Monday, 24 April 2017

Voting, right?

The airwaves are alight with alarm as influencers of opinion try to peddle an imaginary resurgence of nasty, xenophobic, right-wing ‘populism’. The language of broadcast media paints right-of-centre ideals - independence, self-determination, thrift, small-c-conservatism, decency, tolerance and sober patriotism – as being spawned from a hatred of some out-group or other. But the left-wing principles of authoritarian government, big state interference in the minutiae of everyday life and unsustainable profligacy in public spending are given a free pass as the desirable status quo.

Following round one of the French presidential elections, Macron is hailed as a ‘centrist’ while Marine Le Pen is vilified as being ‘far-right’ when in fact she actually represents a huge proportion of the electorate in mistrusting the ambitions and means of globalist socialism. If you want extreme politics you need look no further than the unbelievably naïve, schoolboy Marxist politics of the British left wing whose fantasies, as espoused by Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott, Farron, Lucas et al, are becoming more unhinged and intemperate with each passing day.

But, of course, the easy passing of the magic wand over all your problems is far more appealing than the dull, grey truth that your life is your business and it’s up to you to make something of it. Who wants to hear that it’s uphill all the way when there is an alternative narrative that suggests you can coast your way through life and let somebody else ensure your passage is unimpeded? Ask your children what they would prefer; sitting in rows, paying attention and putting in real effort to learn, or playing with the glittering toys of educational technology and supposedly absorbing knowledge without breaking a sweat.

We define adulthood as the point at which we accept responsibility. In the UK this is nominally at eighteen but the behaviour of many supposed adults gives the lie to that arbitrary designation; those calling for votes for sixteen-year olds, for instance. Because, they say, they will have to live with those decisions for the rest of their lives. Firstly, that is utterly ridiculous because the opportunity to change our government comes every five years; even if you’re only 13 this June you will have the opportunity to have your say at the next general election... if you can remember then what your current opinion is.

But, but, but, they say, at sixteen you can join the army, or get married. Yes you can, with the permission of your parents. But, they splutter, if you are considered responsible enough to carry a gun, or become a parent... Woah there, boy, in the forces you follow orders and who in their right mind would encourage breeding before you have anything to offer your child, before you have experienced anything of life? And besides, the oft-repeated advice ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure’ didn’t spring from thin air. The argument that the vote of 16-year olds is as valid as 86-year olds could only possibly come from a 16-year old... or somebody who wants their uninformed mandate.



Those who want to milk the young for their consent haven’t really thought it through have they? Where would you be now if you had been forced to live your life according to your world view as a child? The simple fact of human longevity means that, barring some bizarre explosion in fertility rates, there will always be more ‘old’ people than there will be under-twenties. John Major whined about the tyranny of the majority; would he prefer the tyranny of the juvenile minority instead? Give young people the vote? You must think we were born yesterday...

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Have you seen the little piggies?

“Now, class, remember...” The learning facilitator turns to indicate two display boards at the nominal front of the young people’s learning collective. The various sub-committees of pupils, of mixed age, ability and gender identity, disengaged from their collaborations to gaze at the images. Bordered by a brave, caring, red glow, the party display showed moving images of happy, diverse communities engaged in thrilling cooperative ventures, assisting the halt and lame, collecting for charity and building a better world to the stirring music approved by the school board. They all bore the same fixed smiles that now played on the shining faces of the Junior Learners as they watched, wide-eyed and alert.

“And now...” The warm glow faded as the facilitator switched on the second display. A harsh, cold, deathly light illuminated static, monochrome scenes of an ancient and unlovely world. A world where miserable, old white people trudged through mud, pushing carts laden with broken human bodies. A world of torture and pain, of poverty and cruel injustice. A world of child labour, lives of drudge and early demise from back-breaking work and lack of medicines. The watching learners began to sob and hug each other, feeling the pain of their forebears in that lost world, filling with overwhelming empathy for the wronged and the dead.

St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, supposedly said “Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man.” Whether he did or not, the principle is sound enough. What children experience in their early years can become a cross they bear forever. Catholic guilt, islamic submission... white self-loathing. A more enlightened view is that children should not be exposed to simplistic indoctrination and especially not by those charged with their education. Which brings us to that Labour party political broadcast.

Nobody is suggesting that primary school teachers bring their red, red politics into the classroom but then, how could they not? Few of us are capable of completely concealing our political allegiances – only career politicians can manage to do that – but teachers are in a unique position to influence future generations. This ridiculous broadcast suggests that Labour sees nothing wrong in doing exactly that. They also want the voting age to be lowered to sixteen or seventeen; can you see the connection, children?


Meanwhile, the real leader of the Labour Party, Len McCluskey, has been celebrating his re-election to master of the party purse strings by partying at a popular venue where champagne at £50 a bottle flowed pretty freely. George Orwell believed in democratic socialism and was profoundly concerned about social justice, but he was not uncritical of left-wing movements and his two best-known works challenged the very direction of travel of the current-day Labour Party. Animal Farm concludes: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” Some things never change.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Snap!

