Sunday 26 November 2017

On the Rise

Even if you don’t look very far, every day you will hear, or read about, the rise of the ‘far right’. It is taken as a given by otherwise sober news outlets, that Brexit and other recent phenomena are entirely the result of a concerted onslaught on our hearts and minds by manipulators spreading ‘hate’. The Nazis never went away, they imply, they just took jobs at the Daily Mail, although this article in said organ does a fair job of outing the real source of hatred in the today’s increasingly uncertain world. Swallow your revulsion and read it.

A key descriptor here is the word ‘activist’. Political activists pretty universally fly the flag of one particular colour and that isn’t the hue of blue. Indeed, people on the supposed right are more noticeable by their lack of activism. No mass demonstrations, no rioting when they don’t get their way. They don’t engage in looting or pointlessly destroying other people’s property and it almost unheard of for a ‘rightie’ to issue cheap death threats or wish cancer on their opponents. They are far too busy working for a living and pursuing what the left term as their hateful ideology.

The Mail may not be the finest newspaper out there and yes it does display a bias towards the British and towards traditional British values, but promoting hate? Do me a favour!. Live and let live and self-reliance may be anathema to the left, but it hardly constitutes hatred, let alone a definable political ideology. People on the notional right are far more likely to be apolitical at heart and tend not to impose their world-view of the on the rest, saying only, ‘it’s up to you’ and ‘life is what you make it’... and ‘mustn’t grumble’. It’s hardly the stuff of revolution, is it?

The Mail article linked above responsibly exposes the utter hypocrisy of the ‘Stop Funding Hate’ movement. In common with all its kindred tribes – Hope Not Hate, Reclaim the Streets, Unite Against Fascism – the collective often referred to as ‘Antifa’ rely on the unthinking obedience of its mostly juvenile acolytes. As they parade their banners and screech their slogans and spit and snarl, the degree of cognitive dissonance on display is remarkable, even for their incredibly high threshold of tolerance towards holding competing views without seeing the contradictions. They punch people because they are more peaceful.

Such malcontents talk openly and without fear of censure about causing physical harm, sexual abuse and even death to people for whom they hold the deepest enmity, yet cannot see in themselves that which they are determined to prove exists in others: Trawling through a news story for the flimsiest hint of antipathy, such as referring to a foreigner as, say ‘a foreigner’ they will, on finding (or imagining finding) such references, instinctively scream ‘Hate Crime!’ And then in denouncing this crime will call for their followers to demand the metaphorical public dismemberment of the person who dared to type the hate-filled word.

This is how Corbyn and his rabid fans will be brought low – when one day it dawns on them that the much-promulgated and fervently hoped-for ‘rise of the right’ simply does not exist. When the supposed far-right atrocities turn out never to have occurred. When they awake from their dream amid the burning ruins of the city they used to call home. When the camp followers one day - perhaps while setting fire to a pregnant woman for daring to say she didn’t think all Tories were murderers - suddenly wake up and ask themselves... Are WE the baddies?

Saturday 25 November 2017

The Ten Days

Did anybody expect anything more positive from Brussels? The latest play in the interminable mind game that is the uneven contest between the 27 other EU countries and the one domino that will topple the lot is to give us ten days to ‘do better’. This is, of course, code for ‘capitulate’. But from what we’ve seen so far – and always suspected – the collective that calls itself the EU (but would be more correctly referred to as ‘the enemy’) has no intention of bending. Far from it; should Theresa May offer them £40billion, they would insist on 60. The goalposts are not so much moving as dancing.

And during it all the endless leaks of supposedly confidential information. Tittle-tattle about he said/she said. Secret pacts, deals, Remainer cabals, offside briefings and the relentless whine of diehard Europeans intent on slandering all who voted leave as ill-educated, narrow-minded, xenophobic, low-grade, old, clapped-out and rotten-to-the-core neo-Nazis. Gleefully they tell each other that Leavers are dying out; one hard winter, they reckon and the balance will tip.

