the Magic Roundabout. Monty Python and the Holy Grail would have been a very different film indeed with knights of the realm as dull and dimwitted as Sir Keir and Sir Ed.
I don't expect No 10 Downing Street to be like my own house. There are few occasions on which I am called upon to address a cost of living crisis, or the first major European war in 80 years, or a new and alarming pandemic. So to judge that house as my own would, naturally, be an unfair comparison. What No 10 and my house do have in common is that, after a very stressful day filled from end to end by twattery and stupidity of monolithic proportions, we all need a drink.
Of course, it's for the Met to determine whether or not a crime has been committed, and they did. I'm prepared to accept their conclusions and not in any way assume their decision to have been politically motivated. After all, this is the organisation at the very pinnacle of law enforcement. Any suggestion that they routinely persecute completely innocent people like Paul Gambaccini and Sir Cliff Richard (the Virgin Knight) whilst failing to address important stuff like knife crime and London gangs would, of course, be the most vicious fallacy.
But: they have decided. Johnson and Sunak have been found wanting. So they must pay their fine. And as long as they do, they are no different to any other citizen who was fined for a similar transgression.
Must they also resign? No, of course not. The rules are very clear: only those subject to imprisonment or detention for more than one year are expected to step down. Right now, as we await the sentencing of the Conservative paedophile Imran Khan, we face an interesting scenario where a convicted kiddy-fiddler might (just) be allowed to continue as an MP, whilst the PM is being expected to resign on the basis of a mere fixed penalty notice. As this goes on, the Left remains curiously silent about Blair (the warmonger responsible for the deaths of hundreds of servicemen) but demands nothing short of the axe for anyone who incurs so much as a parking ticket.
If Labour and the Lib Dems are to insist on this new and puritanical Parliamentary standard, they must first accept that a significant number of their own previously convicted MPs will have to resign too.
It just won't do.
What's behind it? As ever, the spurious notion that what someone in Parliament does in any way changes my life. Policies might. Their personal actions do not.
Ethel from Cumbria's mother died from Covid, and she wasn't allowed to visit her in hospital. Desperately, desperately sad, of course. But would Ethel's mother have made a miraculous recovery, akin to the healing of Lazarus, had Boris and Rishi abstained from a little glass of Prosecco on Christmas Eve? No, of course not. Yet this is what the Left would have you believe.
We all suffered during Covid, in all sorts of ways. Covid was, perhaps, in some ways, the most unifying factor in our recent history. PM, peasant, pauper... none of us was immune. But we all broke the rules. Anyone who says they didn't go out for two bouts of 'exercise' in a day, or exercised for less than an hour, or didn't find some ingenious way to sit six feet away from their next door neighbour whilst sipping a gin and tonic in an attempt to circumvent the rules, is simply lying. When faced with the greatest curtailing of our civil liberties in our entire history, we did what the British do best: find creative ways to interpret the rules, whilst simultaneously breaking them.
Those who were stupid about it - like students, because they're all Communists and therefore very poorly educated - got fined. Those of us who were clever about it emerged from the Covid crisis without a stain upon our characters. Often in the UK the great leveller is not the law, but the extent of our own cunning and deviousness. It's an admirable British quality which has kept us at the forefront of world affairs for centuries.
No 10 was home and dry until Dom Cummings decided to work out his grievances by publishing a load of photos which no decent human being would ever have taken. And the rest is history.
But that's what it is: history. It has no bearing on what is going on now, and those who think the Left should be a little more concerned by what Vladimir Putin is up to in Ukraine right now are justified in that view. That Labour and the Lib Dems are still obsessed over whether or not Boris had a glass of warm Chablis in 2020 shows them for what they are. Political opportunism and advantage at every stage, even when Europe is on the brink of World War. Not for them the concerns about whether Putin is using chemical weapons: just an insane desire to take out the Prime Minister.
We need not trouble ourselves with thoughts about whether these people are capable of running the country, because today's actions show that they are not.
And what of the fixation with what 'someone else' is doing? I assume that tonight, as every night, Queen Elizabeth II will be dining on mute swan bathed in a sauce concocted from the tears of fawns and the blood of unicorns. She's the Queen. It's her birthright. Meanwhile, I discover that my local pub isn't doing food tonight, so I shall starve. Is it the Queen's fault or mine? Mine, of course, because I'm too lazy to cook and didn't bother to check first.
Jealousy - aside from being one of the seven deadly sins - isn't an attractive quality. It never even occurs to me that in order to make my own life better, I must first make someone else's worse. And on that basis I say this: drink on, Boris and Rishi. Drink a toast to all of us who support you. Keep on doing what you're doing. And rejoice in the fact that, on the Right, we're all looking forward and thinking about 'now'; rather than fixating on the past like the sad and desperate Left.