Time For Change At The Top

It is surely time to Bunter Johnson to be replaced as the president of Britain – preferably by somebody who is content to be prime minister.

His inane comment to Andrew Marr that pigs are slaughtered as part of farming, taking absolutely no cognisance of the fact that the absence of abattoir workers will mean that many thousands will be destroyed in coming days and instead of ending up on our plates, their carcasses will be incinerated proves just how out of touch with the real world this bumbling buffoon has become,

How will his inept government keep Britain functioning between today and Christmas, when the foreign lorry drivers and turkey-feeders’ temporary visas will expire? To my mind, this country has to have a new man at the top although there does not seem any immediate prospect of evicting Bunter from Downing Street against his, or perhaps the unlovely Carrie’s wishes.

It may be possible, however, to start convincing the couple that their interests would be well served by heading off into the sunset. The prime minister could tell his many admirers (I think he has a few at any rate) that he has delivered Brexit and the Coronabug vaccination programme and averted a Jeremy Corbyn premiership. Perhaps the general public will buy that flannel and ignore his persistent and hopelessly blatant lying.

Let’s face it the man is already assured of many pages in the history of the times. Only Nigel Farage has been more influential in reshaping British politics – and Farage worked for our betterment! Bunter can resume his career as an entertainer dammit. His memoirs, together with the diaries that he has undoubtedly been keeping (to the discomfiture of everyone who has spoken to him privately since he took office) will be worth millions. He might even venture into entirely new terrain by becoming a devoted family man.

I am not really trying to be facetious. I am worried for the future of my Grandchildren. If Bunter J goes soon, he can remain famous, become rich and escape the protracted descent awaiting him if he lingers, eventually to vanish beneath the chickens returning to roost in Downing Street.

Who would follow? At the moment Rishi Sunak seems the only acceptable answer although there are surely a few Tory ‘Big Beasts’ lurking among the back benches. Admittedly we, the general public still know relatively little about Sunak because of his rapid rise from Winchester head boy, through obscure backbencher to chancellor. He would be handicapped by the impossibility of matching Johnson’s public relations skills with all manner of people who are proving themselves intensely gullible. But Sunak possesses dignity and integrity, plus what seems to be a sense of responsibility, such as none of his cabinet colleagues can match. He does not taunt Johnny Foreigner nor was he a member of the ruddy Bullingdon club.

His most immediate and important task would be to appoint ministers for their competence, rather than for mere loyalty to their leader as was the case when Bunter came into power. It would be foolish to pretend that the Tory backbenches are bursting with stars in waiting, but Jeremy Hunt and Tom Tugendhat would surely be an improvement on Priti Patel, Nadine Dorries or the hapless Gavin Williamson.

A habit has grown up in the media, as well as among the public of displaying a respect towards members of this government that is only justifiable by their possession of state offices and the shrugged mantra that there is no alternative, rather than any serious assessment of how they perform.

Yet mediocrity is fast becoming the order of the day among this pathetic cabinet. It is surely time to admit that the country cannot go on like this with traffic chaos at the mercy of such a hapless figure as Grant Shapps. Johnson had a chance to use last month’s cabinet reshuffle to replace proved incompetents with people more worthy of their offices. He chose instead to swop the incompetents around. In this, he showed the arrogance made possible by a big majority together with a pathetically weak, disorganised and divided opposition. Whatever the case if there is one, might be for Johnson, the man mocks the system and us all with his choice of subordinates.

We should recognise that, even if the chancellor sooner or later moves next door in Downing Street, he will face huge challenges. Roy Jenkins once said that he could not recall any prime minister assuming office at the end of a long period of one-party rule who proved able to make anything decent of it. He was thinking of Alec Douglas-Home, Jim Callaghan and John Major I suppose. Since Jenkins’s death, Gordon Brown is another one who reinforces his point. Even if Sunak proves himself adept at lion taming, horse whispering and snake charming, he will lead a party of which the electorate is growing very weary. Many of the problems, especially energy derive from failures by David Cameron’s government or earlier and are not likely to be easy to sort out.

If Britain finds it difficult to deal with the United States under Sleepy Joe Biden, it is almost certain that the election in 2024 will install in the White House, Donald Trump or somebody like him, who ‘does not do allies.’ What then? A new prime minister might however, begin to renew some sort of relationship with our European neighbours, such as is impossible under Johnson. He could rebuild the electorate’s faith in what is said by those in charge and make promises that he has at least some slight aspiration to fulfil. He can be trusted with money, both his own and other people’s. He seems to possess moral authority, a quality that should still matter for people who aspire to rule.

Over the last decade, Britons – or at least most of them – seemed to have it all and made self-indulgent choices accordingly. This though is a new era, in which tensions exist and there are collisions looming between ever worsening economic realities and the aspirations of a new generation to be greener, nicer and do far less hard work.

Somebody is going to have to tell young people that this has to be paid for and that workers who stay at home more should expect to be paid less. They will not like that message and will not applaud a prime minister who delivers it. But that is one among many reasons why we need a responsible leader now rather than when it is too late.

At the moment, Bunter Johnson has a chance to leave Downing Street on his own terms and return to doing what he does best – telling adoring audiences what they want to hear. As prime minister, his work is hardly done but as much of it has been accomplished as is ever likely to be while he stays on.

He surely has to go for the sake of the nation. Please Mr Johnson fall on your sword and give us all a bit of hope.

Shuffling the Turnips

After weeks of threatening changes and then procrastinating, our ‘Revered Leader’ has finally reshuffled his Cabinet but at first glance, his reshuffle has been as much use as restacking the deck chairs on the Titanic as it sank.

Should we be celebrating that two of the four most important jobs in government are now held by women or that there are slightly more people with ethnic backgrounds? I really do not think so, politically correct though it might seem. Gender and race is irrelevant. If this is promotion of the best talent available, I can only cry at the calibre of people entering politics and grovelling their way up the greasy pole to ministerial level. Success in politics is still down to networking and being pals with the right people

This reshuffle wasn’t about creating a dream team to level up Britain or Build Back Better – the latest idiotic slogans Number Ten has devised to try and rekindle our belief in the government’s ability to keep Britain solvent. Or to get food on supermarket shelves when in reality we need eighty three thousand lorry drivers, and to keep hospitals running when we are fifty thousand doctors short and nurses are set to go on strike.

I can’t think of a single business with a turnover of billions that would chuck out key executives with no notice and immediately appoint a fresh set of people who will need to start learning their new jobs from scratch. Would you ask men and women who have run pet supplies to take over nursing homes? Or let the top team at Morrisons decide whether the BBC licence fee should remain? Politicians bang on about how important education is. We tell kids to go to university, do apprenticeships. We moan they are useless at interviews, lack the social skills and the desire to go out and get jobs.

