Monday, 31 December 2018
The Independent, ever watchful for a story which gives them some form of validation, have found another straw to clutch. This time it is “Brexit Kills Curry” as they try to pin the alleged demise of the UK curry industry on Brexit. The reasons given, apparently supplied by the Bangladesh Caterers Association, are that the price of ingredients has risen due to the fall in the value of the pound and that, post-Brexit, they will be unable to afford to import curry chefs.
Eric Pickles’ famous ‘curry college’ venture of 2011 appears to have stalled because too few sons of existing curry house owners want to follow father into the kitchen to earn third-world wages for unsocial hours. But Brexit? Do behave; the curry community is the architect of its own reported demise and maybe if there were fewer incidences of faecal ingredients, suspect meat, filthy premises or of takeaways being used as fronts for some of the other activities that are now closely associated with said community, the industry might survive.
But who cares? We used to cook curry in Britain long before there were what we insist on calling Indian restaurants (even though the majority are actually staffed by immigrants from Pakistan or Bangladesh, a good number of whom are illegally in the country anyway). And that was back when the only easily accessible ingredient was ‘curry powder’ whose formula was something of a mystery. Now, however, pretty much anybody with a grasp of basic cooking can rustle up a meal fit for a Raja.
Many anti-Brexiteers love stories like this, where they can claim that leaving the EU will effectively be time travel, turning the clock back to *insert-decade-that-most-represents-your-contempt-for-Britain*. But you can’t easily erase people’s memories, remove their more recently acquired skills, or alter their tastes; all the scare stories about cuisines being lost are bunk. Sure, we will probably struggle to produce proper French bread, but we’re not going to have to subsist on spaghetti hoops on toast.
Industries rise and fall all the time – how many coopers are still in business in your neck of the woods? And does anybody remember when you rented your television set? Floppy discs, analogue photo film, typewriters, encyclopaedias... the list goes on and on and while nostalgia may impart warm, fuzzy feelings for some things lost, once they’re gone, they’re usually gone for good. And have you seen what you can do with your telephone these days? Once you work out that you can make your own curry, to your own taste, whenever you wish and cheaper... without the added shit, contempt and corruption, there may be no going back.
Fried chicken shops, Pizza parlours, kebab emporia, the whole takeaway industry is among the symptoms of the sickness that has taken hols in this land. Fundamentally it is the belief that we can’t do things for ourselves. Our governments have lied to us that low-paid immigrant labour is essential for the economy and because education has become propaganda too few people are competent to do the maths and uncover the lie. We can’t live without coffee on the go, it seems, for which we need to fund an entire high street of Starbucks and Costas, all of them staffed almost exclusively by foreigners. What is wrong with us?
Curry - as British as the Raj
Stop using Brexit as an excuse. If you want expensive coffee and the full, flock wallpaper, slightly racist Punjabi experience then good luck to you. But stop pretending that every little thing that goes wrong is because of people you despise expressing their wish to be independent. And stop imagining that the British are incapable of finding solutions. Go on, prove yourselves wrong and cook yourself a curry.
Monday, 24 December 2018
And lo from the east came three wise men. Wise, for they knew that in the west their every demand would be met. Followed they the twelve shining stars until the land that is milk and honey revealed itself in the form of fiction-free handover arrangements between the people traffickers of old Galilee and the world AD (Africa Depopulated). Their cups runneth over and their fatted calves be slaughtered, for none in the new world would lift a hand to stay their every desire.
Came they to a stable. Well, a converted stable, in a London mews, with no comfort save for central heating and a rent-free roof... and a nearby Starbucks. And they saw that it was good. And so it came to pass that the magi ended their long journey with gifts of gold, which caused the neighbours to be frankly incensed and cry myrrh-der. Whence forth came such ire, asketh they; and with such passive aggressive politeness? How little they understood of this strange new land.
So it was that these three wise elders – though their new passports identifieth them as children - sought out others of their kind to spread the message of great joy through diversity. Soon they had gathered as great and diverse a crowd as this island could provide and all within three streets of the local foodbank. What wondrous world of plenty was this that could feed and house so many and what sacrifice was made by the natives, many of whom gave up their own homes thus to provide?
Answers came there none, but curiosity was piqued and they sought out the truth, for it could be no accident that the stars had surely appeared to them and to them alone. Asking a well-fed Somalian they were told that he had three wives and three houses and the tributes paid due to his many offspring each moon were four-score and many times his annual expectation in his home country. Cameth them next upon a jolly Sudanese who regaled them with tales of great comfort and joy, the state bringing forth bounty beyond all dreams.
“But where are all the native folk?” asked the magi, to which came the reply “They’re all out at work!” And while they laughed and raised their faces to the sky their gaze fell upon a great many banners and lights and shining baubles. “What is this?” they asked, “Why is this miraculous land thus adorned?” At which the Eritreans and the Ethiopians and the Ghanaians regaled them with tales of an old man with a beard who bestowed his bounty on good little children everywhere.
