Government Virtue Signalling and a Parliamentary Icon

The British Government’s current policy on climate change does not even make sense on its own terms. And it is going to affect us all personally whether we have an opinion on it or not. 

For reasons that I am afraid are beyond me, Bunter’s Government is more rigid about this than almost any other. Unlike most advanced countries, this lot have written carbon-reduction targets into law, making it much harder to pull out of them if things do not work out.

So far, the main thing Britain has done is to close perfectly good coal-fired power stations. Well, you might say, so much the better for the atmosphere but this is virtuous rubbish. 

Let’s face it, China, with vast, newly discovered coalfields in Inner Mongolia keeps opening such stations. In fact, China’s coal-fired power generation is more than ten times bigger than Britain’s entire electricity output from all sources. And nor is it just China. 

India is also a greedy consumer of coal to make electricity. Both countries make airy promises that one day they will stop doing this, but as long as they carry on, Britain’s efforts make as much difference as trying to empty Lake Kariba with a teaspoon.

It is sheer deluded vanity to think that the rest of the world any longer looks on Britain as an example. Few now care what this country does, let alone try to imitate it. Economic rivals merely snigger behind their hands at Britain’s dogged determination to self-harm.

To continue on this course, Britain is going to have to rely on huge consumption of gas, not just to run power stations, but in large numbers of homes. If this country presses on with current virtuous plans to be green, then millions of us face being told we must replace our gas or oil boilers with costly and less efficient heat-pumps. 

Ferocious insulation rules will make it harder and harder to sell older houses. As for transport, it is just going to get more expensive and less convenient. And now they want to make us change our diets too. What are they trying to prove? I am too old to give up meat – or anything else – at this stage.

At the moment, in most people’s lives, this is still a small cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, far away on the horizon. But we will all find as the years drag on that it will spread across the whole sky. 

My guess is that it is the means by which we in the West and particularly Britain will join the Third World, finally and irrevocably. How ironic that this should be brought about by a government that calls itself Conservative and claims to be patriotic.

Is our revered leader that much in thrall to Carrie Antoinette I wonder?

Betty Boothroyd was the first female speaker of Parliament and certainly the best one in my lifetime, but it seems that the former Tiller Girl is being investigated by Parliament’s ethics watchdog for failing to attend a sexual harassment course – at the ripe old age of ninety one.

Last week a row erupted over the Lords’ decision to open a formal probe into Baroness Boothroyd, despite knowing that she has been recovering from open-heart surgery.

MPs described it as ‘political correctness gone mad’ and accused officials of harassing the peer, who made history as the first and only female Commons Speaker.

She is one of sixty peers under investigation by the Standards Commissioner for failing to attend a training session called Valuing Everyone, run by a controversial consultancy firm that uses giant blue puppets in some of its courses. 

After she was first contacted by the standards watchdog, Baroness Betty replied, in correspondence seen by a number of newspapers: ‘The reason I have not been able to respond to requirements is due to the fact that early in March 2020, I was advised by two consultants to leave London and isolate at my home in the country.

‘I have had an aorta valve replacement followed by a leak in the mitral valve. The respiratory consultant in particular insisted I stay out of London and in isolation in the country.’

She went on to say: ‘I was born in 1929… I remain in shielding which is a requirement. I neither indulge in Zoom or remote meetings.’

Good for you Ma’am. I heartily approve.

She went on by offering to answer any questions about standards that the commissioner might have but said commissioner, a hatchet-faced wench called Lucy Scott-Moncrieff responded: ‘As it is a requirement of the Code of Conduct for all members to have done the training session by April 1, could you clarify whether you mean to convey that your medical condition has prevented you from attended the course online?’

In what should in any sane society have been the final word on the matter, Baroness Boothroyd replied: ‘My medical condition has prevented me from attending the course online.’

Remarkably, the following day Ms Scott-Moncrieff announced she was investigating the baroness anyway. 

Baroness Betty responded: ‘I’m very happy to be trained when this is all over – you’re never too old to learn.’

Tory MP Neil O’Brien said: ‘The idea that Betty Boothroyd, who is one of the most widely respected parliamentarians of her generation, is some kind of threat because she hasn’t done some online course is beyond laughable.

‘Actually this is not a joke. This is not the way to go about raising standards in Parliament. There are real problems in some cases, but I can’t think of a worse way to go about addressing them than by harassing a ninety one-year-old who is held in the highest esteem across all parties.’

Another Tory MP said: ‘The entire parliamentary world will be aghast at the lack of self-awareness of anybody investigating an icon like Betty Boothroyd under these circumstances. It’s breathtaking.’

Breathtakingly stupid in my humble opinion but it is being done. Baroness Betty’s possible penalties include being banned from the Lords or from claiming its daily allowance. Asked a few days ago whether it will consider dropping the investigation, the commissioner’s office declined to comment on ‘active investigations.’

Other peers under investigation for skipping the course, run by Challenge Consultancy, include breast cancer campaigner Baroness Morgan, Lord Trimble and Lord Heseltine. Last year the Lords made the training compulsory for all peers, despite criticism from MPs that the sessions are run by ‘expensive consultants who are laughing all the way to the bank.’

Challenge Consultancy has received more than three quarters of a million quid in contracts from Parliament for running two online courses. Another, called Unconscious Bias, encourages MPs to take on young black men to act as ‘reverse mentors.’

Why not young black women I wonder? Surely that too is discrimination?

The firm, whose clients include the BBC and Bafta, has also used a giant blue puppet called UB as part of its unconscious bias courses.

This is taxpayers’ money dammit! Why is it being squandered on this sort of politically correct nonsense? Surely the people in the Lords are sensible enough not to need this idiocy.

Betty Boothroyd probably has more common sense in her little fingernail than all these politically correct shysters combined. In spite of her magnanimous comments, she is not going to learn anything from this corruptly idiotic ‘course.’

Hope and Glory or Shameful Capitulation

Today is or should be a day when the politicians of Britain hang their heads in shame. It is today that the trial of two unnamed former soldiers begins in Belfast. These now elderly men are accused of murder for merely doing what they were asked to do during the so-called ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

I must admit I never had much time for Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer, the former Army officer with three tours of Afghanistan under his belt. Mr Mercer, by joining the Tory Party and taking a job as a junior Minister, became a human shield for that supposedly patriotic party’s neglect of and contempt for the Armed Forces.

But Mr Mercer now has my respect for refusing to put up with the Government’s shameful abandonment of Servicemen who fought in Northern Ireland. This was always going to happen as it is a key part of Britain’s 1998 capitulation to the IRA, under severe American pressure. All kinds of IRA killers and bombers – nothing more than terrorists really – can now stroll about in freedom with no fear of prosecution, but soldiers accused of unlawful acts in the long and bitter struggle between Britain and those same Republican murderers can never be sure till their dying day that they will not face prosecution, and perhaps end their days in prison.

