I have a dilemma. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson have made it so.
My OCD behaviour, I have noticed, is on the increase and I can often dwell upon the most minor of points. Thankfully the annoyances are more than offset by the cleanliness of my home and my recent foray into baking has wielded some excellent results in my quest for perfect pastry.
This particular little gem has been niggling at me.
Yesterday’s Sun reported on an upcoming fundraiser for the Brexit campaign. A classy affair, to be attended only by those with the deepest pockets and largest chequebooks. The focus of the piece was on items being offered for auction at the event, in the hope of opening the aforementioned chequebooks.
Two items caught my eye and led to the dilemma I am now left with (in no particular order):
- Afternoon Tea with Jacob Rees-Mogg and his beloved nanny.
- A game of ‘ping pong’ with Boris Johnson.
This has been eating at me, in sporadic intervals, since I read about it. It’s not that I’d particularlywant to, even the impossible were possible, but more which one I’d prefer.
Some background to set the scene
To get to where I am at, gaining a full flavour of the enormity of my dilemma, it’s important to understand how my politics have been shaped into what they are. They are a hodgepodge of belief, mixed with the scars of a brutally unsympathetic environment to grow up.
I am the ultimate, left-wing-flabbergasting, Working Class, Tory.
I detest the regressive, entitlement-cultured, aspiration-killing, economically inept nature of Socialism. I detest that some think it is ok that everyone should share equally the spoils of labour, without the efforts. I abhor waste.
I’m the youngest of 10 children, reared on 1½ wages in a 3-bedroom council house in Northern Ireland, which my parents went on to purchase late in life. My parents asked for nothing and their children wanted for nothing, within reason. They went without many times, to ensure I got a Grammar School education, something they felt would stand me in good stead.
I work for myself, sometimes relocating within UK. I work a mind-blowing number of hours, partly because I charge far too little for the effort I put in and partly because I am driven by a belief that it is important not to feel owned by those who ultimately buy a portion of my life. I have faith in my own ability to be able to provide for myself without reliance upon anyone I have not given equal consideration to.
I’m a 45 year old insomniac grafter, albeit mostly in an office, striving not to be rich, but to be contented. I have a long-term plan to have sufficient set aside to live my twilight years quietly and self-sufficiently, on a small piece of countryside somewhere, owned by me. My personal definition of ‘owned’ goes deeper than the traditional ‘piece of paper’. I have to feel I earned it, sweated for each grain below my feet. I find this an amusing OCD manifestation, if somewhat tedious.
My attitude towards people is simple. I like them and wish them all the best, but often wish they’d go and ‘stand over there a bit’.
I believe in less government, preferring to be left alone. I’ll pay what you ask to oil the government machine, but would rather they respect my boundaries unless invited.
I think tax is ultimately theft, when spent incorrectly or wasted in any fashion by those in authority. If you take my money, I’d be insistent upon it providing the services myself and my fellow-man need to facilitate hassle-free lives. I’d want you to focus upon handing my money out to those who require it, rather than those who merely feel entitled to it, should there be some left to hand out. I’d ask that, if a child nearby needs fed/housed/joy, you take whatever is needed and provide it.
That all said, I am a Capitalist, through and through. I believe the market balances most things, but it could do so with a better form of governance to ensure those who climb the ladder don’t tread upon the heads of those who helped them. Everyone is entitled to a profit, but greed is a cancer which blights the world, when profit becomes a sole focus. The obvious hypocrisy is strong, given I profess to want less government, but the potential damage greed can inflict requires a strong hand to control.
I detest war and needless killing, but recognise the need to make a stand and do it enthusiastically. I believe, however, a fairer and freer approach to world capitalism would reduce a large majority of the war we face. I think we could do the deal more often, if we were economically strong enough to widen our options.
It’s easy to see the faults of the establishment, the privilege afforded to some who would not possess the most honourable of personalities. We all see how those with the most money often use it to wield undue influence, sometimes detrimental to ordinary people. I wish it were not so and I’d advocate whatever regulatory powers are being considered are levelled their direction, merely to ensure exploitation is minimised. It’s important to be realistic enough to knowminimised is the best that can be done.
