Friday, 20 September 2019
So, Justin Trudeau, as a much younger man, blacked up and had a ball. And the media is whipped into a frenzy of condemnation and righteous fury at his ‘racism’. I’m sorry, I thought imitation was the sincerest form of flattery. As for racism, where was the implication that the person or race imitated was being denigrated? He looked like he’d gone to a great deal of effort, almost as if in homage. And even if he had gone all Bongo-Bongo about it, where’s the harm? Seriously, where is it? (And don't give me all that whiny guff about the oppressive history of blackface; try going as Michael Jackson without... oh, wait.)
There are armies of people now whose entire purpose in life is to detract from the simple pursuit of life itself, of just getting on with it. Widget-making factories make much more expensive widgets because they have to cover the salaries of the non-producers. HR, whose role seems pure to frustrate the normal interaction of personnel. PR whose outcomes are often at odds with their stated intent. And where does one begin when it comes to the worship of diversity, inclusion and all the various ‘isms’ to which a modern western company is beholden?
Meanwhile, we import our widgets – superior quality, lower price – from companies who operate in countries where what you think about your neighbour is far less important than whether or not you can make a decent widget for a fair price. Similarly the UK Supreme Court (its own name an unnecessary import from the colonies) is currently engaged in the hugely expensive business of deciding whether a perfectly legal thing is legal, or whether they can set yet another precedent which further removes the judiciary from its more honourable purpose of locking up bad guys.
It is as if the civilised world, having effectively solved most of the problems of humanity, is afraid of running out and is now desperately trying to manufacture new problems to solve. We have enough wealth and a general desire to be more equitable that we should be able to function as a truly aspirant society. In this I have some sympathy for the socialists. We should be able to distribute far more equitably than we do, but we have yet to develop a simple mechanism by which this can be achieved. And having decided long ago to adopt complicated problem-solving mechanisms where the bleeding obvious would suffice, there is skin in the game for the various wastrels who absorb much of our excess cash.
Thus those with what is now called a social conscience, having made it to a place of financial security and the reassuring calm of the chattering classes, seek to ameliorate the agony of their own success by demanding that others – rarely themselves – contribute more, speak more kindly and generally behave as they themselves believe they do. I say ‘believe they do’ because it is remarkable the intemperance of language with which they refer to those they most despise; people just like themselves who are still working their way up.
Just harem a good time...
Competitive white guilt is like one huge practical joke; it is a kick-me notice pinned onto everybody who dares to aspire to anything and used to denigrate any success as entirely due to some bizarre notion of unearned white privilege. And it is nigh-on impossible to avoid, so, we must forgive poor Justin his decades-old faux pas this once. And the other time. Oh and whenever he has innocently and accidentally blacked up for shits and giggles on other occasions. What can I say; we are human, we are fallible. That’s ‘peoplekind’ for you.
Thursday, 19 September 2019
Happiness, sang Ken Dodd, happiness, was the greatest gift that he possessed. Gift in this case meaning gifted by god, by nature, by providence or, just possibly gifted by himself. So precious is this gift that the pursuit of it is enshrined in the US Declaration of Independence, alongside life and liberty. But while life and liberty are granted as ‘unalienable rights’ even the Founding Fathers recognised that that happiness means different things to different people and thus it was up to each as individuals to pursue their own with no guarantee of success.
So it is somewhat presumptuous of Jo Swinson, the new and excitable leader of the Illiberal anti-Democratic Party, to propose the appointment of a Minister for Happiness. For a start, what can she mean by happiness and how would we measure when one has achieved it? Will we have to regularly report our state of elation to government auditors for assessment? After all, if you are going to create a ministry how will it know when it has achieved its stated aims and will it have to define an acceptable type of happiness; will happiness be regulated, ordered, monitored and corrected, or will we be granted the liberty to define our own?
But just suppose happiness – and bear with me on this as I riff – is, you know, a by-product of many other things, such as being comfortably well-off, having a sound roof above your head, being fed and watered and decently clothed. Being free of worldly concerns has to contribute to the sum total of contentment but humans have a habit of finding misery even amidst great wealth and comfort. So, I’m guessing the new ministry would have to also consider removing the impediments to joy which thwarted ambition, failed relationships and loss bring.
Perhaps we could also have ministers whose purpose is to ensure good educational outcomes, healthcare, stress-free and efficient transport, agricultural productivity, environmental security and, say, equality and human rights? If only these had been considered by earlier administrations then we wouldn’t need Jo’s blue-sky, outside the box, radical, direct-to-the-heart-of-the-matter prognostications. Better still, to make us feel better than ever, why not a minister for self-esteem? See, these are classics of student-level, socialist groupthink; ‘if only everybody could be more like me… let’s legislate!’.
It turns out, on further investigation that we already have (who’d have thought it?) ministries to deal with all the above and more. And we have more advisors on health, wealth and happiness than we have ever had. The internet is awash with people making themselves very happy indeed – and smug – by telling everybody else how to achieve a nirvana just like theirs. And it is a crock because what makes you wriggle in delirious delight may well make me squirm in revulsion. We no more need a minister for happiness than we need one for breathing.
But, you know what is good for happiness, for self-esteem, for all-round well-being? It is a sense of being in control of your own destiny. Give people the tools and the wherewithal and they will work out the rest for themselves. Educate them, provide meaningful, well-paid work and a sense of community and responsibility and they will become better people. Free them from the shackles of groupthink and suddenly the whole group is healthier.
Real freedom - not those 'freedoms'.
As a nation the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness will not come from being shackled to a moribund rules-obsessed monolith which believes it can legislate people better. It will not come from a one-size-fits-all approach to every part of society. It is in the Declaration of Independence, Jo! Freedom from those Newspeak 'freedoms' of the EU. Happiness comes from pulling up your socks, getting up off the bench and walking out through that open cell door. Brexit has opened the door for us – let’s get the hell out before people like Swinson slam it shut again.
Sunday, 8 September 2019
I love it when people who know so much better than me tell me why I voted to leave the EU. I have been, variously, an unthinking dupe of the Russians, indoctrinated and herded by rich ‘elites’ who ‘stand to make a fortune. I am a Little Englander who wants a return to the nineteen-fifties, shortly after we had stood up to Hitler and survived, battered and bruised… but I am also a Nazi myself; somebody who would deny others their freedoms. I am a brutal racist thug, under-educated fool, lower class canon fodder and all round idiot. Also, I am old.
The insults come quite soon after you have challenged a Remainer on the ridiculous things they are saying and often immediately precede a block. It is quite tiresome at times, trying to argue with these bricks in the propaganda wall of hate which has been carefully laid by pro-EU agitators. It is also amusing to see how many Remainers claim to know ‘many’ leavers who have changed their mind when confronted with ‘the facts’ and – of course – while Remainers endure forever, Leavers are dying off in their droves.
At yesterday’s losers march, the bias of the establishment was hard to avoid. While the dwindling numbers of referendum-deniers were pretty much allowed free rein to wander as they wished, those opposing the chosen ones’ show were kettled and frustrated by the police. When the self-declared communist Ash Sarkar took to the stage the first thing she tried to do was to goad these largely honest voters by screeching “Fascist scum – off our streets” and get a crowd chant going. It is all beginning to ring hollow.
The same old insults, the same old tired schtick. Remain voters are good, caring, intelligent, educated people with the best interest of humanity at heart. Leavers are, to a man, thuggish, sluggish gammon; thick, brutal, gullible and gulled. Remainers went to university, you know? Leavers learned their skills on the streets as muggers and conmen. Remainers care deeply about the world. Leavers want to plunder it. Yeah, yeah, yeah… you know the word ‘populist’ is just around the corner and – wait for it – Boris Johnson is, literally Hitler.
