Strange things a’happening in Eastleigh

25 February 2013

Apologies for my absence – had a week’s holiday, somewhere distant from thunderstorms and snow. Coming back last night on an Oman Airlines flight, in cattle class, the air stewardess trolley babe asked me which of the two set hot meals of stewed shit I would prefer. I told her that I didn’t really fancy either, please could I just have some cheese and crackers? She replied, and I quote: ‘There is cheese and biscuits in the first class and business class sections, but not for people like you.’

So, Eastleigh, then – and what an appalling showing by Labour, if the polls are to be believed. It is true that Labour has never done terribly well in the constituency, despite the fact that at least one of the previous Tory incumbents was discovered to have wanked himself to death with a mandarin in his mouth and a pair of tights around his neck, behaviour which is often frowned upon by the electorate even in Hampshire.

Oddly, this time around, the Tory voters seem to have blamed the Liberals for the impotence of the coalition and the Lib Dem voters have blamed the Tories. The surprise is that so few are apparently sufficiently disenchanted to throw their lot in with either UKIP – which although it seems to be coming third has not made the sort of waves some expected – or indeed Labour. The biggest surprise is that the Lib Dem vote has held up so well. I wonder where the UKIP support is coming from? The Tories, one supposes. But if the outcome resembles these polling figures it slightly alters my view of the catastrophe awaiting Clegg and Co next time around. And notions of a Labour resurgence seem to be wishful thinking on my part.

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  • mightymark

    I hope I have understood him right (as it could just be an odd juxtapositon of phrases) but does Rod really think Labour voters are any more condemnatory of sexual deviancy than anyone else?

  • A Common Reader

    So, Farage is our Beppe Grillo. I guess he’d do about as much good for Britain as Grillo is likely to do for Italy.

  • Smithersjones2013

    What an utterly absurd and ridiculous piece of propaganda

    Libdems down 1/3rd of their vote share

    Tories down 1/4 of their vote share

    Labour flatlining on around 1 in 9 voters

    And UKIP have only increased their vote share by 600%

    That truly is a terrible performance by UKIP. Anyone knows the last thing you should do in an election is significantly increase your vote. How foolish of them to do so…

  • Chris Williams

    You takes your choice and pays your money. In a plane at 52,000ft they can’t just pop out to get a few crackers for someone who wants them. Even if there happened to be a couple spare, they can’t give them because what happens when two or three people see you and also start asking. The stewardess is fair enough: if you want to get capricious get you money out and pay for the expensive ticket.The only point Rod’s story seems to illustrate is that he is a quite unpleasant type, something I have rather suspected from past reading of his columns.

  • Whiskybreath

    Omani Air, eh? You should fly Saudi, where the chorus of prayers rises with a successful takeoff.

    • Noa

      And where joining the Mile High club can, if you’re caught, get you a very stiff Campari indeed when you land.

  • Dogsnob

    I’m nearly sure it was a satsuma.

  • deliberalator

    Rod tells himself he’s labour because it mitigates his right wing orientated political columns and he thinks it gives him some advantage and protection. His constituency is of the right.The Spectator is not really left now is it? However there is a tainting of leftism about him and I think he really resents the fact that he’s relegated to cattle class and thinks he should be up there with the champagne swillers .Once he gets there I think we will hear less of that kind of pathetic nonsense.

  • Robert Taggart

    Roddy L. Did your flight land at Southampton (Eastleigh) Airport ?…
    Why else for this rant ?!

    • Noa

      Ahhh! So, like Clegg, I have been to Eastleigh then….but not enough to notice.

  • MikeF

    Perhaps what she meant by the words “people like you” was people stuck in a sort of 1960s timewarp who persist in voting Labour in the delusion that the party is still the basically decent social democratic organisation it was then with policies aimed at the general betterment of society and not the nasty, intolerant, ideologically-driven authoritarian-narcissist movement it has become. Your use of of the words ‘air stewardess trolley babe’ would suggest such a regressive, nostalgia-fuddled, counter-factual state of mind. I believe you will find ‘flight attendant’ is the proper term these days.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “the nasty, intolerant, ideologically-driven authoritarian-narcissist movement ”

      Yes, that’s the Labour party alright. Evidenced here almost every day by their trolls.

  • zanzamander

    Why mandarin?

  • philgcdr

    Vote for UK sovereignty.

