Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A New Dawn Is Broken

Morning has broken over a new Dave dawn. The shaky ship of state is sailing into uncharted waters. Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue. But on the good ship lollipop, it's a nice trip into bed we hop. (That's enough. Ed). So bring me sunshine in your smile, bring me laughter all the while. (I said that's enough). The story so far …

Brazen hussy Nicky is pimping in the park. Posh boy Dave cannot believe his luck and offers his birthday money for a few favours. Nicky says - we'll see.

"I've found the right girl!" exclaims love-struck Dave. Cue a song and dance.

The CamClegg love-in has begun. Too lovey-dovey. Too much personality not enough policy. 20 odd waffy LibDems in government jobs and Calamity Clegg as Deputy Dog. That's 'new politics' for you.

Hacked-off hacks will try to pull the ConDems apart with over-hyped hackneyed hubris. There may be trouble ahead but while there's moonlight and music and love and romance, let's face the music and dance.

A marriage made in heaven for the power couple or a disaster waiting to happen? The public will want to give peace a chance. But people generally voted for a party, its leader and its policies. What they may end up with is something that satisfies no-one. It's going to be a long and winding road. (You're fired. Ed).

Video: Cheryl Campbell and Nigel Rathbone in Dennis Potter's Pennies From Heaven. BBC (1978). Music from Jack Jackson & His Orchestra.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yes, Prime Minister

After five anxious days struggling on life-support, democracy has shown weak signs of recovery. Rescued by common sense. A new Dave day has dawned.

Faced with the wrath and ridicule of the electorate, the shambles of the last five days has left in its wake Clegg's naked ambition, Mandy's naked grab for power and Brown's naked cheek.

The end came with a muddled mess. Just like the outcome of the general election. As a new Dave dawn breaks, the new ship of 'new politics', 'liberal conservatism' and 'coalition' sets sail into unchartered waters. And into over-hyped copy.

Would he go or would he stay? In the end Beaten Brown was forced to make a sharp exit. Follow the podium. Follow the family photocall. Follow the limos heading to the palace. The country was in limbo without even an unelected prime minister. Where's Dave? Dunno.

It was left to a guy with a digital camera to let voters in on the secret, flashing round the world the picture of 'democracy' at work. Cameron and the Queen 'kissing hands'. Only they didn't or perhaps they did.

It's been a funny old day but then it's been a funny old election. The party with the most number of seats and the most number of votes "has a mandate to try to govern," loser Clegg assured everyone. Only two-faced two-timing Clegg was telling porkies.

Naked ambition was the name of the endgame as the cunning Mandy plan fell into place to take Brown's scalp while he was still squatting in No 10. Cleverclogs Clegg would prop up the illegitimate regime with the Dark Lord dreaming of his everlasting New Labour Project. Labour in bed with hated Liberals? No way.

In the end the Parliamentary Labour Party pulled the plug. Forced to sit on the sidelines watching the sickening spectacle of unelected Mandy, Campbell and Adonis call the shots was too much to take. Liberals too had to wake up to the reality of a party and leader rightly ridiculed and pilloried in the press.

Three long years of disastrous Brown's deceitful premiership have finally come to an end, leaving behind the festering remains of a fag-end government and economic mess.

Meanwhile the long-suffering electorate is still left in the dark after all the wheelings and dealings. Just what kind of government are they letting themselves in for? That has been a closely guarded secret.

Only after Dashing Dave had taken the keys to No 10 was the devil in the detail revealed to a waiting electorate. A Tory-led full blown coalition with LibDem cabinet seats in a binding agreement.

Eleven million people voted for Tories and their policies. Far fewer for Wonderboy Clegg and the Little Party. But voters have no idea which policies will get through the coalition net.

'Call me Dave' is now Cameron, PM with all the trapping of power, patronage, constitutional baggage and the code for the nuclear trigger. Little Nick is still tagging along.

The cunning Campbell plan for Brown to leave with dignity ended with the most undignified of exits. The public was within a whisker of being shafted by spin. But it was the people wot won it. And the people will give the new government a fighting chance.

The new boys will have to plough through the wreckage and start to sort out the chaos. The party of failure is left to lick its wounds, regroup and live to fight another day.

