Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Stupidly Simply

After the kerfuffle of the last seven months it’s about time we took stock of where we are and how we got here. A lot of people are very upset – very, very upset – that despite no actual rights having been withdrawn from them, other people have the temerity to suggest that maybe some of those rights are worth examining for legitimacy and worth. And a whole lot more people are angry because they’re angry, following the whining zeitgeist because, hey, it’s a day out and a chance for selfies in the great outdoors.

But how dare we, for instance, challenge the new orthodoxies of gender fluidity, climate change urgency and equality for all, regardless how obviously unequal human specimens prove to be? How dare we question whether we can afford the sort of welfare state that has increased first world borrowing beyond our ability to even control the deficit? (Children are the future, right? So let’s spend their inheritance and fuck the consequences.) What right have taxpayers to insist that we see value for our contributions; are we unaware that there are people out there who don’t even have the privilege of paying tax?

The protesting classes talk about division yet spend half their time dreaming up impressive new ways to divide society into ever more esoteric sections; the LGBTQ+++ phenomenon is but one example. The malcontents demand more funding to address perceived shortfalls and label anybody asking the simple question “How do we pay for it?” as any one of a hundred different types of bigot for expressing their simple concern. When you think about it those of a leftist persuasion are endlessly inventive when it comes to thinking up ways to hate us simple folk who see things far too clearly for our own good.

It’s not enough though, is it, being logical, calm, measured and phlegmatic... or ‘British’ as we used to call that. David Cameron suggested we should ‘hug a hoodie’; maybe we need to consider cuddling a communist because it’s sure as hell they are not going to make the first move to reconciliation. Brexit should be an opportunity to rediscover shared values but no matter how much the Remainers try and push the right-wing hate-crime narrative, the invective seems to be pretty much a one way street... look left before crossing. Take this charmer who called LBC to say he wants those who voted for Brexit to suffer for what he sees as their ignorance.

For not one second did he consider that their simple wish to regain independence from an increasingly sclerotic political experiment had any merit. Complexity may bring benefits to the superior few whose intellect allows them to simultaneously espouse opposing ideologies without wincing but simplicity can be understood by all. That’s a part of what we were voting for; grand projects like the EU don’t simplify things; making all causes equal, no matter how contradictory, doesn’t simplify things.

I think, therefore I can complicate things...
Keep it simple, stupid!

And we do need to simplify things because when it gets too complex, only those able to rise above the contradictions – doublethink, in Orwellian terms – can thrive. We want the simplicity of knowing what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. And more importantly, we want the simplicity that allows us to understand how to live with each other without squabbling over ever more irrelevant causes. In advocating for endless division and derision the left has long abandoned the moral high ground in favour of browbeating the simpletons... We shouldn’t play that game; we may be simple... but we we’re not stupid. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Show, don't tell...

There is an adage in screenwriting that is as easy to say as it is hard to do; show, don’t tell. Many a budding scriptwriter has found it impossible to avoid jarring exposition in their dialogue: “Oh hey, Marjorie, who was that you were talking to just now?” Marjorie replies “That was my brother. He’s just returned from an expedition in Borneo, where he contracted malaria...” As you reach for the remote control any interest in the story has faded away; the audience has to do its part and having the plot handed over on a plate is of little use to anybody other than teenagers and devotees of the one-dimensional Fast and Furious franchise. What you don’t have to work for, at least a little, is often worthless.

Shouting about your ‘rights’ and demanding that your first-world grievances be heard isn’t showing, it is telling, only louder. And it’s not very endearing. At the #WomensMarch in Washington Madonna declared (screeched would be more appropriate) a ‘revolution of love’ and then went on to say “Fuck you!” to all the people whose cooperation the women’s movements will need in order to get anywhere, namely men. Even while appropriating and monopolising loving and caring as the exclusive preserve of womenkind she was encouraging the sisters to disrupt, disobey and disavow the democratic process.

So, a mixed message then? It seemed so. For one thing, what was it they were really marching about? Women in the first world already have pretty much all the rights that are going. Granted, the abortion thing is a difficulty in the US but you have religion to blame for that. Cure yourselves of those irrational beliefs and you’re sorted, to which end eliminating islamic extremism would rather seem like a bloody good idea. Oh, but no, some of you donned impromptu hijabs to show how very little you understand about the modern feminism you claim to espouse.

But really, what is their beef? As Katie Hopkins wrote: “... a shared sense of victimhood is not sufficient to make change happen. And at its most fundamental the unifying cause for these collected individuals is that they are not men.” And that really did seem to be all there was to it, an opportunity to utter some primal screams, dress up as vaginas and generally make the place untidy; which is a tad ironic, when you think of it. As for those glass ceilings, they’re not going to smash themselves and there’s no point in expecting the men to do it for you. But we still don’t know what they were really protesting about, or why.