The wise men looked at each other, then grinned. They broke out into belly laughter and hugged each other heartily. “Oh my!” spake they and “Woot!” for great hilarity fell upon them . Eventually, after much thigh slapping and gasping for breath the leader of the trio spake to the small crowd. “Taketh us though for naïve, uneducated dullards? Thinketh that because we are recently come from foreign lands we know not when we are being taken for fools?
The onlookers knew not what to say; this was surely heresy, for here in the land of Tower Hamlets, one gospel was preached above all others. And wasn’t the evidence laying all around? They tried to explain their word, in all sincerity but the wise man feared for their sanity. He sayeth “Pull mine other one, brother. We may have all just disembarked from the boat, but green as we are, even we don’t believe in Jeremy Corbyn!”
Thursday, 20 December 2018
I made one of my rare forays into the world of [gulp] the great unwashed at the weekend, when I made my annual pilgrimage into Tunbridge Wells to walk among my people, take the temperature of the nation and buy those odds and sods which only seem to be offered for sale at this time of the year. Nice and early, easy parking and no huge crowds, I hoped to be in and out before the throngs of seasonal retail worshippers gathered to pray. All was going well until I came to pay for my first purchases.
The keypad into which I had inserted my card asked me to rate my in-store ‘experience’. I looked at the options – coloured icons, with expressions ranging from smiles to frowns but not one of them asking the most important question of all, which should be: “On a scale of one-to-ten, how pissed off are you with constantly being asked to provide commentary on the pettiest of events?” It is everywhere you look these days; feedback on this, feedback on that. It can’t be too far away that we will expect to provide affirmation for every third-party interaction in our lives.
Every online purchase is now followed up by wheedling, needy requests for a pat on the back. Every service delivered is incomplete until you have rated the inconsequential elements which brought it about. No interaction with the apparatus of state is concluded without some form of survey – were you A) satisfied, B) ambivalent, or C) miffed with the three new points on your licence today? Was your speeding conviction dealt with A) efficiently, B) sympathetically, or C) fuck you? Even our own gadgetry colludes to rack up the meaningless statistics: Alexa? Rate my life...
What’s your job? What do you do to bring home the bacon? Do you make a thing that people need? Do you grow, manufacture or distribute food? Do you entertain people? Do you heal them? Or are you a part of the essential backroom machinery that delivers on any of these outcomes? In short, what have you done today which can genuinely be said to add to the profitability, the effectiveness or even the happiness of the organisation you work for? Because if you're not sure, you may be part of the problem.
Does the way you make a living take money or effort away from the front line? Is your role in HR, the legal department or in the furtherance of diversity, inclusion or customer experience facilitation simply a cost to the company and a drain on the emotional resilience of your workforce? Do you earn a crust by facilitating offence, pointing out difference, or prosecuting others for failure to do so? If you are, I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
I have three reminder emails sitting in my inbox for something to do with my work. Except it is nothing to do with my work at all. It’s an outsourced human resources frippery which will make not one jot of difference whatsoever to my effectiveness. What it will do is take up some of my time, annoy me a little and then, when I get the inevitable follow-up survey of how I found it I know it is not asking my true opinion. It is asking me to validate their worth. I did that once and then had to ignore for weeks the phone calls and emails requesting more of my time to ask me why I felt the way I’d indicated, even though I had been pretty explicit. They got bored in the end.
Feedback: Garbage in, garbage out...
This morass of pointless, self-indulgent piffle is one reason why Britain’s overall productivity figures are poor – too much time spent navel gazing, which not only takes you off the assembly line but engenders apathy, disrupts the flow and results in reinforcing the difference between those who do and those who get in the way. Yesterday, Parliament spent half a day trying to decide if Jeremy Corbyn had called Theresa May a stupid woman when I’m pretty sure other matters were somewhat more pressing. In this world of constant affirmation and re-affirmation members of Parliament have to, every five years, ask our opinion of their performance. How do they rate?
Monday, 17 December 2018
I have observed a curious thing; in fact we all have. The great and the good, the righteous – some may say self-righteous – who voted to remain in the EU appear to have quite delicate equilibria. Their sense of perspective, already a tad warped by their inability to recognise the antagonistic nature of the project, is so unstable that it can be tipped over into near insanity with very little effort. Like Wile E. Coyote’s boulder balancing on a precipice it seems to take only the slightest bit of leverage to initiate the inevitable. Sometimes, so weak is their resolve that the push comes from within and they spontaneously embark on tirades against the ignorant bastards who stole their dreams.
Like those mad bag people screaming at the traffic the world watches, open-mouthed but careful not to catch their eye, as garments are rent, fists banged against unyielding invisible barriers and tiny feet are stamped in purple-cheeked rage. The Remainer tantrum is now so regular an event I am surprised that municipalities don’t install padded, soundproofed booths in high streets where they can vent their fury in safety. In an earlier age many Remainers would by now have been institutionalised for their own safety.