Yet the Prime Minister has appointed Nadine Dorries – the MP who appeared on I’m a Celebrity without asking permission from her bosses – to be the new Minister for Culture.

The woman who will now be deciding the future funding of the BBC, who should run Ofcom, and what power should be wrested from media giants like Facebook and Google, once admitted that her blog for constituents was ‘seventy percent fiction.’ Does that give you confidence in her fitness for any ministerial job? It’s like asking me to run the ruddy Samaritans.

Yet I have a modicum of confidence in Ms Dorries. At least she did not go to Eton – she grew up in Liverpool and went to state school. A successful novelist – I read one of her books but was not impressed – she has voted against gay marriage and attacked ‘snowflake culture,’ consistently accusing the BBC of being left-wing. Has she the ability to make impartial decisions about the future of the National Broadcaster? We shall see. Yet she’s never hidden her controversial opinions despite the cost to her career so there is a bit of hope there.

But why did Bunter remove the previous Culture Secretary – the very competent Oliver Dowden – to appoint such a controversial figure? It smacks of box ticking to keep the feminists happy.

This sham reshuffle demonstrates yet again that running Great Britain is not about experience or skills, government ministers are appointed because they are loyal to the biggest ego on the block – Bunter ruddy Johnson.

In the real world, if top executives fail at their jobs they get fired before they can impact on profits and morale. Not so in government. Witness the incredible career of Gavin Williamson – a man running schools who once had a business selling kitchen equipment. Now it seems he has been offered a knighthood to soften the blow of being sacked.

Bunter has cynically swapped around a few posts, chucked out the hopeless, such as the said Williamson, the insolent and supercilious (Dominic ‘sunlounger’ Raab) listened to Carrie and brought a couple of females to the front of the pack, all with the aim of showcasing himself at the centre of a team of no hopers, this showing that he is more interested in re-election than social justice throughout the country.

Both Raab and Williamson should have been chucked out weeks ago if delivery and expertise were the key criteria for holding public office.

Bunter J has cynically put an extremely ambitious female – Liz Truss – at the Foreign Office, meaning she’ll be permanently flying around the world instead of plotting against him for the top job back at home. He has enough problems with Sunak. Truss is said to be one of the worse public speakers in the Commons, so it will be interesting to see how her communication skills flourish when relying on teams of interpreters.

Truss once said her daughters choose her clothes yet she seems fixated on looking power-ready at all times and hard to miss in those executive dresses in unflattering royal blue.

This woman is not a shrinking violet- every bottle of soya sauce, crate of pickled herring and bucket of squid that she’s negotiated for the UK in her previous role as Trade Secretary has been documented and issued with its own press release and tweet so we know how hard she works and what a success she is – or claims to be.

The Foreign Office job has been billed as her reward for signing sixty three trade deals since Brexit, but let’s look at these deals. Nearly all were simply replicating the previous terms set by the EU, and where’s the evidence that the Truss lassie ever came up with a new strategy, or developed new alliances and won new agreements that weren’t in place before her appointment? Yes, she worked hard, but is that a substitute for talent?

Now, she must try and get us interested in our ‘special relationship’ with sleepy Joe Biden to ensure her quota of appearances on social media continue to soar. This might be a challenge for the woman who once said, ‘I’m not a diplomat.’

The second most powerful female at the top table, Home Secretary Priti Patel must be relieved to hang on to her job after refusing to speak to a conference of police officers only last week. At least that momentarily diverted attention from her failure to stop rubber dinghies full of illegal migrants from landing on the beaches of Kent or giving the French millions of pounds to build hostels in the daft hope that migrants might use them. Or failure to fix the immigration halls fiasco at our airports. Or her failure to persuade the police that demonstrators blocking the M25 should be removed in something under four hours

Nadhim Zahawi has done a good job with pushing out the vaccination programme, but at education, his biggest challenge will be underfunding. Former teacher and council boss Sir Kevan Collins was asked to write a report for the Government detailing how to level up education after the coronabug. He wanted fifteen billion to fund more teachers and an extended school day but Bunter came up with just one point four billion, which means a paltry twenty two pounds per child in primary school per year. Collins, unsurprisingly, resigned.If Zahawi wants to show his mettle, he must get Collins who is a highly respected figure back on board.

Instead of celebrating women in power, it would be more telling to reflect on the team of multimillionaires now running the biggest offices of state – Education, Health, and the Treasury.

In a Tory government, Money, not talent, always talks loudest.

So will this reshuffle make any difference? Of course it will not. The most damaged of the prime minister’s inadequates are out, to be replaced mainly with other willing yes men and women.

Life at the top in politics is usually nasty, brutish and short. Reshuffles are ruthless. Politicians from the leader down are in it for themselves and do not really give a fig for democracy, even though they continually espouse it for we poor little people.

I suppose there are a few who do want to make society better – though there are none I can spot in this cabinet, which cravenly tolerates the whims of this completely dishonest prime minister.

One of the mysteries of the reshuffle is how Extinction Rebellion poster boy Grant Shapps survived as Transport Secretary. He has presided over chaos in the airline sector for passengers and staff alike, recently receiving a ninety eight per cent vote of no-confidence from the pilots’ union, BALPA.

Shapps has also blown two hundred million on an anti-car campaign, carpeting the country with deserted bike lanes and turning whole neighbourhoods into no-go areas for traffic, in the teeth of fierce opposition from locals, tradesmen and the emergency services.

It was reported last week that plans are well advanced for the launch of a range of flying cars in 2024. No doubt Shapps is already working on ways of installing LTNs, bike lanes and speed cameras in the ozone layer and the lunatics who blocked the M25 this week are probably investing in hot air balloons so they can shut down the superhighways in the sky.

I know I am no longer a youngster but I do feel desperately sorry for future generations with these hapless turnips in charge.

Leadership Lies

There are very obviously benefits to be had as a serial liar. In America, Sleepy Joe Biden lies and lies to an increasingly sceptical public while here, Bunter Johnson, for whom the truth is virtually an unknown commodity gets away with lying at every opportunity. It seems that while politicians with a reputation for honesty can find their careers ended by one broken promise, Bunter doesn’t care, simply because no one expects him to keep his word. His relationships with family, friends and voters are entirely transactional. They get to hear what they want: he gets to bend reality to whatever serves him best at any given time.

One of the great public illusions comes with the fact that many people mistake his constant tilting of the truth as a sign of self-confidence. I do not believe that I am afraid. To me, it is a sign of someone with no self-worth or self-confidence at all. Someone who can’t face reality so must change his tune whenever it suits him – and that means lying through his teeth if necessary.