It can’t escape anybody’s notice that the frenzy, the quasi-religious fervour and the threats, cat-calls and jeers are coming, almost exclusively from one side. If only they had the dignity displayed by the vast majority of Leavers during the 40 long years of hope. Had we lost, they insist, we would be behaving just the same, but it is simply not true. We may not have taken the defeat lightly, but I like to think that – just as with the quiet certainty of the right rest, in contrast to the shrieking fantasies of the left – Leavers would have accepted the result, for now at least, and made the best of it.

But hey, the festive season is almost upon us and we have ten days to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘improve’ our offer. Let’s join together and celebrate in song with the Ten Days of Brexit.

On the Tenth day of Brexit,
The EU sent to me:
Ten Lords a-Leaking,
Nine Goalposts Dancing,
Eight Merkels Moaning,
Seven Deadlines Slipping,
Six Geezers Braying,
Guy Ver-hof-staaaadt!
Four Calling Foul,
Three Flying Fucks,
Two Fingers Raised,
And a Parliament in a Quandary.

There, if that doesn’t bring peace and harmony throughout  Euroland, I really don’t see what more we could possibly do.

Friday 24 November 2017

Money for nothing

The budget always brings out the worst in people. What’s in it for me, they ask, or, quite frequently, what’s in it for the poor and downtrodden, for the halt and lame, for the children? And behind all of this confusion of greed and envy, virtue-signalling demands for playing fields to be levelled, successful enterprise to be punished and equality to be magically brought about, is a basic incomprehension about the whole purpose of the budget. The budget is not about you, or me. It is about the economy as a whole and how the government is going to pretend to not be shitting themselves.

Nor is the budget a recipe for a bright new future because the budget, as always, is how to make the government’s annual national income of twenty pounds stretch to cover the demands to spend ‘twenty pounds ought and six’. Result, as Mr Micawber famously declared, misery. And while people bang on about the nebulous notion of ‘fairness’ they are quite unheeding of the fact that one man’s idea of fairness is another man’s example of greed. I worry about the fragile state of the western world today in which everything is about how much we think we need and so little is about how we earn it.

In the book ‘Mistakes were made (but not by me)’ the authors discuss the way we all believe the blame lies elsewhere. It seems to be an innate human trait to demand that others rectify the perceived wrongs and that we are blameless and pure of heart. And the perception of fairness may be much to blame. See? It’s not my fault; it’s fairness that’s wrong. And maybe, actually, it is. Here cometh the first lesson; no matter what your definition of fairness, the world is not fair, unless you are an economic absolutist in which case everything is fair.

Is it fair that a fictional nurse ‘had to’ use a foodbank? Well, yes... and no. It may be a shame that she fell on hard times, but is it not wonderful that charity still exists? Did she starve? No. Did she dine on the finest of fare? No, but does she deserve to? Does anybody? What is a fair wage? And having established such a thing would it be fair that somebody who is the very best in a field where talent is scarce should be paid more than somebody whose job could be done by an unskilled child willing to work for pocket money?

These are the questions that are never addressed when demands for a ‘living wage’ and price controls and tax cuts for me and tax hikes for ‘them others’ are paraded in front of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Last night on The Twitter an interlocutor tried to simultaneously convince me that, A) He understood how basic supply/demand economics functions, and that, B) Employers had a duty to pay ‘fair’ wages. It’s always the fault of the other guy isn’t it? What, I asked, if paying higher wages made the business unviable?

The response was an unthinking suggestion that businesses ought to be founded on a detailed analysis of what was a fair wage, then work backwards to arrive at a business model, presumably to then seek funding. It completely ignored the reality that we are all – except for those tiny minorities with certain psychopathies – social animals and the notion of ripping off customers and exploiting workers is absent from how we want to function. Most business owners would happily pay the best wages and sell the best quality at the lowest price. If only reality would let them.

Look at them Yo-yos...

So, when John mad-dog McDonnell and his notional master, Mr Micawbyn say they will raise wages, freeze prices, borrow at minus interests rates to drive investment in wondrous new infrastructure projects to make us all rich beyond the dreams of creosote[sic], just remember the wise words of their literary predecessor: “Annual income one pound, annual expenditure three-hundred trillion pounds, result; Venezuela.”

