Friday, 27 February 2015
Exploration is a dangerous game and many have paid the ultimate price for their wanderlust and curiosity. But for those who stay the course wonders and sometimes fame and riches abound. Or, at the very least, a lifetime’s supply of rousing anecdotes and tales to thrill your dinner guests. Contact with strange tribal peoples who practise dark rituals or the discovery of new and wonderful species can be the gateway to a lucrative career in after-dinner speaking, as long as those discoveries can be substantiated. But sometimes one stumbles across sights that question one’s grasp of sanity; mirages and apparitions feature large in the memories of those who venture from the path well trodden.
Thus it was that the famous explorer Colonel John Nicholas Blashford-Snell, OBE, kept secret for many years the story of the strange creature he had witnessed in his Congo expedition of the mid-seventies. Entering a clearing his party had come across a troop of perfectly familiar olive baboons, which can be found all across the central African regions. Normally the troop would have scattered but on this occasion they were otherwise engaged, chattering wildly and gathered about a single, very different individual. This outsider, which had the appearance of a mandrill but with a curiously bright yellow face, sat impassively as the throng clamoured about him.
Blashers bade his men stand still and they watched until, suddenly, the unusual specimen began chattering loudly and becoming agitated. The surrounding gang of olives suddenly became quieter and stepped back as the yellow-face individual began to take great gulps of breath, faster and faster, grunting all the while and as they all fell into stunned silence watching intently the cheek pouches began to inflate and turn red. Louder and faster it huffed and puffed until soon its whole body began to inflate and then, slowly, cheeks a bright, flaming red, it took in one last huge gulp of hot air and began to hover a few inches above the ground.
Not a murmur sounded as the super-heated, puce-faced primate floated up into the tree canopy and vanished from sight. The explorer shook his head in disbelief and quickly went for his hip flask. After a few quick swigs of medicinal brandy he could no longer be sure he had even seen what he thought he had and on his return to Blighty, though he embarked on many lecture tours and happily engaged the crowds, he kept this one episode to himself. It was not until a few years after the turn of the twenty-first century that he found himself in the company of Sir David Attenborough and they both set to reminiscing about their Congo days.
Who you laughing at, bum face?
During one of Sir David’s accounts of a Zoo Quest expedition, Blashers suddenly remembered the curious incident in the clearing and when Attenborough finished his story, the colonel tentatively told his, fully expecting to heard with derision. Preceding the anecdote with the cautionary suggestion that he may have dreamed the whole thing, he told it as he remembered it and waited for the great naturalist’s incredulous response. Instead though, David nodded enthusiastically and said that he too had seen the curious beast, including its agitated levitation act. “Blashers, old son,” he said finally, “we can count ourselves lucky to be two of the very few westerners who have ever even heard of, let alone seen, the rare ‘hot air baboon’!”
Thursday, 26 February 2015
Why is it somehow never anything to do with islam? A survey reveals the damning truth that far too many 'moderate' muslims do not really oppose extremism at all. Thank goodness other religions don't demand the same blind adherence to the irrational...
Another day brings yet another attack on the benighted followers of the religion of harmony, a religion that brings nothing but joy and peace to the world. That and silky, shiny hair. Since I converted so as to offer my life to harmony in the late nineteen seventies I have seen this country change. We live simple lives of devotion and charity and in our modesty we cover our heads. In hair; very big hair, to which we must attend at least five times a day. Of course, the charity in which we strongly believe begins at home, which is why we are unable to take up full time jobs and must throw ourselves on the mercy of the state for subsistence. The hairspray alone takes up most of our welfare cheque. That and all the bloody kids that just seem to happen.
But where once our golden, flowing, bouncy locks were not only tolerated but welcomed in to broaden the cultural base and beautify Britain, now we are treated with suspicion and yes, harmonophobia is rife. In a recent survey almost 80% of harmonims said they found it deeply offensive when cartoon images depicting the prophet were published. The prophet is sacred to us and to insult her by using any but the officially sanctioned image (below) is blasphemous and must not go unpunished. We waited a long time and endured the hostility towards us but the recent scalpings of BBC comedy commissioners in vengeance for the hairspray-related comic sketches of the nineteen eighties are entirely justified and the majority of moderate harmonims fully sympathise with these actions.
And although almost 95% of us would never think of attacking people who use other grooming products we all nonetheless understand the deeply rooted and righteous anger which drove a minority of the faithful to lob burning aerosol bombs into salons which did not believe in harmony. We, the moderate harmonims wish to live peacefully side by side with the advocates of TRESemmé while quietly nodding in support and funding the hostilities of a small handful of extremists who are killing those unbelievers but not practising real harmony. Oh no; we harbour them, support them and generally agree with them, but they don’t firebomb other product users in our name. They are not harmonims; they are harmonists, which is a crucial distinction.
But where are the thanks we deserve for pretending we don’t secretly applaud the violence? There must be tolerance and understanding from the ugly, lank-haired worker scum who pay taxes to fund our peaceful way of live. Without them practising tolerance for us and giving us preferential treatment in all things there can be no peace. While we live as second-class citizens in our taxpayer funded homes with our taxpayer funded Sky-TV Beauty Channel subscriptions and our taxpayer funded hairdresser schools we will forever be denied the supremacy that is our right.
The holy prophetess of harmony
Harmony means peace and harmonims live a life of peace and love. But take the name of our hairspray in vain and the full wrath of hairspray hell will come down on your heads. It’s not our fault, our goddess demands it… or does she?
Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Malcolm Riffkind falls on his sword, Jack Straw gets a Saturday job at Sofa World and the unlovely Natalie ‘Benefit’ turns the Greens into a bigger laughing stock than they already were by as good as admitting on air – not for the first time - that she hasn’t the faintest clue where all the free money is going to come from. Ukip has started to show fatigue under the relentless and hysterical flak of the race-hate industry and the SNP have bared their teeth too early, attracting derision and rejection from the great unwashed.
Further afield, in Greece, Syriza has chickened out, dropped the bravado and fallen into line with Merkel’s Minions while all around the world, growing discontent with politics-as-usual is rife. The right-wing parties can’t govern because they get called Nazis, the left wing parties are rightly criticised for their cleaving to the failed ideologies of communism. And if the extremes can’t win out, neither can those in the middle ground. The vaguely centre-right Tories are lambasted for daring to suggest even the smallest of public service savings while the who-knows-which-side-they’re-on Labour Party can’t raise the merest whiff of credibility about their spending plans.
So we’re at an impasse and something needs to be done. I vowed to keep out of this, no matter how much you all begged me, but it’s too late now and I realise that the British public deserve better, so here I am throwing my hat in the ring. Two-and-a-bit months may seem precious little time to launch a new political party but in fact it is ideal. What British politics needs is a damned good kick up the arse and there is no place now for subtlety and nuance. It’s too late for pleasing the electorate; what the electorate needs is also a good kick up the arse. Not happy with your benefits? Kick up the arse. Bleating about your investments? Kick up the arse. Boo-hooing over equality, intersectionality, diversity and climate change? You’re not even worth a kick up the arse.