This week our Revered Leader has added two more broken manifesto commitments  to reducing overseas aid earlier in the year: he’s trashed the triple lock on pensions and he’s gone back on his promise not to increase national insurance for workers. He has also been caught out on his claim that he had a social care plan worked out two years ago. If he had, then he would never have needed to earmark the tax rises to bail out the funding gap in the NHS caused by the coronabug pandemic. Though that possibly qualifies as a slightly lesser lie.

But there was no mistaking that Boris looked very pleased with the way his latest broken promises had landed as he took his seat in the Commons for prime minister’s questions yesterday to cheers from his sycophantic backbenchers. Not least of these was Mathew Hancock, (remember him?) who now seems desperate to be one of the lads again.

When Hancock was health secretary, he made a show of wearing a Union Jack face mask in parliament to demonstrate his commitment to public health. Now he goes bare-faced. Anyone might think he was crazy enough to imagine he might be in line for a way back into government in the coming cabinet reshuffle. Surely not even if he can probably tell the difference between Marcus Rashford and Maro Itoje, which is more than the hapless Gavin Williamson seems able to do. Bunter recently went so far as to describe his education secretary as heroic. He was surely waxing sarcastic? Or was he?

What should have been a tricky session for Johnson was made easier by another pathetic performance from Keir Starmer. The Labour leader tried to pin him down on just how many people might have to sell their homes to pay for their social care, but Bunter blustered on about private insurance schemes. In addition to increased national insurance contributions, it seems that the government is expecting those with low value homes to fork out more on insurance premiums.

Much of the exchanges, though, were just a repeat of the previous day’s arguments, in which the Labour leader struggled to make any telling contribution despite the Tory plans appearing to hit the worst off the hardest. The trouble is that Labour have no social care plan of its own despite having had more than a decade to think about it. Just saying those with the broadest shoulders should pay the most taxes is hardly the answer. If you’re going to come up with thirty six billion smackers you need to be able to say exactly how the money will be raised.

Just how relaxed Johnson was about his tax rises was soon apparent when the junior treasury minister Jesse Norman was sent out to open the hastily arranged debate. If the government had been in any way concerned that it might lose the vote, then Johnson himself – or Sunak or Javid – would have started the ball rolling. As it was, Norman kept it short and sweet. Probably because he’s got as little idea as anyone else in government how this is all going to pan out. The highlight of his speech was his insistence that it was a profoundly Conservative thing to break one promise in order to fulfil another. I used to vote for these turnips but that sounds downright cynical to me.

In reply, Rachel Reeves was as hamstrung as her leader by Labour’s failure to have a properly costed alternative plan, though she made the case with more passion than Starmer ever shows. Her argument that the NHS would always need more money and that it would prove impossible to cut further spending after three years and with only fifteen percent obviously impressed a few conservatives. Let’s face it, this is a social care levy that does not deal with social care.

Jake Berry, the head of the Northern Research Group of Conservative red wall MPs, made a more coherent case for the failings of the policy than most opposition MPs by observing that the lowest paid would be worst hit and that constituencies with lower house prices would be bailing out those with more expensive real estate. Steve Baker wondered why the Tories were implementing Labour policies. Both said they wouldn’t be supporting the government in the division lobbies.

Not that Bunter could give a damn about a few errant Tories as he was assured of winning the vote. Another broken promise had paid off. In the short term at least. Whether it would cost him the next election when Tory voters had felt the impact of the tax hike was something he would worry about later. Like most pathological liars, Johnson really only lives for the day.

In the event, only five Tories had the guts to vote against the government. They were Esther McVey, John Redwood, Christopher Chope, Philip Davies and Neil Hudson.

Another thirty seven of them withheld their vote, including a number of ‘Red Wall’ MPs who have been deeply concerned about the proposals. 

So while Americans are beginning to show concern about their dithering leader, I really feel that Britons should be equally concerned about the man in charge over here. I always said that Tony Blair was the most dangerous political leader since Hitler but I am beginning to worry that Bunter Johnson might be even worse because he feels no shame at his own mendacity.

Where will he lead us next and with what obvious falsehoods will he put down any dissent among his cowering followers?

That remains to be seen but I won’t be voting conservative again I’m afraid.

Modern Madness Will Get Us All Into Trouble

Earlier this week, an emergency session of the G7 was taking place, wondering how the West could still put pressure on the Taliban. Almost unbelievably Bunter Johnson even waffled about establishing formal diplomatic relations with the new regime in Kabul.

He whittered airily about unfreezing billions of dollars in seized Afghan assets and increasing foreign aid in exchange for the Taliban guaranteeing safe passage to all those who want to leave.

This bumbling buffoon is offering to double Britain’s humanitarian and development aid to two hundred and eighty six million pounds if the Taliban promise not to allow their country to once again become a haven for terrorists targeting the West. He said: ‘We will use every lever we have to help the people of Afghanistan and protect our own country from harm.’

What claptrap this man speaks. Does he even live in the real world I wonder? Right now the Taliban must be shivering in their fancy, American made boots. With the troops out, the West no longer has any leverage dammit.

Do any of these plonkers in London or Washington really believe that the Taliban is desperate for a seat at the UN top table in New York, or an invitation to take afternoon tea with Bunter J at Chequers or even to visit the Houses of Parliament?

Trying to bribe them by offering to double their ruddy pocket money is not going to work. One does not have to be a genius to see that. They have been left tens of billions of dollars worth of U.S. military equipment already by Sleepy Joe Biden. They are armed to the teeth with American weapons, and Afghanistan now has a bigger air force than most NATO countries.

OK, so while there’s still a vague hope that the thousands of American and British citizens and their allies who are still stranded will be allowed to leave, it probably makes sense to flatter the Taliban. To be fair, our ‘revered leader’ is not the first to believe that if you talk to the Taliban nicely, they will behave properly.

Fourteen years ago, shortly after becoming the top dog, Gordon Brown made a flying visit to Afghanistan to be photographed with troops on the ground. (Why are our political leaders always so keen to be pictured with fighting men I wonder?) While he was there, he suggested it might be time to engage in talks with the Taliban. Back then the organisation was considered to be a bunch of terrorist thugs that gave safe haven to Al-Qaeda to launch the 9/11 attacks on America so nothing came of his suggestion but have things now changed?

Of course they have not. The Taliban is still a terrorist organisation. Just as Bob Mugabe and his murdering thugs remained murdering thugs after being given Rhodesia, the Taliban gangsters will not have changed their spots.

Yet it seems that from General Nick Carter down there are plenty of people prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. These cretins are trying to convince us all that the ‘new’ Taliban is the caring, sharing, cuddly version. The usual useful idiots have fallen for it completely.

