Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ten Commandments for Government

Flicking through my record collection to provide the soundtrack to New Year’s Eve, I came across something potentially interesting. One song, known by friends at college as ‘The Happy Song’, contains some very familiar lyrics – it’s Hooligan's Progress by These Animal Men (sadly not available on youtube). It features a plangent, melancholic opening, bemoaning the difficulties of life, before exploding into a banging bassline and lots of invigorating shouting.

Including, at one point, "We're All In This Together!"

When David Cameron said that Eton Rifles was one of his favourite songs, that led to snorts of derision. He seemed to have an over-literal take on the song, saying "I was one, in the corps”, which gives rise to slight nerves that anyone would think it a good idea to give this bloke a gun, but then I suppose as he now has the MoD at his disposal...[shudders]...doesn’t bear thinking about. Anyway.

What is perhaps more worrying is that Callmedave seems to be basing government policy on the rantings of a speed-addled group of sexually provocative NWONW-ers. Curious to discover what other ‘innovations’ might result from this, I did a quick search for the ‘Ten Commandments’ that TAM put on their early singles. Now, this is from the interwebz, so might not be entirely accurate, and I can only check 7 (on the sleeve of ‘Babylon’), and make a guess that 8 is right (on the sleeve of Speeed King, but covered by a sticker, presumably on the advice of a passing lawyer).

But here they are:

1. Get a catholic education

Given that the charity sector is being urged to do everything the state thinks is inconvenient, like education, healthcare provision, community sports, and collecting bins, and the fact that successive governments have not wanted to tangle with faith schools, this in fact seems a fairly accurate prediction.

2. Poor is beautiful

Because the bulk of the people will be, and it is important that they are happy about it. Oh yes, you’re beautiful. You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful to meeeeeee. So get over it.

3. Respect is earned

Ha! They were a bit off on this one. Perhaps this was a typo for ‘Influence is bought’.

4. Don't tell your parents

...that you’re a Tory.

5. Don't be ashamed of your adolescence

Being in the Bullingdon club is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

6. If you've got it, flaunt it

If you haven’t, shut the fuck up.

7. Love is good, but not as good as a wank

Hmmm. Possibly a more general reflection on the self-centred, individualistic, immediate gratification approach endorsed by the Tories. Possibly advice to ministers not to start knocking off the staff, as that never ends well...

8. Amphetamines are where it's at

The one that caused TAM most problems, and the most difficult to reconcile with the coalition’s legislative programme. I can only imagine they will be using the legalisation of drugs a) to get the student protesters to shut up and b) to gain some much-needed tax revenue (because taxing the rich would be, like, complicated. And unfair).

9. Never trust a crusty

Reject the counter-culture! Reject individualism! Hug a hoody, though, we might need them to do the heavy lifting...

10. Taboo is a dirty word

Immigration? Yeah, let’s talk about it. Multi-culturalism? Let’s have a heated debate. The underclass? Workshop it! Disability? Mindmaps, they’ll help. But let’s make sure all these debates are framed in nice, safe, Daily Mail style terms, i.e. it’s wrong! It’s just wrong! Stop it! Stop it now!

Thus, I think it is fairly clear that Hooligan et al should now be recognised as the neo-conservative visionaries that they clearly are. Can hardly wait for the budget, when Gids gets to his feet and proclaims that economic policy will now be based on Alright by Supergrass, and that welfare reform will take place to the soundtrack of The Man Don’t Give a Fuck by the Super Furries. Remember, kids, we’re all in this together! C’mon, sing!