Friday, 30 January 2015

Tell Tales

After the success and excitement of the curling event at the last Olympics, many people have been enthused to take up the sport but a general lack of ice rink facilities means this ancient activity is simply not available to all. But for those unfortunates there is a happy alternative; for while curling dates back some five hundred years, bowls can trace its lineage to the late Twelfth Century, appearing anecdotally in William Fitzstephen’s biography of Thomas Beckett.

Bowls has retained its popularity throughout history and the world's oldest surviving bowling green is the Southampton Old Bowling Green, first used in 1299. Many historical figures are known to have played the great game, indeed Sir Francis Drake’s many heroic achievements are all but forgotten in comparison to the tale of him calmly playing on at Plymouth Hoe while the Spanish Armada approached.

All over the world you can find bowls and bowls history and recently evidence was uncovered which links the Swiss national hero William Tell to the pastime. By a strange quirk of fate this only came to light when a bowls historian based in Interlaken purchased a job lot of sporting trophies on eBay. Were it not for his particular interest in bowling he may not have scrutinised the hoard as closely as he did, but carefully buffing up the tarnished nameplates he discovered the family name not once, but many times.

William Tell himself had his name engraved on more than a dozen of the small silver cups but there was more; it seemed the whole family were stars of the bowling circuit in the early 1500s. The historian became excited – who wouldn’t? – and set out on a journey to scour the archives and uncover the detail of this hitherto unknown facet of the Family Tell. If he could trace the Tells back to the club they competed for it would do wonders to promote the sport. So he travelled to local town hall record offices and city archives countrywide and visited every existing bowling club he could find but, alas, none had records which went back that far.

Dismayed he set out to write up the story as best he could piecing together a sequence from the odd inscribed date and place and after a while, despite the lack of secure documented provenance, produced a nevertheless creditable work which now rests in the William Tell collection at the Swiss National Museum. In a forward the author notes that although we do know that the Tells were avid bowlers, history does not record… wait for it… for whom the Tells bowled.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Greeks bearing left...

So Red Ed’s ever helpful colleagues have decided in the wake of the not very surprising Greek election outcome to lurch further left and lead a popular people’s revolution. Really? Maybe they have forgotten that Greece is not the same as the UK. For instance, our economy is not utterly borked. Furthermore it is our economy and that of Germany and France that is, as always, paying for the mistakes of ‘junior’ partners in the EU debacle. Anti-austerity Party? It’s laughable because it is largely the misguided pursuit of socialist dreams that unbalanced the UK and made it necessary to engage in the minimal levels of so-called austerity we have lived with for the last few years.

Nobody is starving, nobody is neglected – at least no more than they were under Labour, under any government, in the last fifty years. There has been class-war-based strife in every decade of my life and no matter who was in power, the other side – the last election losers – have claimed they are ‘destroying’ the country. This is the sequence as I have experienced it: Labour get in, borrow and spend, bribe the electorate, promise them the earth, then run out of money, at which point the Tories return to Westminster, tell some unpopular truths and grab hold of the reins again. Meanwhile Labour activists bleat and moan and agitate about austerity until, just as we are getting back on track they have managed to convince enough people that the medicine is nasty. Repeat ad infinitum.

The Greek election outcome is not exciting because it heralds any new (golden?) dawn for Greece. There will be no resurgence of the proletariat; there is little but trouble ahead for the beleaguered country. But what IS exciting is how the next few months will play out as Syriza discover that the schoolboy politics of revolution do not impress the adults of the EU who dole out all the pocket money. Where will Greece end up when they forego their next bailout? When they renege on their debts will the EU expel them? And if not, will they come to an accommodation? Either way it will cost us all and Labour will be cheering on the little man who won’t pay his way – try refusing to pay tax and see how they react then.

None of that cold reality matters one jot to Labour who love to shout about Tory ‘ideology’ while all the while supporting dogma so dog-eared even the communists abandoned it years ago, along with the millions of people they butchered in the name of progress. Countries like Greece joined the EU so that they could benefit from sharing the prosperity of sensible mature economies, not so that those economies could reject their restraint in favour of a socialist free-for-all. Birthplace of democracy? Graveyard of civilisation, the way it’s going.

Confidence is a preference...
Well, if Russell's backing them...

So for me it’s grab the popcorn, pull up a pew and sit back to watch how some proper mental, not-joined-up thinking can grind a country into the dirt far faster than any level-headed government. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, they say – this may just be the gift that keeps on giving.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Hate Criminal!

“I hate you!” Which parent hasn’t heard their child issue this infant-fatwa before retreating to a sullen, glowering silence intended to maim? The last weapon in an arsenal preceded by wide-eyed begging, crocodile crying, nagging and the faux rending of garments. It’s an expression that more often accompanies frustrated avarice than any form of genuine malice but the threat is there: “I have tried to reason with you, now my only option is to withdraw my love. Let’s see who cracks first.” Hah! But how and why do very young children so readily resort to using the ‘H’ word?

I’m not even sure I really know what hate is. I don’t think I hate anybody, I really don’t. I find the views of some risible and others simply ridiculous. I have a modicum of pity for those so stupid they will unthinkingly vote for systems that keep them trapped in mediocre lives, but on the plus side they are no competition for me… I admit to a combination of fear and revulsion when it comes to the spitting snarling thugs from a variety of backgrounds and motivations and yes, I would happily see them disappeared, but I don’t hate them – they are just a form of inhuman vermin towards which I adopt an entirely pragmatic attitude.

So what, then, is a hate crime? We need to sort this out because lately it feels like there is some secretive policy unit feverishly working on defining ever more finely nuanced examples of this crime genre. To distract from islamophobia this last week has focused on resurgent anti-Semitism and an alarming - but entirely specious - statistic that 95% of all ‘hate crime’ in the UK is of that ilk. As it turns out the reported 358 Jew-bashing episodes represented significantly less than 3% of the 13,000 hate crimes in London last year. Sod the Heebies then – I want to know what the other 97% were for!

Every time the term ‘hate crime’ is attached to anything there are more calls to restrict freedoms; freedoms that, in the Britain I was born into, were taken for granted. “It’s a free country” was a standard playground response to anybody demanding the silence of their peers. It’s entirely because of our own good natured tolerance that we have abased ourselves to entertain clowns like Mo Ansar who claims to represent the ‘goodie’ side of those we don’t understand. While I’m on things we genuinely don’t understand, I wonder if female genital mutilation (FGM) is recorded as a hate crime? I bet it isn’t. 

