Tuesday 31 March 2015

Peace Off!

The 2015 General Election campaign is finally underway, although you could be forgiven for thinking that we have had five long years of it, every day bringing some bleak foreshadowing of the horrors to come. Labour announce a pledge of some kind, desperate to look like they have the first inkling of the clue they never demonstrated in all their years in office. The Tories respond with ridicule and both sides look like quarrelling schoolkids, turning on Ukip as the stig from the wrong prep school. Meanwhile the LibDems do a cowardly lion and ‘put ‘em up’ from behind the big boys' backs.

It’s been a depressing few years, but entertaining for all that – if you like black humour, that is. The truth is the country is, in real terms, neither very much better nor very much worse off than it was five years ago. If you lost your job it was the Tories’ fault. If you got a pay-rise it was through your own hard work… and if you work in a public sector entitlement-culture non-job you absolutely have to back Labour or else you may well be found out one day. Nobody knows how it’s going to turn out – I sort of feel a slim Tory victory in sight but another five years of unexciting coalition government ahead.

So, amid the gloom and doom and mud-slinging politics as usual it was an absolute delight to hear the Peace Party’s Guildford candidate, John Morris, chatting on LBC the other night. Knocking on for eighty, Johnny Boy is a died-in-the-wool fantasist of the faeries, unicorns and magic money tree variety and he was an absolute hoot! He has all the credentials too: anti-Vietnam War in the sixties, ban-the-bomb marches, CND, stop the Falklands War, Quakers’ Peace Testimony, Peace Pledge Union and the pacifist Fellowship Party before helping to found the Peace Party in 1995/6 and in 2000 the Guildford Stop the War Coalition and the Guildford and District Peace and Justice Network. I am sure he is partial to the odd lentil, too.

With an average age of about 76¾  the Peace Party is the geriatric gift that keeps on giving. They are practically the poster boys for rip-off-able pensioners. They appear to believe in the unfailing goodness of all people except Tories, natch, and believe we can live together in peace and harmony and happy-clappy joy, with flowers in our hair and sweet, sweet grass between our toes. In their world ISIS would put down their weapons and join hands in a circle of love for all mankind. And if they came to power they would lead by example and disband our armed forces altogether. What could possibly go wrong?

What a trillion squids might look like...
The Magic Money Trucks deliver the spondoolicks

But lest you think they are a one-trick pony with only peace in mind, no, they have an economic policy as well. And it’s a doozy; Ed Miliband would do well to give it a listen because it makes Labour look like a mature and sensible custodian of the nation’s finances. Are you ready for this? This is what John Morris told LBC: The national debt is a scam, because the government owns all the money anyway and all it has to do to pay off its creditors is to print a trillion pounds and hand it over. There. Done. I hope you’re listening George Osborne. Vote Peace! 

Monday 30 March 2015

Social Injustice

Welfare: neither fair nor well, it turns out we really can’t afford it and for all its flag-wavers there is no proof it works as, after years of religiously throwing ever more good money at the holy welfare state, there is little positive change in the circumstances of those it keeps trapped in idleness. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of idleness now and again – I wish! - but as a lifestyle? We have gone from a society which encouraged aspiration and endeavour based on the pull-your-socks-up notion that ‘nothing worth doing is ever easy’ to one in which vacuous celebrity, apparently achieved by mere existence, is seen as a worthwhile goal. The devil does, indeed, make work…

Instead of the genuinely rousing call to competition – the driver of evolutionary progress – we seem to have come to believe that ‘fairness’, dressed up as compassion and love for our fellow man (preferably man, gay being the new pairing favoured above that awful traditional way of rearing families) is the way ahead. Meanwhile the human species is anything but fair as the existence of much of the world’s uneducated is motivated not by the fear of losing benefits but of losing life itself. We really do need to get a grip.

Paradoxically, those who peach fairness in western society also go to great lengths to promote the preservation of the habitats of ‘wild’ species. We must not disturb the ‘natural’ ways of small furry creatures, yet it is acceptable to keep humanity cooped up in great big zoos, where we observe its aberrant behaviour through the bars of YouTube and other puerile and invasive media; we wouldn’t shove an intrusive camera in the face of a pygmy shrew, yet we’ll happily send a baying pack of paps to camp out on a celebrity doorstep in the hope of provoking an extreme reaction. What odd creatures we are.

But wait, can we criticise, or can’t we? Following the entirely natural commentary to the Germanwings crash and the revelations that the responsible pilot was behaving oddly we now find yet another leftist lobby trying to limit the language we use. According to Brendan O’Neill, we can’t call the murderer of nearly 150 people a mad man: “...the [problem] with this latest round of bash the tabloids (yawn) is that, like so much mental-health campaigning these days, it is obsessed with turning depression into a protected category, something that can never be discussed in a provocative way, almost into an alternative lifestyle which must be accorded respect rather than being stigmatised.”  

This is the same way welfare dependency or diversity or positive discrimination or bizarre family structures have been defended – ‘respect’ it - by legal force if necessary. Make it somehow an act of hate to even discuss it and at all costs allow no opinion that seems to portray abnormal behaviour as, you know, different from the norm. This is social justice? I suppose it is, the Marxist way; allow every and any lifestyle choices no matter how bizarre, except for the ones that we used to call normal. Ban words, limit freedom of expression… except for those who are different. (But don’t you dare call them different.)  

Cheese? Hell, yeah!
Cracking knuckles, Gromit!

But the really stupid thing about socialist thinkers is that traditional families encourage exactly that – a form of micro-socialism whereby we instinctively look after those for whom we care. So well done, you campaigners for social justice, well done. Denigrate the urge to work together naturally and instead impose, top-down, cooperation on an impossible scale, with an impossible mix of competing tribes. Make the state the family. How’s that working out for you? Given that yesterday Lucy Powell, spokesperson for the so-called workers’ party, repeatedly referred to ordinary working people as ‘the tax base’ I’d say this Marx malarkey is more Groucho than Karl.

Saturday 28 March 2015


Sanguine, that’s me, or so some think; cheerful in apparently adverse circumstance. Others believe me dour and pessimistic. And yet more have in the past remarked on my impassivity and calm in the face of the shit storm, remaining imperturbable and somewhat nonchalant as all around empires crumble and the mighty are impotent to stem the tides… or at least, the photocopier is up the spout again and we’re out of milk.

The thing is, I really don’t see the point in getting all worked up about stuff; no rational reason to get too excited – only disappointment will follow. No, stay grounded and the Earth will turn, the sun will rise, the weather systems will run their regular seasonal gamut of change and no matter the prophecies and prognoses of all the well-paid hot air spouters we have genuinely seen it all before. The same with pretty much all disasters and chaos, natural or man-made.

While I can readily agree that to send aid to destitute victims of floods and famine, terror and tragedy, is ‘a good thing’, I don’t see why I need to be emotionally involved. It strikes me that a mewling, keening, ululating display of mourning and garment-rending for people who I don’t know, will never know and with whom the most interaction I will ever have is maybe dropping loose change into a tin, is entirely unnecessary. I want neither their gratitude nor their never-ending dependency; in fact if I do put money in a tin the most likely reason is that I just want rid of the shrapnel.