This is so obviously wrong and wicked that it cannot be publicly admitted. Mr Mercer’s attempt to put it right by changing the law ran into the bedrock of cynical power politics. Politics required him to shut up and swallow it. He did not, and for that he was summarily sacked by text message. He was not even given the opportunity to resign honourably and give his reasons for doing so in Parliament itself.

Well, I honestly feel that Mr Mercer should value that sacking and keep that text message in his trophy cabinet. It is a badge of honour worth as much as any medal and shows he was doing his job for the soldiers who are every officer’s ultimate concern. And one day, when this ineptly corrupt Government is long out of power and its reputation is no longer shielded by battalions of spin doctors, it will be clear to any decent person who was in the right.

I have often stated that all would-be government minsters should as part of the selection process for the office they wish to attain, be subjected to a period of life in combat conditions so that they can know and understand what it means when they send young men to do things that they would not do themselves.

When I fought my war, most of our political masters had fought for Britain in the second world war, but this corrupt, frightened and useless bunch of political nonentities who are busy ruining what was once a great country just do not seem to have any idea as to what they are doing.

A Land of Hope and Glory this might once have been, but now it is a land of shameful and apologetic capitulation.

Government Lies and the Americanisation of Cricket

I do not often watch television but when I moved to Princetown, I began watching the BBC evening news at six o’clock and over the past months, one small segment of the bulletin has never failed to raise my blood pressure, sometimes to the point of explosion.

I refer of course to those interminable Covid statistics released daily by the government. Firstly they announce the number of ‘new’ cases. They actually mean, the number of positive tests but even more annoying than that little falsehood is the number of deaths that are announced as being from the Coronabug. I am sorry but these figures are blatant lies, sponsored by Bunter J, Mathew ruddy Hancock and the scientific goons who are ruling us all so badly at the moment.

Anyone who has died and has coincidentally tested positive for the virus is recorded as dying from it. Because people already on their last gasps with cancer, organ failure, advanced dementia – you name it – are recorded as victims of coronavirus if they have tested positive within the preceding twenty eight days. Yet the cause of death in such cases has clearly little, if anything to do with the virus.

To my mind, this is sheer, unadulterated madness and slanted in this manner so as to terrify the British public into obeying the draconian ‘laws’ being promulgated by Bunter and his cronies. You might as well say they died of a cold if they happened to have one on top of whatever was actually killing them. Even road accident casualties who subsequently died of terrible injuries are recorded as coronavirus deaths if coronabug blood tests prove positive.

‘Never mind the catastrophic brain damage caused by being hit by that truck, Old Chap. Got the virus too? Sorry, that is what has put paid to you and that is bloody official!’ This has been annoying me – and raising my blood pressure to dangerous levels – for months and I have often walked out swearing on the news when this particular segment comes on.

How long will it be I wonder before Covid becomes a viable defence against a murder charge, on the grounds that the victim tested positive for the bug three weeks before he or she was chopped. Sound a bit far fetched I know but I would not bet against anything in this time of madness – government inspired madness at that.

And this week the Office for National Statistics came through, completely agreeing with me. They revealed that almost a quarter of registered Covid deaths were of people who actually did not die of the disease. 

Latest analysis shows that twenty three percent of registered ‘coronavirus deaths’ were in fact people who died ‘with’ the infection rather than ‘from’ it. Other re-evaluated statistics show that daily death figures for April are being wildly exaggerated.

Britain has had no more than twenty eight deaths per day since the beginning of this month, even though the Government put the figure as high as sixty a day. That is because their daily update is based on the number of deaths reported in the last twenty four hours – that often includes cases from days or even weeks previously.

Meanwhile, why have we only ever been given daily figures for hospital admissions and deaths? Why not figures for people who have recovered from Covid and been discharged? It is always an absurdly one-sided presentation.

In my humble opinion there is only one reason for this official lying. It is because Bunter J’s – and remember the man has a history of proven lies to his name – Government, with the connivance of the BBC in particular want to scare us into meek compliance with the tyranny of their lockdown measures.

The sad thing is that it has worked. What on earth has happened to the strength and spirit that brough this country and its allies through two world wars. Gone for ever I am afraid.

What for you has been the most noteworthy event of the past week? The Cameron lobbying ruckus over his mate Les – or is it Lex? – Greensill? The eulogies to the Duke of Edinburgh? Russia beating war drums in Ukraine?

For some of us dotty supporters of ‘the summer game’ all these pale into insignificance alongside the pronouncement that when English cricket’s new-fangled and idiotic competition, ‘The Hundred’ starts, the word ‘wicket’ is to be replaced by ‘out’ and batsmen will become batters – the latter term is insidiously prevalent among many commentators already I am afraid and it sounds horrible to those of us who have grown up with the game. Many people from the Great and the Good to poor old Simon Heffer have already commented on the Americanisation of this wonderful game of ours and indeed, not since Dennis Lillee, the Australian fast bowler walked to the wicket (can I still use that word I wonder?) in 1979 carrying an aluminium bat, has cricket known such a furore.

Perhaps all we cricket lovers should rise above it and treat The Hundred with the disdain it deserves.

After all, it is simply not cricket.

So there!

The Idiocy of Politically Correct Academics

As a boy, I was encouraged to study hard – I did not – and go to university as it would serve me well later in life. I turned down that option and over the years, have occasionally – and only very occasionally – regretted that choice. Universities in those days were for those elite students who earned the right to attend but all that seems to have been forgotten in the rush by modern academics to be politically correct.

A few decades ago I read a book by Sir Michael Dummett who had just retired as the professor of logic at Oxford University. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was designed to assist students in expressing themselves when answering questions.

Sir Michael was worried because a survey had shown that nearly half of university vice-chancellors were so concerned about their students’ literacy, they had decided to introduce special lessons to help them express themselves more clearly. These, remember, were supposed to be the brightest and best young people this country has to offer.

Today’s vice-chancellors and professors are worried about the same thing, but their response has been rather different. Instead of helping the written language these academic turnips have decided that if a student cannot spell or use punctuation accurately or write basic, simple, reasonably grammatical English, they should not worry about it.  They won’t lose any marks in their exams because tutors are being told to adopt a policy called ‘inclusive assessments.’

The reason for this madness is that these -people who are responsible for fitting young people out for life are afraid that insisting on students expressing themselves in clear English could be viewed as ‘homogenous North European, white, male, elite.’