But while we may be reluctant to hate those we disagree with, the same courtesy is not reciprocated. Far from it; we harbour in our midst people who hate us enough to not only curb our freedoms but would eradicate our culture altogether and regularly use our own legal processes to aid them. At a rally in Birmingham yesterday, ostensibly to show how lovely they really are, a significant number of muslims and their stooges called for the introduction of blasphemy laws to do exactly that. And still I don’t ‘hate’ them; I just want them somewhere else.

Feeling flush?
Don't even joke about it!!

To cap it all, that ‘one-percent’ that we are all supposed to hate? The one-percent responsible for every bad thing that has ever happened to anybody... ever? Well, it turns out to be us. Yes, if you are white, middle class, middle aged and English there is a very good chance that you personally are in the world’s top one percent of earners and collectively we own the vast bulk of the world’s riches. For that we are supposed to apologise? Don't you just hate that?

Friday, 23 January 2015

Frying tonight!

In 1342 the Carmelite order which came to be known as The White Friars was founded in Coventry during the period that the splendid former home of Leofric and Godiva enjoyed prominence in the booming cloth trade. For two hundred years the friars flourished until the monasteries were dissolved and the brethren officially dispersed, but they continued to meet in secret and exist to this day as a select, anachronistic brotherhood, struggling to make ends meet in the modern world.

The tavern bearing their name, serving a fine selection of real ales had served them well for many years but when Coventry became a university town the traditional pub had suffered because of competition for the younger drinker in the form of various raucous newcomers whose idea of a good night out sat not well with the Carmelite ethos of quiet contemplation. As the noisy, brash ‘youth pub’ scene continued to expand, the sombre atmosphere of the monks’ traditional meeting house attracted none but the regulars whose numbers were falling as they aged.

Something needed to be done to save the order and when an early notice of increased business rates arrived at their door along with repeated offers to buy them out an emergency meeting was convened to discuss their salvation. They began the meeting with silent prayers to their patrons - the prophet Elijah and the Blessed Virgin Mary – and then in open forum invited suggestions. Long into the night they brainstormed, the fevered cranial activity taking a heavy toll on minds more suited to meditation but eventually they had a solution.

Like many an inspired idea it combined simplicity with simple inspiration and afterwards everybody expressed surprise that it had taken so long. The ancient and venerable convocation got to work and soon their new enterprise was ready for unveiling. Thus it was that a few weeks later, attached to the pub and close to the bus stop frequented by many a late night reveller the latest fast food outlet in the city was opened. Brother Michael gave a short speech, led the assembly in a short prayer and invited the Abbot to cut the ribbon on Friar Tuck’s Olde Fishe & Chippe Emporium. Glory be!

Fish and chips, pie and chips, kebab and chips, burger and chips; they did a roaring trade and night after night the monks retired happy and greasy and confident in the assured good fortunes of their hallowed friary. Then one evening the ancient Abbot fell ill and the order held a vigil for him, leaving only Brother Bartholomew to hold the fort at Friar Tuck’s. All went well until the stock of chips was suddenly sold out but, undeterred, Brother B hit on the novel idea of selling fish and pie, sausage and kebab, burger and fish.

Holy Father... I hope it's chips.
Our Father, give us this day our daily chips

But then - disaster - a customer arrived who asked for only a large portion of fries. Desperate to please Bartholomew tried his best to sell one of his formerly winning combinations, but the customer stood his ground. “All I want is a large portion of fries!” he demanded. Brother Bart was flustered and blurted out, “But, I’m only the fish friar… I’m really sorry but you’ll have to wait for the chip monk!”

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Tits out!

So they finally did it… or did they? Is the absence of Luscious Lynda from Leicester (who is concerned about the World Economic Forum in Davos) due to the concerted efforts of a million screeching feminist banshees, or did The Sun just decide to drop the 45 year old feature. (Lynda, is of course Naughty Nineteen - they always are - but her more vital statistics are just as impressive as the world’s leading economists at 38-24-26) The next Samantha Fox will now have one fewer avenue to success and the feminists can chalk up yet another verboten entry in the litany of do-as-we-say-not-as-you-wish.

It seems that now Page Three is no more the way is clear for other equally urgent campaigns in the quest to make the world a fairer, more equal and less threatening place. I’m sure you will have unnecessarily precious dislikes of your own but to ironically get the creative juices flowing how about we start by getting rid of art?

Honestly, art is such a divisive thing. You may not know much about art but I bet you know what you like, right? Well, what if I don’t like it? Did you think of that? Maybe you think the scrawl you keep on your fridge door is the priceless pièce de résistance of your oh-so-precocious proto-Picasso but do you realise the stress you put others under when you demand an opinion of its exquisite execution? Well, do you? You force everybody around you to lie and everybody knows lying is the prime cause of cancer-causing stress. How DARE you allow your offspring to inflict cancer on innocent bystanders? You monster!

And what about the outrageous passive-aggressive business of birthday cards? Yes, they may seem innocent enough but if you have never considered the trauma of deducing who likes you the best based on quality, size and the scan of the verse inside then that tells us all we need to know about your lack of respect for and contemptuous opinion of the human race. How DARE you lazily imply that just because you bothered to buy a hastily chosen, last-minute, poorly illustrated card that you care one iota for the recipient? You monster!

Ban all communication on the basis that somebody, somewhere, if you look hard enough is bound to find even the most qualified and cautious uttering offensive. All words have the potential to be upsetting, startling or just plain disheartening. Abolish anything that could possibly be construed as argumentative, confrontational or even just poorly phrased. Even psychotherapy can’t help here because if you look closely ‘psychotherapist’ is really ‘psycho-the-rapist’ in the flimsiest of disguises. “If you can’t say something nice say nothing at all” could become law if only we could get two hundred thousand silent signatures on a carefully worded, non-offensive non-partisan petition… but how would we spread the word?

She loves you really, lads!
Sam Fox - Page Three turned her lezzer, you know!

And finally it is time, at last, to abolish boy-children. Let’s face it boys are the source of all women’s ills. For a start they are smelly and raucous and stupid and under-achieve enormously compared to lovely girls – the feminisation of the education system has worked a treat. They also buy bad birthday cards and worse still they grow into horrible, cruel men and then the raping starts and the football chants and the beers… and the beer bellies. Men are such slobs and rarely take any pride in their appearance; why can’t men have the same level of self-respect as, say, those lovely page three girls? Whatever happened to them, I wonder?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

All you need is love and lunacy

I swear there’s going to be a right old kerfuffle when the various parties finally hit the electioneering wall; peaking too soon is piss-poor planning. Labour in particular are going hard at it, having just lapped up every morsel of social engineering poison the Fabians dripped in their direction. But the Greens! The Greens are on fire! (Or maybe that’s just their Christmas tree recycling plant?) In a bizarre green surge the lentil and mung bean bozos experienced a boost in membership after being rejected for the on-again-off-again leaders’ debates, so out of curiosity I had a gander at this: the Philosophical Basis of the Green Party. Gosh, it’s like I hit the mongfest motherlode! ‘Elders of Zion’ has nothing on this mushroom-fuelled moronry.  