Each to his or her own, I say. We have enough to do just to look after our own hearth, never mind the rest of the world. Charity really should begin – and in many cases end – at home. Look after the pennies, they say, and the pounds will look after themselves. The same applies to humanity – sort out your own shit and don’t go looking for a mission until you have done so. Far too many people take umbrage on behalf of others, or take up cudgels for lost and unworthy causes when their time would far better be spent taking personal responsibility.

All of which – and more besides – is why I could never be a politician. Pretending to care about things I know nothing about, spouting supposed ‘opinions’ which are every-ready to change, depending on the audience. Promising solutions to problems I don’t fully understand with money whose production I know little about. Like Jeremy Clarkson, or Katie Hopkins I would look about me and laugh at the little people… because they are, quite frankly, hilarious.

Five-finger fuck-off!
The answer to pretty much every question...

So, there’s no point in trying to wind me up on The Twitter, or trying to persuade me of some noble cause that involves people whose significance to me is as an ant on an elephant hide. I’m not without emotions but they are mine and mine alone and I don’t deploy them, Diana-like, to be part of some weird drone-driven hive-mind of morbid mediocrity. My Twitter profile says “No need to argue; I'm always right.” Take that as read and we’ll get on fine when I’m King.

Friday 27 March 2015

Send in the clowns!

So, Parliament is putting on the dust covers as we near the last frenetic month of this long, long fixed term. Five years with no remission? We must at least be due compensation, but instead we must now endure a seemingly endless barrage of down-and-dirty, full-on party politicking as characters we have hardly seen return to their constituencies to kiss babies, talk bollocks, pretend to be ordinary folk-like-us and generally annoy us all into voting; they ought to be more careful what they wish for.

But while nowadays we see the rise of the political dynasties, in the past few were born into politics and came into what they saw as service from a whole variety of colourful backgrounds, bringing with them a wealth of experience won on the battlefields of real life. From postmen to personnel managers, plumbers to town planners; but none with so colourful a past as John Major who famously ran away to join the circus. A new volume of his memoirs is about to be published and in it he describes a hitherto unknown aspect of his life in the ring.

For a while John’s act was the most popular in the whole show, as he ran with the clowns, but what was most surprising of all is that he was very popular indeed with the ladies in the audience. Every night after they took their bows, queues of swooning admirers would mob his caravan to catch a glimpse, bag an autograph… or cop a feel.

But the other clowns were furious and jealous of his popularity they tried to work out the secret of his success. They set to watch his routine carefully and analyse his every move, but after a few night’s work they were still none the wiser. Okay, he had the whole clown get-up, but so did they all; the nose, the whiteface, the scary permanent grin. Yes, he did have that odd internal moustache, but come on ladies, really? It couldn’t be that. The only makeup feature that stood out was his enormous, back-combed, jet-black, Afro wig. But surely that was more likely to inspire coulrophobia than lustful craving?

Maybe it was his act? They examined in detail his every move, from blocking out in rehearsals to the final finished performance, but there was little to it. In fact, if anything there was so much less ‘business’ from Major than some of the principal clowns – a Pierrot he was not, as he wobbled about the arena. In fact his whole schtick seemed to comprise nothing more than pretending to drink an entire barrel of beer and stagger around as if drunk and dazed.

The chief clown decided to confront John himself who, it turned out, was no wiser and somewhat perplexed by all the attention. And so it was decided that they would have to ask the women – who often came night after night to touch the outsized hem of his garment – just what it was that drove their passion. That night, after John had donned his enormous fuzzy wig and big red nose; after he had apparently downed several gallons of strong ale marked ‘XXXX’ and after he had staggered ‘drunk’ from pillar to post for several minutes, the troupe of clowns personally escorted John backstage to his caravan before addressing the throng of lovelorn lassies.

Dit-dit diddle-diddle dit-dit dah dah!
Parp parp!

“Ladies, ladies, calm down!” said the Chief Clown “John will be out in a minute.” The women screamed and a few threw knickers. The speaker raised and slowly lowered his arms to command silence. “But before he does” he continued “we need to know the answer to a burning question.” The crowd fell silent and waited. “What is it” he asked “that drives you so wild?” For a moment nobody said a word; you could hear a pin drop. Then one of the women – it may have been Edwina Currie herself – shouted out, “Surely you realise John Major is a well-known afro-dizzy-act?”
(I'll get my coat...) 

Thursday 26 March 2015

NHS Saving

Dateline 08th May 2016

Well, one year on from David Cameron’s close victory over Labour, the SNP and the Greens who together tried to deny the will of the people and block the Queen’s speech and it looks as if Cameron’s ‘alleged’ decision to intervene and remove Alex Salmond’s political teeth has paid dividends. UK Plc is firmly back in business, the deficit is going down pretty much as planned and investment is pouring into the country as, one after one, the southern European countries follow Greece and leave the doomed Euro to the Germans and the French. Alex Salmond is still eating through a straw, but few now remain to object… or care.

One of the great triumphs of the Conservative minority government – with the backing of the remaining LibDem MPs (on whom sufficient blackmail material was gathered to ensure their cooperation) – has been the resurgence of the National Health Service. Despite all of the opposition’s best efforts to sabotage recovery and rabble-rouse the health workers’ unions into punitive action, the NHS has not only endured but triumphed under new management. Strikers have been summarily dismissed with the authority of new emergency powers granted to hospital administrators promoted entirely from the ranks.

The top-line managers who were displaced and objected about it have been taken out and shot and all nursing degrees have been annulled, returning nurses to front line service under recalled matrons. So far few complaints have been received and given that a punch in the mouth from a ward sister is a likely outcome for time wasters, the throughput on those wards has increased two-fold. There is a belief that people are too scared to be ill for very long and as a result, even though the economy is booming, the NHS is now treating more people, more effectively, for less money while still affording handsome pay rises to nursing staff, paramedics and the blokes that service the machines which go ‘beeeep’.

Who would have thought that a tired old format could be resurrected with such success? But resurrected it has been and with ex-Army Medical Corps staff training up the triage nurses the number of malingerers, hypochondriacs, violent drunks and psychotic drug abusers clogging up A&E departments has dwindled so far that security staff have been let go and police officers released to go back to catching criminals. Despite the charge of cronyism, David Cameron’s appointment of a personal friend to lead the new NHS has come in for little in the way of serious criticism, the results speaking for themselves.

Just a little prick...
This need not hurt a bit

Due to the no-nonsense approach and a ruthless cutting out of unnecessary services, treatment for imaginary ailments, alternative therapies and touchy-feely pastoral care, the NHS is playing a major part in getting people off the disability registers and back to work. They say it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good and the new boss has form with tired old formats. Under the stewardship of Jeremy Clarkson Britain once again has the finest health service… in the world. And on that bombshell…

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Troubled Waters

In Rochdale, one-man Labour meltdown Simon Danczuk, not content with trashing his party’s big wigs, rejoices in the hoisting of the Pakistani flag. It can’t just be me… and of course, it isn’t. No less a scrapper than Katie Hopkins has waded in to condemn his transparent vote-seeking with a widely reported exchange on the good old Twitter. Danczuk’s oh-so-worthy riposte that “Rochdale has had its problems and no one has spoken on grooming more than me. But to equate every Pakistani with grooming is a racist slur.” falls on deaf ears. This noble statement is supposed to recall every attack dog to heel and make us see the error of our ways. Good infidel dogs!

