Saturday, 29 June 2013

Aliens over Stoke- now it all makes sense.

The government has released the last of its ‘X Files’, well the records it kept of people who contacted the MOD to report the presence of aliens at the bottom of their garden anyway.

It turns out several of these sightings occurred in the skies over Stoke-on-Trent; suddenly a lot of things about how my home town has been run in recent years make sense.

You’d have to be from Pluto to think that building an expensive and publicly unpopular new Civic Centre in a Central Business District with no other tenants will drive regeneration. It also explains why the proposed East/West precinct never seems to get any closer to being built, the site of the former Hanley bus station isn’t a festering eyesore; it’s a Close Encounters style beacon to the aliens. If we don’t build it they will come.

Little green me, maybe that should be little blue ones actually, also seem to have had a hand in writing the spending review unveiled by chancellor George Osborne this week. As predicted he announced more cuts to public spending and a cap in welfare, also anyone seeking to claim benefits will have to wait for seven days. On Venus if you lose your job you can almost always get another one within a week, it’s only down here on Earth we have awkward things like recessions.

Then again perhaps we don’t, the boffins over at the Institute for Financial Studies said this week that the double dip one in late 2011 and early 2012 didn’t really happen. You could have fooled me pal, from where I was standing it sure felt like one.

Their reasoning seems to be that is you don’t call it a recession then it isn’t one. Which is a little bit like saying that if you call a compound fracture a ‘boo-boo’ instead it won’t have you writhing in agony.

Never mind there is a little sugar to sweeten the bitter pill of spending cuts. The government is going to unleash a torrent of massive infrastructure projects to kick start the economy.

Hang on though, before anyone strings out the bunting there isn’t any new money to pay for said projects, they’re just warming up ones that have already been announced. This isn’t, alas, the dawn of a ‘New Deal’ for the twenty first century so much as a rehash of one of New Labour’s old tricks.

The government’s one big idea seems to be digitizing the courts system to cut down the number of times cases are cancelled and get rid of the tidal wave of paper in which it drowns. As ideas go this is a good one, the trouble is that past experience shows that all governments are legendarily poor at delivering big IT projects.

As for the party formerly known as Labour, they harrumphed mightily about the cuts, but since a few weeks ago they all but admitted they would stick to Tory spending plans if elected nobody took much notice. Apart, maybe, from observing that yet again Ed Milliband had had the ball of political relevance snatched away Charlie Brown style just as his foot was about to make contact.

If only the sorry state of British politics really were down to the malign influence of aliens from planet Zog. Alas the source of our problems is all too human, inept politicians and an apathetic public; a combination more toxic than the atmosphere on Neptune.

This is what happens when otherwise sensible people decide that politics is either silly or dull; it certainly isn’t something with any relation to their lives anyway.

A great city that played a pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution and still has creativity coded into its DNA risks being bankrupted by a Labour group that operates in an opposition free vacuum. Nationally complacent millionaires lecture families struggling on the minimum wage or less about the need to tighten their belts whilst chomping on ten quid ‘gourmet’ burgers.

If by some chance there are aliens scanning our benighted corner of the universe I doubt they will choose it as a landing site. They’d struggle to detect any signs of intelligent life and if they asked to be taken to our leader they would find the journey not worth the trouble.

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