Monday, 20 February 2017

Blame it on the Germans

I’ve often remarked that we had to rely on the German efficiency in language to come up with a one-word summary of Britishness. That word is, of course, schadenfreude, a positive delight in the misery of others. If you think ‘oh no, not me’ imagine your glee should you learn that the odious Philip Green had been declared bankrupt, stripped of his knighthood and had all his yachts sold to prop up the British Home Stores pensions. What English heart could be so dark as not to thrill, just a little, at such a judicious downfall?

When the prospect of a return to good old Imperial Units was raised last week I had a little chuckle at the thought of today’s precious little never-fail generation, barely numerate in decimalised quantities, struggling to add up in two, or three number bases simultaneously. And just think of the fun we could have once more with Johnny Foreigner: Oh yes, monsieur, there are thirteen throckles to the groat and eleven groats to the firkin. And that’ll be Eleventeen pounds, thruppence and six farthings, if you please.

Schadenfreude, that little thrill you get, even as you contemplate economic downturn, cataclysmic climate change and the prospect of going it alone, off the cliff edge, into the unknown... post-Brexit. Because, being bloody-mindedly British – and there are still millions of us left – we don’t shrink from a challenge. You can lose your entire family fortune in a thrice but as long as you can struggle back to your feet there is still all to play for. Bring it on, we say, do your worst, because Britain up against the wall is an underdog you’d do well not to turn your back on.

It’s who we always were, it defines us and despite the years of dilution of that spirit by the dismal failure of forced multiculturalism, it resides in us still. Britons were made to be the plucky winners, triumphing against all odds. Which is exactly where Tony Blair made his ruinous miscalculation last week. The unrelenting pressure to subdue that true Brit grit was relieved when against the odds last year we voted to leave the EU; when we voted to oppose the bien pensant ways of soft-boiled Britain; when we rejected Blair, Mandelson, Campbell, Cameron, Soubry, Clarke, Kinnock, Heseltine, Clegg and every single one of the pro-EU nobles in the House of Lords.

Avoirdupois? Don't mind if I do!

So come on, you fuckers, wind us up some more. Tell us how ignorant and gullible we are. Tell us again how we didn’t know what we voted for. Tell us that our world is lost in the past and show us how the beautiful people who sing your siren song are the only ones worth saving. Do it, because we’ve been spoiling for a scrap for a good many years and a few more patronising speeches from the likes of you might very well persuade us to go beyond just rolling up our sleeves and getting on with keeping the wheels turning. But remember one thing; when the revolution begins, it’s not the peasants they hang from lampposts.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Bide-a-Wee

Just when you think the clamour from beyond the political grave has died down, up pop the zombies once again. As if to demonstrate what a big mistake the British people made... when they elected him, Tony Blair turns up like the baddest of pennies with his honest-I’m-not-saying-we-must-have-a-second-referendum-but routine and effectively insists that we should hold a second referendum.

The logic is interesting: The British people are not sophisticated enough, nor well enough informed, he opines, to have made a rational decision to leave. This, of course, completely ignores over forty years of seeing the corruption of the EU and demanding a vote. But, having stated his claim that we are not competent to judge on a big-picture decision, which is pretty much black-or-white, in-or-out, he now demands that we are presented with a far more complex analysis of the ‘deal’, carefully reconsider our positions and vote again; this time to reverse the previous decision.

It is of course, nothing less than the re-booting of Operation Fear, with a bit of revulsion thrown in for good measure. The old people voted the wrong way, they must be made to see the error of their ways. He must think we are senile. But all things come to pass and imagine, if you will, not so many years in the future, in the Bide-a-Wee rest-home for deranged ex-politicians in Strasbourg the Crazy Gang are reunited, a padded cell each ,with regular play time.

EU summit, 2040

Angela Merkel is a bit of a demon in her wheelchair and loves to charge around the nursing home, taking corners on one wheel, and getting up to maximum speed on the long corridors before pulling wheelies in the canteen. Because the poor woman is one apparatchik short of a politburo, the other residents tolerate her, and some of them joined in the fun and games on Angela’s ‘race days’.One such day, Angela is speeding up one corridor when a door opens and Kooky Ken Clarke steps out with his arm outstretched.

“STOP!” he shouts in a firm voice. “Have you got a license for that thing?'