Meanwhile Pakistani muslims burn Hindus alive for ‘disrespecting’ the koran. ISIS rages across the Middle East, burning, pillaging, raping, hanging and beheading, and now random gun-rampages are breaking out all over the world – and all of this is in the name of the religion of peace. The direct threat to the United Kingdom from islamic terrorism has the security forces admitting profound weaknesses in our defences. And a fifth column comprising a significant number of ‘British’ muslims – millions-strong – fails to condemn those barbaric acts. There is a problem and it is a problem of one thing and one thing alone – islam itself. There is no such thing as a moderate muslim, because islam demands total submission to the imaginary will of a medieval madman and to a devout muslim this subjugation is more important than life itself.

You cannot reason with a muslim – islam just doesn’t allow it and any protestation otherwise is simple taqiya designed to mislead. The blind following of any superstition – islam, astrology, Christianity, Tarot, tea-leaves, Voodoo, Joojoo or no-kan-do – is incompatible with any twenty-first century civilisation. There is no cure for islam; only its extinction offers any hope for the peace its apologists insist it promotes while demonstrating the opposite whenever challenged about its atrocities.

Intelligent, free, thinking people have choices about what they believe, how they behave, how they dress and organise their lives and how they interact with others inside and outside their immediate communities. There is no intelligence, freedom or thought in a religion which demands blind obedience… or at the very least the turning of a blind eye to the horrific inhuman crimes perpetrated in its name. But apostasy is always an option, no matter what penalty some bearded fuckwits in sandals and bedsheets living in the Stone Age has dreamed up. Say no to slavery, say no to ignorance and say no to islam. Walk away and stay away. The choice is yours, mohammed, it is not mine.

Woggery in action
Burn our book, we burn your family - alive.

So, Simon Danczuk, you will excuse me if on this occasion I side with Katie Hopkins and condemn your stunt as just that – a naked attempt to appear to pour oil on troubled waters. The trouble is, those waters are stirred by an irrational hatred far deeper than any atheist or Christian society could even begin to muster and in case you haven’t noticed as you prise the lid from the oil barrel, those waters are well ablaze already.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

These foolish things

Now I’m as devout an atheist as any, but the bible – for all that it is based on an unprovable and basically childish premise - contains some wise words. For example, verse eleven of the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians states: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” To those of us who have long worked for a living and long now for a return to more childish pleasures in our dotage this is a passage which invokes a truth we have experienced personally.

You can still have fun, still enjoy a youthful interest in novelty and wonder but our wilder excesses are tempered by that steady counsel – empathy. I may not sympathise with your cause but I can pretty well empathise with how you will feel if, for instance, I invade your personal space with my rancid and unappealing opinions about you and what you stand for. And while I might have a go on Twitter, or blog about you in distasteful terms I would draw the line at throwing eggs in your face, painting a swastika on your door or turning up mob-handed and scaring your kids.

I well remember the Rag Weeks at university – oh what witty wags we all were back then when we were so sure we were the only generation to ever have discovered drink, sex and spectacular swearing. But the idiocy of our cocksure strutting was quickly brought into sharp focus when the world of work opened its doors and we discovered, quick-sharp, that the time for play was over. But some people can’t seem to relinquish their grip on these foolish things and one such thing is the belief that maintaining the soothing fictions of your cosseted world of academia will sustain you into adulthood.

University is a privilege not afforded to all and often unappreciated by those who benefit. It is a time for experimentation with ideas, lifestyles and allegiances which will ultimately shape your world view and your future self. But it is supposed to be a period of transition from the child you were to the adult you will one day become; it is not meant to be a blueprint, Peter Pan-like for your forever-land. Barrie called it Neverland for a reason and only the lost boys remain trapped there, in infancy. This week, one little lost boy – the still-a-student-after-more-than-a-decade – Dan Glass - tossed his rattle out of the pram.

This former Sussex University union president is now in his early thirties but prefers to cling to the naïve affiliations of his student days, hitching his horse to any old bandwagon so long as it has the right new-age, lefty, any-cause-will-do credentials, furthering his bent for petty headline-grabbing with a succession of high jinks and pranks posing as political activism. From what I can glean, no tiresome juvenile crusade-du-jour goes un-banged-on about. Climate, gender, page 3, breastfeeding, HIV ‘rights’, etc and any activity, it seems, that wage-earners engage in, is fair game for disruption.

What cuts? No idea, but I might get on the telly...
Free the aberrant apostrophe!

We have a right to protest in this country and even the likes of Dan Glass are allowed – quite rightly - to express their opinions. But others have rights also, which is a counterpoint often unacknowledged by those whose opinions are formed in the lukewarm crucible of the school of soft landings. Those of us who have experienced Big School, the one with the hard knocks, have no time for these annoying, squabbling, half-formed ‘kidults’ and just one piece of important advice for the likes of Mr Glass. Grow up.

Monday 23 March 2015

Things we won’t say, but are true...

I’ve been watching the debate unfold since Trevor Philips’ documentary on race relations in Britain, which was shown last Thursday night on Channel 4. He told us what we always knew, that his team thought – as did Ingsoc – that if you can prevent people from expressing ideas, they will stop thinking them. Oh, I well remember the New Labour days and saw 1984 being played out in front of my eyes on the telescreen daily, but as hard as I shouted out, the party faithful shouted me down. I thought then that it was only a matter of time before the book-burning began.

Phillips says now that he and his cohorts were wrong, but the book-burning has been underway for some time now, or it may as well have been. If you don’t have the attention span for in-depth analysis in print, where you can ruminate, cogitate, challenge, write in the margins and develop an understanding in your own time, how can you rear responsible adults with a real understanding of the world we live in? The Internet, for all its fabulous content, is largely used to disseminate information in pre-packaged, pre-digested, spat-out chunks of polemic and propaganda. That, porn, poker and pictures of kittens, natch.

One thing that Trevor Phillips said was that – shock horror – stereotypes are often largely true. He then went on to say some things that a white presenter would still have to couch in the most cautious of terms; basic stereotypical facts about race, nationality, socio-economic background – all the new-taboos. And while he disagreed with much of what Nigel Farage had to say he nonetheless recognised Farage’s charge that many on the left of politics had helped bring about the current shitty state we find ourselves in. Actually, I have some sympathy for Philips’ crusading because, compared to the seventies, we are in an undeniably more harmonious balance now, with young people far less likely to hold hideously racist feelings.

Unless, of course, that racism is turned on their own. There is a peculiar urge in the soundbite-attuned young to rebel against what wiser heads have organised; the very society that has raised them thus far. And such knee-jerk urges should debar them from a say in proceedings until their heads have levelled out and they have seen the true contradictions of human nature. The internet and social media of course, manages to maintain those child-like urges well beyond the age of majority nowadays, with yesterday’s attack on Nigel Farage and his family a typical example of a political agenda driven by sheer ignorance and none of the maturity of Phillips' stance.

