Some of you may be concerned about the future of GofaDM after the front page of the Guardian’s website today declared that “The blog is over”. Let me put your mind at rest, despite the continued lack of demand for it, the supply of GofaDM will in no way be reduced. A little like Kevin Costner in A Field of Dreams, or perhaps Wayne in WW2, I work on the principle that if I write it, they will come.
Other worrying news recently came from the corridors or power, where there was apparently a purge of middle-aged white men. Despite all my best attempts, rubbing lamps and the like, I remain trapped in the body of a middle-aged white man – and so worried I might soon disappear or be sent off to some government-sponsored gulag (actually, with this government, it would probably be sponsored by ATOS or G4S – which would make my escape a mere formality). In fact, the headlines were rather over-stating matters and it seems to have been a purge of a very small number of MAWM (some of whom were immediately replaced by other, rather similar MAWMs) – possibly, it was a purge of Michael Gove and a few others so it didn’t make it too obvious.
Anyway, this purge – or re-shuffle as I believe the PM would prefer it described – revealed the surprising number of complete unknowns who had been hiding out in government for the past four years. Are the lower ranks of the UK government some sort of witness-protections scheme, designed to enable those who have testified against organised crime to disappear (whilst surrounded by the trappings of hopelessly disorganised crime)? Still, if I thought the outgoing ministers were unknown, they were A-list celebrities compared to their replacements. Once again, well paid positions for which no related qualification or experience is needed and for which the complete lack of a public profile is a positive boon were on offer, and no-one asked me.
I have to say the re-shuffle reminded me of A-level selection back in the early 80s. Economics and psychology were popular choices: not as a result of any intrinsic fascination with the subject matter or anticipated utility, but because their absence at O-level meant that even the weakest of students had yet to fail in the subject area. I presume that any minister who has presided over the last four years of soi-disant rule, will presumably have attracted a significant volume of public animosity and so will be a liability come election-time. Best to go with complete unknowns, to whom no baggage at all currently attaches, and hope they don’t make any dreadful faux-pas in the next few months. A high risk strategy, I suspect- and one which should further detach the voters from the political process – but perhaps the new ministers will just be expected to bring in “games” while the civil servants run the country, blocked only by inexperienced political interference the only (which I think means the Treasury is now, formally in charge).
Actually, I had my own brush with the world of politics a couple of weeks back. Me and 159 of my closest industry chums (well, OK, other people from the energy industry) spent a morning with the energy team of one of our major political parties. The party fielded three MPs, a baroness and a bunch of SPADs (special advisers). I came late to The Thick of It, but I’m afraid at least part of me was trying to decide if anyone present had been written by Armando Iannucci (though they were disappointing light on the swearing front). Very pleasingly “my” SPAD was called Oli – and he looked even younger than Chris Addison. I can’t prove he (or his colleagues) studied PPE at Oxbridge – but I would certainly be willing to place a small wager to that effect. Very bright I have no doubt, but perhaps a little weak on the details that would separate a successful energy policy from “business as usual” – only time will tell. Still, my contribution was well-received, so come next May I may finally be called to high office.
This may be just as well given that another bastion of the MAWM has just been opened up to competition from the stronger sex. With my O-level in Religious Studies, I was relying on a well-paid bishopric to tide me over to retirement – but now it seems the competition for positions has become a whole lot tougher. And, as readers will know, my legs look rather good in purple. Another disappointment to add to the list – maybe it is time that I hie myself to a nunnery (à la Sister Josephine) or just forget my “vocation” altogether.