Laboured Joke

I find it hugely depressing that Labour aren’t top of the public opinion polls by a long stretch in the UK at the moment. I’m not surprised at all. I have no hope in them, or any intention of voting for them at all. But it’s still saddening, because they should be. It’s exactly one year today until the UK’s next general elections. We’ve now had four years of rule by the Coalition government of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. That’s four years of fast track privatisation of public services, four years of policies that persecute the disabled, the poor & often the young, and four years of u-turns, political gaffs in all sorts of media*. Along with the rise of self-humiliating UKIP, satire has never been so hard to do, because politicians seem to do it all for themselves.

The Conservatives have played up to all their easy stereotypes of villainous, wealthy characters who care little for the poor. The Lib Dems have played their role as pathetic side-kicks who have gone against everything they’ve stood for originally, falling to 5th place in many polls. UKIP have managed to upstage themselves by almost daily gaffs. And Labour. Labour who should 100% be clearing up. Today they released a Party Election Broadcast of a sketch featuring ‘Clegg’ and ‘Cameron’, mocking the Lib Dem leaders weakness and the Tories being “out of touch”. It is here: … And it is also hugely unfunny, boring and smells of more try hard than the whole of Shoreditch.

Ignore for a minute that over the last four years Miliband’s team have gone along with various government policies that back up the disgusting ‘workers vs shirkers’ ideals or that unions are dangerous while private big firms with intentions prioritising profit over people are good. Just pretend they hadn’t. Which they have and it’s awful. But pretend they haven’t got an education minister who, aside from looking like he should have his own bard at all times,  seems to have as much respect for teachers as Gove does. Yes, I know. But just for a minute. Even after all that,  you still think they’d be able to successfully challenge Cameron at PMQ’s when he spouts facts about how many houses they’ve built or unemployment levels that are either not factually true or based on changing the meaning of the term ’employed’ to now be anyone who’s seen a job in a film. You still think they’d be able to go back through all the years of mishaps, hypocrisies and selfish intentions and make a really actually funny video about the opposing parties. But they can’t. Ok, you can remember all the awful stuff they’ve done now too. Then realise it’s impossible for them to provide something that actually opposes the government because they haven’t yet, in any way. Now feel even more disappointed in politics.

Everyday on Twitter people are able to tear apart today’s politicians. Often with witty, clever thoughts, and sometimes just with ‘fuck off dishface’ (which is also funny). Across blogs, websites and podcasts people are able to counter arguments using facts and research that is never mentioned on broadcast media or in Parliament as a counter method. Political comedy is finally growing in the stand-up comedy circuit because it’s impossible not to. Things are so shit, the politicians are so bad and hypocrisy and bigotry within Parliament feels at such an all time high, that it’s far more simple to write a 5 minute set on that than the everyday grinds of a happy existence. Yet Labour still can’t manage it.** It’s a regular joke that the Conservatives are out of tough, and while I’d agree, I think it’d be fair to say all the parties are. None of them have their pulse on how the rest of the country and is thinking. And that there, proves that we really have very little choice left at all. Next year’s elections will either be very very interesting, or hugely depressing. At least it should keep the comedy circuit alive and strong for another 5 years.

* Yes there’s more I could list here but I wanted to write a blog, not an essay.

** Green’s PEB did make me chuckle. But not enough. And while I’m swaying towards them (with an MEP vote for Rufus Hound for the NHA Party), it still isn’t enough. Nor does it provide me with enough confidence that they’ll be good in government.


My penultimate tour show of ‘Tiernan’s Tour 2014’ (before I change it’s name & do it a few more times then take it to Edinburgh. Ahem.) is in New Milton at the Forest Arts Centre on May 16th. Click here (then search on the date of my show. Their website is rubbish and doesn’t have direct links to pages. I know. I know.)

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