Hull University has said it is dropping the requirement for a high level of technical proficiency in written and spoken English in some subjects, in order to ‘challenge the status quo.’

What politically correct garbage is this? They should be encouraging the status quo, not challenging it.

Other universities adopting similar policies include the University of the Arts in London, which has issued guidelines telling staff they should ‘actively accept spelling, grammar or other language mistakes that do not significantly impede communication unless the brief states that formally accurate language is a requirement.’

And at Worcester University, academics have been told that if spelling, grammar and punctuation are not ‘central to the assessment criteria,’ students should be judged only on their ideas and knowledge of the subject.

In simple English (a bad pun in the circumstances) what it means is the universities who have adopted these policies will no longer be doing what universities have done since the Middle Ages. They will not be levelling up, setting high standards and enabling their students to achieve them. They will be dumbing down.

At first glance, this might seem eminently justifiable. They want to narrow the gap between white students from more privileged backgrounds, and black, Asian and minority ethnic students who may not have had their advantages. Or students from poorly performing schools. Those who are more likely to drop out of university than the ‘homogenous North European, white, male, elite.’

Hull University said that it would ‘encourage students to develop a more authentic academic voice, a voice that can communicate complex ideas with rigour and integrity – that celebrates, rather than obscures, their particular background or characteristics.’

It warns tutors against ‘imposing your own idea of “correct English” on student work.’

But it takes about thirty seconds to realise that whatever language you use to express it, this is Grade A nonsense that will achieve the opposite. And what in heaven’s name is ‘your own idea’ of correct English? We get a clue to that from Nottingham Trent University, which wants their academics to give a ‘clear message about whether spelling and grammar are considered important’ when they are setting an essay.

Perhaps I can save them the trouble. They are not just ‘important.’ They are ruddy vital dammit!

You may have noticed one simple word missing from Nottingham’s little list of desirable qualities and that is clarity. That is why we have language. We need it to communicate and every language has its own spelling, punctuation and grammar. The French who take so much flak from the English are proud of theirs and will brook on interference in how things are written or pronounced.

If there really is a crisis in our universities we might, perhaps, trace it back to the early Sixties – the time when I would have been attending university had I been so inclined. Trendy self-styled ‘educationists’ ruled that teaching children the rules of grammar was imprisoning them in linguistic jails run by white males.

The truth, as we now know turned out to be the opposite. We are not imprisoned by grammar. We are liberated by it. Clarity is the enemy of ambiguity and ambiguity is the friend of every politician who has ever tried to pull a fast one on an unsuspecting public.

Clarity of communication – enabled by grammar – empowers us. Which takes us back to the woke fanatics who are seeking to obliterate the modern world with their own approach to empowerment.

Thankfully, some academics are pushing back against this nonsense. Professor Frank Furedi, of the University of Kent, believes that ‘inclusive assessment’ is an instrument of social engineering that violates the norms of academic education.

He says: ‘Lowering standards of assessment lowers expectation of what students should achieve. Worse, normalisation of illiteracy flatters instead of educates students.’

How right he is.

Alan Smithers, the professor of education at Buckingham University, said that universities were under pressure from the government to close attainment gaps, but not requiring a high standard of written English undermined academic integrity.

He too is undeniably and obviously correct. The approach to students who struggle with expressing themselves clearly is not to say it does not matter. It is to help them. Virtue signalling is not only pointless, it is ruddy counter-productive and helps nobody, particularly not the affected student.

You might say we hear non-standard English spoken all the time. Teenagers have their own lexicon of words that are unintelligible to adults of my generation and probably the generation after mine. But that does not really matter. Eventually they grow out of it.

But universities are supposed to impart knowledge dammit! That is the whole point of them. We have a universal language. It is called English and it’s been pretty successful for a very long time. It would be a grave mistake to abandon it to the ‘woke’ and ultimately meaningless notion of ‘inclusive assessment.’

We rely on universities for the new ideas, theories and analyses that will help us create a better world – and they need to be articulated with clarity and precision. We need, in every sense, to be able to speak the same language.

I can’t pretend to be impartial on this topic. I have used words all my life and have twenty reasonably successful books to my name but that is because I was forced to learn basic grammar before I left school on my seventeenth birthday.

Besides, language is fun. We have all heard examples of where sentences have gone horribly wrong. Try these for size and they were culled from the saintly Radio 4 news bulletins: ‘For the second time in six months, a prisoner has died at Durham jail after hanging himself in his cell’. . . ‘A suicide bomber has struck again in Jerusalem.’

I will bet you smiled on reading that.

I wonder if the person who nailed this notice on the wall of a public building paused to reflect. It read: ‘Toilets out of use. Please use floor below.’ Or a hospital parking notice: ‘Thieves operate in this car park.’

Inevitably, those of us who defend grammar are regarded as humourless sticklers with no imagination, who will always mourn the passing of Shakespeare. To me Billy the Bard was a great story teller but I did not enjoy him much.

Nor do I believe that every rule must be obeyed and that splitting an infinitive should be made a capital crime. ‘To boldly go’ is ungrammatical but fine. ‘Boldly to go’ is stupid.

And I have limitless admiration for the young man from rural Mississippi who won a scholarship to Harvard. On his first day, he approached a couple of cashmere-clad young men leaning elegantly against a wall.

‘Hey y’all . . . can you tell me where the library’s at?’

The young men smiled smugly and one said: ‘At Harvard we tend not to end sentences with prepositions.’

He considered for a moment and then: ‘OK . . . can you tell me where the library’s at Fuckface?’

Hard to fault his grammar.

It seems a long time since I last ‘ranted’ but after my second vaccination last Saturday, I descended into a deep fog of weariness wherein all I wanted was sleep and more sleep. Thankfully that seems to have lifted somewhat and I feel almost human today.

But – and it is yet another pun I am afraid – I really have missed the boat. It seems that NHS patients in Nottingham are being prescribed paddleboarding sessions to improve their health.

How daft is that? Britain may be four hundred trillion pounds in debt, but you can always rely on the public sector – particularly the NHS to come up with imaginative new ways of wasting money. An alliance of taxpayer-funded bodies, including the Arts Council and Natural England, are bunging GPs Fifty thousand quid to spend on outdoor activities, such as canoeing and paddleboarding on the Nottingham and Beeston Canal. 

Is it any wonder we are up the creek without a paddle?

Sorry – perhaps more sleep is required after all.

Modern Madness in the World of Academia.

It was once one of the world’s leading centres of learning it seems to have lost its focus and given way to left wing hysteria. Now we learn that the University of Oxford is considering scrapping sheet music for being ‘too colonial’ after staff raised concerns about the ‘complicity in white supremacy’ in music curriculums.

No I am not trying out a belated April Fool joke; this really is happening in modern Britain.

