If the current UK government was a Premier League football team, it would be Leicester City: rooted to the bottom of the table, struggling for a win both home and away and looking unlikely to pick up form any time soon.
The Home Secretary might be engaged in a protracted struggle to bury bad news when it comes to missed immigration targets, but there is no hiding Osborne’s failure to deliver the deficit cut that he swore was needed so badly when he took office. Instead, the official line is that a slower rate of cuts was necessary to balance the economy. It all sounds suspiciously like Brown-era policy from Labour circa 2010.
The bad news piles in from there, although much of it has been relegated to insignificant columns on the later pages. To be fair to the Daily Express, The Sun et al., it might actually snow this Christmas and I’m A Celebrity is on the TV at the moment, and you can’t ignore such pressing global issues as those. However, the fact that homophobic attacks are on the rise – more than 300 of them in London alone this calendar year – really should be front-page news.
It’s fine though, as the Coalition is busy cleaning up our minds by quietly banning a long list of ‘unsavoury’ sex acts in UK porn, including such heinous acts as caning, fisting and, erm, female ejaculation. Cannabis laws are also here to stay, we are assured, despite the release of fresh statistics showing that only thirteen people died from cannabis-related deaths last year, compared to the perfectly legal 7,000 mortalities related to alcohol abuse.
Away from home, the rumour mill has the Russian vultures circulating once more in Europe. After being forced to scrap Gazprom’s Southern Europe pipeline, Putin is instead strengthening ties with Turkey, while also seemingly furthering relationships with the far-right opposition in the EU. France’s Front National recently received a £7.14m loan from the First Czech-Russian Bank, while two Eurosceptic and one Neo-Nazi party from Germany recently took part in a Russian-backed ‘peace summit’ focused on Ukraine. No news as yet on underhand Russian money flooding in to bolster UKIP, but I wouldn’t rule it out.
The Conservatives believe that their school reform has been one of the great wins of their tenure. State heads would probably disagree with that, particularly in light of new information which shows that a tenth of state schools are having to seek funds from parents in order to make up the shortfall from government cuts. And there was me thinking that the whole point of a state education was that you didn’t have to pay for it.