And so to the papers and the polls. The serial failure (and cabineteer most likely to elicit the question 'who?') Amber Rudd leaving the Conservatives is widely touted as a mortal blow to the government. But why would the jettisoning of ballast make Boris’s balloon fly lower? In fact, with every sneaky sucker punch the usual suspects try to get in, Johnson’s stock in the country rises. It is almost as if those so supremely in the know don’t really understand Britishness at all. Keep beating the dog and sooner or later we will step in and stand up for it.
Boris brings the house down.
So as we enter the end days of this struggle – if Robert Mugabe’s reign can be described as a heroic struggle, then Brexit surely can – let us hope that Boris keeps his nerve and sticks to his guns. The threat of prison for breaking the newly-minted and highly partisan law, if necessary, to take us out should only embolden him. If the left, the communists, the true forces of remain really want to make him a martyr, we will cheer him all the way to the metaphorical scaffold.
Saturday, 7 September 2019
A recent report has revealed that the children of women who suffered stress during pregnancy are more likely to develop mental health problems by the time they are thirty. Labelled ‘child personality disorder’, presumably to generate a new income stream for those who diagnose such things, it manifests itself as an excess of anxiety, emotional instability, anti-social behaviour and even paranoia. In other words, immaturity. Quelle surprise!
As with all such revelations it should be taken with a pinch of salt and a great deal of scepticism. With a bit of redrafting the conclusions could have been a much more credible; ‘stressed-out mums create neurotic kids’. It is well-known that the children of adults in difficult circumstances have far poorer prospects than those brought up in secure, happy, well-balanced households. Why should these redundant ‘new’ findings raise even an eyebrow?
But this is not to dismiss this latest example of stating the bleeding obvious as entirely irrelevant, because it is a well-established fact that certain personality types are difficult to live with and cause trouble in all sorts of unpleasant ways. Pandering to them, as our nice, usually pretty tolerant society tends to do, doesn’t always help; this is how we end up with tyrannical infants pulling temper tantrums and embarrassing their parents, or ego-maniacal talking heads in positions of influence, whipping up a storm, But enough of Owen Jones.
Actually, no. Owen Jones may well be the prime exemplar of the stressed-out mother’s progeny; and if she wasn’t stressed out during pregnancy she really ought to be now because Owen, in common with many high-profile figures, is exhibiting signs of a deep and chronic mental disorder. One of the obvious signs of mental imbalance is an inability to recognise when you are out of whack with those around you. So unaware are they of their own extremism that they think it is perfectly normal to predict the direst of consequences, repeat the craziest of conspiracies and liberally insult and demean those round them.
People, undoubtedly, are a product of their environment – in the case of Greta Thunberg possibly a product of THE environment - but Greta at least has an excuse in the form of a diagnosed autistic spectrum dysfunctionality. But what mitigation can we offer in defence of the derangement of Jones and Soubry, of Campbell and Grieve, of and Hammond and Umunna? (Oh, wait, sorry: Chuka’s issues are entirely due to his own misplaced high self-regard and delusions of relevance.)
The rest of them, though? It has been called Brexit Derangement Syndrome and in homage to their identifying hashtag Full Blown Psychotic Episode. Whatever you want to call it it bears all the hallmarks of a genuine mental illness and it is rife. The only likely cure is a form of immersion therapy, with a deep and rapid exposure to the cause of their anxieties. The only thing that can cure the rabid FBPE crowd now is Brexit. Not your cautious soft Brexit, nor a Norway option but a full-leaded, no safety net, no-going-back, Brexit Maximus.
Help them; before it is too late.
Much ballyhoo is being made in Parliament – a major nexus of the sickness – of the attempts to prevent the Prime Minister from carrying out the job he was elected to do. But he must be allowed to administer the medicine or else the disease will spread until it affects the still-functioning organs. It is far too late to treat it locally and only an amputation of the infected parts can bring about a cure for what remains of us. We absolutely must leave now – before the entire country goes mad.
[Coda: Some mental Tweeters have started to add a black dot to their profiles in order to claim they, or somebody they know WILL DIE as a result of Brexit. This isn't just a bout of midsummer madness, it is an epidemic.]
[Coda: Some mental Tweeters have started to add a black dot to their profiles in order to claim they, or somebody they know WILL DIE as a result of Brexit. This isn't just a bout of midsummer madness, it is an epidemic.]
Sunday, 1 September 2019
The scenes this weekend, of zombie EU drones stumbling around the capital, impromptu protests against ‘fascism’, ‘dictatorship’ and a ‘coup’ that the government has somehow mounted against itself, are starting to look desperate. Demands that we ignore the referendum and – ideally, it seems – keep on voting until Remain wins, abound and formerly respected public figures once more make utter fools of themselves. Having finally got a Prime Minister who appears to mean what he says, is the truth beginning to dawn?
The screeching is becoming frantic, the demonstrations more desperate. Paul mason, communist agitator for a bygone age of heavy industry and wildcat strikes, has been all over the news parading his own breakdown for all to see. Remainer politicians, still believing they can play both sides, are laughably claiming they stand for democracy while simultaneously trying to overthrow it. And of course, the clownishly clad, EU-flag toting, ageing hippies are out there, speaking for the young, whose ‘futures have been betrayed’.
What a hoot. They are reliving the Greenham Common peace camps, the Ban-the-Bomb marches of the sixties and their own experimentation with the discredited mind-altering ideologies of Marx and Mao. Democracy is one thing, direct action another and the ignoring of a democratic mandate is an abuse of both. The vote is won, but the war goes on and the lies, the misleading rhetoric and the abuse of gullible people is largely the work of the losing side. We are now in the fourth year of this war and the end feels like it really is coming this time.
But how will they cope after the armistice, if armistice there is? After the war is over, will these people quietly go back to the jobs they held before? And what of the overly vocal public figures who, mask-slipped, have berated the public for their gullibility, their naivety, their doltish stupidity? How will they fare post-Brexit and will they double down on their own public humiliation by continuing to lobby for a lost cause? Well, of course they will; there is nothing else left for them and obscurity would be unbearable.
The only thing worse than being talked about, said Wilde, is not being talked about. For those who have been made to look fools – Grayling, Miller, Campbell, Clarke (the list goes on and on and on) the lesser punishment might just be to look for scraps of funding from EU sources to continue the fight from their little intellectual archipelago of disconnected islands. As far as the rest of us are concerned, a period of silence from these hollow vessels would be welcome.
Remainers make their reasonable demands...
So, let them have their last few weeks of public displays of grief. Let them imagine their dwindling numbers are fighting a cause which has not – as it has, undoubtedly – already been lost. Let them rend their garments, shriek until they are hoarse, dance like loons draped in the flags of our adversary. Let them call us fascists and Nazis, despots and dictators one last time. And then, let us forgive them and forget them, for they know not what they do.
Friday, 30 August 2019
It’s getting silly now. Like many who voted to leave the EU I did it for pragmatic, quite straightforward reasons. I don’t have the gift of prophecy so, unlike so many who proselytise for remaining under the direct control of a foreign power, I have no idea what the future brings. But I do have a clear and unwavering picture of my moral, social and political positions and development over the years. And I opted – given a free vote – to place my trust in the basic decency, honesty, thrift and wise counsel of the British people themselves.
