A New Place Of Exile

Richard Hutton

Category: The Right-Minded View

The Right-Minded View: Tony Blair’s wise words & Article 50’s anniversary.

I, for one, welcome Tony Blair’s wise words today. On the very first anniversary of Article 50, they could not be more timely.

I have had my disagreements with him in the past – for instance, his choice of tie has occasionally been less than sober.

I was even slightly inconvenienced by the Iraq war – as one of the protests against it caused traffic delays; which resulted in me being more than an hour late in getting home.

Nonetheless, even I have managed to overcome the fact that I agree with Blair about everything, and recognise him as the most principled man in politics: due to his staunch and unwavering opposition to something that I also happen to dislike.

In fact, I genuinely don’t get why people disfavour Blair.

So far as I can see it, his only “crime” was to undertake a humanitarian intervention; which made creative interpretation of the law – and imaginative deployment of rhetoric.

What’s so wrong about all of that? That sort of thing used to be taught in the better universities, as part of a young gentleman’s upbringing. Prizes were given.

And the way people carry on, you’d be forgiven for thinking that his post-PM role, running PR campaigns on behalf of dictators, was unsavoury.

The fact that Blair has managed to keep himself busy, while commanding high fees, strikes me as a true measure of the man’s qualities, I say.

I mean, he opposes Brexit – surely that more than makes up for everything else, anyway?


The Right-Minded View: I, and the people who agree with me, are very sensible.

We all know that Jeremy Corbyn is personally responsible for everything that people who occupy the sensible centre ground of politics currently dislike.

True, the Conservative Party decided to conduct the Brexit referendum – and were aided and abetted by Sensible Moderate Labour MPs, who all supported their call to have one; and arguably helped lay the rhetorical groundwork for the Leave campaign.

Therefore, clearly, Corbyn is the one to blame.

As for the shocking revelations that Corbyn once expressed a vague bit of support for an iffy mural half a decade ago – well, it simply takes the biscuit.

This isn’t like sending vans around BAME neighbourhoods, telling foreign people to go home – or deploying derogatory terms while discussing woodpiles in Parliament.

And it certainly isn’t on a par with using colourful language about People of Colour, before assuming the mantle of Foreign Secretary.

Oh no – even famed anti-racism campaigners, such as Nigel Farage and Norman Tebbit have seen fit to vent spleen at Corbyn. They can see that this sort of thing isn’t cricket.

Meanwhile long-standing advocates of religious tolerance, such as Iain Paisley Jr, have taken the very brave, and very principled stance of confronting the shortcomings of their political opponents.

Quite rightly too, I say.

And let us reserve our fullest condemnation for Jeremy Corbyn’s reluctance to condemn Vladimir Putin.

All we ask is that Corbyn utter a simple condemnation – no more, no less. We all know it would suffice.

Now, admittedly Corbyn did condemn Putin – but it’s not enough to simply utter condemnation, is it now? We all know it doesn’t suffice.

If only a Sensible Moderate Labour MP was in charge of their party right now – they could make good use of all the competence, and long-term thinking, which the strategic masterminds behind the Ed Stone are renowned for.

The Right-Minded View: Cold War – Part Deux. This time, it’s personal.

As far this whole Russian brouhaha goes – there’s a time and place to talk about politics. That time is never; and that place is nowhere.

I mean, do we really want the Houses of Parliament to be politicized?

It is not the job of the Opposition to actually oppose the government, after all – merely to support the way it is going about things; and perhaps pledge to go one better.

It comes as a matter of no small surprise, therefore, that the leader of the Opposition balks at the suggestion we must place our absolute trust in the proper authorities.

It’s people like that who allow the facts get in the way of a good story.

Even steadfast supporters of Jeremy Corbyn – such as commentators in the tabloid newspapers – have called this poor form; while, his unfailingly loyal backbenchers have seen fit to complain about him, for the first time ever.

By contrast, the fine response by many opposition MPs was a truly glorious sight to behold. There are times where the national interest comes first. The enemy in the Salisbury spy attack is Russia, not the government.

