Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Interesting how quickly interest waned in the Thatcher circus, proof yet again of how difficult sustained effort comes to Britain's spoonfed campus attention-seekers and their media class brownhatters.
(To keep those memories alive, though, here are some nice photographs of that quintessentially British alliance of feral losers and champagne socialists who took to the streets to celebrate: I especially like the pudgy-faced old boiler in the jaunty black hat: now there's a woman who's clearly suffered in her life.)
Here and there some interesting fallout, however, like the minor hypocrisy of the BBC defending the jokes on Have I Got News For You? (I know: I couldn't believe they were still making it either) on the grounds that "it would have been impossible to ignore her death as the programme covers the biggest stories of the week" (a suggestion that will indeed be news to anyone whose memory stretches back as far as the death of Princess Diana), and this account of how the 45 year old teacher (yes, social optimists: a 45 year old teacher) who organised the 'Witch is Dead Party!' (sic) Facebook group (without getting fired, needless to say) benefited from Thatcher's right to buy council house scheme to the tune of more than 150000 big ones. (This scheme, enormously popular with socialists, enabled council tenants to buy their own homes and thus deny anyone benefiting similarly in the future.)
Click on the link, look at her beautiful face, and speculate on which worthy charities she distributed all that loot amongst.
The funeral itself went off with surprisingly little bother, the only major gesture of disrespect being Obama's deliciously typical decision not to take it seriously, sending only a couple of clapped-out old Republican has-beens as representatives of the American government.
Not often I have a good word to say for Obama, but I must say in all sincerity that I've always found the fact he's never bothered to pretend that Britain and the 'special relationship' are anything but a big joke to the US administration to be refreshingly honest, and useful in popping the absurd Churchillian balloon of self-regard in which we still conduct foreign policy.
It's also funny to see his worshippers among the British politcal elite and media class falling over themselves not to notice. (Some of his best gestures of contempt for Britain are listed here: I cherish the image of Gordon Brown being sent on his way with a pat on the head and a box full of shit DVDs that the poor boob couldn't even watch without a multi-region player.)
Nonetheless, Obama's decision to sprinkle his magic ambiguity dust over the issue of the sovereignty of the Falklands Islands - and there are few issues as clear cut and less meriting his trademark six-of-one shuffle - might have even penetrated the six-inch skulls of the British metroproles. (Still, at least he didn't call the Islands the Malvinas, which is one up on John Lewis.)
Sticking with the greatest human who ever lived or shall: he also went on a middle east trip, where he reaffirmed America's belief in Israel's legitimacy while redesigning its map so it no longer has a capital, and compared Israeli-Palestine relations to those between the US and Canada. With his customary clarity and razor insight, he explained to Israelis that, while there is no excuse for attacking them and no hope for any ideology that seeks to deny them the right to exist, the future of peace was to be found in seeing things the way Palestinians do.
Meanwhile the Palestinians celebrated his historic bridge-building by burning American flags and chanting “Allahu Akbar.” And this despite the fact that back at home, pupils in something called 'fifth grade' at Flour Bluff Independent School in Texas were given a test in which the correct answer to the question, 'Why might the US be a target for terrorism?' was: "Decisions we made in the United States have had negative effects on people elsewhere."
Obama really must wonder just what more he has to do to please these people.
One person who won't be following the great peacemaker to Israel, incidentally, is Professor Stephen Hawking, who has boycotted an Israel academic conference due to political objections which, given that he was more than happy to visit Iran, are presumably rooted in opposition to regimes that wouldn't exterminate him.
(And I know we all do funny things and it's naughty to single out Muslims, but just briefly: here's the story of a 28 year old Iranian who attacked the priceless 14th century astronomical clock in Lyon's John the Baptist Cathedral with an iron bar because "the beauty of the clock prevented believers from concentrating on their prayers".)
Guess who's going to be "earning more than President Obama", according to the Mail? None other than David Miliband, who's abandoned politics and followed Tony Blair into the netherworld of huge international charity organisations. He's taken his boyish charm and cute fuzzy hairdo to New York, there to trouser the £300000 salary that comes of being president of something called the International Rescue Organisation.
The glorious World Socialist Website ("published by the International Committee of the Fourth International") is worried Millie's appointment will make it more difficult for the organisation to suck up to the Taliban (a fair point, as far as it goes) and adds these amusing general comments about the lad's progress since his political trajectory was stymied by his comedy brother:
When interviewed, he appears as a petulant schoolboy waiting for something bigger and better to come along. In the meantime, he has turned his hand to making considerable amounts of money. He has reportedly amassed almost £1 million through public speaking engagements such as the recent lecture he gave in Abu Dhabi, for which he received £25,000. He set up a company, The Office of David Miliband Limited, which right-wing commentator Toby Young has attacked as a tax-avoidance scheme through which his non-parliamentary earnings are channelled.
I can't see him being too worried by a golden oldie drubbing from the International Committee of the Fourth International; altogether more worrying for him, potentially, is a ringing testimonial from creepy sex pest Bill Clinton ("one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time"), generally a kiss of death akin to a pop group getting an endorsement from Paul Morley.
At the same time, he's resigned as vice-chairman of Sunderland Football Club because some new player or manager or something, from Italy I think, has spoken in favour of fascism.
No clearer sign that he's giving up politics than that! For any silver spoon leftist seriously intent on political credibility, pretending to share the funny poor people's love of football is simply non-negotiable. Certainly it far outweighs queasy displays of political ethics, especially the sort that comes from people who see no reason to disown a youth spent larking around with unapologetic Stalinists. Footie transcends anything, mate.
The further irony that football is, in its essence, an enactment of every impulse and principle on which fascism rests, is presumably as lost on Millie as it is on Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of Unite Against Fascism (which, in its frequent alliance with Islamists to oppose inarticulate nationalist pressure groups might be better named 'Unite With Fascism'), who applauded Miliband's decision, and made the truly strange claim that "football has made great strides in opposing fascism", possibly in recollection of the Sylvester Stallone movie 'Escape to Victory'.
Last of all, here's some great footage of a woman being booted off an American Airlines plane for refusing to stop shrieking Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' because she's a diabetic.