The snap general election is a thing of true political beauty and a joy, if not forever at least until June the eighth. Tim Farron is going to lose his seat to Mr Fish Finger, for sure. Dawn Butler had the most car-crashiest of interviews about Labour’s policy-free manifesto. And from his hiding-place behind Diane Abbott’s voluminous skirts, Chuka Ummuna (who?) has clearly been at the strong stuff, declaring that calling an election is a perversion of democracy. (In Newspeak democracy is the new anti-democracy in much the same way anti-fascism is the new fascism. I’m expecting them to announce a promise to increase the chocolate ration any day now.) You couldn’t make it up.

But the prize in the competition to see who has become most unhinged since the announcement has to go to the Supreme Leader and Hypocrite-in-Chief, JC himself who seems to have succumbed to a bout of the Milibands. His ranting, ‘firebrand’ speech to launch the Labour bid for annihilation was a rambling, rabble rousing rant against common sense. In his very own version of the matrix ordinary people are bonded in slavery by the evil empire of wealth creation and only Labour can red-pill them to fight against the rigged system. His rhetoric oozed conspiracy nutjob in every fevered sentence. Hell, yes, he’s ‘tuss enough’!

He also clearly inhabits an irony-free zone as he simultaneously raged against privilege – even invoking the holy Labour name of Keir Hardie - yet his son, the authentically working-class-monickered Sebastian, Queen Elizabeth’s School & Cambridge-educated and currently John McDonnell’s chief of staff, is widely tipped to be parachuted into a Labour safe seat. I can’t work out which of Labour’s shadow cabinet are the most deluded but I’m not sure they can claim to have any safe seats by now.

But Jeremy needs to act fast, he’s no spring chicken and at 67-years old senility beckons. To which end he held a closed-door meeting yesterday with two grizzled class warriors and men of the people, Lords Kinnock and Prescott, both fast approaching their own dotage. It was a good old beer and sandwiches session, although Prezzer favours sun-dried tomatoes on focaccia, drizzled in the finest extra-virgin olive oil and washed down with a 2012 Saint-Péray these days and Lord Windbag sent out for pizza and Pinot. Inevitably the focus of the meeting blurred as age intervened.

Policies? ... Anybody?

Two jags sighed and admitted “Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand, while standing in front of the refrigerator, and I can't remember whether I need to put it away, or start making a sandwich.” This brought a wry chuckle from multi-millionaire Baron Kinnock who contributed the private insight that “Yes, sometimes I find myself on the landing of the stairs and I honestly can't remember whether I was going up or going down.” Jeremy briskly brought the meeting back to order and declared “Well, I'm glad I don't have that problem. Touch wood.” He rapped his knuckles smartly on the desk, fixed them with a beady eye, stood up, walked toward the door and said. “That’ll be the pizza.”

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Maydreamer

There’s an old joke which goes: I do a lot of work for charity – pause for effect – on a rollover week I buy two tickets. (Ba-doom tish!) Like many people I buy a weekly lottery ticket by direct debit and forget about it, but I labour under no illusion that one day I will wake up wealthy... and yet. There is no harm in dreaming, but you can’t put all your hopes into the remote possibility of a chance event; on a roll of the dice coming up in your favour.

However, despite the obvious drawbacks of living life in the expectant hope that the impossible will happen, millions of people the word over do exactly that. Take Liberal Democrat leader, Tiny Tim ‘minor fart’ Farron; he believes that his cherished dream of a second EU membership referendum has come true and that, on the 8th of June his party’s phoenix will rise from the ashes to influence events on the world stage and brave, brave Timothy Mitty will be lauded as the nation’s saviour.

Nicola Sturgeon inhabits a realm where she is allowed to perform hypocrisy at such an expert level that she can, having used the Scottish National Party as a vehicle to promote one single cause already rejected by the Scottish voters, accuse Theresa May of acting in narrow party interests instead of in the interests of the country. In Ms Spudgun’s fevered brain the agonised echoes of cognitive dissonance must be muffled by the sheer amount of cotton wool stuffing that keeps her cranium from collapsing.

Or, imagine living in Jeremy Corbyn’s head where the mighty Labour sleeping dragon rises up to sear the flesh of rapacious Tories, hell-bent on devouring every scrap of public money, stolen from the pockets of upturned poor people. A world in which all you have to do is promise £10 a week extra for carers and lo, it shall be so and thou shalt be raised on the shoulders of the grateful populace and carried to a place of oratory where the masses wait, eagerly, to hear how they will become, on average, £43 richer per year when kind Sir Jeremy makes the rich people pay more tax.

But wait, rich people DO pay more tax. In fact they pay ALL the tax and poor people not only pay zero tax, they get given extra ‘free’ money, taken from the rich, to pay the rent on their hovels and to breed their filthy brats and cover the cost of locally provided services. But poor people are often poorly informed people and they, too, live in a dream world where Conservative politicians dine on baby’s brains scooped from their opened skulls and use the poor as furniture while robbing the NHS to send their children to private schools in offshore tax havens. (Diane Abbott told them this.)

