The King Wanted to Fish


Yesterday’s outburst by Dominic Grieve on the radio was embarrassing – for him and the Conservative Party. That someone of such low rank should attack the recently-resigned foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and in such a public way, was both petty and puerile. Grieve threatening to resign gives us all hope and puts wind in Johnson’s sails. Perhaps Grieve can be joined by Anna Soubry and those other disgraceful MPs who have attempted time and again to get in the way of the democratic vote of the British People.

Boris Johnson’s popularity among Tory members is at its highest point for a long while and, in light of Theresa May’s ineptness, it would seem that a challenge to her leadership will come sooner rather than later. Such a challenge will have to involve party members, as the last time round it is now clear that the wrong person was handed the crown. The party faithful are not in the mood to have mistakes made for them again, while Brexit voters are getting increasingly angry at the prospect of some awful wrong bus fudge of a Brexit deal by May. No deal is by far the most attractive scenario currently on the table.

One point on which Grieve was correct – we are living in times of political crisis in this country. There is however no point in continuing to turn up the volume on the crisis as Grieve seems to want to do. Nor link the democratic crisis to Brexit.

The real political crisis of our time is nothing to do with Brexit. It is the lack of calibre of our representatives that seems again and again to get in the way of sound decisions being decided and good legislation being made. Time and again our representatives seem more bothered by negotiating a place for themselves post-politics on the multi-lateral gravy train (like David Miliband and Lord Malloch Brown) rather than doing good for our country. Career politicians are ubiquitous in both houses and they tend to be shallow and multi-faced. Our country’s best people avoid Westminster altogether and head down the road into the City and elsewhere because Westminster seems increasingly a cesspit of incompetence and corruption.

What the hell is going on with our soldiers and these Northern Ireland prosecutions? Why are we not having the debate Boris Johnson wished for about abuse of women by Islamist misogynists? Why is the BBC licence fee not up for discussion? Why is NHS corruption not being fully addressed? Why are shoddy councils (like Torbay and Sandwell) allowed to continue in office? Why do we have to continue with the failing train service? Why is so much of our meat halal, when we used to pride ourselves on not treating animals barbarically? Why have there not been arrests over DFID’s relationship with the Clinton Foundation?

Where are the great politicians of our time? That is the true political crisis of our time. One is reminded of the story of the King who wanted to go fishing. Right now we are all suffering from errors of the past:

The king wanted to go fishing, and he asked the royal weather forecaster the forecast for the next few hours.

The palace meteorologist assured him that there was no chance of rain.

So the king and the queen started out for their day of fishing. On the way, he met a man with a fishing pole riding on a donkey, and he asked the man if the fish were biting. The fisherman said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace!  In just a short time I expect a huge storm.”

The king replied: “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an educated and experienced professional. Besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him.”

So the king continued on his way. However, in a short time, torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked. Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the meteorologist.

Then he summoned the fisherman and offered him the prestigious position of a royal forecaster. The fisherman said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.”

So the king hired the donkey.

And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in government. The practice is unbroken to this date.