Weirdest of all, this infantile gasping for attention is given validity by the outbursts of a legion of high-profile figures: Alastair Campbell, Gary Lineker, Jolyon Maugham, AC Grayling, Anna Soubry, Andrew Adonis... the list goes on and on. And on. We not only tolerate their abusive ranting but media, especially social media, seems intent on giving them maximum exposure. And it’s easy to see why, because, like morons on reality television, their delusions make compulsive viewing; we are all Bedlam voyeurs now.
The best instances of the spontaneous inhuman combustion entertainment genre come when they reveal another conspiracy theory, or a trite aphorism as to why they lost the vote despite the many millions of overspend in their campaign, plus the support in kind from every branch of the enraged establishment, worth many millions more. Such outburst aimed at Leavers include, but are not limited to:
· We didn’t know what we voted for.
· The Russians made us do it
· We believed a lie on a bus
· Old people did it to spite the young
· We wanted blue passports
Anything but the perfectly rational desire to leave, expressed simply and unadorned by any complex and unachievable mechanism by which we could both leave and remain simultaneously.
When they demand – actually demand – that we explain ourselves and we say; “We voted to leave the EU” they invent some genius counter-argument such as, “Ah, but what sort of Brexit did you vote for? You never specified what you really wanted, did you?” Or “You never had a plan!” and (but only after many, many months of trying to conjure up such a bogeyman) “But what about the Irish border?” Well, what about it? You don’t want one, the Irish don’t want one, how about... not having one?
Meanwhile we ignorant Brexiteers go about our business. We have no time to waste in trying to justify or explain the thing we have explained a million times over. We don’t want to be ruled by the EU; that’s it. But, they think, this must be a trap! And then from this they posit that every single one of the 17.4 million who voted to leave must have each had a different Brexit in mind. Only in the minds of Remainers can a simple expression of a single desire become a Gordian knot of a problem, impossible to solve.
This is the source of the Nile of their delirium. In their heads they are the only rational people in the country; that one thought alone is entirely irrational, but they don’t stop there. Like religious ‘scholars’ they seek to come up with ever more outlandish stories to explain the inexplicable while ignoring the simple but elegant solution right in front of them. Like intelligent design versus evolution, one requires an article of faith while the truth merely needs to be acknowledged. There is no god and Brexit means Brexit; it means we leave. If you haven’t got it by now all we can hope for is your speedy recovery once you finally realise that rescue spaceship is never coming.
Sunday, 16 December 2018
I’m not ‘old’ yet, but to you I’m probably as ancient as that mosque which has been there on the corner of your street from the beginning of time. (Fun Fact: the mosque is probably a third of my age) Long before the European Union existed (although many years after it had been conceived as a means of taking away sovereignty by stealth) I worked overseas. Friends of mine did gap years abroad and at university some of my fellow students were exchange students or, you know, just foreign, fee-paying fellows.
Since the beginning of the postal service people had pen-pals all around the world (pen pals were Facebook friends in which you had to invest some actual effort) and visits were often seen as an extended part of that communication. You may be surprised to learn that Britons, far from being imprisoned within this moated island, were the most travelled people on the planet. Visit a national museum some time, but avoid the politically correct, right-on exhibits designed to feed your prejudices against empire.
The history you have been brought up with is, if not precisely ‘wrong’, framed to make you hate your country of birth. In fact, scrub that, it is wrong. The social politics you have been inculcated with is predicated on the basis that white Europeans are responsible for every bad thing in the world and preeminent in this evil are the bloodthirsty devils of England. But I see something you do not see; that the history I was taught has been erased in front of my eyes to be replaced by the revisionist nonsense your heads are filled with.
The British were overwhelmingly a force for a greater good and at no time has our island been ‘a nation of immigrants’ any more than any other great trading nation. We have always imported the best from elsewhere and exported even greater riches abroad - law, governance, culture, civilisation, learning, science... We always had the sovereignty to resist the imposition of people, laws and customs injurious to our national interest, while revelling in a true diversity of thought, experience and aspiration, as opposed to the imposed diversity of ghettoised and hostile monocultures.
The EU has sought to dampen, to control and ultimately to subjugate that great world-bestriding pioneering spirit and infuse instead a sense of belonging, a sense of allegiance to nowhere except the EU. Ask those subsumed to Mother Russia how that worked out – the Berlin Wall was in place not to keep people out, but to keep them in; see how those formerly imprisoned embraced their new freedoms and abandoned their gaolers.
Brexit is our wall coming down, it is our gift to you, the young, because the future is what you make of it. It is because we are older and have lived on this world and we have seen these things which we bequeath to you, where you have not. This gives you a far greater freedom than the EU’s illusory freedom of movement; we are trying to give you freedom of everything. But are you grateful? Do you even care to listen? What has been done to you to make you imagine that your parents, your grandparents and great grandparents wish you ill? This goes against everything humanity is genetically implored to do.