Ooh, suit YOU Jeremy!
You didn't see that coming, did you?!

Believe what you like, but on observation the vast majority of people are no better or worse off than they were a year ago, ten years ago. The vast majority of people don’t much care for deep political analysis of events, preferring to believe the headlines of their partisan press ahead of the evidence of their own experiences. And that same majority will vote the way they generally vote, give or take a few swings. For what it’s worth, I think Theresa May has been an exemplary PM in the few months she’s been in the job and I believe she will be given a mandate to crack on with it. But what do I know? 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Work Ethnic

A Guardian article by Hashi Mohamed was thrust into my timeline over the weekend along with a negative mini-review suggesting it was some form of paean to a mediocre socialist education. The headline ‘Telling children 'hard work gets you to the top' is simply a lie’ does, indeed, suggest a diatribe against the evil capitalist adjuration that all must try harder, all must work longer but, actually, it was so much more optimistic than that. Expecting to hate it I did what I suspect the original tweeter had not and actually read the article.

Hashi is Somalian by birth and came to England as a child refugee at the age of nine, speaking virtually no English. Since then he has, as the expression goes, dragged himself up by his boot straps to become both a barrister and a broadcaster. I listened to his documentary ‘Adventures in Social Mobility’ on Easter Sunday and found him engaging, remarkably well spoken and almost persuasive. I say almost because despite his barrister’s training in argument I thought there was a fundamental flaw to his thesis.

His point is that no matter how hard you work your social class is a major barrier to advancement. At first glance this seems to be another bulwark in the resistance of certain parts of the establishment to the reintroduction of grammar schools; rich kids succeed, poor kids fail, this is unfair, so don’t give better-advised kids the opportunity to gain an advantage. But Hashi himself is proof that this isn’t an immutable fact. His circumstance almost couldn’t have been worse and his early British schooling didn’t promise much, but his own epiphany came on a visit to his extended family in Africa as a young man and drove him to work harder and get to what many would regard as the very top he seems to deny.

You should read and listen to Hashi’s story – he tells it better than I could – but if you do I think you will see that actually he gives the lie to his assertion. Of course, working hard won’t get everybody to ‘the top’; after all there is only so much space on the apex of that pyramid. But not working hard is unlikely to yield any result at all. What is likely, however, is that if you do put in the effort to improve your lot you can pass your gains on to your children. The history of immigrant success in particular is of working harder so you can send your kids to that better life by passing on that work ethic and its fruits..


One thing is for certain and that is that giving up, not striving at all and languishing on benefits is likely to do the opposite. So you have a choice: make no effort in life, set a bad example to your kids and end your days in torpor and bitterness and rage against the system. Or get off your backside, give it all you’ve got and keep on giving it. You may not get as far as you dreamed, but your children might just pick up your baton and run with it. In the race to the top, either a sprint or a marathon, hard work is still the best chance you’ve got.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Da Bomb!

While Trump’s troops drop the mother of all bombs on ISIS caves in Afghanistan another bombshell lands closer to home. Yes, McVities have come out and declared that their chocolate biscuits, notably Hobnobs, are coated on... the bottom. You heard it right, Like a bizarre cold war spy code-phrase ‘the chocolate is not on top of the biscuit’. Cue readers’ letters, tea-light vigils and wildcat strikes in sympathy.

If that weren’t enough, in an audacious display of post-Brexit effrontery, foodie Jay Rayner dared to criticise Paris restaurant LeCinq in a scathing review. As somebody who is alarmed at the principle of paying an entire week’s shopping bill to eat faffy food, over-prepared by zealots and served by condescending mouth breathers in an atmosphere overwhelmed by a misplaced sense of occasion. I entirely agree that forking over €600 for a lunch you didn’t enjoy is truly ridiculous.

I haven’t enjoyed eating out ever since my last foray to the Ivy where I was astonished to see one fellow diner attempting to eat peas from his knife. So astonished was I that I almost dropped my handful of artisan mash. But for Jay it was a job and he is made of sterner stuff than I. But to judge from the reaction of the French it was as if opening shots has been fired in a new Napoleonic war: “Ze British only ondairstand feesh and cheeps and rice pooding! Zut, ‘ow do zey expect to appreciate our superior gastronomie?” they whined.

Jay, of course, shrugged off the reaction. After all he is the son of the formidable Claire Rayner and was raised in a household where issues were aired and problems discussed and solutions found by forthright discourse. A little know fact is that when they were quite young the Rayner children’s favourite story was Goldilocks and the Three Bear and much hilarity was had around the family’s kitchen table...

One sunny morning at Chez Rayner baby bear Jay came down, sat at the table and stared glumly into the empty bowl in front of his usual chair. “Who's been eating my porridge?” he demanded in a high pitched voice. His father Desmond – Daddy Bear – appeared, took his place and found his own bowl utterly unsullied by food. “Who's been eating my porridge?" he roared and struck his fist on the table. Mummy Bear, Claire, left the stove where she had been labouring, rolled her eyes, crossed her arms and stood between them at the head of the table.