Herewith, without further ado, I present the Official Manifesto of the Kick Right up the Arse Party of Great Britain (KRAPGB):
KRAPGB promises to do absolutely nothing for you unless you pull your socks up, stop whining, get a job and pay your own way. In return for that small commitment from you we will educate your children properly, so that they in turn can enter the workforce as full participants. There will be no pandering to differences be they racial, religious, cultural, sexual or ginger. Interfere with the teachers’ absolute right to discipline your errant brats and you can expect to feel the full wrath of the state - during your time in chokey; all those detained by the state will have to work to cover the full cost of their keep... and their debt to society.
KRAPGBwill fix the NHS by largely abolishing the recognition of made-up disorders, firing the people who insisted that nurses need degrees and making triage so thorough that you’d better be very, very ill indeed before you even think about clogging up A & E departments. We will fix immigration by chipping every last non-UK citizen and tracking their movements by the minute. Anybody even thinking of donning a burka or growing a beard without a moustache will be immediately transported over a country where that is deemed normal and deposited thereon from a great height sans parachute.
Who says a kick up the arse can't be fun too?
If you’re old, genuinely ill, down-on-your-luck or a bit mental we will look after you, patch you up where we can and help you get back on your feet. Nobody will go hungry or cold or die alone and old unless they want to. The police will police without the interference of human rights lawyers and all such expensive busybody non-jobs will be abolished within weeks of our taking power. You will listen up, do as you’re told and get in line until we have this country back in shape. A short, sharp shock is what you lot need. Or would you prefer a kick up the arse?
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Ah, another week in Westminster and all is well with the lunatic world of those running Asylum Britain. Both Tory and Labour ex-Foreign Secretaries take a turn in the stocks for their apparent arrogance in accepting cash for access; didn’t we do all this before? But maybe it was a case of taking bullets for the team? Rifkind possibly intended to draw attention away from George Osborne reining back his promise to increase minimum wage to £7 an hour, which looks pretty shoddy compared to £5k a day, doesn’t it? And maybe Jack, the man of Straw, was keen to deflect attention from the astonishing announcement regarding a former cabinet colleague.
Yes, that old dinosaur John Prescott has been dug up, dusted down, re-animated and brought out of retirement as an exhibit in the Unnatural History Museum – an example of the extinct hominid Homeo hullibilis on-the-pithecus – in order to be, wait for it, Ed Miliband’s special advisor ‘responsible for global warming’ by one report. I expect the lithe and sporty Mr P has been responsible for a fair portion of it over the years but it seems a little unfair to single him out as being entirely to blame. Mind you he can throw a mean punch so maybe this is the plan to engage climate change sceptics? Believe or Big John will lamp you one.
Because it is far more about belief than it is about science, isn’t it? And Red Ed falls hook, line and sinker for the climate change message, swallows unsubstantiable ‘truths’ wholesale and Oliver Twist-like, begs for more. Why? Because listen to the siren call to the young and impressionable: “Oh woe, woe and thrice woe,” they cry, “we have only five days to save the planet. The nasty grown-ups burned all our futures!” Even if this creaky Hollywood premise were true we are either too late, or else we can do too little - but think of the votes! Personally, I genuinely don’t give a fuck because all that I am will die with me in a couple of decades from now, long before any changes will affect my lifestyle.
Except for one thing. Miliband’s absurd target will only make it more expensive, year on year. He says “The next Labour government will commit Britain to making our electricity supply carbon free by 2030.” Does he have the first inkling of a clue about how anything works? Of course not. A schoolboy Marxist he thinks all things come from the state and is prepared to repeal the natural laws if necessary to turn policy into personal hardship for millions. He has no clue about physics, meteorology, chemistry, biology, or anything else not covered in the Oxford PPE syllabus and in his ignorance will happily make you pay for every madcap gimmick the Green gurus will dream up and petition him to adopt.
In Labour’s wonderland, new technology must miraculously appear without the intervention of humans. Humans who create carbon dioxide (Prescott alone has a carbon footprint the size of Hull) and all the animals we eat, which create carbon dioxide and the minerals we mine, transport and process using fossil fuels which emit carbon dioxide. There is no such thing as zero-carbon energy unless we rely on direct sunlight alone and preferably don’t employ any of that energy to create even more humans.
But beyond simple ignorance there is a massive hypocrisy in Labour’s pursuit of green credentials and it is the little matter of one of Labour's raisons d'être - equality. In the bright red future, only the very wealthy will be able to afford heat and light and transport and technology and just as now the very wealthy will be able to choose how much they want to pay in order that the rest of us may have a share. From sunny, tax-free climes they will occupy the choicest spots on the planet and watch as the rest of us shiver in the dark. Somebody said, as a joke “What if we run out of renewables?” Would anybody dare bet that couldn’t happen under Labour?
Monday, 23 February 2015
Over the weekend much ribaldry was had with and among the usual suspects on the Twittersphere whose utter refusal to be offended should be applauded and held up as an example to all. At the very heart of Englishness is Tommy Atkin’s trench humour, the ability to poke fun at the devil himself and make light of any disaster. Nothing – and I do mean nothing – should ever be considered to be beyond parody or too sensitive to be the subject of derision for comic ends. Of course there is the issue of taste and timing but no matter how lewd, crass, angry, vindictive or even plain untrue the joke, it is entirely a matter of personal choice whether you don the victim hood and take umbrage.
When I was growing up one of the staples of the comic repertoire was the German joke: Bosch, Fritz, Square-headed sausage-eaters and hanging out the washing on the Siegfried line were all perfectly fair game. Two world wars and one world cup, no gag in which German efficiency was ridiculed was verboten. And the Nazis themselves were ripe for ridicule. You could even joke about the concentration camps; ordinary kids did so in playgrounds up and down the land and it was okay because it was just words and we had won the war. At least we thought we had. So where did those proud if crude principles go? When did it become not okay to joke about absolutely anything and who got to decide exactly what was off limits?
The media currently has a massive hard-on for Ukip once again, as if at some silent command they all sent out their flying monkeys to gather up any snippet, any ancient, yellowing copy that could be spun as some form of hate propaganda. If you were incapable of critical thought you’d have to conclude – from the evidence proffered - that every single malcontent harbouring racial violence had signed up to don swastikas, click their heels and salute Farage the Führer. So when Ukip’s Newport branch sought to appeal to the British funny bone in a Dad’s Army nose snub to the EU’s invasive ambitions it was a gift to the self-appointed arbiters of taste and reason. Even the Daily Mail, a vast majority of whose readers will naturally be Ukip sympathisers got in on the act.
Do those in government and the mainstream media have the first clue about the true leanings of the majority of the white working class? Not all working class people are Labour voters either; the self-employed have naturally strong Tory leanings even if they don’t necessarily recognise it. If every nouveau-racist (Today that is anybody white who generally prefers to be amongst people like themselves, is vaguely uneasy about our porous borders, distrusts the federalists of the European Union and fears for the employment prospects of their own children.) were to abandon their tribal vote and switch to Ukip the resulting demographic breakdown would look exactly like the one that supported every administration there has ever been since universal suffrage.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of American states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Frau Merkel's Express?