Daily we hear the shit-stirring Remain rhetoric that says old people always vote to hurt young people. Stop and think about that. You don’t quite grasp that because we were once young, yet you have never been old, we have been where you are; but how can you presume to know what we think? And why would we want you to be poor? On the contrary, we wish you riches, so that in our very old age you can afford to maintain the support our parents enjoyed on retirement. We, far more than you, have a sense of community and a respect for the social contract.
Removing workers rights? Fuck off, we invented them. Rolling back Health and Safety legislation? Have you seen the harm done to small businesses by the overbearing imposition of unthinking regulation to counter the tiniest risk? No wonder UK productivity is poor. As for the nebulous and ever-expanding smorgasbord of entitlement under the heading of Human Rights... where do we start? Once we relied on common decency and the rule of law, now everything that offends your warped perspective is exploited as another money-maker for the corrupt.
Can I call you back? I'm creating happy memories
of my childhood for my father...
It will take many years to halt and then reverse the decline, but this won’t be because of the crippling effects of Brexit. Rather it will be a long journey into light as we recover from the loss of optimism and the blind obeisance to some godly EU commission. We need new teachers, new legislators and a new political class at the very least, but if you put in half the effort you have devoted to bleating about how the old people stole your future into making your own lives better, you will have a long, healthy prosperous life. And one day you will be old, too. I hope the young people of your elder years treat you more kindly.
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
I am sorry if you are out of work. I feel for you if you are a struggling single parent and I really wish you all a decent life, whoever you are and whatever you do, or don’t do. Nobody should have to struggle in what is still one of the richest countries in the world. So, I apologise on behalf of the nation should you find yourself in straits which, if not truly dire are, somewhat less than optimal. But there is also something else I am sorry about; I’m sorry you feel the need to live beyond my means.
You see, unless you are in gainful employment, earning enough to cover all your costs and accepting no benefits, you contribute nothing to the public purse and the fruits of your loins are highly likely to follow in your footsteps. We get no labour from you, no worthwhile intellectual contribution and whereas I have no objection to us all chipping in a few bob to help you out, you seem to constantly have your hand deep in my pockets. It takes three of me paying in for every one of you taking out. And that is just for your keep; if you have children you can’t afford we need at least another one of me for each one of them.
On top of that we have defence to pay for. Then there are roads, schools, public health, the costly burden of government and all the many fingers in many pies that come with that bloated sector. Still more, we have to pay for the EU to order us about, we have to fund the ruinous ambitions of the UN, keep up our contributions to NATO and of course there’s that £14billion we throw away every year to help India and Pakistan with their space and nuclear ambitions... not to mention funding gold-plated Kalashnikovs and Lamborghinis for African despots.
It really is quite a burden. Out of what’s left I need to feed myself and mine, cover the costs of keeping a roof over our heads, keep a car on the road so I can get to work and maybe, from time to time, afford a short break to recharge the batteries. Oh and there is also my pension fund to build, because I’m not expecting my taxes to fund both your pension and mine. And on the subject of pensions, I still have to feed, clothe and house the millions of migrants who we are told we need, expressly to cover the cost of those pensions. Until we get a financially competent exchequer, this situation isn’t likely to change any time soon.
Now, I do understand that all this whining is not going to get me very far, but I’m sure you will forgive me if your demands – not pleas, or apologetic entreaties for assistance, but actual demands, the insistence on your ‘human rights – fall on ears that become deafer each year. I’m afraid that there is only so much sympathy I can muster as I have other calls on my time. So, please excuse me; I have to go to work to keep you in the style to which you have become accustomed. Do have a lovely day in front of the telly!
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
US comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s comedy musings “You might be a redneck if...” became for a time a catch phrase, eliciting much mirth and merriment at the expense of people generally considered not just beyond but beneath the pale. For instance, you might be a redneck if: your dad walks you to school because you’re in the same grade, or: if you mow your lawn and find a car, or: if you have more cars than teeth, or: if you’ve ever taken out finance for a tattoo... you get the picture. All harmless fun, after all, a redneck is hardly going to encounter or understand this particularly highbrow vein of comedy gold.
But that was then and this is... well it’s the rise of the redneck, or as we call them these days, Nazis. And according to Germany’s far-left “anti-hate” cabal, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, you may be a Nazi if, for instance, your kids are perfectly normal. Now, you may say, so what, it’s Breitbart? But that doesn’t mean it’s not true... and true or not it is horrifying. Or is it? Is it – and this is far more likely – just a symptom of the times in which we live where, around every corner, over every page and in every frame of video or second of audio we risk finding something to be offended by?
