Michael Fish. National treasure, weatherman, Michael Fish. He’s a treasure. He’s also most famous for patronisingly telling a member of the public that there were no hurricanes about to hit these here then British Isles in 1987, the evening before the famous British hurricane of 1987. Wincey Willis had a good old chortle about that, though I’m sure Mr Fish’s neck is turning red then purple with rage as he reads this, incandescent that his life’s work is reduced to that one moment of meteoric meteorological madness. What about the times he correctly predicted damp August bank holidays?
In the time when the Tories via the BBC are putting the Met Office out of the business of forecasting the BBC weather, in favour of more privatisation, I have always found that Fish faux pas to be reassuring. Boiled down, it’s a moment when our patrician establishment patted us on the head and shooed us off to bed and got it stonkingly and exceedingly publicly wrong.
The voices of authority are forever telling us what’s what and what’s not and, more times than not, they don’t have the first idea. I’m not talking about being post-expert; Michael Gove was talking about himself when he said we were fed up of experts. I’m talking about our “betters” telling us what’s best, while they hang on for dear life to the white knuckle ride, praying that it will all somehow shake out to a favourable conclusion.
The Tories have no idea what to do about Brexit and couldn’t successfully campaign to Remain. I’ve discussed it before. The Tories have no idea about how to successfully run public services. The Tories have no idea how to successfully run Education or the NHS. The Tories have no idea how to successfully run the economy. [Quick Caveat: The Tories have no idea how to run any of these things in the best interests of the general public and taxpayers.] The Tories have no idea how to successfully run the armed forces or the police or the fire service or the ambulance service. The Tories have been consistently appalling in government. They can only run election campaigns because they massively overspend during them and break the laws governing spending.
The Tories’ failures are writ large in the trebled national debt, the housing crisis, the creaking at the seams NHS, the mess of Education, the crippling rise in personal debt, homelessness, reliance on foodbanks, in work poverty, collapsed social care, rise in suicide, rise in mental health problems for children, anxiety, and job insecurity. Tory successes are harder to find, let alone countenance, but can be found in the £billions transferred out of public spending and to privateers.
But they, and their much discussed complicit, compromising and corrupting relationships with the media, pat the public on its collective head and shoo us off to bed, telling us they can take care of it all.
Theresa May has inherited Prime Ministership from the jumpship and sits at the head of one of the most uninspiring cabinets in living history. True, May has jettisoned some of the worst flotsam to trouble Downing Street but I wouldn’t trust what’s left to divine tomorrows forecast with a weather stone.