Tuesday 21 November 2017

I blame the Lizards

Mugabe is deposed but stays in place by the simple expedient of refusing to acknowledge the not-a-military-coup by the military who put him under house arrest and took over the national broadcaster. A few short months ago, Jeremy Corbyn became, ‘literally’, Prime Minister by losing a general election. The Russians elected Trump and brought about Brexit, even though they [actually] literally did neither. And Angela Merkel is not really German Chancellor even though The Guardian reported she had won a fourth term as Bundestag Boss back in September.

The world as we know it is out of kilter, out of whack. What’s up is down, what’s left is right and every piece of ‘fake news’ is as unbelievable as the next... except that some fake news is real news; if only we could work out which is which. And with no hint of irony Rochester and Strood Labour’s new Women’s Officer is a man. Yes, it’s a man in a dress, but, still... Boys can be girls and girls can be boys who like boys who like girls who like... oh, who cares? But we have to care. Twitter, the free speech platform is looking as if it intends to de-platform those whose activities – even outside Twitter – are deemed unacceptable. But who decides what is unacceptable?

Oh yes; control the media, control the message, control the message and you know where that ends up. I thought sites like Twitter, social media in general, were forces for good; if you don’t like what is being said you don’t have to listen to it but to silence the dissenting voice, to disallow anybody else to make u their own minds is just sinister. Last week, during my suspension, I picked up a troll who declared it his mission to ‘denounce’ my parody account. (Really no need; the parody is clear from the bio) Why? Because he didn’t like it and decided that others must not see it. It’s everywhere and it’s all the fault of Brexit apparently.

How’s that going, by the way? Oh yes, still about the money. No trade talks until ‘progress’ is made on the so-called divorce bill. This translates as pay-to-talk, with no guarantees of any return for that investment, a stipulation we must reject out of hand. Especially as Barnier has let slip that even if we do strike a trade deal we will continue to be effectively under German EU rule long after. It appears that now it’s the EU who want to have their cake and eat it, reserving to invoke a no-deal option even post-deal.

It's the illizardatti, obviously

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The supposed kinder, gentler, politics of the left continues to engage in bullying; witness the harassment of Paperchase by bien pensants who have likely never even read the Daily Mail, but know what it is in it because, well, everybody knows, innit? Bear in mind that among these usual suspects are people who believe in chemtrail conspiracies, Tories selling off the NHS to ‘their rich friends’, bizarre plots to keep poor people poor and the royal family being 7-ft lizard overlords from space. I started out by stating the world was out of whack. On consideration it is just the same as always... only more so.

Friday 17 November 2017

Beyond Brexit

Hush, listen, whisper who dares, an internet parody's setting the snares. Some of you followers on Twitter may have wondered where I’ve been or the last week. Well, here’s the story. [Link] In the meantime I have been amusing myself as Len McCluskey, a parody account I created back in 2013 and occasionally use to view conversations involving people who have blocked me. Sometimes I can’t help myself and feel driven to respond, but this last week Len has been reaping a rich harvest, as so many seem to need to believe that a prominent figure really is talking personally to them.

It’s frankly worrying how many people are ready to engage with somebody they either strongly disagree with or desperately want to be accepted by. Len has been busily confounding lots of them who, even when repeatedly told ‘*never trust a parody’ persist in trying to push their point. One punter even seemed convinced that when ‘Len’ tweeted “*Nunquam enim confidunt parodiam” he was suggesting that the punter himself was a parody and carried on for several tweets without grasping the reality. Anyway, I’ll let Len take up the story:

‘Ey, watch out lar, hiya comrades; it’s Big Len McCluskey ‘ere, leader of Untie, the union and future master of the not-so-free wairld. It’s been an 'oot, this week, stepping in for Battsby, but I ‘aven’t been wasting time. No, I’ve been using the platform to clarify our position on Brexit among other things. See people think the Labour Party does what I tell them, but this isn’t always true. Not always. And Brexit is one of those grey areas which needs a bit of attention; so are you paying attention?