It’s not hard.

It’s called doing what’s right by this country’s proud history and traditions.

In fact, the real mystery is why such individuals have ended up as pariahs among their own voters. Scrambling obediently into line behind a Tory Prime Minster, purely to embarrass their own party’s leader? That’s such stuff as statesmanlike dreams are made of, I say.

True, Corbyn did condemn Russia and Putin – repeatedly; over a variety of formats. But it’s just not enough.

And while we received a very sober and dignified call to see evidence, before acting, from the French President Emmanuel Macron; Corbyn villainously asked to see evidence before acting – for reasons of pure evil.

What kind of irresponsible politician asks for an investigation to take place, instead of instantly rushing to conclusions?

What kind of leader stands by due process, instead of immediately bowing to political expedience; and following the crowd?

Oh, Corbyn might have called for asset-freezing injunctions; but what about REAL measures – such as, you know, strong words in Parliament? Macho posturing, bombast, saber-rattling – full of sound and fury. That sort of thing.

As ever, it fell to the electable members of the Labour Party, to set a solid example, for all to admire. Penning a good, stiff letter, thus:

“We, the undersigned, welcome this bout of hot air from a desperate Prime Minister trying stoke and exploit a major panic, in order to deflect attention from the appalling mess her government has made of – well, everything; by wrapping herself in an aura of faux patriotism”.

And if the most principled opportunists in Parliament are willing to place blind faith in the government, then it is not for the likes of you and me to question matters.

As for those wags mentioning the Light Brigade, or the whole Iraq jolly – well, it simply lacks taste.

If anything, it inclines one to re-evaluate who the real victims of that excellent war actually were.

I would wager that politicians whose judgment is questioned, instead of automatically deferred to, have suffered far more than the many thousands of people they helped liberate to death.

And let us have no more of this false-equivalence malarkey.

While Britain would surgically launch a drone strike at a wedding party, Russia instead deploys an indiscriminate nerve agent – which makes no distinction between combatant and civilian. A clear difference, between the two countries.

Our mistakes are made in good faith – and we learn all the correct lessons; no matter how many times it should prove necessary.

All told, it is overdue that we stopped politicizing the behaviour of politicians; and furthermore, Russia really should just shut up, and go away.

The Right-Minded View: on the new offence of intimidating one’s social and political betters.

It is about time that a government law was introduced, putting a stop to intimidation in public discourse.

Nobody abhors the nanny state more than I – but this is one area where a clampdown is long over due. And pronto.

Members of the common herd calling politicians “war criminals” – just because they initiated illegal wars. Or saying that their elected representatives are “incompetent”, and their policies “ill-conceived”. It all goes too far.

There was none of this online thuggery when I was a lad. Admittedly, the internet didn’t exist back then – but that is largely beside the point at hand.

I worry that our public debate is coarsening into a feral free for all. And also that political correctness means we can no longer say what we wish, without being tutted at.

I’ll have you know that it is quite possible to disagree with somebody, without demeaning them on account of opposing viewpoints. Through engaging in childish name-calling, for example.

If only the members of generation snowflake would take that on board.

But instead, what do we see? Braying mobs of young folk hurting peoples’ feelings; using rude words – and making them upset.

Likening grown men to gammon. Throwing cornflakes at cafes. Disagreeing with their social betters on the internet!

Not to mention radical students censoring panto; and militant statistics-watchdogs censuring government ministers.

Well, it’s not on. The decent among us shouldn’t have to put up with this sort of thing.

Thank God we have a sensible government, I say. One which will put a stop to PC palaver; and allow us to voice our robust opinions freely, once again.

And arrest anyone who makes disrespectful comments about us, in the process.

The Right-Minded View: Men evolved to protect the boundaries of tribes, Feminism precedes the fall of empires – a commonsense approach to sexual politics.

Call me old-fashioned if you will, but from where I’m standing so much of what passes for feminism these days is not feminism per se, as I see it; but – instead – an unabashed attempt to achieve socio-economic parity for women in all walks of life.

