Friday, 14 August 2015

Comets 67P and other strange celestial bodies nearer to home

Hasn’t the European Space Agency done fantastic work, with the Rosetta mission?

It’s been fascinating watching a weird celestial object approaching the climax of its orbit, spewing out increasing amounts of hot gas and jets of odd material. Though, to be fair, as I write those words, I’m not thinking of comet 67P on its arrival at perihelion, its closest approach to the sun. No, I’m thinking of that even stranger celestial body, Tony Blair One (TB1), now nearing peri-Jerry, the point of closest approach to the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

Comet 67P. Or Tony Blair at his most virulent?
Certainly, all the phenomena we’ve grown used to with 67P are to be found in TB1. The jets of hot gas are growing more violent and numerous as peri-Jerry approaches. “If Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader it won’t be a defeat like 1983 or 2015 at the next election. It will mean rout, possibly annihilation.” “It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the left, right or centre of the party, whether you used to support me or hate me. But please understand the danger we are in.” Fierce stuff, full of frighteningly alien material and fiery gas, threatening dire destruction to anyone who gets close.

This all comes after the TB1 comet has spent some time at the far end of its orbit, lost in darkness in the cold outer regions of the political solar system, where no one paid any attention to it. No wonder that as it becomes hotter and more bothered, great billows are emerging from it.

TB1 has some key points of difference from 67P. It, for instance, has smaller objects orbiting it. For instance, there’s Number 2 Alastair Cambell, Foul Mouth Two (FM2) (“five reasons you should vote for anyone but Jeremy Corbyn”).

The irony is that both TB1 and FM2 may have a point. The election of Jeremy Corbyn may indeed make the return of a Labour government anytime soon an even tougher proposition than it was already. What they don’t seem to realise, though, is that they have grown so thoroughly discredited, that their denunciations of the man only drive more votes to the Corbyn camp. Their interventions only make more likely the very fate they are so keen to avoid.

Still, they’re good value. TB1 will be worth observing even after the European Space Agency has gone home and we’ve seen all the photos there are to be of 67P. After all, there is another conjunction in the offing for TB1. Long delayed, already six years in the making, the Chilcot enquiry into the launch and conduct of the Iraq War must report relatively soon.

Blair’s nemesis Corbyn has already said that he suspects there may be a war crime case against him. If Chilcot confirms that view or anything like it, there will be hell to pay. And the fireworks, the great streams of hot air and aggressively hurled rocks, will make today’s spectacular sights seem tame indeed.

Let’s enjoy the great pictures of 67P. And the violent spewings of TB1 and its associates. In preparation of what might be far weirder sights still to come.

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