Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Well the last few days have been a pain in the arse for we mere mortals and he hasn’t yet risen from the grave, so after back-to-back insincere eulogising and preening in the International Grief Olympics by politicians so mired in their countries’ grave economic troubles yet who were nevertheless available at the drop of a hat to fly thousands of miles to take selfies, the newspapers return to normal. That’s right, we’re back to being concerned about miracle diets, spying on the neighbours and wondering how obesity and poverty can be comfortable bedfellows. And Kim Kardashian's arse.
There have been millions of cubic metres of hot air expended in complaining about who was and who wasn’t allowed to compare themselves to you-know-who but one thing hasn’t changed – we all know that if there’s enough huffing and puffing, sooner or later the little piggies’ houses will be blown down. Or should that be blown up? Because I can tell you categorically that, for all the fine words, one thing will not have changed one tiny little bit and that is human nature. Remember, a hundred years ago we had the war to end all wars? Well, I just checked and it didn’t work. Not even slightly.
While you claim to hold up The Long Walk to Freedom to be the guide to the indomitability of human nature - a Zen-like acceptance of fate and a quiet determination to bring about peaceful change - the truth is more succinctly to be found in Lord of the Flies. If you don’t believe me, just watch. Watch your children in school fall under the thrall of influential troublemakers. Watch as they squabble over the most insubstantial of status trophies. Listen to the clamour for every faddish Christmas present and every stupid distraction from applying themselves to betterment. And then show me a successful parent who hasn’t been firm but fair. Or rich.
Because unless there is plenty – and there isn’t - you can only successfully lead by good example if you also have a bad example held in reserve. See my restraint as I resist the lure of the last bun on the plate, but be in no doubt I have a slap all ready for you in my other hand if you give in to temptation. Kindness alone rarely results in realistic expectations and Boris was right, some have less in their intellectual armoury; a bit of cruelty needs to be held in reserve and there’s nothing so cruel as the cold, hard truth.
While you look to the vanishingly few examples of sainthood on earth to change our world you can only ever be part of the problem unless you act. And if you don’t take control early on it gets out of hand; have you ever known a time when there were so many countries at war and so many populations rioting? You want to change all that? The answer is in your hands and there is no better time than the season of goodwill to make a start. So, get a grip and slap your kids silly for Christmas!
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
So much for friends, eh? The latest YouTube viral, with five million hits overnight, revolves around concerned friends convincing a drunk that he has been in a coma for ten years. Imagine doing that? Imagine waking up in a hospital bed, having been asleep for ten long years and then going out for your first encounter with the new world. I did:
So, big day today. Ten years? How much could things really have changed? The last I remember was stepping out into traffic and then… nothing. Just a fuzzy head when I woke up this morning. Everything seems to be working, although my legs feel a bit wobbly. Anyway, here goes. They say the past is a foreign country so logically the future must be too.
I’m outside and first impressions are… Wow, it’s busy. And there seems to have been some building done; it’s all so much denser than I remember. Both buildings and people - it’s so crowded. And people are so rude, bumping into me. And so alien-looking and strangely dressed. I feel a bit threatened, actually; there are groups of sullen young men staring openly at me in a challenging way.
Wait, I’ve got it. I remember I was on holiday when I had the accident and I must be still here, although I can’t entirely remember where that is. Of course, that would explain why all the signs are in scripts I can’t read and all the chatter on smart phones in tongues I don’t understand. It didn’t seem so odd in the hospital because the NHS is almost entirely staffed by foreigners anyway. Now I know I’m still in… where? My memory is still vague; I’ll see if I can work it out.
Most of the signs seem to be in Arabic, but there are other alphabets here too. That looks a bit Russian, over there, and there are a few in what looks like Chinese – but I suppose you get that everywhere. Oh, hang on, those young men are pointing my way. What have I done? Don’t you hate it when you don’t know the local ways? I would hate to cause offence just because I don’t understand the customs of the host country. How shameful to get deported for a breach of etiquette. Oh, god, they’re walking towards me.
I’m picking up my pace now and walking away; if in doubt, clear out, I say. But I can hear the clamour behind me and I think they are catching up. This could get messy. I’m lost now and I think I’m walking further away from the hospital. I’m the only white face on the street and I stick out a mile; pale and sweaty and flushed and afraid. There’s a barrier up ahead and beyond it I can see things are different; if I can just get past that.
Travel broadens horizons...
And suddenly I feel safer. I’m still the stranger in the crowd but the milling throng has thinned a little and I feel I can breathe again. Dare I turn around? For a few seconds I just stand still and control my breathing and then I slowly look back over my shoulder. My tormenters have stayed behind the barrier, draped across which is a banner written, at last, in English. I turn to get a better look. "Muslim area, it says, Sharia Law Here". And then it dawns: Bollocks. This isn't the future, I’ve just woken up in Tower Fucking Hamlets.