Predominantly juvenile white protesters said: "We will not succumb to Farage's prejudice. We will create the world we want to live in. A world beyond UKIP.” Marvellous, kiddies. And do you have any idea what such a world would look like? A world where the expression of opinions with which you disagree are prohibited and such prohibition enforced by the threat of violence? You may have thought you were having a bit of fun and attacking ‘the Nazi’, but your own actions were far more Hitler Youth than anything Ukip has ever inspired.

All it takes is for good people to do nothing...
It's happening again...

Things we won’t say but are true? Some people are stupid. Some people are ugly. Some people are idle. Some people work harder than others. Some people steal. Some people succeed and some shouldn’t breed. Some people are black, white, brown and yes – some people in Ukip (as in any party) are afraid of a world changing too quickly for those changes to be assimilated. But some people are too ignorant of anything that matters to deserve to live in a tolerant world that decent people have built and want to preserve. 

Sunday 22 March 2015

They tried to make him go to rehab…

So the leaks from the BBC now suggest – as many might have predicted – that Jeremy Clarkson may get to carry on presenting Top Gear for the BBC, provided he ‘sorts himself out’. When all’s said and done it’s only a television programme and while I’ve watched it for years, it’s not real life and my own life won’t be poorer for its loss; just like the Six Nations Super Saturday, disappointment at England’s triumphant winning-but-still-losing climax yesterday evening was a thing of the moment and today we begin anew.

The Daily Mail reports, of Clarkson: “Jeremy wants to stay with the programme and one possible way of him doing that would be if he could face up to his own shortcomings.” And he “…needs to rest and sort himself out.” Lurking in the background of all this is, of course, the spectre of ‘rehab’, but if Jeremy Clarkson, of all people, succumbs to pressure to be ‘Prioried’ then it really is the end. Going into rehabilitation is the last resource of those hopelessly unable to control their urges; it’s the desperate act of frail mentalities brought low by something they crave.

And one of the most destructive cravings the modern world has to offer is the belief that you can offload your own responsibility for your actions onto the shoulders of others… for money. Like priests selling indulgences, mediums offering to contact the dead or lower level mountebankery such as astrology and palmistry, there is something in some people’s empty lives that turns them to extra-corporeal assistance in dealing with the everyday business of getting through every day. (I suspect soaps, trash-TV, ‘reality’ shows and Bake-Off perform much the same function.)

I’m not suggesting a wholesale turning back of the clock to a mythical time of pastoral ‘bliss’ where most waking hours were spent in the Sisyphean struggle for survival, but hasn’t the pendulum swung rather far the other way? To some people the most important things in their lives, apparently, are social media, smart phones, games, online communities and the acquisition of stuff. And while they do live within families, often the other players in their game of life appear as ghosts, icons, cyphers and – in the case of parents – servants, just a cast list of bit-parts, rather than a true ensemble piece.

May, Clarkson and The Hamster... on a quest!

Now, some say a spell in rehab is like an extended bath in the magical fountain of eternal youth. And that entering through the portals of the Priory is like embarking on the modern-day Labours of Hercules, emerging from which you will be a happier and stronger self. All I know is that expecting strangers to sort out your personal shit is an addiction all of its own. And on that bombshell…

Saturday 21 March 2015


Well, to hear the collected snippets of reportage from ‘the eclipse’ 2015 you would think that the population of Britain was no more evolved than the cave men who may have cowered before the awesome power of the god eating their daylight. Of course no such accounts exist and just as with religion such mythology is a back telling of imagined impressions of the world we need to believe were held by more primitive proto-humans. The prosaic truth is likely to be that, just as with every other animal, ancient man almost certainly didn’t even notice. It gets dark every night, for fuck’s sake and during an eclipse it doesn’t even get darker than under any thunderstorm. I saw the one in 1999 and I’ll never get that wasted time back again. It was utterly underwhelming, so stop gawping and fabricating emotions which you just feel under pressure to experience.

Floods, volcanoes, landslips, tsunami, golf-ball hail, lightning – no matter how sheet it is – are all just examples of stuff that, while it may be extraordinary is just that… a bit outside the ordinary. It is neither apocalyptic nor all that unusual – until you add ‘Climate Scientists’ who are, by definition, not real, useful scientists who invent or discover stuff to make the world a better or more interesting place, but ‘People-whose-livelihood-depends-on-predicting-the-end-of-the-world’. Or witch-doctors as we used to call them.

You lot, primitive humans, keep on doing this; cheese, for all the inventive superlatives you bring to bear in describing it is, at the end of the day, just cheese. When those twenty-first century gods and wizards – the TV chefs - spend hours and dollars doing stuff with chicken you’d at least expect it to taste of, say, gold, or paradise, but no… it still tastes of chicken. Yes, there are grades of chicken-ness, I dare say. A bit of barbecue sauce, or a marinade before cooking, fair enough, or some dainty garnish, but ever greater faffing about with it just brings diminishing returns… and a late dinner.

Now, either I am incredibly de-sensitised to sensation, or maybe I just have a better imagination than most of you. When I went to see the Grand Canyon, I didn’t gasp and cling to rocks in the face of a yawning chasm, I thought “Yep, I thought it would look like this.” When I jumped repeatedly from a perfectly serviceable aircraft from some 16,000 feet I got bored after ten solo jumps because I thought “Yep. Same feeling… done that.” The million-retweet internet meme that everybody labels “The funniest thing you will ever see” always, but always, turns out to be worth a wry grin at best.

I figure it is lowest common denominator stuff at work here. It’s why the very best talents starve while dancing fucking dogs get to live in gold kennels, or a barely competent child will best an expert adult every time, if the public get a vote on it. The most sublime writers sell a small fraction of the volumes shifted by the prurient and sordid and the greatest movies are seen by art-house audiences while unimaginative and poorly acted Hollywood ‘blockbusters' enthral millions while they gorge on mass-produced poisons.

See? It's back... told you!

And it’s not just curmudgeonly to say this; it’s simply a matter of having some perspective. The floods will subside, quality will endure, it always tastes like chicken and the sun will shine again. So excuse me if I don’t get at all excited by stuff that has some of you wetting your pants. Not that I don't thoroughly enjoy a good meal or a night at the theatre, a brilliant book or a densely plotted telly thriller, but for the more mundane stuff I regard my measured insouciance at seeing the world turn out to be exactly as I expected it to as an antidote to your incontinent and childlike glee. Now, off you fuck and have an amazing Saturday!

Friday 20 March 2015


It’s Friday and the end of my once-a-month normal week; you know, with an actual not-at-work weekend at each end of it. The next one is in April, the next in May, etc… Anyway, with the sheer luxury of two whole days off work ahead it’s nice to look back on the news stories of the week and pick something less party political to write about. Seeing the Bibi Netanyahu re-election on many a news site I looked for regional good news stories and stumbled on this, the account of Emmanuel Gershkovich who has lived a long life in Israel since its foundation in 1948, when the only-just-teenaged Manny’s parents moved there from what they viewed as exile in the USA.

From a young age he was always devout and was immediately drawn to the symbolic Western Wall in Jerusalem and here he has daily come to pray since his first days in the newly established homeland. Now approaching his eightieth birthday he has become a well-known figure in the holy city and a news team was sent last week to interview him. The reporter asked him what he had prayed for during this long vigil and the now frail but still resolute Manny set out to explain his mission.

