Sunday, 17 June 2018
So, a great day out was had by all. The attendees at Labour Live clapped and danced and changed the world. The gurning totems of Corbyn, McDonnell, McCluskey and their puppets and cheerleaders told their tales of a future of equality and opportunity and wealth for all. And why not let them dream, eh? Even though thousands of years of recorded human history demonstrate that humans, just like most other animals, naturally form into groups of the many led by the few and are rewarded accordingly; twas, literally, ever thus.
Life is pretty good for most of us in the west. For every downtrodden, dejected loser in life’s lottery there are a thousand, ten thousand, who have little to fear. We eat better, work less, live longer and are entertained in ways which could not even have been contemplated even fifty years ago. So why are we never happy? Or, more pertinently, why do movements like Labour want to portray us as miserable, in every sense of the word?
It’s ALL Project Fear, isn’t it? You might be happy now, but what about after Brexit? The Tories/far-right/elites/pan-global conspiracists will creep into your lives and steal away your freedom/security/ livelihood/children if you take your eye off the ball. And who will protect you? This seems to be the ethos of the left-inclined; you are all children and you must be protected from your own gullibility. And what
A capitalist job with prospects? It’s a trap; here take one of the nicer jobs we made up. Science and technology based education? Too difficult; we have lovely foreigners to do all that for you. You put your feet up and go for ‘life sciences’; the portfolio of disciplines where nebulous opinions rank just as high as demonstrable facts. And even higher if your opinions are the right ones. Critical thought is a tool of the right and will enslave you in a world where you have to stand on your own two feet and pursue your own happiness. Don’t fall for it.
But from whence comes such great wisdom? Turns out, that all you need to qualify for engagement in the world of politics is a self-declaration of your allegiances and your competence is assumed. That and the assistance of a political dynasty – a little nepotism goes a long, long way – and you’re in. Pull up a chair, join the talking shop, persuade others of the veracity of your theories and brainwash yourself to become a cog in the machine.
Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy?
We are all parts of the world machine, but some of us are working parts while others exist more for appearances. Do you want a vacuum cleaner that actually sucks, or one that looks pretty... and sucks? This is your choice: a world of hardship and toil, but rewards for all that hard work and pride in achievement. Or do you want a world of supposed ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ and a lot of back-slapping pretence that prosperity for all is just around the corner? In short, do you want the red pill or the blue?
Wednesday, 30 May 2018
If the cases of Brexit, Trump, the Italian situation and the long-range weather forecast tell us anything it tells us that no matter how intelligent, prominent, famous, studious, or erudite you are, the rarest human attribute seems to be common sense. Show me an expert who argues with confidence for the economics of either staying in or leaving the EU and I will show you somebody who has learned nothing from history. And now I come to think of it, history itself is not always the most solid basis on which to predict the future.
Why would you lay on the line a hard-won reputation for retrospectively making the right moves by wading into waters you have no control over and trying to change the tides? It’s one thing to predict the likely numerical outcomes of a widely welcomed economic policy in a stable environment, or to forecast the balance of power in a two-party state when a popular – or unpopular – government is incumbent. But to pretend you can see the outcome of the worldwide clusterfuck that is the twenty-first century socio-political landscape is vainglorious folly indeed.
I can only imagine the pundits are pressed men, cornered into making pronouncements as their employers demand. Because the alternative is ugly. Is it simple, uncritical arrogance; a belief in your own omniscience? Or is it because your adoring acolytes have convinced you that you alone have the answers denied mere mortals. Or is it – and this is worse – a cynical understanding of the power of propaganda and the knowledge that to hold firm to a stance is somehow to help bring that position about?
It is little wonder that the wider public are turning away from their supposed leaders. The motes have been cast from their eyes and they see the true impotence of potentates; straws bending in the wind. Maybe – and it is a maybe; more of a hope than a prediction – more people will begin to realise that if you want something doing you should do it yourself if you possibly can. Politicians aren’t going to fill your potholes, rear your children and police your streets. Economists aren’t going to feed your pension funds and control your rents. And the Met Office isn't going to keep the rain away from your parade.
I see... murky balls.
If there is such a thing as common sense it is the collective wisdom of common individuals taking responsibility for their actions. And if there are such things as common experiences they are the disappointment that follows failure and the pride imbued by a job well done. It strikes me that the sooner people grasp the personal responsibility nettle, the sooner their reliance on the little man behind the megaphone will wane. Am I forecasting that this will come about? Well, I’m no expert...
Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Much unrest afoot and abroad; the Chinese curse has been realised and we live in interesting times indeed. The population votes for Brexit and is decried as uncivilised, racist, ignorant and in a spectacular inversion of the definition, unpatriotic. (Support for an independent nation state is now the opposite of patriotism, apparently) Meanwhile, over in Italy, the EU demonstrates – yet again – that this institution is the antitheses of democracy, while simultaneously rewriting the general understanding of democracy to fit their actions. There is a pattern.
Here is another pattern. In the movie A Few Good Men, Colonel Jessop says, “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it.” This is but a variation of a sentiment often, if erroneously, attributed to Churchill, that "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us." And linked to this is the idea that you are only free to express dissent because people of whom you may disapprove have fought and continue to fight for that right.
I confess, I have never taken to the streets in protest. I have had no need. I have often argued that there is no ‘far right’ to worry about, as the bedwetters of the huddled leftist masses imagine because those they fear wish them no harm; we generally pay them no heed at all. But let me explain: Left and right originally was used to describe the sides in the French revolution; commoners on the left, aristocrats on the right. Now the aristos are few, but the peasants have formed two broadly distinct classes – ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ – and a whole class war has evolved around it.
The nominal rich have no need of association; they wield power and influence commensurate with the depth of their pockets and willingness to intervene. Often, despite all the propaganda to the contrary, the well-off have deep social consciences and are a far greater force for good than the rabble rousers of the ‘lower orders’ will admit. (See how easily the language of class conflict floats to the surface.) So it is to we lower orders that the real duties of society fall. On the one side are those of us who work hard, earn well and pay taxes so that the rest may supplement their perceived penury. For which playing the game we are called ‘right wing’; we shrug and shoulder our burden.
On the other side are the aggrieved, the disenchanted who feel the world has not bestowed its riches upon them, the disenfranchised who feel their voice is unheard and unheeded. The young, the ignorant, the unlucky and sometimes – let’s not be coy – the plain idle, who, no matter the real reasons for their lack of the success they feel is theirs by right, are easily persuaded by meddlesome minds that they have been wronged. This is the flock, the constituency, of the left and everybody who disapproves of their cajoling and bullying ways is labelled ‘far right’ and dismissed as bigots.
The fictional hero James Bond is a killer, a cold-blooded killer at that, but he’s okay; he’s cool, even. The much-admired SAS has a high proportion of actual psychopaths in its ranks, but you are happy for them to mete out summary justice, especially when you don’t have to witness it, or when you can dress it up in glory. But Tommy Robinson? He may be the very definition of an ‘Inglourious Basterd’[sic] but your world is a safer place with him in it. Call him ‘far right, call him a Nazi, call him a thug. But just realise that you are allowed to call him all this, allowed to openly despise him, precisely because people like him have stood up to be counted.
Some rough men, doing what they had to do...
And while you are busy spitting your righteous hatred in his direction, you may want to take a moment to consider that Anjem Choudary is being released. So while one rough man, who has practised vocal, often clumsy, but peaceful opposition, is placed in mortal danger by the state (and I don’t give a toss about the legal technicalities involved, I really don’t) the state (you and I) will spend millions to protect a man who is directly implicated in the brutal killing of Lee Rigby and others and who has effectively declared islamic war against all of us. Are you still sleeping safely in your beds?
Sunday, 27 May 2018
The NHS: Pseudo religion to many; iconic socialist success story (with its shortcomings brushed under a carpet heaped high with uncritical praise); inviolable national treasure and the big stick regularly used to cow dissenters into a hands-off stalemate about its future. Suggest the NHS could be reformed and you will bring down opprobrium and lightning about your head and a plague upon your house. This is a tail which very much wags the dog.
In the British press you are only ever a day away from a big story about the NHS, which itself is only ever days away from total collapse; it has struggled on in this manner since 1948. At seventy it should be pensioned off but no, like those of us who have paid for it all our lives we will be expected to keep on going. Once again – as with Brexit, the immigration debate, the anger of the young, throwing around accusations of ‘having their future thrown away’ – it is all the fault of the old.
Old people have selfishly pushed up house prices. Old people have exhausted the resources of our boom years and left the young destitute. Old people blame it all on the EU and immigration, when ‘everybody knows’ we are a nation of mongrels and we need – positively need – immigrants to do the jobs the lazy Brits won’t do. Old people don’t care about the future, they won’t have to live through it. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah-bloody-blah... The gutless misery of these mantras is not only boringly predictable, it is wrong. So wrong.