This is of course not unreasonable; but anyone with a pair of ears can see that it is not enough. I think we have to look at this in context.

I simply cannot remember the last time I read an article about genuine areas of concern for women – such as the most efficient arrangements of potpourri; or the best way to find a husband.

As for so-called ‘sexual equality’ – I have an acquaintance who is very knowledgeable about such things; and according to him it is entirely unnecessary in this day and age.

For example, women don’t need equal pay legislation – as they can simply work additional hours, until they have earned as much as their male colleagues.

What’s more, rather than worry unduly about reproductive rights, they might simply embrace a lifetime of celibacy instead.

There is no need for educational opportunities either, he reckons. Should a woman need help with anything complex, she may simply request assistance from any passing gentleman that happens to be in the vicinity; who – being a fellow of gentility – will graciously grant it forthwith.

I feel that little more remains to be said on this subject, quite frankly; save to note that sexual equality is perhaps a matter best discussed between a woman and her doctor.

The Right-Minded View: How Conservatives Can Gain The Youth Vote.

Very difficult to see why the Conservatives would struggle to gain votes from young people, these days. From those few who are blessed with moral fiber, at least. In fact, courting their support should be second nature to the Conservative Party.

I merely bring to mind the youth wing of my local branch. True, the youngest member is 87; but they are by no means lacking in vigour (very spry when the mood becomes them, I hear).

Admittedly there was a meeting recently, in which it became apparent that one of the
members in attendance had been deceased for several hours, before anyone noticed – but these things are difficult to tell with some people. What’s more, I see this as a strength; not a weakness: the element of surprise should never be underestimated in modern politics.

And certainly, if what I hear on the doorstep is correct, then young people will prove very receptive to an inspiring message of fiscal conservatism, and social liberalism. That is to say, reducing the tax-burden on those of us who have achieved something in life; while turning a blind-eye to the whole how’s-your-father goings on, which bedevil the modern world. Perhaps the odd military parade would not be amiss; but that is purely optional.

If allotments and jam are the best that the current Leader of the Opposition has to offer, well, merely consider the fact that most rank and file members of the Conservative Party can offer not only allotments but a dazzling array of seasonal vegetables. I think we all know which is the more appealing on that score.

Furthermore, rap ‘music’ is unjustifiably popular among young people, I hear. Well, why not offer something of the kind; but promoting sensible values?

I don’t care for the term ‘gangster rap’ as it sounds too much like a form of ruffian patter. However, there is no need to be overly hidebound about these things; so why not blend the old rhyming vernacular with trenchant social commentary – and time-tested facts of history – to create Tory rap?

For example:

The people’s flag is deepest blue –
It buffed oft our polished shoe.
And ere one’s limbs grew stiff with rickets,
Our hearts were stirred by village cricket.
So raise the azure standard low
Beneath it’s shade we’ll make root-crops grow.

If Winston Churchill was alive today,
He might very well roll in his grave.
But thanks to the efficacy of the free-market
He could at least purchase a microwave.
Though Bremainers flinch, Brexiters cheer.
Shakespeare once wrote a play called King Lear.

Something to that effect seems just the sort of thing that young people go in for, I gather.

Now go forthwith; and stop this shilly-shallying.

The Right-Minded View: the prospect of nuclear war between America and North Korea.

I can see why people are worried, frankly. This brouhaha has brought one or two home truths to light.

While there’s no way to be certain, at present, a nuclear conflict between America and North Korea could well turn out to be a very serious matter, indeed.

Therefore, we can only be thankful for our very own Trident to keep us safe from the prospect of apocalyptic warfare. True, Britain’s government accidentally fired a nuclear missile at Florida; then misled Parliament over the matter. But dropping atomic bombs on foreign countries is the only way to ensure that we will never have to resort to acts of nuclear war. And besides, a bit of radiation sickness never did anyone any harm in the long-run. It builds character.

