An Ode to the Short Man

Little people sometimes carry a lot of weight. But I’m not talking about rotund midgets and I’m certainly not talking about the figurative “little person”, the working person or otherwise those under the boot of the powerful and prosperous. I’m very literally talking about a few little people and who else could that be in the current context, other than the inextricably linked George Osborne, Ed Balls and Kim Jong-Un.

They are about as inextricably linked as a sparrow’s fart and a natural catastrophe of course, but they are connected somehow, most likely by their stature-induced god complexes and need to be strident arseholes. The former two for saying politically moronic things at the dawn of a huge austerity pinch and the latter for trying to start World War III in East Asia. The question must be asked, why does the world continue to put up with these diminutive demons?

For a start, because there isn’t a thriving culture of dwarf hatred and if you haven’t noticed already, this article is playing with a highly tenuous theme. I merely delighted in the topical coincidence of domestic and international issues being currently driven by those of lesser heights. Why these totally distinct individuals behave the way they do may have some deep rooted origin in the insecurity of never having physically looked down at someone, so metaphorical terms had to suffice.

But this shouldn’t be the focus here. The reason George Osborne might ram his entire lower body into his mouth, with statements regarding the now infamous Philpotts and their dubious association to the problems with the welfare state, is because he is an inept political operative. How his scorecard looks as Chancellor remains to be seen come election time, as rough as things look now, but the jury is long out on his and his party’s shrewdness.

It really feels like amateur hour sometimes, on both sides of the aisle. These days I care far less for the ideological imperatives of either, choosing rather to place my faith in their competence and operational savvy. I want to see capable, intelligent and scrupulous people filling those Commons benches and it rarely feels like we have anything of the sort when the Boy Wonder is also caught parking in disability zones after publicly slamming scroungers.

The opposition is equally goddamned awful at present, as my patience for the supposed “alternative” runs ever drier. If you have a look at Ed Ball’s blog you can see that he needs to spend more time being Shadow Chancellor and less time trying be a condescending prick like myself. As it happens, my comments on his latest article are yet to pass moderation and I doubt they shall. For that event I shall reiterate here.

Given that I received an email recently from my local MP, Emily Thornberry, providing Labour’s six point economic plan, it seems a bit rich for Mr. Balls to be offering any critique. Here is my translation/response for this inspiring Labour roadmap to prosperity.

  • Reduce VAT = Reduce revenue during a period of recession. How will the Shadow Chancellor pay for this, we have no money?

  • Reinstate 10p tax rate paid for with a Mansion Tax = The latter doesn’t make up for the former and doesn’t work anyway, it hits asset rich/cash poor households inordinately. The 10p rate is also worse for low earners than no taxation before 12k earnings, which is the coalitions on-target medium term goal.

  • Bring forward infrastructure programmes = meaningless drivel designed to play on speculation as to why things like HS2 will take another decade to complete or even start. Things like this take as long as they take in a country that isn’t China or the UAE.

  • National insurance break for small firms = Reduce revenue during period of recession. How will the Shadow Chancellor pay for this, we have no money? Also, small business happens to be one of a few thriving sectors so this is unnecessary, another gimmick.

  • Guarantee jobs for long-term unemployed and youths = How? More public sector work? It’s either an empty aspirational election pledge or he’s going to bloat the public sector again, which this country can scarce afford. Unrealistic, or, how will he pay for it?

  • Increase lending to small business = Again, how? The government has done everything and bit more to get the banks lending and they just won’t, so what is the effective new approach here? Direct government lending? How is that paid for? More truly vapid stuff, thank you Mr. Balls.

The crux of the Labour plan is borrow and spend, with reduced revenue, straight back into a nightmare scenario. They have learned nothing, and will learn nothing as long as the front pairing are part of the same Brownite faction that nearly brought the country to its knees. The incalculable cynicism of their populist calls in the face of an absolutely necessary period of austerity, which they are responsible for, is nothing short of stunning.

I’m almost too angry now to even start talking about North Korea in any depth and it was a stupid connection in the first place. Needless to say, no one at all in the heavens or on earth can begin to comprehend the belligerence of this introverted nation’s government. To myself, the layman, it seems they really do exist in a world of paranoid fantasy and this whole situation appears as if a crude fiction, the next chapter in Team America by Parker and Stone.

Perhaps there is this… much like Osborne, when confronted and embattled Kim Jong-Un and his military take up irrational tendencies that will only harm their prospects. There is clearly a ridiculous behind-the-scenes diplomatic dynamic behind the manoeuvring of so many B52’s, or of missiles to that coast or another, but this much is surely certain. Whatever the damage to the region, should things come to conflict North Korea will no longer be in existence.

I cannot imagine with any shred of my occasionally almost thoughtful being that China would honour its alliance with the DPRK if there was war. There is talk of them being concerned by a unified pro-America Korean peninsula but then I would think that America should draw down their forces in East Asia should the DPRK be ended. It is and has been for some time the primary existential threat to US interests in the region, and a key reason for a military presence.

Sadly, “need” and “military presence” are entirely dissociated concepts to the American military but that would be the rational outcome I would hope for should the situation drastically alter any time soon. The talk is that there will be no conflict, and that this is just more posturing, but a part of me wants emphatic action to deal with this endless dilemma. Because of course all the while, the people of North Korea suffer terribly.

If only something could be done without terrible destruction. That often feels like an unrealistic possibility given the indoctrinated, apocalyptic tendencies of the North Korean military complex but as with so many things we can only hope for the best. A bloodless internal revolution and the founding of democratic and egalitarian principles would be great. Though I believe we were just discussing realism…

No, more likely we see protracted negotiations that results in a tacit, temporary abandonment of nuclear and ballistic ambitions in exchange for improved aid and relieved sanctions. All to be resurrected when this deluded and infantile regime spills their ice cream again. The question, at what point do you stop giving a hungry, angry baby attention?

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