There’s a whole load of unrealisable shite in there if you wish to soil your soul and wade through it but I’ll paraphrase:

“In Green Britain everybody will care for everybody else and we will all share equally and cooperate to live in harmony with Mother Earth and all her bounteous, er, bounties and everyone will wake up every morning to blue skies and little fluffy clouds and we will all be happy ever after for ever and ever, A-nongenderspecificpluralnoun.” In support of such laudable neverlands the Greens propose to introduce a “Citizen's Income sufficient to cover an individual's basic needs” whether working or not. Yeah. That’ll do it.

Of course it’s a moot point; in all likelihood the Greens will have precisely one fewer MPs after the election if people vote based on satisfaction rating – have you seen what they’ve done to Brighton? There has been much excited chatter about the expected outcome and most pundits are calling a hung parliament and thus the need for another coalition. Nick Clegg may yet be king-maker even with half his seats gone, but there are other coalition options to consider and some combinations have not been given nearly enough consideration.

How about, for instance, a Tory-Ukip-LibDem powerhouse; a partnership so riven with internal hatreds it will spend all its time ripping itself to shreds, giving the country some much-needed respite from interfering government. Or how about a Labour-NHS Action-Respect coalition, whereby George Galloway gets to be Prime Minister after threatening Ed Miliband with his muslim 'friends' while Rufus Hound tries out his comic routines on the Daily Politics’ Andrew Neil (with hilarious consequences, as they used to say). Meanwhile everybody will be happy, by order, in their individual community ghettoes.

The SNP are expected to do well in May. There’s a worry; rule from a foreign country (irony klaxon). Fortunately I can’t think of a single other party who aren’t too frightened of the be-kilted furies to get into bed with them. But just imagine all that short, pale, ginger anger harnessed to the various communist splinter groups - you'd have sufficient hot air to outperform all the wind farms put together – that’s about three kilowatts - on a blustery day in Parliament. Wouldn't that turn the Greens, er, green?

Get angry - Vote Green

Whatever protest you have in mind for your ballot there's plenty to chose from. You may be amazed to learn that, as of 18 December 2014, the electoral commission has some 422 political parties registered in the UK. Among them are such interesting themes as the Pirate Party, the No Candidate Deserves my Vote Party, Peace and Progress, Class War, the Roman Party, Idle Toad, the Church of the Militant Elvis Party and the Fancy Dress Party, I kid you not. All of which brings us neatly back to the Monster Raving Loonies. But, enough of the Greens; they have no chance.

Monday, 19 January 2015

F. A. B.

Well who would have thought that International Rescue had their very own conference – and popular too, given the trending of the #fab15 hashtag. F.A.B. Virgil! Of course I jest; the Fabians are about as far removed from harmless entertainment – hilarious though their adherents are – as Pol Pot and Idi Amin in their heyday. The guiding principle of the Fabians has always been this: What is the point of intellectual superiority over the lower orders if you don’t use it to decide how they should live their lives?

In their early years they even advocated enforced sterilisation or humane execution of those deemed unfit for the new world order of compliant humanoids. (So they're not ALL bad...) Today, although the distinctly fascist rhetoric has been toned down, they still behave true to their emblem; a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Yesterday on the Sunday Politics, Harriet Harman gamely pressed on against the opinion of pretty much all the world’s informed commentators and denied Britain’s economic recovery. The important thing was that Labour has decided that poor people don’t ‘feel’ better off and they will damned well keep telling them that until they actually start to feel it.

Coincidently, following on from the ‘don’t talk about de darkies’ instruction, Labour’s latest order to its door-steppers – robustly denied of course – is don't talk about the economy. In rebuttal a party spokesman said, "It's utter nonsense to suggest, on the day that Ed Miliband has delivered a 30 minute speech on the economy, that Labour is not talking about the economy.” Funny how Ed himself ‘forgot’ to mention the economy at the party conference… Surely nobody who has the intellectual competence to earn a wage could possibly trust Labour with the country’s finances.

Labour appears to believe they are stronger on health and housing yet under the last Labour government neither of these policy areas showed any improvement whatsoever; if anything both sectors declined. But in politics perception is everything so it is little surprise that there appears to have been a plot to sabotage Hinchingbrooke, a privately run NHS hospital. All was going well, apparently, until the Politburo policy unit decided it could be spun as a Tory failure. This is disingenuity in the extreme when you discover that Hinchingbrooke was handed over to private tender in 2008. By Labour.

The true aims of Fabians have always been, much like islam, domination; subjugation of the working classes under the guise of fighting for their welfare. Such is their intent to hold onto power that those who pulled Tony Blair’s strings must have been cock-a-hoop over Johns Smith’s premature death, allowing the party to occupy the soft-Conservative position under the neologism of New Labour. In contrast the Tories – despite the Eton dynasty rhetoric – look like mere amateurs in the power grab stakes.

The Brains of the operation

Judging by the level of rapture tweeted by the party faithful from #fab15 I wonder if the Labour Party itself realises it is just a tool in the hands of the big money Fabians who still rule the roost? The conference was ended with a speech by Owen Jones, the boy wonder of the Oxford educated ‘working class’. With such useful fools so readily to hand it makes you wonder why they need sheep’s clothing at all. 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Worse than his bite...

Once again the Oscar season hoves into view over the entertainment horizon. An event so sparkly, so spectacular that it seems the whole world revolves less expeditiously about its axis, slowing down to admire the preening peacocks parading on the silvery screen. Oh the glamour, the politics, the applause, the awards, the fixed grimaces on the faces of the losers; high drama indeed.

The Oscars are also a place to hobnob, to see and be seen, to network and to plan the next winning project. And to this end Steven Spielberg has been stealing a march and gathering support, raising hopes and funds for his exciting new blockbuster - working title ‘To Hell and Bach’ - an action-packed, pacey biopic of Johann Sebastian Bach set against the backdrop of the turmoil of the early years of the Kingdom of Prussia under Frederick I. He hopes to have contracts signed in a ceremony at the Academy Awards themselves.