Professors are set to reform their music courses to move away from the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, university staff arguing that the current curriculum focuses on ‘white European music from the slave period.’

It claimed that teaching musical notation had ‘not shaken off its connection to its colonial past’ and would be ‘a slap in the face’ to some students. And it added that musical skills should no longer be compulsory because the current repertoire’s focus on ‘white European music’ causes ‘students of colour great distress.’ It is thought that music writing will also be reformed to be more inclusive.

Does that mean Rap, Grunge and Heavy Metal music being part of the future syllabus I wonder?

Thankfully, the proposals have upset some faculty members who argued that it was unfair to accuse those teaching music from before 1900 of being concerned with just ‘white.’

All this nonsense comes after one Oxford college removed the name of an 18th-century slave trader from its main library earlier this year – but has defied calls to take down his statue.

All Souls College reviewed its link to Christopher Codrington, a Barbados-born colonial governor, in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter movement. The former college fellow who died in 1710 bequeathed £10,000 ( a huge amount at the time) to the library which has since been unofficially known as the Codrington Library. 

A marble statue by Edward Cheere of the benefactor has been standing in the library for centuries and the college says it has no plans to take it down despite the clamour from students.

The All Souls governing body said: ‘Rather than seek to remove it the College will investigate further forms of memorialisation and contextualisation within the library, which will draw attention to the presence of enslaved people on the Codrington plantations, and will express the College’s abhorrence of slavery.’

Come on please; Codrington turned his toes up over three hundred years ago!

The All Souls review also found that Codrington’s wealth ‘derived largely from his family’s activities in the West Indies, where they owned plantations worked by enslaved people of African descent.’ They do not bother to mention that these ‘enslaved people’ were for the most part sold to traders by their Chiefs or even their family and friends.

The college claims it has undertaken a number of measures to address the colonial legacy, including erecting a memorial plaque in memory of those who worked on the Caribbean plantations. 

And let’s look briefly at Museums. As a boy I always enjoyed these establishments and I think I learned a great deal from the but now the International Committee Of Museums have come up with a new definition that firstly, males little colloquial sense, but secondly would see to mean that museums are to be rigorously checked to ensure that they comply with the politically correct mores of a deluded modern generation.

Let me quote from the latest announcement from this body of eminent men and women – at least I suppose they must be eminent in their own fields, even if it appears they can only write gibberish.

Across the world ICOM provides a common framework for museums, a forum for professional discussions and a platform for questioning and celebrating heritage and collections in museums and cultural institutions. A shared definition of the museum serves as the backbone for ICOM as a global organisation.

The Executive Board selected the below as a new alternative museum definition for a vote to be included in the ICOM Statutes instead of the current museum definition at ICOM’s next Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA), which will take place on 7 September 2019, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Kyoto International Conference Center (ICC Kyoto) in Kyoto, Japan:

Museums are democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures. Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artefacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people.

Museums are not for profit. They are participatory and transparent, and work in active partnership with and for diverse communities to collect, preserve, research, interpret, exhibit, and enhance understandings of the world, aiming to contribute to human dignity and social justice, global equality and planetary wellbeing.

I have spent the last four decades using words as my trade tools but despite reading and re reading that claptrap a number of times, I do not understand what it means except that it convinces me that I will never set foot in a museum again.

Will nobody in authority and academia take a stand against the arrant nonsense with which we are being spoon fed by the left wing zealots before it is too late and the world as we know it disappears up its own backside?

The Perils of ‘Social’ Media and Children Having Fun

As we go into yet another of these now totally useless seasonal time changes, I find myself increasingly disturbed by the ever increasing and all pervasive power of what is laughingly called ‘social media.’

What on earth is social about it? Yes, I have a Facebook page and an Instagram account but I rarely resort to either and I feel that they pose an incredible threat to the rights and safety of individuals. Social media acts as judge, jury and executioner usually totally without evidence. With a few short clicks, a reputation can be destroyed – sometimes even a life is lost.

It was a social media campaign last year that ultimately led to the beheading of Samuel Paty, a teacher in Paris. His killer, a young Chechen Muslim called Abdullakh Anzorov had been angered by online posts from a parent at the school where Paty taught, denouncing him for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on free speech.

The parent, the father of a girl in Paty’s class published the teacher’s name and the address of the school on Facebook and YouTube, demanding the teacher’s sacking and urging his followers to act.

Only later did it emerge that the girl had lied to her father about the whole incident. She was not even in class that day, having been suspended for truancy. Thus the lies of a troubled thirteen year old passed on by her father cost a man his life.

That is surely a sad reflection on society and it is hardly surprising that the teacher at Batley Grammar in Yorkshire, who earlier last week was suspended following accusations of Islamophobia, has reportedly gone into hiding with his wife and children.

Not only did the school’s headmaster make things worse by offering an ‘unequivocal apology’ before any sort of sensible investigation had taken place (has the world ever experienced such an outburst of useless and meaningless apologies?) the similarities with the Paty case are also pretty terrifying.

Both centre around the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in lessons, although in this case it was part of a Religious Education class and both have led to a climate of intimidation fuelled by dangerous rhetoric in social media circles.

The man leading this particular hate campaign, Mohammad Sajad Hussain (who runs a charity called Purpose of Life, allegedly dedicated to community harmony) called the decision to illustrate the nature of blasphemy in the context of an RE lesson with the cartoon ‘clearly sadistic’ and ‘terrorism to Islam.’

Surely these are seditious words in themselves and should be investigated by the cops? I am not holding my breath!

Hussein published his accusations, together with the teacher’s name and the address of the school on Twitter before doing the rounds of the TV and radio studios repeating his allegations. Such behaviour surely should not be encouraged by any media outlets as it is completely disproportionate to any alleged offence. Yet they seem all too keen to encourage the rantings of anyone wanting to spread hatred.

By acting in this way – and by being allowed to do so – Hussain has potentially exposed this teacher to serious danger without himself being subject to a shred of accountability. There ought to be a law against it and there is, but it is selective and does not apply to everyone.

It’s only if you happen to possess the necessary ‘protected characteristics’ such as disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity that being accused of wrongdoing without any evidence can be called a ‘hate crime.’ For me as a heterosexual white male without disabilities of any sort, there is no recourse to authority should I feel ‘hated.’

The law, in this respect, is discriminatory in favour of certain groups of people. These obviously do not include ‘burly Yorkshire lads’ as this teacher has been described. But the man was doing his job dammit!  He was explaining to a classroom the truth about religion and prejudice? He was challenging young minds to think independently and intelligently about important issues? Yet he is now being pilloried by the current hysterical climate of loathing and victimhood so prevalent on social media and exposed with family to all sorts of risks – just because he does not happen to have the same beliefs as his accuser.