Calm down, dears. It's only 13 years of power and privilege down the pan. Pick yourselves up, dust yourselves off, start all over again …

Video: Bob Hoskins lip-syncs to 'Pick Yourself Up' from Dennis Potter's highly acclaimed BBC series 'Pennies From Heaven' (1978). Music from Lew Stone & His Orchestra.


Brown Down And Out

New Labour is dead. Brown's brutal regime is over. The nations rejoice. The squatter is set to quit No 10, handing Dave the keys. VICTORI SPOLIA

"Gordon Brown is set to resign tonight and allow David Cameron to be Britain's new Prime Minister," splashes the London Evening Standard.

The Orange Party has waited a long time for this and will relish every minute.

Three long years of disastrous Brown's deceitful premiership are finally coming to an end, leaving behind the festering remains of the failed New Labour project.

The nations can breath a sigh of relief as the new boys in town plough through the wreckage and start to sort out the chaos.

The Orange Party doesn't believe for one minute two-timing Clegg switched sides again out of a sense of moral or noble purpose.

In the end the decent folk in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) pulled the plug, preferring to regroup and reinvigorate in opposition rather than be part of the devious Mandy New Labour plan for an illegitimate regime.

The tipping point came as the PLP was forced to sit on the sidelines while unelected Mandy, Campbell and Adonis called the shots. The sickening spectacle was too much to stomach.

Liberal grandees too could see the dangers. Windbag Clegg's earlier bleatings about unelected politicians, mandates to govern and promises of a 'new politics' from the "tired old twosome" had a hollow ring. The party was facing the wrath and ridicule of the electorate.

Left in the dark during all the wheelings and dealings, the electorate has yet to be given a glimse of the hammered out Con-Lib deal. But a full-blown coalition with LibDem cabinet seats is on the cards in a binding agreement.

What is certain is that after the ritual 'kissing of hands' at the palace, Dave gets the keys to number 10. A period of 'liberal conservatism' begins.

Cameron then becomes the incumbent prime minister with all the trapping of power, patronage, constitutional baggage.

The cunning Campbell plan for Brown to leave with some dignity is ending with the most undignified of exits. A decent Labour Party could now rise from the ashes.

Borrowing Brown's cooked books will be opened up and the new team can make a start on getting the country out of the mess.

It's been a long uphill struggle and at times looked as if the public was going to be shafted by the spin. In the end it's the people wot won it - with more than a little help from the PLP.


Oh, You Nasty Man

It's decision day in Nasty Nick's dodgy world of deceit. Waiting for white smoke, the Orange Party will while away the hours with naughty but nice Alice Faye. Oh, You Nasty Man.

Scandals, they're everywhere. They're in the air and who put them there. You, you and you, you nasty man ...

Scandals, you hid them once, you had your fun with another one. Don't say it isn't fair, a gal like me ought to know ...

Oh, you nasty man, taking your love on the easy plan
Here and there and where you can, oh, you nasty man

You're not fooling me, I've got you figured from A to Z
But you're darned good company, oh, you big bad man

You're sweet and nasty, I know what's on your mind
You'll pull a fasty, make me fizzle and then you chisel

Oh, you nasty man, I never met anyone who can
Be as bad or better than - you, you nasty
Who taught you that
Oh, you nasty, don't ever do that
Oh, you nasty man

Video: 'Oh, You Nasty Man'. Alice Faye's movie break in George White's Scandals. A very risque performance from 1934 - before US censors pulled the plug.


Will Mandy Get To Play Dorothy?

D-Day for Nasty Nick's Little Party or Little Nick's Nasty Party. Whatever. Somewhere over the rainbow alliance, the yellow party brick road lead to the La-La-Land of Oz. Common sense and reality is starting to kick in. But a phoney-baloney Wizard is still pulling the strings. Will Mandy get to play Dorothy?

Yesterday was a dark day for democracy and the parliamentary process. A disgusting day for the electorate. Today it's 'make your mind up time' in the shabby little game of Deal or No Deal.

Beaten Brown's stomach-turning performance outside No 10 was nothing compared to the treachery of a two-bit politician drunk with power bent on propping up an illegitimate regime for his own selfish ends.

Opportunistic and rotten to the core, two-faced two-timing Clegg has displayed the political maturity and integrity of a dead rat.

Unelected Mandy's masterplan for an everlasting New Labour project is nearing completion. The pieces of the jigsaw are finally being put in place.