The almost entirely left-leaning fanatics seemed to be incandescent with rage about inequality and division and every other imaginary slight they could shoehorn into the proceedings. But would they have been protesting if all the things they demand were already in place? Surely if the ill-defined equality they seek, if they were already safe and secure, there would be no mob offensive. Surely, if after eight years of the Lord God Obama all their prayers had been heard and answered, they would be content? Show, don’t tell, ladies; who really let you down?

Fuck me!
Wall of vaginas? Or queue of cunts?

For all the rhetoric, when you look beyond the hotch-potch of hypocrisy and imagined hurt what you see is a mob that appears to be protesting about the impotence of their own anger. They were showing that, no matter what, they will demand more and if they ever get their hands on all that is tangible, they will further demand the nebulous. Whatever they imagined they were telling us, the message was lost as we just saw a parade of angry, mostly privileged women protesting for the sake of protesting. Never mind bringing down Trump, the only thing destroyed here is their own credibility.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Dog Day Afternoon

The day is come. You can feel the build-up. All around the world, lefties and democrats and snowflakes and gender-agenda-benders and political sheep and Lily Allen and Jon Snow and Alistair Campbell and Owen Jones and Nicola Sturgeon and the list just goes on and on and on... are rending their garments, tearing out their hair, self-harming  and generally melting down. It is truly glorious and it’s not going to stop today. Even after President Trump has taken his seat in the Oval Office they will not accept it. Sales of Valium are going to soar. (Top shares tip there.)

They say he’s a clown, they say his presidency will be a joke, they dearly wish him to fail. If only they could genuinely see what we see. And I’m not talking about Trump. There are millions of people who voted against him, just as with Brexit, who are going to quietly accept the result. There are millions of people the world over who are secretly thinking it’s going to be okay. But if the hundreds of thousands of screeching malcontents could only see themselves clearly, through the lens of normality, they might be embarrassed enough to shut up shop, go home and get lives.

Sadly, the intransigent socialist creed runs deep – borrow and spend, bankrupt the country, fail in your promises, get booted out of office then blame the wreckage on the rescuers. Every time. After which they ratchet up the rhetoric and wait for the booby traps they left to take effect. Societal sabotage is in their blood and I guess it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks. But every now and then a dog will surprise you. And I am reminded of the story I heard from my butcher the other week...

A dog walked into his shop with £20 and a note in a shopping bag he held in his mouth. He dropped both on the counter. The note read “1 kilo of sausages and two pork chops, please.” The butcher was duly amazed, but packaged up the order and took the money. The dog waited, his head cocked to one side. The butcher looked at him inquiringly and the dog barked once, nodding towards the till. Suitably chastised, the butcher opened the till and gave the dog back £5 in change. The dog barked back his thanks and bounded from the shop.

The butcher was, naturally, curious and he quickly placed the closed sign, locked the shop door and followed the dog, which had carefully crossed the road and appeared to be perusing the timetable in the bus stop opposite. Two buses passed, both of which the dog ignored, finally boarding the third and showing a day pass to the driver who smiled in recognition. The butcher hastily hurried on board and observed as the dog watched the passing streets with interest. He finally trotted up to the front of the bus, pressed the request-stop button and hopped off, closely followed by the butcher.

What did I say about letting sleeping dogs lie?

The dog raced up a sides street, ran down a garden path, dropped the bag of meat on the step and reached up to knock the knocker. A few moments later the door opened and the man who answered started shouting. “You useless bloody hound!” he yelled and aimed a kick at the dog. “You stupid, stupid dog!” The butcher intervened at this point. “What the hell are you saying?” he asked “This dog is a genius!” The owner responds, “Genius, my arse,” he said “it's the second time this week he's forgotten his key!”

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Krautgate

Well, I say chaps; bit of a hoo-hah, what? Seems dear old Boris has been upsetting Johnny Foreigner. Good show! Why do you think Tess put him in post in the first place? You see, your average foreign fella lacks the sheer sense of fun to belong to the same club as we jolly ‘Englanders’, as I believe they like to call us, as if we’d be insulted. Actually, we love being referred to as Englanders because it upsets the Jocks and the Taffs and the Paddies so much. What larks!

It seems good old Boz said “If Monsieur Hollande wants to administer punishment beatings to anybody who chooses to escape, rather in the manner of some World War 2 movie, then I don't think that that is the way forward and I don't think it's in the interests of our friends and partners.” Bally well spot on, I think you’ll agree. And given that what he meant was – I saw his first draft – “If that jumped-up Vichy-Frog, Nazi collaborator, cheese-snaffling surrender gibbon thinks he’s man enough...” I’d say it was a pretty diplomatic response to the gibe. Still, it was enough to send the apologist fifth columnists into a spin.