Today, its spokesmen are interviewed on television with the kind of reverence normally reserved for the Greta Thunberg or the leaders of potty Scandinavian countries. Journalists who should know better, seem to have abandoned all sense of scepticism and objectivity. Take this nonsensical headline from the once-respected U.S. magazine Newsweek:

‘Seeking World Recognition, Taliban Vows to Help Fight Terror and Climate Change’.

Does nobody grasp the absurdity of a bunch of goat herders dressed up as extras from that wonderful film Carry On Up The Khyber waving their AK47s and burbling on about fighting terrorism and global warming?

Soon we’ll be hearing about the Taliban’s enlightened plans for a congestion charge, bike lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods in Kabul. Perhaps London Mayor Sadiq Khan can travel out there to give them some advice. He has already flattened London so why not add Kabul to his CV?

In fact, enough of my cynicism. Let us all celebrate the new Green Taliban, probably twinned with Extinction Rebellion. After all, it seems obvious that they only closed the airport to cut greenhouse gases, not stop anyone escaping. Hopefully they will soon be drumming and dancing and chaining themselves to pink yachts outside the abandoned American Embassy.

Bunter talks a good game – or thinks he does – but without any real leverage left, he is just another bumbling turnip trying to please people and be popular. I am quite surprised that he has not already invited the Taliban to take part in the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow. Can’t you just see him posing for photographs with Wee Widow Kranky Dopey Joe Biden and one of the mad mullahs.

After all, in the war on global warming the British Government has already taken its lead from Kabul and is hell-bent on dragging the economy back into the Stone Age. So the Afghans could well be considered pioneers by the save the world lot. Never mind ISIS-K, stand by for ISIS-XR.

The way things are going it can only be a matter of time before these goat herding thugs and murderers are jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Meanwhile in London with knife crime going through the roof and XR exhibitionists causing chaos, the Metropolitan Plod are considering introducing gender-neutral uniforms.

Different outfits for men and women are said to discriminate against trans and non-binary officers. Do such people really join the police? I suppose they must do since modern coppers seem to spend half their time wearing high-heels, painting their nails and swanning around in rainbow-coloured cars but surely it is time to consider changing the entire ethos of modern coppering and not just the uniform.

I think it was the Russian novelist Dostoevsky who once said: 

“Tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so as not to offend the imbeciles.”

Considering that Dostoevsky lived from 1821 – 1881 it appears that not much has changed, other than perhaps the proportion of the one versus the other.

The Woke Brigade and Wonky Science

I had mused about ranting over the situation in Afghanistan today but where would I begin? With ordinary people facing a hideous fate at the hands of the Taliban, Al Qaeda or Isis K or with the organisational cock up that has been this supposed withdrawal.

So I will rant on gentler matters and leave the bumbling incompetence of western political leaders to the experts.

I do find myself shaking my head in despair at times though as I observe the world around me. It seems to be getting barmier by the day. In Britain it seems there is a warning appearing online ‑ the marketplace of the crazies ‑ to warn theatregoers that scenes of violence and death, such as the death throes at the end of Romeo And Juliet are only make believe and the actors do not really die.

This it seems is to reassure gullible audience members that the blood is not real and the actors only pretend to stab and poison each other. The expressed fear of the writers is that the poor fools in the stalls might be distressed to the point of sustaining a ‘mental health issue’ if they believe that what they see is actually true.

I would have thought the Archbishop of Canterbury might have an ‘issue’ if a genuinely dead actor got up and took a curtain call. Is not Resurrection supposed to be confined to a certain leading light in the New Testament?

But on a more serious note, are we taxpayers really paying for ‘woke’ idiots to dream up this horse manure under the guise of being concerned with mental health? Personally I would cheerfully offer the authors of these idiotic warnings a mental health issue to worry about ‑ their own unemployment.

Some headlines are irresistible and I was drawn in by this one in the Daily Mail last Friday: ‘How each hot dog chomps thirty six minutes from your life.’

It was based on a report by the University of Michigan, which purported to have enumerated the impact of specific foods on our prospects for a long and healthy life – or not so long as the case may be. Of the various foods analysed, the study determined that the most inadvisable, in terms of ‘healthy life years lost,’ was the hot dog – the staple diet for so many Americans.

Apparently, each hot dog consumed would set the average Yank’s healthy life expectancy back by thirty six point three minutes.

I rarely eat hot dogs but if I apply this equation to myself, I calculate that if I had consumed one hot dog per week ever since I became an adult, I would by now have chopped nearly twenty two months off my ‘healthy life expectancy.’

If I was particularly partial to hot dogs, I would regard that as a pretty good deal though, especially if the ‘lost’ months would otherwise have been spent slurping healthy gruel in an old folks’ care home.

On the other side of the gastronomic table, the Michigan analysts also listed dishes they claimed would add ‘healthy life years.’ The most beneficial was believe it or not, a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Allegedly, one of those would add twenty eight point six minutes to one’s allotted healthy span.

So the trick would be to accompany your hot dog with a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Scoffing those two together would leave you less than eight minutes down on healthy life expectancy. If only I believed this rubbish, I might put aside my life long aversion to mixing peanut butter and jam.

But the best news of all in this so called study is that chips are a net plus to the extent of an extra minute and a half per portion. So if I consumed twenty four portions of chips with every hot dog, my healthy life expectancy would be completely unaffected.

Isn’t science wonderful and do these people really get paid for their learned – I use the word advisedly – observations?

Perhaps I should have stuck to Afghanistan and left dodgy science alone.

Politicians, Feminists and the Mess that is Afghanistan

What a stark week it has been for the Western world and its so called leaders. Sleepy Joe Biden pulled his troops out of Afghanistan and in the process left a billion dollars worth of military hardware behind for the Taliban to use.

When he finally emerged from his holiday at Camp David and was questioned about the utter shambles that is Afghanistan at the moment, he blamed Donald Trump and the beleaguered Afghan army, shouldering no responsibility himself. Bunter Johnson was not much better but at least the British ambassador in Kabul has shown a bit of courage and moral fortitude by staying on and assisting to process the thousands wanting safe passage to Britain. His American counterpart was among the first to flee!

Yesterday I listened to bits of the House of Commons debate on Afghanistan and it made me shake my head in sorrow at the delusions and vanity of our political masters.

This was an ‘emergency’ debate on events that had already happened in Kabul. Which seems somehow pointless as the debate was never going to change anything. Yet the sheer futility of it seemed to push MPs to be even more grandiose and boringly loquacious than usual.

The realities of the war or the limits of British power were seldom mentioned. Some Tory MPs even tried to argue that the British Army could have occupied Afghanistan in America’s place to keep the Taliban at bay. They prattled on about the western worlds nation-building project – that same project that had just collapsed before their eyes.

The tragedy of Afghanistan is a humiliation for Western interventionism, but these turnips don’t seem to see it that way. They only see the need for more intervention, more occupation and ultimately more bloodshed. Something must be done, even if it achieves nothing.

