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Let’s grip this

Mass debating

David Cameron, who looks like he has had Botox injections all over his entire face and hair but was turned down for collagen lip implants on the grounds of medical futility and sheer evil, employed a peculiar locution several times in last night’s television “debate”:

CAMERON: Ian is absolutely right. It is completely unacceptable what has happened, and we need to grip it very, very hard to sort this out for the future. […]

CAMERON: [W]e wouldn’t hear on the doorstep or on the streets as we go about this election campaign people worried about immigration, because they’d know their government had listened to them, gripped it, and got it under control. […]

CAMERON: I say, let’s grip this problem. Let’s talk about it sensitively and sensibly. […]

CAMERON: What you can see is two parties that won’t grip immigration, and one that will.

It wasn’t clear, at least while I was watching the video feed through despairingly slitted eyelids, whether pig-eyed demon-haunted rabbit David Cameron was actually making jerky gripping motions with his pudgy furry hands each time he insisted on gripping banks very, very hard (to make sure no money falls out) or gripping immigrants (to strangle them); or whether he constantly had one hand held in a loose cupping position at groin level behind the podium, signalling his fervent desire to grip the entire country by the balls.

Failed “padded Terminator” prototype David Cameron also said:

CAMERON: I believe in this country that if you work hard and you save money and you put aside money and you try to pay down your mortgage on a family home, you shouldn’t have to sell that or give it to the tax man when you die.

That’s right. You should be able to carry on living in your home when you die.’s world-class nanoanalysis of this exciting “debate” doesn’t stop there, though, readers! I also, for your benefit, condensed the entirety of Nick Cleggogg’s (Quorn Flakes)’s contributions down to their essential kernel:

CLEGGOGG’S: Can I try and move beyond the political point-scoring? [goes on to score political point] […]

CLEGGOGG’S: I just feel sorry for Adina who must be completely lost by all this political point-scoring. [goes on to score political point]

Nick Cleggogg’s, there.

Lastly, Gordon “FACEPALM” Brown failed dismally in employing only once the piquant line he had delivered roughly seventy times in the first debate:

BROWN: Let’s be honest.

This means: “You, sir, immobile-jowled slave of Baal David Cameron, are a fucking liar.” Which itself is quite accurate. The beauty of Let’s be honest, of course, is that it needn’t be followed by anything else that is actually true, and usually wasn’t.

Since it is my expert symbolic-psephological conviction, by the way, that Brown’s widely disseminated FACEPALM photograph is more likely to endear him to the hearts of millions than anything else (we all surely recognize that FACEPALM feeling in our own lives), I think that Brown could have declared instant victory at any time during the “debate” by FACEPALMING once again. The fact that he didn’t shows that he was deplorably ill-advised by his gesture-management team, who might at least have wired his lips shut to prevent him from smiling.

This full and frank analysis of the “debate”, then, leaves us only with the obligatory declaration of who “won”. For my part, I feel intensely comfortable in declaring that all other media analysis of this event has been not only wrong but fundamentally stupid and vicious, and that the “debate” was actually “won” by Slash, Fergie, and Cypress Hill, with their new version of “Paradise City”?

  1. 1  Leinad  April 30, 2010, 11:52 am 

    Thanks Steven. My day was going so well until you linked that.

    Also, welcome back.

    Tragic anglophile that I am I was up at 5:30 AEST for the debate, though I’m regretting it as they all looked pretty over it. Also, Epic Fail on the set, BBC. Bodes ill for election night graphics, don’t it?

    It’s a funny business being an anti-politics politician – you clearly have to keep your schtick fresh with some kind of cream or you end up like Nick Clegg yanking at your collar and saying ‘can you believe these wacky politicians, what with their politicking! Oy vey!’ – he can’t really pull the Beppe Grillo stuff with his background but eh, he’s still less punchable than Cameron and doesn’t evoke pity and revulsion so onya, Cleggo.