For a start it is not old people who push up house prices it is simple supply and demand; it is the sheer number of people. And it is the tax-payer who pays for everything the state provides; who has paid the most tax of all? Why, those who have paid in for the longest. Who earns the most and therefore pays a disproportionately higher percentage of their income as tax? Those who have acquired the skills and knowledge and experience to be worth more to the economy, to generate more surplus wealth. Oh yes, that would be the older workers in the population.
And who disproportionately uses the resources of the NHS? Why that would be the
old I mean sick people. Sick people come in all
guises, but those who work through their entire lifetime tend to consume far
fewer of any public resources than those who have taken the cradle-to-grave
mantra of the welfare state as an invitation to plunder its overly generous
coffers. This includes children, especially babies – bloody babies; it’s all
just take, take, take with them – and all those who eagerly grasp at any
medical straw to excuse their lifelong indolence. (It also includes those beloved,
minimum-wage, zero tax-paying, net-welfare recipient immigrants who displace
many younger Brits who would pick those crops, pack those boxes and stack
those shelves if they had to.)
And now it is older people, those who in earlier decades might have expected to retire after a lifetime of paying for the NHS and everything else, who are opting to stay in work into their seventies to continue paying for it. You might think the vibrant, multicultural, progressive young people – who are the future, remember – would be grateful that the despised older generations are willing to carry on funding that future, but no... Kids, the older generation is not the problem; it is, in large part, the solution.
Saturday, 26 May 2018
The newsreader dropped an octave and in a husky voice, on the point of breaking and punctuated by dry sobs, she intoned the news. “It is twenty-four hours now since Jasmine, the nation’s sweetheart, went missing. A candle-lit vigil was hastily convened last night after she didn’t respond to the usual entreaty, ‘puss puss puss’ to come in for her supper. By this morning, some three thousand tea lights were being watched over by a crowd which overwhelmed Trafalgar Square and the steps of the National Gallery were adorned with flowers and tributes from well-wishers.”*
She paused a moment, bowed her head and clasped her hands together as if to offer a silent prayer. A single tear slid down one cheek, captured in close-up and broadcast to the millions who were simultaneously planning how they would mark their loss. The regular public sharia beatings, the gassing of protesters and the jailing of free speech advocates went unreported save for the coded columns in subversive, minor, former news publications such as the underground Mail and Express pamphlets, secretively distributed and often only passed on by word of mouth among trusted friends.
When did we become such a nation of crybabies and religious appeasers? In the last week we have seen wall-to-wall wailing over the losses in the Grenfell fire and the Manchester Arena bombing, yet the fifth anniversary of Lee Rigby’s brutal murder has been treated gingerly, so as not to cause offence. The BBC in one news item even referred to the Manchester Arena event as ‘an accident’. And in recent weeks there has been a push for increased legal powers to police ‘hate speech’ and criticism of islam. Blasphemy laws, in secular Britain?
And yesterday, of course, Tommy Robinson was sent to prison where, no doubt his life will be under threat, for a breach of the peace. It appears he has breached the terms of his licence, but he was simply doing what he is cheered on by many of us for doing and highlighting the otherwise unreported monstrosities committed by the hidden community concealed behind the very visible massed aggression which the government insists on portraying as a persecuted minority.
What happened to the stiffness of our upper lips? The black-shrouded, grieving widow was an aberration, her strange, ethereal, inability to move on the antithesis of Britishness, yet tolerated in true British fashion. But now it’s as if we must all join in the tortured misery and self-flagellation in the pseudo-scientific notion of closure. This isn’t closure; it’s a perpetuation of a snivelling inability to grasp cold reality. When 96 year old war hero Jim Booth faced down an attacker armed with a claw hammer he shrugged off what the press has to call ‘an ordeal’ with the superbly British response that worse things happen at sea.
Nothing has changed...
It’s time to ‘man up’, surely? It’s time to take to the streets in protest, to rattle a few cages and to unseat a few so-called leaders who neither lead nor offer solutions. It’s time to stop getting maudlin, to give up the widow’s weeds and shout out ‘enough is enough.’ Standing proud? Standing together? All this vigil nonsense is neither; it is hollow words to cover up the reality that we are standing against nothing; we are giving in. Well enough. Don’t get sad, get mad. Then don’t’ get mad, get even,
(*No cats were harmed in the making of this blog.)