Rod Construction for Backs
25/10/2011 Leave a comment
When I was 17, one of my friend’s parents bought a video camera and we immediately decided to make a horror film. It was called “Day of the Leprechaun.” I’ve no idea why we called it that but the “Leprechaun” was a genetic experiment gone wrong. In the film’s first scene the “Leprechaun” was created in a lab and immediately killed the scientist who had created it. That scene was brilliant – we’d got some off-cuts from the butcher that he couldn’t use and was going to bin anyway and while the scientist was being killed we filmed a white wall and took it in turns to hurl bits of offal at the wall as hard as we could.
I actually played the “Leprechaun” in the film and recall killing someone by throwing a corn-on-the-cob through their head. Somewhere there is a VHS of that sitting in someone’s attic.
Anyway. It seems the big news story of the day is the Tory Rebellion – 81 Conservative MPs defying the whips and voting in favour of a referendum on whether the UK should stay as part of the EU.
Having this referendum would be fairly pointless. Do you remember the waste of time and money we had on the AV referendum? Multiply it by 10. If we did this, all the political parties would forget the economy, health care, education etc. and all focus on their bad marketing campaigns for the next however many months.
If ever there were the perfect opportunity for a bad marketing campaign it would be this. We would soon be bombarded with the usual nonsense, “Our bananas have to be a certain shape according to EU law!”, “90% of our laws are made in the EU!” etc. It would make the “illegal immigrant who couldn’t be deported because of his cat,” seem like a plausible story.
Although I don’t want to have a referendum on EU membership, there is something about this whole thing that I have found spectacularly funny.
This vote came about because someone made an ePetition on the government’s website and it got 100,000 signatures. Regular readers will know my view on ePetitions. I think they are an example of ill thought through, Big Society nonsense. In that post I talked about how easy it would be for any well organised campaign to get 100,000 votes on their ePetition and that getting 100,000 votes told us nothing useful at all about the will of the people. Giving a green light for a debate in the House of Commons in such circumstances is a bit daft.
Of course, David Cameron and I disagree on a lot of things but I think after the past couple of days he might be starting to wonder if he got this one right. In the same week that he is sitting around with other European leaders trying to work out an exit from the latest financial cow-pat, his party is in the news for trying to work out an exit form Europe.
“It’s the wrong question at the wrong time,” said William Hague.
Perhaps it is but surely he must appreciate the irony of the situation. You concoct a daft idea in a desperate attempt at trying to promote your Big Society thing and the first thing it delivers to you is a severe kicking.
When I look at the ePetitions thing it seems blindingly obvious that it has big, underlying problems. I therefore cannot, for the life of me, understand why William Hague or David Cameron thought such a policy would consistently deliver them the “right question at the right time”.
The ePetitions are nothing more than a marketing campaign by the government to make the people think that they are the ones with the power. If the government were really backing this scheme they wouldn’t have spent the last week bullying their own MPs into voting in a certain way. By the government’s definition, Big Society wants a vote on EU membership. Why therefore impose a three-line whip on your MPs telling them they have to reject the will of Big Society?
Of course, ePetitions are daft and Big Society is daft but if “Day of the Leprechaun” taught me one thing, it’s that if you create a dumb monster, its first action will probably be to bite you on the arse.