For much of the political class on both sides of the house, Afghanistan always will be ‘a good war’ which I suppose is why these pratwinkles were so emotional about it. Afghanistan gave them a sense of purpose they had long since lost and made them feel important. But it was hardly a ‘good war’ for those left behind and desperate to escape

God help the next nation this bunch step in to ‘save.’

And you know, in the end, Afghanistan fell with dizzying speed to a bunch of rabid goat herders wielding rifles originally made in the 1940s, but just as dizzying has been the about-turn of the West’s political and military leaders. One minute they were reassuring us that the Afghan army had what it took to hold off the Taliban, now they are suggesting that the goat herders might not be so bad after all.

I listened to the chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nick Carter telling Sky News that perhaps it is time to ‘give space’ to the Taliban to govern. Just a few weeks ago, Carter wrote an article in The Times imploring the West not to give up on the Afghan security forces. He even claimed that crowds in Kabul gave the forces their full support – comparing scenes of Afghans shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ to Britons ‘coming out during lockdown in support of the NHS.’

Since the fall of Kabul, Carter has changed his tune. It seems he no longer regards the Taliban as the enemy. He even reassured viewers that these Islamist militants would do the right thing. They are ‘country boys’ he told us, who ‘live by a code of honour. Despite the fact that the Sharia law that these thugs espouse looks on women as inferior beings, apparently what the Taliban wants is ‘an Afghanistan that is inclusive for all.’

He might be a very senior military commander but I fear this man inhabits a fairy tale world. In fact, the last few brutal days have shown us a Western establishment that is losing touch with reality and I fear that they have put the entire western world into a situation of extreme danger.And where are the normally ever so strident feminists while all this goes on? It seems that women are no longer to be seen on the streets of Kabul. Since the city fell, they stay at home out of fear of being beaten. ‘In the past twenty four hours, our lives have changed and we have been confined to our homes, and death threatens us at every moment’, said a terrified lady two days ago. Female journalists have had their houses searched and have gone from being busy professionals to destroying all traces of their former identity in desperate bids to avoid reprisals from the goat herders. ‘We are scared that if the Taliban find us they will kill us’ a former journalist told the media and I have no doubt she was right.

Women who, during the time western forces have been in the country have become police officers or soldiers are now in hiding. They fought against the Taliban, at the encouragement of the west so as to defend their nation and seek a better future. Now these women have been abandoned and betrayed. They are hiding, fearful of revenge attacks, their immediate future uncertain.

Yet in this their moment of need, where are the usually vocal western feminist groups? There have been no statements condemning the Taliban’s treatment of women from US vice-president Kamala Harris. In fact that good lady seems to have disappeared for the moment which will give most Americans a bit of hope. But other feminist groups have also been silent. Remember the huge wave of support that greeted the victims of Harvey Weinstein? Where is it now? Conspicuously absent I am afraid. For too many privileged Western feminists, sisterly solidarity ends at the borders of the comfortable worlds they inhabit.

Nor are British feminists any more vocal. While they were baying for the government to ban the pursuits of so-called virginity testing and ‘virginity repair surgery,’ female students in Afghanistan were being smuggled out of universities prior to the Taliban’s arrival. Desperate to get home, these young women found themselves barred from public transport. Drivers would not let them in their cars either, because they did not want to take responsibility for transporting a woman. Eventually, on making it home, female students rushed to hide diplomas and burn certificates. They had to destroy all evidence of a previous existence or they stood every chance of being publicly flogged.

Throughout the country, girls’ schools are closed amid media stories of young women being forced to marry Taliban fighters, quit their jobs and remain at home. Women who have never worn burqas are now donning the ruddy things in order to save their lives.

Western feminists loved to hate Donald Trump and thought nothing of taking to the streets to protest some of his more grotesque pronouncements, but where are the ‘pussy hat’ marchers now that women in Afghanistan are barred from leaving home without a male relative?

The silence of the marchers, protesters, the petitioners and the kneelers is ruddy deafening yet again.

Is Kabul and Afghanistan too far away? Are Afghan women not deserving of feminist sympathies? Or is the Taliban, unlike Trump, the wrong type of enemy? British feminists have grown so used to talking about the imaginary oppression experienced by privileged women with media careers and vast salaries, or how socially inadequate young men wolf-whistle at them on street corners, that they are now unable to recognise real oppression when it whacks them in the face.

That is one explanation that I saw yesterday but my own theory is that woke activists are so scared of being associated with any whiff of Islamophobia that they cannot bring themselves to condemn the atrocities now being confronted by Afghan women.

And over the past two decades, life did get better for some Afghan women. Now, the chaotic manner of the American army’s departure not only turns the clock back on women’s rights, but also leaves the women who backed the West’s cause in mortal danger.

Of course, Western military intervention in Afghanistan was never simply about protecting women and girls. This only ever became a justification once other excuses for putting troops on the ground had dried up. But, over the past twenty years life has begun to get better for some Afghan women. Now, the chaotic manner of the American army’s departure not only turns the clock back on women’s rights, but also leaves the women who backed progress and a normal life in desperate danger.

General Carter might believe these thugs but how can any thinking person believe the Taliban’s vague promises about respecting women’s rights and allowing some girls to continue in school. Yet it seems that western activists are horribly naive. They think that if they ask nicely, the Taliban will be kind to Afghans and respectful to women and girls.

Here in Britain, the Stop the War coalition wants the British government to pay reparations to Afghanistan – hand money over to the Taliban for God’s sake – in order to advance the rights of women. Nancy Pelosi has warned that ‘the Taliban must know the world is watching its actions.’ That mad New Zealand woman, Jacinda Ardern has ‘implored’ Taliban leaders to uphold human rights. Listen to these people and you get the impression that the Taliban might be talked out of carrying out public floggings with a cup of tea and a chat.

I suppose naiveté might be smiled at in ten-year-olds, but these are world leaders dammit and I find it terrifying. That normally ranting and vociferous feminists cannot publicly condemn the Taliban and stand alongside Afghan women reveals the moral worthlessness at the very heart of Western culture.

As for Sleepy Joe Biden, what can anybody say except that he is a danger to us all. Yes, the withdrawal had to happen at some stage but it surely should have been planned. I am not a military planner or presidential adviser but the obvious way to withdraw would surely have been to take citizens out first then as much military equipment was practicable, destroying the rest to save it getting into the wrong hands.

The very final stage should have been the withdrawal of troops. I know Sleepy Joe has cognitive problems and is even older than me but he is also in charge of the nuclear key which should scare us all witless.