Monday, 9 December 2013
Day four and he still hasn’t risen from the grave; they don’t make Messiah’s like they used to. As the Mandela Grievy Train ambles down the track, flanked by acolytes spouting fawning eulogies, left and right each claiming him as their own, you would be forgiven for thinking that the world economy, climate change and the sum total of global human happiness itself depended entirely on finding the right words to praise him; Hosannas in the highest. And every single commentator appears to have had a deep, personal and beatific relationship with Saint Madiba. My, the old boy must have put it about a bit.
Obnoxio the Clown put it all rather well in his blog on Friday. Me? I’m not much moved. Actually that’s an overstatement; I am as underwhelmed by all of this as I was for Marc Bolan, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Dozy Diana, Michael Jackson and all the other false idols worshipped by people who, frankly, just haven’t thought it through. Because no matter what you think, no matter what flimsy fictional connection you believe you had, not one of them is coming back with the solution to mankind’s selfish, self-made problems. You have to do it for yourselves.
Tony Parsons wrote in The Sun about how Mandela made racism unacceptable. Palpable bollocks, of course because among some sectors of our supposed ‘community’ racism has gone from strength to strength, the likes of Diane Abbott and Lee Jasper proclaiming that black people cannot be racist while simultaneously spouting poison about the vile whites. In South Africa itself the race-inspired killings of white farmers continues unabated. So you’ll forgive me, Tony, if I don’t share your misty-eyed yearnings.
In Blighty, the criminalisation of the perfectly normal recognition of difference has made racism an industry – so I suppose you could say, in a way, that Mandela has done something for the British economy, although to be perfectly honest we did it to ourselves. We used to be a model of civilisation. Migrants came here to BECOME British - it was a worthy ambition. Now they aren’t allowed to integrate. No, they must form into ghettoes and occasionally foment sporadic violence on our streets. And not just here but all over Europe, although the UK establishment prefers to preserve the idea that racism is a uniquely British evil.
So, what did Mandela do for me? Well I have reappraised my life and decided I should no longer hide my real feelings. I should reach out to the wider world and embrace my deep inner humanity. I’m going to become a massive racist - you know, proper like; go professional. After all, having given up on productive activities it is one of the few growth industries left in the UK and lest you think I have taken leave of my senses, don’t worry, there is method to my madness.
You see, my ‘condition’ will be treated with disbelief and in this world of the so-called expert – the most gullible in the land being psychiatrists, diversity champions and race relations lawyers – I will be diagnosed as having a treatable mental aberration. They will conclude that my grief over Mandy (That’s what I called him, we had a special bond) has unhinged me and as racism no longer exists I must therefore be delusional. After a few months of treatment and re-education in the new secure psychiatric facility in Somerset I will be released and tell my story to the press in a public show of humility
Christmas - we celebrate the birth of Mandela
Then I can write a book – the Long Walk to Frome, or something - and so complete will be my redemption that I will become an advisor on race affairs. In fact, to finalise my transformation and show my deep empathy I will have my skin died a deep ebony... get the lips blown up… nose job – the lot. Then, when I’ve made my fortune I can retire to be with ‘my people’ on a Caribbean island where, in a show of solidarity I will only employ poor black folk on minimum wage to do my bidding. I’ll be heralded as a fucking Saint!
Friday, 6 December 2013
Medical expertise continues to astound as new procedures are pioneered and trialled and pass into operating theatre repertoire and few areas are so impressive as the art and science of the oft-maligned plastic surgeon. While subcutaneous organ repair and replacement saves lives, the more correctly termed reconstructive surgery preserves dignity. And neither is it new; despite people associating ‘plastic’ with the superficiality of the Swinging Sixties there is documentary evidence of a much more than skin-deep heritage.
In 'plastic' surgery the adjective denotes sculpting or reshaping and derives from the Greek πλαστική (τέχνη), plastikē (tekhnē), “the art of modelling” of malleable flesh. Documentary evidence describes medical treatment for facial injuries being carried out more than 4,000 years ago and physicians in ancient India are known to have used skin grafts for reconstructive work as early as 800 B.C. Of course, as in so many areas, progress was slow and not until the 19th and 20th centuries did techniques truly begin to advance; America's first plastic surgeon of note was Dr. John Peter Mettauer, born in Virginia in 1787. It was he who performed the first cleft palate operation in the New World in 1827 with instruments of his own design.
In medicine as in science and technology, it was war which provided the true motivation for improvement and it was the "War to End All Wars," that propelled plastic surgery into a new and more urgent prominence. Shattered jaws, blown-off noses and lips and gaping skull wounds caused by modern weapons required imaginative restorative procedures. Some of the best medical talent in Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary devoted themselves to restoring the faces and lives of their countrymen during and after the war and modern surgeons have those pioneers to thank for their careers.
