I have never had much time for the actor Ricky Gervais. I watched one episode of the comedy that made his name, The Office and found it extremely unfunny. Yet over the past year or two we have been subjected to tirades of aggravatingly ‘right on’ virtue signalling from the likes of Greta Thunberg, Meghan Markle and her Royal Biscuit, Libdem harpy Swinson, the Extinction Rebellion lot and an assortment of overpaid, empty-headed luvvies, so Gervais’ speech at the Golden Baubles show last week was refreshingly honest. A more unlikely saviour of sanity and common sense, one can hardly imagine, but he stood there in front of this ‘celebrity’ audience and really laid into them.
His speech was brash, brutal, highly offensive in parts and absolutely spot on. From their collective expressions, it went down badly with the people in the room. But to the rest of us, we ordinary people who are sick and tired of being lectured to by limousine liberals and sulky schoolgirls, it was a real beauty.
There was something almost Churchillian about the passion with which Gervais delivered his diatribe. This was not just a good-natured ribbing. There was a sharp edge of viciousness, a fine line between comedy and cruelty that few speakers know how to tread.
Even for a man as seemingly immune to the feelings of an audience as Gervais, it must have taken every ounce of his brazen courage to press on through the gasps and jaw-dropping disapproval of the assembled luvvies. Let me quote.
“Let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, remember that,” he began and went on to insult everyone with equal impunity: various names I had never heard of, the film industry itself – “an actor’s job isn’t acting any more – it’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids,” his colleagues in general and he finished off with a plea that was largely ignored; “If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech . . . You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”
How right he was. The audience he was addressing were a bunch of self -satisfied, self-admiring and self-congratulatory clowns who know nothing of life and I for one am heartily fed up with being lectured by these people. Without exception, they seem to believe that anyone who disagrees with any of their plainly barmy theories is completely wrong.
Could this speech of Mr Gervais possibly mean that we might yet see the beginning of the end of the manufactured hysteria that has held modern culture in its grip for much of the past decade? That has narrowed the parameters of human experience in the name of inclusivity while at the same time shutting out all who show even a tiny bit of disagreement.
If so, I will completely change my opinion of Ricky Gervais and nominate him for whatever honour he might aspire to. The do gooders and tree huggers are dragging us all down into the pits of their own clownish beliefs and if it takes someone like Gervais to convince the world that it can cope without all the attendant loopiness, I am right with him.
I have watched coverage of the fires in Australia and felt desperately sad for those people who have lost their homes, their towns and in many cases their loved ones, but a number of aspects disturb me.
First of all, I ask myself can this really be the result of global warming when so many people around the country have been charged with arson in respect of the fires? Yes, I know the fires are being used by the likes of the Thunberg lass as being a portent of imminent doom for us all, but is this really the case? Whenever there is a major fire in the world, it is usually discovered later that it was started deliberately – even here on my beloved Dartmoor. Any ex copper or student of human nature will tell you what absolute asses – I could have used a more vulgar term – some people are and fire seems to hold a curious, morbid attachment.
Secondly, are the Australian woodlands properly managed? I read somewhere that not creating firebreaks was a political decision made by the Australian ‘Greens’ but anyone who has ever seen a eucalyptus tree burn must surely be aware that these plants are highly incendiary and while organised and pre prepared firebreaks might not contain major outbreaks, they are certainly a huge help with preventing them.
We have bushfires in Africa most years and occasionally they are pretty ferocious. Many species die but generally they help revitalise the landscape and do good. These Australian fires are destroying the landscape as well as everything else, but I do believe they could be prevented or at least kept under control with suitable forest management.
After all, they are not something entirely new and as in Africa, they occur on a regular annual basis.
And on the subject of the Australian fires, can I suggest to Bunter Johnson that instead of spending millions eradicating rodents from uninhabited islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, or funding yoga classes in India and tribal dancing in Ethiopia, his bright new government can surely divert some of the £15-odd billion in the foreign aid pot to helping communities devastated by the fires.
Surely if anyone deserves British help right now, it’s our beleaguered commonwealth cousins Down Under.