Owen Jones was all over social media on Sunday evening, gleefully recounting how his rowdy rabble of masked and screeching Nazi-seeking minions had seen and routed actual Nazis as they goose-stepped through London. I don’t know if you saw any footage of the Brexit march, but what I saw was a crowd of decent people, people who had worked all their lives in the hope of a better future, turning out to show how let down they felt by a system that rewards fictitious Nazi hunters and punishes those who dare to quietly get on with their lives.
.I saw people troubled by the unprecedented and unwanted change they see all around them, people who feel threatened by the new priorities of the age, people being directly threatened by Owen Jones’ baying rent-a-mob with genuine hate in their eye and murder in their souls. And the reaction of these supposed Nazis to their tormentors? A resigned sigh, a look of almost-pity for their assailants but most of all a determination to maintain a quiet dignity and humour in the face of such embarrassingly juvenile disruptive behaviour. In France the gilets jaune may have resorted to violence, but it’s not the British way. Maybe the Antifa family learned their techniques from some continental regime, possibly from 1930s Germany?
Being labelled as a Nazi is now as passé as being called a racist or being dubbed male, pale and stale. Even Jones’ favourite epithet ‘gammon’ fails to elicit any more than a shrug and the knowledge that you belong to a club on the right side of, well everything, really. So hey, if you have blond hair, or blue eyes, or believe in high standards of public behaviour; if you are troubled by violent yobs, or people with little experience of life suddenly appearing to have so much influence over it, you’re now a Nazi.
You may be redneck if...
If your parents or grandparents fought actual Nazis and you abhor all they stood for it makes no difference; you are a Nazi. If you marched on Sunday, or if you support those who marched, or even if you merely voted the way you felt was right for Britain in 2016, you are a Nazi. If you believe that the pantomime Brexit being performed by our Prime Minister is nothing more than a pre-scripted display of EU intransigence which further reinforces your decision to vote to leave you are definitely a Nazi. What do you mean you’re thinking of growing a little moustache?
Sunday, 9 December 2018
With the odd exception – the likelihood that we will continue to orbit the sun, that gravity won’t suddenly switch off... and that nobody will be able to explain Labour’s actual position on Brexit any time soon – we live in a world of uncertain ‘facts’. To a greater or lesser degree we rely on forecasts; the weather, the exchange rate and the possibility of trains arriving on at least the same day as stated on the timetable. But nobody, literally nobody, knows the future, that mysterious realm that lies beyond tonight’s dreams.
And part of that difficulty has to lie in the actual fact that many of the things we know are not necessarily, actually facts. We have unreliable memories, we view events through lenses tinted with bias and time has a habit of rendering even the once crystal clear vague and blurry. We accept without question things told us by an apparently higher authority. As children it is our parents’ fictions we trust, as adults it appears to be that of self-appointed experts... with whom we happen to already agree.
Listening to Any Questions on Radio 4 yesterday and particularly its follow-up show Any Answers I was struck by how many directly contradictory opinions were posed as absolute facts. Callers to the show were adamant in their forthright views and each believed their own version of that truth. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that observers will give wholly different versions of simple events; wine experts cannot tell white from red in blind tastings; and priming can elicit predictable, but wrong, responses time and time again.
We are not creatures of logic, but of faith; one reason, perhaps, that religion can still sway so many people to act against their own interests. Bizarrely, it is the most highly educated who appear to exhibit the greatest propensity to adopt unverified pseudo-facts as long as it feeds whatever narrative they have signed themselves up to: Climate change, immigration, Brexit. It’s as if their time in education, coupled with the company they keep absolves them from any responsibility to question what they believe. If they were joining a new Moonies we would be launching interventions to free them from the cult.
If you think I am being too glib, ask yourselves what ‘facts’ you truly know. Pick a subject, any subject, preferably one you believe you know a lot about and try to dispassionately pick apart your understanding. Can you explain friction, light, sight, sound, digestion, ambulation, or any of the many things you experience every day without a conscious thought? Take a ‘fact’ and ask yourself; how do I know this to be true? How was this established? What credentials support this nugget of apparently inviolable truth?
Be honest. Did you find the truth or did you just accept a truth? As a generally useful rule, the more leaps of faith it takes to support an assertion the less likely it is to be true; the more layers of secrecy needed to maintain a supposed plot, the more likely it is to be a lie. The truth is usually mundane and simple, but we are wired to reject simple. The fabricated, convoluted, conspiratorial machinations of mystery fiction are just, well, more engaging than the dry pages of a textbook. (And not all textbooks are necessarily free of untruths.)
Well, what do you believe?
