Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Place In The Sun

As newspapers go, I like the Sun. Its combination of small words, big print and even bigger knockers is easy on the eye and the brain. Matters of global urgency, so earnestly debated in other newspapers, are reduced to a few simplistic paragraphs and jammed between the celebrity gossip and the footy results.

There's a lot to be said for this approach, which should serve to remind even the most pompous broadsheet reader that there's more to life than "issues". It doesn't, of course, because they don't read the Sun. Which probably explains why the world is in such a mess; the pseudo-intellectuals who think they run the show are utterly out of touch with what the vast majority of people really care about - i.e. celebs, footy, the cost of a pint and a smattering of "news".

Naturally, I'm not suggesting that the Sun's worldview is the only thing worth reading. Far from it, in fact. But there is certainly a well-deserved place for it alongside the lofty broadsheets, the tittle-tattling Daily Mail and the slightly more boring Express. My suggestion to anyone who really wants to know what's making the world go round is to read them all.

Put them all together, and somewhere between the highbrow ramblings of the broadsheets and the Sun's catchy headlines you will find a fairly realistic picture of the average man in the street, what's important to him and why.

Gordon Brown could learn a lot from such an exercise, as he frantically and unsuccessfully tries to put the election-that-never-was fiasco behind him. He's not getting away with it, and he doesn't know why; the idea that people now see him as a devious, manipulative, cowardly liar, and always will, seems to have utterly escaped him.

Stealing Crazy Cameron's policies on Inheritance Tax, amongst other things, will not help him, either. Last week, some gullible souls might - just about - have believed that he really did think of it at the last budget, but decided not to do it then. Today, after the blizzard of deceptions he's put forward to explain away his reasons for bottling out of an election he could have won, nobody is going to believe a word.

So this once-popular (or, least, more popular than Tony Blair) Prime Minister stands knee deep in humiliation of his own making, his credibility in tatters, destroyed beyond all apparent hope of repair. And this is the man we're going to trust to fight Britain's corner in Europe, as the EU Treaty looms ever nearer?

Take a tip, Gord - read the papers. Carefully. All of them. You will notice an overwhelming demand for a referendum on this damned treaty. Actually, you'll probably notice an overwhelming dislike of it, but the only way the British people can convey that to you is via a referendum - assuming you are prepared to listen to them at all.

Let them have what they want. It will make you look good. Well, ok, nothing could make you look GOOD, as such, but it will make you look a hell of a lot better than you do right now. Whereas a further arrogant decision to do things your way, particularly over something this important to them, will finish you for good.

Yes, I know, Crazy Cameron will call it a U-turn. And, let's face it, it will be - you're PM and you have no desire to listen to the people. But it will pull your sorry, shiny-trouser'd ass out of the fire. Take the bull by the horns for once instead of regurgitating its excrement, do the right thing, and you will have ample opportunity to spin this to your advantage. What have you got to lose?

Billy Seggars.

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