And we should be more thankful still that it is Theresa May, not Mr Jeremy Corbyn, in charge of proceedings at a time like this. Any British politician who rules out nuking Russia, Iran – or wherever – is a danger to us all.

In fact, the media has been quite right to question the mental stability of any fellow who categorically renounces launching a nuclear device. I mean, we’ve spent all that money on building these weapons – it would be a terrible shame to let them go to waste. So, we may as well get some use out of them. Would anyone miss South East Asia, really? Or Dublin?

But back to the point at hand – the belligerent rhetoric of Messrs Trump and Kim is clearly the sign of dangerous personalities at work. As the media rightly point out, only a madman would even contemplate using nuclear weapons, after all.


The Right-Minded View: Tony Blair dispenses wisdom to the grateful tribes-people of Remainia.


And Lo, Moses came down from Mount Sinai, slightly the worse for wear; clutching several stone tablets, engraved with Divine Inspiration. The tribes-people gathered in hushed awe – awaiting their commandments.

“Behold,” Moses began; “all ye need know on earth is this: Tony Blair won three elections”.

The crowd gasped, unanimously. “Tony Blair won three elections?” asked a lowly tribesman. “Can it be true?”. “That’s correct” replied Moses, with a sweep of his arm. “Tony Blair won three elections – therefore he is omniscient”.

Hearing this, Tony Blair modestly clambered atop an austere rock; with a look of benign magnanimity upon his noble brow. The tribesfolk put their newly-minted golden calf aside, and beheld this new idol with reverence. “Ask me anything” Tony Blair declared “and I will answer truthfully”.

“What’s two plus two?” shouted a rambunctious millennial; with a look of Trotsky Entryism about their demeanor. “Why, the answer is five” Tony Blair replied – gracefully blowing dust off his finger nails as he did so. The crowd burst into applause. “Next question, please” Tony Blair demurred.

“Wait a minute,” interpolated an elderly fellow at the back of the crowd, “that’s not true”. “Of course it’s true!” snapped Moses. “Tony Blair says it’s true, and he won three elections! It is therefore irrefutable”. “Yes, but, no…” the old man continued. “You can count it out on your own fingers, and see for yourself it’s demonstrably untrue. Look – one, two; three, four. The answer is four. Two plus two, equals four”.

The crowd began to murmur fractiously. The atmosphere soured. “Can it be true?” asked a tribes-woman. “Could Tony Blair be wrong about something? Does he not have all the answers to life’s questions, after all?”.

Anxiety filled the air – until finally Moses restored sense. “Two plus two can’t be four” Moses explained; “because Tony Blair says it isn’t, and he won three elections”. The tribesmen and women cheered as one; showering Tony Blair with the Sinai’s very finest grains of sand.

The following day, Moses followed Tony Blair’s advice, and led his tribe into the desert – where they would walk around in a circle for 40 years; while Tony Blair took up his allotted position as Pharaoh’s PR advisor, helping to restore the Egyptian public’s faith in his tactical acumen after the whole Red Sea thing.

The end.


p.s. things haven’t been going so well lately, so I will be taking some time off from writing. Keep well.

The Right-Minded View: PMQs – January 2017.

There are two broad purviews on Prime Minister’s Questions. Many people contend that it is largely a waste of everybody’s time – a shoulder-shruggathon, if you will; whereby gossipy-snips write about Parliamentary affairs as if the whole matter was a particularly underwhelming soap opera: superimposing whatever narrative happens to be convenient to their own personal inclinations and ego. Moreover, some even go so far as to suggest that this comprehensively fails the public interest, and undermines the whole purpose of journalism – to the detriment of us all – at one stroke.

Others look at it a different way, however; and conclude that it is the best thing since the sliced proverbial; or at least, since the cup-holder umbrella. I, for one, favour the second view; because of reasons, and stuff.

It therefore behooves me to commend an outstanding performance throughout this week’s bout from the Prime Minister: responding to even the least robust of questions with a truly awe-inspiring evasiveness; while expertly handling a variety of styles. From quick fire gangsta rap exchanges; to death metal panache – replete with cookie monster vocals.