Now listen up, bears...

“Now you listen here,” she said. Daddy Bear and Baby Bear shared a look; they were going to get one of Mummy Bear’s little talks. “It was Mummy Bear who woke everybody else in the house up. It was Mummy Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night and put everything away. It was Mummy Bear who went out into the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper. It was Mummy Bear who set the table. It was Mummy Bear who fed the cat, filled the cat's water bowl and then let him out.” They waited for the inevitable conclusion to this little lecture. “And every day, I get this same farce from you two. Now listen up because I'm only going to say this one more time: I haven't made the fucking porridge yet!”

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Deep England

One of the things the English once liked to pride themselves on was their tolerance and sense of fair play. Within the bounds of common decency, British society used to be both liberal and disciplined; it was said you could pretty much do what you wanted behind your own closed doors as long as you did no harm, but in front of others you also knew how to behave. Live and let live; mustn’t grumble. We queued, for heaven’s sake! Where did all that go?

In many extra-urban hamlets and small market towns the spirit of England still exists with local life revolving around village schools, community centres and the pub. But viewed through the multicultural lens of ‘diverse’ and ‘vibrant’ and sometimes quite aggressive city dwellers this rural idyll is something to be sneered at, to be ridiculed, to be labelled regressive and ‘insanely white’ in the kind of reverse racism peddled in articles such as this.

Yes, of course it’s The Guardian, although guardian of what you may well wonder. The ‘Deep Britain’ of the article is a backwards-facing, timid world, afraid of foreigners and fearful of progress. The supportive comments are just as indicative of whom this piece is aimed at entertaining. Funny, then, how so many of those jeering from the side-lines will aspire to buy up property and inflate its price beyond the pockets of the local-born in an effort to later enter into that world they despised so much from their metropolitan strongholds. Hypocrisy is a cruelly ironic teacher.

So often those who fly the flag for mass immigration and rule from Brussels are the least affected by the negative effects and have the most to gain from subjecting the general population to its less desirable spin-offs. The Kinnocks and Peter Mandelson spring, unbidden, to mind as examples of those who have profited from the cynical selling off of Britain’s sovereignty; failed politicians who have nevertheless fallen off the fence and into the trough. Michael Caine said he would rather be a poor master than a rich servant, for which he received an outpouring of scorn from the usual, bien pensant sources.

The motives of vocal enthusiasts for the EU’s supranational supremacy and uncontrolled movement of people are highly suspect. The demonstrable effects of our 40-year dalliance with this nightmare are evident. The low wage economy pushed lower, welfare dependency becoming endemic for some, a rise in gun and knife crime and everywhere communities under stress. Yes we also have highly skilled foreign worker in high-tech industries, banking and the hospitality industry. And yes, they work in our health service too, but we could have this anyway.

Is this really so bad?

Britain has long been open to immigration; to say otherwise is simply a lie. But we have also long held a strong national identity, which is now sorely challenged by the intransigent and near-sighted who want to limit our prospects outside the EU; in effect to punish those of us who still remember and cherish Britishness for our failure to be brainwashed by the siren call of big state, big brother socialism. We're watching you. Deep England? Oh yes. Our sense of belonging is far deeper ingrained than your shallow, superficial, naïve fantasy of a rainbow world. Watch and learn, children, watch and learn.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

It's Digital

I will never understand parents. For a start I can’t get my head around how they decide at which point in their own development they feel they are ready to bring life, unbidden, into a world filled with dangers and disease and injustice and sheer chance. It seems clear to me that becoming a parent is entirely about fulfilling the selfish desire to have children and only after the birth does it have anything to do with the child itself. Even then, from my observations, this appears to be due to a warping of the brain chemistry of parents that separates them from reason and sets them on a path determined by events largely outside their influence.

I’m guessing a disease of much the same sort inhabits the fevered brains of leftists who appear to be incapable of seeing the world of humankind with any kind of clarity and instead prefer to promote unattainable dreams rather than do the job with the tools available. Take this piece of magic money tree thinking from Guardian contributor Poppy Noor who believes everybody should have the right to free housing.

Er, okay... You know nothing is ‘free’, right? Every single thing you have, including those children you desperately wanted but had no means to provide for, has to be paid for somehow. But humans, being the grasping apes that we are, will readily grab anything within reach and appropriate it for ourselves. Free workers’ housing would become free-riders’ housing the second somebody worked out how to qualify for accommodation and then rid themselves of the annoying quid pro quo of actually getting out of bed.

None of this matters, however, because leftists live in a hazy, ill-defined and angry little bubble of their own where only those who think alike are allowed free expression and everybody else is labelled – you guessed it – angry and hateful and xenoraceophobic..ist. Fortunately, that article is a clear spoof, entitled as it is ‘Utopian Thinking’. It ought to come with a warning: ‘Guardian Thinking’ (perhaps with a question mark to follow) Utopia means, of course ‘no such place’ which is perfect to describe the dream state of the left. Utopia? You betchia.