Assume that everything you know is questionable, that everything you believe is because somebody influenced you to believe it and that those people were influenced before them. Do not mistake eminence for authority, nor qualifications for competence. Consider how people ascended the greasy pole to power before automatically accepting what they say as gospel; ask yourself what they have to gain by influencing you and most of all, in the words of David Byrne “... ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
Saturday, 8 December 2018
Douglas Murray, a shining beacon of reason in an inky morass of fudge and obfuscation has written that if Brexit is not enacted he may never vote again. He finishes his article with the worrying paragraph: “I’m sure lots of people will say ‘Isn’t that a bit over the top?’ And who knows, perhaps my attitude will change at some crisis point down the road. But the purpose of my saying this is not really to say what I am thinking, but only really to say this: if I am thinking this, what are millions of other people in our country thinking? And what is not imaginable after disenfranchisement on such a scale?“
He is right. Many others have already expressed the same sentiment, but where does that get us? Parades and petitions have had no effect on numerous issues over the years and unless we ape the actions of les gilets jaunes in France experience has shown our so-called leaders to be impervious to the wishes of ordinary people. Besides, riots in the UK are always accompanied by looting and vandalism which has nothing to do with the cause; the usual suspects are always looking for an excuse to get some kicks and free gear.
Our Members of Parliament mock us when they invoke the spirit of democracy and insist that we have the best of all worlds – direct election of representatives who, from their more informed, more morally balanced motives do what is best for us, or rather what they think is best for us. Not for us the tedium of direct democracy; not for us the picking through tortuous legal proceedings to find a form of words that lets everybody come out as winners. No, the business of running a country is far too important to be left to a plebiscite.
But it’s telling isn’t it, that unable to find a solution to the European problem, this enclave of the mightiest and wisest in the land turned to we, the people, to tell them what we wanted. Of course, they had already decided, as we are seeing and they were merely seeking our endorsement so that, in the future, when they sign away our young people’s lives, literally their lives, as conscripts in the EU army for what unknown future wars, they could turn to us and say “But this is what you voted for”.
But it isn’t is it? And things are not always as they seem, for who makes up this cohort of the great and the good? Are they really the best and the brightest we could find? No, our parliament comprises far too many chancers, thieves, sexual deviants, gangsters, fraudsters and cheats of every persuasion and little evidence of practical intelligence beyond that needed to run any half-successful scam. These are not informed visionaries, but more often examples of those who actively seek power over others - failed lawyers, failed businessmen, failed academics and fanatical ideologues. If they are truly representative, it speaks very ill of the rest of us.
Labour’s red princes, institutional nepotism, the spads (special advisors - and on what authority do they advise?), student politician, the PPE graduates and so on. We have a system in which people learn, long before they have learned about life, how to be politicians. Party placemen are manoeuvred into safe seats and loyalties are bought and sold, precious little of that loyalty to those who voted. Whatever happened to the gifted amateur, the successful outsider who genuinely wants to give something back?
Already, under our current electoral regime, MPs who do try and represent their constituents quickly learn that those loyalties will stand them in no stead in the party system. But what of Douglas Murray’s depressing prognosis? If we don’t vote then we allow even more patronage, nepotism and greed to rule over us. We would enter a true serfdom, for if the system we voted for doesn’t serve us, the system we don’t vote for will be under no obligation to pay any heed at all to our concerns.
But they are forgetting one thing – if you wish to lord it over your underlings you only have two options left – you already blew the ‘representative democracy’ charade – and these are force or favour. You either institute martial law, for which you need a loyal army (good luck with that, now we have ex-soldiers sleeping on the streets) or you need to buy off your dullards with drugs, sex and stultifyingly tawdry entertainment. Well done on Jungle, Strictly and Real Housewives, by the way, but it’s not enough.
Say what you will about Donald Trump, but he was elected for the same reasons we voted for Brexit and his rumbustious slogan “Drain the swamp!” could not be more apposite. We are at ground zero and now need to adopt a scorched earth policy toward our broken politics. Our government is not fit to govern. Our representatives are not fit to represent us. Ignoring them, letting them carry on as they are, sends no message at all. If we want to be heard we need to shout louder, if we want to be seen we need to act more decisively. And if we want change we have to be that change. Drain that swamp.
Friday, 7 December 2018
An early memory – and this must have been during the run up to the election of 1966 – is of being corralled in the school yard by a gang of older kids demanding “Labour, Liberal or Conservative?” Not having a clue what these words meant, I spluttered “Conservative” merely because it was the word that sounded most impressive. It turned out this was the right answer, given that the big kids were largely of farming stock and aping their parents’ views of the time. Thus I escaped the Chinese burns and dead-legs administered to those who responded differently; I survived my first encounter with political brutality.
Since then, I have taken an increasingly keen interest in politics. Not as an activist, but as an avid bystander. I have seen how politicians are straw people, bending in the slightest breeze and eminently biddable. I’ve seen how polls are used, not to consult on policy, but to shape opinion and manufacture consent. I’ve marvelled at the ease with which a partisan soundbite can shape the zeitgeist; ‘poll tax’, ‘fat cats’, ‘tax cuts for their friends’, ‘New Labour, new danger’, etc. And I never been disabused of my basic belief that even otherwise very clever people can be demonstrably very stupid and very gullible.