Backers were lined up – who wouldn’t want a slice of Spielberg’s next opus? And King Frederick was already cast to stalwart English actor Tom Wilkinson. The problem was who to choose to pay the lead? A number of names had been brainstormed and a couple had made their own overtures to Speilberg’s people but none really had the ‘weight’ to carry the role. Steven Seagal was quickly rejected because, well, he was Steven Seagal. Anthony Hopkins would make a superb serious Bach, but could he really ‘do’ action? And Sylvester Stallone, although he put up a plucky screen test failed utterly on the accent. I mean “Adrieeeeenne!”?

The shortlist was narrowed down to two; Liam Neeson and Bruce Willis. Steven favoured Neeson for the gravitas but felt Bruce had the edge when it came to the torn tee-shirt scenes. Also there was the tricky negotiation over fees and availability, with both men provisionally slated to appear in a number of projects in the coming year. To Hell and Bach was expected to take the best part of the year to film, so exclusivity was paramount.

Spielberg called the two in to discuss the situation and decided, in a break with Hollywood protocol, to meet with them both at the same time and without the presence or support of their agents. Thus it was, earlier this week, that the three met in a nondescript Los Angeles hotel room to thrash out a deal. It was a long and fraught session. After four hours no agreement had been reached but one thing was certain – if Willis wasn’t especially keen on the part he was damned if Neeson was getting it. And while Neeson might have a better German accent, he argued, why couldn’t they just do it in American? After all it worked on Mary Poppins!

Steven Spielberg was getting pissed off. Far from arriving at a decision he was now becoming convinced that neither of them was the lad he was after. He wished he’d brought Tom along, or anybody for that matter to intercede. “I vill be playink Johann Sebastian Bach,” insisted Liam with an impeccable Teutonic inflection. “The hell you will, motherfucker!” spat back Bruce. Spielberg stood up to intercede but before he could stop the bickering superstars the door to the suite flew open with a loud crash.

To hell and Bach!
Brandenburg, my ass, muthafuckas!

Framed in the doorway was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oh shit, thought the three of them simultaneously, how the hell had HE got to hear about it? Arnie strode into the room with a sneer on his famously unsmiling face. Into the silence he glared at the three in turn before facing Spielberg and saying slowly and deliberately, “I’LL be Bach.”

Thursday, 15 January 2015


Imitation, they say, is the greatest form of flattery. I’m not sure I necessarily agree entirely; on marking my current class’s assignments I realised you can get too much of a good thing. Or in this case, too much of a bad thing. You would expect that in the age of near-universal interconnectedness when copying your mate’s homework you would at least be able to find an app to select a mate with the correct answers. But no, when you routinely cut and paste your world together why bother going to the trouble of reading it before you print?

This isn’t new of course, but at least back in the days when you had to laboriously copy stuff out by hand there was a faint glimmer of the possibility that you might actually learn, albeit accidentally, some little something while you scribbled out your facsimile on the back seat of the school bus. Now – and for quite some time now – it has become the norm to lift your assignments wholesale off t’internet, secure in the knowledge that hard-worked teachers and lecturers, overwhelmed by the sheer weight of supporting equality and diversity paperwork would cast only the most cursory of glances over your piracy.

But it’s not just students who are seduced by easy-access plagiarism. Aside from that middle east medieval no-go area artists spent centuries knocking out garish reproductions of religious figures until they got bored and started just chucking paint about willy-nilly. Writers, if you accept the thesis that there are only seven basic plots, spend their entire careers re-hashing other people’s work. And in journalism today so fast-paced is the information stream that stories are regularly half-inched, tweaked, presented as ‘news and consigned to history within hours. Nobody notices though because, as the French say, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. And so to politics.

I wonder how many actual, original policies there are? One on immigration, one on health, one on dealing with Johnny Foreigner, one on ‘the economy’ and maybe a few more, here and there, but little of any real innovation or novelty. Nothing new under the sun; no wonder the various parties are loath to broadcast their latest variation on the same old shit; come up with a brave new tagline and before you know it the others have stolen it and sold it as their own. A bit more of this, a bit less of that; when it comes down to it that’s all the choice you have.

The only thing to differentiate between the three Europarties seems to be the skill of their scriptwriters, turning kitchen sink drama into summer blockbuster to get bums into seats. But we’re getting wise to that nowadays. When you watch a crowd-pleasing Hollywood thriller you know who the bad guys are by the actors portraying them and while you may not guess the plot twist you know there’s bound to be one… although when you get to it you wonder why you never saw it coming. Which is why, despite the big studio offerings, it’s the low budget, indie-house Ukip, The Movie which has been creating the buzz so far.

Pint for the fella?
Beautiful British badinage...

But there’s a copycat killer on the loose. In a barely disguised parody, comedian Al Murray has launched FUKP to broadly try and do to Ukip what Ukip has done to the big three. And just as the big three can’t lay a glove on Nigel, the Kippers are powerless to do anything to counter the ‘Fuck Ukip’ party except watch, laugh along if they can bring themselves to and hope that enough people realise what is really going on. But the pub landlord might want to be careful what he wishes for; in deliberately sabotaging Farage, posh boy Alistair Murray, scion of nobility, might well resurrect Labour. Politics - even if it looks new and sounds different you can be assured it's the same old shit.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

We will, we will mock you!

Heard on PM last night (on the drive home from helping to shore up Britain’s ailing economy by being a tax slave) David Aaronovitch and some female muslim commentator – I didn’t catch her name - discussing today’s leaked Charlie Hebdo cover. Despite her overly reasonable intonation she seemed unable to accept that for the free-thinking world (muslims need NOT apply) maligning a D-List historical celebrity through cartoonery is neither a crime nor even much of an insult. And while there was some mild outcry over The Life of Brian a third of a century ago, the Christian world got over it with barely a severed head to show, let alone whole villages raped and murdered and hundreds of thousands of people banished from their homes forever.

Still we get the pleas for moderation in our reaction to islamism which, no matter how hard you pretend otherwise, is still all to do with no other ideology than islam. I’d say cartoon mockery and a few goat-shagging jokes is pretty damned moderate in comparison to wholesale massacre; the muslims are getting off pretty lightly and they should suck it up. She said it was still some form of religious persecution – well, she would, wouldn’t she? That’s some definition of persecution; maybe she ought to examine her own religious superstition’s record in this regard?  