Right. See, the official position of the Labour Party is and always has been for Remain. When I say ‘is and always has been’ I mean this, of course, in the socialist sense of ‘whatever fits the narrative today’. Traditionally, Labour has held the moral high ground but Blair and Mandelson and that ‘New Labour’ stinkpile queered the pitch with all their ‘relaxed about people getting filthy rich’ malarkey. Now, this won’t do; Labour and the trades union movement must undo all this ridiculous aspiration and tell the people, once more, what they need to believe in. And, of course, this is Brexit; it always has been.

But we’re not there yet. The bloody referendum made the proletariat believe that their voice mattered, that their vote mattered! Since when has anybody given a fig for votes? Here in Untie we don’t even let people vote, for heaven’s sake; ridiculous idea! Let people vote and before you know it they’ll expect you to respect what they voted for. And where does that end? No this needs to be nipped in the bud. And I have been playing my part; oh yes.

With the unambiguous Twitter bio: “Untie General Secretary, leading trade unionist in Britain and Ireland. Fighting for austerity and cuts in our communities. Doesn't know the meaning of parody.” I have been reaching out to the community. Somehow I seem to have enraged a number on both sides who seem unclear what I stand for. Well, I try to make it obvious that what I stand for is the opposite of what they do, thus pleasing everybody engaging with me, if not necessarily within that particular conversation at that particular time. It all evens out in the end, if you look carefully enough.

But it isn’t exactly rocket science; if you are upset by ‘me’ saying Unite are for Brexit, then hop onto a conversation where I hint that Unite is for Remain. It astounds me that folk can’t grasp that this is how politics works now. Nobody knows, with the exception of the Limp Dems and the Greens [spits] where any party really stands on Brexit and this is because they don’t know either. On balance, if pushed, I came down on the side of Brexit for the following reason, which far too many people accepted without criticism. Are you ready?

Happy Socialist Workers, doing a traditional dance.

So, this is now the official Untie position. We want to increase the power of the workers. We believe in fair and equitable socialism. We believe in the people of Great Britain; one nation, one leader, one people – power to the people. We intend to hold mass rallies throughout the country to build this movement. Who will join me in establishing a new Socialist Workers Party? One that will work on a truly national level? And if anybody can come up with a snappier title than National Socialist British Worker’s Party that would be really helpful, thank you. 

Coda: I have now acquired a little camp follower of my own. He was fooled by the Len parody and he just can't let it go. I'm sure Twitter has rules about harassment and pestering, but it's fine. He has made it his mission to inform everybody who responds to me that I am not me, as it were. The poor wee laddie will eventually tire and weep himself to sleep. If you see hi, tell him I said Hi! 

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Bleak House

The interminable wrangling over Brexit continues as Theresa May’s beleaguered government weathers gaffes and embarrassments and tries to push its EU Withdrawal Bill through the depressingly confrontational House of Commons. Knocking on for eighteen months after the referendum, the result of which, the electorate were promised, would be executed by HMG, no progress has really been made. Half of ruling party don’t want Brexit to happen at all and the opposition will do anything to frustrate it, even if they actually want to leave the EU themselves. Never has the phrase ‘playing politics’ seemed so apt. Nor, ‘cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face’.

But all the talk of deals and divorce bills, of compromise, offer and counter offer is nothing more than a soap opera. And like the characters of a soap opera they are doomed to repeat the mistakes cast in stone by their creators; captive to their character and in thrall to the script. For make no mistake there is a narrative here and it is relentless in driving the storyline around and around in relentless circles of despair and helplessness; yet there is a purpose behind it all – the survival of the EU.

There is no deal to be had, this much must be apparent to any impartial observer, but look at the jobs created in not achieving an agreement. Armies of lawyers, lobbyists, experts and advisors, all working to one end – stalemate. A state of inertia suits everybody except the majority and if we have learned anything these past few years, the will of the majority is irrelevant in the mutant form of democracy we practise today. Referendums have been held in a handful of EU member states and their outcomes overturned or simply ignored.

This is now the way of the west and it reminds me of nothing so much as the miserable and cynical case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce, so eloquently derided by Charles Dickens in his excoriation of the Court of Chancery. And like other bullshit industries built on the inflated constructs of grievance, self-esteem, gender identity, race, religious sensitivities, etc... we are drowning in the salty crocodile tears of self-pity and indulgence and up this particularly shitty creek nobody has paddles; we are just bobbing around on a maelstrom of misery, imagining we are helpless to do otherwise.