And over the pond they are serious about it. Here in the UK our freedom of speech used to pretty much take care of itself but in my lifetime it has never felt as threatened as it is right now. Jokes, especially, should enjoy particular exemption from censure because if you can’t point and laugh at race, sex, disease, disability, birth, death, fame, fortune, ambition, luck and incompetence, then all of those things possess the poison to hurt you. The very same people that are getting their knickers in a twist and condemning Ukip for making a perfectly acceptable joke out of Hitler and the EU would, without a trace of irony, round up the ‘Kippers and march them off to the gas chambers.
Friday, 20 February 2015
With March soon upon us and thoughts turning to spring before you know it we’ll be getting ready for Wimbledon, practising shouting “Come on, Tim!” to annoy that angry Jockanese fella and stocking up on Pimms and strawberries. What brought all this to mind was a recent radio documentary about John McEnroe and how he rose to become one of the pre-eminent players of his day. During his career he won seven Grand Slam singles titles, three of them at Wimbledon and nine Grand Slam men's doubles titles. He also won a record eight season ending championships, a record he shares with Ivan Lendl.
When the interviewer asked where he got his determined and sometimes abrasive competitive streak, McEnroe credited his US Air Force veteran father who inculcated the player and his younger brothers with a ‘can-do’ attitude and a fierce reluctance to back down under pressure. At home in New York the father and sons regularly held board games tournaments on a Sunday afternoon which often carried on well into the evening as John Junior pushed for supremacy. Monopoly, Cluedo, Scrabble, Ludo, they played them all but, according to John, his favourite game of all was Risk: The Game of Global Domination.
Favourite because of the opportunity to rule the whole world but also because this was the one game his father invariably won. While the younger siblings accepted their subordination, the teenage JM was desperate to outflank the old man. They key, he noticed, seemed to be that on almost every occasion John McEnroe Senior occupied the Middle East from an early stage and went on from there to take over the board. (Maybe a lesson for our weak-kneed politicians there?)
As John began to try and emulate his father he drew more of his ire; Mac Snr liked losing no more than his young protégé and as JM’s challenges became more threatening, the language became more heated and more than once voices were raised sufficiently for neighbours to call round in concern, convinced that mayhem was afoot. But still the young McEnroe never quite managed to get a foothold in the region before his father had managed to move his own troops in the place.
Then, one day, John saw his chance and while dad was sorting out a squabble between the younger boys and momentarily lost concentration, the future world champion made his move and soon his troops were through the land bridge of Turkey and occupying Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the other gulf territories. His father was apoplectic and stated, flat out, that John had cheated.
“I did not!” insisted McEnroe, “I won that ground fair and square” His father pressed on, “I was distracted. Anyway, you can’t put your troops there, that’s MY strategy!” John did not give an inch and soon he and his father were standing toe-to-toe in a classic stand off, each refusing to budge. “It’s mine,” shouted John, “I got there first!” His father drew himself up to his full height and stared down his son “You’re not having it!” he yelled “Yes I am!” yelled back John. “No, you’re not!” screeched his dad “I’m telling you John..." he pointed down at the board and screamed "You cannot be Syria!”
Thursday, 19 February 2015
That’s it, I’m faking my own death. Go on admit it, who hasn’t dreamed of doing just that? I mean, it is Lent after all and where’s the fun in giving up something that makes life a little more bearable for a month; what killjoy came up with that piece of congregation control? After a month you are grateful that ‘the good lord’ somehow smiles down on your efforts and lets you eat cake again. And how typical of religion to promote the dull ache of longing for some small treat as a panacea for the ills of worldly excess, when what I really crave is not abstinence but absence.
Oh, to be able to just step off the treadmill for a while. It’s probably harder than we’d like to think but how therapeutic to just walk out of the front door one day and leave a pile of clothes on a pebble beach; build a secret, off-grid cache of, er, cash and go and live on an island somewhere until it runs out. Of course in this day and age the thing to do would be to blog about it, get a book deal, hide your original identity and become newly if discreetly famous for walking out on the world. Eventually, you could reappear as a returning hero or, better yet, turn your life and oddly ubiquitous anonymity into a mystery and an inspiration for others without any of the fuss of keeping up appearances – in fact appearances is the last thing you’d want.
I’m surprised it hasn’t happened more with politicians. I mean just imagine having to live the rest of your life as David Mellor, or Diane Abbott? Given that compared to most of us our politicians are ‘as rich as creosote', how hard would it be for them to salt something away for their vanishing day? Chris Huhne, Denis MacShane, Neil Kinnock, Jeffrey Archer, Edwina Currie… the list goes on. And on… and on. But no, politicians will always keep on turning up like evil, twisted, spawn-of-Satan pennies. Their tolerance for shame is simply staggering.
I just don’t think I could lie for a living and continue to, er, live with myself, but there are times I get really fed up with telling the truth, which is what I actually do. I spend my days delivering cold, hard facts to a largely impassive audience of students and my evenings trying to refine and improve on that delivery. I’m not sure the reward really justifies the effort that goes into it all and I know that if I just stopped doing it somebody else would step in and grab my pay packet. Ultimately I don’t think I’d be missed.
I’m no perfectionist but I really don’t think I have the time for both life and work at the moment so, for Lent, I’m thinking of actually giving up me for a while. Yep, to achieve a half-decent work-blog balance it’s probably best that I just put the rest of me into storage until it’s all over and done with. I somehow doubt anybody will actually notice I'm gone...
PS: Only joking! I'm still here - I have nowhere to go!
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Following Channel Four’s audacious broadcast, so close to the general election of the 'docu-drama' “UKIP: The First 100 Days” masquerading as credible prediction, I felt the urge to respond in kind. Unlike Channel Four I would like to make it clear that what follows is pure fiction... or is it?
Welcome to Britain 2045 and the 30-year rule finally allows historians access to the government archives. This is a special year because since the Labour government’s ascension to power in 2015 and the total news embargo imposed in late September of that year we finally have access to the few scattered reports that were not destroyed after the big news media seizure in September of that year. Until today, when electricity was finally restored after the US rescue of the remaining European states, it was unknown whether any record of those bleak years even existed. Few people still live who are able to reliably recall the early years of Labour’s reign and those who left the country soon had no contact with their former homeland. When the thirty-year wall of silence came down, these few snippets were rescued from the electronic rubble.
BBC News 16th May 2015: “After over a week of negotiations, the Labour Party announce that, as the party with the largest share of votes, but no overall majority, they have accepted a deal with Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party to share power. Prime Minister Ed Miliband has stated that this was ‘the right thing to do for hard-working families’ and he promised a return to prosperity in a more caring, one-nation, pre-distribution society. The first act of the coalition has been to double the NHS budget, scrap the so-called bedroom tax and restore every one of the pre-2010 welfare measures scaled back by the Conservatives. Despite assurances from Chancellor Balls that this would be paid for by a tax on banker’s bonuses the UK’s credit rating was downgraded to BB by Standard & Poor’s”
Extract from Andrew Neil interview with Ed Balls Sunday Politics 5th July 2015:
“AN: How much, Chancellor, has the bankers’ bonus tax actually raised?
EB: The real question, Andrew, is how are the most vulnerable in society being raised from the oppression they suffered under the Tori…”
AN: With respect, that isn’t what I asked you. Isn’t it true that since Labour came to power almost all the bankers have moved to France, along with their money?
