Well, that was quite a summer wasn’t it? I personally learned a lot. For example, I learned Ken Brannagh makes for a badass-looking industrialist. I learned that Boris Johnson and harnesses don’t mix. I learned that Prince Harry makes Charlie Sheen look Richard Briers. I learned that The Doctor’s new companion is brilliant and gorgeous. I learned that Catholic Archbishops can deliver messages from beyond the grave and regular Catholic bishops are ridiculously naive. And I learned that Russia is bloody terrifying.
But now, September is all up in our grill and everyone goes back to normal apart from Green Day, who use this month to have a good long kip. Perhaps the busiest man of the week is David “Every Two Years I’m Shufflin’” Cameron, who no doubt spent the early part of this week moving Subbutteo pieces with pictures of Tory MP’s around his table. When you’re dealing with about 100 government positions a full-scale reshuffle must be as unwieldy as Alan Partridge’s Soccermeter, and while he didn’t undergo a night of the long knives, he did do what every tourist does when walking from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street: he walked down Whitehall, then turned right. Justine Greening has been flown off out of Transport to International Development, replaced by midlands dweller Patrick McLoughlin, who would have to be proposing a ruddy big third runway to be personally affected by the current hot and heavy Heathrow debate. Elsewhere Kenneth Clarke has been replaced as Justice Minister by neo-Tebbit and traditional lifestyle advocating B&B enthusiast Chris Grayling, with Ken being made that strangest of things, a Minister Without Portfolio. Hopefully he’ll be given one before he goes back out on the canvas.
Of course the biggest move of the cabinet though was Andrew Lansley being shifted out of Health. “Great!”, shouted his many opponents, “A clean break from the dangerous meddling of the past!”. At least that’s what they might have been thinking before they realised amateur campanologistJeremy Hunt would be taking over, and not just because of his love of homeopathic medicine. They say politics is a numbers game, but in this case it’s very much of one of letters: a few months ago Hunt CC’d his BFFs the Murdochs about BskyB, now he’s running the NHS.
While the ministers on British government’s Magic Roundabout just about get their bearings, over in the States the national convention circus has been in full swing of late. Last week it was the Republicans’ turn, the highlight of which was Clint Eastwood causing viewers the world over to sniff their tea and wonder if something psychotropic had somehow slipped into it with a double act so bizarre it had everyone yearning for the good old days of Clyde The Orang-Utan. There are two types of people, said The Man With No Name in The Good The Bad And The Ugly, those with loaded guns and those who dig. Clint shot the GOP in the foot, and then kept digging.
But this week another elderly legend was causing the Republicans trouble. Philomena Lynott, the mother of Thin Lizzy legend Phil, has taken serious exception to messrs Romney and Ryan using his track The Boys Are Back In Town. Phillo, a woman never backward at coming forward anyway, chastised Romney for his anti-gay people, pro-rich people views, lengthening an historicallysprawling line of musical numbers that Republicans use to the chagrin of the people who actually recorded them. Meanwhile the Democratic convention, save for some controversy and embarrassment accommodating the comedy mother in law of American politics (God and Israel), was a much more lucid, genuine and passionate affair and had intro music from Stevie Wonder, Sly And The Family Stone, Chic, Earth Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin, Fleetwood Mac, The O-Jays, Daft Punk, Prince, The Temptations, Martha And The Vandellas and Bruce Springsteen. Turns out the DNC, like hell, is where all the good music is. They almost certainly have the next President too.