The Summer of Stupidity

This crazy summer of stupidity continues to become ever more over the top. Let me forget the political inanities that are affecting all our lives at the moment because now it has hit and badly shaken the rough, tough world of professional rugby union. Exeter Chiefs rugby club has been prevailed upon to ditch its Red Indian mascot to appease anti-racism campaigners, who complained it was offensive to Native Americans.

That would, I suppose be all those members of the Cheyenne and Commanche tribes living in Devon. Strange that I have seen no sign of them in my wanderings around Dartmoor.

No I do not suppose it has anything to do with the local feathered braves and their squaws. The Big Chief Must Fall campaign is spearheaded by the usual bunch of privileged, white middle-class morons who attach themselves to everything from Extinction Rebellion to Black Lives Matter. (I wonder if I will be in trouble for using the word ‘spearheaded?)

Anyway, after twenty one years, Big Chief has been forced to hang up his head-dress. No more will he lead supporters in their traditional tomahawk chop salute and war cry. The Exeter followers will have to content themselves with a round or two of polite clapping.

Club directors said in a statement that they had ‘listened to the response of our supporters, the wider rugby community and certain sections from the Native American community.’

Where on earth did they find sections of the Native American community in Devon damnit? Is there perhaps an Indian reservation tucked away in Chagford or Widdicombe in the Moor? Perhaps the Sioux nation pitched their tepees in the Exeter Chiefs’ car park after the illegal travellers’ camp was moved on by the police.

It could even be that while Border Control was watching the Channel, flotillas of canoes were landing at Budleigh Salterton, containing huddled masses of Cherokee refugees prepared to risk a perilous Atlantic crossing in order to seek asylum from Donald Trump supporters.

Whatever the background, the directors of Exeter Chiefs have bowed to the intolerant masses and decided – reluctantly they say – to dump the mascot, rather than be accused of cultural insensitivity.

But that won’t be enough for Rentamob I’m afraid. The Big Chief Must Fall shower will not be satisfied until the club changes both its name and logo, which features an Indian Chief.

‘As human beings, we are horrified that we still live in a society where a major sports club can treat indigenous peoples like this. It reflects badly on rugby, Devon, and the UK and we should all be thoroughly ashamed,’ spluttered an outraged spokesman for Exeter Chiefs 4 Change.

I am sorry but this is just another depressing example of the lunatic Left in Britain jumping on the latest bandwagon from America. Once the Washington Redskins NFL team caved in to demands to change their name, the woke warriors on this side of the pond were always going to seek out similar targets here.

Before you know it, rugby will have gone the way of football and cricket. Players will be forced to wear Red Lives Matter logos on their shirts and – never mind taking the knee – they will probably have to perform a traditional ruddy rain dance before play starts.

It still won’t be enough though. The name Exeter Chiefs is doomed to disappear for ever. Although the club claims ‘chiefs’ dates back more than a hundred years, it was only adopted in 1999 – as part of a cynical marketing exercise aimed at flogging overpriced merchandise. It was the same kind of commercial thinking that led to Leeds rugby league club being rebranded ‘Leeds Rhinos.’

Mind you, they will probably be the next major target when the animal rights brigade spot the chance. After all, rhinos are an endangered species and you don’t find too many of them in West Yorkshire.

Elsewhere the madness continues. Snowflake civil servants are demanding the Churchill Room at the Treasury is renamed. How in the name of all that is holy did anyone who denigrates arguably Britain’s greatest Prime Minister, the man who defeated Hitler, as a ‘racist’ ever get a job at the heart of government? It really does beggar belief.

Churchill once said that history would be kind to him since he intended to write it. I wonder what he would think of the ignorant, statue-toppling Left-wing fascists who are trying to rewrite it.

Having emasculated every other organisation, the diversity Nazis have inevitably turned their attention to the Armed Forces. The RAF is introducing ‘dress-down’ Fridays, to promote a more ‘inclusive’ atmosphere and it is reported that the Royal Navy is dropping gender pronouns and replacing titles such as ‘seaman’ with the more neutral ‘seafarer.’ They also want to ban the use of words such as ‘unmanned’ and ‘manpower’ in a bid to avoid being called out by the mob for sexism.