EB: You have to ask yourself, “Does the ordinary working man feel better off?”
AN: Well, he doesn’t, does he? Because since the DWP came under military protection from the welfare rioters the benefits tap has been turned off.
EB: Oh come on, Andrew, you’re picking on one tiny aspect of our reforms.
AN: How does Prime Minister Sturgeon feel you’re doing? I hear rumours that, since the coup, the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer may be moved to Edinburgh and run by Alex Salmond.
EB: There is no truth whatsoever in…” [transcript ends]
Sky News 15th July 2015
“News just in that the Chancellor’s talks with the IMF have broken down in acrimonious circumstances after requests for a bail out for the UK were turned down. After the unsuccessful raids on English citizens’ bank accounts, where it transpired that most people had switched to a cash economy following the example of the ex-Chancellor Balls, the government were forced to go cap in hand to former allies to pay for their ambitious reforms programme. The mansions that were to be taxed have been simply abandoned and as most tradesmen have moved to Greece and Bulgaria to set up agrarian, ex-pat communities, it is likely that some of the iconic country houses of England may well fall into disrepair. As mobs of English poor prepare to march on Parliament at Holyrood there has been a build-up of troops on the Scottish border with its poorer cousin.”
BBC News Tuesday 4th August 2015: “The BBC has received reports that socialist forces have beenn moving steadily southwards, shutting down local radio stations and ransacking the offices of local newspapers. Transmission equipment has been seized along with…” [transcript abruptly ends with background sounds of raised voices and the smashing of glass]
The final transmission we are able to access is the following brief statement from the SBC, broadcast on Sunday 16th August: “Greetings comrades and good news. The chocolate ration is to be doubled from tomorrow…” Shortly afterwards, all communication from the People's Democratic Republic ceased.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Just when you thought you’d heard all the fuckwittery possible, news just in about the future-world-you-never-asked-for prospect of an online judicial system. Billed as e-Bay style courts to settle small claims and the like, how long before some bright spark suggests extending its visibility to the general public? In fact why not make trial by social media a reality and present the facts to a jury of millions; what could possibly go wrong? It could even pay for itself by a text or PayPal voting system, thus getting the ‘jurors’ to pay not only for the service but for the claims themselves.
I reckon we may be onto something here. I make a claim against a client who hasn’t paid me for work done and if I can make my case funny enough or pathetic enough for sufficient voyeurs to vote, who cares if he pays up? I can be compensated from the voting proceeds and he can suffer the sort of damage to personal reputation that only a Twitter mob in full howling, spitting fury can mete out. Actually, strike that, it could of course be far worse than Twitter… it could be mumsnet.
Given the number of high profile criminal trials that are wrecked by leaks to the media, or prejudicial reporting maybe the way forward for the criminal bar is to go the whole hog and get digital; www.verdictsonline.com could replace much of the reality television schedules as real criminals are cross-examined by instant chat and the evidence examined and pored over by every conspiracy theory nut on the planet. Yep, I reckon that would work. The old judge pun 'Justice Fingers' brought to life by fingers on keyboards and smartphones and tablets everywhere.
Cyber Justice - fact and fiction
Of course, before any of that justice stuff hits the ether wouldn’t it be a step forward to democratise politics again with things like cabinet selection and policy proposals up for approval or otherwise by the disenfranchised voters who are currently resigned to more of the same? Sure, we’d end up with White Dee or Katie Hopkins in post but could they really serve us worse than our current crop of pretentious, mollycoddled Oxbridge overlords?
Monday, 16 February 2015
It seems the Labour Party edged ahead again in the polls over the weekend. What is wrong with you people? Now I know that each side of the political divide has its adherents who won’t be budged but is the ‘caring left’ propaganda so deeply embedded it can’t be questioned, even for a moment? The situation we are in at the moment - afeared of strangers, almost bankrupt, skills shortages and education failures, the bloody, sodding, shitting six-days-to-save-the-NHS ‘crisis’, is largely as a result of socialism and its defining need to dictate and control.
And one of the ways it does this is by endlessly promoting itself as the only party with a claim to the moral high ground and that the Tories are driven by hatred and avarice. Iain Duncan Smith’s entirely admirable crusade to lift those trodden into the deep ruts of society to a level where they can contribute rather than just take is billed as a dirty attack on ‘the most vulnerable’. Labour might want to consider for one moment just how it is that those people became locked into welfare dependency in the first place and ponder Labour’s part in it.
But of course that can’t happen, can it? The only concern of any political party seems to be power itself and not what could be done with it. Thinking two moves ahead? Give over, the election is all there is; after that it’s business as usual and if Labour were to get in (come on, Miliband as PM?) they will spend us back into hell. The one thing that Labour never appear to be capable of is explaining where all the money is actually going to come from. Unrestrained socialism will only ever end up with everybody becoming poorer; poor in pocket, poor in aspiration.
Without capitalism, socialism simply cannot afford itself, so the apparent coming together of the two opposing forces in the fictional battle for (or is it against) the planet sounds at first glance as if there may be an accord. The climate racket is perfect for both because it panders to their own knee-jerk inclinations. Labour get to control ordinary people’s behaviour by taxing them into fuel poverty, while the Tories get to reward the already well off by passing those taxes off as subsidies to incentive landowners and big business. It’s a complete stitch-up cluster-fuck and the only losers are – well they’re not referred to as ‘the most vulnerable’ for nothing.
You want ‘joined up’ government? This is as joined up as it gets. Joining together to promote a hobby horse which, in fifty years will be studied and criticised as intensively as the sub-prime scandal which led to the 2008 crash. Responding to Labour’s dog whistle will get you poor quicker, but will the Tories pale blue be much better? If the government won’t think two steps ahead then we should; back blue for now to keep us solvent but don’t expect anything in return. The only one who is going to look after your concerns is you. If you don’t believe that then, frankly, you deserve what you get.
Saturday, 14 February 2015
I woke to the radio telling me all about the remarkable world we live in. Far from the drudgery of the daily grind it seems we inhabit a faster-than-light fantasy where everything is so much bigger when seen through the mirror of media – objects are closer than you think… and more full of shit. It’s like an arms race as broadcasters, journalists and presenters raise the lexical stakes in the search for ever more exaggerated forms of expression.
In the narrow field of view of the paparazzi photograph a dozen people seeking a glimpse of a ‘sleb’ becomes a mob and if one of them shouts anything derogatory it turns into a hate mob. Politicians routinely experience car-crash interviews, rather than the dull exchange of incomplete questions and answers they generally turn out to be. And all women in the public eye are variously stunning, fabulous, flawless, or else they are brave, pioneering or striking; it’s as if we can’t be trusted to form an opinion of our own without being spoon-fed superlatives.
News is chilling or concerning – since when did either of those words become proper adjectives anyway? A one percent change in any statistic is billed as ‘soaring’ or ‘plunging’ and a dozen cases of a new strain of flu rapidly becomes an epidemic, in print at least. Television food is never tasty or even delicious – it has to be amazing – even if it does taste like chicken. And the reduction of a council’s pest-control budget can only be heralded as the harbinger of an apocalyptic plague of super rats.