“I first prayed” he said “for the safety of our soldiers during the war of independence and that the Jewish and Arab militias could find peace and reconciliation. Then, as we entered the nineteen-fifties I prayed for peace during the reprisals and prayed again, of course, for an end to the Suez Crisis of 1956. In the Six Day War, I continued to hold my faith and I prayed for a cessation of hostilities between ourselves and Egypt and then again during the War of Attrition in the last years of the sixties.” The reporter listened in silent reverence as he continued.

“I prayed again for peace during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and prayed harder still as I saw the rise of the Ayatollahs in the Islamic revolution in Iran. When the Lebanon conflict began in earnest in the early eighties I pressed my lips to the mighty wall here and asked Jehovah to bring a lasting peace to these troubled lands. Then came the Palestinian intifadas and the Lebanon war of 2006, followed almost immediately, by the Gaza War. And now we see the horrific resurgence of terrorism in the guise of the forces of ISIS, which threatens to engulf the whole of the world. But still I come every day to pray; all I wish is for my children, my grandchildren and their children to know a world of peace.”

Hopes of a Z-Z Top reunion are high today after a new sighting...
The rendering was clearly going to be 
a bigger job than they first thought...

Manny paused and turned to view the reporters. He had delivered this dialogue with his cheek pressed up against the sturdy wall that had represented the rock of his faith for almost all of his life, but now he invited their questions. The chief reporter said, “Wow that is truly beautiful and inspirational. How do you feel now, after doing this amazing thing for almost 70 years?” Manny sighed and took a deep breath before replying, “I feel like I’ve been talking to a fucking brick wall.”

Thursday 19 March 2015

Be fair!

I heard the news today, oh boy. Well, yesterday evening actually. And what I heard can most usefully be described as pathetic. Plain old bad losing as Ed Miliband responded to the budget with a round of self-pitying bollockry. “Boo hoo!” he said to George Osborne “You called me names and you’re bigger than me, you nasty Bullingdon bully!” Well boo-fucking-hoo indeed. “What this budget is not” he said “is fair.” Fair? You what? FAIR? Now, I’m not clever enough to script a detailed analysis of the finer points of the budget and how it will affect all parties involved and ‘draw the battle lines’ and all that guff, but I do know about fairness.

And  I’ll tell you what’s not fair. What’s not fair is imposing housing benefit restrictions to limit the size of home that poor, privately-renting, working people can afford, but opposing an equivalent restriction on the council house ‘unwaged’, with the consequent conclusion that Labour must believe that non-workers somehow deserve greater stability and choice than those who actually pay tax. What’s not fair is creating a system of welfare that not only does not discourage the useless from multiplying, but actively incentivises it at the expense of those who responsibly limit their family size to what they can afford to rear.

What’s not fair is the squeaky-wheel approach to social disorder, throwing mountains of hard-earned taxpayers’ cash at trying to control the excesses and failures of a relatively small number of problem families who do their utmost to blight the life chances of those around them who pay for their salvation. And what’s also not fair is that the massive majority of the tax burden falls most heavily on those who depend on the state for very little and pay twice for everything. Since when was literally robbing Peter to pay Paul a sound economic plan?

In search of a utopic egalitarian fiction, the left don’t seem to mind how many lives they lessen. By persisting with unproven – or rather, proven to fail – Marxist educational theory they have condemned millions of children over several generations to lives that will be forever unfulfilled, as they wait like ugly featherless nestlings with their gaping mouths open, demanding the state feed them worms forever. Instead of true ambition, determination and the ability to persevere and succeed, the children of the indentured poor grow obese on sofas dreaming of Kardashian celebrity forever out of their reach.

Singing: "We'll keep the red flag flying here!"
Blind, stupid and starving - Labour's bloc vote

From overcrowded cradle to distastefully ostentatious and illiterately marked grave many children of the left will never know the responsibility of making choices, nor have the learning to make wise ones. When the consequences of their mistakes are smoothed over with soothing words and somebody else’s hard cash, how will they ever know what real freedom tastes like? Spare the rod and spoil the child might be Labour’s mantra. I’ll tell you what’s not fair; being made reliant forever on others and then being regarded as the property of the state, that’s what. Ed Miliband can fuck off, fuck off some more and take his entire fucking Nazi cabinet with him to Fuckoffsville.

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Budget Buggery!

Much talk over the last few days about the prospect of the Chancellor as an out-of-season Santa, giving away the goodies in exchange for votes. And it will work. Whoever is favoured in todays’ budget, however meagrely, will think just a little more kindly of the current administration. Of course there will also be the detractors and Ed Balls will magic up his own version of prizes for all in response, claiming that somehow Labour, who are largely and repeatedly responsible for the hideous debt burden the nation carries, have a solution to provide prosperity and equality for all. And it’s all bollocks; all of it.

We are simply bust. The fact that our national debt has doubled in the last five years is not ameliorated by the knowledge that it would almost certainly have tripled under Labour. Debt/deficit, the difference is simple enough, yet the ‘great’ British public, who are less numerate than they are literate are either too stupid to get it, or too stupefied by sheer terror to contemplate it. Because it’s like this: Imagine you buy a house for £200,000 on a 90% mortgage that costs you every penny you have left after eating and shortly thereafter you lose your job but manage to blag a mortgage top up of £20k to tide you over. But you can’t get a job that pays what you used to earn… and the value of your house falls to £150,000.

You don’t want to sell it and even if you could you’d still owe £50,000 but after a few months you realise you have no choice, bite the bullet, take the shitty job, rent a studio hovel and accept you’ll never own a home again and undertake to repay your outstanding debt at £3,000 a year for 30 years and hope the interest rates stay low. You can’t save, you have no pension plan and short of winning the lottery all that lies between you and the gutter is sucking up to your crappy boss and praying he doesn’t go bust himself. In short, for many people, it’s all a bit grim and likely to stay that way for some time. You just have to suck it up and carry on.

Heeeeere's Georgie!
How do you prefer being cut?

No gimmicks, said George Osborne, so why the gimmick of Inheritance Tax reform which affects nobody without significant assets? Why persist with a Minimum Wage strategy that has ended up being a wage ceiling, rather than a floor? Why not, instead of just talking about ‘austerity’, actually start to implement it? And why not, above all, instead of trying to do a Tommy Cooper and pull a comedy rabbit from a battered old top hat, just tell the truth; we’re still broke and the odd little morsel of under-nourishment is going to do little to change that. It’s about time the government did what a hell of a lot of people are already doing and have done before. Why can’t we all just ‘be British’ about it?

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Gay Fury

Wow, Elton John has a go at Dolce and Gabbana and the whole lefty world agrees with his spitty, spiteful little response. Now, Elton  (formerly Reginald Dwight – amazing how some people come to look like their pets and others just grow into their names, isn’t it?) has form in the drama queen stakes and true to his nasty ‘previous’ he’s decided to set out to damage their business. Imagine if some Hollywood covert-gay from the nineteen seventies came out and said Elton John had got the ‘brown dirt cowboy’ idea from a shared sordid episode in a trailer park and he had no right to sully that precious memory? Why the very idea!

