Sunday, 29 January 2023

Tory Party? What Tory Party?

When Tony Blair said “Education, education, education” we all knew it was the beginning of the end. What we didn’t know was that the former Conservative and Unionist Party would turn up to finish the job. Cameron even proclaimed himself the ‘heir to Blair’ without any apparent irony. Then the insipid, chubby-cheeked PR mediocrity set about recruiting the meek and mild, the liberal and wet and he held hands with Nick bloody Clegg.

And so the rot set in, as surely as if the party rules had been written on biodegradable paper and kept in a damp and mouldy cellar. Decades of child-centred education-education-education, putting feelings before achievement and prioritising the popular over the useful has brought us to where we are. Marketing twonks use dishonest phrases like ‘plant-based’, as if the hoi polloi have no grasp of vegetarianism. Jeremy Hunt says he will ‘halve inflation’, apparently believing that people will think that means prices going down rather than increasing a little bit less quickly. Sadly, he’s probably right.

Listening to The Moral Maze last Wednesday, discussing maturity as a moral issue, one of the witnesses was an almost perfect example of Aristotle’s depiction of the young: “[they] have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things - and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning - all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything - they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.”

This modern-day cult of the child is the result, at least partly, of increasingly dire education, leading to under-developed adults possessing warped thinking, short-termism, tunnel vision and an utter inability to connect in any meaningful way with people who actually work. Too busy scratching a living we haven’t the luxury of new-age ideological wishful thinking and have to get by on the stuffy but solid learning we were exposed to, over fifty years ago. But we are dying out; the literate and numerate generations are retiring from the battlefield to be replaced by the schooled but ignorant slaves to woke and all it portends.

Education should ridicule the influencer generation, point out the shallowness and fleeting life of celebrity, shine a brief light on the broken careers and miserable lives of those whose star ascends for a fleeting time before fading. Celebrity, of itself, has no value, and respect must be earned. We need rigour in the hard but essential subjects and should bring back competition, glory in achievement, and most of all, revel in inequality – to the winner the spoils – all need not - must not - win prizes.

Sit them in rows, work them hard, and if they don’t perform back class them, send them down a stream, find out what they CAN achieve. But for pity’s sake return us to a world where adults can read, write, understand numbers and statistics and make informed decisions about their lives. No matter where the future leads us we will always ned technicians, tradespeople, and simple labour; the replacement robots aren’t coming any time soon. You do not need a pretend degree to be a plumber, or a nurse. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

Caption not required.

And as for the Tories? They died three decades ago and it is about time they recognised it. An actual Conservative Party would have recognised the direction of travel and resisted it. Instead, they aped the New Labour experiment and ended up being indistinguishable from all the other pigs at the Westminster trough. Simple venal corruption is one thing – it is honest dishonesty, at least – but the current crop of members resemble the outcome of Blair’s indoctrination, indoctrination, indoctrination putsch far too closely for comfort. Short of a people’s pitchfork revolution I see no sign of change.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Old Holborn

Robert Ambridge, better known as Old Holborn on Twitter and elsewhere, died last weekend. He was of an age where he had a full retirement ahead of him but made an early exit from causes I do not know. I have no easy means of getting in touch with his family to offer my condolences and I only learned of his demise some five days afterwards. I met him only once, but followed his antics and largely agreed with his outlook on the world.

Reviled as a ‘troll’ and exposed and held up to ridicule by certain newspapers, he somehow managed to cling to his place in the Twittersphere when lesser mortals such as me were serially suspended until worn down. Twitter reflects the toxicity of the modern world quite well in that it provides a platform for all that OH mocked. The world was better for his presence, but there is little anybody can do to halt the inevitable decline of the world itself.

The Met Police are openly recruiting inadequate illiterate, future offenders in the form of anybody who fits their racial profile shopping list. No matter that proper policing requires aptitude, rigour, discipline and years of hard-won experience, if your skin colour fits the swatch from which they are selecting, you’re in. If you also happen to have a hatred for white people and a disgust for Christianity then you will likely see early promotion to a top job.

The government of the day – Lefty Liberal Democrats, I believe they call themselves – are wondering why they are down in the polls. Oh, I don’t know, maybe EVERYTHING is broken, perhaps? The economy, the ruinously unaffordable net-zero nonsense, the war on individuality (you can be whoever you like, just so long as we can pin this particular badge on you) trans ideology, housing costs, inflation, the loss of productive jobs, coupled with the rise and rise of infantile non-jobs.

