Ineptitude, Futility and an Iconic Anthem

I understand that Bunter Johnson is to deliver another ‘address to the nation’ this Sunday when he is going to tell us about his ‘road map to the end of lockdown.’

That should be fun. Any road map drawn by our revered leader will look like the driving of a drunk with lots of swerving and drifting off at the corners. This is a man of whom it is often said that he has to surround himself with people capable of picking up the pieces as he wrecks everything in his path.

Even his road map to power has been a load of meandering zig zags that would have flattened for ever any other potential leader. It includes being fired from his job at The Times for making up two stories and for lying to Michael Howard, then the Tory leader about his affair with Petronella Wyatt.

That little hazard to progress occurred when Bunter was a shadow arts minister in 2004. Howard was his boss and when it was reported in the tabloids that Johnson’s long affair with The Spectator columnist had resulted in two terminated pregnancies, Johnson publicly stated the allegations were untrue. He called them an ‘inverted pyramid of piffle’ – a fairly typical piece of Johnsonian bluster.

When proof of the allegations was presented, Howard asked Bunter to resign and when he wouldn’t, fired him for his dishonesty. I don’t think being fired twice for lying is the normal road to becoming a prime minister, but Bunter seems to swerve around potholes that would have derailed any other politician.

Theresa Maybe tried to keep him happy by giving him the Foreign Office job, but that proved catastrophic and in the meantime, he seemed to be leaving wives, girlfriends and offspring lying sadly around on every turn of his road to the top.

I really do hope that he can come up with some sort of plan to get us out of the current situation and provide a way to keep Britain vaguely solvent, but judging by his driving so far, I reckon I want to get out of the car before that major accident takes place.

Meanwhile Formula One Champion and tax exile Lewis Hamilton has applauded the toppling of statues and called for all ‘racist symbols’ around the world to be removed. He rather spoiled the effect of this by being pictured wearing a baseball cap bearing a large Mercedes badge. 

I wonder does this twonk know that during World War II, under the Nazis, Mercedes used forty thousand slave labourers? The company even built Hitler’s car. 

When and if he does find out, I don’t suppose he will give them back the forty million bucks they pay him every year just because they have a racist past!

But Hamilton is not alone in his blatant hypocrisy. The crowds thronging the streets and town of Britain at the moment and making outrageous demands on behalf of Black Lives Matter are eerily similar to the witchfinders of the 17th century, piously searching for signs of dissent against their creed. The could even be likened to the commissars of the Soviet Eastern Bloc who spent their time rooting out thought crimes.

Such a sinister approach is the very antithesis of British democracy, which is meant to cherish open debate and freedom of speech, but that hasn’t stopped this loony rabble from being allowed to set the political agenda, using the menace of intimidation and accusations of collective guilt to further their power.

Rather than question why the protests embrace every form of diversity but diversity of opinion, politicians endlessly appease instead of upholding democratic principles.

‘I celebrate these acts of resistance,’ cried Labour MP Nadia Whittome after the recent vandalism of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol. That might have rung true if Britain was under the rule of an occupying power, but it is not and her ‘celebration’ is patently ridiculous.

Some senior police officers have even shown their subjugation by ‘taking the knee’ as the Chief Constable of Kent, did last week. I have already made my feelings clear on police behaviour at the moment, so suffice it to say that I am no longer particularly proud to have been a British Bobby, even if it was in a more enlightened time.

Where on earth will it end though? We need far greater statesmanship from our leaders at the moment. If a Conservative Party with an eighty seat majority cannot bring itself to defend these basic principles of freedom, it is difficult to believe they are in any way truly conservative. 

Unfortunately it means that most of us remain voiceless and unsure in the face of this cultural onslaught. Who can we turn to for leadership at the moment?

What also depresses me is that, for all the virtuous zeal from the demonstrators, throwing out statues of Rhodes or Colston will do nothing to address genuine social injustices. I am sure that the outrage of some students over discrimination or poverty or police brutality is genuine, but not a single black life will be improved by the departure of Rhodes from Oxford’s landscape.

On the contrary, this one-sided war on Britain’s past will poison race relations. Using identity politics to build an atmosphere of fear and resentment can only lead to even more division rather than the nation coming together. These self-styled progressives like to paint modern Britain as a land scarred by bigotry and hate, but it is probably the most tolerant country in the world.

Over recent decades, the UK has made huge advances in building a multi-racial society. That success is precisely why so many people want to settle here – six hundred and seventy seven thousand in the last year alone. Can this really be such a nasty place to live?

I am sorry but I feel it grimly ironic that the biggest danger to continued progress now comes from the deluded social justice warriors and their petulant crusade. Extinction Rebellion achieved little except to wreck lives and BLM are wrecking even more and will achieve less.

Even worse than the toppling of statues and the violence at some protests, we now learn that Swing Low Sweet Chariot – that iconic anthem which rings round the stands of Twickenham on match day is being reviewed by the Rugby Football Union. That august body – former England captain Will Carling famously described then as a ‘group of old farts’ – has launched a wide-ranging probe into racism.  

Written by a black slave in the American South during the nineteenth century, the song was first lustily sung by supporters when two black wingers – Martin Offiah and Chris Oti – became sporting heroes on the pitch at the end of the 1980s.

The RFU today announced its determination to ‘accelerate change and grow awareness’ but banning a song that is belted out by passionate fans in their hundreds of thousands is hardly likely to do that.

Yet a spokesperson said yesterday, “The Swing Low, Sweet Chariot song has long been part of the culture of rugby and is sung by many who have no awareness of its origins or its sensitivities.

‘We are reviewing its historical context and our role in educating fans to make informed decisions.”  

What pathetic, grovelling nonsense! If that is what the attitude and collective courage of the RFU amounts to then Will Carling had it right.

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