Friday, 18 August 2017

Statues

Trump is what you get when you offer people no alternative. Things may not have been perfect back in the good old days when we grew up (this is a moveable phenomenon; one’s childhood was invariably a happier time, when we were blissfully ignorant of reality) but at least we perceived a sort of balance. Most people had jobs, raised their families, had ambitions and pursued them, and the left and right were a relative minority of crackpots who believed the world was out to get them unless they struck first

But, conspiracy or not, planned or otherwise, deliberate or by sheer happenstance, the centre ground drifted inexorably to the left. Disguised as peace, equality, diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, vibrancy or one of the hundreds of epithets used to entice new followers to the socialist big-state dream, the left-bound limp continued. Oh, the left? They’re harmless enough; just a bunch of old hippies and young student revolutionaries. They’ll grow out of it... or die off.

But they didn’t, did they? Emboldened by their acceptance in the upper circles of governments worldwide, as society became softer and weaker, they took advantage and began to shape the developed world in their own image. Live-and-let-live gave way to live as we tell you to live and without the necessity to strive for survival, our relative prosperity enabled alternative lifestyles, suckling from the teat of state, yet without gratitude; in fact with an attitude of entitlement. Then they began to bite the hand that fed.

White supremacy? That’s the latest attack line is it? How desperate is that? Look, we already accepted that in your eyes we are, all of us who pay the actual taxes, ‘literally’ Hitler. We have taken on the chin your repeated accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia and gender bigotry. But the fact remains that via groups like Antifa, Hope-not-Hate, Unite Against Fascism, BLM, et al, it is whites who have borne the brunt of a sustained ideological attack in all western societies, simply for being white.

And now they are tearing down the statues, erasing history, fomenting yet more antipathy. The fear of being on the wrong side of the argument even cowed Theresa May into saying she saw ‘no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them’. Really? How about an equivalence between, say, muslim murderers mowing down people in Barcelona and fascism? No? Of course not, because the left will never condemn a cause they have espoused as their own. White supremacy? How about brown supremacy?

"Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls" said Sarah Champion, for which she was forced to ‘resign’. David Lammy and his morose band of useful idiots sign a letter condemning an article addressing the muslim problem. And then, Barcelona. The now regular diet of islamic violence has been horrific, unrelenting and has brought with it an endless stream of condemnation... not of islam, the faith that all of the terrorists hold, but of  islamophobia.

Statues did this?

Daily, the left and all its factions rally round their unpatriotic flags and tell each other that they aren’t worthy and all whites should be shot. They form mobs whenever a noticeably different opinion rears its fragile head and use violence to suppress dissent. Is it just possible that sympathy for a right-of-centre viewpoint is far bigger than they had anticipated and bubbles just below the surface? The backlash is coming - people voted for Trump because they didn't want to vote for the alternative. Because, against the real enemies of justice and peace, there IS no alternative.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Monkeys? What has this to do with monkeys?

If we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys? If the Conservatives are so economically competent, how come they’ve had to borrow so much money? Yeah, well if monopolies are so bad, how come there is only one Monopolies Commission? Answer me that! These and many more are the afterthought clinchers, the killer responses that you thought of just after the debate ended. They are also – like so many of these killer retorts – mostly as insubstantial as the rest of the preceding argument. Oft as not you later realise they were as fallacious as all that went before.

Thus has the Brexit war proceeded; from who is going to staff our NHS and who is going to pick our fruit, as one trite objection has surfaced and become mundane by repetition, another has sprung up to nudge it off the headlines. Damn you, employment figures, damn you, financial Armageddon and your insistence on not showing up to the party we held in your honour. Why can’t we get Brexiteers to admit that they were wrong? So very, very wrong; can’t they see how insignificant, ignorant, xenophobic, small-minded and... and... just wrong, they are?

In the face of all this we have offered up a wry smile, pointed to the Brexit scoreboard (52:48, by the way, in case you’d forgotten) and got on with our lives. Because, while the overall demeanour of the average ardent EU-phile has been one of gloom, despondency and downright, fist-balled, pessimistic fury, the average Outer has largely carried on regardless with a spring in his step and  jaunty little whistle. Like watching a tantrum-fuelled toddler thrashing about, we find the whole situation hilarious. While we might express some concern for those who are merely confused, when it comes to seeing those who had assumed ultimate authority over all our lives suddenly losing their grip, what’s not to like?