Why is it that budgets are always ‘slashed’ when a more sober appraisal would probably be that the spenders were unnecessarily profligate and could easily cut back? Why are we never simply swindled, but ‘ripped off’? Why is it that every single year the incumbent government is attacked because very old people die from being old when it is also, coincidentally, a bit chilly? And why, oh why, can’t we just have ordinary, seen-it-all-before weather, instead of being sold ‘weather bombs’, super storms, thunder fog, storm surges, with new and more obscure records being fabricated almost every day?
Where does it all end? What new words will they have to come up with in the next decade to out-exceed excess? The search is on for even-more-better superlatives to make the ordinary extraordinary, to make the mundane magical and to elevate reality to the mystical realms of phantasmagoria. I await developments with franticipation and mentalacious gleedom. Now go off and have a simply fabulous day!
Friday, 13 February 2015
I can’t help but feel that Ed Miliband has bitten off the wrong end of the thin end of the sticky wicket with his latest gimcrack attempt to paint the Tories evil. As Lord Fink said, we all engage in tax avoidance, albeit of the vanilla variety, but heaven forfend we should dip our toes in the double chocolate Magnum of evasion. Evasion bad, avoidance every man’s right and every single time you don’t buy something sans-VAT you have avoided tax. Refuse to work and you avoid income tax for a lifetime – there’s half of Labour’s voter base insulted, right there. Didn’t think of that, did you, Gromit?
We are taxed from pillar to post, from dawn to dusk, from cradle to grave and beyond. Every breath you take consumes oxygen which, as soon as they work out how to meter it, will be taxed. Everything is taxed, everything, and much of the tax we pay goes to fund the resources to prise ever more from our selfish, grasping hands. How dare we want to keep as much as possible of what we earn? On top of the obvious things we also pay Television Tax, Airport Tax, Passport Tax, Driving Licence Tax, Prescription Tax and Road Tax, which reminds me of a recent incident near Dover…
Police and Customs officials were staking out the ferry terminal, trying desperately to not notice the constant stream of illegal immigrants spilling over tailgates and disappearing into the countryside and instead concentrating on tracking down contraband. It turned out to be surprisingly easy after the first few hundred and soon their real quarry, an ancient plain Ford Transit Luton box van drove past their vantage point. It was low on the suspension and lurched alarmingly on the corners but intelligence had it stuffed full of contraband.
A lone, unmarked car followed the van for a few miles, taking care to hang well back in order to coordinate and direct the rolling roadblock they had planned. Suddenly the car immediately in front of the police car began to slow down and weave from side to side. The van up ahead kept on moving and try as he might the pursuit car driver could not pass the weaving decoy car which soon came to a juddering, lurching halt, forcing both cars into a layby. As the van disappeared out of sight the copper angrily pulled on his cap and stormed out of the car to approach the driver.
“I’m sorry, officer, but I had to swerve or I'd have burst my tyres!" protested the driver.
"What do you mean?" demanded the policeman.
"What do you mean?" demanded the policeman.
“Look!” The driver pointed back down the road. A tattered cardboard box lay some hundred yards back “That fell off a lorry that passed me and it scattered hardware in my path. If I hadn’t swerved and if you hadn’t followed me, we’d both have four flat tyres!”
The constable thought for a minute, then walked back a way and saw for himself the nails and screws, brackets and sharp-edged fixings scattered across the carriageway. He radioed for support and returned to the car driver, taking out his notebook as he went.
“Okay,” he said, “I accept that you had no option but to swerve, but I’m still going to arrest you. You do not have to say anything, but if you don’t mention now anythi…”
“What?” said the driver, “I had no choice; what can you possibly take me in for?”
The policeman sighed, took out his handcuffs and gestured for the man to hold out his hands. As he clamped on the restraints he looked steadily and sternly into the man's eyes and said “I am arresting you for tacks evasion.”
Thursday, 12 February 2015
Well I don’t know about you but the general election year has got away to a cracking start. It’s hard to tell policy from parody as Labour seem intent on whipping up hysteria from every formerly forgotten corner of the realm, on enlisting the help of anybody gullible enough to cast their ballot in favour of state ownership of their very souls. Not content with their usual ‘cruel Tory’ stories - you know the stuff; half eaten babies discarded in bus shelters to be sexually abused by grandees and Lords under the protection of Her Majesty herself – they seem intent on self-destruction by comedy construct.
Pink battle buses, presumably to appeal to the under-tens, a refusal to properly condemn the abusers of the under-tens if there’s a vote in it, Ed Miliband’s potentially slanderous statements in the House of Commons, Tristram Hunt’s nun-bashing, Ed Balls forgetting Bill Somebody’s name, Diane Abbott's mayoral ambitions, rent-control, fuel price freezing... the list goes on. And on… And on. The ‘an owl for everybody’ spoof doesn’t seem so far-fetched now, does it?
It is clear to those with an independent, un-addled brain that all of Labour’s pretend policies are made up on the hoof; knee-jerk gimmicks to try and be all things to all people. The trouble with that approach - as Kinnock discovered to his electoral cost - is though you can fool some of the people all of the time, those people are already voting Labour and as fast as they breed, there still aren’t quite enough of them to be sure of tipping the balance. Kinnock of course had to swallow his pride, give up on British socialism and go off to and become a multi-millionaire… as a passenger on the juggernaut of much less accountable European socialism.
What ought to be abundantly clear is that truth has no place in politics – especially as so many voters demand it – what matters is how you package up the lies you control. While David Cameron can disguise his offerings with an expensive and flashy gift-wrap and a nice shiny bow, Nigel Farage will offer you a no-frills what-you-see-is-what you get package, in a plain brown wrapper. Even Nick Clegg can still at least pop his cheap plonk in a Tesco’s single bottle gift bag and Natalie Bennett, eschewing the damage that unnecessary packaging does to the environment, unapologetically brings no gift to the party. Ed Miliband, meanwhile, is still in the corner, a sticky ball of uncoordinated glitter, bells and saggy bows, gibbering slightly and high on Sellotape™ fumes.
Labour's not-very-magic Battle Bus
With the SNP about to eliminate Labour in Scotland just as the Scots did for the Tories (Scottish independence is surely in all our best interests?) and the Greens and Ukip taking great bites out of Labour’s former shoo-ins I have a sneaking suspicion that Ed, like Gordon before him, would actually prefer to lose. Why, given Labours’ abysmal record with money, would they risk taking over the reins of an economy not yet out of the slump? No, let the Tories fix it up, get us into the black and then there’ll be more to spend – pink buses for everybody! My money is on Ed leading Labour to another five years of whinging and moaning and belittling success from the sidelines; after all, it’s where they seem happiest.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Small is beautiful, they say. They also say keep it in the family. When we were kids our dad used to protect us from harm. For instance he taught us that the filling in a Cornish pasty was poisonous to small children, so he ate that bit for us, leaving us with that delicious bit of folded pastry at the edge. Exactly the same danger awaited us with all forms of joined-up meat, so he made sure that steaks and chops never displaced the nutritious mince and sausages on our plates. To safeguard our delicate hopes he kindly pointed out, too, that when the ice cream van jingles played it was an announcement that he had run out of all but those nasty, bitter, cheap, raspberry lollies.
