Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ukip go for the Labour voters’ heart and we might well be in for interesting times. And to make things a little more interesting here’s a pin-up of mine, Gemma Arterton. Then there’s my abortive attempt to introduce you to the music of Reggie Washington but those bastards from Islamic State have nixed it (though quite how I don’t know)

Well, someone’s got a brain in Britain’s Ukip, and the party’s supporters must hope it isn’t just Nigel ‘No, no, no, let me speak’ Farage. The accepted wisdom is that because of the party’s obsession with showing those stinking foreigners that Johnny Bull wants to sup his ale and eat his pie when he wants, thank you very much it is Conservative parliamentary seats it has in its sight has taken — well, the only way to put it is a lurch to the left. It now says that all folk on benefits and all those being paid the minimum wage will not pay a penny in income tax if it came to power, and that will, I assume — as must Ukip — mainly attract those usually thought to vote Labour.

Certainly various interviews with ‘the man in the street’ suggest it is quite a smart move. I was, for example, very taken aback to hear one young man tell us that he used to vote Labour, but switched to the Greens, but might now perhaps vote Ukip. He could well have been a Ukip plant. And if he was genuine in his support for the Greens, it cannot have been that strong if he now feels like switching to Ukip, a party that might possibly be viewed as on the opposite extreme to the Green Party. But his conversion to Ukip might well resonate with some who privately would like to follow suit, but don’t know how well it will go down with their mates. If, however, they discover your mates feel the same way, coming out as a Ukip supporter will not be at all difficult. So Labour might well have to look out.

Actually, no one in his or her right mind, and most certainly not a capable politico like Farage, expects Ukip to gain a majority of seats and be ‘asked by the Queen’ (who, no doubt, would to it through very gritted teeth) to form her government. But — and what with Ukip’s new strategy of appealing to the left as well as the right it is not at all so fanciful — if Ukip gained a sufficient number of seats to hold the balance of power?

Don’t Lib Dems already do that? Well, yes, they did at the last election, but could Ukip, perhaps, replace the Lib Dems as ‘the third party’. Could happen. As for how to pay for its promised magniminity for those at the bottom of the pile — and it has to be said that the only interest Ukip has in them is their votes — it’s simple, see, or at least according to Farage: Britain pays billions to the Johnny Foreigners who run Europe, so when Britain is no longer a part of the EU, the billions we save on our annual contributions will make up for the dosh we lose in income tax.

So far, so Dick and Dora. If, as Ukip hopes, the party gains a sufficient number of seats to ‘hold the balance of power’ the quid pro quo will be that you - whoever ‘you’ are - must agree when in government to take Britain out of the EU. That, I suspect, is where it will all come unstuck. For both the Tories and Labour will know that the following is bound to happen: they say ‘no’, we don’t agree that we will necessarily leave the EU (both Labour and the Tories want there to be some kind of EU reform first before it will decided whether to stay in or not), Ukip says ‘right we won’t support your bid to form the government’, so after a month or three or minority government an election will follow and Ukip will do rather less well, with one or the other party doing rather better and perhaps scraping through to be able to form a government.

As for Ukip itself, well, I’m still very underwhelmed. Farage (pictured) has a useful brain and the gift of the gab. But so far, with one exception, every last Ukip spokesman I’ve heard on either the radio or TV, as been an inarticulate fool. To
underline the point, I can’t even remember the name of the chap who didn’t do badly. (I saw him on Newsnight, if that helps.) I don’t doubt that among the bunch who will stand for election - and the Tory MP Mark Reckless tonight announced he will be joining Ukip, although he hasn’t yet resigned his seat (Later: he has now), but he is the second Tory MP - Douglas Carswell was the first - to jump ship - there are some bright ones, some daft ones, some admirable folk and some downright sinister folk, exactly, in fact, the gathering you would get if you looked at a gathering of people at random. But still I remain unconvinced. In Germany, AfD, the party rather loosely described here in Britain as ‘Germany’s Ukip’, is doing well. In three recent state elections it has gained between 10 and 12pc of the vote and will have an influence in how those states operate.

It has to be said that there seems to be a growing groundswell of support for AfD. But they are not ‘Germany’s Ukip’. They are in one essential respect very different. Afd doesn’t want Germany to leave the EU, but it does want Germany to leave the euro and to stop shoring up what it - and I - regard as a dog’s dinner of a monetary arrangement. But it doesn’t want to leave the EU. Ukip does. As for the future Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor is in no immediate danger from AfD. The last national elections were held last year and the next are not due for several years. And a lot can happen in several years.