Of course, wee Owen Jones, the self-appointed guardian of the nation’s morals has waded in to support EJ without a thought for the free speech rights of those with whom he disagrees. In his column he says: “Dolce and Gabbana’s response demonstrates that they have retreated to the last refuge of a bigot.” And “They have used their public platform to make gross generalisations.” and then goes on to cheer the fact that Reg “has exercised his own right to freedom of expression in response.” Huh? My free speech is bigger than your free speech? Again? The naked hypocrisy of the left writ large.

Of course, none of this is important, it really isn’t, because in excuse OJ goes on to dispense a little right-on psychology by further disparaging the famous gay fashionistas by declaring “The fact that Dolce and Gabbana are gay is neither here nor there: there is no shortage of examples of members of oppressed groups who have internalised the prejudice and discrimination directed against them.” Oh, give it a rest Owen; they can’t help themselves? The faux intellectualism of this haughty diagnosis is almost a parody of what it is to be cultural Marxist, sixth-form, fifth-columnist (… or in this case Guardian columnist).

We have been browbeaten into accepting that shoving your cock up another man’s arse and then paying a surrogate mother to bear and give up her child is perfectly normal behaviour and any dissent from that view cannot ever be tolerated. But here’s the truth; nobody yet knows how the third-party offspring of a world-famous and immensely rich celebrity camp couple are going to turn out but  - no matter what some Melbourne University study optimistically suggests - I’m looking in the crystal ball and seeing therapy… lots of therapy.

The war on the nuclear family, on conventional societal structures, has been raging for some time and while I’m largely ambivalent about which of the now several (and increasing in number) sexes inserts which body part into which orifice and whether or not they can marry or adopt, become bishops, other sexes, or screwed-up self-harmers, I entirely reserve my right to look on some combinations as, well, just not normal. And by normal I don’t mean ‘heavily propagandised until nobody dare speak against’ I mean ‘what most people do and what most people think, but dare not say’.

Daddy's queer... I mean here!
"I never liked D & G fashions anyway"

So, pardon me for my Neanderthal views, but I’m not having a pair of jumped up poofs like Elton John or Owen Jones telling me which other poofs I can agree with or otherwise. Until this episode my only knowledge of D&G had been to be scantily aware of their existence. Now, I am almost inclined to go out and buy a maternity frock.

Monday 16 March 2015

The EU Okey-cokey

We live in a world where, if you want to avoid telesales callers you have to sign up to the Telephone Preference Service to opt out of participation in that modern-day torture of having to proactively say no to pests who are, in effect, violating your privacy. If your job demands that you work long hours, or you voluntarily put in overtime you have to formally opt out of the European Working Time Directive. The same principle, however, does not appear to apply to Iceland’s wish to withdraw its application for EU membership.

There are rules about withdrawing, it seems; it’s not good enough to just step out of the queue as you would in, say, the Post Office. The EU Commission says that the Icelandic government's letters are not enough to remove Iceland from the list of EU candidate countries and it will need to send the Council of the European Union a new letter formally withdrawing it. But this is the best bit: “if such a letter would reach the Council it would then request the opinion of the Commission. Based on that opinion the Council would take its decision whether Iceland would or would not be removed from the candidate countries list.”

Am I reading this right? This makes it harder for a country not to join the EU than it is to get taken off the Reader’s Digest mailing list. The presumption in both cases must be that you didn’t mean it, really. Even insurance companies have to give you a cooling off period in which to change your mind. There has been talk of making organ donation a presumed consent transaction whereby you have to say a definite no in advance if you don't want your body parts harvested. How much longer before the commission’s default supposition is that all countries in what are deemed to be the EU’s boundaries are automatically candidates for membership and must formally retract that status, with tanks if necessary?

David Cameron has ‘promised’ to hold a referendum if he gets back into power. But given the likely coalition that will be needed to keep him in Number Ten, will he even be permitted to pass the enabling legislation? And the EU has considerable form on denying democracy - ask France, ask Holland, ask Ireland. Actually, closer to home, just look at what they did to Britain’s ‘watertight’ opt-out on the charter on fundamental rights, rendered meaningless by the European courts of justice.

The EU: Factory fishing for fools.
I'm too small, throw me back!

The EU strategy is plain; denial. “We didn’t get your email. I’m sorry, this is a terrible line. Maybe it got lost in the post? We are experiencing heavy volumes of traffic just now, please call back later…” And so it goes. You can call for a vote as much as you like, but once you’re through the EU door, you’re staying and there’s an end to it. You may as well hang your coat back up and put on your slippers and cardie; you're going nowhere, you're on the list. If nothing else this sorry tale ought to make you think long and hard before signing up to LinkedIn

Friday 13 March 2015

Shifting Sands

Multiculturalism gets a bad rap, especially when there is a preponderance of one culture over another. In Britain it is amazing we don’t pronounce it ‘mullah-culturalism’, given the self-inflicted death sentence we seem to have pronounced on the indigenous white culture in favour of all things islam. But it is important to impart a sense of who we are and from where we came if we are to keep our own identities alive. Thus, wherever you are, you will occasionally overhear the passing on of ancestral lore and the wisdom to survive life’s great mission intact.

Over there a young Scots dad is explaining to his son the rules of haggis and the playing of the Tam O’Shanter, skills essential to navigate the complexities of life over our northern border. In France, un père fier describes le coq sportive and how to get to La Marseillaise without falling foul of the complex rules of Huguenot. A German dad would never forgive himself if his son grew up without understanding how Vorsprung durch Technik works, or how to get the trains to run on time. Each unique culture carries with it the essential ingredients and secret recipe to perpetuate the line.

And so a young Arab asks his father “Father, what do we call this unusual shawl that we are wearing?” to which his father replies “My son, it is called a keffiyeh and it is an important part of our desert heritage. When the sun beats down it provides us with shade for our head and in sandstorms we can use it to protect ourselves from the fierce abrasions of the desert sand.” The son nods and thinks for a while. Eventually he asks, “Father, why do we wear this baggy clothing which flaps in the wind?”

“Son, this is most important. It is called a djellabah and it protects our bodies from the sun also. In colder climes, as in the high Atlas mountains of Morocco and Algeria, it can be wrapped doubly around the body and the hood can prevent heat loss through the head” He laughs, remembering a scene from his childhood, “and your grandfather used to use the hood like a pocket to carry home a loaf of bread from the market!” His son joins him in a chuckle but still he has questions. “What is it with these ugly shoes, father?”

“Ah, my boy, these are babouches and they keep us from burning our feet on the hot Sahara sand. Plus, as they are open at the heel they let our feet stay cool as well and if they fill up with sand we can easily take them off to remove the grit.” The boy looks pensive and the father adds,” You see ابني,, this is our heritage. Learn it well and pass it on to your sons in turn and our race will endure to the end of time; sons of the majestic desert sand.

Mad? Very mad? No, madder!
Who's got the bucket and spade?

There is a moment of quiet as the young man takes it all in and the father looks on proudly at the cogitative expression on his face. “You have more questions, my son?” The boy looks down at his clothes, his scarf and his sandals and says, “Yes, father. Why the fuck are we living in Luton?”