Education, the law, public order, common decency, the kow-towing to the demands of angry children with balled fists and incoherent placards, corruption in public office (how in the hell is Nadhim Zahawi still in a job?) corruption post-public office, corruption in local authorities, the atomisation of society into unpoliced ‘communities’, immigration, health, the breakdown of the social contract, potholes…

Potholes! The inability of any country to fix dangerous roads in a matter of days is a guaranteed marker of the breakdown of civilisation. I’m serious. Get a crew out overnight, close a section of road, resurface it properly and move on. Travelling abroad you could get a snapshot of the competence of governance by the sheer state of the roads. Any third world traveller to Britain would have to conclude that we are becoming a country in need of aid.

Nobody whose opinion is to be taken seriously gives a flying fuck about trans-rights, votes for adolescents, the abandonment of reliable power or the clown show that is the Palace of Westminster and the Civil Service. Nobody with any hint of intelligence would put diversity before competence. And who, in all decency and dignity, would dare to tell anybody that their job title was ‘Head of Engagement, Equality and Diversity’ unless it was somebody from their own cadre of confected and useless functions masquerading as jobs?

Here's to you, Bob.

Against all this, Old Holborn stuck to his guns and stuck to his right to offend the perpetually offended by simply saying what he believed to be true, a right he supported and fought for. The curtailment of freedom of speech and expression is far from ended, but maybe the old dog slowed it down just a little. Despite some of the few social media comments I was able to see, the world is definitely not better for his passing and it may very well be a little bit worse.

Thursday, 5 January 2023

Tough Talk

The tiny, invisible Rishi Sunak, apparently absent through most of his premiership so far, finally appeared through a halo of cloud, adorned by a bright light and lo’ he spaketh to the Nation: “ Yea, I shall bring forth five gifts, that thou shalt judge me competent in my magnificence.” And in said magnificence intoned that he would halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut hospital waiting lists and turn back the boats. He must think we are stupid.

If anything in that list was within the gift of government, any government, then governments would have made it happen long ago. The boats are not stopping any time before Rishi loses the next election, unless he somehow manages to send Albanians ‘back’ to Rwanda. The French won’t take them, the Albanians are glad to be rid of them and only the UK has a ruling class determined to fuck over its own people through weakness and indecision and a hand-wringing servitude to the false god of ‘universal human rights’.

The NHS has been ‘in crisis’ since the day it was inaugurated and although many predict its immediate decline and subsequent reform, nobody at the sharp end – patient or practitioner – seriously believes anybody can fix the fifth largest employer in the world. The NHS is too big, too clumsy and too inefficient for anybody to even begin to grasp that nettle, and I’m confident it will lurch from death throes to death throes for another century without any improvement in whatever the hell it thinks its divine purpose is.

Good luck also, Rishi Rich with your reduction of national debt. That ship has sailed and taken with it every last vestige of national pride and capability. Our economy is propped up by unproductive non-jobs, designed to suck the vitality out of every last drop of enterprise, and a young population who yearn only to be ‘reality stars’ or ‘influencers’. Until those genies are re-bottled there isn’t a chance in hell that we will ever be out of hoc to some supranational entity or another. Borrow and spend and borrow some more and hire some clever accountants to show that, look, the emperor really is fully clothed!

Servicing that endless debt will make economic growth almost pointless. The country will resemble most of its inhabitants, living from one pay-day to the next and handing over most of its pay-packet in rent. No savings, no pensions, no welfare, no hope. And although lower inflation might ease things a bit, it really isn’t within his gift; it is a thing that is expected to happen regardless of whatever meddling the administration indulges in.

No, I’m afraid that I have as much faith in Sunak bringing about an economic and social sea change as I had in Jeremy Corbyn stamping out Labour antisemitism or Keir Starmer discovering charisma… or Emily Thornberry embracing humility. At least he has appeared to say nothing for now about net-zero. As somebody else has already observed “Net zero is like giving up cigarettes by getting your kids to smoke them for you.” If only we had a half-decent numeracy policy the government could do the maths on that. But don’t hold your breath; it’s all just talk.

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Welcome to the Future

It is that time of the year when eager sooth-sayers make prophecies for the coming solar revolution, from comforting soft assurances to portents of doom, every one an exercise in optimism, pessimism, simple pragmatism or mere wishful thinking. Forecasting is so much easier when you do not have to stand by your predictions, but why do we keep on deluding ourselves?

