13 NOVEMBER 1999, Page 78

High life

Life's lottery


New York Watching a parliamentary debate the other night — yes, they show it on C-Span over here, but very late, after the kiddies are in bed — I was struck by Tony Blair's resemblance to the now irrelevant Draft Dodger. It's Tony Blair of Hot Springs, without the southern drawl. Emotions out of proportion to their policies spill from both Barons von Munchhausen. Just as Bill Clinton feels everyone's pain, Tony boy affects despair and outrage over everything that is wrong in Britain, and, of course, blames the forces of conservatism for it. Be it city-dwellers terrorised by crime, children raised in poverty, the unemployed or the uneducated, Blair wants us schmucks to believe that he feels their plight with every fibre of his being.

In my not so humble opinion, Blair is as bad as, if not worse than, the Arkansas scumbag. It all has to do with dema- goguery, a Greek invention, naturally, but prevalent in America throughout its short history. The Brits, however, never fell for too many demagogues, and, even when they did, they quickly saw the light. No longer. Blair was the first Labour prime minister to declare the class war over, only to revert to reliable class warfare rhetoric the moment it suited him. He continues to pose as pro-monarchy only because he knows how to read polls, otherwise Quee- nie and her brood would be facing end of term sadness as I write.

What fools you English are. The House of Lords, the last bastion of common sense rather than political expediency, is done away with under your very nose by a Scot- tish flim-flam man and his band of thieves, and not a single rock has been thrown at a

'If you try to throw away the monarchy, it always comes back'

ministerial limo. The House of Lords will now become the House of Lards, full of Tony's cronies with their snouts in the pub- lic trough. What folly, and what cowardice • on the part of the Tories to allow it to hap- pen. This is the time for civil disobedience, and the Tories are scratching their nuts.

Basically, it is elementary, my dear Hague. The House of Lords has got to be acceptable on two grounds: it has not to be a threat to the elected House of Commons, and it cannot be selective. Ergo, it needs to revert to the Athenian method of selection, by lottery. What is fairer than a lottery, provided those in the running are rich, therefore incorruptible, and wise, as tradi- tional families tend to be. Which is the pre- sent House of Lords. After all, is there anything fairer than the lottery of birth? I don't think so. What I don't understand are the Tories. How can they stand by while Blair is •not only dismembering the King- dom, but is making sure a straw upper house will validate the dismembering? He brought in devolution in order to safeguard the UK, and all it's doing is breaking it up. It's what Owen Harries called Gor- bachevism, politics that substitutes daring for thought.

One thing that had me laughing while watching Blair play Clinton (he curls his lips, points his finger and grimaces in pain just as the scumbag did when he swore '1 never had sexual relations with that woman') during Prime Minister's Ques- tions was that joke figure of Jack Straw behind him, nodding his head like a mule, ever ready to please the boss, but with his mind most likely on other weighty matters. What a repellent excuse for a man. What shameless gimmickry. What bad luck Straw was not born a Spartan back in the good old days. He would have been thrown from the peak of Mount Taigetus and the world would have been a far better place.

These, then, are the people who will now outlaw fox-hunting, persons who not only have never held a proper job, but who have never achieved anything, except through stealth. They know how to sound-bite, how to rant, how to posture, how to strut, but they do not know, and will never know, how to tell it like it is. They lie as birds sing — naturally — and schmucks in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were asleep, but it will be too late.

Mind you, the Queen has a lot to answer for. A constitutional monarch is there to protect the constitution, or the spirit of an unwritten one, in Britain's case. She's done nothing of the sort. If I were Queen (okay, let's not have any bad taste jokes) I'd tell that smiling wallet-lifter to keep his hands off my Scotland and Wales as well as my House of Lords, or else. Would the wallet- lifter risk an open fight with his monarch? Not on your life. Blair knows how to lie, not how to fight. He knows how to black- mail — as in the case of the benefit cuts, where he told the 92 hereditaries they can stay only if they vote his way — he does not know how to guide a Bill through. If the Queen had read the riot act to the smiling cobra, and had threatened to go to the people, the viper would have thrown the towel in quicker than you can say Eliza- beth. (How I'd love to have seen that other Elizabeth, the bald one, deal with the lunch-bucket pilferer.) But no. Queenie did as she was told, and let a flim-flam meddler wreck the place by her refusal to meddle.

But, as I said, I can't think of anyone who deserves their situation more than all you English schmucks now abed.