I have never draped myself in the flag, although I quietly did my bit by serving in Her Majesty’s armed forces for a number of years. I have never taken to the streets to demonstrate, for a number of reasons: One, I have seen the scant regard given to noisy rabbles by the typical Briton. Two, being English, through and through, I am not given to public displays of grief, anger or even jubilation; I cling to my British phlegmatism, proud that it sets me apart from the more emotional Johnny-Foreigner, the behaviour of some of whom is, frankly. embarrassing.
But more importantly, I have never espoused a cause so precious that it has been worth my energy and dignity to parade my enthralment to all and sundry. Yes, I want to leave the EU. No, I don’t expect a return to empire, nor necessarily any ‘sunlit uplands’ to which I have not directly contributed. I don’t expect anybody to fight my battles for me (and I recognise I am fortunate not to need them to) but I also don’t expect anybody else’s single vote to hold more value than mine. And of course, being British, should I lose a battle, I quietly applaud my adversary, withdraw from the field and wait for the next time.
Just because Leave voters are not out in number, screeching obscenities at Westminster, spitting and snarling at those with whom they disagree, does not mean that the strength of feeling is any lower, nor that opinions have changed. Iain Duncan Smith once cautioned: "Do not underestimate the determination of the quiet man" and right now it feels as if we are the British garrison at Rorke’s Drift, facing up to an enemy we don’t recognise; an alien, hostile, noisy and numerous enemy; and lest anybody think that ‘enemy’ and ‘foreign’ and ‘alien’ are hyperbolic descriptors, just look at what they intend.
That is no less than the overthrow of an elected, if marginal, government. The overturning of constitutional procedures which go back centuries. The dismissal of the monarch’s role and in the process the trashing of the life’s work of the world’s longest serving and arguably the most steadfast head of state. And ultimately – for this is the European Union’s destination – the subjugation of a once sovereign nation to the whim of an unelected and unaccountable politburo of cronies and cranks with a common vision utterly at odds with the populations over which they hold sway. For them to refer to Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament as a coup is an absolute triumph of doublethink.
Oi! Don't frow them bladdy spears at me!*
So the battle is joined. And while the throng on the field is clearly that of the aggressor, the invader, the foreigner, parading their garish colours for all to see, do not imagine there is no resistance to their aims. We have watched and waited as they beat their drums and bare their chests. We have kept our powder dry as they have fired off salvo after salvo. We have rationed our resources as they have laid siege to our motives, our intelligence and even our patriotism. But we have held steady and now, in the last scenes of this uncivil war we are waiting until we see the whites of their eyes.
(*Yes, I know. This ISN'T a genuine quote from the film!)
Wednesday, 28 August 2019
As Boris makes exactly the right, slightly threatening noises towards Brussels and Brussels responds with a petulant no pay/no deal stamp of its tiny feet, the panic on the remainer benches is bubbling over nicely. We have yet to witness a full-on stampede from the Commons back benches but this may be the precursor to that mad dash for the cliff edge of sanity which all fervent EU-philes are hilariously ready to undertake.
Leading a party which is backed by 0% of the public (allowing for rounding errors) Anna Soubry imagines she is somehow spearheading a cunning cross-party pincer movement to decapitate Brexit by sabotaging Boris Johnson’s premiership. His heinous crime? To dare to carry out what the people voted for when Parliament could not do its job and asked those same people for orders. Having returned the ‘wrong’ answer and after three years of refusal to honour it, Anna and her henchmen have now signed the Church House Declaration and posit themselves a ‘People’s Parliament’.
As opposed to what? Are you now admitting that the current Parliament does not represent the people? Are you actually arguing that our parliamentary system is broken? Because, if this is where you are going, here at last is one thing on which we are agreed. Politicians are not elder statesmen, worldly wise and heavily invested in the prosperity of the nation. They are instead driven by narrow interests – some would say self-interest – and rarely possess the nouse to grasp that there are some things which the ordinarily bovine British people will not simply ignore.
And biggest among them is our precious illusion of democracy. Ask the Lib Dems how they fared after Nick Clegg’s broken promise on tuition fees. Ask the Tories how presenting the hopelessly out-of-her-depth Theresa May as ‘strong and stable’ worked out for them. The electorate may be the lumpen masses, slow and thick, but they can see through this flimsy bullshit and know when they are being played. A ‘People’s parliament’ with no election, no recall and no accountability to the voting public? This is, unironically, the EU in miniature. Once again the solution to damaged democracy is to break it some more.
And who would lead this politburo? Obviously Jeremy Corbyn is desperate to plant his arse on the other side of the aisle, but his desperation shows as he has tried to frame his long-awaited desire to leave the EU as, variously, a ‘Tory Brexit, a ‘cliff-edge Brexit’ and yesterday a ‘bankers Brexit’. What?? As Daniel Hannan reminded him: “Remain was backed by every big corporate, every big bank, every party leader, the church, the civil service, NGOs, celebs - the entire Establishment. Does Jezza really think we’re going to fall for the idea that Brexit is elitist?”
The principle reason for the Brexit vote wasn’t immigration, it wasn’t NHS funding, it wasn’t even the elbowing out of the national story of the British people themselves. It was the root cause of all of these things: governance we can’t control. Hate policing, the no-platforming of unapproved speakers, the relentlessly negative coverage of national pride, the promotion of values at odds with most ordinary citizens; these are all manifestations of that overarching arrogance. The idea that replacing an albeit marginally elected government with one that has no such mandate is an effrontery bordering on tyranny.
How Anna Soubry THINKS she looks...
In the past, unsavoury ends awaited those who usurped power and tyrants have fared poorly. The traditional British have huge reserves of patience, but that patience is near-exhausted and the time has come for these rogue parliamentarians to be reminded who they are supposed to work for. And while British uprisings have tended be somewhat subdued, with violence rare, not everybody wants a bloodless solution to this attempted coup. This coalition of the treacherous had better back down or be prepared to face the consequences.
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
The notion of their being an over-arching agenda such as the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan to homogenise Europe by miscegenation seems a bit far-fetched. And so do the various supposed plots to flood the continent with sub-Saharan Africans. But the Barcelona declaration that opens the door to Europe for potentially millions from North Africa is real enough, which gives credence to the many conspiracy theories pointing to the planned extinction of the white race.
Judging by their rhetoric this is a destination eagerly anticipated by some high-profile political players who daily reveal their utter contempt toward the natives of the countries that invented the modern world. That there are such plots to rid the world of whites, common sense and modernity feels all too ridiculous, extending well into tinfoil hat territory. But there is, undeniably, a narrative at play which makes it all too easy to join the dots and create whatever picture you want to see.
White people who are afraid of those they don’t identify with are ‘white supremacists’. White privilege is claimed as a device to prevent them from adopting any form of victim mantle, unlike certain ‘oppressed’ groups who veil up at the merest hint of preferential treatment. Everywhere we see the suggestion that white is bad and black is good, yet it is the self-proclaimed super-good whites who are pushing this notion while the stabbing, raping, robbing and assaulting is carried out disproportionately by outliers from the non-white population.
What is wrong with the ‘liberal’ mindset and what is the purpose of this Goebellian assault on reason? I’m not convinced there is a cohesive, designed purpose; what I see is an increasingly vocal, guilt-laden minority of the white population, schooled to shame. They bow down in supplication before the diversity altar, offering their first-born in sacrifice to rid them of their stain and absolve them of blame for the perfectly reasonable actions of their fellow first-worlders who – inexplicably in their eyes – cannot see their wrong.