  • gfr

    Doesn’t anybody think it strange that Marta Andreasen should defect to the tories JUST BEFORE the election? If she was SO upset by Farage’s “dictatorial” style, why didn’t she defect MONTHS ago?
    You see dirty tricks like this all the time here in the US, and inevitably it’s because the party in power is DESPERATE. One wonders what Andreasen was promised in order to stab her country in the back. She says that she was swayed by Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum “..before 2017”
    That’s FOUR years from now !!! WHY should it take so long? If Cameron WANTS to do it, and if 81% of the British people want a referendum – why not do it right away? What are the chances that Cameron will even be Prime Minister in four years? If he is, what are the chances that he will actually remember his pledge?
    Viewed from here the tories would appear to be “labour-lite”. They don’t care what happens to the country just so long as they get to keep their cushy jobs. What is the point in voting for a party that says what everybody wants to hear but NEVER CHANGES ANYTHING?
    Vote UKIP – it might HELP, It can’t HURT…

  • laurence

    ‘with a mandarin in his mouth’. I hope that by ‘mandarin’ you intend the fruit rather than a bureaucrat. The latter would, perhaps, be more of a LibDem speciality.

    • Roger Hudson

      I thought it was an orange and not in his mouth but up his ****.
      There seems to be no party good enough to vote for.

  • T00th_Fairy

    On the doorstep, I found an incredible friendliness to the UKIP stance. Further many of the voters had not made their minds up and were quite aware of the arguments. Very well informed. Personally I think you will eat your words “I wonder where the UKIP support is coming from? The Tories, one supposes.” as their support is coming across all previous party voters.

  • Mr Grumpy

    You should have a quiet word with the Sultan, Rod.

    Wikipedia on his reign:-

    “Unrest has been inspired by the Arab Spring groundswell of political dissent in the
    region. Protests began in January 2011, with
    protestors demanding political reforms and jobs. They were dispersed by riot
    police and in February 2011 one demonstrator was shot dead by police. Sultan
    Qaboos reacted by promising jobs and benefits. In October 2011, elections
    were held to the Consultative Council, for which Sultan Qaboos promised greater
    powers. The following year, the government began a crackdown on Internet
    criticism. In September 2012, trials began of ‘activists’ accused of posting
    “abusive and provocative” criticism of the government online. Six were given
    jail terms of 12–18 months and fines of around $2,500 each.”

    Nice place, nice airline.

    • rodliddle

      Nicer regime than what would replace it, I’d guess. I think all of us anti-liberal evnagelists have a duty to take holidays in the satrapies of Arab despots: I’ve done Muscat, now you try Aleppo.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Even in the tourist enclave in Tunisia recently you couldn’t avoid the wintry blasts emanating from the Arab ‘Spring;.

      • Noa

        At least they have cheese there, Rod.

  • David Ossitt

    “And notions of a Labour resurgence seem to be wishful thinking on my part.”

    Rod, why oh why do you seek a Labour resurgence given the sheer lack of talent and credibility on the opposition front bench?

    • DougS

      David: your extravagant praise of the Labour front bench cuts no ice with me!

    • ArchiePonsonby

      Rod’s a lefty luvvie. Didn’t you know?

      • David Ossitt

        Yes, of course I know but I live in the hope; that he will one day have his road to Damascus conversion and the socialist blind-fold will drop from his eyes.

        He is far too nice a chap to be one of them.

        • ArchiePonsonby

          His articles are sometimes frightfully amusing, I have to say.

        • Noa

          I’m not sure where Rod could go if he left, though.

          Only UKIP and the Monstors have a sardonic sense of humour.

          And only the latter still canvass in eyeliner.

          • David Ossitt

            I think that he would be a great asset to UKIP.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      I agree with Doug S. How can you expect your post to be treated seriously if you heap praise of such munificence upon the festering, gangrenous filth that constitutes the Labour front bench?

      • David Ossitt

        Well said Sir.

    • Swanky Yanky

      Political tribalism. Rod basically lives and thinks like a classical liberal, but Labour are His People so he still roots for them. Whereas I am quite happy to throw the Tories under the bus and would vote UKIP if I were there.

      • David Ossitt

        Whilst there are very many people who like and trust UKIP and who agree with much of their manifesto, to vote for them is a waste of a vote in any contest other than for the EU-MEP’s (where party lists play their part).

        Do remember this is a by election, this is not the place to bugger about.

        If as I suspect you support “The Grand old Party” in the US of A, then were you here you would be likely to vote Concervative.

        • Swanky Yanky

          Yes I’m a GOPer. But I’m a classical liberal and a real Conservative: I don’t know *what* Cameron is. He looks, acts, and smells just like a statist, to me.