First Sea Lord Tony Radakin has called for the changes to be rolled out to avoid female recruits feeling excluded.

Sources said there was an acceptance within the force that some terms are no longer appropriate and considered problematic and that leaders wanted to get rid of gendered terms where possible.

On the other hand, one very senior officer told the media that ‘This is a pathetic, woke distraction from keeping Britain safe. The only reason to change the labels is if it’s a barrier to recruiting women, but recruitment has never been stronger.’

These are fighting forces damnit and employed to protect us all, not to humour the politically correct zealots. Why oh why will nobody stand up to these crazed people?

The Public Sector and the Private.

Our revered leader tells us that he wants to clear ‘Backlog Britain’ by the end of September. Somehow, I can’t see that happening. Bunter hasn’t a hope in hell of persuading cosseted civil servants back to their desks for a long time yet.

And why would they go back damnit, when MPs have just taken off for their six weeks’ summer holiday? If the Government was serious about getting the country up and running again, Parliament would surely have scrapped the summer recess.

It is not as though our overpaid MPs have been rushed off their feet lately. Most of them have been content to stay at home, working out how to spend the extra ten grand they awarded themselves to cope with the coronabug crisis.

They should be at Westminster damnit, subjecting the Government’s increasingly baffling and inconsistent Covid response to proper scrutiny. But while MPs are enjoying their holiday perks, the unions would howl outrage if their precious civil servants were ordered back to work.

Given the way ministers caved in to the teachers, I cannot see the remotest possibility that the Civil Service will be back to normal by September. The backlog of passport applications, driving licences and birth certificates will only get worse.

Of course, the Government could have set up a simple system which would have allowed people to download the documents online. They could have issued six-month or one-year extensions, complete with readable bar codes, to be attached to licences and passports.

It surely should not be any more complicated than Amazon’s system for returning unwanted or faulty goods, but it would call for innovation, flexibility and political courage and that would seem to be in short supply at the moment. However, the all-powerful unions would never agree to it, so I am afraid it won’t happen. 

I can’t see the backlog being cleared before the middle of next year I’m afraid and even that might be wildly optimistic The way things are going, I am not sure we will ever catch up. Civil servants have no incentive to get back to their offices. Like the rest of the public sector, they are all drawing their full salaries. 

There is a clear distinction at the moment between those who kept the country ticking over – the police, NHS frontline staff, supermarket workers, dustmen, etc – and the vast majority currently ‘working from home.’ By and large, it was the private sector that ensured Britain was fed and watered during lockdown. Even BT rose to the occasion, maintaining reliable broadband connections for the most part. Yet this hopelessly muddled government are handing out pay rises to public sector staff – not including nurses and carers!

Last week, even teachers were given increases of between 2.75 and 5.5 per cent. I am sure there are dedicated teachers out there but surely, they don’t deserve that pay rise when unions have been refusing to let them report for work.

Imagine how that must have gone down with low-paid delivery drivers and others who have worked throughout, trying to make ends meet. Plenty of parents have lost money because they have been unable to go back to work while the schools remain closed. The news that teachers are getting a pay rise must have been a real kick in the teeth.

It’s not only pay, either. The mounting job losses over the past few weeks have all come at private companies, from Marks & Spencers to Rolls-Royce and many other major companies. I certainly have not heard of anyone working for local or national government being made redundant.

I seem to recall Mr Johnson telling us with apparent sincerity that ‘we are all in this together’ but those words sound somewhat hollow at the moment and it is not only confined to the public/private sector divide. Even though the Government has eased social distancing regulations and encouraged the economy to start opening up again, millions are reluctant to return to pre-lockdown normality.

Some major firms, including the banks, have no intention of reopening their offices until the New Year at the earliest. By then, it may well be too late for the shops, bars, cafes and restaurants which rely on the custom of office staff to turn a profit and keep people in jobs.

Unfortunately, the white-collar classes have become accustomed to ‘working from home.’ So much so that they now look on it as an entitlement. Listen to the phone-ins, read the surveys. They are loving their new work/life balance.

Crisis, what crisis? To adapt that famous quote from Harold Macmillan – some people have never had it so good.