But wait, ‘angry’ leftists? Oh yes. Listening to Monday’s The Digital Human was very enlightening; well, it would have been if it wasn’t immediately apparent. It was all about how very, very angry social media is. Filled with rage against injustice and inequality – the twin refrains of the social justice warrior – SM exists for some merely as a means of waging war against those horrible, evil, grasping capitalists who already pay for everything and demanding they pay even more.

It was intriguing listening to what purported to be a balanced view about the state of humanity as an effete-sounding, feminised man explained how very cross he was and how online he became a mighty avenger and righter of wrongs. With his metrosexual vocal affectations it was enough to make you want to slap him in the face and tell him to get a proper job, bricklaying perhaps, if, of course, it made you angry enough to care.

But as one analyst after another came on to explain the phenomenon of online rage it sounded like nothing so much as a procession of angry but impotent people seeking psychological justification for their heightened sense of entitlement. A string of semi-coherent arguments for why they felt themselves to be in the right and how everybody else was Hitler, as they described ‘a whole new politics based around hatred and exclusion’.

Yes! We are all individuals!

And there it was. The shrinks came on to explain that in societies that dedicate themselves to the pursuit of equality, in parallel with the pursuit of affluence, the inevitable unequal outcomes drives some of them mad with envy and the resulting resentment boils over in those who are insufficiently grown up to set aside emotion and think clearly. Righteous anger directed at the world? Sounds like a socialist brat to me. So, next time you find yourself in a Twitter spat with a lefty just remember – it’s not their fault, it’s a genuine mental affliction. I blame the parents.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Perplexed

Boris Johnson says he has seen the evidence and it is overwhelming. Others talk of plots within plots and deep, dark shenanigans in the whole Russia/Syria/Iran malarkey. All I know is that is far from clear exactly what happened, why it happened, who did it, who urged it, who bought it, who denied it, etc. All I can say is that the entire business is disturbing, profound, far-reaching and sod-all to do with me. I glaze over when the Middle East goes through its regular contortions.

In 1976, the Genesis track Blood on the Rooftops sang:

“Let's skip the news boy (I'll go and make some tea)
Arabs and Jews boy (too much for me)
They get me confused boy (puts me off to sleep)
And the thing I hate, oh Lord!
Is staying up late, to watch some debate, on some nation's fate.”

I remember these words as each new self-inflicted wound scars the Arab world, as each new senseless act stirs up old enmities and fractures old allegiances. And I despair as commentators switch sides at the flip of a conspiracy theory. If it really is as contorted as some claim it is an insoluble conundrum.

Simple, many say, it’s all about oil, petrodollars. But it’s so much more than that. Or less; as I said, I don’t know (too much for me, boy). I want it to be simple and simply resolved and as the world outside those burning sands finds more oil and gas of its own and invests in new energy-generating technologies a large part of me wants to see the land of the oil sheiks once more isolated and diminished in significance. One day all that remains could be an Ozymandias statue; the sooner the better. But right now, cool heads are needed.

Yesterday thousands eulogised PC Keith Palmer in a display of mourning that troubled me greatly. This isn’t something the British ever really did before St Diana of Wales and not something I think we should indulge in now. The inscrutability of the Chinese has always made reading their intent somewhat difficult to deal with. Likewise the British stiff upper lip used to confound our opponents; our phlegmatism a curiously inscrutable characteristic. But now we wear our hearts on our sleeves, openly displaying to our enemies, who have such a low regard for life, how sensitive we have become to even a single death. Isn’t this an open invitation for jihads to target yet more public servants?


A nation that can be stopped in its tracks by a single incident is a weak nation, not a strong one. And right now, on many fronts, we need a display of strength, not vulnerability. We shouldn’t be looking to solve foreign puzzles, over which we have long been unsuccessful. Instead, maybe we should be turning inward, solving our domestic issues first, rebuilding our identity and not dabbling in the guesswork of Middle East politics. There are plenty of others engaged in stirring up the wasps’ nest; about time we concentrated on defending against the swarm.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Man Down!

What a glorious weekend to kick-start the summer. The back gardenscape was a-bustle with trimmers and mowers and the sizzle of barbecues as people stopped worrying about man-made global warming and engaged in direct action; actually doing things, manual things, rather than merely talking about doing things on social media. From cock-crow to sunset, from council house to mansion, everything stopped for a well-earned wallow in the warm stuff.

Of course, that paragraph wouldn’t have garnered much credit at Northern Arizona University for its outrageously gendered rendition. Words such as manual, man-made, cock and mansion are aggressively male in character and such a patriarchal imbalance must not be tolerated. Thankfully, as we become more enlightened here in the UK more and more authorities are employing empathy and sensitivity to ensure that the 0.01% are not unduly oppressed by gender assumptions.