I am no fan of Ricky Gervais but perhaps he put it best when he said that everyone has a right to believe what they want to and everyone else has the right to find it ridiculous.

That is the fundamental principle of free speech and it should apply in all British institutions – especially schools. Otherwise the madness will spread, good teachers will look for other careers and ultimately it is the children who will suffer.

Reading about the Kill the Bill protests in Bristol last Friday, I could not hep thinking that the protesters were pretty stupid. If there is one thing guaranteed to banish any iota of sympathy the British public might have for their alleged cause, it is violence against defenceless animals. Throwing fireworks at horses is pretty horrible and probably a real measure of the kind of idiots they are. For all that, I have not read of any politician – even the Labour firebrands – coming out to condemn them and even the PETA mob and other animal rights groups are ominously silent.

Does everyone in this soggy little island like living in fear of giving offence I wonder?

Although my natural cynicism, engendered by many years of police work has undoubtedly increased over the past year of lockdown, I encountered a glimmer of hope this week.

I was talking (quite legally I assure you) to a young Mother who is married to a very adventurous man who among other things is a mountaineer. They have two children, aged if I remember correctly five and seven. Amy proudly showed me a video clip taken when her husband was sorting out his climbing ropes. He had hung them from a large tree in their garden and the children were taking turns in climbing up, fitting themselves into the safety harness and launching themselves into space.

What a boost to my spirits that was. I smiled at the squeals of joy from the mites and was almost surprised to see young children actually having fun. Potentially dangerous fun I suppose but fun that can only boost their confidence in life and make them into really good people.

When I was a child, my parents encouraged me to walk alone in the African bush despite the profusion of dangerous wild animals that were around. I learned a lot from my early wanderings and those lessons have kept me alive on many occasions since then.

Nowadays my enlightened parents would probably have been prosecuted for child cruelty and I would have been taken into care. Modern parents have a vicious tightrope to walk when raising their children and for me it was heart-warming to see the evidence of a modern couple who are prepared to encourage a little bit of risk in the cause of actual living.

I know it is a nasty, dangerous world but if we take freedom and fun away from the very young, we are going to make it an ever nastier one in the future.

A Uniformed Disgrace

At the moment I am writing a sort of autobiography, provisionally entitled Reflections of an Elephant Man. It started out as a collection of bushveld stories but has meandered a bit to explore various parts of my life.

These include early years as a Cotswold copper in Gloucestershire before returning home to Rhodesia and joining the BSAP. Although I was generally a wee bit bored when serving as a British Bobby, I was proud to have been part of a fine, disciplined and largely honest group of men and women.

Events of the past, Johnson-inspired year have stripped that pride from me I am afraid. Only this week that same Gloucestershire Constabulary send two officers around late at night to issue an official warning to an eighty two year old lady, living in a sheltered housing complex. Her ‘crime’ was to drink tea with three of her neighbours on their communal lawn.

The lady’s daughter, Mrs McGovern – who declined to name her mother in order to protect her from repercussions – said she had enjoyed a socially distanced cup of afternoon tea with three other residents from her complex in Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire on 9th March. She added: ‘I cannot believe the police travelled from Gloucester to Charlton Kings (fifteen miles or so) so late for something so ridiculous. When they were there, they told my mother if it were to happen again, she would be fined.

‘Then they asked her to provide identification so she was rooting around trying to find some. Finally she ended up showing them an out-of-date driving licence as that is all she had.’

Mrs McGovern added that her mother did not deserve the warning from police and had been unreasonably disturbed late in the evening. ‘I made a complaint to the police station. As soon as my mum opened the door the worst things began racing through her mind.’ Mrs McGovern said. ‘I really do not understand why the police thought a few elderly folk drinking tea, socially distanced in a communal garden, is a priority.’

Nor do I and feel that it was outrageously officious behaviour but my view is obviously not shared by the cops. A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: ‘An officer has spoken to the complainant and an explanation was provided in response to concerns raised. She was content with this and the matter has been resolved.

‘Police received a report of a potential Covid breach on Tuesday 9 March at 1.30pm suspecting that there was a gathering involving people from multiple households in a residential garden in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. Covid response officers attended later that day at around 9.45pm where some residents were spoken to and given words of advice around current restrictions.

‘Officers are deployed to incidents based on an assessment of the threat, risk and harm of the incident and in this case officers who are part of the Covid response team and are deployed across the county attended later that evening.’

What sort of mealy-mouthed platitude is that dammit and why would any reasonable police officer harry old folk in a residential home at what for them is very late in the evening?

And then we have the events of last Saturday when officers of the Metropolitan Police broke up a peaceful vigil by crowds of women on Clapham Common. Under Covid regulations the vigil should not have been held but pictures and videos of police officers pinning a young woman to the ground during what was a peaceful protest have been beamed round the world on TV and social media.

No one died, fortunately, but I defy anybody to look at those disgusting images without being overwhelmed by a sense of revulsion. What the hell were those coppers thinking? Who authorised this heavy-handed brutality? Does the Commissioner of the Met really think this is a legitimate way for her subordinates to behave?

How on earth did a demonstration by women abhorring violence against women develop into an horrific excuse for gratuitous police violence against women?

Television footage shows a lass called Patsy Stevenson being slammed against a tree before she is forced to the ground and handcuffed. Miss Stevenson was one of an estimated crowd of fifteen hundred largely female demonstrators who had assembled on Clapham Common for a vigil to commemorate the murder of Sarah Everard.

Others were also dragged away in shackles. One officer is seen throwing a punch. Among those who had gathered earlier to pay their respects to Sarah was the Duchess of Cambridge.

Her presence was testament to the depth of feeling, particularly among young women, incited by this horrific killing. So you might have expected the police to handle the event with extra-soft kid gloves. Especially as the man now charged with Sarah’s murder is a serving officer, part of the parliamentary and diplomatic protection squad.

We can argue until the cows come home about whether the protest should have gone ahead while Covid social-distancing restrictions are still in force. As a cynical old toppie  I really couldn’t see what the demo was supposed to achieve in practice, particularly as horrific murders such as this are rarer than lunar eclipses and the main suspect was already in custody. London remains a great deal safer than most large cities but I am not sure that I would walk alone through its streets and parks at night.

But the murder of Sarah Everard has released a tsunami of demons normally suppressed by modern young women. These horrors have been allowed to fester during lockdown. Which one of us has not worried that we are going slowly bonkers over the past year?

So if young women, almost all of whom are at no risk from coronavirus, wish to gather on Clapham Common for a candle-lit vigil, let them get on with it for God’s sake. Peaceful protest is an essential safety valve in a supposedly civilised democracy. 

