Strange Free World: Paul Cobblestone’s Educational Initiative For British Nationalism

by richardhutton

[New scene: A local Primary School. Cobblestone is set to deliver his speech outlining his bold, new educational initiative for British youth. Both the lab/Cons candidates have declined to attend as a measure of protest. Sutherland is running late. It is a bright autumn day with clear skies. Leaves on the trees have begun to change colour. ].

An audience of children are seated in a modestly sized school hall. They are separated into two groups – one to the left, one to the right –with a narrow walkway through the middle of the two sections. The stage is a hollow wooden edifice, which resounds with footsteps when trodden. It is mounted by way of a small staircase located at the side of the structure. There is a podium at the front of the stage, with a concealed microphone. Several teachers are standing to the right of the hall, appearing listless and agitated by turns. One is leaning on the wall. A television camera crew are situated to the left, preparing hastily without grace. Two female, middle-aged teachers are in conversation

(Teacher 1) Well, I asked to see his speech beforehand.
(Teacher 2) Why?
(Teacher 1) Well in order to vet it.
(Teacher 2) Right; sure. So what happened?
(Teacher 1) Well, I won’t tell you what it said;
But there was no way we could permit it.
(Teacher 2) So what did he say?
(Teacher 1) Well he said that it represented an act of censorship,
And that such horrors were precisely
What he was here to speak out against.
(Teacher 2) What did you say?
(Teacher 1) Well, I said that some things –
And that some particular subjects –
Might not be appropriate for twelve-year olds.
That all I wanted to do was ensure
None of the children would be upset.
(Teacher 2) What did he say to that?
(Teacher 1) Well he said that I was encouraging homosexuality;
That it was his right as a British national to speak at perfect liberty
About even the most controversial subjects;
And that any attempt to censure him
Was an assault on the tradition of freedom
That has upheld this country’s democratic rights for centuries.
(Teacher 2) What did you say then?
(Teacher 1) Well there was nothing I could say.
I asked him if he could at least moderate his tone
And he accused me of being a hatemonger.
(Teacher 2) My honeymoon was exactly the same.
It really was. It’s uncanny.

[The camera crew indicate their readiness. There is a slight murmur as Cobblestone enters the hall and strides manfully towards the stage, through the corridor between the children. Cobblestone takes the podium and waits for silence; which doesn’t come. Teachers hush the children and chide them to stop fidgeting. Cobblestone clears his throat and speaks].

(Cobblestone) Children: boys and girls; men and others.
I, Paul Cobblestone, stand before you today as a British national.
You children are seated before me as British children:
Fine British types.
Fully flushed in the ripe vigours of youth.
But why? Why are we here?
Well, I shall tell you why.
Your state and nation, our culture, your traditions,
And Britain’s way of life and individual liberties –
Its noble cuisine and fine restaurants –
Are under attack.
I say that with no pleasure.
In fact I do not say it at all.
Children of Britain:
Today, I have said nothing.

[Scene ends]

[New scene: Sutherland walks through the school building’s main entrance; and approaches the Receptionist – a plain, middle-aged white woman. Cobblestone’s voice is audible from the hall in the background. It’s inflections ring through the empty corridors throughout]

(Sutherland) Hi. I’m here for the…thing.
(Receptionist) What do you mean?
(Sutherland) The thing – the reading. With people.
(Receptionist) Are you here to read with the children?
(Sutherland) Yes – sort of. I think.
[Looks at notes]
I proofread this time – there’s not a single obscenity.
You can check. I don’t mind.
I’ve numbered the pages, and I wrote it all myself.
(Receptionist) Okay; if you just want to come this way please.

[The woman rises wearily and begins to walk away from the direction of the hall]

(Sutherland) It’s not in the hall?
(Receptionist) Eh? Oh, no.
We have a small library just ‘round the corner –
Away from all that daft racket.
(Sutherland) Ah, wait…
(Receptionist) Is there a problem?
(Sutherland) Well, no – but I’m supposed to be doing something else.
(Receptionist) Doing what?
(Sutherland) Well, I’m not actually sure.
(Receptionist) If you’re not sure what you’re doing,
Why are you here?
(Sutherland) I don’t know.
I suppose I have got half an hour anyway.
[Cobblestone’s voice resounds]
Or longer, possibly.
(Receptionist) Well then, if you’ll come this way.