Politics is broken right now, as a result of too little democratic control and too great an assumption of power by the elected, aided and abetted by the kind of idiocy that culminates in this idiot Cambridge ‘academic’ suggesting children should be given a vote. If this turns out to be a spoof then it wasn’t nearly funny enough, erudite enough or clever enough, because when some people genuinely think asking a four-year old to choose a gender is ‘a good thing’ you really have to up your parody game. You can claim it is just an academic exercise but, seriously, young people are ineligible to vote for a whole stack of very good reasons; to suggest otherwise is irresponsible and idiotic.
Then, into this quagmire of competing fixations, obsessions and ideologies strides the one-man communist propaganda corps, James – Stalin - O’Brien, the Poundshop Pol Pot, the Chiswick Castro. This pompous jackanape has a national platform from which he puffs himself up and pontificates and he uses this platform to inject a form of poison into the body politic. In the aim of self-aggrandisement he sets himself up as an authority on all that he despises; which seems to be ordinary people with concerns for the way in which our society is ordered.
There seems little in the so-called progressive milieu to which he hasn’t signed up wholesale. Immigration is an inalienable good, aggressive minorities are fighting the good fight and anybody who disagrees with him is a worm to be stamped upon. He selects callers to either reinforce his points or to be set up for destruction via his well-rehearsed and almost entirely irrelevant counter points. “I can’t get work on building sites any more because Easter European workers will work for a level of pay I can’t pay my rent with” will inevitable be met with the contention “So, you’re a xenophobe?” and then be cut off without right to reply, unless he thinks he can humiliate the caller some more.
He so thoroughly believes his own smug superiority that even when he has been shown to be a showboating no-mark he refuses to back down. The other day I heard a perfectly reasonable caller to his LBC show trying to make a point; we’ll never know what the point was because O’Brien repeatedly interrupted him – verbally bullied him – to the point where all reason was lost. The exchange went something like...
Caller: I voted Ukip at the last elec...
O’B: So, you decided to back the Nazis?
Caller: No, it was about getting a Brexit that...
O’B: You hate immigrants, is that it?
Caller: No, of course I don’t hate immi...
O’B: You gave your vote to a racist party; that makes you a racist, doesn’t it?
Caller: I don’t know why you can’t understa...
O’B: When did you decide to get into bed with the Nazis and racists?
Caller: I wanted a say on who makes our rules.
O’B: You think we are ruled by filthy foreigners, is that it? You would prefer to vote with the fascists and racists and xenophobes, rather than let a single foreigner into the country?
Caller; You are just being ridiculous now.
O’B: Well it’s you who want the Nazis in power... [repeat ad nauseum]
O'Brien's show in a nutshell... so you don't have to listen.
Such dialectic, worthy of Socrates himself! O’Brien is a pompous, preening, overbearing useful idiot to the communist cause. A few years ago he adopted a slightly self-effacing demeanour and appeared almost willing to accept he was not always right, but he has become his own creation, a creature of bitterness and rancour... and tunnel vision. No wonder he didn’t last on Newsnight. No wonder he is reviled on both left and right. If his daughters grow up to become BNP sympathisers he will have only himself to blame.
Thursday, 6 December 2018
You know, for those that have the ability to embrace a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-social, non-binary, rainbow world it is quite alarming how they can only actually see things in binary black and white. While they simultaneously adopt contradictory positions - feminists against feminists, gays backing immigration from profoundly hetero-centric cultures - they cannot conceive, even in their cognitively disordered minds, that others who do not share their doublethink could ever be right. They appear to accuse us of having a monotheistic stance to everything.
In their world view anybody who does not automatically confer uncritical approval on even the tiniest minority proclivity is an unreconstructed caveman with a single bigoted brain cell. It is far easier to cast a bogeyman as wholly bogey than of having shades, hints, of common decency. Far more effective to tar the whole man as just a part of him; that way the feathers are going to stick wherever they fall. They talk of us ‘othering’ those who don’t fit neatly into our world view, yet they do precisely the same when they assume that somebody with a different vision for society from them must be an inhuman monster.
So, a Tory voter is automatically a hater of the poor, a denier of human rights, a money-grubbing investment banker working for the global anti-humanist cabal, when the reality is that he or she almost certainly works, struggles to make ends meet, believes in the social contract and loves their children just as much as somebody who insists it is the state’s job to feed and house them. All humans are non-binary in their views; there are very few absolutes, but in order to foment rage against those of us who feel no need to constantly protest, we are painted in single, primary colours to mark us out for vilification.
But why are we not allowed to be sceptical when things are not as clear cut as some people want it to be? It’s not that we completely refute that human activity has an effect on climate change, but that knee-jerk punishment taxation may not be the most effective way of combating it. It’s not that we think people of different skin hues are inferior, but when crime rates soar as a direct result of mass immigration from the third world, surely we need to establish why and take measures to protect ourselves. And it’s not that we don’t accept that some people are genuinely born with the wrong sexual equipment, we just don’t believe it is a great idea to suggest transgenderism to malleable young minds.
