CLOWNS TO THE LEFT, JOKERS TO THE RIGHT

Cigar Groucho Marx via Life

They used to say , you knew you were getting old when the policemen starting  looking like children to you.Well , you know , they started looking like children to me about forty years ago, so that  one mightn’t fly…..No when I  really felt I was getting older was when the politicians started looking like children to me. More and more, they began to behave like children too. This might not be too surprising because quite a few of them still live in a sort of perpetual schoolboy  world…an extension of boarding school life extended into adulthood.Some cartoonists such as Peter Brookes have picked up on that  and are making a nice little living portraying the likes of Cameron  and Clegg  as two stalwarts at  Billy Bunter’s old school at Greyfriars. Cameron and his “fag”, Cleggers. To me that’s only right .The likes of Brookes, Steve Bell , Scarfe or Steadman  are skilled artists and their commentary on political life is wholly valid.Politicians need to be kept on a tight leash and cartoonists are there to let the puffed up stinking air out of them at every opportunity.It makes perfect sense.

…But , they do appear incredibly young. This may seem judgemental , but I expect a certain “maturity” from a man or woman who wants to tell me what I should be doing …someone who literally wants to control my life. I want them to seem  somewhat patriarchal ….not in  some old bufferish way like  Harold Macmillan …but maybe  someone with some of the gravitas and  urbanity of   a Tony Benn… even a  Clinton or  John F. Kennedy  who appeared  to be able to construct a sentence  and present it to an audience…and also crucially,   understand what humour actually  is , as  a requisite for life on planet earth..Okay ,I know these characters are not perfect human beings.That last pair  were led to downfall by their cojones, but at least they looked like they were grown -ups.

I was reminded how seriously politicians have been allowed to take themselves when Al Murray, the comedian announced that his fast talking alter -ego “The Pub Landlord” has decided to stand against UKIP in South Thanet. I was immediately reminded of the infamous Screaming Lord Sutch …David Edward Sutch (10 November 1940 – 16 June 1999, also known as 3rd Earl of Harrow, or simply Screaming Lord Sutch, was an English musician. He was the founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and was its leader from 1983 to 1999, during which time he stood in numerous parliamentary elections. He holds the record for losing all 40 elections in which he stood.

Al’s party is called the FUKP….{ Free United Kingdom Party} …party and he’s promising to slash the price of beer to a penny a  pint, which will make it cheaper than bottled water.He’s going to brick up the Channel tunnel to put a cap on the immigration problem. He’ll re-introduce National service  for those who really don’t want to do it. His list of promises is long but they are probably as valid as  those of any other electioneering politicians  who will break their word the minute they’ve got your vote.

The truth  , of course , is that it is a great publicity stunt , as was the good Lord Sutch ‘s ,to re-kindle  and reinvigorate  his career. We need a lot more of this  absurdist Dada  kind of thing , especially in the glum and po-faced  gloomy  politics of Norneverland. The whole island of Norneverland could do with a Monster Raving Looney Party, farting and cussing around the fringes , poking holes in some of the nonsense we have to listen to .After all …what’s a circus without a few  clowns anyway?

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