Mrs M fishes around in her handbag, pulls out a Kit Kat wrapper, and flourishes it in front of his face. Ken scrutinises the proffered paperwork, pronounces it proper and waves her on her way. Angela speeds off down the hallway. As she precariously takes the corner near the TV lounge on one wheel, Martin – wild man – Schultz pops out out in front of her. “Halt!” he yells, “You haff proof of insurance?”

Angela digs into her handbag, pulls out a drinks coaster, and holds it up for him to examine. Sergeant Schulz considers it for a moment before nodding and says “Very goot; carry on, Madam Chancellor.”

As Merkel nears the final corner before the front door and freedom, a door opens and Bonkers Blair leaps into view, his bathrobe open and sporting, despite his advancing years, a passable imitation of an erection. Angela stops, eyes up the appendage on display, sighs and cries, “Oh, goot grief, nein. Not ze breathalyser again!'

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Future is Here

Yesterday, for no particular reason, I recalled the predictions from the 1970s that by now we’d have either run out of oil, or entered a mini ice age or both. When I tweeted these observations I was reminded that ‘scientists’ had also predicted that we would have to share jobs, as there wouldn’t be enough employment to go round and thus would usher in the much-vaunted Age of Leisure. Our biggest problem, they opined, would be filling our days with meaningful fun. As it turns out we work longer hours and as standards of decorum have fallen we have, instead, entered the age of leisure WEAR... so I guess they were half right.

But actually, thinking about it, we spend so much time on our arses, staring at telescreens that by the physical standards of the 1970s we ARE in an age of leisure... just not the type we envisaged. Instead of quaffing chilled Chablis on the banks of the Thames at Henley, or yachting off the Côte d'Azur, etc, we are cramming the hoi-polloi into cattle-class, cut-price, all-in, factory-fun-filled, booze-sodden resort packages. But are we happy? Nowadays ‘we’ consider foreign holidays a virtual human right but somehow it doesn’t satisfy that hole in the soul.

We’ve come a long way since Harold Macmillan said we’d never had it so good. Back in 1957 we’d only recently come off food rationing and such as we could get our hands on was highly seasonal. Now, however, we expect all the world’s food at all seasons, in perfect condition to be always available and most of the time it is. So why is everybody complaining? Well, I did a little research – let’s call it living through six decades – and it turns out that we are, as Rod Liddle put it, selfish, whining monkeys, with our greedy fists forever stuck in the voluntary trap of the fig jar.

And it isn’t just food and foreign holibobs we’re greedy about; we seem to have produced a generation which expects rights ever more biased towards ever more nuanced peculiarities. Give a lefty an inch and he’ll throw a metric fit ... don’t you know inches are a throwback to British Imperialism? So now, if the so-called progressives say that all colours of the spectrum of worth are equal in all ways and they deserve extra help (money, laws, preferential employment rights, deference, etc) to be that way, it is considered hateful and brutish to argue.

So Sadiq Khan calling for increased vigilance against hate crime is just another example of this phenomenon. Not happy with a normal amount of objection to displacement of indigenous culture and replacement with a clearly inferior one, we must now produce ever more manufactured evidence to fit the demands. And the demand for hate crime is enormous, so every effort to improve those figures must be employed.


Fortunately, the devil makes work for idle hands to do and there are none so idle as those engaged in the boom industries of today – endless aimless protest, demanding rights, taking offence -where having too much time on your hands is an actual advantage. Who says we haven’t reached the age of leisure? As for actual productivity, making a living and funding all this big fun - bring on the robots, I say.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Nuttall Job

Paul Nuttall is a bloody fool and he has no excuse. To call people ‘scum of the earth’ – the most Merseyside of all insults (and they know a few) – for calling him out on a lie is not only stupid, it was entirely avoidable. He says he didn’t know that the claim that he had lost a ‘close personal friend’ in the Hillsborough Stadium episode appeared on his personal website; well he should have known. And if he can’t see that his Walter Mitty-like adoption of victim status is risible then he almost certainly won’t see that to even dare to use Hillsborough to virtue signal is electoral hari-kiri. Even his own tribe will hate him now.