It’s not just the black/white issue; this division into acceptable opinion and ‘the far right’ extends into all sorts of areas, not least the otherwise mundane process of extricating ourselves from the EU. We want to leave, said the leavers, since when we have been constantly barraged by charges of imbecility, knuckle-dragging xenophobia, being gulled by the Russians, etc, etc, etc. The absurd idea that we were somehow influenced by ‘the elites’ who will enrich themselves post-Brexit, which will simultaneously turn the country into an economic backwater is a brilliant example. (Which is it, remainers, richer or poorer? Make your mind up!)
So, as we approach the current deadline – other deadlines are available – the narrative is once again heating up. And if you wanted an example of how supposed plots are so hard to hold together, the remain propagandists are ramping up Project Fear like never before, but without any comprehension of the effect they are having. As the prospect of a genuine departure looms, Tusk & Co are saying that if we don’t pay their confected ‘divorce bill’ there will be no trade deal, as if they have never heard a single word we’ve said.
Do you think they fell for it?
A near-perfect own goal. There is what is real and there is what you want to see, but this plays right into what they can never see, the very reason FOR Brexit, this over-arching preoccupation with control, with ownership of the zeitgeist… the very thing that has turned against them. You can control the narrative all you like, but sooner or later people just stop listening and make up their own mind.
Monday, 19 August 2019
I really can’t get overly exercised about Owen Jones’ ‘blatant premeditated assault’. But, oh my, his little adventure has been working overtime as a proxy for the relentlessly predicted but never quite materialised rise of the right. Far right domestic terrorism, I believe is the fashionable interpretation of what was probably – I really couldn’t care less – a couple of pissed-up wankers who either recognised the whiny little shit, or had experienced the little shit whining earlier that night. As obnoxious as is Jones’ politics, he’s hardly a prime target for settling a political score.
The front pages of the newspapers regularly sport photographs of assault victims: frail pensioners beaten half to death; police and bystanders macheted to the bone; virulent bruised, blackened swollen eyes; blood everywhere. The Boy Wonder? Not a scratch, well actually, a bit of a scratch. But fellow lefty polemicist, Polly Toynbee, lost no time in tweeting: “The physical attack on Owen Jones is a shameful and terrifying harbinger of the Brexit world of hate, intimidation, and scapegoating, egged on by an undemocratic, unelected Prime Minister…” Oh my good lord, is anything not the fault of Brexit?
But as an illustration of double standards this episode is a veritable Da Vinci, exposing as it does the splendid anatomy of hypocrisy which weaves its way through the whole of left-wing discourse. Owen Jones openly mocked what he calls right wing figures being ‘milkshaked’ and no doubt he is right behind the ‘punch a Nazi’ rhetoric which gives licence to thugs like the masked morons of Antifa to assault people with whom they disagree. Let’s not even mention that Jones’ favoured political causes have resulted in the deaths of millions, because – look! – far right extremism.
The hypocrisy of the left isn’t even disguised any more, as identity politics fractures into even more finely divided sects it is necessary to damp down the dissonance and openly support those you openly loathe, so long as they appear to sign up to some nebulous notion of left-wing solidarity. And while people like Toynbee and Jones and Lammy and Abbott shout about ‘divisive’ Tory policy from the rooftops they practise a level of division and subdivision with a near surgical skill. Even the LGBT banner, under which Jones is regularly seen, is a paper-thin attempt to cover the cracks as unnatural bedfellows are thrust together (pun intended) to claim a common cause.
Stand down the trauma team - he'll survive...
Did he deserve to be assaulted (and make no mistake, this was an unforgiveable criminal act and absolutely should be prosecuted)? Of course not. Did he bring it on himself? This should not even be a question we ask; if free speech means anything it means we need to let the objectionable condemn themselves by their own words. But, seriously, is this evidence of organised, far-right violence; do give over! OJ will milk this for all it is worth; let him. More people might see him for the utter phony he really is.
Sunday, 18 August 2019
As we come to what feels like a premature end to the soggy summer, as the days grow noticeably shorter and cooler, things are beginning to die back. The brightest blossoms have been and gone, the flowerbeds are shedding their petals and hips have replaced roses. The garden isn’t the only thing experiencing its cyclical decline; political autumn also beckons, where the hopes and dreams of knaves and chancers also diminish and die.
As Parliament’s fantasy of deposing Boris Johnson fades, along with it go the reputations of people like Dominic Grieve; once a Conservative, now a quisling. Jeremy Corbyn’s true naked ambition to rule at any cost is exposed to the ridicule it deserves. And Ken Clarke’s transparently disingenuous ‘if I must’ when asked about leading a unity government shows Clarke to be exactly what we have long come to regard him as, a flag-bearer for a foreign power.
The big joke, of course, is ‘national unity government’. The last thing we are right now is unified, in fact if there is any over-arching, popular, mass-supported inclination it is to get on with Brexit. Ever since the unexpected outcome, the establishment in all its guises has tried to paint Remain as the homogenous, sensible consensus and Leave as a desperately divided muddle of hard Brexit, soft Brexit, WTO Brexit; a partial and uncertain palette containing all possibly shades of Leave, none of which complement any of the others.
But as the ambitions of the fervid Euronationalists fade into the mists; as the mewling, moribund, maudlin, misery of Remainers fails to convince the nation, autumn brings its riches for those of a more positive mien. Throughout the summer the relentless negativity of anti-British factions has simply failed to dampen the spirit and as the lawns grow lush in the welcome rain, we have the mellow fruitfulness of the coming season looming through the mists.
The one force the remain campaign cannot counter is cheerful optimism. Try as they might their only message has been that Brexit is certain doom and staying in means things ‘might not be so bad’; that’s their vision – the EU might be shit, but it’s shit we know, so let’s vote for tepid inertia. It is little wonder, then, that they have no answer for Boris, the one-man Indian Summer, bursting onto the scene with a positive message, not of unqualified hope, but of abundant and joyful faith in the indomitable spirit of the patriotic British.
Browbeating, talking down our prospects, predicting catastrophe, threatening destructive political action, insulting the intelligence of Leave voters, enlisting the assistance of foreign actors to drive home their message and even openly colluding with foreign powers to pervert the referendum outcome has all come to nothing. And through it all, the real British have quietly held their nerve, listened to and dismissed the gloom-laden naysayers and waited for a real leader to mount the stage.
Can you imagine May, Grieves, Hammond et al doing this?
Boris does not come without baggage, not least the ever-present influence of Project-Boris and the suspicion that whatever he does, this vainglorious figure does for himself. But after more than a decade of sheer misery; Brown’s dour and profligate fiscal incontinence, Cameron’s hamstrung coalition administration, Theresa-fucking-May and her unerring ability to suck the atmosphere out of an entire country, how could Boris the Bouncing Bomb not raise a smile? On Hallowe’en, let us all raise a glass as the Remain reign of mediocrity breathes its last.
Thursday, 15 August 2019
Welcome to the annual orgy of congratulations, commiserations and parental hand-wringing anticipation as ridiculously tall children (what ARE they feeding them these days?) up and down the country receive their A-Level results. A quarter of them are expected to get an A* grade, a grade which was introduced to differentiate between those who had done well and those who had done really well. Of course, we used to have a way of doing that without all the starry stuff – it was just called an A grade and it literally gave its name to the epithet ‘A-grade student’ – and everybody understood what it meant.