Thursday 12 March 2015

Good Gear

The king is dead, they say, long live the king. Jeremy Clarkson may be waiting for it all to blow over, but I expect he is being courted by every broadcaster other than the BBC out there as the petition to have him reinstated tops the half-million mark (at the time of writing - current status here.). Unfortunately in our fearful, rule-bound, comfortably numb world, the Beeb will maybe find it impossible to retract their suspension and a very rich dinosaur like Clarkson – as would I in his position – might just jack it all in and let others fight for the crown. Top Gear simply couldn't be the same without him and maybe he and James May should just buy an old airfield and cock about running track days for people who would default on their mortgages for a few hours of being insulted by a master.

Nothing lasts for ever and while I will miss Top Gear I won’t miss it for long. In the seventies I thought I’d really missed The Prisoner until I saw it re-run a couple of years ago and realised how much a product of its time it was. Music changes, fashions change and in the end we all change as well… until the day we stop. You know you've finally grown up when you no longer try to be like everybody else and realise it is a mark of callow youth to express your individuality by behaving exactly as others do. Beyond the point of enlightenment you experience an all-too-brief period of grudging respect as you cling to your chronological rocks, your beliefs forged in hardship and joy and your resolute certainties. And you watch as the boat full of young idiots steams off on its own exploration of youthful folly.

But as it sails on out of sight over the horizon you have to wonder if maybe they have a point after all; if maybe they WILL find the life solutions that evaded the scrutiny of you, your generation and every generation before you. Back on the rock you stop the clock and surround yourself with the comforting trappings of your own age. Your precious books, your proper music collection whose latest additions you can trace back to a single decade and your hard-won philosophy, cast in stone in your fully-formed consciousness, solidifying, even as do your arteries, into an immovable set of principles. You stop growing up and begin to grow old.

It is surely everybody’s perverse wish that they could go back and re-live their formative years equipped with the knowledge that takes all their days to acquire. What torture would that be? We don’t really notice or fully appreciate the times we live in until they become the times we used to live in. Why do middle-aged men enjoy the antics of JC and his crew? Because, against the odds they manage to live out the fantasies the rest of us abandoned in childhood but still exist in us as echoes of our golden ages. So, it’s not so much a question of whether Clarkson goes as a question of whether it is time for us to let him. The world doesn't really belong to the young, with their daft ideas about equality and an end to war, but they are the only ones who still believe they can change it.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Child’s Play

Calling all parents; do you know what your children did today? Do you worry? Did they steal a car and kill three pedestrians in a joyriding spree? Did they knock off a bank? Have they raped an old lady? Or murdered a disabled man for his benefits? Or did they lash out and viciously say they hated you? Then worry no more – it’s a police matter now. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary reports that police are increasingly being called out to discipline unruly children. Given that for some time now kids have been told they can have their parents arrested for looking at them in a funny way or not handing over enough pocket money, it’s only fair that the tables may have been tilted slightly.

The little fuckers have been getting things their way for far too long and the media indulge their delusions of adequacy. This story, for instance, describes an illiterate sulk as ‘hilarious’. Well, it’s nowhere near as hilarious as having the angry little bastard put back in his place would be. Children are effectively non-sentient slime, being slowly oozed into human-shaped moulds and gradually having the instinctive nastiness baked out of them. Without that process you have what we see all around us today. The ‘me, me, me’ generations who believe that the world owes them not only a living, but a bloody good one at that, with every sin excused and every transgression absolved.

In return they implicitly agree not to challenge the garbage they are fed by the media. Have you seen how, largely unopposed, the BBC uses words like ‘controversial’ and ‘radical’ whenever they have a story about something they don’t like, such as fracking, or immigration control, or suggestions that parties other than left wing ones have any ideas worth exploring? Media headlines warn of ‘deep’ and ‘savage’ cuts, instead of them being ‘necessary’ or ‘frugal’ curbs on unaffordable profligacy. We are systematically manipulated from cradle to grave into being the type of dependent drone the EU wants us to be: Compliant, terrified of causing offence and unlikely to fight back; afraid to challenge things such as multiculturalism because we are told it is good for us.

Savage cu*ts at large...
Our work here is done...

Words like ‘chilling’ and ‘concerning’ are used to herald the most tepid of announcements, while ‘amazing’ and ‘unique’ describe things that are neither. Because if you can remove our ability to use words rationally you lessen our ability to think rationally. So when those of us who refuse to fall in step with the somnolent majority voice our concerns we are labelled bigots and racists and other words to – ironically - engender an unthinking hatred amongst the sheep. Goebbels knew his stuff. Now, I must go… wouldn’t want to miss the Two Minute Hate.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Cutting Crew

So, on the drive to work what did I hear but yet another claim by Labour that the Conservatives are planning a ‘massive’ assault on public spending. Good, because ‘public spending’ has become a euphemism for brushing under the carpet the troubles caused at and by the arse end of society. Unemployable, uneducated serial breeders with entitlement fever; unsuitable, irresponsible parents bringing unwanted brats into a world of gang culture, drug abuse and moral turpitude; multiple generations with little aspiration beyond surviving to procreate in their turn. Raised by television and internet porn and outside the normal reach of good example and the influence of the work ethic it’s a form of cruelty to suggest they have rights beyond any enjoyed by other species of zoo animal.

For without making any contribution to society other than to be examples of how not to live your life, what else are they? Seriously, if they can’t learn and can’t work and can barely communicate; if they can only take and take and take and rely on the state for absolutely everything what can we possibly gain by effectively encouraging them to carry on? If public spending means bribing the illiterate with the promise of comfort and indolence without any demand for recompense then cutting it and cutting it again should be applauded to the rafters.

Public spending means police to control errant ways and contain their spread, it means healthcare to pander to their every tiny self-inflicted injury or imagined special mental impairment. It means an army of social workers and ‘care’ workers to mop up the detritus of their chaotic ways and another army of ‘classroom assistants’ to make believe they are achieving mediocrity when they are just being held back from rioting or stabbing their more able classmates. It means a network of prisons and probation officers, courts and a criminal justice system to maintain a separation between the sink estate denizens and decent society. And it means outreach workers to try and salvage a tiny few of the unfortunates trapped in the system, so it looks like there is genuine hope when there is none.

Great Britain - the EU's penal colony.
Room for plenty more!

When they say the Conservatives want to take public spending back to 1930s levels that is an ambition we should all get behind. Of course, we need an overall reduction in the unproductive classes or else that target will never be achieved and in the late 1930s, good old Europe provided us with a pretty effective means of keeping the numbers down; what a shame our armed forces are being run down so that there will be nobody to oppose Jean-Claude Juncker’s barmy army. But there’s hope for population control yet; "We need an EU Army to show that we are serious about upholding the values ​​of the European Union," says Juncker. Who harbours any belief that an EU ‘defence’ force would be deployed against anybody but its own people?

Monday 9 March 2015

The secret Diary of Edrian ‘Mole’ Miliband

Friday 06th March 2015:

Well, what a smashing week it’s been. After I demolished David Cameron at PMQs by calling him ‘cowardy custard’ a hundred times in front of all his Eton chums, I came up with a brilliant idea. I’m a genius with fantastic levels of superior intellectual confidence, so it isn’t really that unusual but I was surprised it took me so long. When I am king Prime Minister I will make it a law that Cowardy Cameron must do a telly debate with me every week and then the electorate will all see how brilliant I am. It’s not for nothing the Tories call me their secret weapon.