The EU negotiations summed up...

The EU gives us nothing that we couldn’t have as an independent nation, but it can never admit this. It is a self-justifying money pit, creating ever more inventive ways of wasting talent and resources which could be better put to productive use in the national inerest. Our leaders need to wake up, sniff the caffeine, breath the fresh air of freedom and crack on with getting us off the merry-go-round. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – the mission to bring down Animal Farm begins with Brexit.

Monday 13 November 2017

The Ballad of Reading Twitter from Gaol

It’s a cold and lonely place, Twitter jail. Here in Worldwide Scrubs, the prisoner of conscience scrawls five bar gates on the walls with his own blood, counting the days, the weeks, to his release. Okay, it’s just the one week but for what? I responded to a race-baiter by calling him a soppy cunt... and then I did it again. But hey, he is a soppy cunt; you know, one of those Lee Jasper types, who believes that blacks can’t be racist and whites can’t help it.

Not a famous person, I should clarify - I know that dropping the C-bomb on the blue-tick brigade is an instant slap on the wrist – no, this was just an ordinary Joe. But Twitter determined that I broke their rules on ‘hateful conduct’. By which rule “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.

Well, I did none of those things and neither was it purely gratuitous; the man was being a cunt about it and I told him so. If Twitter has an objection to the use of a particular word why don’t they just prevent you from using it at all? It may not be everybody’s go-to profanity but have you heard what is considered acceptable in wider public discourse today? Especially among the young... who are, we are constantly told, the future. Chaucer would be rubbish at Twitter.

But of course, banning words is the start of a slippery slope, so Twitter doesn’t do that; it bans people instead. Like the precious university children no-platforming speakers with whom they think they might disagree, social media has a poor record on freedom of expression. It’s fine to bray “Tory scum” and wish death on whoever is beyond the pale today, but call out the hypocrisy of their selective Voltairisms and banished you must be. First they came for the truth-sayers, etc.

Here rots Battsby, wan and pale,
All alone in Twitter Jail.

So, here I am, victim of my own proclivity for wading in when I see blatant cuntery on my timeline. Is this spell on the naughty step going to change my ways? Not a lot; maybe I will avoid ‘picturising’ quite so many idiots, maybe I will lay off the ‘C’ word. (See, I’m already doing it.) But more likely, as many before have done, I will scale back my prolific tweeting a tad, disillusioned by the restrictions placed on my opinions and stick to posting pictures of kittens. Watch this space... 

(In the meantime, my parody account, @Untie4len is active and flogging this blog!)

Friday 10 November 2017


Real Socialism, you know the one that’s never been tried, has been on my case of late, in the form of a solitary soldier for the cause. This sturdy representative of the Socialist Party of Great Britain was not to be deterred by mere facts, observations of human nature or simple argument. Even their total national vote count in the low hundreds wasn’t a cause for despondence against the shiny-faced optimism of this paragon of the merry, but tiny, band of post-Marx idealists.

Founded in 1904, their single aim is to bring about world socialism, believing that while any form of money exists, those who possess it will always reject the common way and seek to better their own lives. The SPGB mission statement is bold and simple: “The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.” And when I say simple, oh my, relying as it does - and can only do – on the total buy-in of every person on the planet; it’s all or nothing, folks.

Oh, communism, you say, to which the ‘Socies’ will reply, huffily, that they are not communists, no matter how much they stress common ownership, common good and the root word community (from the Latin communis – except Latin is bound to be elitist and thus haram.). But whither the ‘real socialism has never been tried’ malarkey? Try citing the failure of the many so-called socialist regimes and they will denounce them all as ‘state capitalism’, perhaps recognising that without capitalism you have little incentive for progress, yet still rejecting the profit mechanism out of hand..