Squatter Brown's head is to be served up on a plate. Little Nick props up the party of failure until Mandy has a chance to instal his Bananaboy Miliband as the next unelected prime minister.

What a tangled web of deceit they weave. Two losers stitching up squalid deals behind the backs of the voters.

The unelected Dark Lord is so obsessed with his pet project, parliament and the people are a minor irritant to the pursuit of power.

And to cap it all, another unelected prime minister is waiting in the wings to take over where the other deadbeat left off.

Meanwhile Cleverclogs Clegg is playing kingmaker on Fantasy Island with a fairytale rainbow alliance while the country goes down the pan.

The Orange Party can see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Some seasoned Labour Party politicians have come out to condemn the whole shabby charade. John Reid, David Blunkett and Tom Harris.

The Parliamentary Labour Party is starting to put its foot down. On so many counts this is wrong. This is bad. This cannot work. Watching unelected Mandy, Campbell and Adonis call the shots is too much to stomach.

The electorate is being held to ransom with the national interest playing second fiddle to naked political ambition. LibDems face the wrath and ridicule of the electorate.

The public was throughly pissed off with politics after the expenses scandal. The TV talent shows were billed as a chance to see the 'leaders' in a new light.

And it worked. Voters went into the polling booths invigorated, believing a new era of new politics had dawned.

The Tin Man was looking for a heart, the Straw Man a brain and the Lion courage.

But the Land of Oz exists only in the mind. The Wizard is pulling the strings.

Hopefully the fairytale will have a happy ending. The wizard isn't a wizard after all. Dorothy will go back to Kansas in a load of hot air. Leaving the Wizard of Oz exposed as a phoney-baloney snake-oil salesman.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Mandy's Stranglehold On Power

Desperate New Labour cheerleaders have thrown a despicable last roll of the dice with Beaten Brown promising to quit as party leader, paving the way for the party of failure to try to seal a deal with loser Clegg and cheat the electorate with an illegitimate regime.

Cunning Brown in cahoots with his dutiful cabinet secretary and Mandy spinners have played a blinder. Cameron is sidelined in a last ditch bid by the old tuckers to try to keep the New Labour bandwagon rolling. Now two-timing Clegg's credibility and integrity is on the line in a squalid stitch-up.

The Orange Party feared Mandy's endgame to steal the election from under the nose of the electorate was coming to a head. A dream ticket of Clegg propping up an everlasting New Labour project.

Now a coalition of losers could be on the cards if Calamity Clegg shows his true yellow streak and sells himself at auction to the highest bidder. Quite mad mutually assured destruction for both parties.

Arrogant Brown had the audacity to stand outside No 10 to read from the Mandy/Campbell script to try to scupper Tory-Lib Dem talks to form a strong and stable government.

The bribe is a 'coalition' of New Labour lackeys dressed up as a 'progressive', fairytale rainbow alliance of all and sundry. Unstable and short-lived. The price, as it was always going to be, is eventually the Supreme Leader's head.

Elections? Who needs 'em. Unelected Dark Lord Mandy and unelected old tucker Campbell have been spinning away until the bitter end with unelected Adonis getting in on the act to make sure Brown quits with head held high.

Squatter Brown would cling on as unelected prime minister and party leader until a new party leader was elected in a couple of months time and another unelected prime minister takes his place. What a farce.

For days there has been a daily diet of bullshit over Brown's 'constitutional duty' to hang on to the keys of No 10. A smokescreen of New Labour lies. A shameful sham to cheat the electorate with an illegitimate regime clinging on to power.

Pretending to paint Beaten Brown as a PM just doing his 'constitutional duty' for Queen and country is a disgrace. Brown knew his days were numbered as he counted up the numbers.

His "constitutional duty" was to see Her Maj and quit, telling her it was time to send for the leader of the largest party to ask if Dave could command a majority or run with a minority government.

But the Mandy/Campbell double act had been hard at work trying to break up the fragile Tory-LibDems love-in so their beloved New Labour can keep its iron grip on power. Blackmailer Clegg has been exposed as a two-faced cheat, drunk on power, sneaking off for secret talks behind the Tories back.

Voters had sent a clear signal to Westminster. They want Brown and New Labour out. And Clegg's Little Party came last.

