THE WAGERS OF SIN

Following the scandalous brouhaha surrounding the greedy Football Association’s FA cup tie arrangement with the online casino of a high street betting shop chain (where live access to the 3pm games is only permitted after the user puts a bet on), our brave new parliament dithers, predictably, over how best to remove the painful testicular grip that the organised gambling industry now has on UK sport and its followers and which extends tentacle-like into the lobby rooms of Westminster. Bet365 are offering the following odds on the passing of proposed legislation to curb the malign influence of the ‘industry’ which now sponsors so many ‘sporting’ events: 

AYE: 5,000/1. NO: 2/750. Where’s my credit card? I wonder how much is in the kids’ piggy bank? Bet in-play now. 


2020, A BRAVE NEW YEAR

Following the uber-successful electoral coup by the Dominic Cummings People’s Propaganda Party, (formerly the Tories), Lobbytroll received, as a party member, a post-election email from Labour’s Central Office. In it they describe their mind-bogglingly miserable failure of a campaign as “having achieved so much”, a jaw-dropping statement akin to boasting about how spacious your tent is after your house has collapsed. This is the gist of my astonished reply:

Dear “Team Labour” – or whatever it is you call your-selves now that the fog has cleared – I am astounded to hear your claim to have “achieved
so much,” when you have demonstrably achieved so very little – unless you are confusing the phrase “achieved so much” with the phrase “catastrophically screwed up”. I’m sorry to say that this campaign has been nothing short of atrocious. The Labour Party were outwitted by a
bunch of ruthless financial gamblers who, thanks to Dominic Cummings, knew exactly how to manipulate the electorate with all the dirty tricks learned from Cambridge Analytica four years ago! 

With that in mind, who, on the four-times-losing Labour Party’s campaign organisation, stood up and said, “It looks to me as though this election is going to be fought using the same underhand methods as the Brexit referendum. If we cannot get a grip on this technology, perhaps we should employ someone who does”? That unfortunately, turns out to be an entirely rhetorical question, since it appears that no one at all was recruited to guide you through the technological minefield that is 21st century targeted voter manipulation. You failed on so many levels to grasp that vital nettle and equip the party to fight against the filthiest, most cynical electoral campaign in UK history. By then agreeing that a Christmas general election would be a good idea, contrary to all the data you possessed warning of the dire consequences of making such an elementary mistake, you compounded the error and ploughed on, with the result that The Labour Party and the entire country are now condemned to pay a terrifying long-term price. 

10 years? 20 years?  

I’m not even sure you will ever come back from this position; it is so unspeakably wretched. If there are, as the commonest cliché in politics goes, “lessons to be learned,” then I suggest you start learning them fast, like, tomorrow, or risk a long spell in the political fourth division. 

Lobbytroll was born in the North East, a stoic place where once upon a time, the savvy populace possessed a doughty refusal to be hoodwinked, which is why that Blyth Valley result depressed me so utterly. It was the moment I realised that the poor Labour Party is, as we know it, electorally doomed for the foreseeable future. That is not of course, to allow the startlingly blinkered campaign of the LibDems off the hook. The ambitious but short-sighted Jo Swinson is now out of a job, poor thing, but I’m sure she will get another. Not so the poor saps who fell hook line and stinker for this colossal, cynical and superbly executed demolition of truth, a crash course in how to fool most of the people most of the time and get away with murder.


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