Archive for January, 2013

How I came to interview David Cameron

I dreamed a dream, as they say, only this one had a fantastic and gruesome reality about it. I found myself back in my previous life as a journalist, sitting with a notepad on my knee and a pencil in my hand interviewing David Cameron. The experience was extraordinary for its vividness, and all the while we spoke I wrote every word, which I now find in my latest notebook, along with a sketch of him. He was wearing a pair of blue and black striped designer silk pyjamas, along with a red dressing gown, which struck me as a strangely garish combination, amidst an otherwise sombre room. It was then that I realised how contrived his appearance was; I recalled his rolled up shirt sleeves at a hospital broadcast, when he tried to look as though he had a job of work to do, not to mention his slicked-back dark and slightly greasy hair, revealing an empty expanse between eye and hairline, intended to make him look intelligent and highbrow. Now all was revealed in close-up.

It was a heavy room, this study of his. He sat sideways at his leather topped mahogany desk, and as he talked I glanced around at a variety of pictures and paintings – including some very memorable oils of English hunting scenes, juxtaposed beside some photographs of Cameron himself (why pictures of yourself?) showing him at a hunt, with a woman looking uncannily like Rebecca Brookes at his side. He leant forward in a sort of conspiratorial way, while I wondered how on earth I came to be in this room at all, let alone interviewing him. It was then that I noticed  that his chair was completely out of place amidst the heavy brown Victoriana. It was an ergonomically designed thing –  very steely, very modern,  full of levers and little twiddly bits. Then he spoke, evidently in answer to a question I must have asked, before my consciousness had landed in this place. The sound of his familiar tenor voice made me cold.

“Yes, indeed, I agree, we probably are the most self-serving government this country has seen in many years, and I take pride in that state of affairs, serving those are closest to my… erm … heart. It makes sense doesn’t it?” I was stunned by his admission, but here was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass, so I aimlessly put in my bit… “But what about those in need, the cuts and the attacks on the welfare state that have left people homeless – those fighting to stay well and warm, unable to do the weekly shop for their families – the undermining of so many public services.”I blurted. “Whoa, hang on there, my dear,” he said smiling through the gloom, “let’s get this clear, self-serving means self-serving. I don’t serve the people downstairs in the kitchen, they serve me. I don’t serve the military or the Lib phlegms, they serve me.” He laughed at his joke, and continued merrily:” That’s the system, and its up to me to preserve it, whether it means dismantling the National Health, privatising the police, tarting up education or the welfare system, it’s up to me to make sure that the privileged stay privileged and I have always made that clear,” then he lowered his voice and added “and the rest stay… wherever…” “…The things that you and your kind write in the media don’t really belong to the real world – to the agenda, which is about loyalty, looking after your own kind…” “And who are your kind?” I asked.

“Oh dear, dear,” he said, swivelling his eyes, and before I could shout something stupid he went on: “I think it’s obvious, those that came with me, on this journey… my journey,  the chaps at Eton – Spotty Kripps, Des Watson-Pons, Grayson Grebes, the whole lot, it’s their philosophy of prevailing the privilege. Spotty became top dog in the National Bank, Desmond’s international number one broker, so we don’t want to see any changes in the financial gambling laws, do we?  And as for Grayson, he’s the lights of Las Vegas, not to mention Financing in the West Indies and the Middle East.. Loyalty is loyalty. They chose their path, and I stood up in Parliament and played ping pong for them, or whiff whaff as that silly arse calls it… for them, my peers and my people, amidst the old school traditions. Politics is Parliament. It’s our game. It’s Eton and Oxford and fags and fandangoes and telling you lot what to do. Its tradition and hunting and shooting and killing… and no adenoidal lefty or green fanatic can change that.” He yawned, adding “but I suppose we need the phlegms and Ed.” There was a pause, and I found myself sketching his face… Suddenly he looked tired, as though he was going to doze off… “What about Europe?,” I asked, “Ah, that…it’s all about keeping votes, giving two fingers to the foreigners and following the lead of the Great Lady herself. It pays to play the playground bully.” He said, in a curious half falsetto. Then, suddenly like the Cheshire cat his features changed, and he appeared to morph into Thatcher, with her mad, spitting-image persona in all its horror. And with that the scene before me dissolved into a mist….

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January 3rd is International Anger Free Day

Hallo there! Did you know that January 3rd is International Anger Free Day? Well it is… because I’ve just declared it. And if you don’t believe me, here is a picture of people having a lovely time skating around outside the Royal Pavilion, not wanting to bash each other over the bonce with an ice-lolly or complain to the management that their skates don’t fit.

It’s one of the most wonderful days of the year because so much sad and bad stuff simply doesn’t happen. In situations where people are trying to make acts of violence take place, it can’t, because so many of us respect International Anger Free Day, and refuse to participate in all manner of murderous, cruel or barbaric activities.

The consequences of such a day are mind-boggling. Wars have to stop, so does domestic violence, road rage, cruelty of all kinds – to friends, family, teachers, animals, even the environment. People that work on transport — trains and boats and planes that have stopped or happen to be late, or wont take off – have a lovely day, because nobody gives a flying fig. Everybody sits around, reading their book, playing games on their mobile phone or talking to other passengers about what they did for Christmas, and how Uncle Jim overcame his appalling atomic piles the moment he realised that International Anger Free Day was imminent. Today, so many situations where rage causes us all to be a total drag suddenly dissolve, and we become ever-so-nice. Suddenly there is so much calm and consideration we all feel a bit surprised, and maybe unnerved.

And other weird stuff happens on International Anger Free Day. Those of us that go out to get drunk and merrily smash up people and places suddenly become incredibly mild. Instead of picking a fight with whoever crosses their path they sit in a bemused alcoholic haze of stupidity and get all sentimental and sweetoleen and jolly. Unpleasant bosses who take delight in shouting orders to their staff suddenly find themselves asking people to do things, rather than barking orders from a face purple with mindless rage.

There is a downside to all this. The likes of Charlie Brooker have absolutely nothing to say. All sorts of comedy acts become unbelievably dull. But let’s remember, it’s only for a day, but the effects of The Day could well go on. Sadly I see no change of direction for the Government. Because they don’t act in anger they just bumble on in their usual nasty self-serving way, and decline to donate so much as a brass farthing to the glory that is International Anger Free Day… Hang on a sec, could it be… that I’m getting angry? Surely not…


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