To this end, Harlow council have voted to undertake a gender audit of staff, with particular emphasis on titles. No longer will there be chairmen, groundsmen and dustbinmen and the post of general factotum and odd job man will henceforth become the entirely gender neutral and reparative ‘slave’. And anybody with the title ‘manager’ will in future be referred to as a facilitator thus, at a stroke, eliminating the negative connotations of both the male gender and implied authority.

The parks and gardens team are busily rebranding the decorative and highly vocal birds which grace some of their attractions as ‘peabirds’ and in the markets people will be enjoined to purchase ‘persongoes’ when in season. Unnecessarily phallic fruit and veg such as bananas, cucumbers and asparagus will only be available in neutral packaging bearing warning labels asserting the political incorrectness of using such comestibles in a provocative or suggestive manner, especially for the purposes of so-called comedy.

A decision has yet to be taken on the overt display of melons and grapefruit, but being essentially female in nature they are likely to be deemed harmless, rather than malevolent. The word malevolent, of course, means to be evil, like males, so no revision of this word is required. Similarly ‘manhandle’ already contains the essence of the notion that only men would be so brutish as to use force in, say, illegally detaining an intruder; as every sensitive person knows burglars are both brave and desperate and their needs must come first when undertaking any intervention.

The man of tomorrow

So, get with the programme, people; ban the man. Give yourself a personal gender audit and if you encounter any male-related gender indicators, physical or mental report to the Ministry of Truth for re-education and reprogramming. Get your manstruation back in synch, tone down your testosterone and get in touch with your feminine side; we will eradicate gender bias if it means castrating every last one of you knuckle-dragging cavemen.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Walk on

In the theatre of the absurd which is the disintegrating left, a protest group has been demanding of the New Statesman that they give 30 pages of favourable coverage over to the subject of Jeremy Corbyn. No, seriously... Now, thirty pages of coverage we can easily envisage, but thirty pages of GOOD coverage? Maybe if it was written in headline-sized font and dubiously included the Diane Abbott dalliance it could be eked out to a page or two, but beyond that... are they suggesting The Staggers lies about the man? He’s got three kids; maybe he likes them?

Oh but, maybe not. Labour’s latest wacky foray back to communism of its roots is to suggest funding school meals for state pupils by charging Value Added Tax on private school fees. Right, so, that means the people who pay all the tax and then further assist state education by not using the services they already paid for should pay even more so that other people’s offspring can be fed? Is the plan to get votes by helping poor students’ parents to buy more fags? Perhaps the Labour Party could get back to us when they have a policy, any policy, based not on coercion or threat or force, but on common sense?

Fortuitously, events have been overtaken by the USA’s bombing of Syria. Phew, lucky stroke there Labour! But once again the world goes mad. The whole of the Middle East has been a source of concern for all the years I can recall. Maybe we should close the doors on the whole region, contain it, then come back in fifty years and see if anybody is ready to talk sensibly about it all? But we just can’t help ourselves, can we? Like progressively lowering a table by sawing chunks out of each leg in turn, trying to level out that annoying wobble, everything we do seems to make things worse.

I find Middle East events tedious in the extreme. While millions were live-tweeting events, the ‘Arab Spring’ largely passed me by. If the whole of North Africa were rendered an unlivable nuclear wasteland for centuries I’d probably greet it with a disinterested shrug. I had similar reactions to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the death of John Lennon. I figured they had nothing to do with me, so, meh... some things just don’t move me at all.

On the other hand, human frailty fascinates me; I like watching how you mere mortals deal with the perceived threat of things you can do nothing about. Like your irrational reactions to far-away war, rich people, celebrity and the weather. As storms brew in the near east, we approach the summer thunderstorm season...

Storm's a-comin'...

One summer’s evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her young son into bed. She was about to leave when he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Mummy, will you sleep with me tonight?” She smiled and asked “But why, dear?” The boy replied “I’m frightened about what’s happening in the world; Syria, Jeremy Corbyn and all this thunder and lightning.” His mother said, gently, “I can't dear. I have to sleep in Daddy's room.” And with that she kissed him goodnight, then slowly rose and tiptoed to the door. As she turned off the light she heard, from the darkened silence “The big sissy.”

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Livingstone, I presume?

In other news, Barry Manilow comes out as gay, the Pope confesses his Catholicism and a bear was seen leaving a nearby wood clutching a copy of The Sun and a roll of toilet paper. But, seriously, Manilow? He got married three years ago. To another man. But he left it until now to come out because he didn’t want his fans to think he was batting for the other side? You’d think this level of delusion would preclude people from credible participation in society but no, they simply construct their own world and surround themselves with bit-part players to maintain the illusion.

I wonder if, in Corbynland, Labour is a credible opposition, representing the ordinary working man? Or if the Green Party imagine their rag-tag band of merry vegan flatulents will somehow save the world? Perhaps the nine LibDem MPs believe they are genuinely a force for beneficial change and not just the ditherers’ party the rest of us see, led by a boy/man-puppet with an amusing anagram for a name? And when an SNP representative looks in the mirror do they see a muscular and passionate blue-daubed warrior looking back? The secret life of Walter Mitty isn’t just an amusing fantasy, it’s practically a way of life in politics.

