Friday, 26 August 2016
Nigel Farage stood on a stage with Donald Trump and the lefty world exploded into a frothing maelstrom of outrage. This is fascism, wrote Tom Peck in a fine example of the type of journalism that has Owen Jones fans salivating and self-flagellating as they express their love of all humanity via the medium of unbridled hatred. Quite a few of the usual suspects joined in to form their own little Nuremburg Rally of irony as they sought to rouse their army of compliant drones to retweet their righteous fury. It was hilarious.
Other things occupying the minds of the eternally offended were the French burkini ban, Jeremy Corbyn’s train journey shenanigans, bodies washing up at Camber Sands and the annual horrorshow of callow youth opening manilla envelopes to reveal their pointless exam results to a disinterested world. Odd then, in this sea of business as usual, that the tragic and catastrophic earthquake in central Italy got so little social media coverage. But maybe that was because it couldn’t be blamed on Brexit, islamophobia, climate change deniers, Tories... or Nigel Farage.
The prepossessions of the left are tantamount to religion; absolute faith in something that defies reality. Who am I to deny anybody their obsessions, just so long as it does nobody any harm? For many people religion offers a lifelong comfort and it would surely be wrong to deprive somebody of that security, but when following the creed starts to turn nasty, as many religions have, dissenting voices must be heard. For most people, however, religion is a mere cultural backdrop to their life, most falling out of touch with their church except for certain ritualised gatherings. And many happily do without any form of faith throughout their lives.
But, I’m guessing you can tell the atheist from the agnostic not so much by what they do with their time on earth but what they do as they near the end of it. On which thought I am reminded of the old man and the priest:
The old man entered a Catholic church, sought out the priest and requested access to the confessional. The priest escorted him to the booth and they both sat down. "I am 82 years old, Father,” he began “And I have been faithfully married to the same woman for almost sixty years.” The priest smiled from his side of the screen and asked “So, what of your confession?” The old man excitedly told him “Last night, I had full-on, lustful, extended sexual relations with a pair of twenty-three year old twins!”
The Priest was taken aback, but recovered his composure to ask "How long has it been since your last confession?" To which the old man replied “This is my first time. I'm Jewish." The priest was annoyed and demanded to know why on earth he was here, wasting the church’s time and telling him all about his sordid little adventure. The old man replied “Hey, I'm telling everybody!”
Saturday, 20 August 2016
I sometimes think that Polly Toynbee exists purely to give taxpayers somebody to belly laugh about. The other day she went into a full on, straitjacket-required, anti-Tory rant about obesity. It seems that fat is a socialist issue. Odd, though, that in her diatribe she recommends that we should “offer a diet of self-esteem, good jobs and social status, and the pounds will fall away”, because this has been the Tory solution since forever, whereas the ragged-trousered remnants of the Labour Party would legislate people thin by passing laws which always end up punishing 'the most vulnerable in society'.
Meanwhile, Theresa May’s government are going on about tax and taking a leaf out of Labour’s good book to soak the rich, or more particularly those who manage to avoid giving more than a few million to the Exchequer. Thus do political movements symbiotically survive by each feeding off the other’s ideas until they come to resemble one another, or else spawn new offshoots such as the Social Democrats and New Labour. One step forwards, two steps backwards, like an evolutionary gavotte, spinning and wheeling and never leaving the spot. We can send man to the moon in a single generation of effort, yet after millennia we still don’t have answers to questions posed by Plato.
In some less well evolved parts of the world there appears to be a determination to reverse the process entirely and consign all of man’s achievements to the dusty archive of archaeology; will a newly-excavated ancient London be sacked like Palmyra in a few thousand years’ time? People in the enlightened west have been talking about atheism for centuries but there must be something hidden deep in the genetic code of mankind’s monkey brain that reflexively clings on to fable, rather than fact.
The responsibility lies with everybody to educate their children that life is theirs to make the most of and they should not blindly follow faiths without challenge nor accept explanation without question. So when young Jamie asked his father “Dad, how did we get here?” his father replied “Well, first there were Adam and Eve and one day they made a baby. Then their babies grew up and made more babies and so on and so forth until there were millions of humans, all making babies and well, here we are! But don’t just take my word for it, ask your mum.”
Jamie duly sought out his mother and asked her the same question. Mum, having a doctorate in evolutionary biology – for this is one of those modern stories where the women get the life affirming role while the man merely plays the part of a dullard father – said “Well, first there were inorganic compounds that became organic and began to replicate. Then there were bacteria and later more complex animals. Millions of years later, fish evolved that could leave the sea. From there we got small shrew-like animals and eventually the great apes arrived.”