Brown and his squalid band of squatters are bent on forming a self-preservation society to cling on to power. Self-interest, not the national interest. Naked political ambition is the name of the game as Clegg could be on the brink of joining that shameful gang.

The ball is now in two-faced Clegg's court. Does he seal the deal with Dave or get into bed with his master Mandy?

A disgraceful day for the parliamentary process and democracy. A shameful day for Brown and his fag-end government. A day of deceit from Clegg. A distressing day for the electorate. A wonderful day for the Dark Lord.


Cheating Brown Tries To Steal Election

Election weary voters are being force-fed a daily diet of bullshit over Beaten Brown's 'constitutional duty' to hang on to the keys of No 10. Spinners are flogging the dead horse, with a smokescreen of New Labour lies in a shameful sham to cheat the electorate with an illegitimate regime clinging on to power.

Old New Labour habits die hard. The charade to paint Beaten Brown as a PM just doing his 'constitutional duty' for Queen and country is a disgrace. Stealing the election from under the nose of the electorate is the name of the endgame.

A compliant Robinson over at the BBC has spilled the beans, "revealing" LibDems met with New Labour over the weekend to keep the ball rolling and strengthen LibDems hands in talks with Tories.

Whipping up red herrings with an obsession over electoral reform and a doomed 'rainbow alliance' of New Labour lackeys is part of the spin to try to keep the sinking New Labour ship afloat. Now fuelled by talk of a 'coalition' with yet another unelected prime minister as part of the illegitimate regime.

Voters were left dazed with the shambles of a hung election outcome pointing to a Tory mandate to govern. Deal or no deal, Dave was all set to make a measured not mad dash for No 10. The writing was on the wall way back at 10pm on Thursday as the remarkably accurate exit poll sealed the fate of the party of failure.

Brown knew his days were numbered as he counted up the numbers in the wee small hours of Friday. The minute Clegg conceded around 10am that Cameron should have first stab at government should have signalled the end.

Anyone with a shred of decency would accept the "constitutional duty" was to see Her Maj on Friday afternoon and quit, telling her it was time to send for the leader of the largest party to ask if Dave could command a majority or run with a minority government.

LibDem deals or no deals should happen with Cameron at No 10. Instead New Labour spinners, aided and abetted by Brown and a dutiful cabinet secretary, have played a blinder with both Cameron and Clegg sidelined as the old tuckers try to keep the New Labour bandwagon rolling.

Tory-LibDem talks centre on a lasting deal to bring some order to the current chaos and get through a Queen's speech and emergency budget. But the Mandy/Campbell double act is hard at work trying to scupper the fragile Tory-LibDems love-in so New Labour can keep its iron grip on power.

Three long years of disastrous Brown's deceitful premiership look set to come to an end, leaving behind the festering remains of the failed New Labour project. But the new boys in town cannot plough through the wreckage and start to sort out the chaos.

Real people just want to struggle on with their lives with a strong and stable government. A legitimate government free of corruption nonetheless. One in which the people have given the political elite a mandate to govern.

But true to form, with a country in limbo land facing economic chaos, Brown and his squatters are bent on forming a self-preservation society to cling on to power. Self-interest, not what is in the national interest.

The election belongs to the people. But the pedlars of deceit with a New Labour charade are trying to rain on Dave's parade.

Without a shred of decency, the struggling Supreme Leader is clinging on by his hard-bitten fingernails. Set to be prised out of office only for another unelected prime minister to take his place, with the Dark Lord Mandy and old tucker Campbell spinning away until the bitter end.

The public was already thoroughly disillusioned with politics after the expenses scandal. TV debates sparked a new found interest. But the rot has set in again.

Voters have been forced to sit through the sham of the well spun smokescreen of a 'constitutional arrangement' to keep an unelected prime minister in power, with puffed up Little Nick's credibility on the line, trying to call the shots.

Nailing colours to the mast and banging the drum for a particular party is part and parcel of the election but it's the people wot won it. Cut through the hung parliament hype and voters had sent a clear signal to Westminster - Brown and New Labour out.

It's the economy stupid. On that crucial issue alone the sooner the country and the money markets can be given a chance to get behind the new Tory-led government of liberal conservatism, the sooner everyone can breath a collective sign of relief.