But yesterday it was leaked that at least two exam boards will award an A-grade in A-Level Maths for a mere 55%. Not Media Studies, not Sociology, but mathematics. Fifty-five percent? That should barely scrape you a pass. To get an A you must surely need at least 80%; isn’t that what most people outside the academic world would expect? As a nation we contract out education to the state and in return for the consideration of our taxes we expect performance of that contract; not just an accounting fiddle that those Potemkin villages exist… on paper.
This is an indication of how far we have sunk and if teachers are not protesting about it, one can easily conclude that either they are colluding with the fraud, or they are too poorly educated themselves to recognise it. Fraud? Yes, of course; it is deliberately falsifying results, because grade boundaries are the result of deliberate decisions. The teaching profession is charged with preparing the nation's kids to lead useful lives. We keep being told how we live in an increasingly technological world, so why are we handicapping our own children and then using that as a pretext for the mass importation of better-educated graduates from overseas?
On Radio 4 this morning I heard a farmer who gets almost all his seasonal labour from Bulgaria bemoaning the fact that he can’t attract local youngsters to do the work; work which used to be eagerly looked forward to in rural areas. The harvest was a time to rake in some good extra money and rural schools even organised half-terms to coincide with the crops. But of course, these geniuses, with their multiple gold stars and attendance certificates and pupil of the week awards are far too ‘well-qualified’ to consider grubby fingers and broken nails.
We don't need no education...
Meanwhile the ability to communicate deteriorates even as the means of communication multiply. The appetite to reason rather than follow a creed declines as more and more new-age faiths compete for gullible acolytes. The well-rounded individual is displaced by the narrow-minded specialist and increasingly we are led not by leaders of conviction but by people whose only conviction is their right to lead. And year on year we lose the capacity to judge on merit, rather than mode; easy fashion trumps hard work. It’s not just the nails that are broken.
Wednesday, 14 August 2019
It’s been a quiet few weeks from the pint-sized poison dwarf of Parliament but suddenly, up he pops and rants that he will “fight with every breath in my body” to prevent the government from carrying out the expressed will of the electorate And ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ Hammond has – by a feat of uncanny synchronicity- crept out of his crypt to pen an op-ed in The Times in which he says again that ‘the PM has no mandate for a no deal Brexit.’ So here we go again for round four-hundred and thirty-four (or thereabouts) of Project Fear, this time with added loathing.
But look, this ‘deal’ was ever an illusion and as has been pointed out tirelessly by those of us who voted to leave, the Withdrawal Agreement isn’t even a deal. The EU has made it clear that no deal is on offer except the invitation to surrender all negotiating leverage and meekly discuss terms of our effectively handing back sovereignty to Brussels. Because, in order to have any access to any supposed benefits of the single market, we would have to accept free movement, legislative oversight, etc, etc, all of which is exactly what we voted to leave.
And yes, sovereignty was the principle issue. Immigration and border control figured heavily in the campaigns because the power to set our own policy in these areas is fundamental to national sovereignty, but even that ambition was hijacked by our own slimy, sleazy swamp-dwellers. Simple sovereignty soon became ‘Parliamentary Sovereignty’ and as quickly as the decision had been contracted out to the voters, it was seized back by those who were the problem in the first place. Parliament has shown its hand so clearly it is a wonder the gates have yet to be stormed.
Formerly, the EU was seen as the identifiable enemy of our freedoms; the unaccountable technocrats deeply in thrall to an ideology that was ‘of Europe’, maybe, but not of many European nations, especially not the British. But the question of the referendum was also about control and the need for the people of any country to feel they were being heard and been represented by those who could be replaced if they overstepped their authority. The EU was merely a proxy for government everywhere; what is happening in Hong Kong, France and Kashmir are all expressions of rejection of imposed rule.
You can plead all you like that no deal was not what we voted for and that yes, a deal should have been easy – regulatory alignment, harmonised standards, common values and all of that – but we are where we are and the EU has made it plain as can be that negotiations are over. But that’s not good enough for Hammond, with this being released from No. 10 and tweeted by Sebastian Payne of the FT: "Hammond and Clarke sabotaged the UK’s preparations to leave… They drove the country into a dangerous cul de sac with a clock ticking towards Oct 31 because they never accepted the referendum result and they fought to overturn it…”
I reasonably expect and fervently wish that, should we ever actually leave the wretched and institutionally corrupt European Union, all-pervasive and extensive investigations will be undertaken into each and every quisling politician involved in what I shall dub Bercowism. And I hope that once those investigations are concluded the results are made fully public and the guilty brought to book, not just ushered away with a nice, neat peerage. ...Over my dead body, Bercow has all but said. If that’s what it takes, John... if that’s what it takes.
Monday, 12 August 2019
One of the weapons in Twitters insidious little armoury, stocked to aid its holy war against the unbelievers and their persistent expressing of incorrect readings of the scripture is the dreaded ‘list’. Like many such weapons against thoughtcrime it is not only ineffectual, it is risible and, if anything, further desperate evidence that the eternally offended are ill-equipped for the conflict. Who has ever done anything other than laugh when receiving the notification that ‘@Twatface has added you to the list ‘People who make me cry’?
Actually, the titles of their lists say so much more about them than just their mental fragility; there, in concise little nuggets of micro-aggression, their own prejudices, cowardice and moral superiority are laid bare for all to see. A mutual follower helpfully listed the titles of lists to which he has been added recently:
· Thicker than mince
· Putin's little helpers
· Brexit enemies of Britain
· Traitors & Quislings
· Bullied badly at school
Charming, but can you tell his crime? Of course you can – he voted to leave the EU. Yesterday on Twitter the same kind of people who list those who dare think differently were all thinking the same as they howled in outrage at Sajid Javid’s proposal to revive the minting of a Brexit 50p coin. Bearing the highly offensive legend “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations" this innocuous commemoration of an important national event has triggered yet more bleating condemnation of we Putin’s little helpers. Even rather prominent figures, such as writer/producer Dominic Minghella, have fallen off the sanity perch over it, laughably suggesting they would refuse to accept it as legal tender.
What is the purpose of these lists to which we, the unwashed are added with monotonous regularity? Does anybody ever consult them? Are they used for mass pre-emptive blocking? Blocking without any form of engagement is a particularly weak-willed form of cowardice: I wouldn’t like them, you say? Then I must never see or hear their opinions in my timeline. There are even accounts which threaten to block anybody who retweets, for whatever aim, the opinions of anybody with whom they may later discover they are not in complete accord.
A message group in which I am included regularly exhorts its members to report certain accounts. I never do. Unless I have been personally harassed – which happens very rarely because I don’t often continue pointless discussions with no hope of resolution - I will not permanently block anybody. And on the rare occasions when the spite has become relentless I have blocked only for a few days, until the froth has subsided. As for piling in and reporting to get accounts removed? That is a groupthink response to which I hope I am largely immune.
The great ship of state...
It all seems to come down to people wanting only to deal with others of the same mindset; to inhabit a bubble of opinion which causes no discord. But I thought diversity was our strength, surely? I mean, haven’t they been banging the drum for multiculturalism for decades now? Or can you now only be inclusive if you all think the same? Caroline Lucas has made her own list; an all-white, women-only list, who will somehow speak for everybody. The left has an appalling track record in actual diversity of thought, but this is downright ridiculous, even for them. I hope somebody is making a list…
Thursday, 8 August 2019
The English language ever changes. “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.” And so the remnants of the language of my growing years remain, even as some would erase the past completely. In the absence of a universal authoritative grammar we were taught what our local elders and betters agreed on; and good old Auntie Beeb reinforced, in received pronunciation, that they were correct.