So, too, is a democratically accountable police force, made up of citizens in uniform whose first duty should be the preservation of life and the protection of the general public. Every young copper swears to do that in his or her oath of allegiance but sadly, the second part of that bargain seems to have been forgotten. The police now see the public as the enemy, a rabble to be bossed around, beaten up and generally harassed on a daily basis.

I like to believe there are still honest and hard-working young coppers out there, putting their lives on the line to keep us all safe, but they have to answer to an officer class which holds the rest of us in contempt. 

They see themselves as our bosses, not our servants. You can’t get on in the modern Plod unless you have been brainwashed by the left-wing army of politically correct senior officers. This involves signing up to all the fashionable theories of life. The result is a police ‘service’ which combines wokery with authoritarianism.

I well remember how Scotland Yard under Ian Blair – a social worker with scrambled egg on his hat – seemed to act as the paramilitary wing of New Labour. Blair now pontificates from the Lords!

These days, it is ten times worse after the disastrous tenure of another since-enobled plod, Bernard Hogan-Howe, who brought his philosophy of ‘total policing’ – based laughably on Johann Cruyff’s 1970s Holland football team – to London.

In theory, it was supposed to mean that all bets were off when it came to tackling organised crime but in practice, it meant that gestapo tactics were used against blameless men and women falsely accused of phone hacking and ‘historic’ sex crimes, with Hyphen-Howe’s stormtroopers ransacking homes and terrorising families.

As Lady Brittan, widow of the shamefully maligned former Home Secretary, Leon Brittan said recently, the Met police ‘lost their moral compass’. Under that hyphenated buffoon it was ground into the dirt.

Then blessed Cressida Dickwell of Dock Green, was supposed to reassure us that this reign of terror was at an end, and we could look forward to a new era of kind and considerate policing. Huh! 

Under Dick, the reputation of the Yard has disappeared further down the sewer, submerged in a culture of cronyism and cowardice, coupled with random brutality and institutionalised idiocy. The Met in particular have seized on the Coronabug as yet another stick to terrorise the paying public.

After the Robert Mugabe-style tactics on Clapham Common last Saturday, Dick took a leaf out of her sponsor Mother Teresa’s book and did a disappearing act, later claiming that critics calling for her resignation ‘did not understand the situation.’ 

A hapless stooge, one of a seemingly unlimited number of deputy assistant, assistant deputy commissioners was sent out to peddle the usual patronising garbage about ‘lessons being learned.’ 

It turns out that this woman graduated to high office at the Yard via the Parks Police, dealing with litterbugs and flashers. Maybe she would have taken a different approach to the gathering on Clapham Common had she been in charge. Instead, true to form the Met sent in the stormtroopers, trampling over defenceless women. Yet this is the same police ‘service’ which took the knee and ran away from Black Lives Matters thugs.

Oh, and was seen skateboarding and singing alongside a pink yacht in Oxford Circus with Extinction Rebellion anarchists who brought London to a standstill not so long ago.

Scotland Yard is a disgrace as are so many police forces – sorry ‘services’ around the country. But last Saturday surely proved a new low, even for the modern police. Now they have sunk to bashing innocent women protesting violence against women on Clapham Common.

Lucky for them, the Duchess of Cambridge was not handcuffed and dragged off to the Tower, too.

After Saturday night’s casual brutality in Clapham, and while the current rotten regime at the Yard is allowed to continue, Britons certainly have no grounds for sneering at the Minnesota cops for their treatment of the late George Floyd.

Perhaps I will remove details of my early police service from the new book. People might think I am still one of them and I do not want that.

On Behalf of an Endangered Species

As a white, heterosexual male, I have long been part of an endangered species but suddenly it seems that I am a ravening beast who needs to be kept indoors during the hours of darkness.

A member of the House of Lords no less, Green Party Peer Baroness Jones wants a 6pm curfew to keep all men indoors so as to protect women such as Sarah Everard who would seem to have been murdered this week.

This daft idea would do nothing to protect women, especially those confined by government decree to live at home with violent partners. And, bearing in mind the extremist views of some in the trans-lobby, what would stop me or other men self-identifying as women and going out anyway?

As with the Posturing Prince and his Yank, a set of circumstances is in danger of being hijacked and politicised by people with their own axes to grind.

After Sarah’s disappearance was made public, the cops did not help by suggesting that women who lived locally should not go out after dark. That added fuel to the argument that fear of male violence is causing women increased mental anguish, that somehow women require special treatment and are not equal to men.

Young women have flocked to media outlets to tell us they are routinely forced to plan a safe way to get home at night, using taxis they can’t afford, forced to mimic phone calls when approached by strangers, even walking though streets clutching keys as makeshift weapons. 

They apparently plan ahead carefully and alter their routes if anyone is watching,

I find it all a bit hysterical I am afraid, even though I am sure these fears are very real to many. Thanks to Bunter J and the inept handling of the Coronabug crisis, this nation is living in an atmosphere of fear and the Everard case has intensified this in yet another direction.

In reality, the number of violent attacks on women in public places has not increased much over the last decade. No, violence against women overall is not on the decline – but it is from random strangers in the street.

In fact, since the arrival of Coronabug and successive panicky lockdowns, domestic violence has soared. The charity Refuge says calls increased by 65% during three months in 2020 and the Plod tell us that one third of all the offences they record involve domestic violence.

During a parliamentary debate on International Women’s Day this week, Labour MP Jess Phillips read out the names of over a hundred and twenty women killed in the UK in the last year. The vast majority were victims of domestic murders but now tragically, Sarah Everard’s name has been added to that list.

The violent death of anyone – no matter what their gender or who killed them, is dreadful, but statistics show us that women are less likely than men to be murdered. One third of murder victims are female, and three quarters of them are killed at home, usually by a close relative. Only one-in-ten female murder victims end their lives on the street.

So what about sexual harassment and the fear of unwanted attention? The most likely place this will occur is in a workplace or on a night out in a pub or restaurant, or in a residential setting.

A new study from UNWomen UK, a charity promoting gender equality, says that 97% of women aged eighteen to twenty four have received unwelcome sexual attention – and 80% said they had experienced it in public places.

Their survey was only comprised of one thousand women, so the results might not be accurate – but catcalling, wolf whistling, and leering remain a considerable issue, despite many years of campaigning against them and improved education.

The charity is calling this a ‘human rights crisis’ and while it is probably true that such behaviour can be thoroughly unpleasant, is it on the increase and what can be done about it in any case? It is already deemed illegal and building sites are supposed to have a code of conduct prominently displayed. I cannot see that it constitutes ‘violence against women’ however. Men have always admired the female form and some do it openly but it is Nature in the raw I am afraid and something we must all learn to live with.