So, I don’t begrudge our politicians a good background. In fact I’d welcome it. I believe in balance, but those who make the big decisions have to be equipped in life to be able to do so. They must have the best education. They must know how to turn a few quid. They must command the respect of those they solicit on our behalf, across the world. They must, however, not forget those they represent and the UK as a whole must always come first.
I am also a sucker for an eccentric, a great fan of those of superior intelligence and a lover of a sense of humour – which leads me back to the crux of my dilemma, into the pit of indecision.
Option 1 – A game of ping pong with Boris Johnson
I’ll deal with this first, since it’s a more complicated relationship.
I believe history will judge him favourably, as a man who returned the UK to prosperity. A man who led the country towards their own little piece of earth, like the one I seek, yet he started off in a quagmire of adversity. I really hope and pray he is also remembered as the visionary who gave us the all-important EU Referendum which took us out of an undemocratic political behemoth, hell-bent upon swallowing up the UK.
I cannot agree with him on everything and we’d differ greatly on the European Union, but I’d not denigrate the man in order to gain the prize of Brexit. If the argument cannot win on merit, it has been poorly delivered.
I’m a massive believer that work is the best policy, get everyone who can to do it, and we’ll see our country prosper. Cameron, Osborne and crew have focussed on the work side, providing an average of 1000 jobs per day since coming to power. They have reformed and enhanced education and the country will amass a qualified workforce through their aggressive drive to create new apprenticeships.
The waste that blights any grafter’s contentment is being reduced, through a firm but fair austerity-lite project, constantly tweaked to meet oncoming hurdles.
But, I like Boris. Boris is one of my favourites. He’s an eccentric, but never let that casual buffoon-like exterior cloak the wise and calculating man underneath. Boris has been a legendary London Mayor and he’s increasingly popular with people from all walks of life. One only had to see the furore whilst the UK waited to hear which side he’d choose in the EU Referendum, to see how the establishment respect his popularity.
I believe that Boris is not plotting, as some in the media would try to assert, but merely positioning himself for when our current PM steps down. Cameron has said he won’t be leader in 2020, but I’d hope he is right up until then and I genuinely believe Boris will not force any change to that.
I do, however, feel Boris will succeed David Cameron and lead a hugely successful Conservative government with a comfortable majority, from 2020. I’ll be happy with that.
So, consider this from my perspective.
I’d get to whip the future UK Prime Minister at a game I’d call Table Tennis and he’d call Whiff Waff. I could drink out on that story for months.
Option 2 – Afternoon Tea with Jacob Rees-Mogg and his beloved nanny
This is a simple one to explain.
With the Mogg!
And someone he dotes on.
Would I not frighten the lady with my size and bearded exterior, coupled with a thick accent she’d equate to a rabid barbarian, I could almost ponder this situation. The Mogg is a wordsmith, an intellect, with wit worthy of attention.
Which one to choose?
Who knows? I cannot make my mind up. I am perplexed. I have revisited my polls and find I am still running a campaign too close to call.
I can see the attraction of either, in a very hypothetical situation. I just cannot decide which would be my choice, were I the guy in the penguin suit waving his chequebook in the air.
It’s not the event itself. I’m not a dreamy fan-boy, picturing himself in a situation above his station. Reality is fine with me. I’m quite understanding of the merits of acceptance and take no pleasure from romanticism.
I’m merely hitting what looks like a deadlocked 50/50 choice, setting alarm bells ringing in my sense of reasoning. I need a winner. It won’t go away until I can satisfy myself I have chosen and that my choice is more than an idle coin-toss.
I cannot lie to myself and say I’d take both. None of the penguins in attendance would take both. They’d neither want to pay the dosh for both nor wish to be seen as the person who tried to outperform the others.
I have managed to jot down my reasoning, my minor self-torment, but I feel the old adage of writing it down has not borne fruit.
So, what to do? Perhaps I could convince them to settle this in a boxing ring for me, I’ll award the winner a 5% swing?