UPDATE 3pm: Sky News is reporting Tories and LibDems have agreed the “outline” of a deal to form a new government. No white smoke or white flag but another nail in the coffin of Squatter Brown’s illegitimate claim to be a prime minister and cheating New Labour's illegitimate claim to government.

UPDATE 5pm: Brown is to quit as party leader, paving the way for New Labour to try to seal a deal with LibDems.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

To The Victor The Spoils

The days of New Labour are nearly over. To the victor will go the spoils. But spinners are throwing everything at a last ditch bid to salvage something from the election wreckage.

The country is in limbo land. Failed fag-enders high hopes of clinging on to power are fading fast. The fallback endgame of the struggling Supreme Leader quitting with some shred of dignity is getting closer by the hour.

But true to form, with a country facing economic chaos, Broken Brown and his squatters are more interested in forming a self-preservation society than what is in the national interest.

Eager for a picture to paint a thousand words, the Sundays splashed on three Westminster party leaders looking in different directions, depending on their media narratives. The Orange Party's take (above) seems to sum up the prevailing wind.

Voters are still faced with outgoing Beaten Brown's look of superiority clinging on by his hard-bitten fingernails. And the odd couple of a frustrated and flummoxed prime minister-in-waiting looking to a puffed-up election loser who can't believe his luck calling the shots taking centre stage with the big boys.

Meanwhile a Little Nick toy is up for sale on eBay. "You are bidding for the affections of a Spanish-speaking manufacturer and creator of kings".

But buyers beware: "Those with less than 220 seats, contact me first before bidding. Advertised due to nation of time-wasters. Please do not bid if you cannot make up your mind."

The Orange Party left for a long lie down with the outcome on the cards. Leaving all the post election party political posturing behind immediately after Nowhere man Clegg conceded Dashing Dave must be given first crack at government.

The game of poker continued with downcast Brown reading from his Mandy/Campbell script on the steps of No 10 and snookered Cameron trying to come over all statesman-like with an olive branch to the Little Party.

Even an hour is a long time in politics. But many commentators are bogged down with the detail of the process rather than the outcome. A typical New Labour legacy which is hard to shake off. Voters are being forced to suffer the pain of process and the shame of spin.

The outcome is for Brown to bite the bullet and make way for a strong and stable government to get to grips with the economic mess. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times makes that clear.

More than two-thirds of people want Brown out of Downing Street - now. Hanging on for Tories to strike up a deal or no deal with the LibDems is not what voters want.

The Mandy Plan for a stitched-up New Labour-LibDem deal is dead in the water. The numbers don't stack up. The last roll of the dice from the doomed party of failure is to play the "progressive alliance" card from Blairite social democrats. An anti-Tory ticket. A doomed rainbow alliance of all and sundry, set to fall apart at the drop of a hat.

Such an alliance would produce a short-lived majority but not stability. Celtic nationalists will demand a high price for any such deal. The vexed 'English Question', where a nation could be held to ransom by MPs from outside England, would raise its ugly head, something the Orange Party warned of last week.

The election result was always going to be tight. With a rigged election system stacked in New Labour's favour, the Dave Party faced a mountain to climb even with Ashcroft's marginal cash.

Persuading voters who'd deserted Tories in droves to join Phoney Blair's promised land to switch back should take two general elections. But to Dave's credit he nearly did it in one, despite sticking his head in the clouds with a nebulous 'big society'.

Back in LibDem La-La-Land, a leader who took his party to election disaster should be out on his ears. Instead Windbag Clegg is puffed up by his own self-importance. There is no political advantage in getting into bed with Beaten Brown. Even with Brown out, propping up yet another unelected prime minister will seal the fate of the joker in the pack.

So it's back to the outcome. Brown is down and out clinging on without a shred of decency. The game now for the old tuckers is to engineer a dignified exit so Brown can quit with head held high. Leaving their beloved New Labour lackeys to regroup and fight another day.

The vicious Labour Party sport of tearing itself apart has already begun. A brutal battle between Mandy's Bananaboy Miliband and the Broonites Blinky Balls with Miliband the Younger and Cruddas set to bring up the rear. The decent, clear and articulate voice of what's left of the Labour Party, aka McDonnell is pointing the way to the future. The Orange Party biased? Yup.