Twitter is fond of repeating the quote usually credited to François-Marie Arouet: “If you want to know who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise." But of course, he was writing in the eighteenth Century when the islamic world was of little real concern to the civilised world. Oh but wait… in Le Fanatisme ou Mahomet, in 1736 Voltaire (for ‘tis he) described mohammed as an "impostor", a " false prophet", a "fanatic" and a "hypocrite". In it he said that he "tried to show in it into what horrible excesses fanaticism, led by an impostor, can plunge weak minds".

In 1899 Winston Churchill similarly observed, in The River War: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.”

I don’t know about you but I reckon they nailed it. Far from being nothing to do with islam, so-called islam-ism appears to be nothing new at all, carrying with it a murderous fanaticism rooted deep in the words of their fictitious object of worship. And lest you are wont to drift into the lazy aphorism that the majority of followers of the humourless prophet are peaceful and peace-loving, take five minutes to listen to Brigitte Gabriel’s response to one of their number. Now, watch it again.

All is NOT forgiven!
mohammed... not as funny as Brian!

None of this is the fault of any other religion. Neither is it a reaction to western foreign policy nor some form of racism, mistaking a belief for a race. It isn’t even a Zionist plot, no matter how gullible you are and how desperately you wish it were so. All – absolutely all – of the ills of islam are entirely the fault of islam and its deranged adherents and no amount of ‘bullying’ by the likes of ‘O-Whine’ Jones and other ridiculous apologists should deter us from ridiculing what we despise; islam, to me you are nothing but a deeply unfunny joke.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Weaponise this!

Miliband has said he wants to ‘weaponise’ the NHS and quick as a feminist can call you a rapist, Cameron has hit back with his pre-weaponised dead son. Dead kids obviously trump back room theory any day, so it’s back to the drawing board for Ed. What a nasty way to start a blog, you’re now thinking, but at least I don’t plan on blatantly lying to you in order to confuse you into voting for me, so that I can keep you working until you drop in order to pay for my vainglorious ambitions.

The idea that any British government would even be capable of reforming, let alone dismantling the NHS is ludicrous; ludicrous yet tempting, so prepare for the health service to remain a political howitzer for ever more. Unemployment, immigration, the economy, the size of the state, the railways, the buses, social housing, welfare… they are all just part of the political arsenal and even those – especially those - close to the issues find it nigh on impossible to discern truth from lies, fact from propaganda. It is little wonder that most still vote on tribal lines; lines drawn in the sands of time, in some cases generations long.

By May this year the electoral battlefield that the UK has already become is going to be littered with casualties; political careers dead and dying, lying bleeding amid the spent shell cases of parliamentary ordnance of all calibres; great and small, noble and shabby. Prepare for dirty tricks, obfuscations, leaks, poison briefings and finagled statistics designed to deceive. Everything you ever thought you knew is going to be challenged as the spin machine forensically parses every utterance, every incident for signs of political advantage.

And after all that, few minds will be changed. It will be time to bring out the heavy artillery and the Big Bertha of political weaponry out there is the European Union. With remarkably little stealth, the juggernaut will act upon the delicate ears and minds of the younger generations so that future consent for the sovietisation of Europe will be a foregone conclusion. This coming election may be the last chance saloon for those who want change; the old ones won’t alter their opinions, the young ones won’t be able to. It’s going to be up to us baby boomers out on the margins to make some weapons grade choices for the rest of you. I only hope you forgive us for it.

Political weaponry
The NHS... a petard all ready to hoist!

Of course, poorly maintained weapons have a habit of backfiring, of causing more harm to the aggressor than the target and in this clumsy war the majority of combatants have proved themselves cack-handed, often serially, especially when social media can twist the most well-aimed point-scorer to fire straight back at the person pulling the trigger. I look forward to watching the weaponised NHS blowing up in all their faces.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Terror in the streets

I can understand the urge to join the Paris “Je suis Charlie” rally; hell I’d probably pop out to the streets myself if I lived there, if only to see what so many people looked like all in one place. But I’m not sure what it was really meant to achieve, nor whether it will achieve anything lasting at all. A show of solidarity, yes, but what does that actually mean? Today, everybody goes back to work and despite all the solidarity, they all feel a notch less safe in any public place. If anything that same feeling of ‘them and us’ might actually fuel the fear; make the monster bigger.

I have no other answer and I am certainly not criticising the vast majority of ordinary citizens who turned out, but there was a significant minority who were there only for their own ends. Those cringing apologists for savagery, the socialistas, who appeal for an end to ‘islamophobia’ by denying the very free speech most wanted the gathering to celebrate. These parasites will write about how they were there and how they helped to save the world even as they are savagely attacking the next target group for defending themselves against cultures beyond criticism.

Predictably, another hated minority who don’t represent the real citizens were also there; the European Politburo. The normal rules don’t apply to these fanatics who claim to act in the interests of the people yet only ever appear to act for themselves and their sinister cult. The EUists have blood on their hands because it is down to their dogged pursuit of something almost nobody believes in that we are where we are now. By unquestioningly following the dogma of ever closer union they have stifled debate and stamped on dissent.

The very same ‘leaders’ who just a few days ago were attacking Nigel Farage for using the tragedy as a political tool used this march as a massive political photo opportunity to make the case for ‘more of the same’. When Farage stated in plain terms what most people who have to live with the outcome of their policies in the future killing fields of Europe believe he was accused of racism, of being inappropriate.  All the United Kingdom’s main parties lined up for the political opportunity to wag the finger at Farage… and then went on to attempt to exploit the tragedy for their own further cynical ends.

The terrorists are not attacking us over foreign policy. They are not fighting back against ‘islamophobia’ and the ill treatment of muslims in Europe – they are treated far better here than in islam’s own territories, after all. They are not even attacking us to take what we have. But what they are doing is killing and killing and killing like maniacs and however many times supposedly freely elected talking heads say it has nothing to do with islam, those committing these acts of war say it is everything to do with islam. Today we go back to work and they go back to doing absolutely nothing to convince us they are on any side but their own.

Please, please don't make me eat that cock in public...
I can suck as much terrorist cock as you, Cameron!

But look on the bright side. If we must be represented by a sneering, cynical member of an out of touch, privileged elite, at least it was David Cameron flying Britain’s feeble little flag. Whatever you think of him, he does at least have the bearing of a statesman on these occasions. Just imagine what the terrorists might make were we to be represented in our fight against terror by Ed Miliband?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Foreign Aid

Much has been made of the ring fencing, reinforcing and bunging a roll of razor wire on top of the UK’s foreign aid budget and rightly so. While many desperate people could sorely use that aid, it is rare that very much actually ends up where it was intended. I well remember collecting milk bottle tops to send in to Blue Peter in the nineteen sixties, expecting to benefit blind people, only to watch in horror as they spent the money raised on a batch of Labrador puppies. I was outraged; we all love a puppy but why taunt the blind with a delight they can’t even see?

