Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Aircraft carrier

It is the stuff of comedy. Suddenly taking his mind off the election, Gordon Brown discovers that hundreds of thousands of British air travellers - voters! - are stranded around the world. He goes for the dramatic gesture: send a battleship to pick up soldiers stuck in Spain, (together with a hundred or so civilians)! Why didn't he send an aircraft carrier? There would have been standing room for thousands. Oh yes, and there were 100 fantasy coaches on their way to Madrid.

Then British Airways announces that 20-odd jumbos are converging on Britain and all of a sudden 'new scientific evidence' emerges that it will be safe for them to land. For the two weeks remaining until the election there will be an awful lot of egg scraped off faces. Looking at the maps of the cloud curling round the anticyclone, and hearing that the dust was mostly in a thin layer, I thought it evident all along that there must be safe passages in.

Equally volcanic has been the explosion of popular support for the Lib Dems. People have suddenly realized that they don't have to vote Tory to keep out 'New' Labour, nor Labour to keep out the Tory toffs. There is a major party that wants more progressive taxation, firm control of the banks, voting reform, the scrapping of the Trident replacement programme and much else that is genuinely different. This should have happened in 2005, but this time the Lib Dems have a leader who is not on the bottle.

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