They’ve put their oh-so-clever heads together, they who have long peddled Project Fear and launched their latest afterthought clincher, to wit: “If Brexit is such a good idea, give me one tangible, practical example of the benefits.” It’s everywhere right now, that challenge. But Just as they misread the mood of the people on whom were imposed illiberal thought policing, multicultural mayhem and the idiocy of diversity above all, they have misread the battlefield they are playing on. They are going to be so cross when they find out.

‘Studies’ show how low-information voters defy the carefully constructed machinations of those who know so much better... But (and this especially includes all who make a living from trying to understand how people work ) those same studies often backfire and demonstrate nothing so much as how a closed mind – the very thing they accuse us of – is incapable of understanding how people work. Philosophers, ‘humanists’, economists, politicians, psychologists, ‘thought leaders’... the list goes on; the experts are revealed to be charlatans and self-interested frauds.

Brexit isn’t a tangible, practical thing; it doesn’t come with a list of ‘benefits’. Brexit has revealed itself to be more of an emotional tool and it has shone a light on much that we long suspected. On completion of the ‘divorce’ process there will be no miracle new way; nobody expects that. But there won’t be a cliff-edge disaster either because life will go on and opportunistic humans will make the most of it and yes, that includes even the remainers who seem so desperate right now for it to fail.


We are sanguine in the face of your ceaseless insults because what Brexit has shown is that the power can be prised from the grasp of the elites and that while democracy may be far from perfect it still gives us the freedom to exercise our will. And more, the reaction against Brexit has revealed just how much contempt those elites – academic, political, sociological, etc – hold for we ‘little people’. We now know, if we hadn’t known before, that you can’t trust a disinterested third party with the personal freedoms you hold so precious. You wanted a tangible benefit of voting for Brexit? That alone is priceless.

Friday, 4 August 2017

It’s not you, it’s me

We’ve been together a long time, you and I and I still love you, I really do, only... Only, it’s different now. When I look at my life now I see I have lost myself; I no longer know where I fit in and I seem to exist only to keep you in the manner to which you have – all too doggedly – become accustomed. No matter what the issue, it’s always about what you want and frankly it’s just been easier to give in and let you have your way.

But it’s more than that. When we first married our fortunes together, when we first tied that knot, I was the dashing young beau, headstrong and fearless and you let me lead the way. But over the years our union has soured and more often than not I feel like the hired help, the junior partner, a mere possession. Or maybe even your slave? You spend my money without ever consulting me. You decide the when, what, where and how of our relationship while I, like a faithful but very tired old gun dog, creakily pull myself together and go out to work.

Once, we laughed and cried together, we stood together, we were as one, but I was unhappy inside almost all of the time. I had my reservations from the start, but I threw in my hand because you made promises. You kept all your other friends while I abandoned mine to stay close to you. And anyway, you never liked my crowd, did you? After a while it was just easier for me to let my old life go and become the butt of your jokes. Oh yes, don’t think I was never hurt when you made me dance to your tune and then mocked me to entertain your cabal of intimates.

And there’s that as well, intimacy. The last time we moved together was so long ago, but still I endured your increasingly open contempt; I became the whipping boy for all of your own inadequacies. I became a hollow shell in comparison to what I once was. So it is time to go our own ways; it is time to part. I wanted a simple, straight down the middle, no blame divorce, but even that isn’t good enough, is it? You want to take everything, including what I brought to the relationship.

You say you want the house, the business... the lot. You say I’m nothing without you. And you know what? I don’t care any more. All I need is the clothes I stand up in and to have a clean break. You can’t take what I know, you can’t take my abilities. I can stand on my own two feet; after all, I did it for years before you tried to break me. And that’s another thing - you can’t take my spirit; whatever you believe, we are better off apart.


I know your new best friend, Mark Carney, is still trying to blame me, but it’s not my fault and the sooner you let me go, the happier we all will be. So in words you will understand I bid you adieu, addio, despedida, farväl, afscheid, αποχαιρετισμός, сбогом, búcsú, pożegnanie and auf wiedersehen, pet. So long and farewell, EU; don’t stay in touch. 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Mistaken Identity

Identity politics; it’s barmy, isn’t it? I mean, it’s hard enough some days to get through the day without having to worry about whether you’re using the correct pronouns when addressing others. And will you unintentionally offend strangers by appropriating their culture, whatever form that takes? Do Americans get miffed when they see people of other nations wearing tee-shirts and baseball caps?