[Receptionist takes Sutherland by the arm; Scene ends]

[New scene. The children have become slightly more animated. While Cobblestone speaks, he paces the stage intermittently – from right to left – gesticulating strenuously; his voice carries with power]

(Cobblestone) Standards are slipping –
When they should be raised high.
Education is not what it should be –
When it should in fact be
What it should in fact be!
Oh yes, children. Oh yes.
That’s right. That’s exactly how it is.
There’s no cribbly-crabbly plurry-murry with me.
Oh no. I speak straight from the heart.
The other candidates have addressed
Merely parents, or teachers –
Only I have had the courage to speak amidst children.
And I tell you this:
Wave after wave of mass irrigation
Has left us quite rightly enraged.
The invading horde is at the door!
Oh, they might knock quietly,
And ask leave to enter politely –
They may even have been granted permission –
But there can be no denying their baleful intent.

[Several teachers begin to look uneasy; most remain listless]

Children of Britain:
To you is our nation entrusted;
To you has our future depend!
Families is where our nation finds hope –
Where our wings take dream!
But it is not enough.
You children may well be a future:
But what use is the boy to his countrymen
If stove-pipe trousers have restricted his movement,
Retarded his physical development,
And left him as the girl?
What use to Yorkshire is the girl herself
Whose womb has become cold,
Barren and unfit for purpose
Because she works, labours and fair twitterpates?

[Most of the teachers now begin to look a shade uneasy].

Boys, turn to the girl at your side –
Is she fit to be your wife and mother?
The foreigner is the scourge
And misfortune of British womanhood.
Can this be denied?
No – it is a scientific belief.
And upon our movement’s shoulders
The responsibility for your own development rests.
It is a certain tightness of clothing while youthful
That leaves us at the mercy of more primitive types,
Whose very custom of nakedness
Has allowed them to swell to fierce proportions.
Such developments are not hindered
By any false concern for…
(Teacher 1) Mr Cobblestone, that’s hardly an appropriate subject for…
(Cobblestone) It is my right as a British national to speak…
(Teacher 1) Yes, yes, but…
(Cobblestone) I will not be silenced by covert operatives of the…
(Teacher 1) Mr Cobblestone,…
(Teacher 2) It’s okay, let the good man speak.
(Teacher 1) But…
(Teacher 2) It’s still better than Parent’s Night.
(Teacher 1) Fine. You may continue.
(Cobblestone) You see children?
That is exactly what I have been talking about.
They try to silence me
Because they wish to stifle the truth.
That is why we need an end to foreign unBritishness;
And a strong, balanced youth.
You and I, children, together shall take the world.

[Scene ends]

[New scene. Sutherland is seated beside a young boy: very nice and polite; cheerful – not unhappy. The chairs they sit upon are too large for the boy, and too small for Sutherland respectively]

(Sutherland) So, you like…reading?
(Boy) Not really.
(Sutherland) Really? I do.
I liked books about pirates when I was your age.
Treasure Island was my favourite book.
And Robinson Crusoe wasn’t bad – it wasn’t good either –
But he was from around here, you know.
Well, anyway, what are you reading?
(Boy) Stig of the Dump.
(Sutherland) Right. Do you read at home?
(Boy) Not really.
(Sutherland) Yeah, I was the same when I was a your age –
Lazy; very lazy [yawns]
Which is why you’re doing the reading incidentally.

[Scene ends]

[New scene. Cobblestone is leaning over the lectern; there is a slight shadow cast upon his face]

(Cobblestone) I was floored. Paralysed.
I had been attacked from behind
As I guiltlessly held the door open.
Looking up, I could see him clearly,
Wracking his mind – his criminal mind –
And scratching his foreign buttocks.
But he could see that this British national
Wasn’t going to take that lying back.
No: we don’t crawl, we lay tall.
And are never willing to back down –
Nor shy away. Oh no.
I’m sorry, but I never apologise.
That’s the way we Britons are.

[Teacher looks at watch]

(Teacher) When did the headmaster say he would be arriving?
(Teacher 2) [Shrugs shoulders and yawns]

(Cobblestone) He leaned over me with a satanic leer –
His intent clearly monstrous.
Depraved. UnBritish.
Who knows what he was planning?
What might have happened?
He spoke. By God, he spoke to me.
And what he said was so horrible, so terrible –
So literally, mind-bendingly unBritish –
That I could simply never bear to tell it.
I could not repeat it for my life –
For the sake of common decency.
It would shock you.
It would horrify.
[Pause] Would you like to know what he said, children?