In the nineteen seventies it was the crisis in Uganda that attracted the funding and inevitably it ended up as far away from being used for aid as was possible. Now nobody is claiming as any more than coincidence that shortly after several million pounds was sent by the British government, Idi Amin commissioned a grand new palatial residence, but I knew the architect involved and he once told me this story:

He only met the fearsome president of that benighted country on one occasion and that was at the handover of the newly completed Presidential palace in 1977. He had been dreading the event and had attempted to leave the country before completion but found his passport had been handed over by his hotel to the authorities with no reasons given. He had no choice but to face the Butcher of Uganda in person and show him around the premises.

The architect recalled the recorded instructions he had received from Amin himself; staccato commands barked down a microphone and spat out into the room from the tinny speaker of a cassette recorder. The president had demanded a statue in every room and in every prominent position throughout the vast house but had left no specific instructions. Perplexed, the architect had obtained busts, statues and tableaux of prominent figures through the ages – statesmen, heroes, thinkers. At first he had been very cautious, but a note of flippancy had entered his selections as the project had reached his final stages and with no feedback he had simply carried on.

Thus when The Last King of Scotland arrived to survey the place, the architect was fearing the very worst. He cringed up at Amin’s great, black shiny face as he presented himself and led the way up polished white steps flanked by gleaming Corinthian columns and to the imposing front door. Lackeys opened the doors wide and the dictator stepped inside, beaming at the acres of marble and gold within. Eschewing the carefully planned route, Amin strode independently about and peered into this room and that, nodding his approval and laughing heartily as he contemplated the generosity of the British charity system.

As Idi patrolled past statues of Napoleon and Nelson, Wellington and Isambard Kingdom Brunel his expression changed from satisfaction to curiosity. He peered at the bust of Marx and cast a quizzical glance at Freud. But the architect blanched when Amin stopped in front of a life-sized statue of Laurel and Hardy and turned to face him. “What dis?” he demanded, “What is dis nansense?” Servants shrank into the shadows and Amin’s bodyguard unshouldered their weapons. The architect belatedly realised that it is never a good idea to assume that despotism comes equipped with a sense of humour.

He decided to brazen it out. “But I followed your exact orders, he blurted out, “I placed a statue in every room!” Amin placed an enormous fat hand on the back of his neck and squeezed. The architect sensed he could crush him like a grape; he quaked a little. Amin’s grip tensed a moment then began to vibrate. Opening his eyes the architect saw that he was laughing, his great shoulders heaving and his be-medalled chest jangling. “You stupid English!” said the ruler. “No, no, no, you silly Billy-Billy!”

Amin da money!
Don't watch dat! Watch dis!

Stepping back and releasing the architect Amin composed himself and mimed the dialling of an old-fashioned, wall-mounted telephone. He waited a moment then imitated the ringing tone with an uncanny accuracy. “Bring bring… bring bring…” repeated the dictator several times. Then, fixing the architect with his gaze, he laughed once more and boomed out. “Hallo der! Is dat you? Is dat you?”

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Je Suis Charlie

You feel it, don’t you? After the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris you feel, despite all your liberal instincts, a little bit of hatred. Well take that little tiny bit and imagine it growing like a tumour in your brain until it dominates your thoughts and all you wish for is killing and dismembering and beheading and blood and you too can feel the glory of jihad. Once again the religion of we-will-blow-you-into-a-thousand-pieces has demonstrated its right to free speech. It said that god was good and that his prophet had been avenged. The only trouble was that before it spoke these free words this ‘tiny and unrepresentative’ minority had once more slaughtered in the name of a savage and barbarous fairy tale.

The media talks about freedom of speech and that we in the west still have it. Do we? For how long have we been admonished as ‘islamophobic’ whenever we have expressed our genuine beliefs that islam poses a threat to our peace and stability? Perversely, it is those who seek to prevent free speech who have been granted the freedom to spout hate and threaten violent death. This ‘tiny minority’ who do not represent ‘true islam’ appear to number in their hundreds of thousands. And while our expressions of fear have been denounced as racism, their ‘right’ to incite to kill has been protected almost manically.

Already there are voices seeking to excuse the killings as somehow a reaction to western aggression or else an aberration which has ‘nothing to do with islam’. They are ‘lone wolves’ acting outside the observance of their peaceful texts, or they are somehow disturbed and have been ‘radicalised’ and do not act in the name of allah. But that’s just not true is it? If it is a minority then there must be several thousand times more muslims in the world than we previously thought. If they are ‘lone wolves’ they curiously appear to hunt in packs.

The populations of many European countries have stood and watched, mouths agape, as so-called leaders have repeatedly bent over backwards in an effort to avoid provoking the religion of thin skins. And this policy of appeasement has helped, how, exactly? Already conspiracy theorists are inventing false flag ops intended to whip up anger in the indigenous; maybe this is what the government want, they say, lynch-mob action rather than the application of state force?

Others are saying this is like Nazi Germany before WWII, with tracts like fictional anti-Semitic Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion being resurrected and used to evangelise the general population against the Jews. But it isn’t. The Jews were never openly threatening to kill all non-Jews and then carrying out those non-existent threats. They weren’t declaring the intention to kill their way to a worldwide Zion. We are NOT ‘sleep-walking into Nazism. This time we are the oppressed and we are the ones being made to suffer. The muslims want nothing less than world domination – THEY are the Nazis here.

They don’t want free speech? Well sod them, they have it and we shouldn’t try to deny them it. But what is sauce for the gander is sauce for the rest of us geese and we should wrest back our full rights to freedom of expression. We should be free to say how much islam frightens us and we should not be compelled to integrate with them just as they won’t integrate with us. We should be allowed to freely and openly refuse to trade with their businesses, refuse to employ them and refuse to insist their children are given a full British education (for what it’s worth). We should be free to turn down their mosque planning requests and investigate their illegal actions without prejudice or the fear of being criminalised as racist.

Come and get me, camel fuckers!

For every jihadi out there, there must be a number of those mythical moderate muslims, if they truly do exist. They know who the bad guys are. If they really ARE acting contrary to the faith they hold so dear then they should be good citizens and either deal with them or hand them over. Until these moderates show themselves and demonstrate what they say they really stand for the only version of the koran we can see is the one with all the killing in it. If there really is a different truth behind all the violence then show us it or accept that if islam is not with us then it really is against us.