An extended ‘thee’ before a vowel, a short ‘the’ ahead of a consonant. ‘Different from’, not the grating and all too often heard, Americanised ‘different than’. And whatever the Oxford Dictionary insists ‘ise’ is still far easier on the eyes than ‘ize’ in almost every instance. But move on that finger does and as our non-consenting multicultural experiment continues, the language with which to adequately describe it becomes ‘enriched’ by the curiously perverse methods of removing punctuation, ignoring nuance and allowing a bland insouciance towards form.
On social media the noun ‘bias’ has now almost exclusively replaced the adjective ‘biased’ and the ‘bias BBC’ does nothing to stem the tide. Whether through laziness, simple ignorance or a desire to discourage nobody from expressing themselves, however illiterately, it has become harder to both read and hear what was once the most expressive and sophisticated language on the planet. Not everybody has abandoned it, of course, but those with the most influence appear to have decided that the onus is on the receiver, not those who deliver the words, to make sense of them.
But while the imprecise and sloppy use of words is annoying, what grates more than anything are the pronunciations which have crept in through a certain malaise, a certain timidity and a fear of offending. In particular, we seem to have lost an entire vowel sound. Southerners have long been unable to render the hard northern ‘U’ in written form, writing ‘oop north’ when anybody from the north knows exactly how to sound ‘up’ and ‘cup’ and ‘tup’. We find ‘oop’ quaint, a little patronising and oh, so southern and smile when we hear people ask us if we’d like a ‘cap’ of tea, or request that we keep to the parth and not walk on the grarse.
But, in words like bush and book and cook we used to have accord. I well remember as an undergraduate trying in vain to disguise my northern twang, worrying about how to say bush and ending up with an alarming ‘bersh’ which pleased nobody and attracted much and well-deserved ridicule. In attempting to conform I had instead shamed my origins and betrayed a lack of confidence that the world would accommodate me not as myself but as I thought others wanted me to be.
So it is with a mixture of amusement and dismay that I now regularly hear on the radio, on the telly and in real life, people talking incessantly about ‘cerking’. They sit in ‘rerms’ instead of rooms and discuss the reading of ‘berks’. Abandoning more nuanced superlatives, everybody is now simply ‘gerd’. I’m gerd, you gerd? Some of them even go online and enter chatrerms where they recommend cerk berks to each other. They need a blerdy gerd kick up the arse.
A cerk... reading a berk.
Control the language and you control discourse. Banning words because they may offend is one sign of this insidious practice, but another, perhaps more subtle manifestation is the fear of being strongly expressive in any way. The banal, universal vowel ‘er’ seems to be taking over and the effect is ugly and craven and needs to be resisted. Be proud of your guttural renditions and stand firm in the face of conformity. It’s only words, I know; it’s not the end of the world, but perhaps it’s the beginning of the end of something worth saving.
Monday, 5 August 2019
Facts; tricky buggers, aren’t they? Because what are facts when we are talking not about what they describe, but what they imply? And all facts are not equal: while the number of feet in a mile, or how many buns in a baker’s dozen are undebatable certainties, other fact-like nuggets, especially statistics, are often used to illustrate contrary positions in an argument. And while I naturally scoff at supposed evidence for your aberrant beliefs, I gleefully embrace equally shaky verification that my god is bigger than your god. I am no better than you.
Also to be taken into account is the plethora of fake facts, mistaken facts, incomplete facts, wishful thinking and downright fraud perpetrated in the name of fact and its unhappy bedfellow, truth. Your truth isn’t the same as mine and while mine may – I believe – be grounded in experiential events, your truth may be derived from beliefs which have little or no facts to substantiate them. I cite, as I often do, the absolute fact that not one piece of ‘evidence’ has ever proved the existence of god. You, naturally, counter that no evidence has been offered for his/her/its non-existence. I quote the scientific method, you rely on faith. I have faith in the scientific method… and so it goes.
When arguments are exhausted and the brick wall you have been banging your head against refuses to yield you, we – all of us – resort to other explanations. The other side has been influenced by dark forces, fallen for propaganda, been taken in by the elites who are feeding them well-rehearsed soundbites, attack rhetoric, posing as objective truths. Then, when the enemy captures those positions and turns the same words against us, we fall back, regroup and find some different words. The events have not changed and the full facts are never known – even when a think tank calls itself ‘full fact’ – but our perceptions shift. All the time.
How often have you been ‘Indecisive Dave’ watching a debate as if it were a tennis match, your head swivelling from left-to-right and back again as you nod and agree with each participant in turn. And then, when no convincing thesis wins the day, reverting to the comfort of your original position. It is little wonder, then, that mankind has embraced the frankly ridiculous notion of a magic man – or woman - in the sky who somehow orders everything so that the most deserving, the most devout, will see their reward in the afterlife.
Well, bollocks to that; I want my loot now. And so do you. Which is why the ‘facts’ about ‘the elite’ are so deliciously, egregiously deceitful. The elite, or ‘the elites’ are manipulating your every thought in order to make you slaves to the market economy? Oh, come on, people. If anything the manipulation is being done – deliberately or in ignorance – by those who use envy and a sense of injustice in the guise – deliberately or in ignorance of equality – to mobilise sentiment against those who have succeeded. Or maybe you are just manipulating yourself?
Which facts do you prefer?
I’m not yet a citizen of a post-fact world and I have a great deal of time for evidential investigation, but I am also hyper cynical and assume that ‘your’ facts are tainted. In my more self-aware moments I admit that the same applies to mine, but I just don’t see how blaming society’s ills and especially individual difficulties on those who have managed to buck the trend and make something of themselves is helping. Instead of trying to bring down the successful maybe, just maybe, we should be copying them. At the very least we could start trying to think for ourselves and not be so easily led by pipers playing our favourite tunes.
Thursday, 1 August 2019
Caroline Lucas is involved with something called ‘Dear Leavers’ (@DearLeavers) an attempt, they claim, to open up an ‘honest conversation’ about Brexit. But is it? Is it really? This conversation appears to begin with a presumption that it is the supremely benevolent and intellectually superior Remainers who are big enough to offer an olive branch to the lesser mortals who were duped by ‘rich elites’ into voting against their own interests. There-there, they coo; it’s not your fault, they soothe; while all the time we know their teeth are tightly clenched.
Julia Hartley-Brewer asked Dominic Raab the other day, “Can you guarantee to me right now that on the 1st of November when I wake up we're going to be out of the EU?”. Well , how dare the strumpet be so presumptuous? One of her thousands of more politically correct Twitterlocutors posed his own question: “Dear Julia, with respect, do you not think it is time to stop referring to people as 'Remoaners'? Whatever happens on October 31st, we have to get the country back together - Leavers and Remainers - and the constant use of derogatory terms will never achieve re-unification.”
While he may have resigned himself to departure from the EU bloc he seemed to believe it was the Leave side which had to surrender ground. Yet, in the same conversation one enlightened remainer soul felt the need to helpfully add “We are getting our country back one funeral at a time” in reference to the popular Remain trope that the leave vote came almost exclusively from ancient Little Englanders; the belief that a second referendum would go in favour of the vibrant, multicultural, woke New Europeans; the belief that his country was obviously now called Europe, Northwestern Region, Sector 23, B.