What with Afd’s success locally, and the results from the last EU elections in May when, on an admittedly abysmally small turnout, anti-EU parties gained a number of seats, we’re in for interesting times. Which, of course, pace the Chinese, we don’t want. What we really want is boring, uninteresting times. Some hope.

Later: Here’s another piccy of Farage. Quite why his left arm is so big (see below) compared to the rest of his body I really have no idea. But I was so struck by the the pic when I came across it a few minutes ago, my one thought was to share it with you. After all just how many times do you see a blog featuring pictures of politicians with unusuallu big arms? Never, I suspect. Could well be a first, not only for this blog, but for blogging in general! (The guy shaking his hand has just sold him a timeshare in Frinton. It’s the kind of thing Ukip supporters go for. Bugger Tuscany. Perhaps that is why Farage is so cheery.)



. . .

Then, of course, there’s Gemma Arterton (picture below) who, I should point out has nothing to do with Ukip (as far as I know). I have only seen her in two films, a St Trinians film and one of the recent James Bond films. And boy is she gorgeous. I mention her because I am just watching the iPlayer rerun of Graham Norton (of


whom more later - he is, in my book - the very acceptable face of talk shows. Usually they are crap. Graham Norton manages to redeem them and then some. I think it’s because he has a very good sense of humour and doesn’t seem to take himself, or anyone else, seriously. But back to Gemma. Digging up the picture (above), it is obvious from the many others I found that she has many faces, and that a good make-up artist does her proud. But our Gemma also has, in my book at least, natural good looks, and I thing she is gorgeous. At my age she wouldn’t take a second look which is more the pity.

Naturally, it is horses for courses as far as ‘she’s gorgeous’ is concerned. But Gemma gets my vote every time. And if she is as natural as she was on the Graham Norton show, she is also rather a pleasant character. And that plus looks and talent means she won’t, I hope, go far wrong. (Take a look in the right eye, left as far as we are concerned: she’s no one’s fool. And that adds to her attraction.

. . .

Years ago the way to hear new music, to discover new music, would be to listen to stuff at friends’ places you hadn’t heard. But over the years, what with one thing and another, friends getting married, friends’ wives starting to rule the roost and children arriving, so that friends’ wives would make plain that it wasn’t going to be a late night again you got to hear less and less new music (and for the sub/copy editors a little joke: you got to hear fewer and fewer new artists). What ‘new’ stuff you did hear was invariably middle-of-the-road bollocks which didn’t interest you at all and what got you labelled with the tag ‘he is really desperate to be different’. No, he wasn’t, he just wanted to hear interesting music, different music, not the same old shite re-recorded by the same old farts. (It is pehaps obvious that I have been a tad revealing in that last bit.)

One of the musicians I’ve discovered ever since friends got jobs, moved away, got married, had children and I was banned from the house after 8pm was Dave Fiuczinski, of whom I have written before. Today, by way of interest, I looked up two of the musicians he played with and came up with drummer Gene Lake and bassist Reggie Washington. Then, as one does, I looked up, on Spotify, music played by the two and found a CD called A Lot Of Love, Live! It’s not a great name, granted, and musicians, especially jazz musicians for whom the music is the thing tend to come up with rather naff names. But what the hell.

I’ve said — I, who attempts to play guitar — that Dave Fiuczynski plays the kind of guitar I would play if I were good enough. Oddly enough, I’ve always been attracted to bass guitar (and have bought one which I very occasionally play. Similarly, if I played bass guitar more seriously, the way Reggie Washington plays is the kind of music I would like to play. So here’s a track. It’s called Reuben 2 Train. Why? Who cares. As I said above naming the pieces they play is not a jazz musician’s first priority, and possibly only his/her last because somewhere down the line someone is insisting.

NB I was hoping to give you the chance to listen to a track by Reggie Washington (not, of course, to be mistaken for either Ronnie Seattle or Roy Chicago) but sodding technology being what it is and what works on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday doesn’t, for whatever, bloody reason, work on a Wednesday. Me, I blame Islamic State and all their fucking ostentatious piety. (‘What, us, inhuman? Us? We believe in Allah, matey! And Allah wouldn’t want us to behead people on You Tube just for the sake of grabbing power and making millions by selling oil on the black market. Infidel! Watch it, sunshine, you’re next. We might be devastating Northern Iraq and Eastern Syria at the moment but don’t think bloody North Cornwall is safe! Bastard! Taking the piss out of us! Cunt!’)

1 comment:

  1. Graham Norton was exactly the same when he played the 'dangerously extrovert' Father Noel Furlong as a demented youth group leader in 'Father Ted' all those years ago. This old fart can only take mania in moderation.

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