But while sharing and charity and general philanthropy are very much a part of the human character, being forced to give away what you have hard-earned to those who have done nothing to deserve it is anathema to practically every species on the planet. We compete, we improve, we evolve; under ‘real socialism’ we would presumably revert to an imagined former state, possibly as far back as the Garden of Eden, which makes a belief in the ability to live as true equals without measuring relative merit more like a religious cult than a serious political movement.

In this they have much in common with Corbynism. (Will Corbynism one day join the Moonies and the Branch Davidians as examples of the lunacy of closed communities?) Of course, under True Socialism, our worth will be assessed and our contribution determined, measured and shared out via the mechanism of centralised control of resources and ‘self-defined’ needs. That is, if you decide you need it, you must need it, because nobody would ever cheat, would they?

Even such ideologues as this must recognise the need for organisation and as such would have to convene committees and tribunals, cooperatives and all that entails; selected, elected members of the community who would serve only in the interest of that community and be responsible for ensuring the egalitarian administration of resources. So, ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’ as somebody once wrote. I can’t imagine how that could possibly go wrong.

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Feeding Frenzy

President Trump stood alongside Japanese premier Shinzo Abe and ceremonially scattered fish food into a pool of koi carp. He paid attention to his host and copied his actions; when in Rome and all that. For reasons which can only be ascribed to a partisan – or pathological – need to portray Trump in a bad light much of the world press sought to discredit him as having instead just dumped the food dismissively into the pond.

In what sterile, stagnant world of utter tedium could this even begin to masquerade as being of interest to anybody at all? The Fake News phenomena has been easy to write off as a ‘not happening’, understandable partial reporting by people lacking the full picture, or just a bit of fun by would-be satirists, but it’s not just that, is it? This particular piece came about via the release of a video doctored to show what the editor wanted to show and it was lapped up by, among others, the Guardian and the [not] Independent and spread around the world by social media determined to sow mischief.

The Paradise Papers is another non-story designed to fuel outrage and whip up dissent among the perpetually mediocre – the same old envy-driven attack by the usual suspects to whip up sentiment for the nefarious purposes of left wing politics. But it is well documented and plain to see that if you try to squeeze those with the means to put themselves out of your grasp they will do just that. In fact the very tax avoidance employed by those who can – who already pay far more tax than those demanding they pay even more – is exactly as a result of those demands.

But the appalling logic of the socialist narrative actually works. Live off benefits but also work cash in hand and illegally evade tax and you are some sort of folk hero, a Robin Hood doing your bit to snub your nose at the establishment. But seek to minimise your tax bill in accordance with the law and you are some form of capitalist monster. If you are poor Labour vote-cattle you can’t afford the luxury of grasping what hypocrisy is and the truth must play second fiddle to the vicarious pleasure of a vague whiff of scandal

And talking of scandal, over in the Westminster trenches of the sex-war front the feeding frenzy continues as more and more seedy behaviour is forced over the top and into battle. How many political lives must be sacrificed in the no-man’s land of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ while back at headquarters, far behind enemy lines, those orchestrating the outrage quietly bury the real crimes?

The press, yesterday...

If ever there was a time for strong leadership this is surely it. How the Tory party must crave some discipline right now and a Prime Minister they can get behind. Well, they have one, or at least they could pretend they do. Given that nobody of worth is going to come forward until the Brexit business is settled, the best direction for the government is to get behind the general that everybody knows will be sacrificed in the end and go for one last big push. Don't be koi - there's no point in carping on about it. :o)

Sunday 5 November 2017

The Age of Unreason

It is the lot of one generation to bemoan the decline in the next. Since man first started recording such thoughts, the undeserving young have featured highly, teenagers being picked out for special opprobrium even before the term ‘teenagers’ was coined. In parallel, the unequal – some would day simply different - roles of men and women have also provided rich pickings for satirists, activists and ordinary people trying to make sense of the world.

Obviously, if each generation was genuinely less capable than the one which preceded it, mankind’s evolution must surely have taken a backward track; it’s a wonder we haven’t returned to hunting and gathering, gleaning the hedgerows for berries and smearing ourselves in our own shit for warmth. But of course the reality is that those slovenly teenagers become adults, change their attitudes and take their place in the world. And of course not all young people are wide-eyed ingénues, ripe for exploitation by venal adults. Not all.