[Murmurs of assent]

(Cobblestone) Well then, I will tell you.
‘They took her down a submarine, parlez vous.
They took her down a submarine, parlez vous.
They took her down a submarine
And rubbed her tits with margarine
They took her down a submarine parlez vous’
That is what he said!
In Arabic! And French!
(Teacher) Mr Cobblestone, that’s enough.
(Cobblestone) Yes! Enough is enough!
Our rights were literally violated as a nation that night!
As I lay there – listing the glories
Of Albion’s historical banquet for all to hear:
Parkin; scallops; proper, real, bona fide British ale
By the pound!
(Teacher) No, Mr Cobblestone.
It really is the limit.
(Cobblestone) Exactly. Exactly – right and proper!
We have reached saturation point;
And we refuse to take it any more!
(Teacher) No: I mean you’ve overstepped the mark.
(Cobblestone) Yes; and forever yes!
It is time we said the unsayable;
And spoke the unspeakable!
Only I have the courage required.
For too long, for too many, and for far too often
We have stood by in this country silently,
Voicing our protest to no avail,
While others have looked on deafly.
Only I have the heroism –
The strength of will –
To ignore such nay-sayers,
And see our future through to the end.
(Teacher) I give up. What’s the point?
(Cobblestone) That is my belief entirely.
It is finally time for the silent majority to protest!
For the silent majority to speak!
I am the silent majority!

[Teacher folds arms and looks sullen. Scene ends]

[New scene. Sutherland is seated beside the boy]

(Sutherland) So that’s it then?
The Receptionist said it was only for ten minutes.
You read very well; I wish we had more time.
(Boy) I wish I was white.
(Sutherland) I wish I was less …husky.
It’s the biscuits that do it.
I tried eating rice cakes instead,
But they taste like tepid bloody water.
(Boy) What does tepid mean?
(Sutherland) Tepid? Nevermind.
Plus you’re hungry all the time,
So you just end up eating more anyway.
Why, anyway? Why do you want to be white?
(Boy) I don’t know; I just do.
(Sutherland) People pay good money to have darker skin.
Look at tanning salons, for crap’s sake. Or creams.
(Boy) Creams?
(Sutherland) Yes. Not the good kind either.
God forbid people doused themselves in custard.
It would be much nicer though.
(Boy) I still wish I was white.
Sometimes, anyway.
(Sutherland) [Pause] I wish you didn’t have to
Add notches to belts all the time.
How hard is it to put a decent amount in?
And why can’t you get size fourteen shoes
In normal shoe shops? Useless gits.
Not everybody’s a fawn, for God’s sake.
I think women have similar trouble with dress sizes,
But I’m not sure whether I can tell you about that.
I don’t actually know about it, incidentally.
I’ve certainly never had that problem myself.
[Receptionist Appears]
(Receptionist) Are you coming back next week?
(Sutherland) Well, probably not, no.
(Receptionist) Okay. Come on then.
(Sutherland) Where?
(Receptionist) The child.
(Sutherland) Right; yes.

[Scene ends]

[New scene: Sutherland walks past the Receptionist towards the exit. Cobblestone’s voice can be heard resounding]

(Receptionist) Are you not staying, then?
(Sutherland) Oh, no. No.
(Receptionist) You’re going, then?
(Sutherland) Yes. I’m going.

[Scene ends]

[New scene. Cobblestone takes a sip from his glass of water. He corrects his tie and collar. The hall is quiet; the audience attentive]

(Cobblestone) You know, children,
We have spoken today about the silent majority.
But there is a silent minority we may also speak of.
We have talked, even,
About what is wrong with our country –
Our once great, proud land.
But who is ultimately responsible for our decline?

[Cobblestone wipes his brow carefully. He scours the audience slowly. His gaze passes into the distance. He speaks more gently]

(Cobblestone) Children – boys and girls;
Yes – even teachers:
Human beings in this world
Are like mushrooms in a forest.
There are good mushrooms, and there are good people.
And then there are bad, poisonous mushrooms,
And there are certainly bad people.
We all know that.
And, of course, we have to be on our guard against bad people –
Just as we must take precautions
Against poisonous mushrooms when eating.
Do you understand that?

[Murmured agreement from some of the children]

(Cobblestone) Then you all understand what happens
When you come into contact with something that is wicked?
And do you know, too, who these bad people are;
These tainted proliferations of mankind?
No: I suspect not.
For they do not teach such things in school.
Sometimes such creatures disguise themselves carefully.
They are friendly – welcoming.
They will tell you a thousand times
That their intentions are kindly and good.
But for our people – for our nation –
They are a poison.
A single, solitary bad mushroom can take a person’s life.
On this we are agreed.
We may speak about it confidently.
But did you know that sometimes merely a single drop of bane
Can poison an entire village, an entire town –
Even an entire nation?
Yes – you know that well enough. Of course.
But think how many thousands of people do not.
Consider how seldom men and women are able
To discern a bad mushroom from a good one.
They look alike. They seem akin.
They are not, however.
People must be warned – we must set them right;
Even if it means telling them
What they do not really want to hear.
Even if they feel afraid of us.
The British people must learn how to tell a fruit of rot and taint
From one of worth and value.
They must recognise the shapes
Such cankered sores of rottenness assume.
Detect the smells.
Recognise the sounds.
They must discover where poison may be found.
What, in truth, its nature really is.
Children – I tell you only this:
The foreigner is our nation’s sepulchre.