It’s easier to command and control a small tribe, when we all know who is who and where everybody’s allegiance lies, but the bigger it grows the greater the potential for dissent. And the kids eventually outgrow parental control, leave home and strike out for independence and individual success. It seems to be the same with business; as a corporation grows, so does its distance from the individual. For every karma-controlled, new-age hippy success that looks after its evangelists there are a thousand lumbering faceless behemoths with a huge turnover of unloved minions.
That facelessness reaches its pinnacle with state-owned monopolies where fat-cattery is high, worker drone malcontent off the scale and accountability nil; at least with private enterprise you can, nominally at least , stop buying what they’re selling. Of course big business is corrupt; even where continued success depends on keeping the buyers sweet the temptation to engage in forming cartels, hiding profits, avoiding tax and posing as a kindly uncle is strong. But even the biggest can and do fail, taking millions of shareholders down with them.
So why do European governments seem so wedded to an essentially failed business model? Did they not see what happened to the former Soviet Union, a union only held together by force and fear? Even within a single British political party the whips only keep a lid on revolt by the gathering of personal and damning information and the use of threats of disclosure against its own members who rely on election to stay in office and favour to stay in post. So why would we imagine a largely unelected legislature, using the apparent democracy of powerless MEPs as cover for ever more enlargement and ever more power, would be a thing we would want?
The only reason the British Chambers of Commerce is calling for an early referendum on EU membership, should the Tories win in May, is that they think the fear and ignorance levels are currently high enough to ensure a vote to stay in. But a delay until 2017 would enable a newly confident, conservative-minded electorate to rally support for an independence bid. Calling for an early ballot is nothing to do with calming market jitters and everything to do with furthering the aims of the big boys; pick your battles, they say.
Where's George wen you need him?
I have never made a secret of where my loyalties lie. It’s possible an independent Britain might control its borders, police its population appropriately, root out those who use our tolerant ignorance against us and become British again. I want out of the inefficient, wasteful, costly and controlling European Union. Small is not weak, small is human. And why shouldn’t we get to eat the filling, instead of just the pastry?
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Shh! Tell nobody, but I have sneaked out into the back garden to write this blog away from prying eyes. The government has its spies everywhere and will use every means possible to snoop on our private conversations, so tell nobody, right? Perched here on my camping stool, laptop on my, er, lap and typing by the light of a dim head torch I am determined I will not be silenced. I have set trip wires rigged to some old tin cans, so that will put paid to any SWAT team’s clumsy attempt to take me by surprise, and I am piggy-backing on next door’s wi-fi to throw ‘them’ off the scent.
Until yesterday I thought the ‘internet of things’ was just some wacky-baccy induced science fiction dream inspired by Hollywood movies, conspiracy theories and a bunch of teenaged stoners telling yarns around a summer camp fire. But no, it turns out that in an Orwellian nightmare, your smart television really might be recording your every move. In the future, they say, electronic devices will communicate directly with each other and take human beings out of the loop. Your refrigerator will track the family eating habits and order milk when required, while your central heating will report you to the Green Party’s stormtroopers if you dare set the thermostat a single degree above the nationally set daily approved temperature.
Internet-enabled pedometers already tell Twitter about the pitifully small amount of exercise their wearers undertake and with GPS positioning information frequently inform the missus when you have nipped into the pub while pretending to walk the dog. And it isn’t going to stop there. Progressively educated Midwich cuckoo children already scold their parents for their unthinking casual racism, sexism, ageism and any other perceived bigotry inculcated in them by their Marxist drone teachers but, according to the Adam Smith Institute, in Scotland the state intends to become the official child snatcher.
Now somebody more gullible and less level-headed than I am might imagine they will be stolen, ‘educated’ and sent back to their parents with implanted trackers and sophisticated bugging devices to assist the television with constant surveillance. Those pet chips? Those electronic dog collars? Don’t say you haven’t been warned! Your every move, your every thought will be recorded, classified, catalogued, indexed and filed and one day used in evidence against you. Remember where you were on Wednesday 2nd of July last year? No need; we already know.
From now one you should trust no body, trust no thing; as well as ice cream and sausages walls have ears. I know because the microwave oven told me. Now I have to go; I’ve already said too much and I’ve been in one place for far too long. The International Spy Station (ISS) is due to over-pass at any moment… and my tea is getting cold.
Monday, 9 February 2015
In the middle of the twentieth century a popular spectacle was the chimps’ tea party, indeed such an event was deemed a worthy way to welcome to Thirsk its very first proper supermarket, FineFare, around 1968. I know, I was there. Chimps in human clothes - the very idea! Of course such anthropomorphism may well be frowned on today, or no doubt deemed ‘racist’ by those whose own heightened race-crime awareness is only barely supressing their own guilty attitudes towards difference. We’re all a bit racist, but only whites can go to prison for it; so some protest rather too loudly about it, in my view.
Anyway, thinking of the chimps put me in mind of Prince Charles and his willingness to don the garb of whichever bunch of natives he is feeling uncomfortable in the company of in this week’s photo op. Oh he’s a great one for dressing up is Charlie. He’s been doing his Sheikh of Araby again lately, but in the past he has – far too readily – slipped into all manner of garish comedy costumes, presumably to abase himself by way of apology for being born an embarrassment. The clown prince; one can only hope his antics have been deliberate distractions to smokescreen the insertion of special forces in order to destabilise rogue regimes. I really can’t think of any other justification for such global idiocy. Long live the Queen, I say.
But here’s the thing; while our travelling circus performers gleefully black up, don the motley and ape the locals, why do we never see, say, African chieftains or Arab princes adopting a nice business suit to face the cameras? Sheikh Abu Bin Mufti should surely shed the dishdasha and gutra and - at least for the photo op - adopt a style suited to our climate and customs. If a suit is maybe too formal how about a nice vest and jeans, perhaps, accessorised with a can of Stella? Or if you want to be down with the kids you could always throw on a keffiyeh as a nice ironic gesture.
But no, it’s only we who do the dressing up. Why? Why do we so readily strike a pose of humility and possible humiliation when such courtesies would never be extended in our direction? And so to the point. Yesterday the religion of a million blown-to-pieces staged a demonstration against civilisation. Seriously, if their prophet means more to them than life itself the only thing they demonstrate is that they fail to meet any rational criteria for being granted human rights.
A chimp in a dress
Their thin-skinned response to the freedoms they enjoy here is to deny those freedoms to anybody not similarly indoctrinated with their blind and joyless faith. We should treat them with the utter contempt they deserve and freely display towards us. Their reasoning, although ‘reason’ is far too dignified a description, is little above what you can see displayed by an average group of primates and falls short of the test of civilised humanity. Their demands should forever fall on deaf ears, for what we saw at the cenotaph was nothing more than chattering chimps wearing comedy clothes.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
If UKIP is a racist party then so is the Labour Party; so is every party. In fact Labour are possibly greater bigots because they vehemently discriminate against anybody who doesn’t agree with their absurd and contradictory notions of ‘multicultural equality and diversity’. According to this bizarre creed you are a racist if you are concerned about the adverse effects of rapid mass immigration but not racist if you ignore the prolonged and systematic abuse of white girls; it’s okay because the rapists are brown, see? You are a sexist monster if you hold open a door for a female but a defender of cultural determinism if you stand idly by as savages hack slices of flesh from between the legs of brown girls. Wait, I’m confused; is brown good or bad, now?