“Great apes?” asked Jamie, eyes wide. “Yes” continued mum “our ancestors were primates, the same as those of the chimpanzees and the orangutans we see today. The fossil records prove that we all belong to the same ancestral line.” Jamie wasn’t sure how to reconcile these two very different answers so after some thought he returned to his father. “You lied!” he stated, “I asked mum and she told me we came from monkeys!” His father calmly replied “She was talking about her side of the family.”
Thursday, 18 August 2016
A considerable amount of press time is still being devoted to trying to put as cowardly a face on the prospect of Brexit as possible. Yesterday’s news - contrary to the Today programme’s pet economist commentator’s hopes and dreams – of lower unemployment and higher ages must have come as a hammer blow. Still, there was some consolation for those wishing for the worst by making a huge deal over holidays. The cost of a European holiday, they say, has increased by 20% because of the devaluation of the pound.
But the foreign holiday is an exotic, recent import into people’s lives and is far from being an essential component. It falls firmly in the category of discretionary spending and it’s up to you whether you do or you don’t. For many the costs are fixed anyway, if by ‘holiday’ you mean the all-inclusive package deal that you bought like so much discounted tat from a comparison site on the Internet. Lying like corpulent pink slugs around a pool full of other people’s kids, wearing wristbands to show which hotel you are the property of and spending the days getting pissed and burned seems to me less like a holiday than an ordeal.
The weather is oft cited as a reason for going away but we have weather in Britain; we’re famous for it. And because it isn’t as reliable as, say Spain’s relentless beating heat, we have lots more variety to enjoy. As they say, there is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes. Maybe if you live a life of idleness on benefits, dossing about the house all day every day, a foreign escape is at least a change of scene, but sod you; your existence is one long holiday from the realities most people have to contend with.
But seriously, why go abroad, cattle class style, to be despised by those who wait on you and clean up your shit for a pittance, to wait in long queues at airport check-ins, to lose your luggage and then afterwards discover your teenage daughter has gained her own extra baggage via the local Latin Lotharios and Montezuma’s revenge has taken control of your lower bowel. The tan will fade and all you will be left with is a bit more gut overhang and those identikit selfies that you put on social media just because everybody else did and now you don’t know how to remove. Oh and you will be broke again. Call that a holiday?
But right here, in one of the rest of the world’s highly rated tourist destinations there is a ‘hotel’ where the beds are familiar and the food is up to your expectations. A place where everybody speaks your version of English and where the facilities are familiar and close at hand. Instead of all that Benidorm bollockry, close down that holiday browser, take your finger off the mouse and put your credit card back in your wallet. Instead of all that holiday hullaballoo – packing, parking, queueing and crap – take a deep breath, settle into your favourite chair and actually, you know, relax.
Go for a walk. Or if you live in a busy city, drive somewhere nice and then go for a walk. See some local sights, have a pub lunch and just talk bollocks for a few hours. Make the most of these balmy nights while you can – the clocks go back in a few weeks’ time, after all. Have you been to the local museum? Lazed in the local park; fed the ducks? With the money saved you could go on a shopping expedition (if that’s your thing) in real shops in a town centre, not just the local Tesco megastore. You could try that new restaurant in the high street, or just pig out on a takeaway in front of the telly.
Package holidays are for mugs; don’t play their game. The doom-mongers despise you and will happily use the possibly increased cost of your annual jaunt abroad to point out your ugly nationalism. Prove them wrong by choosing not to be that chav in Union Jack shorts being escorted from the plane on the SiX O’clock News at Malaga airport and be proud of Britain while actually being in Britain. Make the most of it though, because it’s forecast to piss down next week.
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair! If you go into the forest the big, bad wolf will eat you up. Beware the trolls who hide under bridges ready to snatch the Billy goats gruff. A giant lives in the clouds and keeps a goose who lays golden eggs... and he will grind your bones to make his bread. No, not another allegory about what the Labour Party believes in, much as that blog rather tends to write itself these days, but the astonishing real life reminder in yesterday’s news that real life is truly stranger than fiction.
There we all were, celebrating the Olympic Games, where extraordinary feats are accomplished by determined humans, when along comes... well, this. A mother has been jailed for submitting her children to surgery in order to maintain the lie that they were disabled. Yesterday I wrote about the naked opportunism that propelled mankind from rock to slime to mudskipper and then on to what we regard as the pinnacle of the evolutionary race to the top, then this piece of unmitigated shit reminds us that the human race can also be run backwards.