[Scene ends]

[New scene. Sutherland re-enters the building swiftly]

(Sutherland) I left my speech.
(Receptionist) Yes. Yes, you did.
(Sutherland) The notes, I mean.

[Receptionist hands them to him]

(Receptionist) For the best, I think.
(Sutherland) Thank you. Bye.

[Scene ends]

[New scene]

(Cobblestone) So today, children, I say unto you merely this:
Let us take inspiration from the heroic efforts
And examples of Europe’s true pioneers.
Let us remember our ancestors with satisfaction.
Feel guilty for your past no more; feel proud.
I do not say this in honour of the past:
I say it for the sake of our present –
And our future.
The Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Norse-folk communities of Britain:
I see their spirit in you.
You honest, hard-working British children
Are the future choir of our land.
The BNP’s anthem for British youth:
Every child should learn it by heart, line for line.
‘Hail you bold young Dacian-Celtic-Saxon tribesmen of the Norse:
Be merry and be true.
Stand up proudly in thy woad –
A sea of pink and blue’.
Perhaps somebody can tell me what’s wrong with that?
And another thing:
What the hell is wrong with children wearing
Sodding honest flaxen braids?
Yes we may well ask that!
Oh I ask it indeed.
I ask it only too much.
But actions speak louder than any words.
An example must be set.
Clearly we cannot rely on useless,
Hopelessly feminine teachers.
It is the spirit of the warrior which bestows freedom.
Children need role-models and order and self-discipline.
A British warrior must preside over every class-room.
There shall be no place for womanish fretting.
Behold: the New Model Youth!

[A troupe of ten New Model Youths enter the hall in formation from the hall’s rear; and begin to march around the room anti-Clockwise, circling the children. They continue to troop about for the duration of Cobblestone’s speech]

(Cobblestone) They don’t put milk in their coffee –
They take it black, and British!
British coffee for British men;
British tea for British maidens.
Asking no more – they accept no less.
Their native tongue wedded to our mother country.
Nowhere else do these British values
Roost in British hearts.
When we look around our once proud, glorious land
What do we hear?
Unprovoked littering.
Unjustified nudity.
Unpatriotic unBritish potatoes.
But not these – not they:

[The New Model Youth tramp past the stage]

(Cobblestone) Fierce and implacable hearts;
A most formidable opposition
With a hardiness simply beyond mere foreigners.
Minor ailments pall not; nor the severer – never.
A leg of each may be removed without anaesthetic –
And not a murmur would pass their faces.
How many non-Britons could say that?
None but the Briton.
God put us on earth for one reason –
And one reason among many:
To avoid the French.
Never – never shall we succumb at their command.
‘Let us bugger in the larder!’
Wails the Frenchman in his ardour.
‘Butter, Brie and fine conserves;
Depravity shall they preserve.
Eat fries of French – and then you’ll see
My pintle shall a sceptre be’.
That, children, is what I overheard
The French ambassador to Hull cry –
Oh yes. Oh yes!
Let him deny it a thousand times –
A thousand times thousand!
French fries? French fries!
It is a form of madness.
Those are fries of freedom!
It is terrorism!
Innocent or not, they are guilty!
Only we have the courage, the will,
The strength, the belief, the mental toughness,
The sheer, unbridled, utter brilliance and Britishness of mind to…

[The headmaster enters the hall from a side door. It is the same young, black man from the University who had held the door open for Cobblestone to no avail. Cobblestone recognises him after a momentary pause, and dives from the stage into the pit. The New Model Youth continue to march around].

(Headmaster) Hasn’t the symposium finished yet?
(Teacher 1) I’m afraid not.
(Headmaster) Don’t we have class?
(Teacher 1) Well, I mean, seriously.
(Teacher 2) Exactly.
(Headmaster) I see. [To children]
Boys, girls: back to your classrooms please.
Teachers: likewise.

[All children and teachers exeunt; the New Model Youth maintain their march, awaiting Cobblestone’s orders. Scene ends]