‘I’m better off than I’ve ever been,’ they say. ‘I’m not missing the usual commuting, I am saving on my season ticket. Why would I want to pay a fiver for a sandwich from Pret or buy an expensive cup of coffee from Costa? Plus, I am seeing more of my kids. Go back to the office? No I don’t think so.’

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to these people that this is not the way any economy works. Money makes the world go round and there can be no prosperity if nobody is spending.

Most of the big cities have now become deserted parking lots. Those stores and cafes which opened again recently are starved of customers. If they don’t see a dramatic increase in takings soon, they will have no alternative but to shut for good.

If city centres die, millions more will lose their jobs. The tax base will collapse, the benefits bill will go through the roof and there won’t be any money to spend on the NHS – or anything else for that matter – let alone pay the interest on the billions of pounds the Government is borrowing every day.

And with the entire economy in free fall, it won’t be long before the jobs of all those ‘working from home’ start to disappear, too. Those lucky enough to be kept on will have to swallow substantial wage cuts. The rest could see their jobs outsourced to cheaper people working from home in Bangladesh or Eastern Europe. That could happen sooner rather than later unless the Government takes the lead and hits the restart button with a vengeance.

Never mind the latest madness about having to wear masks to buy takeaway food, but not to eat on the premises – and in shops, but not pubs. Had they decided that from the start, then perhaps, but at the moment, it seems rather like old Nero doing his fiddling gig while Rome collapsed around him. Formerly Great Britain is on the brink of economic collapse, yet MPs head off on their summer holidays!

It can’t go on. Parliament should be recalled and the Civil Service ordered back immediately. Instead of continuing to chuck money we don’t have at everything from the extended furlough scheme to half-price hamburgers, the Chancellor should be offering generous tax breaks or whatever else it takes to get factories and offices back up and running again.

Never mind Backlog Britain, it’s Bankrupt Britain we should be worrying about now. 

But there was minor good news last week. An award-winning charity boss who was sacked for criticising the Left-wing agenda of Black Lives Matter was happily reinstated by a new board of trustees.

Last month Nick Buckley was dismissed by the trustees of Mancunian Way, a ground-breaking charity he himself founded nine years ago, after an online mob accused him of ‘inappropriate’ and ‘insensitive’ views and demanded his removal.

He described BLM’s policies as ‘neo-Marxist’ and said they risked dividing communities in a blog published in June after protests erupted in the UK following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Campaigners immediately branded his post racist and set up an online petition demanding he be removed.

Within a week, Mr Buckley was sacked by the trustees but he was supported by the Free Speech Union – whoever they may be – which got behind a counter-petition and found him a top lawyer in Geoffrey Davies of Keystone Law.

. Mr Davies said: ‘In their anxiety to be politically correct the trustees simply ignored their contractual obligations. When these were drawn to their attention the trustees realised the dreadful mistake they had made and agreed to resign and reinstate Nick as CEO.’

Mancunian Way, which helps young people in Manchester avoid a life of crime, said the trustees have resigned and a new board has asked the fifty two year old Buckley to return to his former role. 

The ‘crime’ for which poor old Buckley was fired came when he wrote about Black Lives Matter ‘What is happening in the UK over the last few months has very little to do with the horrendous death of George Floyd in the USA. 

‘It is better described as part ‘new fashion craze’ and part ‘an opportunity for anarchy.’ Do you know who Black Lives Matter are? Do you know what this self-proscribed political movement wants? According to their website, they want to end white supremacy, disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family and dismantle the patriarchal practice. These are fancy words but what do they mean?

‘They are exactly what post-modern, neo-Marxists use when they call for the destruction of Western democracy and our way of life.’  

Referring to Floyd’s criminal convictions, he questioned why the demonstrations were focused on the ‘unlawful death of a career criminal’ in the US rather than UK issues including knife crime, female genital mutilation, honour killings and a lack of house-building.  

The response was immediate and furious. Writing on Mr Buckley’s LinkedIn page, Reece Williams, a poet who works for a mental health charity in Manchester, said: ‘Please know that we will be doing everything in our power to have you removed from your position. Expect us.’