For example, the Parliamentary Leader of the Scottish National Party asked if the Prime Minister would agree that the recent bout of cold weather throughout Britain demonstrates the need for an independent Scotland – prompting Ms May to spend a moment praising the Dark Lord, before growling “cookie, cookie, cookie”, and then sacrificing a paper clip to appease his satanic majesty. This is the sort of thing that young people go in for, I hear.

Then the Leader of the Liberal Democrats asked for a guarantee that Britain would retain access to the single European Market. Channeling the inner thug, the Prime Minister replied: “there is ghon be no attempts ta stay within tha European Union. Tha playaz of Britain voted fo’ Brexit – we is all Brexitas now, nahmeean?”; before presenting a thugged-out document to the House of Commons. The Prime Minister then explained that “da Posse whoz ass want Britain ta stay up in tha EU single market” needed a “realitizzle check” and “ta stop behavin’ as though you livin’ up in a gangbangin’ fantasy ghetto”.

Then we come to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Corbyn – asking impertinent questions, about trifling matters, in an unelectable manner. I mean, are we supposed to fixate on something as trivial as Britain’s future export markets, while there is a burnt-toast crisis facing our country? I rather think not. Pull yourself together, people – it’s a question of priorities.

By contrast, PM May was seriosity personified – emitting aplomb from every orifice. In a word – runcible. Concerned with only the most pressing matters – such as Britain’s future export markets.

To conclude proceedings, Theresa May then patriotically passed around a plate of the all-British-ingredient equivalents of Ferrero Rocher. “Prime Minister, with these marmite-encrusted scotch eggs you are really spoiling us” announced one Tory MP, to the delight of all.

And with that, Prime Minister’s Questions was won – fo’ shizzle.


The Right-Minded View: The Positives Of Global Warming

According to the Daily Mail, 97% of scientists are wrong about global warming. A damning statistic in its own right, you may think. Worse still, however, is the evident bias at work in media coverage on the issue.

3% of statistics should not be dismissed so lightly, I say – good things might come from global warming. Warmer weather is obvious. There are many positives which spring less immediately to mind, however.

For one thing, it will lead to an opening of sea routes through places like Birmingham, and most of Wales. For another – and on much the same tack – any house which is currently 50 or so miles inland will become waterfront property. Just think about the increased property values.

Should that fail to convince, then simply consider the following examples – by no means intended to be exhaustive:

  • Underwater archaeology will thrive.
  • The jobs-market in manufacturing air-conditioners will boom.
  • Farmers will be able to grow oranges in the northern-most points of Scotland.
  • People will be able to go scuba-diving along what used to be Regent Street; or snorkeling through the abandoned corridors of Heathrow airport.
  • All the malaria mosquitoes a naturalist could hope to find in breeding-grounds as far afield as Cornwall and Yorkshire.
  • Geologists need travel to the Sahara no more – they will be free to collect an array of sands from the deserts of Scunthorpe and Widnes instead.
  • On a similar note, Death Valley will finally be opened up to a bit of competition over which is the least inhabited location on earth – a boon for any area which takes the title; be it Manchester, or Oslo.
  • Museums will be able to display innumerable galleries of newly extinct species – such as bees, and polar bears. Just think of how popular dodo exhibits are – ticket sales will soar when the tarantula goes.
  • Moats will receive a new lease of life in the average family garden.
  • Have an aversion to travelling through mountain ranges? Then worry no further – as water rises, even the humblest of ferries will be able to sail gracefully over their very summit.
  • Global shortages of basic foodstuffs will end Britain and America’s respective obesity crises, forthwith. You can’t say fairer than that.
  • And finally, we all know that scientists love to examine the remains of civilizations which perished in natural disasters. Usually their efforts are limited to relics, many thousands of years old. Well, not anymore.

Hopefully, these prospects will have changed a few minds. So far as I can tell, this account of matters is 100% factual; and backed by all the science known to science.