And what about what’s written on that tee-shirt? Dressing your five-year old in a pink tee with ‘Princess’ in sparkly sequins might upset a minor royal; you never know. It will certainly enrage a feminazi, but then pretty much anything does. Mind you, this is fine because it is always hilarious to see a grown woman having a rant about somebody else’s innocent child and being utterly serious about it.

Talking of funny, one of the ironically wry things about identity issues is how ridiculous you look and sound sometimes when you both assume your identity and defend it. Whatever happened to ‘anything goes’? I mean, nowadays, in some societies a glimpse of stocking is looked on as something shocking; heaven knows! But some identities are more equal than others and one of those seems to be to have no recognisable individual identity at all.

There is a big debate in the west about the wearing of the burka; something that seems to be far less popular in many all-out muslim countries. Quite apart from the alien nature of this practice, which is seen as a deliberate provocation to many, hiding your face is not something we are comfortable with, here in the civilised world; although there are a fair few prominent feminists who we could bear to see a lot less of.

When you hide your identity, especially as a means of asserting it, it can arouse passionate opposition. What are you hiding? Why? And who are you, behind the veil, anyway? On one occasion recently, matters got a little out of hand. A man walked out of a city centre pub after a long, liquid lunch and on hitting the fresh air became a little dazed and confused. When he noticed a burka-clad figure walking ahead of him he rushed up and grabbed the figure in a bear hug.


As the burkee struggled the drunk clung on all the harder and started to laugh. Underneath the burka, legs were kicking and the head was jerking from side to side as the captive struggled, ineffectually, to break free. Eventually the man let go, still laughing and the burka-clad figure stumbled to the ground, gasping for breath. The man looked down and said “Not so tough now, are we, Batman?”

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Electrickery

So, the future is bright; the future is electric? The government announcement that by 2040 the petrolhead will be dead has garnered much comment over the last 24 hours, much of it based, quite rightly, on who is going to pay for it all. Well, who do you think? The government has no money of its own so this is yet another pesky green scheme whose targets will quietly be pushed further into the future and whose benefits may turn out to be minimal.

Nebulously linking that long-ago discredited 40,000 premature deaths to the use of fossil fuels for transport is just another project fear tactic. If you really want people to switch you need to pay them, not punish them. Introducing punitive taxation to now reverse previous government policy is showing too much of the stick and far too little carrot. With oil and gas more plentiful and thus cheaper than it has been for a long time, surely the shorter term answer is to continue to develop emission control.

But research into making safer oil-fuelled engines will stall if there is no future in it; the new gold rush will be battery technology and all the eggs will go into the single precarious basket of an all-electric world. I have no objection to electricity; indeed, I make my living from it. What bothers me is how ready those who lead us are to purchase new clothes for the emperor, without regard for the crowds who have to watch him parade in them.

Where, for a start, is all the ‘leccy’ going to come from? What if I don’t have a driveway and have to park my car on the roadside a hundred metres from where I live; how do I charge up? I can fill my tank in five minutes; what will the queues be like at the charging stations of the future? And will fast-charging affect battery life? Talking of battery life, there are studies that suggest the lifetime environmental cost of battery power may actually be more harmful than doing what we currently do. Has this been properly investigated before policies have been formulated? I very much doubt it.

Nobody knows the future, but we have survived the past; the devil we know. The taxes raised by selling petrol and diesel and by levying a road fund licence will vanish, so how will the government recoup lost revenues? Charging for road use, via traffic-strangling toll collection? Or by mileage, in which case how will this be monitored; trackers in every vehicle? Will our cars become part of the Internet of Things and if so with what consequences for individual liberty?

And sooner or later, you can guarantee it, somebody is going to claim that electric cars give you cancer. With more electricity around there will be more electromagnetic radiation. With more use of rare elements in batteries, more people will come into contact with materials never normally encountered before. What of those who make the batteries; what of those who dispose of them? Has anybody even thought of this?


No doubt all these obstacles and more will arise and be surmounted, but in just 23 years? That seems like a lifetime – in fact it is - if you are in the 18-24 group who will uncritically applaud this apparently planet-saving move. But in infrastructure spending terms this could put HS2 in the shade and that’s been hovering about for decades already and still nobody knows what, if any, real economic benefits it may bring. Are you sure you are ready to pay for all this, kids? Until I can see a saving, I’m sticking to diesel.