Of course, that nasty piece of phlegm, Guy Verhofstadt, who, because he’s not English, pronounces his name the same way as the clarified butter that makes Paki cooking so greasy, waded in with the unhelpful tweet: “Yet more abhorrent & deeply unhelpful comments from @Boris Johnson which PM May should condemn.” To which Michael Gove cheerily replied “People "offended" by The Foreign Secretary's comments today are humourless, deliberately obtuse, snowflakes-it's a witty metaphor” hashtag-getalife” Sporty stuff all round.

The Prime Minister's official spokeswoman brushed off suggestions that the Foreign Secretary should apologise, describing his comments as a "theatrical comparison". This is entirely apt as we find ourselves in Panto season – another British tradition that the unwashed masses beyond our shores will never fully comprehend. They’re only jealous because they’re not us; as Flanders and Swann put it: “It’s knowing they’re foreign that makes them so mad.” But what is there to apologise for anyway?

If we can’t rub along without a bit of good-natured banter, what kind of an alliance do they think we have? I mean, your average Dago spends half the day asleep, the Eye-ties are more concerned with their shoes than with getting the job done and the Zorbas all grow moustaches in honour of their mothers. It’s all harmless fun, but you do need a sense of self-deprecating humour to understand. Which brings us to Jerry. Herr Merkel’s millions are so bloody earnest they wouldn’t know a pun from a palindrome and couldn’t acknowledge the craft in either. Life must be difficult, spending your every waking hour apologising for... well, you know.

Don't mention the war.

I suppose we ought to make allowances for the poor bastards, born without the benefits of being British. It’s not their fault they didn’t win the lottery of life; it must be tricky being from such indeterminate stock and so easily riled. All of the EU is in meltdown over Brexit so we maybe should cut them some slack. And most of all we shouldn’t upset the Hun; the sausage-eating, jack-booted, swastika toting, heel-clicking Bosch can be quite sensitive about that sort of thing. The least we should do is not mention the war.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Being British about it

I never knew the empire, but my grandfather did and having been a child in the First World War, served a brace of His Britannic Majesties before, during and after the Second great unpleasantness. Because of the efforts of his generation I grew up English; I remember being curious that my nationality was called 'British' and I was taught and understood who the other British peoples were, but I was and will remain an English man. It was and still ought to be something to be proud of. Of course, some of the less noble excesses of the British global adventure were known about, but we glossed over that and we knew, innately, that we were indeed a special breed.

One of the features of my very early years was the succession of countries being granted, or claiming their independence from British protection, while yet wishing to remain a part of the recently founded Commonwealth of Nations. Today, I suspect the citizens of some of these countries act and feel more British than we are allowed to do. Because, as I was growing into adolescence and then into adulthood, something peculiar was happening. My first stirring of political interest came when Ted heath appeared to give away our sovereignty even as he assured us he was doing no such thing.

Two years later I watched in some dismay as the 1975 Project Fear won the referendum on staying in The Common Market. The promise of holding that national referendum – the first in British history – was in no small part the reason a Labour government got into power the year before. Save British workers, save British independence, save everything British was the rallying cry. Were there riots? Were there underhand attempts to frustrate the outcome? No. We were assured we would remain every bit as British as we had always been, but we would be stronger, more prosperous as a result of joining hands with our European partners.

Well, we did get prosperous, but how much was a direct result of European partnership may never be known; the whole of the western world became wealthier as we paid down the war debts and looked to the future. But we didn’t stay British, not in the way that used to be recognisable the world over. New generations who had never known a world outside what became the EU were told of our abhorrent past; of how we only did harm wherever our expeditionary forces set foot. Newer generations still were told how it was the EU which had saved us from further conflicts. The latest generations have no notion of the Britishness I grew up with.

No wonder we can’t have a level conversation about Brexit. Those who have never known independence are understandably nervous about the future, but instead of facing up to that future they think they are staring into a black hole. What happened to cheerful Tommy Atkins? What happened to the phlegmatic, ‘mustn’t grumble’ attitude of the generations for whom making do and carrying on was Britishness to the core? We played the cards we were dealt; we didn’t demand the croupier deal again.

Which brings us to now. Had the 1975 generation any notion of where we would end up they would have voted to leave. Nobody voted for an emasculated and dependent nation, in thrall to foreign masters; nobody in the general electorate had any vision of us becoming a European administrative region. So, for me, you can forget all the economic talk – history has proved that no one knows what lies ahead – the most important part of Theresa May’s speech yesterday was about coming together, regaining our confidence and forging ahead as a proud, self-governing people.

Coffee? Are you some sort of fifth columnist?

If that means facing tough times, so be it; it likely won’t. But if the sore, tremble-lipped losers continue to do their damnedest to weep crocodile tears over spilled milk, it will take so much longer to achieve. Self-fulfilling doom prophecies are no help at all – I’m talking to Nick Clegg, Tim Farron, Emily Thornberry, Anna Soubry; the list goes on – the PM has spoken and the project is underway. Project Hope, Project Forward, call it what you like; we are where we are, for better or for worse and the only grown-up thing to do now is roll up our sleeves and crack on. Be British about it.