If you tolerate this…

I still don’t really know who Ched Evans is. Yeah, yeah, footie player, rapist, done time, out on licence… whatever. Convicted of a crime about which, as a man, I am not allowed an opinion in much the same way I doubt I’d entertain a women telling me about romantic fiction. War novels! I meant war… and crime and gore and all that. That’s what I meant. But I digress.

It seem there are British people protesting against scheduled executions in Pakistan because although the convicted have committed kidnap, rape and murder, those crimes are not explicitly included in the definition of terrorism, the crime for which they have been found guilty. Not terrorism? Try telling that to their victims – oh, you can’t because they are dead. Well the same type of people trying to get rapists and murders not killed are trying to get a British rapist crucified; it appears that justice is not adequately served by the legal system as the shriekers hop aboard the Chedwagon and bay for blood.

Like I say, I have no opinion, either way, on the Evans case; he meant and means nothing to me. But what should mean something to us all is whether we have a system of deterrent, punishment and rehabilitation to adequately contain our baser urges to take justice into our own hands. Do the courts decide a punishment or do we let social media do it? Judging by some of the more outlandish reactions to Katie Hopkins’ forthright utterings, there are some who wish her actual harm and I would go so far as to bet that many of the same people denouncing Evans would openly wish rape on Hopkins. I dare you to disagree.

There are always further consequences of crime and punishment, the more so for the famous. A perverse backlash of our celebrity culture is that we seem to enjoy knocking people off the pedestal even more than we enjoyed putting them up there; guilt, maybe? But it’s just the same as the free speech argument that goes around and around and around. You know the one: “You are free to say what you like… as long as I approve it.” Dissent is also free, of course, but it has to be the right kind of dissent.

Since the ill-judged Mark Pritchard case was dropped yesterday there has been a call for “greater fairness” and anonymity for those accused of sex crimes. As Evil Dad (@evildadatron) said on Twitter “You suck three homeless men off in a McDonald's parking lot and suddenly it's all people remember about you.”  If justice is supposed to be blind it does seem rather unfair that she’s allowed to take a beady-eyed peek under her blindfold at the accused before any evidence is heard.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Rank Hypocrisy

Well, I am on notice that no electoral matters will be allowed on the premises. ‘Her indoors’ has had a day filled with Labour & Tory General Election launches, pledges, manifestos, dossiers, claims, counter claims and outright lies and bullshit. Me, I’ve been at work so I don’t get to hear any of it and I truly miss the bullshit above all. From what I have managed to pick up both the main parties have turned stark, staring mental.

I’ve heard a rumour that David Cameron threatened his ministers with expulsion unless they back his pro-EU stance but then signalled to Angela Merkel that he just might be prepared to campaign for out and then – still rumour as far as I know – dangled the carrot of a referendum being offered in 2016 instead of the end of 2017. If his plan is to run interference with the scrambled brains of an already confused electorate then it’s working. We don’t know if he’s in, out or shaken all about. Just imagine the confusion as soon as he puts his left arm in…

Then there’s Labour. Their toothless attack dogs have been frothing at the mouth since the start of the new year, spouting all sorts of ridiculous charges against the Tories: they still eat babies, Iain Duncan Smith personally kicks away the crutches of the disabled; George Osborne dances and claps with joy when he sees misery and David Cameron user poor people as literal doormats to keep his shoes clean. Meanwhile Labour’s grasp of economics is still mired in fantasy and class war, Labour vowing to tax England more to pay for nurses in a separate country, Scotland.

“Whatever anybody else promises you, we will promise more!” seems to be Labour’s electoral strategy. Given the rabid outpourings of their supporters it’s a gambit that may well pay off – after all, they have been paying poor people for votes for far too long to abandon that successful business model. So expect another 120 days of the electoral barrage as each side abandons Britain’s real interests in order to muckrake, disparage and generally gainsay the others. Add to this the Greens, Ukip, the SNP and whoever is your local ‘third party’ and your doorbells will be ringing like a massed band of marauding Krishnas.

They all want your vote and they’ll pretend to be your friend to get it, which brings me to my second gripe. It seems that, confused by a plethora of unusual rank insignia, British servicemen are opting to take the lowest common denominator approach to recognising their superiors - treating them as equals. The use of saluting and calling senior people ‘Sir’ is a part of forces life and while it may sit uneasily with the egalitarians out there it is merely a formal way of recognising the hierarchy necessary to run an efficient and disciplined organisation.

I'm not your mate

Politicians and political activists would do well to remember that. When they’re in office they may well acquire top-dog status and be deserving of a deferential doff of the cap. But when they are on the doorstep, grovelling for my ‘X’ they are the underdog and woe betide the smarmy vote-seeker who dares to call me ‘mate’. Whatever your party colours, I’m not your mate and you’re certainly not mine. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Common Cor!

I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories; I don’t easily accept tempting untruths bolstered by questionable statistics, nor do I believe much of what I am unable to verify through my own experience. I like to think I have as independent a mind as it is generally possible to have in this mixed up, muddled up, shook up world. (Well that's the way that I want it to stay and I always want it to be that way...) Or maybe that’s just what they want me to think? No, they’re not the boss of me now!

But everywhere you turn somebody has a theory that things ain’t what they used to be and heaven knows, anything goes! Big business in league with the New World Order, cultural Marxism invading our social systems and our very words being continually monitored and assessed; our lexicon tweaked and re-calibrated to cause minimal offence. You could never, for instance say anything so inflammatory as; Here come old flat top, he come groovin' up slowly, he got joo joo eyeballs, he one holy roller, he got hair down to his knees, got to be a joker, he just do what he please… I mean, you’d be locked up, wouldn’t you?

And then there’s Common Core, which is all the rage – and when I say rage I do mean rage – in the good ol’ US-of-A and reportedly making some inroads into the UK. I know that what we need is a great big melting pot, big enough to hold the world and all it’s got but a totalitarian fascist plot? We don’t need no education; all we need is a production line to churn out identikit, cookie-cutter automata, all equally able and just clever enough to serve as worker drones. Nothing to distinguish one from another any more, just coffee coloured people by the score.

Then there’s the climate change ‘debate’, in which 97% of those who believe in government-funded climate research are drumming up hysteria and then using the fear to spread the faith. But, think about it - one drop of rain on your window pane doesn't mean to say there's a hurricane humming. So don't start running every time you hear it coming, ‘cause it doesn't matter. You know it doesn't matter; it’s just a storm in a teacup.