If the prophet Nigel Farage (pbuh) represented Shire Ukip and its origins among disaffected Tories, Nuttall is the embodiment of Red Ukip; somewhat coarse, a bit of a knuckle dragger and a lookalike for Eddie Hitler, Adrian Edmondson’s character from the telly series Bottom. Not that looking like a circus reject need deter anybody from running for public office – c.f. Ed Miliband, Michael Gove, Michael Foot, Cyril Smith, Roy Hattersley, Eric Pickles... Diane Abbott – but they also need to bring a modicum of political savvy to the job. I’ve seen none from Nuttall who now risks losing in Stoke; losing to another joke candidate in the form of the odious Gareth Snell.

Meantime another idiot – Michael T Flynn – has performed the clown walk of ignominy after admitting he lied about his discussions with the Russians. Nowhere, it seems, is free of folly in the age of the idiocracy. Maybe ‘twas ever thus – plenty of historical hilarity has emerged from the archives – but with social media and the ever-present citizen journalist and amateur documentary maker out to make names for themselves it is sheer lunacy to even contemplate running unless you’ve lived in bounden chastity all your life... in which case you have little chance of being elected anyway.

My blog is called ‘When I’m King’ because I’d never in a million years put myself forward for election – I’d have to come to power by a quirk of fate and succession, or else via a very bloody coup and I’m not sure I can be arsed. In any case, there’d be no democracy, that’s for sure – have you seen the upset that’s caused this last year? Nope, if I was on the throne, fondling my orb and sceptre, you could all do just what the hell you liked. Just don’t fuck other people over; on penalty of instant judicial vaporisation. My gaff, my rules.

Paul Nuttall contemplates his political ambitions

Unfortunately, however, that happy time will have to wait. For now we are saddled with a system that requires the uninformed, uninterested masses to cast their ballot in favour of the contestant with the biggest voter appeal. Maybe it’s reality television, maybe it’s a genuine dumbing down, but we do seem to get what we deserve – few with any humility or self-awareness would put themselves up for the scrutiny that comes with the office. As J R R Tolkein observed, “the most improper job of any man [is] bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” Now, there's a sentiment with which I think we can all agree.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Photocopying, Communism and you...

I don’t even know if Xerox make photocopiers any more, I’m sure they do, but once they were synonymous with the process: “Can you Xerox me two copies of this, please?” I can’t recall seeing a Xerox machine in decades; our Xerox is a Minolta. Anyway, I did a load of photocopying this morning and as I did I observed how much like communism it all was. Bear with me...

You see, the system is supposed to work like this: I want photocopies done, I let the office girls know (this isn’t sexism, it’s just that all our clerical staff are female – so shoot us) and they produce the copies. The trouble is though, that I may have varying needs – 6 of that piece, 20 of another, this one double-sided, this one in booklet form, this set stapled, this lot in plastic wallets, colour/no colour, enlarged, shrunk... the permutations are, if not endless, considerable. It can take me longer to explain what I want than to just do it myself.

So, I come in early to hog the communal facilities for myself. Egalitarianism yes, but on a first-come, first served-basis. We all have equal access to the two smart machines, but some manage to make their access more equal than others. (I also know the keycode for full colour copying, but don’t tell anybody about that.) Of course, the machine is out of paper, so I go in search and discover the last box in the store room, load up a pack and stash another pack in my office drawer because I know I need a load doing tomorrow and we may run out. In this I only practice what everybody else does.

You see, the company is the politburo and they make the rules and the rules are that they provide everything we need. But nobody is in express charge of ordering photocopy paper, so it only gets ordered when it runs out. The reason this doesn’t cause mass panic is because everybody notices the shortage, informs the office of the need, but has little faith in the ability to deliver on time, so hoards resources for their own use until such time as normal supplies return.

It’s the same with company logo mugs, which we get through at an alarming rate, dry-wipe markers, board rubbers, pens, staples, paper clips, etc, etc, etc. A secret little barter economy operates in parallel with the official supply routes and everybody is more or less happy. We’ve all learned that to rely on the company to always be there is to be naively in thrall to a system that relies on a level of communication and understanding that is somewhat less than perfect and like all overloaded systems, occasionally fails altogether.

Replicate! Replicate!

So, we play the dutiful employees and sing the company song. We wear the uniform and bear the logo on our chests while all the time playing our own little game of every man for himself. Occasionally we have meetings at which we all faithfully agree to do all the right things and share wat we have, but we then go back to doing everything exactly as before. Not because we don’t care about doing our jobs well, but because we do. To entirely trust other humans to whom we are not related is a folly and to believe otherwise is to entirely misjudge the competence of humanity.