Now that I'm an internationally recognised* Glam Icon, I have to be a bit careful about what I say. Gone are the days when I could, for instance, fire off an expletive-ridden tirade against a fellow-blogger with more hits but demonstrably less talent than me, or freely direct my ire at Heads of State/Religious figure heads/celebrity charity ballroom dancing competition contestants or Sian Williams with no fear of the impact of my words on prospective consumers of my wares But now I have to think before I speak. The impact an ill-advised outburst aimed at a national treasure or harmless TV weather person could have on my career,is impossible to guage. For instance, sales went through the roof after I lambasted BBC weatherman Daniel Corbett for a poorly selected tie/shirt combo (not to mention an irksome over precision in the diction department) but fell when I had a go at Tanny Grey Thompson.
In short, if I feel the urge to call the Archbishop of Canterbury a poncified God-bothering, mincing, shoddily-mitred old Poove, I have to be very, very careful now to make sure that I do so in a reasoned and balanced way, and not leave myself open to allegations of religious intolerance and/or homophobia. In the case of the Archbish., this is usually achieved quite simply by adding the phrase, 'on the other hand, if his holiness were the head of a different faith, he could have my hands chopped off for dressing like this, so I suppose he's not all that bad...and, yes, at a slightly jauntier angle, I suppose the mitre could be quite fetching..."
But, with politicians, it's not always quite so simple, which is why I've been reluctant until now to pass any commment on the forthcoming Mayoral election in London. Yet, with less than two weeks until polling....no, hang on, that's a gravy stain on the ballot card...cripes, with barely two *days* left until polling day....at least, I *hope* it's a gravy stain...I felt it imperative to air my tuppon'orth ahead of the contest.
Call me an old fuddy duddy, but I prefered the gentler pace of politics in the pre-media age. Time was when politicians like Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain could settle their differences in an amicable and civilised way, perhaps even sharing a glass of bandy and a cigar as they mulled over the important issues of the day. No need for harsh words or petty posturing. If things got heated, a quick round or two of gin rummy or a best of three bout of greased arm wrestling would decide the issue and the loser would take it on the chin and that would be the end of the matter and, likely as not, we'd be at war with Schleswig-Holstein.
Of course nowadays, anyone unfortunate enough to have stumbled across a political debate could be forgiven for believeing that they were watching a particularly grisly episode of the Jeremy Kyle Show. If Ken isn't calling Boris a spatula brained oaf with the breath of a cankered border collie on a diet of St. Agur and pickled herring, then Boris is calling Ken a Jew-hating commie windbag with a face like a bag of spanners and the sex drive of a badly pummelled amoeba that's just run a double marathon....and that's before they've had a chance to say a word about the one who openly admits to being a pansy!
So, how do I think it will go? Well, right now, it's too close to call, but my money's on
* a chap from Interpol accosted me just the other day and said, are you Robert Swipe? If so, I must caution you that anything you say that you later rely on in court will be taken as evidence...
L.U.V. on y'all,