        • Swanky Yanky

          By the way, David, when it comes to politics, I never ‘bugger about’. I don’t believe in voting as a way of spiting my face. I do think Britain needs to dislodge the complacent twosome, though (Tories, Labourites, and their epigones the Lib-Dems).

          • David Ossitt

            Hello, let me assure you I was not meaning to infer that you would bugger about; we of the right do tend to be loyal in our support for your GOP or our Tory Party.

            Strange that you should think that we have a complacent twosome; when from our side of the pond we see only Democrats (though they are anything but) and GOP on your side of the water.

            • Swanky Yanky

              I just edited my post (before reading yours) to make it clearer.

              Our twosome aren’t complacent: they’re both dead serious about winning, and they’re chalk and cheese. Whereas in Britain it’s all statism all the time (except for UKIP). I would love the Tories to behave like Tories, but the top guys don’t. And they ruin it for everybody.

              • David Ossitt

                “I would love the Tories to behave like Tories, but the top guys don’t. And they ruin it for everybody.”

                True, I have a feeling that a lot of this is to do with the class system, over here it would appear to be perfectly respectable for an upper class type to be a socialist or even a Communist (just think of all those toff’s who were traitors in the forty’s fifties and early sixties) but they do seam to find being right-wing somewhat embarrassing.

                We the English need our version of a right wing Plaid Cymru or even our own right wing version of the Scottish Nationalist.

                But what we really really want is to be out of the USSEU and the grip of the European Court of Human Rights.

                • Swanky Yanky

                  Interesting points. I wonder about ‘right wing’, though. To me that means the sort of party that would have felt right at home in Weimar Germany. I’m a classical liberal: I don’t identify as ‘right wing’ at all — not because I’m a wet but because clarity is important.

                • David Ossitt

                  “Interesting points. I wonder about ‘right wing’, though. To me that means the sort of party that would have felt right at home in Weimar Germany.”

                  I am not too sure about that “Weimar Germany 1919-1933” was made up of in the main by The SPD a socialist party, The DDP a liberal party, The DVP who’s leader Gustav Stresemann could hardly be called anything other than a Liberal and Zentrum (the centre party).

                  When I and many others use the term ‘right wing’ in the UK this is simply a Tory speak referring to the big ‘C’ conservatism of the blessed Margaret Thatcher.

                • Swanky Yanky

                  Oh yes, I’m not accusing Weimar itself but rather talking about the sorts of parties, of which the D. A. P. was only one, that sprouted and thrived at that time. Those parties are invariably identified as ‘right wing’, since they were anti-Communist.
                  I don’t, therefore, use ‘right wing’ when I mean ‘conservative’, since I have absolutely nothing in common with the members of such parties, and I don’t believe in giving my political enemies ammunition to shoot me with!

  • Hexhamgeezer

    It must have been bliddy expensive cheese.

  • FrenchNewsonlin

    Cheese and biscuits for first class pax. What sort of bucketshop flight were you on!

  • KenBellUKIP

    One of the reasons why I despised New Labour from the start was Blair’s order to his MPs not to crack jokes about Stephen Milligan’s scarfing incident. It was a wonderful open goal that could have been used to rally Labour’s tribe in mocking laughter at the old enemy, but Blair preferred to pander to that enemy, rather than treat them with contempt.

    The best thing that I ever did was join UKIP, it really was.

    • Dicky14

      Oh, I dunno – i’m not sure that could work in election material; vote for me, I only use hessian bags and eschew the satsuma! I was reading (presumably on a proper tin foil hat blog) that the Milligan was involved with some dodgy goings on and all may be what it appears to be but then there’s Michael Hutchence and David ‘grasshopper’ Carradine that died from a door handle and in a wardrobe respectively so…..

  • Colin

    It doesn’t really help if you select a muppet as a candidate.

  • Daniel Maris

    Another holiday? Christmas is only just past.

    AS for Eastleigh I think it will tell us v. little about what is happening in the country at large unless UKIP or Labour win – both of which seem a little unlikely. As for the Lib Dems, I think the louche Hampshire yachting set probably feel Huhne was hard done by – it’s not a scandal in the traditional sense, he was just trying to save his own political skin. They are probably all on their second wives and know the trauma of divorce.

    • rodliddle

      I worked over Christmas, Daniel. Thank the lord.

  • Wessex Man

    Well it’s only three or four days away, then you will have your answers to these strange things.

  • M Class

    why would anyone want a Labour resurgence?

    • Rob

      He’s only teasing.

      • Swanky Yanky

        I certainly hope so!

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