If you earn millions and stash your cash offshore you are either a predatory monster whose assets must be seized and redistributed or else you are a wonderful example of how hard work, gritty determination and talent can be harnessed to perform untold goodness. The only difference is where your allegiances lay; Labour tax avoiders are saints, Tory ones are the distilled essence of pure malice… and were there any prominent Ukip ones no doubt they would be both malicious and racist. Under Labour’s breathtakingly partisan political correctness the displacement of poor white communities is fine, so long as Pakistani ghettoes are allowed to take over their former homes. If ‘community cohesion’ required white flight then Labour would round up the cattle trucks.
And so we come to Rotherham, the most prominent example, among many, of the very worst outcomes of Labour’s social policies. If Labour really did want to make things better their best move would be to hang their heads in shame, resign their positions and shut the fuck up for a generation. So deep has their collective hive-mind embedded the barn door doctrines that they are incapable of seeing that their emperor has been naked for years. But no, while Rotherham’s failed children’s services and child protection officials have been dispersed to even more lucrative positions – in charge of somebody else’s children’s services – their local ‘Champion’ has the sheer brass neck to still wave the red flag.
As Nigel Farage went to Rotherham to help launch Jane Collins’ campaign to break Labour’s stranglehold on the area, Labour’s financiers, the unions, threw together a rent-a-mob to shout and scream ‘racist’ and threaten possible physical action. Way to go, Labour, deny freedom of expression with menaces… in the name of freedom of expression. Of course and as always, your speech is only free if you agree. The drum of cognitive dissonance must beat so hard in the inner ear of Labour activists that it is only bearable within the confines of crippling mental infirmity.
Andrew Neil made the devastating point that Labour’s handling of the Rotherham scandal was akin to the behaviour of the bankers with nobody brought to book and business as usual. If Sarah Champion thinks presenting a challenge to a failed administration is ‘playing politics’ what does she think brushing Labour’s failures under the carpet, crying racist, deploying brainwashed gobby thugs and continuing to ignore cries for change is?
When the allies march into the chilling devastation wrought by years of political correctness, segregation and blind adherence to dogma in the face of truth; when the photographs of victims finally being vindicated hit the world’s press; when the furnaces running twenty-four-seven destroying evidence are seized and shut down; when the perpetrators are finally brought to book, will their defence be “We were only following orders”?
Friday, 6 February 2015
Hakim, the fakir was renowned throughout India as a wise old mystic and in his later years he was much-consulted by Mahatma Gandhi as he pondered the nation’s fate and the great passive resistance campaign against the British Empire. In fact it was Hakim, in 1906, who had first proposed and then helped Ghandi develop the principle of satyagraha, or insistence on truth, which sustained his resolve and eventually brought independence to the nation.
Hakim’s was not an easy life. Born as a humble Dalit, outside the caste system, his life chances were limited; the best ‘untouchables’ could hope for was an existence unmarred by violence and resentment in the hope that they might return as a barely improved Shudra and live to serve the higher castes. But Hakim took another path and set out to travel the length and breadth of Mother India and give himself over to the spiritual life.
It was during this long sojourn that he first met Bapu, the future father of India on one of his own long exploratories; Gandhi later adopted Hakim’s humble mode of dress and Hakim gifted the Mahatma his own hardy sandals. From that time on, Hakim strode barefoot about his mission, his feet becoming gnarled and horny as a result. Their paths were to cross many times and Gandhi would occasionally seek out the older man’s counsel when his burden became too great to share alone.
They would spend many hours in meditation and then retreat to a simple hut to quietly consult. It was in these close confines that Gandhi first became aware of the old man’s only difficult feature. On a diet consisting almost exclusively of lentils, Hakim was a flatulent old fakir, but far worse than his trombonic flatus, when the old mystic beckoned Bapu lean in to hear a whisper, the full force of his truly appalling breath became almost too much to bear. Seeing the reaction, Hakim grew angry at himself for subjecting the Great Soul to such abuse and vowed to exile himself from the company of man.
Hakim grew older and Gandhi became busier and by 1935 they saw each other but rarely and never in close company. The last time they met was on the fakir’s death bed and Gandhi was ushered into the rude bedchamber to see the wizened old man as he breathed his last noxious breath. Gandhi stood vigil at his side and surveyed the skeletal body; the leathery skin, feet scarred by a thousand miles of barefoot endeavour and that kindly face, smiling even as he neared death. One last sulphurous burp and Hakim was finally gone from the world.
Fancy a stroll
The loyal servant of India was afforded a simple grave and an equally simple ceremony, which Gandhi attended to deliver the eulogy. Amid the tiny gathering Bapu praised the old man’s simple life and credited him with originating much of his own philosophy. At the end they all kneeled and bowed their heads to say a silent prayer and offer their last farewells to the super-calloused fragile mystic, vexed by halitosis.
Thursday, 5 February 2015
Joking aside I think everybody now accepts that Ed Miliband simply cannot become the British Prime Minister. I mean, come on, even his own have turned against him and with business leaders now wading in it seems the Miliband expeditionary force is never going to discover the true source of the bile. He stood against his brother, he wants ‘real socialism’, he says he hasn’t taken drugs but has ‘read about it’ but like a raddled addict he orbits rather than manages to touch down in the world ordinary people live in, yet he still claims to champion the man in the street. Add to that the fact that Brian Cox won’t let him use Tony Blair’s election theme song and I’d say Ed is a busted flush. Oh and he still looks like a melted waxwork.
On the other hand David Cameron, for all that in comparison with Ed he looks a far more credible statesman, exudes an oily, smug sense of entitlement that jars with anybody who gets their hands dirty for a living and many more besides. Cameron could take the cure, have a frontal lobotomy and swear on the red flag that he would renationalise everything, re-empower the unions, double the NHS budget and burn Margaret Thatcher in effigy and still couldn’t hope to wrestle more than a handful of votes from the very same Labour supporters who recoil in horror from the thought of electing Miliband.
I like Nigel Farage. I do; I could see him being great company and I hugely agree with much of what he appears to genuinely stand for. But some of the company he keeps means that without winning over the entrenched and embittered socialists who have lost their appetite for rudderless Labour his chance of ever gaining more than a limited minority is slim. Even given their alarming lurch towards the lumbering left, given our first-past-the-post system and the perverse electoral boundaries it's doubtful we'll see a Ukip-heavy Parliament any time soon.
In the interests of fairness, I am far too kind to say what everybody really thinks about smelly, hippy, fruit-loop fantasist, space-alien weirdo Natalie Benefit.
So what do we want? We just mourned Churchill, again, but would he even get as far as the Commons today? Gladstone, Disraeli, Attlee? What would they make of the type of person who gets into office via Marx at mummy’s knee, PPE degrees and internships and has never spent a day in what the rest of us would call a proper job? There appears to be no solid appetite for rumbustious, tub-thumpers and leaders with solid and unswerving convictions. Politics of late appears to have been dominated – if that is the word – by made-men who base policy on the curious and fickle preferences of carefully selected focus groups and bend with the wind when it comes to courting popularity.
