Tonight… was an usual evening… Saturday 4th November… the eve of Guy Fawkes night, when I take a particular pleasure in remembering that ‘Government’ should be accountable. Regular readers may not approve… but will know that I am a ‘Republican’ (in the Roman sense). It doesn’t make me a bad person… but it probably rules me out for a Knighthood or a Peerage (Mind you…. at least I won’t be interviewed by Plod on the loans for peerages nonsense… frankly…who cares? (How long can it be before Inspector Knacker (Private Eye attribution)… finally finds out where 10 Downing Street is?)
I have come to the view that if people are crass or vain enough to want to pay our country to make them ‘Baron Munchausen of Godalming’…or ‘wherever’ … excellent…’bring them on’ and put the money into something useful – hopefully not involving the invasion of yet another country or yet more speed cameras)
Politics and ‘political correctness’ is my theme for the ‘eve of Guy Fawkes’…
Let me preface the rest of my ‘peroration’ by saying that I have just returned from an excellent evening at the Bollo in Chiswick….which may account for the fact (and excuse?) that I appear (Infra) to think that I am able to grasp the intricacies of rational exposition on this, or, indeed, any theme.
I received an email just after midnight GMT from Dan Hull (What About Clients)… drawing my somewhat grape induced attention to a post on his website – a classic bit of writing and thought – which I just cannot resist: Here it is in full
“Oh, NYC, You Talk A Lot–Let’s Have a Look at You”
Why I could care less if someone wants to dress up for Halloween as Osama Bin Laden, call flight attendants “stews”, date 25 year olds or do other un-PC things.
These words from Dan’s blog post caught my attention and ‘resonated’ (Have you noticed how many journos are using the word ‘resonate/resonated’?) I do so.. because I may as well get some benefit from my ‘press’ card… and, I find, increasingly, as I take my morning espressos, that many things in daily life ‘resonate’.
Funnily enough… I know about the story of the lawyer in the states who has been arrested for impersonating Bin Laden (Because I read RollonFriday who have the story) equally… I have no particular difficulty with anyone wishing to date 25 year olds – because…Charon is not ‘ageist’ – especially after the promulgation of recent legislation which allows old gits like me to run riot in the employment market place without fear or favour – should ‘we’ be so minded to do so. (Mind you… Gordon Brown wants to work old people to death to save having to ‘Fawke’ out on pensions.. apparently…allegedly…ineluctably etc etc)
Finally… I return to the point of my post… and… I am delighted to do so. I have a feeling that Dan Hull and I will get on fine when we meet for an evening of Rioja…(He is an ‘anglophile’ and will be making a State Visit to our sceptred isle in the not too distant future. I will be happy to meet him, should he take the view, after taking appropriate legal advice, and doing a spot of ‘due diligence’ on ‘Charon’ , that he wishes to do so.)
You just have to read his post… it is Shakespearean… with a tinge of Alice Cooper and Frank Zappa thrown in… I give you a taste… ” don’t think that a Korean, Finn or even another beloved Irish person who works for me should be able to explain that the reason he or she is an asshole or difficult and moody much of the time at work is “cultural”; i.e., something inherent in their ethnicity or tribe. (Ok, let me get this straight, my friend–you’re an asshole at work, and it’s “cultural”?) I don’t buy that. I think I should be able to swear–loudly, artfully and frequently–at work about things that matter to me. If you aren’t giving first-rate client service, I will swear at you, but just once. I say/do/believe in he “wrong” things. And I like girls, women, ladies, whatever we call them, of all legal ages. Report me. Kill me. “
Dan is right… PC has gone far too far. We are all walking on ‘eggshells’ for fear of offending anyone. Thank God for Sacha Baron Cohen and his latest incarnation. I also enjoyed the absurdity of the subtle, ‘political’ story in The Mirror today ( Story) about the Muslim in his fifties who killed a swan during Ramadan and who was found by Police with swan feathers in his beard (and a ‘bloodied face’)… and, in the same article… the ludicrous raportage about ‘(Unspecified) East European workers (who) trawled a waterway for fish to eat, flouting angling rules. They strung a net across the Fitzwilliam Canal at Rotherham, South Yorks. Fisherman Martin Read said: “Back home, if they want fish, they catch it.”
(I can’t, for the life of me, see why grown men should spend hours on a river bank trying to catch fish with a bit of line and a hook, attached to a bit of flexible wood, when they could catch fish far more efficiently with a net or explosives. But there again, I can’t see the point of standing around on railway station platforms writing down the name of trains which draw in to the platform, either. Chacon a son gout.)
It is quite possible that these ‘East European’ anglers may be an advance unit from Bulgaria / Romania who arrived on our shores to terrorise the good people of ‘middle England’ by fishing in a particularly ‘Un-British’ way. Not the way to ‘win our hearts and minds’ as a prelude to EU accession – as journos who want to whip up a story, and appeal to ‘dark prejudice’, know only too well.
The trouble is… I remember.. a few years back when we were about to be invaded by Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians etc etc (in the last expansion of the EU)… the same ridiculous stories about swans being barbecued on the Banks of The Thames, near Richmond, by ‘dodgy east europeans’. Journos can be very lazy… I want to see the evidence of this illegal ‘swan culling and illegal fishing’.
I am fairly sure that HM The Queen does not spend a great deal of time eating swans. Has Her Majesty ever eaten a swan? I might have to write to the DCA to ask a question on this under The Freedom of Information Act. (For our American and other overseas readers – the Queen owns all the swans in Britain, which is why we don’t see swans, with a bit of lemon and frozen garlic butter already prepped, wrapped up in the cold cabinets in Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose.)
I think that I have probably covered, to sufficient depth tonight, the issue of PC. The trouble is… as Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G/ Borat) proves – when we are told to be PC… the humour just becomes darker and draws attention to the absurdities of bad PC.
In the meantime… I have probably missed the entire point of Dan Hull’s enjoyable post on PC… but… that does not matter (You can read it) – and there are many better placed to deliberate on these matters in a sober and sensible fashion – just ‘google’ if you are so minded. I have been able to write about swans and shoehorn in a bit about Guido Fawkes … and I retire… on the eve of Guy Fawkes night …with the thought that our revered Lord Protector, Oliver Blair, will not be forced out of government by gunpowder under the ‘firmament of Westminster’ – but he may well be forced out by the gunpowder being used in Iraq – Deo volente.
Dan…. Chuck Berry on the way…. but… you might have to be ‘Johnny B Goode’ in PC jail