Plymouth, Politics and a Television Adventurer

Plymouth was in the news this week for all the wrong reasons A local ‘nutcase’ ran amok with a shotgun, killing his mother first then four totally innocent strangers. It was sad to see the pictures of the dad and his adopted three-year-old daughter who were murdered by Jake Davison, the gunman but why on earth was this man allowed a gun licence when his crazed, daily online activities were well known?

It is many decades since I pounded Gloucestershire pavements, but in those days – the early sixties – stringent background checks were carried out on all applicants for firearm certificates. These days it seems that coppers are too busy prosecuting people for misgendering someone on the dreaded Twatter.

Comments made last night by Shaun Sawyer – Devon and Cornwall’s chief constable – that sifting through the videos would infringe on the killer’s rights have sparked fresh calls from MPs for more rigorous background checks before guns are returned. Stable doors and bolting horses immediately spring to mind.

Mr Sawyer told the Sun newspaper: ‘We take and return firearms on a not irregular basis when people have emotional crises or we receive reports from family members, then they can be returned.

‘What we don’t do, because firearms licencing is a lawful thing, is trawl the internet looking at people’s lives. That’s an invasion of privacy.’ 

What mealy-mouthed hypocrisy from a senior police officer!  Social media is a matter of public record. Those posting their rubbish on it – and some of Davison’s clips were quite scary and obviously put out by a bitter and twisted young man – want their stuff to be read or watched. It is a misunderstanding of the concept or an attempt to evade responsibility for this high ranking turnip to suggest that background checks would be invading anybody’s privacy.

Besides, Davison’s mother had already asked both the police and the social services for help but nothing had been done.

Yes, I know that an independent – ish enquiry is to be held and I hope that heads including Mr Sawyer’s will roll but I am not holding my breath. Modern Britain is not like that.

Take last Wednesday for example. Yet another deportation flight to Jamaica was hampered by last-minute legal challenges. Of the fifty criminals and persistent offenders on board, forty three were reprieved and taken off the flight at Stansted airport.

Among their number were at least one murderer and one rapist, while collectively the offenders had been sentenced to two hundred and forty five years in prison.

The Home Office said that all those on board were convicted criminals with no legal right to remain in the UK, while lawyers argued that that many had a claim to British citizenship.

The whole fiasco was no doubt funded by Legal Aid, paid for by you and me. In addition, the charter flight cost three hundred thousand pounds, also funded by the long-suffering British taxpayer. That works out at over forty thousand pounds for each villain actually deported while the others are allowed to continue with that lives of criminality.

Instead of ‘fuming’, why doesn’t Home Secretary Pritstick Patel close the loophole that allows these last-minute appeals? Because it seems to me that those who break the law are then saved by the law. We can’t get rid of foreign-born offenders who commit crimes on British soil and we can’t stop foreigners entering the country illegally.

Can you imagine this happening in America or anywhere else for that matter? It is surely time that Bunter J and his pathetic desk jockeys got a grip. What a joke they have so rapidly become.

I have to admit that I enjoyed reading the transcript of Gavin Williamson’s interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari on the day that students received their A-level results. A glorious moment, surely, for any Education Secretary to take to the airwaves!

What could possibly go wrong? Absolutely everything I am afraid. Williamson was as always, a disaster waiting to happen and matters turned farcical when Ferrari innocently asked the Education Secretary about his own A-level results. What grades did he receive?

Gavin waxed lyrical about his ‘dreams of doing social science at Bradford University’. He remembered ‘getting the envelope, opening up the envelope and feeling absolute delight’ – but would not reveal his grades.

‘Why won’t you tell me, is it a state secret?’ asked the bemused host.

Apparently, Williamson ‘forgot’ his grades. Balderdash. Nobody forgets their major exam results – not even me and mine were handed out sixty years ago.

Still, whatever his grades, Williamson remains an inspiration for schoolchildren everywhere. He is living proof that you can be a complete numbskull and still attain high office – provided you have a terrified twit in charge.

I am not a great follower of television adventurers, among whom Bear (is that really his name I wonder?) Grylls is the foremost modern example. Yet even in this ever so precious age, I was horrified by the shocked outcry among his followers when he shared a video of his eighteen year old son BASE jumping off an Italian cliff.

Grylls posted a clip of his eldest son’s adventures on his Instagram page earlier this week, which showed the teenager throwing himself from an enormous cliff and into the air. Nothing wrong with that surely? The boy was having fun.

But many of his fans were left stunned by the clip, with one writing: ‘I would be horrified if my son did that, you are truly a braver man than I.’

I think you should try getting out a bit more Sir. 

Yes, BASE jumping is a dangerous recreational sport that involves parachuting from a stationary point. ‘BASE’ is apparently an acronym that stands for categories one can jump from – building, antenna, span, and earth. 

Sharing the post online, Bear wrote:  ‘Jesse is now 18 and his own man, ready for life.’ And long may he live it to the full Mr Grylls.

When our ‘revered leader’ travelled up to Scotland a week or two ago, the police up there named a mission to guard him as Operation Bunter, but later scrapped the name over fears it would offend him.

What rubbish: the man is a rotund, untruthful buffoon, exactly like the original, Billy Bunter and I will certainly continue calling him by that name.

Hysteria, Invasion and Ineptitude

What on earth is going on with this benighted government? If Britons go abroad, the chances of being locked up when they return are very good indeed, yet this does not seem to apply to the pompous pratwinkles who Bunter has appointed as his ministers.

Take Alok Sharma, whom the Prime Minister appointed ‘president’ of the coming UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, known as COP26. Can you have a president of a conference I wonder?

Anyway, this so-called ‘climate tsar’ has over the past seven months flown to at least thirty nations (never once quarantining, although at least six of them were on the Government’s red list) and covered about two hundred thousand miles.

Bunter Johnson’s spokesman defended this globetrotting: ‘Travel to key countries for face-to-face talks is essential. For example, immediately following his visit to Japan and South Korea, the governments there committed to ambitious net zero targets.’

Do these numpties expect us to accept that such commitments emerged as a result of Sharma’s amazing personal presence – which would come as a surprise to his underwhelmed parliamentary colleagues. 

Yesterday, Sharma told The Sunday Times that online meetings would have failed, describing them as ‘the doom of Zoom’.

Hold on a moment Mr Sharma. I thought it was meant to be excessive plane flights that would bring about doom for the planet – or is that only when it’s being done by the rest of us? Truly, some of the most vocal proponents of a ‘zero carbon’ strategy are reminiscent of those Renaissance Popes who preached against lust and professed celibacy while enjoying the favours of sundry mistresses.

The Christian churches however, also had good news to offer: if you behaved well, loved your neighbour and so forth, then there was a prospect of avoiding hellfire and instead proceeding to the heavenly afterlife. There is nothing like that from those who are currently warning of a fiery apocalypse on Earth.