Nobody knows what lies beyond the morning. Nobody. Yet somehow we have to have some hope, some expectation, of what might be, just in order to keep on going. But where is the sunshine for 2023? Sunshine, you say? The climate change alarmists say we have had altogether too much sunshine for our own good, yet insist that the harvesting of energy from sunlight will save the planet. Which is it – too much, or too little?

Whatever else comes about, we can be pretty certain that the assault on Britishness will continue. Our phlegmatic demeanour will be used against us as we stand, unresponsive, in front of a charge sheet of atrocities that goes back centuries and will continue well into this one.

I think it is fair to say that we are way past the end of the beginning and even the beginning of the end; the country, perhaps the entire western world, is on a slide into oblivion. Pop up from any East End tube station and you will alight in a bazaar of some kind, the jolly Cockney barrow boys displaced by the dour vendors of souks straight out of the middle ages.

Dare to travel by public transport and you take your life in your hands, and whatever you do, do not attract the interest of the machete-wielding youths whose fiefdom you have entered. And don’t expect fellow travellers to take your side should you be so unlucky; they are more likely to film your beating than assist in your salvation. Police, you suggest? Where?

Woe betides those who misgender somebody, use incorrect pronouns or meekly suggest that biological women ought to have their own exclusive private spaces. Forget arguments based on solid facts or the application of healthy scepticism; your considered opinion is powerless in the face of articles of faith. If the great ‘scientist’ Professor Greta of Thunder says so, the world will be in flames by Friday.

Eat meat and expect to be denounced by your own offspring. Carelessly use the commonplace words and phrases from your youth and await the summons to the HR department. Stand your ground and pick up your cards on the way out. Pay reparation, in obeisance if not in filthy lucre, or face banishment forever from the world of work.

Storm coming...

The World Economic Forum suggests that in the future you will own nothing and you will be happy. We scoffed when we heard this in their plan for the Great Reset, but how secure do you feel in the ownership of your assets now? And are you happy? It is the time of the year for looking ahead to what the future brings, but this is no New Year’s forecast. This is today. Happy New Year.

Saturday, 24 December 2022

Holiday Getaway

Well, what a lovely piece of Christmas joy for those who were expecting to have their holiday trips abroad utterly disrupted by the Border Force strikers. It turns out, at least by early reports, that the various branches of the military drafted in to cover have accomplished their mission with aplomb, panache and at a level of efficiency hitherto not experienced by many seasoned travellers.

Remember only weeks ago how the strike apologists smugly forecast that hasty, ‘untrained’ replacements would be incapable of handling the complexity of the job? The Christmas getaway was forecast to bring misery to airline customers, turning them against the government and longing for a return to normality. It turns out that normality was long delays, piss-poor passenger-facing attitudes and incompetence; it is little wonder then that a fighting force, identifying as a unit, brought both humour and professionalism to the grindingly morose procedure.

What an opportunity to closely re-examine many supposedly specialised jobs and hold them up to the scrutiny of common sense. You would imagine that in an atmosphere of anxiety over career prospects, financial security, national debt and poor forecasts for economic growth, organisations would be focused on productivity and competence. But instead of filling the void with training and motivation, they allowed mediocrity to fester and strike-fever to grow.

Maybe people forget that the military constantly train to handle events they may never encounter; adapting is what they do. Dealing with their impending mortality in the face of action develops a camaraderie and a brutal black humour that binds people to a common cause. The creeping wokeness now being infiltrated into the highest levels of command bodes ill; the modern shibboleths of diversity, inclusion, equality and the like should have no part to play. You either fit in, or you fuck off.

This general strike – for regardless of how it is being portrayed a general strike is what it is – is not really an attack on just the government, but an attack on all of us. Our postal service, our travel plans, even our very health are not in good hands even when strikes are not planned. The country as a whole should be sitting upright and taking notice and deciding to reject it all. Being good at your job should be the bare minimum requirement.

Bring it on, son!

And why stop at jobs? The national psyche has been under assault for decades now, from apologising for ending slavery and putting skin colour ahead of ability, paying reparations for bringing civilisation to much of the world, finding offence in every single thing that a British person does or says… I suggest we quit apologising, stop ‘de-colonising’ everything and instead deploy that most British of defiant slogans “Bollocks to that!” I don’t normally make New Year Resolutions, but this year – and I hope you’ll all join me – I intend to be better at being British. Cheers!