But none of these qualifications are recognised; we are climate change deniers for questioning policy which financially disadvantages those least able to afford it. We are labelled racists because we object to female genital mutilation and organised ethnic rape gangs. And we are monstrous transphobes for believing that the gender dysphoric are a truly tiny minority. We can’t order society to recognise and respond equally to all differences; in a democracy the wishes of the majority are used to direct policy and the compassionate consideration of the minorities seeks to include them wherever we can. I wonder how all these differences competing for attention would fare under a mob rule system?
No matter what our true beliefs, we will be excoriated as racist Nazi scum for daring to suggest that we should each seek to heal ourselves. That self-reliance is a far better strategy than expecting others to come to our aid; that jumping to conclusions about another’s allegiances based on one strongly held belief is naïve and unhelpful. But what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander (although PETA would frown on such vegan-phobic language) so we all indulge in similar miscasting of our adversaries’ motives.
Whadda you got?
But the phenomenon isn’t even-handed. The devil, they might say, makes dogma for the idle to adopt and those occupied more fully in leading good lives, supporting a family, instilling values of fairness and a genuine work ethic don’t pay much heed to labelling. Those who recognise that waiting for outside agencies to wave a magic wand over your life chances is futile have little need for the conjuring up of demons to hate. But those who would most benefit from adopting the mindset of the strivers are apt instead to give way to envy and blame all their ills on the ordinary people who are, out-of-character, going to march in London on Sunday in yellow hi-viz vests to protest the sidelining of democracy. Colour me shocked
Tuesday, 4 December 2018
On one of my recent long walks, hooked up to ‘the wireless’ as Jake Rees-Mogg would have it, I listened to a short exposé of the phenomenon of essay mills. This industry – the cheating industry – is nothing new; twenty years ago I encountered some early versions of it in the form of essay-sharing websites being freely accessed by MSc students. In fact, asked to check over a fellow student’s work I quizzed him as to why paragraphs were in different literary styles and logically unconnected. He shrugged, submitted it anyway and gained a merit. I’m guessing the tutor was merely looking for key words.
Of course, cheating was always an option but in the past it was not only frowned upon, rather than encouraged, it was generally recognised that the cheat would eventually be exposed, the plagiarist pilloried and that real talent would out. Encouraged, you ask? Surely cheating is still a disqualification event? Not that you’d notice; GCSEs taught to the exam, colleges and universities as qualification factories and the espousal of the ‘right’ cultural values placed above knowledge and achievement.
We have an entire sub-economy (sub, in the sense that it undermines the economy) based on the virtue signalling, social justice promoting, equality and diversity worshipping cults of the new Marxists. Non-jobs proliferate, such as patient experience champions in place of nurses, human resources practitioners displacing actual human resources and an entire branch of the judiciary intent on defending the indefensible instead of upholding the common law. And some sectors of society – such as drug-dealing sons, daughters and siblings of serving politicians – are seemingly beyond legal sanction.
But what other choices do people have, when they see that an honest day’s toil brings in a miserable minimum wage, whereas a day spent messing with other people’s heads can be the foundation swell of a meteoric career wave, culminating in honours, adoration and riches? Forty years in the machine shop brings ill health, subsistence living and the prospect of retiring on a state pension while still paying rent, compared to the same time spent in comfy talking shops, ordering progressively more expensive champagne.
But it isn’t sustainable. This world of easy options, of lazy, second-hand ‘work’ procuring the rewards that should properly accrue only to those who contribute to, not detract from our common wealth cannot continue. Eventually, the state runs out of money earned by the productive to pay for the non-productive – the cheats, the charlatans the snake-oil salesmen. The quinoa-fed world produces nothing of value but is filled with those who have convinced themselves that copying a slogan is as important as reproducing an item of commercial value. All of this culminating in a bid to have veganism given the status of a religion and have animal-based phrases denounced as hate speech.
The developed world is burning and in no small part this is due to the perceived and actual injustice of cheats prospering. The greasy pole climb used to need skill, strength and stamina; now, your pointless degree in cheating gives you a leg up. But the gloss is fading and the lying, cheating classes are being seen for what they are – valueless leeches, parasites on the body national. When the public finance well runs dry those shop-bought essays will count for nothing. The future belongs to those prepared to tear down the flimsy walls of political correctness and rebuild them with sturdy blocks of honest toil.
Go for 'B'...
So, instil in your children a love of learning, acclimatise them to the work ethic and emphasize the gaining of true life skills. Evangelise self-sufficiency; cooking, cleaning, thrift and most importantly, making do but striving for better. Let them know themselves, not be led by donkeys and never fear to speak their mind. Challenge them to make choices, rather than follow the herd. Teach them to socialise without being sycophants, to defend their values, but listen to those of others; keep the enemy close. And if they must cheat to get ahead, make sure they don’t get caught.