Now, while there is undoubtedly a fair clutch of knuckle-dragging, socially-challenged, gammon-faced morons in favour of sticking it to the Germans – why, I occasionally include my pig-ignorant self among them – these people really don’t have much of a voice. They are equally despised by everybody, regardless of whatever they think their politics are. Their insults are illiterate, unfocused and have no impact because they are not echoed by anybody with any authority, moral or otherwise. And where they have engaged in any form of action it has been as much fuelled by thuggish urges and base stupidity than by any coherent ideology.
But look at the other side, those who think that national sovereignty is a medieval throwback. For over three years, those in the Brussels camp – Julia’s remoaners – who have massive backing in the media, schools, the establishment, parliament itself, have been calling Leave voters racists and xenophobes, too stupid to know what they were voting for. The onslaught has been relentless and shows no signs of letting up. If anything it has recently shifted up a gear since the Remainer Anti-Christ has become Prime Minister.
Respect. It has to be earned...
If anybody needs to dial down the rhetoric it is surely those who have been most engaged in it. So, Ms Lucas and your disingenuous ‘Dear Leavers’ malarkey, how about we leave the EU as the government promised we would and afterwards you lot show us that you can meet your own lofty standards of civility? Who knows; once you demonstrate that you have some respect for us, maybe our respect for you might grudgingly return.
Monday, 29 July 2019
Had you been keeping a watching brief over the Brexit discourse– and many other issues, such as the filthy racism of anybody not brown, or the hideous austerity which barely keeps the unemployable in tribal tattoos – you may have noticed a certain paucity of originality. ‘They didn’t know what they were voting for’, perhaps, or ‘they fell for lies on a bus’, possibly sowed ‘the politics of hate and division’ or one of my favourites, ‘the referendum was won by illegal means’. (I think they mean ‘voting’.)
People in general are pretty poor at expressing themselves and they rely on others to do the heavy lifting, to provide the pithy phrases for their placards, to make their chants loosely rhyme and to demonstrate to all the world their vacuous lack of any joined-up thought. In the process a certain mangling of the language occurs whereby linguistics shortcomings are revealed, words are tortured into a shape they were never intended to fit and the overall impression is of a disorganised rabble making it up as they go along. If only they had some sort of quality control to avert the grammar crimes which do so much to undermine their cause.
Six decades ago, Sir Ernest Gowers decided that these would not be failings of the civil service and he gave to the English-speaking world the marvellous maxim: ‘Be short, be simple, be human’. Since then his best-selling guide, Plain Words, has never been out of print and never out of relevance as our ability to communicate in our mother tongue is increasingly relegated to the second division of desirable attributes to include on a curriculum vitae. (In fact, short, simple, human CVs are thin on the ground these days.)
So relentless has been the assault on educational standards and particularly linguistic competence that Jacob Rees-Mogg’s styleguide has attracted exactly the type of impotent derision we have come to expect from the perpetually offended. So quick, so obvious and so vociferous has been the opposition that, were one a cynical soul, it could easily be imagined that Jake was trolling, as the usual suspects lined up to take the bait. I even happened upon a highly amusing radio discussion where it was claimed that an insistence on competent English disadvantaged those who could not demonstrate it. Well, duh-er!
Once again, then, the response of the left to declining standards is to lower the bar. What are now routinely referred to as ‘vulnerable groups’ were once the most covetous of a good education. It used to be a badge of honour for the working class, especially immigrants, to acquire fluency because, without language, all other learning is at risk. But with rigour removed from our English teaching and fewer students going on to study the language at an advanced level, it is no surprise that, instead of addressing the shortfall, Labour seeks to close the gap by plastering over it.
The lefty style guide seeks to play down excellence and revels in removing language from daily discourse. Words are banned and meanings altered to fit an agenda which is so determinedly focused on equality that it matters not how low we have to sink to achieve it. The approved text teaches that insistence on good English is colonial; it perpetuates a servant and master society; it advantages the ‘posh’ boys; it is a form of white privilege and grammar is a tool of empire, etc, etc, etc. But grammar, as we all know is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit.
But, as ever, the one word to which the left – famously possessing no sense of humour, irony or self-awareness – routinely demonstrates a near total blindness is hypocrisy. After the book burning, after the elimination of ‘unhelpful’ words. After seeking to control the language for so many years and in so many ways, who would have imagined that the left would get so very upset over somebody seeking to do exactly the same. And as for the scorn poured on his affinity for imperial measurements, before you criticise Jacob Rees-Mogg perhaps you should walk 1.60934 kilometres in his shoes.
Friday, 26 July 2019
The next full moon this year is not until the 15th of August but to see the distressed state of the perpetually offended you would be forgiven for imagining we were experiencing a full-on, extended super-moon phenomenon. So maybe it’s the heat which is making all those mad dogs parade their inadequacies so openly? No, of course not; it’s Boris. Boris, for all his demonstrable faults, is a force of nature so powerful it has its own gravitational field into which are sucked the political detritus; the also-rans, the unemployables, the gibbering loons, orbiting chaotically at his command, responding to his every syllable. They think they have agency but ‘Britain Trump’ is playing them like a shrill penny whistle.
I’m talking about people like Steve Bray and the other idiots who practically live outside Parliament to register their individual and collective disgust at the exercise of democracy. Donning the flag of a non-country, swearing allegiance to cynical political appointees, ignoring the hideous and non-human technocracy of their new church, they look like adult children, complete with tantrums and tears. Bray in particular has stood there, chanting ‘Stop Brexit’ and shoving his facile placards in the faces of all who would pass his way, year after year. Somewhere in his captive mind is a belief that he acts of his own free will, but he is clearly in thrall to a peculiarly 21st Century delusional madness.
This isn’t dedication to a cause; this isn’t helping anything; this isn’t a decent person’s opposition to enacting the wishes of a majority with whom he happens to disagree. This is mental illness, plain and simple. It is a wish to be thought relevant; by these actions he shall be remembered… and quickly forgotten. All he has achieved is to show every potential future employer that if he doesn’t accept what you have decided to employ him to do, he will refuse to do it. He has rendered himself a laughing stock, a braying idiot and an embarrassment who will forever have to live on the kindness of others or the charity of state.
But he is not alone. One could argue that, as a private citizen, he has fallen prey to a temporary madness and without wise counsel has naively exposed his inner thoughts to an unforgiving world, but such excuses don’t apply to many prominent others. Alistair Campbell, Jon Snow, Adam Boulton, Anna Soubry, David Lammy, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Owen Jones and many others – name after well-known name pops up to openly demonstrate their lack of perspective, judgment and temperance in demeanour. Imagining themselves somehow ‘better’ they use their platforms to bleat far and wide exactly how disturbed they are. And how wrong we all are.
Bray by name...
And it is becoming a concern because this has gone beyond anything to do with Brexit, the country or whatever newly minted grievance you happen to have dreamed up. This isn’t about protest, is about them, the individual and their need for validation in a world that really couldn't care less. “But, look at me!” they cry, “Look at me, damn you. I am anti-Brexit and you are all racists and have but a fraction of my moral worth!” Like a child acting up the only effective response is to just ignore them and hope that one day they realise that they are nobody.
Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Of course Boris Johnson was going to beat Jeremy Hunt and no matter how the media tried to spin the fact that Hunt was making ground in the last two weeks of the contest, once it was whittled down to those tow they may as well have just have had the vote and be done with it. But at least it gave the whiny brigade the opportunity to have a run-up to their garment-rending, self-harming tantrum and prepare themselves for an but highly public irrational meltdown.