And the figures regarding street crime certainly do not indicate that women are more at risk. Knife crime and gang warfare impact on young people, particularly teenage boys, although teenage girls are increasingly involved.

Austerity measures which led to the closure of thousands of council-funded youth clubs removed safe havens and community gathering points for a whole generation and have certainly changed society in the streets. Knives are now routinely carried to inflict violence and as protection. With restrictions being lifted, and teenagers returning to school after months of confinement, scores will be settled, and drugs will continue to be carried and traded. The cops will have to move a vast amount of their resources into dealing with this potentially dangerous mix during the coming months.

Earlier this week, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick held a press conference to reassure the public, stating ‘it is incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets,’ adding ‘I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public – particularly in the area where Sarah went missing – will be worried and may well be feeling scared.’

Sure they will, but only for a short while and all this dramatically publicised fear of consequences will only exacerbate the situation. It is doubtless pretty daft to walk alone through the streets of any city at night and anyone – not only women – should take sensible precautions if they don’t want to be robbed. In a city where people are hungry, homeless and poor, why flaunt your money or your mobile phone?

And why oh why demonise all men as seems to be happening now – that won’t solve the problem. Sarah was allegedly abducted by a police officer, who could have enticed her into his car by showing a warrant card. With the ever increasing Coronabug powers being handed over to the Plod, any young woman would doubtless do as she was told in those circumstances. That is the fault of government, not all men.

John Warboys, the Black Cab Rapist, persuaded hundreds of women to drink with him – a complete stranger late at night – resulting in dozens ending up drugged and being sexually assaulted.

The most horrific sexual offender in recent years – Reynard Sinaga – was convicted of committing one hundred and fifty nine sexual offences and one hundred and thirty six rapes against young men, who were rendered unconscious after he secretly drugged their drink. Note that his victims were all male.

And the reality is that most men are not rapists or murderers or kidnappers and pretending that they are demeans both genders and will only make women even more terrified.

I fear that it is time somebody who can must try to lighten the burden of fear, blame and acrimony that is rapidly dragging this nation down.

What Has Happened To Democracy?

I was asked this week how I am feeling about life in general and my answer was unequivocal – I feel angry and frustrated. I do not share the national wrath that seems to be on the point of explosion at the moment about the Posturing Prince and his Yank, although God knows they are becoming ever more irritating. Let them have their coming interview by all means – I will not be watching – but then could they please shut up and get back to the ‘privacy’ they were said to be seeking.

No, what is making me really angry at the moment is Bunter Johnson’s so-called road map out of lockdown. This was going to be based on data rather than dates yet it contained a series of dates that seem totally irrelevant.

If my calculations are correct – and that can never be guaranteed when days merge into days as we cower in our homes – we have another seventy nine days before lockdown is due to be lifted – perhaps.

Seventy nine long days – that is not far short of three months dammit!  That means many more little businesses going to the wall, many more jobs lost, many more families plunged into destitution, many more despairing suicides and a corresponding rise in mental health issues that are growing more frequent by the day. It just does not add up and seems excessively cautious no matter what the circumstances. It is less a roadmap to freedom as Bunter J presented it, than a fretful, slow-motion march towards a hyper-cautious future in which little liberties will be handed back, one by one and with conditions. The wonderful new dawn of returned freedom that we were promised once the vaccines had been successfully rolled out has diminished into a long round of continued restrictions and ongoing economic devastation. What on earth is going on?

It should be clear by now that the discussion about the future is not merely being guided by the ‘data’ as our Revered Leader claims. There is another factor and that is the culture of fear. The culture of excessive and unnecessary precautions. The idea that people must be shielded from risk, even if it is just the risk of mild illness, which is what most people will face from the Coronabug now that the old and the vulnerable – the folk most likely to die from this disease – have been inoculated.

Bunter J rightly scoffed at the daft idea that there could be a situation of ‘Zero Covid’ and yet his determination to keep society closed until Coronabug cases have fallen almost to zero suggests he is not as far removed from those daft people as he might think. Like them, he seems to think it is officialdom’s job to protect the populace from anything that is bad or in any way threatening; any nasty bug; any possibility of hospitalisation. It is not, and we will regret it for ever if this idiotically paternalistic idea, this commitment to extreme risk-minimisation takes hold in our society.

Here is what worries me about Bunter’s ruddy roadmap: it looks to me like a complete shift in the way society is understood, in the relationship between the state and the individual. The problem is far larger than the depressingly far-off dates for the resumption of civil liberty and the reopening of the economy: schools reopening on Monday (with mandatory masks for secondary-school pupils would you believe); retail and gyms reopening on 12th April; the number of people allowed to attend weddings and wakes going up to fifteen on that day too; indoor entertainment and mixing coming back on 17th May, though with the ‘rule of six’ and all legal limits on social interaction lifted on 21sty June – maybe but I would not bet on that.

And then what? I am scared silly by the idea that beyond these distant glimpses of liberty, there is the broader, increasingly influential idea that society can be brought to a standstill in response even to relatively mild risks.

As journalist Fraser Nelson wrote in the Telegraph last week, something odd has happened in the UK. The buzz of the marvellous vaccine rollout organised by the bog snorkelling lady has given way to a horrible excess of caution, the celebration of ‘slowness’ as the best way back to normality. ‘The over-fifties look set to be offered a vaccine by the end of March, a month ahead of schedule’, Nelson wrote and yet a ‘new goal is now being discussed: to suppress virus levels to the lowest rate possible.’ This negates Bunter’s own words and the emergence of ‘new goals’ has been a huge problem in recent weeks. The question of what we must achieve in the battle against the bug before we can open up seems to change by the day and although, I am no scientist and thankfully not a politician I accept that there will need to be monitoring and protection as we emerge from the pandemic. We will need to understand what impact, if any, reopening schools will have on transmission. And of course it is wise to assess the likelihood of an increase in hospitalisations in the under sixties and younger who have not been vaccinated yet but who will be soon. But given that those most at risk from serious illness or death from Covid-19 have been vaccinated to a high level of protection – the over eighties are far more likely than other age groups to be hospitalised with this virus, followed by those aged a few years younger we must surely ask what the government is now protecting us from. A virus whose impact on health is declining rapidly, and which will soon be rendered relatively mundane by human intervention? Should the government be protecting us from that? Of course they should not.