Bu what the hell is happening to the world at the moment? Since the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, we have been expanding the life chances for every single one of us. No longer are we born and bound into serfdom, into predictable lives of drudge and early death. The opportunities for all people in the developed world are immense and varied, exciting and rewarding. But are we content with this bounty? Apparently not.

After several centuries of progressively loosening the ties that bind we find our world a confusing maelstrom of strictly defined liberties and vaguely stated restrictions. We seem to have a raft of statutory rights that are as if written in stone and inviolable, yet we can unwittingly commit a crime just by expressing a thought that somebody else chooses to misinterpret and find offensive, often long after the words were uttered. We have the right to live our life exactly as we wish yet to do so might put us on the wrong side of the law.

The current Westminster outrage is but one example, with committees now convening to draft codes of conduct and individuals pondering how to avoid the traps. Surely we know the difference between a clumsy attempt to engage and a wilful effort to dominate and control? If we don’t notice the instance a come-on turns into a no-thank-you is that so horrific? Should all public servants be neutered before entering the profession? Should they wear asexual, ill-fitting uniforms to conceal their attractions? Masks? Burkas?

The Prime Minister holds a cabinet meeting

Maybe the whole notion of men and women together in the same workplace should be subject to legal scrutiny and to preserve safe spaces for all everybody should be isolated, working from monastic cells in silence. Hell, maybe they should all convert to islam and be done with it; this sometimes looks like the direction of travel anyway. But, in reality, none of this will happen. They will hold their inquiries, more rules will be agreed and everybody will get back to work unimpeded by allegations of sexual impropriety... until the next time.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Grape! There was a bunch of them!

What’s the saying? Stick and stones may break my bones and here I am in jail... without ever having hefted a stick or weighed a handy pebble in my hand ready for lobbing. Nope, I am here because a long, long time ago, in an encounter of which I have no recollection, somebody I don’t know reported me for words I might not even have uttered. But had I uttered them they may have caused somebody – not necessarily the complainant - some measure of unease... and that’s enough, these days.

No intent on my part need be proved; the merest possibility of offence being taken is proof enough, it seems, of offence being intended. And offence is now among the most heinous of crimes. All it takes is an accusation and off go the alarms; SWAT teams descend in pre-dawn raids and the bewildered defendants – guilty until proven innocent via the medium of injuriously expensive legal action by thug law squads buying off and possibly intimidating the ‘victims’ - are scooped up and paraded in the press.

Recourse to law is of course only for those of means; not for nothing is it said that Britain has the finest justice you can buy. But what of the rest of us? The latest round of witch hunts sparked off by rumours of impropriety in Westminster is ripe for political exploitation. People of power and influence using power and influence to get laid? Whoever heard of such a thing? But, far more importantly it has to be established, is a briefly fondled knee worth the same amount of outrage as a clumsily worded proposition?

All of the hysteria, the jumped up charges, the ill-recalled and misreported events will do little to alter the human frailty, clumsiness and sheer lack of class at the heart of this new distraction from the pressing affairs of state. Of course rape is rape and must be taken seriously and at least they ‘care’ about the women who work in and for our government. But where was (and is, for that matter) the government outcry over the tens of thousands of victims of systematic rape and trafficking in every part of the land where muslims proliferate?

You might say we expect higher standards from our elected officials, though they’ve rarely shown they deserve such trust, but how low were (and are) the expectations of the morals and behaviour of those who live in such ghettoised ‘communities’? I expect that what we used to proudly call a police ‘force’ must be relieved that now they’ll be able to get stuck into this and put on the back burner all those petty incidents the plebs want them to investigate.

Burglaries, murder, terrorism, muggings, stabbings, acid attacks etc, are all very well, but it’s not like ‘real’ crime, is it? And let’s face it, getting down and dirty with historic drunken fumblings in Westminster could be the making of some keen young direct-entry graduate’s career and what is more important than that? Today, as we wake to the news of the killings in Manhattan and the empty words of solidarity from weak leaders the world over, we should be re-focusing our efforts on the real threats to our very civilisation. I’m not holding my breath.