But for the grace of God, are there any loathsome politicians out there who you sometimes feel you may have ended up like? I have one. His name is Alan Milburn, a man who I sometimes look like and sound like, which for those of you who know the difference really is quite a cross to bear.
Mr Milburn used to be the Secretary of State for Health, here in the UK, until his shock resignation in 2003. We may never know the real reason why he resigned. But when Alan visited me in a nightmare recently, in the guise of my former Marxist Dark Half, he told me he flounced out of government because Tony Blair had become incapable of protecting him from Gordon Brown’s prime ministerial ambition.
But it seems Alan is regretting his flounce and is trying to worm his way back into Tony’s ministerial cash box. This morning, on Radio4’s Today programme, he spent a lengthy chat with James Naughtie banging on about the glorious work-life balance achievements of Scandinavian-style socialism. You can imagine my joy listening to this nauseous bilge, as I circulated around the M25 on my way to earning yet more tax to pay for this Geordie parasite’s Chardonnay lifestyle. But one of his supposed claims really ate into me, as I mentally rehearsed the business presentation I had to deliver this afternoon.
This is the assertion that companies should lower working hours and improve child-friendly work policies, not because this is a nice socialist thing to do, but because this makes companies more productive and more efficient, if only the fools would realise it.
I suspect if this really were true, then all wildly successful business people would spontaneously adopt such measures without any need for Mr Milburn’s expensive regulatory touch, but then I had a wild spontaneous thought of my own.
If Mr Milburn’s work-life balance assertion were true, and British company bosses were being so stupid in failing to adopt its measures, this would mean that there are whole swathes of British industry laying wide open to entrepreneurs willing to adopt Mr Milburn’s ideas. If such entrepreneurs were as clever as Mr Milburn in realising how efficient they could become by following his ideas, they would quickly become far more successful than their stupid competitors and clean them out by providing better and cheaper services to consumers in every possible line of business.
So just what is it that is stopping Mr Milburn, and all the union leaders who also support his assertion, from taking over the whole of British industry with fully work-life balanced companies? Is it, perhaps, that Mr Milburn is talking out his derriere again, as he did for several years as Health Secretary, and would be incapable of managing his way out of a colostomy bag without a big fat government subsidy?
Or is this just a feeble plea, to Tony, to come and rescue Alan from backbench obscurity and a mere hundred and sixty grand a year in salary and expenses?
As Tony has now run out of useful idiots, as his New Labour lies have come home, expect Mr Milburn to be given a big fat job spouting defensive hot air for Tony sometime in the next few months, where Alan can spend five days a week at home achieving a big fat taxpayer-funded work-life balance. Nice work, if you are morally bankrupt enough to get it.