Some animals are more equal than others
The more I think of it, between the contempt of government for the will of the masses and the contempt of Brussels for the rights of sovereign countries we may as well not bother having a government at all. But if we must, and for all the difference it would make, why not put intellectual titan Keith Chegwin in the Speaker’s chair and pit one Chuckle brother against the other from the opposing benches? To me, to you…
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
It’s hard to imagine how, back in the early part of the twenty-first century, people were so reticent about so-called ‘three-parent babies’. History is full of such tales of horror and the fanciful consequences of meddling with nature; all just groundless hysteria. Mary Shelley wrote the worrisome fable of Frankenstein after hearing about Luigi Galvani’s remarkable discoveries of the effect of electrical currents on amphibian musculature. Two centuries later, an Australian celebrity scientist was jailed when the full horror of his monstrous experimentation with spare part siblings became clear - Jake the Peg was clearly an abomination against creation.
Back in 2015 the British government became the first country to allow the creation of IVF babies with DNA from three different people. Today of course, mitochondrial donation is commonplace and it is not unusual to source DNA from as many as a dozen donors* in an attempt to produce healthy new humans. Far from being abhorrent, designer babies are, if anything, the norm rather than the exception. After all, who wants to rely on fickle mother nature to perform her genetic lottery with all the old-world’s uncertainties of outcomes? Back then, not only could they not specify the sex of their children, they had three fewer genders than we have to choose from now.
(*Historical note: One of the early setbacks in adopting the procedure came about when the auto-correct facility of a research fellow mistakenly replaced ‘donor’ with ‘donut’, an object lesson in why it was a mistake to allow US English to dominate the field of communication. Mind you, the resulting offspring were delicious.)
The biggest objections came from the now defunct religious communities which, a couple of hundred years ago, were so busy killing each other off you would have thought that the possibility of creating inherently malleable allah-babies, yid-kids buddha-babs and god-toddlers would have seemed like a gift from the fictional almighty himself. But luckily they just carried on shooting until their superstitions literally died out. The way was clear, at long last, to forge ahead with the dream of perfecting the human race.
Today, all children are perfect
A few naysayers protested about what might go wrong; hideous deformations, crippling disabilities and the alarming possibility of epigenetic interactions or genetic throwbacks were all threatened. But, apart from a few primitive groups living in the distant past and trying to recreate the mythical times of Hendrixstock and Geldofia and follow the spiritual ways of the flower-poor, everybody today uses the state family formation services to redeem their vouchers and dial up the children they want, whenever they want. With a free replacement service on demand the system is flawless. And talking of flawless, far from the gloomy predictions of hideous deformity we have a wondrously uniform svelte, athletic physiques. And beautiful prehensile tails.
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Tristram Hunt has been on the warpath – or was that the towpath – over the government’s plan to (gasp!) not take any money from the education budget. How very dare they freeze budgets when any Labour government would automatically double them and pay for it from the fabulous wealth they would reap by holding rich people upside down by their ankles, stealing all their loose change and taxing the properties they just transferred into offshore trusts!?
This charge – that a freeze is a real terms cut when inflation is taken into account – is the only ammunition Hunt has because Labour should, just as with the economy, never be allowed to control education ever again. While Gordon Brown’s tax credits allowed employers to squeeze wages and simultaneously increase the tax burden on everybody else, and while Labour’s wilful acceptance of the EU’s open borders trampled on life chances for unskilled British workers, the children did not go unmolested. When Tony Blair said “Education, education, education!” he clearly meant something different from the rest of us.
Facilitating the furtherance of breeding and rearing by generations of hopeless under achievers should be addressed by The Equality and Human Rights Commission under the heading of child cruelty. I’m serious. A child born to stupid parents whose right to create life without the faintest clue as to how to care for that life is not human; it is bovine. Were those slow, lumbering beasts to go on and till the fields and turn the mill wheels it may be almost acceptable, but we import other, cheaper, cattle to do that for us and allow our domestic herds to wander, ignorant and pointless, procreating simply because they have nothing else to live for.
At least if we stashed the edu-tech and reverted to rigour and discipline in primary education we might have a chance of reversing the rot in a couple of generations but then why would any government be interested in policies that would only come to fruition after they were all wealthily retired or even dead? The grammar schools and the multi-tiered education system of my youth recognised and even celebrated the differences in aptitude and ability. Today, while ‘university’ graduates jostle for barista jobs or belatedly self-fund themselves into manual trade training, or settle for delivering pizzas, surely it is time for politicians to admit the unsavoury truth; we are NOT all equal.
But while we can’t all be rocket surgeons[sic] we can all graduate from the University of Life if only we are well enough prepared for the entrance exam. If you can’t read it is extremely difficult to learn. If you are innumerate the world will rob you blind, but if you acquire both those skills early they will be with you for ever… so why don’t we do that? Let's forget such nebulous idiocy as ‘citizenship’ and inculcating destructive notions of disproportionate sensitivity to differentness and offence and instead aim to get everybody over the first hurdle and equipped for the rest of the race.
Too kool for shkool?
Political correctness? Voter engagement? People power? Intersectional awareness? Who bloody cares? If there wasn’t something wrong with politics we wouldn’t bother to vote at all. If there wasn’t something desperately wrong with our current education system we certainly wouldn’t be voting for more socialism.
Monday, 2 February 2015
I heard Roy Hattersley on the radio the other day. The old tub of lard spluttered out aphorisms with his usual bluster and what one can only assume is unthinking optimism regarding Labour's electroal chances. He even felt comfortable enough to use a favourite lefty word and described his beleaguered leader, Ed Miliband as ‘progressive’. Progressive is, of course, a coded word intended to convey the exact opposite of the real intent; political taqiyya, dissimulation designed to mislead. A hallmark of the Labour stalwart is the degree to which they believe the deception themselves.
Once again we are drawn inexorably to draw comparisons with Winston Smith’s dark world of withdrawn words, altered meanings and unsubtle subterfuge to conceal the reality of lives controlled entirely by committees. Hattersley and the other relics of Labour’s militant Marxist past are beyond redemption and should heed well the George Eliot quotation: “Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.” Or as Churchill may have put it: "… he has so much to be modest about."
Distorting the truth by mangling, or re-purposing words is nothing new, indeed it has probably been happening since soon after language came about. In the world of the progressive, language is just another tool whose ‘weaponisation’ is at its peak in politics. In Orwell’s Politics and the English Language he translates a verse from the bible: “I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
The result in modern English is the asinine “Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.” It’s uncanny… almost as if Chuka Umunna himself had entered the blog.
To a politico making a commitment to anything means almost the exact opposite of ‘promising’. ‘Full and frank discussions’, while sounding like robust debate means a monologue was delivered and ‘cast-iron’ may as well be a form of silly putty, malleable to resemble any form other than, say, cast-iron. When people mutter gruffly that they don’t believe a word politicians say they perhaps ought to rephrase the sentiment to indicate that they are most likely to believe the exact opposite.
Come on Roy, spit it out!
So maybe, in order to best understand what our so-called leaders are saying to us we ought to filter their words through Google Translate with the destination language set to ‘antonym’. Or in the case of 'Woy' Hattersley perhaps we should filter his words through a sieve – if words are weapons his come with lumps thrown in.