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Anorak | Chucked Out

Chucked Out

by | 19th, December 2005

‘WELCOME to Oldham-on-Sea. Welcome to Sydney’s Cronulla Beach.

On Monday, we were greeted by the truly unattractive sight of 5,000 of Australia’s rainbow peoples – white, pink and red – marauding along Sydney’s Cronulla Beach, shouting racial slurs, wielding beer bottles and banging on about “100 per cent Aussie pride”.

Angry at an attack on two lifeguards by a gang of Lebanese youths, the white locals ran amuck. “No more Lebs [Lebanese],” they chanted. As one white yoof explained by way of letters printed on his back: “We grew up here, you flew here.”

Although some of the Lebanese residents may have arrived by boat – like those patriotic invading whites of yore.

But we got the message. We left the Australians to pick out pieces of broken glass from their Christmas dinners on the beach, to choke down the bile with yet another cold one necked under a merciless sun, and wonder what 10-year-old Libby Rees made of it all.

On Tuesday, we were introduced to Libby, a kind of Vanessa Feltz for the Bratz generation. Libby had written a book called Help, Hope and Happiness. It was a work that taught today’s child how to cope with life.

On Wednesday, Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy was looking for help. Everyone was out to get him. ‘We must lance the boil,’ said one of his own.

As political nicknames go, “The Boil” was not the nicest. It lacked the Priapic sexuality of Kennedy’s predecessor Paddy Ashdown’s “Pantsdown” or the menace of Dennis Skinner’s “Beast of Bolsover”.

Poor old pimply Kennedy. We turned to Libby’s book. We noted that in times of stress she advised: “Scream, shout, stamp your feet, whatever you feel like doing. This physical activity will help you release all the anger inside.”

But this was Charles Kennedy. He didn’t shout. He didn’t scream. He reasoned. He appealed to the better you. He just wanted you to understand how much nicer things would be if only you’d agree with him.

When, as the Guardian reported, around six LibDem MPs told Kennedy to his face that he should step down, we hardly expected fireworks.

“I told him that he had reached the end of the line,’ said an unnamed MP. ‘It was a desperately civilised conversation, as you would expect from Charles.

Oh, how very dull. While defenestration is too desperate, and a knife in the back too bloody, Kennedy’s removal looked like being too boring.

We like out politicians to have a bit of dash and vanity about them, not to confront their critics over sugary tea and scones.

Better if Kennedy had stood down. Let someone else have a go. Someone already with a following. Someone like Jesus. As Cliff Richard explained on Thursday: ““If Jesus was PM, we’d have no problems whatsoever.”

And he was right. If Jesus were our leader, the drinking laws would be a doddle – at chucking out time the wine would be turned back to water.

The NHS would be sorted as Jesus cured patients with alternative therapies, like inviting the lame to touch the hem of his doctor’s coat. And children would be eating more fresh fish on Friday.

And Cliff and Tony’s duet would be the Christmas No.1…’



Posted: 19th, December 2005 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink