A New Place Of Exile

Richard Hutton

Category: Uncategorized

The arrogance of fools – a political play, in one act

 

Characters: Lord Montgomery, Lord D’ancona; and a Valet.

The setting: 18th century England – a dank corridor, in the Houses of Parliament. The lords Montgomery and D’ancona stand together conversing; in their full pomp of powdered wigs, and high heeled shoes. Their faces are whitened with carcinogenic paste. A valet stands in attendance.

 

Act 1: Scene 1

(Montgomery) You have heard the unedifying news, I trust?

(D’ancona) Why yes, of course. Which news? It is all alike these days.

(Montgomery) About the machinations of this upstart in the ranks, Jérome Corbín. Making much commotion, of late.

(D’ancona) Oh, certainly. The fellow has ideas above his station.

(Montgomery) Rest assured, we will not be troubled by him. The arrogant fool will never become leader of the Plebeian Party – he simply lacks the breeding.

(D’ancona) Indubitably.

(Valet) Monsieur Corbín won his party’s leadership contest by a considerable margin, my good lords.

(Montgomery) Ah, he might very well have succeeded therein – but assuredly more by luck, than judgment.

(D’ancona) Yes, yes – indeed, my good Lord. Let us see how he flails, when challenged. The unobservant fool will not retain his station for long!

(Montgomery) Why, Lord D’ancona, your sagacity rivals even mine own.

(D’ancona) I would return the compliment, by declaring you my equal.

(Valet) Monsieur Corbín retained his office by an increased margin, following a leadership challenge, my good lords.

(Montgomery) Be that as it may, I confidently predict that Corbín will suffer a calamitous defeat, of historic proportions, during any vote generously bequeathed to the public.

(D’ancona) Indeed, he almost has my pity. I would offer him my advice; but I fear he would simply not understand it.

(Valet) Monsieur Corbín’s party fared remarkably well in the recent elections, my good lords.

(Montgomery) Impossible – he is but a fool!

(D’ancona) A complete fool! Only a personage of our wisdom could achieve such a feat.

(Valet) Historical precedents were set, my good lords.

(Montgomery) All well and good – but he will never become Prime Minister, unless he heeds our wisdom.

(D’ancona) No never.

(Montgomery) Never.

(D’ancona) Surely never.

The end.

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Yes, we’re in the middle of a zombie epidemic – but that’s no excuse for being uncivil!


We are now well over a year into the zombie epidemic, which is currently sweeping the planet; and yet many people are still unable to comprehend the onward shuffle of undying hordes.

What has arguably left people even more confused, is the plague of cannibalism which swiftly emerged. Streets overrun – cities subsumed – household pets consumed: all due to the seemingly implacable escapades, of the partially-deceased.

Barely a day has passed, in fact, without news of our nation’s citizens being hunted down, overwhelmed – and devoured – making the frontpages of the papers.

But that is not the worst of it.

Less becoming still is the timbre of discourse surrounding this whole phenomenon.

While one side of the equation suggests that the prospect of being eaten by the undead is ‘unpalatable’; the other side say ‘brainsss….delishusss brainnnnsssss’.

In short, the debate has become polarised – and that is to be regretted.

While nobody relishes the uptick of being regurgitated by hordes of Zombies, surely we can meet in the middle, here; and find common ground.

Is there a need for so much intransigence, from both sides?

Is it asking too much of the living to surrender a superfluous limb, now and then; as a gesture of good faith? Surely everyone can make a small, personal sacrifice – in order to get along.

Who needs earlobes, for instance?

And in return, the alt-deceased can lay off the more vital organs. A sensible compromise: I am sure we can all agree.

In fact, I enjoin people to follow my example, here. When I look at shambling throngs, coming face to face with sentient people, I don’t see zombies versus humans – let alone divide them up, according to life-status.

I merely recognise different variations of functioning brain-activity. Each with their own intrinsic value.

So is it really fair for the living to call the recently-deceased names; look “corpse-wombles”, or “Necros”? Let me be the first to say no.

Calling zombies “brain dead”, just because their brains no longer register any activity, is bad manners; which will always lead to ill-feeling. Admittedly, they are insensate; but this is not the point.

It is wrong to tell people that they are wrong. We must listen to zombie arguments, if we want to understand why this phenomenon has gained ground of late.

While I am quite liking the emerging consensus that uncivil discourse should be well outside the realm of acceptability; I am also looking forward to lots of open and very frank discussions on the topic: bound by a sense of taste and decency.

We mustn’t fall into the trap of shutting-down debate, on difficult issues.

Let newspapers publish contrasting viewpoints, I say. Allow readers to decide for themselves whether there is any merit to society’s more insensate members, preying upon the unguarded; and desecrating their remains.

If that exhortation does not convince, then merely consider two quite different modes of dialogue.

While purely hypothetical – it is nonetheless salient to depict the following scene:

(Zombie) Mwerr! Brrrrains, delishusss brainsss!

(Sentient being) Go away.

Not very inclusive, I would venture.

Now, let us explore how this could be modified; to create an improving experience for both parties:

(Zombie) Mwerr! Brrrrains, delishusss brainsss!

(Sentient being) Sir, let me first congratulate you on your valuable input – which has already improved my quality of life. Your concerns are legitimate. Your positions are neither intrinsically wrong; nor inexplicable. And while I do not share your opinion, differences of viewpoint are a wonderful thing. They are a sure sign we live in a multifaceted society. Something to be celebrated, and enjoyed.

That is clearly much better – not only is it less liable to result in raised eyebrows; it is also far more likely to succeed, in the marketplace of ideas.

Zombies have the right to speak, after all; and, in their way, could even fulfill a useful purpose – by ridding society of its less productive elements.

The slow, the gullible, the lame. Anybody who is not strictly necessary; or particularly wanted. Survival of the fittest, and all that.

While nobody wishes to witness these encounters first-hand (innards spilling out of the more diseased elements, is undoubtedly enough to diminish anyone’s appetite of an evening) if they occur out of sight, and out of mind, then where is the cause for upset?

And if push comes to shove, then surely the more respectable neighbourhoods can simply install gates; and security fencing. Thereby allowing us to rest easy at night; no matter what fate may befall anyone else.

The multiple facets of the ongoing clamour about anti-Semitism and the left.

Something can be anti-Semitic, while not being a severe problem in need of draconian responses. Something can be a serious problem, without being anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semitism can be a unique form of prejudice; and still just a prejudice, no different to any other.

People can be sincere, and inept. They can be well-meaning, and wrong.

Efforts to remedy situations can be a worthwhile endeavor; and a pointless exercise.

An issue can warrant care and attention; and still be riven by cynical mudslinging.

People can be jaded and dismissive – not to say downright curmudgeonly at times; but still willing to help anyone resolve a genuine problem, when it is in evidence.

People can be openly solicitous, but mainly for their own benefit; and prove undependable when it matters most.

People can be right about something, and yet their behaviour still be out of order. They can be wrong about something, without it being a major grievance.

People can say the right things, for the wrong reasons; and say the wrong thing, for the right reasons.

Comments referring to Jewish or Muslim people can really be about the Israel-Palestine conflict; and comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict can really be a chip at people who are Jewish, or Muslim.

It is easy to condemn acts of terrorism, without applying collective blame to people who had no personal involvement. It is difficult to criticise Islamic extremism, without referring to Islam, at some point.

It is easy to criticise the government of Israel, and not use anti-Semitic language. It is virtually impossible to make criticisms of the Israeli government, and avoid being called an anti-Semite.

Being called an anti-Semite by idiots doesn’t matter very much. Unwittingly being a cause of grief to people does matter – especially if the people in question are members of a group which has suffered centuries of pain and persecution, wherever they have been.

Israelis deserve to live safe lives, in their homeland. Palestinians deserve a homeland of their own, and peace.

Jews and Muslims should not be made to feel unwelcome wherever they are, merely on account of their identity. Personal identity does not automatically validate anyone’s political views.

Media outlets can affect concern for the well-being of one group, in order to justify persecuting another.

The Guardian can be a basically decent newspaper, while its opinion pieces are trash; and its political journalism unworthy of the time from anyone’s day.

Something can seem simple, but be complex. And something can be complex, while seeming simple.

People can be different, and still the same.

Because we’re all human, underneath all of this.

Choose your adventure: as an investigative journalist, reporting on the EU withdrawal bill.

A bill has begun its passage through the dank and spider-haunted corridors of Parliament. Once passed, it will ratify Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

This is a seismic event for the country – and will usher in unprecedented legal, constitutional, and economic challenges. Fate beckons. Will it lead to doom; or glory?

You are an investigative journalist. An era-defining moment has arrived. You now have the opportunity to report on the complex issues which will shape the course of peoples’ lives, for better or worse; over many years to come.

Choose your adventure!

*

(1) It is day one. The government has brought its musty and cantankerous bill to Parliament – making lots of vague and offhand assurances about their intentions; while demanding public support.

If you want to spend the week exploring what the suspicious-looking Prime Minister is doing, proceed to 2.

If you want to spend twenty minutes writing a ponderous commentary, complaining that the Leader of the Opposition inexplicably refuses to pull the big lever which stops Brexit, proceed to 2.

 

*

(2) A report has come to light – chronicling high-level meetings of government ministers, with furtive lobbyists; who have a vested interest in pursuing shifty trade deals.

If you think this is extremely important, and want to inquire into the backgrounds and motives of the people involved, go to 3.

If you want to write a lengthy comment piece bemoaning Brexit, without specifying the reasons why it’s such a bad idea, go to 3.

 

*

(3) An obscure website has documented how think-tanks, and their secretive donors, have exploited the corruption of mainstream politics – to get what they want from politicians; who seem strangely enthusiastic about meeting their demands. Many of these people are in regular contact with government ministers, who currently preside over Brexit policies.

Do you want to spend a lot of time and effort tracking down who is involved in this lobbying campaign; and attempt to discern what they’re up to? If so, proceed to 4.

If you would prefer to knock together a diffuse article, contending that Russia’s government controls world events using Facebook adverts, proceed to 4.

 

*

(4) A shady group, which seems to be suspiciously well-funded, by inscrutable backers – and finds it noticeably easier to gain media attention than any similar entity – stages a protest against Brexit, at a small political festival. The protesters urge the Leader of the Opposition to stop Brexit; without explaining how this can be achieved. Moreover, the same group has also been flattering several government MPs – who pledged to vote against the EU withdrawal bill; but then went back on their word.

If you think it is worthwhile examining how disreputable people are using front-groups to manipulate democracy, from both sides of the Brexit spectrum, head for 5.

If you would prefer not to think too hard about this, and simply grant the group blanket coverage – while taking its incoherent claims at face value – go straight to 5.

 

*

(5) While walking home one night, a masked stranger limps into view – emerging from the misty shadows; pressing a clammy briefing note into your hand. After they vanish back into the gloom, you notice that the note contains conveniently arrayed quotes. These are deprecatory about one politician; while dolloping globules of mucilaginous praise on another political figure – who is renowned for walking with a pronounced limping gait.

If you want to look further into these claims, and spend a day verifying their level of accuracy, go to 6.

If you want to rush straight into print, in order to beat your rivals to this nifty scoop, go to 6.

 

*

(6) A dubious entity has organised a protest march, calling for another referendum on EU withdrawal. You recognise some of the organisers’ names as people who lobbied for the initial EU referendum – and suspect that their motives may not be entirely selfless. Your suspicion increases, when you hear a number of protesters castigating the leader of a party which is not in government – and blaming him for the government’s actions: even though he spent the previous week voting against them.

If you want to spend several hours carefully researching the credentials of this group; and ask people how they can justify campaigning for one referendum – then reject its outcome, and demand another vote – go to 7.

If you want to write a cursory article, rhetorically questioning where the Leader of Opposition was –  despite knowing full well he was at a refugee camp; and querying why he is not demanding something, which contravenes his own party’s agreed policy – even though the explanation could not be more glaringly obvious – go to 7.

 

*

(7) You have spent a year writing commentaries bemoaning the Leader of the Opposition’s approach to the EU withdrawal bill; while feting disgruntled backbench government MPs – despite the misgivings other people expressed about all of this. Your predictions then turned out to be egregiously misplaced. You suddenly realise – you’ve been trapped in a hall of mirrors all along! Everything you thought you knew now stands confounded. Up seems down – left looks right. You simply cannot tell fact from fiction.

If you want to smash the mirrors, and observe reality once again – dutifully reporting what is actually in front of you, despite its complex and unsettling nature – go to A.

If you would prefer to give the mirrors a polish, while spending time admiring your own appearance – and maintain the agreeable kaleidoscope of distortion, which lends your fanciful narratives a politically convenient veneer of realism – go to B.

 

*

(A) Doom. You have reached the end of the internet. Your journey is over. There is no way forward. No escape is possible. The web has collapsed – and the electronic supply is rapidly depleting. There is no career ladder in sight. Turn back, and start again. This time, doing journalism the easy way.

(B) Glory. You have been entirely justified at every turn – with minimal time and effort. Your decision-making has been imperious. You have said one thing, then the opposite, and still managed to stand completely vindicated by events. Everyone who has cheeked you on Twitter – and openly doubted your abilities, as a serious analyst of politics – owes you a big apology. So says a written testimony in the hall of mirrors; and it has never steered you wrong, to date.

You be the ref: current political farragoes.

 

A comedy programme aired on a Saturday night, features a derogatory sketch; based on an unpleasant smear – which has long been unfairly leveled at a politician you support. How do you react?

1) Shrug your shoulders. A thoughtless comedian, long past their prime, trying to gain an audience through being controversial? Big deal. Haven’t people got anything better to do on a Saturday night, anyway?

2) Outrage! This injustice represents everything that is wrong about everything. Take to twitter immediately; and spend several days denouncing the comedian, and the channel which broadcast the show – along with anyone who might have been involved in producing it.

3) Write a short piece outlining why the sketch is misdirected, and liable to prove divisive; thereby making a difficult situation worse.

*

A former public official, with a track-record of extremely dubious behaviour, has made a statement which many people are openly agreeing with; on a subject you think is important. How do you react?

1) Shrug shoulders; and join in quoting them verbatim. Play the ball, not the person.

2) Fury! It’s the messenger, not the message which matters. Take to Twitter as soon as possible – instantly assume the worst about anyone who expresses agreement with the person in question; and harangue them, until they recant.

3) Write a short piece explaining that people who are quoting the person may be damaging their own reputations; and harming their cause in the process.

*

A politician renowned for campaigning against racism, throughout their career – even when it left them unpopular and marginalized – is being called a racist; after expressing support for an effaced mural, which had featured controversial imagery. How do you react?

1) Shrug shoulders. That’s street “art” for you. Should see some of the graffiti around my neighborhood! Like this one with a donkey and a …well, you get the picture.

2) Join in with the furor; even though you know the allegations aren’t likely to be true. It’s important to be seen saying the right thing.

3) Write a short piece stating that while the clamor is obviously a cynical political exercise, designed to cause damage in upcoming elections; both the mural’s artist, and the politician, ought to reflect on how easily something can get misunderstood – and exercise more diligence in the future.

*

A poorly-constructed referendum is conducted, on a complex and divisive issue. You find yourself on the losing side of the outcome – which is widely expected to turn into a debacle. How do you react?

1) Shrug shoulders. It’s unfortunate; but these things happen. Can’t win them all.

2) Outrage! This is the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone, ever. It is a waking nightmare of unending horror – and only by furiously denouncing it on Twitter, daily, can you even hope to preserve what remains of civilization.

3) Accept the outcome; but remain cautious about where it might lead – and campaign to prevent any harm it may cause to people.

*

There is a discussion about proposed legislation, designed to improve the personal safety of sex-workers. The sex trade is something that many people find disagreeable. How do you react?

1) Shrug shoulders. It’s a free world. Everybody has the right to do whatever they like. If anything, these attempts to interfere in the trade just seem to be prudish, and a bit patronizing. Besides, what would I do on a Friday night?

2) Fury! How dare anyone suggest that sex-work is acceptable? Don’t people realize that it’s a misogynistic industry – rife with exploitation, and abuse? These things are inescapable facts of prostitution. Sometimes you have to save people from themselves.

3) Recognize that there are some serious problems within the sex industry; but put your own feelings to one side, and give careful consideration to the claims and counter claims being made. Then try and arrive at an outcome which suits everyone’s needs and wishes, as far as possible.

*

Some people are using the term “gammon” to describe their political opponents, online. It’s being used to characterize florid men, in their middle years; who dislike foreigners – while being noticeably keener than most on real ale, and the use of nuclear weapons. How do you react?

1) Shrug shoulders. People are always calling each other names on the internet. Part and parcel. Besides, it’s just a bit of fun.

2) Rage. Write a five hundred word comment piece, for a reasonably popular news outlet; denouncing name-calling as the preserve of idiots and morons.

3) Appreciate that it’s only people being flippant; but write a short piece suggesting that dialogue needs to be inclusive – and that ridiculing someone over their appearance isn’t especially pleasant.

*

There is a debate about the inclusion of transsexual men/women in the candidate-shortlists of a political party; on the basis of self-definition. Some people have objected, on the grounds that this might result in eligibility criteria being abused. How do you react?

1) Shrug shoulders. The feminists are always complaining about something. Haven’t they got anything better to do?

2) Take to Twitter, and explain at length how science proves that trans-women, in particular, aren’t really women. It’s just basic biology – and as far as women are concerned, biology is destiny. Repeat this explanation, at regular intervals; and enlist low-grade male celebrities, with large Twitter followings, to echo your viewpoint.

3) Acknowledge that some concerns about loopholes are legitimate; but accept that unless transsexual people are going to be excluded from candidacy wholesale, then they will need to join shortlists for men or women at some point. Surely the most practical and humane course of action is to allow someone to identify within the category they are most comfortable with; rather than risk degrading people, needlessly.

 

 

So how did you do? 

 

Mostly 1’s 

That’s the spirit. Nothing matters very much. It’s not like actions have consequences, or anything. People spend too much time thinking, these days. Best to just get on with things, using commonsense.

 

Mostly 2’s 

You are a serious and sensible person; who believes in a politics of the practical, for the mutual benefit of all reasonable people. Whether that’s instituting a 5 pence charge for plastic bags, in return for tightening benefit sanctions – abstaining on immigration acts, in order to accommodate very real concerns; or supporting regrettably necessary wars, in good faith – and learning any correct lessons as required. Have you considered starting a new Centrist party? One for rational people only?

 

Mostly 3’s

I’m afraid, you’re on the wrong side of history. There’s a time and a place for thoughtful critique – and that time is never; while that place is nowhere. You would do well to familiarize yourself with the word ‘apologist’ – because, rest assured, you’ll be hearing it a lot. If anything, it’s too mild a term. Now, go and sit quietly somewhere – and think about how much you inconvenience your betters.

 

How Russia did Brexit: Operation Red Herring.

It was very clever how Vladimir Putin managed to engineer Brexit.

Putin ran his operation from an abandoned fairground – cunningly using a Halloween costume, and some special light effects to deter interest from locals.

He then invented racism, and smuggled it into Britain; before creating tabloid newspapers, to promote it.

He even went to so far as to force politicians and journalists to exploit anti-migrant rhetoric – year in; year out.

Shortly afterwards, Putin established a network of think-tanks to lobby MPs for an EU referendum – in the same way that they had long lobbied politicians for policies, which their donors found lucrative.

Putin then plucked a Parliamentary Backbench Business Committee out of thin air; to cajole the Conservative government into a pledge for holding the referendum, if they retained office in 2015.

And let us not overlook his invention of Ukip – which demanded a referendum, too.

Backed up as it was, with 4 million voters; who surged towards the party in the immediate wake of the EU’s failure to manage the refugee exodus of 2011-2015 humanely. A crisis created by wars in the Middle East, which Britain’s government may or may not have been involved in.

Putin then personally instructed every single British media outlet to spend the entire referendum campaign fixated on David Cameron and Boris Johnson – circumspectly avoiding any substantive points at issue; in favour of gossip and conjecture.

This ensured that many people were left badly confused; and susceptible to being misled by one set of dishonest right-wing politicians – as opposed to being misled by another set of dishonest right-wing politicians.

Both of whom were wed to the same agenda – serving identical interests. Neither of whom prepared a contingency plan for the event of Brexit – even though they had three years notice.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was that one where he switched the salt and sugar around, so that nobody noticed until it was too late.

The second greatest trick? Convincing Tory MPs to keep using their Parliamentary majority to ratify Brexit legislation; even though they couldn’t agree between themselves on the overall outcome it should achieve.

And to think – Putin would have gotten away with it all, too; had it not been for some meddling folk, and their talking dog.

Woof, woof!

One year on: a sensible and moderate review of the General Election 2017

 

Given that it is a year to this very week, I can think of no better time to celebrate the first anniversary of Theresa May’s glorious triumph (perhaps too mild a word) in the General Election of 2017.

Paving the way – as it did – for the strong and stable government, which we enjoy today.

In fact, I recall only too well the Tory victory parades; and the festive street parties held in the newly-recrowned Prime Minister’s honour. Flags of celebration were hoisted. Bells pealed – ringing out the joy, nationwide.

Arguably more memorable still was the comprehensive vindication enjoyed by each and every political journalist, columnist, commentator, and analyst – sapient scribes, all; whose cautious predictions and insightful prescriptions were proven completely correct.

Before the election, they declared that May was brilliant; and would win a landslide victory, if not a 100 seat majority – resulting in a lifetime+ of Tory government.

And they were not wrong.

As they clarified afterwards, what they had meant all along was that May was awful; and would lose her Parliamentary majority – resulting in no less than a year+ of Tory government.

You cannot beat that for accuracy.

As for the cause of Labour’s disastrous improvement of fortunes, I think we need to lay the square of blame very fingerly at the door of one Jeremy Corbyn.

We all know what happened here: not only did Labour benefit from the media’s relentless pro-Corbyn bias (known to paleontologists as the Corbyniferous era); nor did Corbyn merely gain from the unflinching support of his MPs – but Momentum infiltrated the exit poll: and exit polls are a slur on the good name of reputable forecasting.

While Theresa May will take comfort in the fact that no majority is better than a bad majority – and pundits will find satisfaction in being entirely correct, once they had begun to say the opposite of everything they’d reiterated for two years; Corbyn really needs to take a long, hard look at himself.

He could, and should have gained at least 100% of the national vote – and probably more. If Labour had been led by one of the strategic masterminds behind the Edstone, then surely they would have done. Just like they did in 2015.

Brexit is good #PBFE

People complain far too much these days. There was a time when this country forwent brutishly ignoble recrimination, and simply got on with things – because it contained men and women of spirit!

The whole point of Brexit is that we can just do what we like afterwards. It really couldn’t be an easier task.

As that Ancient sea-faring chap once wrote: “water, water”… something or another. I forget the rest – but people get the picture.

So, as far as the glorious past of Britain’s future prospects can be derived, presently, I would make the following suggestions:

  • New visa requirements – just put “no bad eggs”, and leave it at that. Simple enough.
  • Blue passports for people who want them – as a reward for voting in favour of Brexit.
  • Blue passports for people who don’t want them – as a punishment, for not voting in favour of Brexit.
  • Build on the success of breaking-down barriers in the duty-free Toblerone market, by doing similar stuff. Only with different things.
  • Terrorists to just shut up and go away.
  • Everyone to speak British.

And the domestication of household pets to continue unabated (a stitch in time gathers no moss, and all that).

Get things back to the way they used to be, I say – if we want to see our country restored to its upcoming greatness, once again.

It really couldn’t be simpler.

Sanguine Rivers – The 50th Anniversary Of 1968: Enoch Powell’s Speech Modernified (and all that).

 

 

The supreme ship of statesmen is to prevent unpreventable evils. In seeking to avoid the unavoidable, one often encounters obstacles which are more than a mite trying.

The old patience seems to give, somewhat. There is a test of resolve – and all that kind of rigmarole.

You can’t always be entirely sure you haven’t imagined the whole thing, what?

And of course, by the time you’ve figured out which end is the beginning, well, it’s often as not time to go home.

This is why perhaps lots of people – far too many to be precise, but at least two persons of my acquaintance, at any rate – choose to focus on the present.

According to them, things do not exist, until they have materialised.

Amidst this hoo-ha, however, one abstrusion stands clear: such people confuse causing troubles, with predicting troubles.

“If only,” they like to believe; “if only people wouldn’t purposely set out to provoke acrimony, then it probably wouldn’t arise!”.

Peradventure, this habit of thought goes back to the era of primitive computer programming – and its attendant command that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical:

“Name of Object to be Created Identical to Existing Name IS_PERF_MON_STATS_TM of the Object Type Table error BaseAttributeForm” they think.

The discussion of potentially mausoleous, and – without vigilance in the present – needless evils derived from the past, is the most unpopular and, at the same time, the most worthwhile occupation for the politician.

Yet those who knowingly eschew the opportunity for their own personal advancement do not infrequently receive the derision of those who are only too keen to supplant them.

As a bad dose of good luck would have it – a week or two ago, I fell into conversation with a constituent of mine: a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man – who was unemployed in one of our nation’s many outsourced industries.

After a sentence or two about the weather – one obliges, of course, out of democratic principles; also the climate in this country really can be rather beastly – he suddenly said to me: “if I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in Britain – I would move abroad”.

I gave a deprecatory reply, to the effect that Monday seldom becomes Wednesday, without Tuesday featuring at some point; and that even permanent afflictions cannot trouble us forever.

But he took no notice, and continued: “it’s because of migration, it is” – that is how proletarian people speak and talk – “I simply want what is best for my family, and will not be satisfied until I see them all settled and working overseas; given the way things are headed in this country”.

Here is a decent, ordinary, patriotic Briton, who – in broad daylight – in my own town, says to his Member of Parliament – me – that this great country is not worth living in.

He feels compelled to move abroad, in search of a better life – and to take his family with him.

And why?

Because of the basic wrongness, of migrants and their dependents being able to travel hither and thither, without restraint. Something he simply cannot relate to.

In 15 or 20 years’ time – give or take several months, as a margin for error – minorities will be giving the stouthearted yeoman of England, a good sound thrashing in the societal stakes.

I can already hear the chorus of incredulation.

How dare I be so bold as to relay such anecdata?

How can I stand to tell such vertiginous tales?

The answer is that I do not have the right not to do so – because the time
never was, nor ever has been, even more of the essence than now. One can no longer afford to completely avoid having no opinion.

As many as five decades have elapsed during the past fifty years. Yet throughout that period, no fewer than zero Black people have led Britain’s government – and that is a number which can only increase.

Since 1953, only a single white person has ever been crowned Britain’s monarch.

And why are a meager eleven months of the year devoted to white history; when a mere twelfth of the population are persons of colour?

I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something more worthwhile.

What my constituent was saying, thousands of hundreds are thinking aloud. Not throughout Great Britain in its entirety, perhaps; but certainly in those areas of the country which remain largely untouched by migration.

These locales are already undergoing the total transformation – to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history; with as many as ten people in every hundred being a member of an ethnic minority.

On present trends, that could become ten per cent of the population, before the year is out. Possibly even one in ten!

That is not my figure. That is the official figure, told to a friend of mine – who is very knowledgeable about such things.

By no later than the present, those native-hewn Britons who were born here – and whose ancestors arrived in this country, from distant climes beforehand – will continue to be the majority of people living in our country.

It will be as if the true-born Briton, who can boast of immaculately British conception, simply did not exist; and never had done. Scarce will one English family be left alive, which does not from some foreign-origin ultimately derive.

It is this appreciation of factfulness which creates the extreme urgency of caution now – of just that kind which is the very hardest for politicians to take: being frank and direct, with members of the public.

In fact, it is not long since I myself witnessed the devastating impact of the sweeping and rapid cultural-change, which foreign introductions have wrought upon this once benighted nation, first-hand.

In the aisles of my local supermarket, I encountered as stouthearted and sensible a chap as ever I met – who was no stranger to roughing it, having spent 30 years or more, working in the cut-throat world of soft-furnishings.

Yet there he stood, completely overcome – and weeping tears of bitter lament.

Several other experienced men – to judge by their epaulets, retired officers from the merchant navy, all – were close by; rapt in a similar state of anguish.

The cause of their distress? A loaf of French bread being sold in full view of the unsuspecting public – on a shelf in the bakery section, of an otherwise perfectly British shop.

It should be understood that they bore no ill-will towards these foreign imports on any personal level.

It was not that they regarded the uncorruptible British bap as a far superior specimen of the yeast-born, and crust-laden, than any mere baguette you could mention.

No – they merely had very real concerns about the demographic threat posed to British loaves, on already crowded supermarket shelves; and these concerns must be taken seriously.

The suggestion that we might simply use a larger shelf – or an additional one – is, frankly, preposterous. The fact that nobody is allowed to talk about this dread appertainance…well, I will say no more.

This whole incident was symptomatic of the horrors faced by the embattled British population; who comprise a mere 94 per cent of the local community, these days.

The natural and rational first question for a nation confronted by such a prospect to ask is: “how can its dimensions be increased?”. Granted it be not wholly increasable, can it be expanded, or swelled – bearing in mind that numbers are of the essence – ?

The significance and consequences of a British element – residual in this country and its population – are profoundly different, according to whether that element is 94 per cent or 95 per cent.

The answer to the simple and rational question is equally rational and simple: a plethora of upright Britons, lying back and thinking of England; taking the bull by the horns – without stint – until the cows come home.

The only alternative to this simple and rational scheme, is to adopt an approach to migration which is neither rational nor simple. Chiefly, the encouragement of unarriving in Britain; combined with a determined discouragement of not departing, forthwith.

It almost passes belief that, at this very moment, no fewer than three thirds of some communities in modern Britain are either immigrants, descended from immigrants, or not even categorized as either of these.

And that is without taking into account the unknown number of people who cannot be added to this sum; because their numbers are unknown.

I stress that by the words “immigrants”, I am not talking about people who moved to Britain in order to work in our National Health Service; and whose efforts have allowed our economy to be expanded faster than would otherwise prove possible.

Or else those who raise their families here; and can generally be regarded as sound and useful members of the common-wealth.

Instead, I am talking about unquantifiable others – nebulous figures of nameless dread; who haunt our waking nightmares as intangible phantoms, that can but be imagined.

It is like watching through a gap in one’s drawing-room curtains, as a nation engages in heaping up its own funeral procession.

So insane are we, that we actually permit unmarried persons to move into Britain, for the purpose of marrying somebody – and founding a family.

This kind of behaviour has no precedent in human history.

Nobody has ever wanted to travel abroad before; let alone considered marriage – less still have they desired to start families.

It is certainly not something which should be regarded as simple and rational.

Instead, it should be reduced at once to negligible proportions; and the necessary legislative and administrative measures be taken without delay.

We cannot overstate how much this danger is underestimated. There is no more inaccurate misconception of the realities we currently face in the future, than those long since promulgated protuberantly by various vociferous denouncers of “discrimination”.

Be they the tabloids who hurrahed for the black-shorts – and which tried to blind this country to the rising peril of intolerant demagogues, who had a bee in their bonnets de douche about minorities in their midst.

Or corpulent archbishops, who live in opulent palaces – long known for their blasé attitude towards adherents of minority religions; and their zealous concern for the poor of this world.

Unlike them, migrants im into Britain – a country which has never known any discrimination between citizens, regardless of whether they were permitted to vote or not; or however lowly their status in life might be.

Yet once here, they are treated almost as well as native-born Britons; thereby incurring the out-spoken resentment of the silent majority.

The sense of alarm and resentment, of indignation and disgruntlement, of immeasurable discontent and incalculable antagonism, of fathomless jaundice and untold pique, boundless acrimony and incomputable rancour – with more than a fair share of unshared unfairness being sensed – lies not with the immigrant population; but with people whose ancestry in this country dates back many recent years.

For reasons which they could not comprehend without effort – and in pursuance of a decision on which they were never consulted, outside of elections – they found themselves as if strangers in their own country.

Britain seemed like a foreign land – something that no newcomer to our shores could ever truly understand.

Housewives could no longer buy traditional British food, like three-milk cake. Instead, they were forced to consume “pastel de tres leches“.

They found their husbands unable to obtain putting wedges at the local golf club. 

Men discovered that their spouses were unable to secure hospital beds, unless they were prepared to stand back and watch them being treated by foreign doctors and nurses – who had not even been born in this country!

Homes and neighbourhoods had changed beyond recognition. Sacrificial fires – with flames lambent – had replaced British street lamps.

Witch doctors could be witnessed carving unpronounceable words into the bark of English trees, using teaspoons: a practice for which they are ill-lent; and a habit seldom witnessed in this country, until the arrival of some two-score shamanics, no more than three weeks whence.  

Those few people in the majority, now find themselves in workplaces where employers hesitate to apply to the migrant worker the standards of promptliness, rectitude – and probity – which Britons modestly demand of themselves, at all times.

Plans for the future are now history.

In the hundreds upon thousands of letters I received, when I first spoke on this subject last time around, there was one striking feature which was largely new – and which I find ominous, most distinctly.

What surprised and alarmed me was the high proportion of ordinary, decent, sensible people – writing with a rational and often well-educated pencil; using a first class stamp, instead of the second-class variety.

I am going to allow just one of those many few dozen letters to speak for me:

“A long time ago, only a short while back, during a respectable street – on the outskirts of fashionable Puedam – a discerning house was sold to somebody who looked of foreign extraction.

Now, less than ten solar years later, only one white woman – a pensioner, of old-age; Caucasian and female – runs her own home”.

This is that woman’s story – it is an accurate report of feelings.

She was terrorised by immigrants – who pushed leaflets advertising takeaways, which specialised in foreign-cuisine, through her letter box; at least once a week, daily.

Due to nothing more than the ingrained British reluctance to surrender, she refused to take the easy option, and simply place a sign in her window asking them not to.

Instead, she complained to the Council, and contacted social services, then the village parish – before finally seeing sense, and dialing 999.

It would be no exaggeration to say that calling the response she received desultory, would be the greatest understatement in the history of these isles.

One young “lady” she encountered even went so far as to ask why the woman didn’t “just put the offending leaflets in her recycling bin?”.

If this woman has a fault – which I am not at liberty to observe – it is that she is apt to become discursive, when strongly moved.

Having lost her nerve, as anyone would in such circumstances, she began to talk at random – saying the first thing that chanced to enter her head.

In this instance, that would seem to have been the Pekingese: and the merits of austere treatment, if one is to get the very best out of the breed.

Her interlocutor having got the wrong end of the stick entirely – while being of a candid disposition – wound up the proceedings by making an opprobrious remark about the woman’s character, and general bearing in life.

Naturally, afterwards – when a calmer mood had descended – she wrote a letter to me, outlining this horrifying tale; and her own extremely dignified behaviour, throughout, in full.

And here I relay it now.

One is shocked – one raises the eyebrows! That is why I object to the prevailing sentiment in some quarters, that this tragic and intractable phenomenon – which we watch with mounting horror – is merely the devil of our own imaginations.

We are on the verge here of a change: foreigners have introduced xenophobia into this country; along with other strange customs, alien to our land, which seem weird and frightening.

The words I am about to use, are re-parroted verbatim – as they appeared in the local press on a day of the week, last Season.

They are not mine, but those of a very learned Member of Parliament – of a progressive bearing; who, in his time, has been described as “not incompetent”, on more than one occasion.

This is his story:

“Despite being seated beside a fearfully important West End producer, a fellow from the Punjab mistook the white jacket I was adorned with, for the accouterments of a waiter!

He then asked me to fetch the jam roly-poly and oysters for him – if I wouldn’t mind; please and thank you!

I bally well did mind – it was much to be regretted!

I don’t think I’m going too far, when I say that this whole episode just about took the giddy aunt!

And when I attempted a clarification – more for his sake than mine – dashed if he hadn’t proceeded to critique my method of eating artichokes!

The strongest condemnation does not suffice. The code of we Britons is rigid on certain points, such as this, for good cause”.

Give dangerous and divisive elements the very pabulum they need to flourish, and they will agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens: seeking to divide and dominate the rest, with the conducive mumbo-jumbo which the ignorant and the ill-informed are apt to trust.

All credit to the Right Hon. John Doe for having had the insight to perceive that – and the courage to say that that’s that; before all the unpleasantness in Miami, at any rate – the demise that never was, and so forth; which has detracted from the general thrust of his purpose, somewhat.

Nevertheless, rules and procedures exist for a reason; and where I am concerned, reason is wholly absent.

I have been assured by a very knowing Roman of my acquaintance in London, that my sense of foreboding is well founded.

Like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber tributating into the River Thames.

As he had the good grace to explain: thy brim multi spumante sanguinary cernobbio” – which, if my Latin remains serviceable, means “you can’t possibly hope to make an egg, without breaking a few omelettes”.

The kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and express support for this sort of palaver, is that they know not what they say.

Having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject during the past week – and maturely weighed the plots and schemes of my rivals – I have found them to be grossly mistaken in their computation.

One tries to be tactful, of course; but one is simply swimming against the tide. Indeed, it has all but foundered.

In numerical terms, it will be of Biblical proportions – long before the end of the century has begun.

Following discreet calculations, I have reckoned it at no fewer than one million and a half migrants, per native Briton.