It’s bad enough when people fake their own shortcomings to garner sympathy and riches, but at least they only hurt themselves and a few million taxpayers. And it is always amusing when they get caught on video ditching the limp or the wheelchair for a bout of football with the kids on holiday. Then there’s the risible spectacle of people who take a joke too far and turn themselves into unemployable scribbling books, covering themselves in disturbing tattoos, or displaying full-on mental instability like the Nevada cat man. For all that they are the architects of their own downfalls the worst they have to endure is living with their decisions to mutilate or make fools of themselves.
But, your own children? How sick do you need to be to deliberately cause suffering and potentially permanent mental damage to your own offspring? Hold up though, don’t all parents take that risk simply by having kids? The things that some people grow up believing are normal are beyond weird; imagine being born to the kind of narcissistic self-celebrants that Max Clifford created only to later discover your famous parent was only prominent for being ridiculous and all the money was pissed down the drain anyway.
Don't talk to me about muslims. They are mental!
Or worse; how much anguish is created by religious fundamentalists, passing on their warped beliefs to their innocent charges? Having such an absolute faith in an invented deity that you think no sacrifice is too great in spreading the word. Imagine dressing your kids up as suicide bombers and preparing them for martyrdom. Imagine teaching your diminutive replicants that the west must die in order for you to perpetuate a regressive existence with no prospects for enlightenment or joy. I take it back, compared to islam, surgically altering your children for money looks pretty harmless.
Monday, 15 August 2016
Luke Johnson is one of a relatively small number of people who seem to have grasped what an opportunity Brexit presents for this country. Freed from the constraints imposed by the expensive European human engineering project it might be possible for British entrepreneurs to rediscover their inventive roots and show – if any morsel still remains – the spirit which once made this small, damp island the industrial hub of an empire. Luke cites Singapore as an inspiration; a country barely fifty years old yet with the highest GDP per capita of any nation on Earth.
Work, not welfare, is the key, because nothing in life except life itself comes for free. In the soft, over-developed west that free gift so often carries a curse, foisting existence on unsuspecting new citizens but then abandoning them to the fates decreed by the architects of the political system that has ‘yet to be properly tried’. Socialism itself is a prime example of the laws of unintended consequence – while the notion of a welfare safety net for all sounds good, the very foundation of human nature is a cool, calculating slab of opportunism that will milk the state dry.
End the ‘something for nothing’ culture, said David Cameron, just as others have said before him, only to learn the hard way that once given it is bloody difficult to claw back that largesse. Impossible, if you want to be re-elected, or leave a ‘legacy’. The welfare state, like any industry, would be nothing without its loyal customers and nothing buys loyalty like cold, hard cash and soothing words. Who dares call out our unsustainable bread and circuses charade for what it is? The greater the demand, the richer those who cater to it and under the ‘caring’ umbrella the west has allowed a system of unearned, unaffordable entitlement to creep and grow.
We don’t want a universal, no-questions-asked welfare system; not when it creates and perpetuates the very poverty it seeks to alieve. We don’t want a ‘comprehensive’ equality-driven education system; not when it denies bright but poor kids the chance to shine. We don’t want institutionalised kindness and compassion; not when it is so readily exploited by those who are bred into dependence. And we certainly neither want nor need faux diversity, shoe-horned into the cultural landscape; not when in reality, regardless of origins or leanings, black or pink, brown or yellow, there is anything but diversity of thought; not when the naïve advocates of the diverse palette are the Midwich cuckoos of cultural Marxism.
We need a country where the weak and needy are largely absent; bred out. Where single issue minority politics can’t enable legislation to hamper the majority. Where tolerance is freely given to those who work with us, but a stern face is presented to those who wish us harm. A place where everybody takes responsibility for their own journey through life and knows that while help is available should you occasionally falter, you’re on your own if you continually go off-piste. Fat, lazy, stupid, addicted, accidentally pregnant, self-or-selfie-obsessed? That’s your shit; you shovel it.
Time to flush?
Britain needs to get its act together and make bolder decisions. Are we going to continue to pursue the EU model of a low wage, mass consumption economy, founded on ever greater numbers of lower and lower grade drones, forever passing the cost downwards to future generations? Or will we grasp the nettle and instead allow the economy, along with the population, to shrink back to a size which accommodates and rewards the brave and the busy but dissuades the third world from beating a path to our door? Isn’t it time to flush the dregs and clear the system; has anybody got the balls for the job?