Saturday 07th March:

We really must do something about the press. I told them of my excellent idea and being the intellectually inferior class that they are they just didn’t understand and said some horrid things. Well, I’m standing up to them because it’s the right thing to do. Honestly the gutter press are so out of touch with ordinary people, it’s no wonder they are all racists and homophobes. If only we could get more people to read the Guardian, the only honest and honourable mouthpiece for the working man, there would be many more informed voters and they would see that we are right. About everything. Maybe I will ask the editor if he would run a ‘Page Three’ for a while - the proles seem to like that; we could have a topless picture of, say, Rachel Reeves and have her say a few words about everyday sexism or something. That would help spread the message, I’m sure.

And if that isn’t enough we need to work on the immigration problem; we must have more immigration because as every intellectual knows, immigration can never be bad and, besides, immigrants are much better than British people because we know we can buy their votes. Our useless specimens just seem to want more and more benefits to keep them quiet. That’s all well and good and happy to oblige and all that, but who’s going to pay for it, eh? And then they don’t even bother to turn up at the ballot box, so we need as many low-paid, uneducated, unskilled bods as we can lay our hands on and then tell the chavs we need them. Believe me, I understand the ways of the working class; my own butler is one of them.

Monday 09th March 2015:

So today it’s back on the campaign trail and we have some super new policies to unveil. I can’t wait until Wednesday when I can smash Camermoron again with all my brilliance. The Labour Party really is the only party in touch with what this country needs. I have noticed that people are unhappy; well that is going to stop. We are going to make it illegal to be unhappy and as we all know, if you make something illegal it can’t ever happen again. So if people don’t cheer up they had better prepare to have something to be unhappy about! It’s much the same way with taxation; if you keep on taxing the wealthy they get used to it and happily wait to be taxed some more.

I'm on fire! No, really!
Bill and Ed's Excellent Adventure

Which reminds me, I must catch up with our economic policy; I’m a little behind schedule pointing at things for Ed Balls to tax and I really must tip my hat to Myleene for giving me the idea. And also I have a wizard wheeze to make sure we can enact all our plans and put me on the throne in Number Ten. I have a secret meeting with the Wee Free later this week. There’s no way Cameron and his cronies can beat a Labour/SNP coalition and Eck will do exactly as I say. Flawless thinking there, Eddy boy! Now, be excellent to each other – by law.

Saturday 7 March 2015

We need a debate about these debates...

So the broadcasters are to go ahead with their leaders’ debates with or without the Prime Minister. They have been quite barbed about David Cameron exercising his prerogative to pick his battles and have elevated these flimsy showpieces of shallow, sound-bite, reality TV jousts to being essential bulwarks of our unwritten constitution. But do we really want the election being decided on this presidential format, by how well a single representative from any party does on the day?

I have to admit the thorough thrashing that Nigel Farage gave Nick Clegg last year was comedy gold, but this is serious. And surely the Labour Party must be cringing at Ed Milibland’s assertion that he is up for all three debates; any time any place anywhere… anybody? The proposed Cameron-Miliband, head-to-head would probably have been the only one worth watching and I reckon this extended PMQs without the braying of the back benches would benefit Cameron far more than the juvenile idiocy of his Marxist opponent, but in playing this puerile gamesmanship card I think Cameron has handed the opposition a gift.

Oh well. One thing is for sure; the seven-headed beast of a format that will include the Prime Minister will be nothing more than David Dimbelby’s Question Time without the less partisan panel members that normally help to anchor it in reality. Instead it will be a slagfest, a slanging match, a shouting contest, a gainsaying festival of fantasy, hyperbole, hubris and dodgy sloganeering which will have exactly the effect that has driven so many to flirt with Ukip. The best thing Nigel Farage could do on the night is to simply shrug and point at the others, slagging each other off.

But will it re-engage the electorate with politics? No. Will it enlighten us as to the detailed policies of the respective parties? No. Will it help us narrow down our allegiances? No. Will it even be entertainment? Only to those who are wondering when the DNA test results will be announced. In fact I forecast it will be watched by an oddly mixed audience; some who are genuinely interested in the outcome of this, the most important election in the UK for almost forty years, but also it will attract the ghouls, hoping for a scent of blood. It certainly won’t aid the cause of democracy.

These little piggies are more equal than you...

At ninety minutes, minus the questions and interventions, there is probably less than ten minutes per participant to develop momentum and bring their arguments to a climax. So, is it polite to watch a bunch of strangers mass-debate live on television? And will they all come out of it looking like nothing more than a bunch of grunting, gurning tossers?

Friday 6 March 2015

Good Neighbours

With immigration once again in the headlines and the startling statistic that our porous borders have been leaking at the rate of one immigrant a minute for many years now, few can credibly say that it is not time to control our borders. Not from any sense of insularity, nor from our incipient xenophobia, but simply in the interest of stability. As Robert Frost states in his 1914 blank verse Mending Wall, “Good fences make good neighbors”

What works for the common man – an Englishman’s home is his castle – ought to work equally well, if not better, between nations. But sometimes even a well-kept boundary fence is not sufficient to maintain good relationships, as my own neighbour reminded me a couple of days ago. Just as in the poem we had been patrolling and patching up our common pickets; I doing the mending, he making good with the Cuprinol ™ and between us putting the world to rights with idle chatter and much speculation on the forthcoming general election, when suddenly a breeze sprang up.

It being an unseasonably warm day and with the winter sun shining clear and bright, he had donned a summer hat to shade his bald spot. But the zephyr lifted it from his crown and bore it aloft to land somewhat out of arm’s reach in the apple tree from which we both generally benefit. I laughed, but he was not amused – funny how the smallest of incidents can sow the seeds of discord. Still a bit grumpy, he demanded I do something about it, as it had caught on a branch on my side of the border and I happily agreed. From a low stepladder and using a broom handle I managed to reach it. He admonished me for my rough and ready approach and insisted that an expensive Panama hat should not be the subject of such indelicate treatment.

I suggested he try it himself, at which point he grabbed the broom from me and used it to hook the branch and bend it to try and dislodge the errant titfer. I laughed once more and his cheeks began to puff and redden with the effort and the indignation. He saw it as my fault, somehow and began to get more irate, but I couldn’t help smiling as he worked the branch. Meanwhile my dog, an excitable little long-haired Jack Russell began to join in, yapping up at the hat and running in excitable circles. I retired to my garden bench to watch the scene unfold.

My formerly affable friend-next-door began to get more agitated and then suddenly, the hat fell free. Before I could do a thing, Jack leapt up and snatched it from the air, and ran off, sniggering, I thought, giving it a good shake as he chewed on the Ecuadorian straw. Soon the hat was in tatters and all I could do was laugh. My neighbour – no longer a friend, I feared, was incandescent and demanded I buy him a new one. I refused and a stand-off began; he insisting that I was to blame and I that it was stupid hat anyway. Jack began digging a hole to bury the remains.

Now that's a real shaggy dog!

That was the last straw, as it were, and my neighbour was clearly at the end of his tether. He began to rant and rave and all I could do was laugh at the absurdity of it all. He gathered himself up and looked me in the eye. “I don’t like your attitude!” he growled and I know I should have tried to mend the bridge but I couldn't help myself. “But see, it’s not my attitude," I explained, "... it’s your hat ‘e chewed!”