Irrational? Of course; Boris being Prime Minister is hardly surprising, given all the assistance afforded by the Remain campaign. Not recognising that their brand ethos of lecturing, hectoring, browbeating and generally abusing the general public for their ignorance, xenophobia, causal racism, Little Englander mentality and all the rest is largely what lays behind the Brexit vote in the first place. The British – the true British – are phlegmatic. We are not quick to hot temper; rather we quietly absorb the insults, then defy you.
So, by so emphatically screeching from the rooftops how Boris must never become Prime Minister you were, effectively, endorsing his candidacy in the eyes of those you hold so low. And now, by yelling your impotent howls of pain into the void, all you are doing is feeding our sense that we were right all along. Mediocre comedian-muso Mitch Benn is a near-perfect exemplar of the genre, with his small-minded, hastily composed anti-Brexit, anti-British ditties and his insistence that those who would swear the UK’s fealty to foreign powers are the true patriots. An idiot doesn’t know that he is an idiot.
An idiot used to be something you tried not to be, but nowadays it seems that in the bizarro-world of leftist equalitarian nightmares, idiocy is the moral equivalent of intellect; one man’s inadequacy is the equal of another’s excellence. And now that the idiots are in positions of power the acceleration towards the age of idiocracy is almost palpable. They are everywhere; in the classroom, the courtroom, the boardrooms and woven through the very fabric of our national administration.
Our armed forces rightly bemoan the loss of competence; if we no longer have experience in all theatres of warfare, how can we adequately train future soldiers to fight for our freedoms? If we scale back on rigour in education, is it any wonder that the school- leavers of today are less well-equipped for the world of work? And if our public discourse is so poorly degraded that any idiot with a grievance believes their poorly framed and intellectually bereft grudges are as equally valid as honouring a national democratic referendum.
The rage has barely subsided; if anything, it has intensified since 2016. These people are not only not going away, they are growing in self belief and self-righteousness even as their argument becomes weaker and their former supporters desert them. They are not even embarrassed now by their, frankly, embarrassing tweets, pronouncements, press briefings and articles. Boris has begun to lance the boil and he hasn’t even lifted a finger yet.
Time to be the bulldog
He has a small window of opportunity to stop the rot, drain the swamp and show up the flimsy ambitions of Parliament. They wish to remain under the thumb of a supranational junta; have our standards set by others; subjugate ourselves to a project which does not have our interests front and foremost. He has to start hard, maintain the pressure and insist that the only standards to which we should all be held are those our predecessors spent blood and treasure establishing. Is it too soon to hope that the Battle for Britain has begun?
Monday, 22 July 2019
Gunboat diplomacy without the gunboats is how our inability to defend shipping in the Strait of Hormuz has been described. As the deliberate and not so gradual winding down of Britain’s once world-bestriding Royal Navy now shows, in stark relief, Britannia no longer rules the waves. No longer and not for some time, as the US Navy took over that role in the middle of the last century. Still we could – and did – hold up our end of the deal until relatively recently.
Now, of course, the powers are calling for an international joint task force to take control of the region, much, it can be assured, to the chagrin of the Arab powers who seek to burst free from the restraints that more, shall we say civilised, nations have applied. The region needs to be kept in check, possibly more than ever before, now that an impending nuclear dawn for islam draws nearer. But there it is, the Royal Navy is neutered, shackled and brought to heel along with the British Army and the Royal Air Force, victims of an ideology of defeat.
Meantime, civil society has been under its own siege as manners, conduct and general behaviour have been eroded to the point of near anarchy. London appears to be the stabbing capital of western Europe, overrun, it seems by lawless gangs, drug runners, people traffickers and the like, many of whom spring from the unaccounted population of what are now termed ‘irregular migrants’. Even the language has been controlled so that such meaningless terms make it nigh on impossible to call a spade a spade and thus address the recurrent theme.
That theme is decline and retreat and surrender and beg for assistance and there is no logic to it. No logic unless, you desperately conclude, it is deliberate. But surely, it couldn’t be deliberate, could it? Britain barely contributes its commitment to NATO and it is obvious to all – serving and veteran, like myself – that even that is nowhere near enough. Events in the Gulf confirm it. We are no longer independent economically, militarily and even culturally; we have been diminished, diluted and to what purpose?
To sell the notion of supra-national governance, where no one state can exist without the help of all the others; where no actions may be taken – militarily, economically, culturally – without the consent of all the others; where no flag assumes an importance greater than the flag of the mother ship; where we are all citizens of the world and wards of state. In an earlier age this was called communism, but now they call it the EU. Those who plead to stay are those who have accepted the loss of British identity; those who are convinced that ‘progressive’ is derived from progress, when it is really spawned from helplessness.
Boris channels Churchill? He will have to.
So, tomorrow we will have a new Prime Minister and the EU rats are already deserting the government midden. If Boris has the balls he could turn this evacuation into a rout, and in the very brief window of opportunity before they try to bring down the government, he has the ability to reach out and demand more. Not from him, not from Parliament, but from us. More optimism, more hope, more determination to recover what we threw away some decades ago. If we have even the smallest glimmer of a hint of a sliver of a chance, we need to get behind Boris and push like fuck.
Friday, 19 July 2019
I just watched the very last This Week with the incomparable Andrew Neil. What a loss to everybody this is. It will be missed by its devotees and its demise makes the BBC significantly poorer in terms of political balance. Complained about by ardent lefties as being driven by Neil’s aggressively right-wing agenda it was, of course, nothing of the sort. Rather it was a last bastion for independent thought and free expression without taking itself too seriously.
The last show was a masterclass in self-effacement and the willing participation in the kind of ritual embarrassment the show claimed as its own as commentators and politicos from left, right and right-on made utter tits of themselves, then showed up to be shown up in front of a live audience. Forget the ‘reality’ shows where former back-benchers pose as ordinary human beings for the edification of a thoroughly non-discerning public, This Week’s pastiches had none of the dignity of the bush tucker challenge or ‘real housewives’; they were amateur hour personified and what better portrayal of the frailty of the position of those with power or influence.
Naked under the Andrew Neil spotlight, This Week allowed for the widest possible set of views and woe betide those without the depth to back up their claims. Nobody was safe and many a pomposity was pricked as the expounders of lies and bent truths spluttered and stalled before the master interrogator’s inquisition. Neil was uniquely well-prepared and attacked all false claims, from either end of the spectrum, whenever falsehoods were being promulgated or out-of-context ‘facts’ used to support false theses.
To the left, Neil must have seemed like a right winger but ask any right winger who has been placed in those thumbscrews how much mercy was shown and they may well shudder at the recollection. Legion are the social media clips showing the evisceration of the high and mighty and the self-proclaimed champions of unworthy causes. Livid were the bruises and scars of battle as hypocrisies were exposed, bullshit batted away and crap countered. And he did all of this with a smile and a cheery, cheesy line.
We may never see its like again, yet we have never needed a sense of perspective so much. The opening monologue alone was worth tuning in for – a catalogue of catastrophic, comically inaccurate predictions, forecasts, earnest proclamations and plain dodgy prophecies presented earnestly over the years. If only some of those just as earnestly forecasting doom and disaster over Brexit could see just how foolish they appear to the rest of us. If only the never-Trumpers could give just an inch of grudging ground.
Let's face it, Jonesy, you're a bit of an arse...
But the fight goes on and Andrew Neil’s spirit will still stalk the corridors of power. Political discourse may have lost one of the few people keeping it grounded, but there are plenty of we amateurs on social media. Keep taking the piss, keep knocking them off their lofty pedestals. Before we can clean up politics we need to sling a whole lot more mud.