I’m intrigued by the thought of a chaotic standstill. I would’ve thought that chaos requires movement. There is a troupe called Circus of Chaos, and I can’t imagine they’d attract much of an audience if they all just stood around ringing up the office to say “I can’t come in today”.
Anyway, that’s what the news media say we’ve got; Britain (they headline every day) has ground to a chaotic standstill. And they should know: every last one of them seems to have a correspondent planted against a white background telling us what the temperature is in Halifax or Oxfordshire, and talking to drivers daft enough to head off onto the Yorkshire Moors just as the biggest blizzard for forty years gets going.
This is turn makes me wonder why the media haven’t themselves come to a chaotic standstill. They can’t all have helicopters and snow-ploughs, so if they can career up and down the country announcing that nothing’s moving, why can’t all those other Britons get moving as well?
With this in mind, I’ve decided I rather like the cut of the School Examining Board’s jib. For it has decided that exams will go ahead come snow, thunderbolts or boils. Predictably, this has caused the media to talk about pupils facing ‘exam chaos’, but it seems to me that if they get off their backsides and turn up, there will be no chaos at all. Only if they stand still will there be chaos, and even then it won’t be a chaotic standstill in the true meaning of the phrase…whatever that is.
Still, as I say, the Board has stumbled upon a rich seam here. In future, we should have all exams positioned up mountains, attached to sharks, in deep caves surrounded by spiders and so forth: it will rebuild British grit, and serve to give them a GCSE in orienteering at the same time. We could rename GCSEs Raiders of the Lost Exam.
Talking of grit, here in the south west, we have ungritted roads causing chaos, and the gritters inside somewhere at a standstill. However, even our local rag has braved the chaos to get out there and report that we are down to our last supplies of grit.
This too strikes me as illogical: if the gritters are all standing around hot braziers unmoved by the plight of others, where’s all the grit gone? This is a question one could ask of the latest set of Brown plotters, and it has an interesting (if somewhat depressing) answer.
The Hoon/Hewitt axis of Evil apparently made the fatal mistake of assuming that senior Cabinet ministers might have some true grit, but forgot all about Gordon’s new grit-free colleague policy. So when (and here we name the guilty men) Straw, Miliband and Darling said “You hit him and we’ll hold your coat” they imagined this trio might be up to at least that much.
They weren’t, of course. Instead, they chose to get Gordon to hit his new best friend Mr Balls and promise to give him another shiner if there was any more bullying.
All of which has once more brought the Labour Party to a chaotic standstill. It’s obviously the wrong sort of snow.