But if you believe all the crackpot theorists you could easily become convinced that the lizard overlords really are in charge. Why are they collecting all that personal data for instance? Login details, dates, emails, IP addresses, GPS locations, biometrics. Common core alarmists talk about the use of facial recognition, posture measurement, wristbands that monitor the attention of students and other metrics that allow them to codify and classify and control and predict the behaviour of both pupils and staff. Aptly enough for common core, just like the kids, it really doesn’t add up.

As I said, I don’t much go for conspiracy theories but one little word that you may have overheard is, under the guise of the caring European Union, we are being driven unwittingly towards becoming mere tax cattle. That is, of course, if you are gullible enough to believe all the hysterical nonsense out there. The real truth is there is a theory to fit pretty much every prejudice. Even – and I know you’ll instantly see what a load of rubbish this is – the ridiculous notion that blogs exposing these sinister plots are being infiltrated by government surveillance software which automatically replaces the sensitive and chilling facts with innocuous song lyrics.

Don't even MENTION Agenda 21!
The lizards are coming!

Well, surely we’d smell a rat if such a thing were happening? We'd be fighting in the streets with our children at our feet. I may tip my hat to the new constitution, take a bow for the new revolution but, the world will look just the same and history won't change, will it? No, rest assured, this blog will always tell the truth so we don't get fooled again. Now, if you’d excuse me, I’m off to meet the new boss… Yaaaaaay!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Catch 'em younger...

As ever The Twitter supplies with me an inexhaustible source of merriment and material and yesterday was no exception. I innocently challenged a stubborn assertion that in the UK: “207 OAPs freeze to death every day.” It is my custom to challenge all manner of clumsy, blunt-edged, political weaponry and this one was a sitting duck. "Really?" I asked, "per day?" Over what period? If that’s over a year then 75,555 people a year dying from freezing in Britain is outrageous… especially in, say, August. The truth, as ever, will be more prosaic, especially as the poster later admitted – although not to me – that he’d quoted a weekly, not daily, figure in error.

But it doesn’t matter, does it? More old people tend to die in winter regardless of their politics and the cold itself is a known contributor, but only part of the story. 2010’s winter was the coldest for a long time, so it is obviously the fault of the vicious Tory cuts. That, my friends is the crux of the matter. A willingness to propagate unsubstantiated and vague facts that highlight cruelty, sleaze, impropriety or any other failing by those of the right is one of the left’s very favourite raisons d'être. The simple reality that some people favour a more self-reliant view of society will never bring about revolutions.

No, revolutions are a long game and the Milimob’s current electoral strategy appears to be to leave it to the next generation. Two recent accounts should fill us with a bit of new year foreboding. The first is a Daily Mail ‘olds’ story about primary school children and younger being branded as bigots.The kids’ taunts are standard playground stuff, learned at home, from social media and most of all, probably, from the playground itself. It’s funny, sometimes inventive and only hateful to the ears of people who have been taught to watch out for and report such things. These kinds of people, it goes without saying, predominantly sit on the left of politics. And what better time to lay the foundations of lifelong leftism than during those tender, impressionable years?

The other story, by coincidence, is about selecting teachers of the future and the suggestion that the seeds may be there at a very early age "Give me a child of seven,” said the Jesuit, “and I will show you the man." But I’m wondering whether the ‘racist’ kids are likely to be selected, or would the nomination more likely go to the sneaky pals who dob them in? How likely is it you will be mentored as a future shaper of children’s minds if you are on a state register for incorrect thoughts? When Orwell imagined his junior Thought Police shopping their parents to the party he missed a trick; why catch ‘em young when you can catch ‘em younger still?

Junior National Socialist
Tomorrow belongs to me

The party told its devotees that “War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength” the contradictions of doublethink easily circumnavigated by reducing language to black or white. With the correct application of educational programming critical thinking skills can be developed only in the minds of future strategists. The rest need only follow the party line and simply parrot the rehearsed scriptures at the daily Tory Two-Minute Hate. Two brain-cells good, four brain-cells bad? 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Europe or the open sea? A fable

The storm approaches and sturdy men lash themselves to masts and spars as they brave The European Seaway, formerly known as the English Channel. Clouds gather, darkening and lowering as, laden with foreboding, they advance on the good ship Great Britain. For millennia great tumults have assaulted our weather-beaten hull but we manage to float on. But now we doubt our ability to sail alone and seek to join a flotilla of uneasy alliances and uncertain allegiances. Assurances our ship’s company will be cared for by our partners are cold comfort but then our numbers no longer function as a crew with a shared mission, so we all keep one eye on the exits.

Crewed by mercenaries, steered this way then that, yet ever closer to that uneasy union and uncertain end, our clear sense of purpose is gone. Being part of something bigger means being a smaller part of that bigger thing and the bigger it gets the more we recede from view. The far-off and foreign land which used to be called Europe now looms large in the captain’s glass as he wonders what course to set. It doesn’t seem to matter very much; in his madness, everywhere he turns he sees only the gaping maw of the relentless great whale pursuing him.

The numbers swell as we pick up drifters and scavengers and allow others to board without question. The ship becomes unstable and with so few who now understand how to sail her she lurches from port to starboard, left to right… until the lookout calls. Nobody listens at first; this Chicken Licken has been warning of danger for years and so far we have ridden every wave, but this time it is different. He points at the great whirlpool astern, into which the ship is being dragged. The morbid fear of all our past masters is now upon us. Instead of making European landfall when we could we dithered and now we face the danger alone.

As the maelstrom drags us away from land and we teeter on the outer rim of the vortex everybody panics. Those who are able seize the lifeboats and strike out alone, leaving the old and sick, the weak and the loyal to make the best of their fate. Certain doom is all they expect, all they have been taught to deserve, and as the revolutions increase and the ship tilts alarmingly to head down to the depths of the ocean they brace themselves for oblivion as Europe disappears beneath their new and shrunken horizon.

The EU - it sucks!
Europe - going down the plughole

With an undramatic bump the ship suddenly arrests its descent and with a small shudder it cants slightly to one side, then all movement ceases. Opening their eyes those who remain on board nervously peer over the gunwales and look down. The last of the water is gurgling down the plughole and HMS Great Britain sits easily, securely and safely on drying land. In the distance, those who took to the lifeboats are stranded and those who actually reached Europe are cut off and forgotten. The fearful and mighty ocean deep of unilateral UK Independence, warned about for years, turns out to have been just a puddle.