It seems to me that the more extreme ‘Greens’ are rather like the Jesuits who educated me. They are obsessed with the idea of salvation through leading a pure and simple life, but at least the preachers of my youth believed in mankind as well as God. 

By contrast, the modern green prophets see man as a blight on the planet, and the fewer of us the better which I fear is the reverse of God’s injunction to ‘be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it.’

Weirdly, however, a number of leading figures in the Church of England have made common cause with the fanatics of Extinction Rebellion. For example, during the XR demonstrations of October 2019, the Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes, led twenty vicars in reading the complete Book of Revelation – on the same platform as various XR doomsday cultists had been performing a silly ritual they called a ‘die-in.’

And this cult has its own equivalent of an Old Testament prophet, in the awful Greta Thunberg. Thunberg definitely knows how to communicate her own terror at the alleged imminence of a planet in flames – and she has nothing but contempt for the likes of Alok Sharma.

Like her followers in XR, Thunberg regards the governments of the West as too wedded to the wickedness (as she sees it) of perpetual economic growth to take the necessary steps to ‘save’ the planet from apocalypse. Unfortunately for her, it is the people, and not just those who govern them, who are not ready for the misery and privation that her own narrow vision demands. 

Perhaps that is why Bunter J’s government is wondering about enforcing any of the measures to which it has committed itself by promising net zero emissions by 2050. Yet this is daft really. Britain contributes little more than one per cent of global CO2 emissions. China not only produces twenty seven per cent of the total but has almost two hundred and fifty gigawatts of new coal power in planning or development – an increase which exceeds the entire coal-fired energy capacity of America.

China is not worrying about Greta’s sermons though, regarding them with as much hostility as it did those of Christian missionaries, whom it often slaughtered. When Thunberg told China to ‘change course,’ Beijing’s English language newspaper, Global Times, quoted one of its ministers that this was ‘an attempt to deprive Chinese people of the right to improve their quality of life. Thunberg, who started skipping school for her climate protests, is merely eighteen years old. She is short of sufficient academic knowledge and study.’

I am not a great admirer of the Chinese but it seems that they are the only people prepared to stand up to the fanatics who are holding the world to ransom. Yes, the climate is changing. It has throughout history dammit! Yes, there are too many people but even when China itself tried to control the population, the experiment failed and Bunter’s turnips are not going to fare any better. Nor will Sleepy Joe Biden who I am afraid, should probably be locked away in a care home before he does any real damage.

In the 1940s, Britain stood strong against a planned German invasion yet despite of torrent of promising rhetoric from the current Home Secretary, the country is now being invaded by a group of mainly male and mainly young people who call themselves ‘asylum seekers.’

Despite being installed in hotels far more pleasant than the quarantine ones for ordinary Britons, being fed and being paid thirty eight pounds a week in pocket money, hundreds – possibly thousands – of the ten thousand that have come in this year have disappeared, doubtless seeking fortunes in the black economy.

And what are the government doing about it? Now there is a question. Despite all the tough talking from Pritstick Patel and Bunter J, the people who rule us are sending out Border Force and R.N.L.I vessels to take over from the French authorities who despite having being paid millions of pounds of our money to sort things out on their side of the channel are escorting the overloaded dinghies to the English border.

Where on earth is it going to end? There are forecasts of another ten thousand of these wastrels arriving before the end of the year and next year will be worse. Tough talk is not going to help. As a British citizen who has always paid his taxes, I want action and a stop to this madness.

But how on earth can I get it? I have written on three occasions to my own MP, Sir Geoffrey Cox of West Devon but have never even received the courtesy of an acknowledgement, let alone a reply. I am reliably told that the ever-so-grand Mr Cox is earning vast sums of money as a practising barrister and so does not have time to acknowledge mere plebs like me.

In that he seems typical of so many of his parliamentary colleagues on both sides of the house. Oh for some fresh faces, honesty, enthusiasm and strength of character – all characteristics that are sadly missing from the current set of corrupt and lack lustre desk jockeys that we have at the moment.

Fatties, Floods and Political Ineptitude

I was gently berated by a reader yesterday for not having posted a rant in a long time. In fact, he told me that there has only been one this month. Sorry – I have been finishing up a fairly lengthy book and have had a few family problems to deal with but here I am – back and raring to let rip once again.

I was amazed and slightly horrified at Bunter J and Pritstick Patel’s joint announcement of their new ‘crime bill’ last week. Do none of these modern politicians ever actually think about crime and policing? If they did, it would not take them long to discover that preventative police patrolling – on foot please – plus properly deterrent sentences for those convicted more than once hugely suppress crime and disorder.

What has happened in this country since I pounded the beat in the early sixties is that more people have seen crime and bad behaviour as a minor risk, so the number of active villains has gone up enormously. The politically correct police have responded by waiting for them to commit crime, then chasing about wildly, getting nowhere and giving up. I get the feeling that many of them are reluctant to get their hands dirty.

Meanwhile, our liberal prisons fill up with multiple repeat offenders, most of whom don’t much mind being there, because they run the ruddy show and make huge profits through largely criminal enterprises while they are banged up.

But all our supposedly well-educated Prime Minister and his tough talking but apparently inactive Home Secretary can come up with are populist gimmicks that any moron could see through – chain gangs in high visibility jackets and dedicated police officers to soothe our brows once we have become victims which of course is far too late.

Please Mr Johnson, try thinking for a change. Read up on crime and policing then think some more. If you did that, you might actually do some good.

Meanwhile this gimmicky government is spending one hundred million pounds on an anti-obesity campaign. 

Why for God’s sake? Surely people are already well aware that if they stuff their faces with doughnuts and junk food, they’ll get fat. And if they get fat, they’re more likely to get sick. 

You don’t need a weatherman or any other sort of modern ‘expert’ to convince anyone of that. 

Nor do we need the Nanny State wasting millions telling fatties who don’t mind being fat what to eat. 

It is surely their own funeral and I for one do not want my hard earned tax payments going to cause a miniscule dent – and it will be miniscule dammit – in national slobbery.  

Every one of us should have the freedom to make our own choices in life. If people do not mind being fat, then let them be fat dammit!

I was puzzled to watch reports of the recent floods in Germany, whose huge rivers have happily flooded throughout history. They droned on about global warming as if this was unquestionably the reason for rivers overflowing. Was it? How could we know for sure so soon? How come so many had died? Couldn’t they have been warned in time?

Now I learn that timely warnings were in fact given. A British expert, Hannah Cloke, who is professor of hydrology at Reading University, spoke of a monumental failure of the system, adding: “I’m disappointed that particularly in the cities you had people washed away. That suggests that lots of things are going badly wrong. It’s no use having massive computer models predicting what’s going to happen if people don’t know what to do in a flood.”