We all harbour delusions about ourselves: Maybe, one day I will fit into those jeans; the ones I have kept neatly folded, in a storage box... for a decade now. Half marathon? I could if I wanted. I really will finish that book, honest. But these are simply the little white fibs we use to keep our spirits up; we stopped imagining we would be fighter pilots and astronauts and secret super-heroes long ago. There is a certain charm in not growing up fully, cherishing a secret ambition... but not when you are under public scrutiny.

Take Guy Verhofstadt, who the yesterday tweeted “I am 100% sure that - one day - there will be a young leader who will try again to lead Britain back into the European family.” Ah, delusion personified! If I a 100% certain of anything it is that young people become older people and generally become wiser people with it. But they’d say there is no fool like an old fool and I dare say there will be some, currently young, people still clinging to the wreckage of the EU long after the main hull has sunk.

Adolf Livingstone?

But all this is for the future. For now the most important thing on the planet appears to be whether or not Ken Livingstone did or did not say that Hitler was, or was not, in favour of the Jews having their own state, or not, or whether the holocaust did or didn’t happen... or didn’t not, or something. I lose track, but honestly is this really a matter for serious consideration by a party which has aspirations of government? Or is it just a load of old bollocks?

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Who Laughs Last?

Well this seems to be another one of those little musings I file under ‘Why we got a Conservative government, Brexit, Trump, Le Pen and Wilders’. It’s become an all too frequent foray into the inscrutable world of how London seems to be so at odds with the rest of England and why those who embrace extremes of political correctness will never really comprehend that everybody who isn’t with them is laughing at their hurt and confusion.

The Equality & Diversity industry has been quick to condemn David Moyes, who made a perfectly bland, off the cuff, everyday remark and has now had to abase himself at the feet of the high priestesses of PC. When David Cameron said “Calm down, dear” there was similar outrage but it blew over pretty quickly. With Moyes, however, they sensed blood, a weaker quarry, with little support, so in for the kill they went. His grovelling apology went down in flames too, because the use of the epithet ‘girl’ is apparently a monstrous power play, indicative of his privilege as a male with all the power in the relationship.

I actually heard this said on PM yesterday evening... or was it PMT? (I’m going to hell) Oh yes, the resurgence of the charge of casual sexism and the insistence of the harm it does to all those women who insist on absolute equality. If women are ever going to be able to beat the men at arm wrestling the playing field must be levelled. Given the piss-poor rate at which evolution is equipping females with male musculature it is up to society to emasculate the men instead.

In the multicultural world of the ideologically driven social engineers this doesn’t raise an eyebrow. Elsewhere, in the down-to-earth sensibilities of we cave dwellers, it raises a wry smile. It’s that ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ thing again; instead of actually improving opportunities for women, sensible heads are seeing lots of reasons not to employ them. When Alan Sugar made the perfectly reasonable observation that small business would want to avoid employing women of child-bearing age he was vilified. But he was dead right.

Lest you think I am an unreconstructed male chauvinist pig (a charge I make no effort to refute, by the way) I have a female boss. She is terrifying; she is also bloody good at her job and nobody here would dare to challenge her supremacy. Most of us recognise that she does a far better job than a mere man ever could. Who needs the imaginary, fabricated world of manufactured equality when you can have the real thing? You have to laugh, eh?

Not laughing now?

Oh but, here’s a thing. In the world of comedy the London creed is followed to the letter. Those brave souls who like to believe they subvert and challenge every convention and that no trope goes un-mocked, nevertheless conform to the orthodoxy. But having honed their scalpel to dismember and dissect that horrible, horrible decision by primitive troglodytes to leave the EU they are finding their blade blunted by the unyielding implacability of the non-London audience. It turns out that Brexiteers will only sit for being insulted for just so long and the unrelenting anti-Brit shtick is driving them away. Poor old Marcus Brigstocke; pray for him.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

This isn’t right

The case of the seventeen-year old Iranian Kurd refugee, beaten up in Croydon over the weekend is horrific. I hope the book is thrown at the attackers and the full weight of the law applied in denying them liberty; no punishment seems enough, somehow. But (and it’s a huge but) at least there is now another incident to add to the murder of Saint Jo Cox in the  desperate need to accumulate evidence of ‘the rise of the far-right’. Diane Abbott, arguably the largest of all the buts[sic], has shown no hesitation in labelling it thus: “Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, but part of a sustained increase in hate crimes that this Tory government is yet to offer any effective response to.”

But lest they get too excited in their frenzy to prove that everybody who voted Brexit is, literally, Hitler, they might want to consider what they mean by the term ‘far right’. I’ve always believed that they are confined to a tiny fringe group, so rabid and unfocused their aims and so unattractive to breed from that they may as well be considered an endangered species. And in comparison to left-wing groups their numbers are insignificant. It is quite usual for groups like Britain First to be outnumbered by rent-a-mob counter demonstrators.