    Will be interesting to see just how the highly probable Blue-Yellow coalition works out. Both parties have non-negotiable demands that enacted would seriously threaten the other’s chances at the next election (proportional representation, Toryism) so they’ll either do both or spend the next term trying to strangle the other’s. Fun to watch from a distance, either way.

  2. 2  tom the peeper  April 30, 2010, 11:54 am 

    Perceptive as ever Steven… a wholly depressing experience witnessing the inevitable transition of power from one bunch of f*ckwits to the next. Great.

    But the real revelation of your post is the heads up for Paradise City! Nice! More posts please, if only to keep me in the loop with what rawk you’re currently ‘throwing down’ (as I believe the kids might still say).

  3. 3  dsquared  April 30, 2010, 12:53 pm 

    goddamit, am I going to have to look up that Anastacia/Celine Dion version of “You Shook Me All Night Long” again?

    Cypress Hill – “The Quest for Relevance” meets “Hi, I’m Slash – you may remember me from such records as ‘Black or White”, meets Ms Turn-out-for-a-tenner. It’s like a perfect storm of showbiz tragedy. This is one record that should definitely have been a sitcom.

  4. 4  Steven  April 30, 2010, 1:00 pm 

    Perhaps you would prefer Slash feat. Ian Astbury, “Ghost”?

  5. 5  Leinad  April 30, 2010, 1:02 pm 

    Fuck it, here’s Cypress Hill spoojing all over Guns of Brixton.

  6. 6  richard  April 30, 2010, 4:06 pm 

    The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.
    Perhaps that’s what Cameron’s secretly hoping for: a coalition with the Sith.

  7. 7  sw  April 30, 2010, 7:54 pm 

    The only time I would expect Fergie and David Cameron to be mentioned in the same breath would be one that also included the word “vajazzling”.

  8. 8  femt  May 1, 2010, 1:36 am 


    Missed you big. All I’ve had for company is the LRB archive and a gentle foal.

  9. 9  Leinad  May 1, 2010, 2:38 am 

    Also, via the Guardian we find that while doing his MA in Minneapolis Clegg went ‘religiously’ to every Prince gig he could, making an endorsement a pure formality.

  10. 10  mynamesdan  May 2, 2010, 12:07 am 

    Glad you’re back. Looks like you needed that one.

    These debates, man. The first was exciting. The second was gnawingly dull and this one, well. It just makes me want to draw a big hairy cock on my ballot paper. Can I still feel superior to my non-voting friends if i deface my ballot paper?

  11. 11  Roger Migently  May 2, 2010, 9:45 am 


    It is all so awful. Even Brits shouldn’t have to be forced to choose between such pitiful alternatives. Perhaps the BNP will slip through Cameron’s firm grip to claim victory. Subliminal polling by two Brits and New Scientist predict CP290, LP247 LD70.

    It’s no better here in Oz. Later this year we will have to choose (compulsorily) between the Liars and the Other Liars. I suppose that’s democracy.

    btw, Brown ought to have listened to Churchill: “We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out,” although he also said, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

  12. 12  Roger Migently  May 3, 2010, 11:50 am 

    Jon Stewart has actual pictures of Gordon Brown’s political soul leaving his body, right before the FACEPALM:

  13. 13  democracy_grenade  May 6, 2010, 1:14 am 

    Glad to see you back, Stephen.

    My own theory about DC’s will-to-grip is that he’s very much enamoured of the classy and somewhat evocative idiom “grasp the nettle”. But in its entirety, it has a somewhat quaint and pastoral feel. I mean: who the hell comes into contact with nettles these days, amirite? Certainly not the Ordinary Person with his/her ruddy, council-estate face. But there were probably a good few nettles growing around the grounds of Eton (boo, hiss). And obviously he can’t say “we need to grasp this”, because that sounds like an admission of base ignorance.

    As for the debates: I’ve confined myself to reading the transcripts. That was quite enough, ta.

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