The European Flood Awareness System issued an extreme flood warning earlier that week and questioned why the toll was so high. And the German weather service, DWD, said it had passed on the warning to local authorities, who should have been responsible for organising any necessary evacuations. Yet you need to search to find this news, hacking your way through the modish dogma about global warming and climate change.

The climate has always changed dammit and I can’t wait for cold and windy Princetown to start warming up.

In the media coverage of the mass and completely illegal migration from France to Britain, a lot of reports seem to be based on a total misunderstanding of what is going on. When British vessels pick up these illegal migrants from boats supplied for their use by gangsters, they are not ‘rescuing’ them. They are helping them to make an unlawful entry into this country. This is exactly what the gangsters intend, and British authorities are meekly doing what the criminals want them to do.

The word ‘rescue’ should be reserved for people who, through no fault of their own, have got into difficulties at sea, thanks to unforeseeable events such as storms or wrecks or collisions. Those folk do not mind where they are brought ashore, as all they seek is safety.

People who deliberately set out into congested, deep water in boats unfit for that purpose, and who would angrily object if they were taken back to their point of origin, have not been ‘rescued’ when they are helped to arrive in Britain.

Incidentally, apart from these dinghy people, is anyone else fleeing France at the moment? I know they are having problems in the cities but only the illegal immigrants are actually taking to the water.

Pritstick Patel keeps assuring us that she has the situation under control but the number of illegals has already broken all records this year and is steadily rising. Few of them look like genuine refugees either, so why can they not be sent straight back to where they came from?

But no – Britain is housing them, feeding them and giving them pocket money to keep them going. I feel that there is something very wrong with the system somehow.

Money Rather Than Medals

The George Cross is the highest civilian award for extreme gallantry and has been presented to an elite handful of very brave men and women over the years. I have met only two of these heroes during my life, both of whom were coppers who put their lives on the line in terrifying circumstances.

Now, on the recommendation of the supreme political buffoon, Bunter Johnson and his ‘committee,’ this prestigious medal has been awarded to the entire NHS, thereby demeaning its value and prestige to the truly brave.

Yes, I know that thousands of front line doctors and more importantly, front line nurses risked their lives on a daily basis during the coronabug nonsense and I admire them for their dedication. At the same time, not only was this the job they signed up for, but every Thursday at 8pm in March, April and May 2020 many Britons emerged from their home prisons to bang pots and pans during the weekly ‘clap for carers.’ I confess I only did it once, but Princetown evenings at that time of year tend to be very cold and miserable.

But it seemed that this obviously terrified nation was united behind ‘protecting the NHS’ during what was at the time, a genuinely unprecedented modern health emergency.

 In January this year, when the idea of a weekly clap was revived, there was barely a trickle of folk who took part. The streets largely stayed silent and the clap was forever shelved – and rightly so. Did we ever clap for supermarket workers, bus drivers, dustmen or other who carried on with their jobs while so many other were sitting at home and being paid for it? Of course we did not.

In those six months, Britons had woken up to the reality that as an organisation, the NHS – a service for which we personally pay for through taxation – was not ready to protect us during a pandemic, however much we were exhorted to protect it.

Cancer patients were having treatment denied or delayed, waiting lists for surgical procedures were swelling to record levels and for some unfathomable reason many NHS GPs were refusing to see us face-to-face.

The collateral damage was unprecedented and the reverberations on the nation’s health will be felt for at least the next decade. Many experts believe it is likely that in the long-term, the NHS may have caused more deaths than saved lives by discouraging non-covid patients from visiting hospitals and doctors’ surgeries during the height of the first wave.

So why have these government turnips, led by Bunter J lessened the value and prestige of the highest award for civilian gallantry? Does he really believe that the desk jockeys and overpaid pen pushers who run the NHS are as brave as civilians who have displayed the highest courage?

I am certainly not complaining about the individual heroes who undertake extraordinary feats on a daily basis to save our lives, but I’m certain most of those brilliant frontline staffers would rather receive a reasonable pay rise and proper resources than this form of empty gesture. Or if we are not going to pay them more, let’s identify the frontline workers who really put themselves at risk and give them individual gongs and due recognition dammit!

But this particular George Cross is to the entire NHS, an organisation so full of waste and bureaucracy that it needs to fundamentally rethink how it is run to avoid the country being shut down again for over fifteen months in order to protect it. The longer that we lionise this sprawling and horribly top-heavy health service – be it through Olympic opening ceremonies or gallantry awards granted by the Queen – the more impossible it becomes for politicians to have an honest discussion about the drastic action required to ensure the NHS is at least fit for purpose and doesn’t bankrupt the country.

The Queen’s handwritten message yesterday appeared to suggest the NHS is somehow above politics.

She wrote: ‘It is with great pleasure, on behalf of a grateful nation, that I award the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom. This award recognises all NHS staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations.

‘Over more than seven decades, and especially in recent times, you have supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service. You have our enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation.’

They are lovely words and, as always, Queenie means well, yet did she have her tongue in her cheek, so to speak? The Royals don’t use the NHS unless it is unavoidable. The family tends to use the posh King Edward VII in London’s Marylebone, described as the capital’s ‘foremost private hospital.’

It was where the Queen chose to have surgery on her knee and the Duchess of Cambridge received treatment for severe morning sickness. Princess Margaret also died at the hospital. Prince Philip was treated there earlier this year but was briefly transferred to the NHS teaching hospital St Bartholomew’s for surgery.

In recent decades, royals have tended to give birth in private hospitals too, with Princess Diana and Kate opting for the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital. The Markle woman and Princess Eugenie both chose London’s private Portland Hospital.

There are exceptions in emergencies, of course. The Countess of Wessex was rushed to the NHS Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey to give birth to her daughter in 2012 after suffering from severe chest pains.

So why on earth did Bunter Johnson and his committee allow this to happen? Was this just another of his grandiose and useless – usually self-defeating – gestures?

I fear this George Cross will make it even harder for the new Health Secretary Sajid Javid to make the tough reforms required, working with a new yet-to-be appointed NHS England chief executive, so that this situation never occurs again.

Anyway, the entire concept is idiotic How can an award for gallantry be awarded to hundreds of thousands of people?

As I have said, there were some people – doctors and nurses – who really worked flat out, it was horrific, and they were doubtless traumatised. There were others who never saw a patient as whole departments were shut and they sat on their bums at home or in empty hospital rooms and took every opportunity to avoid patient contact.

So no, this whole damned thing is a nonsense and even by his own very low standards our ‘Revered Leader’ has hit a new low. This is idiotic virtue signalling on his part. The ‘heroic’ NHS have been far from heroic for most people over the last year or so. Do some real work Bunter J and identify the real heroes without making empty gestures and lowering the value of the George Cross.