Spinning themselves into a hole in the ground, the old gang really should get over it. The country is heading for a Tory-led period of 'liberal conservatism'. Much to the dread of both true blue Tories and the New Labour clones dressed up as social democrat LibDems.

A government of 'caring' Conservatives with a smattering of classic Liberal civil rights and civil liberties. Cameron has been laying the groundwork with his party for years. The LibDems have yet to come to terms with reality and the new politics.

In the smoke-free rooms, Clegg would do well to remember the great Liberal thinkers of old, like 17th century Hobbs and Locke, who argued that the legitimate authority of the state must be derived from the consent of the governed.

Or to put it in 21st century tabloidspeak. Deal or No Deal, Dave will make a dash for No 10. Screw this one up cleverclogs and it's Clegg on toast.


Friday, May 07, 2010

An Hour Is A Long Time In Politics

Beaten Brown is holed up in the bunker. Puffed Up Clegg had the wind knocked out of his sails. Mandy's New Labour dream is disappearing down the drain. Dashing Dave is waiting in the wings. A general election on speed.

The Orange Party is still hungover with hung parliament horror. The game of political poker has begun.

Political pundits and politicians gasped in disbelief as the exit poll revealed the stark truth which had been clear before the start of the race: Cameron would win. Brown would lose. And Clegg would come nowhere.

The Orange Party has lost count the number of times a 'liberal' revival has been puffed up by the media only to fall flat on its face. Now Calamity Clegg and his clapped out crowd face winning probably less seats than they started off with. But the shameless one-trick pony did manage to puff up his personal share of the vote on the back of a single TV talent show.

Many drifted along with the well-spun media narrative but some sharp pundits had seen through the sham. The election was never about a three-horse race. The election was about the Mandy Plan for a dream ticket of an everlasting New Labour Project propped up by Wonderboy.

A plan which would see 'social democrats' who hijacked the Party finally in bed with their Clegg secret weapon, snuggling up to the 'Dems' in LibDems.

New Labour? LibDems? All "progressives" now. The stitch-up was on the cards well before the first vote was cast.

Beaten Brown seemed to be saying his goodbyes in his acceptance speech. Defeat was staring him in the face. Until the Mandy/Campbell spinners put a lid on such dangerous talk. Leaving room for one last political push.

Team Cameron has been staying schtum apart from stating the bleedin' obvious: Labour does not have a mandate to govern. But Brown, without a shred of decency, is clinging on to power until the bitter end.

The election is now a farce. Political posturing and playing by the con of 'constitutional' rules. Unelected Dark Lord Mandy still cannot stop spinning despite Clegg conceding that Cameron should be given a chance.

The struggling Supreme Leader is clinging on as 'prime minister' by his fingertips - with well-spun "constitutional continuity" - as he tries in vain to form a government. But the time to quit is approaching. All hope is lost and the odds so stacked up, a real constitutional crisis would blow up if he tries to carry on regardless.

Some kind of Con-Dem deal is the only show in town. A deal which would allow Her Maj to make that Queen's Speech on May 25 without it falling around her ears. A deal to work out an economic plan to settle the panicky money markets and make a start on rescuing bankrupt Britain from the brink of Borrowing Brown's disaster.

Cameron, winning most seats but not an overall majority, is set to state loud and clear that he can form a "strong and stable" government. For Queen and Country. In the national interest. Learnt on the playing fields of Eton. That's what Her Maj is waiting to hear. That's probably what most of her weary subjects want.

With tacit LibDem support, Tories could haggle and struggle on, using a 'confidence and supply' route pushing through an emergency budget and Queen's Speech. But soon voters could have to go through the whole election rigmarole all over again.

Some kind of Tory-Lib deal is a no-brainer. The only way to prise Bunkered Brown out of Number 10 and have a stab at Dave's 'strong and stable' government.

Calamity Clegg is left playing at being kingmaker on Fantasy Island. Mandy goes off in a sulk. An unelected prime minister and leader of a political party who cannot be trusted to be let loose anywhere near 'ordinary' people goes off to lick his tribal wounds.

"I want to be prime minister", Clegg once declared. The Orange Party is mindful of the old slogan with which mums around the land berate their children - I want never gets.

An hour is a long time in politics. Voters are on tenterhooks with an outgoing prime minister and a new prime minister-in-waiting and a total loser trying to call the shots.

Top picture: Peter Brookes, spot on again in The Times