I was reminded of all this when I saw the recent graduation photograph of the son of a friend of mine. In the picture, young James stands so proud, grinning out of the frame as he clutches the fake diploma scroll and sports his hired mortar board and gown. But it could have all turned out so differently; James was born prematurely and with no eyelids and he may have faced a life of misery and ridicule had surgeons not acted so decisively.
Still in the incubator and with gauze covering his eyes and keeping them moist, the surgeon elected to try an innovative new therapy utilizing a graft of delicate and flexible foreskin to shape the eyelids themselves with tendons constructed from a medically neutral elastic fibre composite to allow the child to blink. Despite the frail constitution of young James after some long, sleepless nights he began to respond and grew up pretty much as any other child.
Viagra eye drops - make you look hard.
By the time he reached school age the scars were faint and in High School hardly anybody noticed the very slight differences in the shape of his eyes as they began to be obscured by the perfectly natural asymmetry of his face. He is, as his proud parents love to say, a miracle of modern medical science. And they have much to be proud of. Only to those in the know and even then only if you look very closely, can you tell that he is still a cock-eyed little fucker.
Thursday, 5 December 2013
I’d like to trust people, I really would. But it seems that whenever I’ve tried, whenever I’ve taken people at their word, little if anything is ever forthcoming from their end of the deal. And if I don’t trust people in general, people I have actually met and shaken hands with, what on earth would convince me to trust any organisation whose main aim in life is to hold the reins of power over the entire country? I certainly wouldn’t rely on any government that claimed to operate in my personal interests; that would be very stupid and naïve indeed.
In today’s Autumn Statement there were no surprises and George Osborne pulled no gimmicky flowers out of any worn out sleeves. Unlike the opposition who are frantically trying to both sound tougher on welfare and be Father Christmas all at the same time, the coalition, from the empty begging bowl of The Treasury, are promising to do precisely nothing for me… or you, which is exactly what I want to hear. No tax cuts until at least 2020? Good. I can work with that. At least it’s honest.
On the other side of The House, while the gasping beached whale of Labour’s bloated welfare state coughs up its dying, blood-flecked sputum; while their left-wing purse strings are held so strangly-tight by their Marxist paymasters in Unite and Common Purpose; while the abject failure of their multicultural sabotage threatens to foment open revolt in Britain’s sink estates, they stick doggedly and unapologetically to their ultraviolent horrorshow* script. (*And yes, Nadsat and all it signifies is already here.)
Labour’s only electoral card is the emotive ‘cost of living crisis’, a meaningless rallying cry which they are daily flogging to death in the absence of any real policy or power. Relying on dependency, relying on people taking them at their word because they have done nothing else all their lives, Labour are openly promising to continue the ruin they have for so long wreaked on our economy. People who have never been independent of state subsistence will cling to that rock; the only permanent thing in their life so far. But nothing lasts forever... except the lies.
At least now we know that anybody who is a net contributor to the state will not see a penny back for their efforts as long as the Conservatives are in power. That’s better than it might be though, because if you listen to Labour’s rhetoric, the more you pay in the less you are expected to complain about it and they want even more yet. Given that the outcome of the next general election is by no means settled, the mere possibility of a return to Labour’s profligate idiocy and envy politics should signal a move, for those who are able, to leave this economy in whatever way they can.
More work for accountants as cash-strapped sole traders decide to minimise their exposure to income tax. More work for accountants as fewer and fewer limited companies declare any significant operating profits. More work for accountants and tax lawyers as every loophole in the code is exploited to the full. Lest you think it is all happy days for accountants, expect to see more and more cash-in-hand, under-the-counter dealings as taxable transactions go unrecorded and watch the black economy flourish as never before.
But whether it’s Labour or Conservative, either are powerless to resist the rule of the EU, and only real difference is how long it will take before the inevitable happens and British Socialism finally runs out of other people’s money. And you really don’t want to be here when that happens. I don’t see Greece and Spain clubbing together to bail you out when the government raids your savings.
A lot of people say they would vote for the party which tells them the truth. But you won’t. I don’t believe that. Only one party is telling the truth about Europe and that is UKIP, who you say don’t trust. But at least they have raised the debate, raised awareness and made it clear how futile the talk of reform is. You do have a choice, but you probably won’t exercise it wisely.
BRExit - one way or another
So, despite saying you despise them all you will still end up voting for the party that you think is most likely to put a pound or two a week in your own pocket – yes, it really is as petty as that. And if you do that, if you vote for same-old-same-old, you know what we’ll get? Conservative or Labour, the balance of power will end up in the hands of the LibDems. Do you really want that on your conscience?