Posts Tagged ‘2011’

2011: the year in review

31/12/2010, 01:00:54 PM

by Dan Hodges

2011. What  a twelve months it’s been. Tweaking the nose of convention. Hurling itself robustly into the face of popular wisdom. The year of living counter-intuitively.

It started, of course, with the amazing scenes from the Oldham & Saddleworth by-election. Tory activists barring the way to the polling stations for known Conservative voters. David Cameron, in yellow rosette, claiming that his great grandfather was best friends with Lloyd George. Ken Clarke, in sandals, and ill-fitting “Save the Whale” t-shirt, urging voters to “hold your nose, close your eyes, and vote Lib Dem”.

All to no avail. Labour: 25,000; Tories: 15,000; Lib Dems: 133. “A wake up call”, said Nick Clegg.

Oldham & Saddleworth only heralded the start of the electoral drama. There were the unprecedented seventeen by-elections held after Labour MPs convicted of erroneously charging paper clips to their expenses were each sentenced to 13 years imprisonment. Their decision to appeal their convictions was widely condemned by the media. “These paper clip thieving ratbags just don’t get it”, raged Richard Littlejohn. “Hanging’s too good for the scum”. (more…)

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