Monday, 23 June 2014

How now, Brown cow?

And so, as it was written, it has come to pass. What was once divine is now malign and comedy is a tool of hatred as dark and malevolent as a punch in the throat.  “But words can never harm me,” goes the old saw. No more. The barbarians are not merely at the gate, they are climbing over the walls and language is no longer at siege but at all-out, bloody war. There will be casualties, there may be fatalities, but the freedom and liberty of expression we once enjoyed has already been surrendered to a culture incapable of nuance.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown describes herself as a writer, yet it is she who leads the latest charge to limit the use of our language. Not surprising, really because she also describes herself as a feminist muslim, so the urge to make normality illegal runs deep in her intolerant psyche and her crusade to eliminate the freedoms of the white man is her own personal jihad against the country that harboured her family while Idi Amin did to hers what she seems to want to do to ours. Hypocrisy is a blunt instrument, but most effective in the war against words.

In the west we have a long tradition of diplomacy and reason, using words – often for years – exhausting all avenues for debate before finally and reluctantly turning to actual physical violence. And one of our major contributions to world peace has been the identifiably British technique of making light of dark circumstances. “Mustn’t grumble!” said Tommy Atkins in the stinking trenches, striking his last Lucifer and lighting up his fag. “Smile boy, that’s the style.” Then over the top for a quick game of footie with Fritz.

Ali Baba, on the other hand saw only an opportunity to further her offence-whore career and with a bit of back-up maybe end the career of Michael Fabricant simply because he tweeted a milder version of what everybody else was thinking. In an earlier age she would have been strapped into the ducking stool and introduced to the pond life, but in the age of the internet it is child’s play to conjure up an army of brain-dead supporters incapable of reason but all too ready to hurl brickbats.. Everybody and his dog has written about the ensuing debacle over the weekend but there is one player I particularly want to take to task.

Nobody has really sought to criticise David Cameron’s intervention, in fact Dan Hodges took much the same line as Alibhai-Brown herself, calling for Fabricant’s sacking. What utter juvenile whining tosh. Cameron should have taken no official stance whatsoever; this had nothing to do with his government and a dignified silence would have been the only sane reaction. All he has managed to do now is have every Tory MP confirm their suspicion that he is not one of them at all. Yeah, yeah, politicians have to be careful what they say, but to validate the Brown idiot’s bleating is unnecessarily playing to a gallery you will never win over. In fact, kow-towing to the likes of her is a guaranteed Tory vote loser.

Scold's Bridle
No need to resort to a punch in the throat...

We had something, we British. We had stature and gravitas and once held the world in our hands. We ruled the biggest empire Earth has ever seen and despite some rewriting of this history, on balance we have, beyond any possible doubt, been responsible for much of what is good on this planet. Yet even as powerful as we were we never let it go to our heads and have always shrugged off plaudits with a self-deprecating joke. “Not bad” we might have said, asked to evaluate our achievements. But that world is gone and in the mad drive to destroy Britishness forever the last thing we need is a prime Minister who actively assists that process. If we are no longer allowed to deploy words to make light of a situation, how long before it becomes the first resort to settle an argument with a punch in the throat? 

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