“In Berlin, things are serious but not hopeless. In Vienna, they are hopeless but not serious.” – Karl Kraus, 1914
British politics has moved firmly into “hopeless but not serious” mode this week. First, we have the spectacle of Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, becoming the first leader of a British political party to admit to being an alcoholic, and to having lied repeatedly about this to his fellow MPs and to the press over the past decade. So far he doesn’t seem to think this should disqualify him from remaining in his post. Bless.
And then we have the spectacle of George Galloway – a man for whom the word “egregious” could have been specifically invented – appearing on Celebrity Big Brother. The fact that he’s an MP and that Parliament is currently sitting is, it seems, no obstacle to his spending up to a fortnight on a reality TV show. Mind you, his constituents in Bethnal Green and Bow are probably relieved/surprised to see that he has been able to tear himself away from the US lecture circuit for a brief stay in this country.
Some of his more ungrateful constituents have set up a website that helpfully provides a running update of how much Gorgeous George’s sojourn in the BB house is costing the Great British Taxpayer.
Oh well. Beats living in a dictatorship, I guess.