This is where ‘following the data’ becomes especially problematic. Data can tell us what is going on in terms of the spread of disease, and it can provide models of future scenarios (all of which are just possibilities not gospel predictions) but data cannot make moral judgements on humanity’s behalf. Data cannot decide what is the proper role of government during a pandemic. Data cannot determine what level of risk we human beings are willing to live with. Data cannot engage in the profound moral task of weighing up what is more important – restoring social and economic life or preventing people from getting a nasty bug, possibly requiring hospitalisation in some cases. No, these decisions must be guided by moral interrogation, political judgement and a democratic system.

The thing about lockdown that most concerns me is the suspension of democratic life. Yes, there was probably a need for restrictions during the darkest moments of the pandemic but surely ordinary people have a right to be properly involved in the discussion of measures that affect us all, especially in relation to the level of risk that communities and individuals are willing to endure. Right now, we should have the right to weigh up the risk of some people being hospitalised with a nasty viral infection against the risk of keeping the economy closed and society in limbo. But we do not seem to have that right. The ruddy data rules all our lives. We now live in a pseudo democracy where the public’s only role is to await the precise mathematical moment at which our liberty might be safely returned.

Enough is enough dammit! Zero Covid is not going to happen and nor is almost Zero Covid. But zero risk is a crazy idea, too. Life is full of risk. Freedom itself is risky. In taking it upon ourselves to pick our own path through life, to be free citizens, we take a risk. We risk making mistakes; we risk making decisions that an expert or even our parents could have advised us against making; we risk injury of both the physical and emotional variety; we risk being offended; we risk contracting other diseases; we risk making a hash of everything. That is all part of being free. We have decided as a civilisation, that a person’s risk of making a mess of things is far less dangerous to both the individual himself and to society than the risk of living in an authoritarian regime in which our only role is to follow instruction.

I am sorry but I want to live in a society that is free but occasionally risky rather than in a controlled society where we are cushioned from offence, and insult, and injury, and the need to make moral decisions about our lives and our communities.

As the vaccination programme rolls on, and the most vulnerable are protected from serious illness, we all need to demand from our rulers the freedom to risk contracting Coronabug for ourselves. Personally, I am well into my eighth decade and have taken a great number of risks during my long life yet I am still here and kicking so I am NOT going to be locked away like a prisoner while our lords and masters decide what they feel is good for me.

As you can probably tell from this rant, I have had more than enough of this madness and am determined to live as close to a normal life as is possible under this idiotic and vaguely dictatorial government.

Bunter, His Dog and Educational Madness

A week or so ago I speculated on which Bunter Johnson would unveil his ‘roadmap’ – why they call it that I do not know – out of lockdown. Would it be the swashbuckling Bunter of old or the bumbling turnip who lectures us so frequently and seems bullied to the end of his tether – whether by the solemn scientists who follow him around or his seemingly every more powerful popsy, La Symonds herself.

Anyway, our Revered Leader dully announced an extension of his January 4 lockdown for several more months and did his best to persuade us all that this miserable news is ‘a great release.’ He must have been on the happy pills if he really believes that we will take that seriously.

Did you notice how often he used the phrase ‘not earlier than’ before the various dates he named? The opposite phrase ‘not later than’ is a tough contractual commitment, but if anyone owed me money and promised in writing to pay me off ‘not earlier than’ any date you cared to name, I would surely be a fool to accept such an empty pledge.

So I am afraid, the misery goes on despite the success of the vaccination roll out. It seems to me that those of us who have done everything we were asked to do – albeit with gritted teeth and a clothes peg over our nose – are being sacrificed for the possibility that there might be unvaccinated people out there. So what? If I am protected against the coronabug and do not have it, then surely, I cannot pass it on – or is this particular bug cleverer than its predecessors and capable of following me around at a distance?

Oh hell, the sun is shining so I shall just get on with life and try not to hear the next bit of solemnly depressing news from Number Ten. Whatever gem of wisdom – wrong phraseology there perhaps – Bunter next comes out with, you can bet your life it won’t be at all encouraging.

Meanwhile Howden Junior School in East Yorkshire replaced house names that honoured historical figures such as Lord Nelson with those of modern liberal campaigners idolised by the woke brigade including Greta Thunberg and Marcus Rashford after one student complained. So Walter Raleigh, Horatio Nelson and Francis Drake have been replaced by the Thunberg child, Rashford and an obscure American poet called Amanda Gorman who I confess I have never heard of. Human rights activist (whatever that means) Malala Yousafzai is also a replacement but for whom, I do not know.

All this because one former pupil complained of white bias and condemned the ‘despicable deeds’ of Nelson, Ralieigh and Drake!

Headteacher Lee Hill who has more tattoos than a Maori warrior or even an England cricketer shared the news on Twitter and commended ‘the courage of the child who made a stand.’

This politically correct turnip wrote: ‘I’m really excited & proud to share this. Not just because of the individuals our School Council chose as representing our community values but because of the courage of one child who made a stand.

‘During the Black Lives Matter protests, I received a passionate and brave email from a former pupil who not only educated me about the history of the three house names that sat on our website, in our hall and were raised as ambassadors for our school, but also explained the impact of seeing these figures – who have links to slavery, oppression and racism – had on her during her time at our school.

‘Not only a brave email to send to a white male in a position of power but also an email that set off a chain of events.’

What gobbledegook this man speaks! His written English is appalling and why is a man who does not know about these icons of British history appointed to what he grandly claims is a ‘position of power’ in the education system?

Hill went on to explain that the school had no ‘tangible reason’ to keep the historical names and that none of the pupils knew who they were as they were not part of the curriculum. Surely, they should have been or is all British history being swept under the carpet by the educational authorities?

I am hugely grateful that my own children and all but one of my grandchildren have completed their schooling and are not subject to the sort of rampant idiocy that is displayed by Mr Hill and his ilk. They are not doing their job and merely revelling in the current crazy backlash against everything white.

History is there for all to see whatever their own ideologies might have it and history cannot be changed. For myself, I am fiercely proud of being a child of the Raj who was brought up in a colonial setting because I know how much good the colonial authorities did. Yes, there were occasional problems, but problems are part of life and these woke snowflakes would do better to face up to the problems and ensure that they never happen again rather than show their delicate sensibilities and ban everything that does not tally with their own narrow points of view.

They make me cross but the antics of Bunter J’s dog do afford some light amusement in these troubled times. It seems that dog experts have concluded that the reason this mutt, Dilyn is still not housetrained and is allegedly weeing on expensive handbags – when not getting rampantly intimate with the furniture or chewing rare books – is because he hasn’t had ‘the snip’ – in other words, his male organs are still working overtime.

Yet there could be another reason for Dilyn misbehaving so badly. How often are we told that dogs take on the characteristics of their owners?

Once again, I can only quote from my friend Mfanasibili Nkosi – ‘Nuff said.’