And, as if on cue, a gathering of the massed ranks of this fearsome band of supposed fascists barely managed to number 300 and typically it was the self-styled ‘Antifa’ activists who managed to do the most to provoke violence. The Guardian naturally labelled it, right on message, as an attempt to stir up islamophobia and the attack on Croydon Kurd played right into that hand. Except there is no evidence that white supremacists – Diane Abbott’s preferred variety of assailant – were involved. Rather it appears to have been a mixed assembly of young, druggy, pissed-up morons of various ethnicities... or as many would have it, typical Croydon youth.

As for islamophobia, it is a perfectly rational response to the ceaseless onslaught of this unruly and backward belief system on civilisation. Massed prayers, in displays of strength and disregard for authority, are pretty intimidating to indigenous host populations. But this form of ‘peaceful’ demonstration of their numbers is largely carried out by what are termed ‘moderate’ muslims, leaving the direct action to the more devout. Is it irrational for us to be afraid of islam? Perhaps we should ask Russia.

It was self defence...

The St Petersburg bombs yesterday may well mark a new chapter in the perpetual war between islam and well, everybody else. No more is it just a jihad against the west; now that Mother Russia has been hit all eyes are on Putin to see how far he will go to back up his openly declared hostility to any group threatening the safety of his people at home. This isn’t a race issue, it’s a battle for ideology. For a long time the Russians were our red menace, the so-called Evil Empire. Now they may be just about to become our greatest ally.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

First in line

All ready for Brexit? Prepare for the worst but hope for the best has been one of the government slogans in the lead up to you-know-what. Remain’s slogan seems to have been: ‘Hope for the worst and do your damnedest to bring it about.’ Me? I’m what you may term an optimistic pessimist; I’m with the government on this one. Overt optimism always brings with it the risk of serial disappointment, especially when young, impressionable and with sights set on the moon while firmly shackled to terra firma. Far better, I find, to be tacitly pessimistic, strike the right note then be pleasantly surprised when things actually work out.

Perhaps it’s just the British way, when you think about it; let’s face it, planning a picnic in England more than two days in advance is folly personified. As is expecting all your luggage to always arrive with you on the first day of your holiday. Learning to gracefully thank Aunt Ida for the identical pair of wrong-sized socks for the third birthday in a row is an art that comes more easily to we phlegmatic island dwellers than it does to, say, the Latin hotheads of warmer climes. See, no matter how hard we tried we could never give ourselves wholly to being European.

Really, a positive attitude – even tempered with some cautious pessimism – goes a long, long way, especially when setting out in a new direction. Dragging your screaming, obdurate offspring where they don’t want to go, for no reason other than they decided they don’t, fomenting a screaming, embarrassing public argument, is a rite of passage many young parents are familiar with. Divide-and-rule then comes into play as one half of the parenting unit wants to relent and the other to forge on. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could negotiate with the recalcitrant ones and agree a common way ahead, instead of forever sniping and bickering at each other?

It comes as something of a relief, then, to hear of today’s launch, at midday, by a hard core of Remainers. A new start, they say, a campaign to – albeit with some reserve pessimism in hand – back Brexit all the way to its conclusion. It’s not so much total capitulation; they will challenge whenever they see the government backsliding (because, of course, Labour is no opposition at all) but in general this is a welcome change from the last nine months.

Lead by none other than Anna Soubry the working group called, somewhat unimaginatively ‘Best for Britain’ includes other former antagonists such as John Major, William Hague, that old windbag Kinnock and arch spin-surgeon Alastair Campbell. Lord knows, it’s scarcely credible, but it’s about bloody time. Even Eddie Izzard has signed up!

Farage has cautiously welcomed the new group, but has made it crystal clear he doesn’t trust them and will be keeping a close watch from the pub, but Tim Farron, not surprisingly, has said he wants nothing to do with it. To that end he has, bizarrely, managed to co-opt Michael Heseltine into his bid to make the Limp Demics the leading pro-EU force in the land. Quite what impact on the debate the conjoined might of Tarzan and ‘Minor Fart’ will have is anybody’s guess.

Only, you have you wonder, just how long are these uneasy alliances likely to last? I mean, even just two days ago, all the heavies on the 48% side were frothing at the mouth and insisting they would not back down under any circumstance and that Brexit must, literally, be stopped. Maybe they were thinking of putting a fence in its way... or even an actual ‘stop’ sign; we British are suckers for following a sign.

Or maybe we should take it all at face value and actually receive them gracefully into the fold; allies at last in getting the best for all our sakes, now and in the future. We should all back Best for Britain and putting aside our enmities work together for a better Britain and a better Europe. Now, wouldn’t that be more constructive than the fool’s paradise of ever closer union?

An EU spokesman... any day of the year.

Lest you think that this is too good to be true, just wait until lunchtime and see. But, if you really can't wait, go back to the top of the page and check out the first letter of each paragraph. The signs are there and only a complete fool would neglect to read the runes.