Of these, I calculate there may be about several hundred or thousand additional foreign souls – from which number I add countless few score (times two, because coupled in wedlock); and this being granted, there will be a very great additional grievance of no less than a fair few dependents, defendit numerus

If we then round this figure up by four dozen and seven threes, we will arrive at the precise sum of half a migrant – plus a million or so – for every British indigenée in the land.

I assure you, I have worked this out parsimoniously.

Only resolute and urgent action in the future will avert this prospect in the present.

Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know; all I do know is that the public will not cease to demand this action, until it has been obtained.

For my own part, I have no personal interest at stake, in lending my endeavors to this necessary task – indeed, I hold no motive beyond satisfying the public good of my country.

It would merely undermine the public’s confidence in its statesmen, were they to believe otherwise.

 

How to write uninteresting and uncomplicated male characters in fiction – a sort of guide.

I am often asked how I manage to create so many uninteresting male characters when writing fiction.

It’s something which comes naturally to me, so I’ve never really given the matter much thought. In fact, I can’t recall ever spending any time thinking about the craft of writing at all, until now.

Nonetheless, a very learned friend of mine – who is by trade an author of literary fiction (and has won several prizes) – cajoled me into a spot of edification.

According to her, there is simply no shortage of female characters who feature in classics of modern prose, as decidedly uninspired constructs.

By contrast, their male counterparts tend to be depicted as complex and highly absorbing. “Convincing portrayals of real human beings”, as she put it.

My acquaintance wondered if I might be willing to help tip the balance, therefore; by demonstrating – on this very page – how easy it is to achieve an unemphatic characterization of fictitious men.

As a favour to her, I am only too happy to oblige.

Rather than spend a lot of time and effort pondering the ins and outs of characterization, however, I considered it best to simply provide clear examples of this material in action.

Perhaps the following excerpts can be regarded as a portrait gallery, of sorts.

*

“Maurice sauntered over to the bar – musky and tenacious – lifting his trouser leg; and slowly revealing a be-socked ankle.

His chin stuck out straight and true; the figure-hugging wrist-watch he wore glinted tantalizingly in the reflection of a light, or some such; which was shining from somewhere.

I could see the details of his credit card, impressing themselves against the taut cloth of his fibrous jacket pocket. His little flanks looked delicious”.

 

*

“Boris stood lordly above the shrimp and persimmon sandwich – his lips mouthed the word ‘caution’; but his stomach grumbled ‘proceed’. His gamey man-bosom was concealed only by the tweed jacket he always wore to the less welcome funerals.

Also the shirt underneath it, which was tight enough to both lift and separate, becomingly. His earlobes were plump and firm – imbued with the type of inherent nobility, which only centuries of inbreeding among the aristocracy can truly guarantee”.

 

*

“I am the little gopher – who enjoys a bit of the old how’s-your-father. Hear me squeek!” he whispered softly. “Yes” I replied.

“Has anybody ever lost their virginity to the ravishings of an especially virile male gopher?” he intoned. “Other than a female gopher?” I asked, uncertain. He smelled like a wax crayon.

I mimed the act of stroking his imaginary tail, mulling over the possible motives why some mammals have prehensile appendages – while others do not.

Romance with a gopher, who had faintly prominent pectorals, was a particularly specialized fantasy come true”.

 

*

“I could not help but notice his serene, manly handsomeness – the proud regard with which he seemed to hold his eyebrows, his hips; and his legs – crossed fetchingly at the ankles.

He then slammed the ammo cartridge into place. ‘Lock and load!’ he cried, with a sultry flick of the eyelashes.

The eight-man SAS patrol approached the compound, with their svelte frames enshrouded in immaculate uniforms”.

 

*

“Colin Burn ambled testicularly towards the buffet cart. While his loins were cold and damp as yesterday’s muesli – they had entered the room before the rest of his body; due to implacable laws of nature.

This symbolic happenstance was further enhanced by the fact that his long forgotten hairline revealed a lustrous and slightly pinkish-grey forehead.

His jowls had always been shapely – but now they were glowing with phlebitis; while the regal bearing of his buttocks was a sight to behold. Even if he did say so himself.

‘If only I could find an outfit to match’ he pondered silently; as the crest of his ample, poignant man-bosom heaved above the vest which clung to him – like a shipwrecked sailor, grasping at rocks in a swelling tide of some kind”.

*

 

“Following the divorce, Bailey had undergone plastic surgery in one or two key areas – and remodeled his body by doing lots of press-ups. His beautiful brown eyebrows had remained constant throughout.

He was now lying on his bed, in the halls of Residence – with his bare elbows exposed – when his fellow mature-student of archaeology, Sheila, knocked at the door.

She had come to help him with his dissertation.

The door opened – and there he stood: his generously proportioned biceps moved freely, as he twisted the door handle, nervously. His taut, rippling knees were simply bewitching.

Bailey’s voluminous derriere had always prompted remark, whenever a female gaze rested upon it. He now turned, and led Sheila towards the bed.

They discussed the recovery and analysis of excavation data long into the night”.

*

As you can see, it’s really rather easy to portray male characters in this fashion. So why don’t you encounter them more often in works of fiction?

There are many, many examples of female equivalents depicted this way in countless novels and short stories. It requires no real effort or imagination to write them at all, in fact.

I can only conclude that too many male authors simply regard men as more complex, and profound, than women; and portray them accordingly. Performing a real disservice to themselves and their readers, in the process, I might say.