Thursday, 21 July 2016

Generation Ex

Some say Maggie may... yesterday the ghost of Maggie arose, in May. It could have been a one off, but I hope not; we’ve waited a long time for what we might just have seen. Whatever your feelings about the Thatcher years, there was never any doubt that she was very much in charge, until a coalition of the timid stabbed her in the back. And, notwithstanding the extremism of the Erdogans of this world, isn’t firm (but short of despotic) leadership something we have seriously needed for too many years?

Ted Heath was an oddball who is best remembered for having to heave his shoulders and perform that ridiculous laugh for the camera. Wilson could hardly wait to get the Beatles round for tea. Jim who? John Major appeared to revel in his ‘grey man’ persona; presumably many thought he was dead until the Remainers shoved him on stage to spread despair and despondency during the referendum. And then came Blair, a bigger courter of affection we have never seen. Love me, love me he cried to the strains of Cool Britannia as a succession of popular entertainers were photographed by his side.

Cameron declared himself ‘heir to Blair’, which tells you much but he did rise to the challenges of his office and carried off his duties with aplomb. After so many years it was good to see a leader who really relished leading, rather than following. I didn’t forget to mention Gordon Brown, by the way, I just thought it was best to draw a veil over that interlude. Anyway, now we have Ken Clarke’s ‘bloody difficult woman’ in charge and if yesterday was anything to go by, it’s going to be a thrilling ride.

Those of us old enough to have benefitted from the privilege of the grammar school, formerly the best state school system in the world, will remember our best teachers. They weren’t the ones who tried to befriend us, or the ones who repeatedly had to call in the staff bully to take back control. The best teachers were the ones who actually made us work for our learning. The subject specialists who brooked no dissent, ruled with an iron rod – and in some cases, the cane – but were relentlessly driven to pass on to us the secrets of the universe. They knew that they were shaping the leaders of the future.

If you think the caring, sharing, cuddly, touchy-feely, wishy-washy, every opinion counts society we have today is a good thing then you need a good birching more than most. We have lost respect for authority in parallel with authority losing respect for us and much of it comes down to the loss of those firm hands. This article in Spiked, by two teenaged Brexiteers says what people of my generation have been saying for decades, that the education system is at the spearhead of all that is wrong today.

Remind you of anybody?

We may yet be a generation or two away from the end of western civilisation – for islam will surely return us to the dark ages – but unless the British regrow the national spine we will have no chance of ever turning back the tide. Theresa May has her work cut out, but the evidence of the last week suggests she is more than ready for it. Call her a Cnut if you like, but at least she has the balls for the job.


  1. She slaughtered the opposition in yesterdays PMQs but then it is not much of an opposition. We appear to have got it right at last in that the UK has a leader that it needs. Only time will tell. However their are black clouds on the horizon as the USA is most definitely going to get a leader that nobody needs. In fact one that will be downright dangerous to one and all.

  2. I must admit that I was of the #NeverMay brigade and so desperate for Andrea Leadsom to take office was I that her 'dropping out' of contention for PM was a bitter disappointment to me.
    In Hindsight and with witness to how May has taken to office I am reluctantly forced to concede that perhaps she was the right candidate after all.
    Still, behind the swathes of my own prejudices I still suffer the gut feelings and raw intuition of mistrust for this bloody difficult woman or could that be because of a broader mistrust of politicians in general after seeing just how many of our elected voices in Parliament seemed to cater to their own desire and self interest to remain a part of the EU despite an overwhelming difference of choice from the people they were supposed to represent.
    My doubts about Ms May's competence to lead evaporate fairly quickly like democracy in a former Ottoman nation but the natural cynic in me prompts me with almost casual whispers that there are many, many hidden under-currents of design by powerful people who wish to paint a future with much darker colours than I prefer on my canvas

  3. Too early to say but the ruins are good. However if she waters down or abandons brexit with a thousand banal excuses then I shall be very disappointed at losing the last hope of saving Western cultures.

  4. She's made promising moves with her cabinet, but that could be an attempt to appease, ready for a reshuffle later.

    I won't forget her bare faced attempt to report the error tolerance in the International Passenger Survey as a reduction in immigration. Neither will I forget just how vociferous a campaigner she was to increase the powers for the state to spy on individuals with the Snoopers Charter.

    In short, I don't trust her as far as I could throw her, she's all about appeasement and centrism, which in turn will probably win her the next election so...

    Anyway, for want of a better term, let's hope she has more bollocks than the bloody last wimp we had.

    In summary, I don't think I'd have been happy unless they put an utter bastard in charge.

  5. I agree. We will soon be so outnumbered that Brexit was maybe the last hurrah of a fallen people. But I am impressed by May. She's got a touch of steel and class about her

  6. I thought her choice of ministers showed that she had been making notes for some time around the cabinet table. Not crowd pleasers but those who could or could not do the job. Very impressed. (At the Home Office she was constrained by collective responsibility.)