A few days later, an online petition calling for Mr Buckley’s removal was posted on by Karlet Manning, who also works for a mental health charity. 

The petition claimed his views ‘undermine the Black Lives Matter movement whilst working in a diverse community’ and were ‘inappropriate, insensitive and have since been deleted.’

The row then exploded on Twitter when the petition and Mr Buckley’s comments began to be tweeted by Left-wing campaigners and anonymous accounts. Two days later, Mr Buckley received an email from the charity’s trustees informing him their relationship with him was ‘terminated.’ A red flag and the word ‘victory’ was later posted on the petition page.

Mr Buckley said he stands by what he wrote, although he accepts that he could have better conveyed some of his arguments. He said he had declined an offer from his trustees to issue an apology for the blog. 

‘That’s the coward’s way and I’m not a coward,’ he said. ‘If I had the guts to say what I said, then I need the guts to stand up and continue to say what I said.’ 

He holds no ill-feeling towards the trustees. ‘They are lovely people but they weren’t ready for a fight. They found themselves in a terrible situation not of their making – pressure online.’

I had never heard of Nick Buckley or his charity but I am pleased for him. More people need to stand up to the bullying of the social media pratlets and let us all get on with our lives.

Yes, black lives do matter, but this whole movement is out of hand and making life miserable for the very people they profess to be looking after. If racism is to disappear from society, then this is not the way to go about it. 

Modern Madness and a Dog Called Poppy

The Coronabug crisis has rather knocked Britain for six and exposed hideous faults in the workings of a petulant government. But to my mind there is a far more dangerous disease than Covid 19 threatening the very existence of this country and it is being largely overlooked.

This hugely infectious ailment is of course the current climate of political correctness – for some reason referred to as ‘wokeness’ by the chattering classes.

Universities for instance have always been bastions of left wing ideology but now they seem to have lost the plot completely. To students and lecturers alike, any dissenting voices to their own beliefs just have to be silenced. A growing number of schools seem to be joining them in propagating this woke orthodoxy too.

‘Critical race theory’ is a sub-Marxist ideology in which ‘white privilege’ is invoked to explain all kinds of injustice and it is increasingly being taught as part of ‘decolonising the curriculum.’

I would have thought that only applied to history, but it seems that no subject is immune from this re-education campaign in our schools and universities.

Academics at Birmingham City University have proposed that Mozart be eliminated from music teaching (was he racist I wonder?) and replaced by the rapper Stormzy. Eton College has announced it will change the teaching of history, geography, religion, politics and English, along with school assemblies and societies, in order to ensure that ‘decolonisation’ is enforced across the board. What on earth does that mean and how does it apply to geography, religion, politics and English?

Of course, the young of every nation have always been full of ideological theories but this woke agenda seems to go way beyond education and infiltrates every other institution of public life – the very pillars of our so-called civilisation.

The head of the Church of England, Justin Welby has for example, suggested that it is wrong to portray Jesus as white. Different cultures portray him in different ways, the Archbishop of Canterbury points out. Sure they do but the fact is that Jesus was neither black nor white. He was a Jew, who spoke the ancient Semitic language of Aramaic – something Welby doesn’t seem to consider.

Our police force has also been affected by woke attitudes. Yes modern coppers face many difficulties that did not exist in those long forgotten days when I pounded a beat. There have recently been violent attacks by protesters on them in Hackney, Brixton, White City and other parts of London. Also, it is true that some have been tainted by racism, but in any large organisation, there will always be a few bad apples.

In the current conditions with everyone howling for their blood, the police are bound to be cautious. But that does not explain officers dancing along with Extinction Rebellion protesters, as some did in April last year at a demonstration at London’s Oxford Circus. There were also scenes of police officers ‘taking the knee’ during the recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Why are police officers virtue-signalling their wokery for God’s sake? The task of the police is to enforce the law and maintain public peace, not show sympathy for any political movement.

One reason why British institutions have been captured by the forces of illiberalism is contagion from the US, where the movement has been most extreme. Even the citadels of capitalism have fallen. Giant corporations instruct their employees in diversity training but fail to provide them with medical insurance, childcare facilities or decent incomes.

At the same time there has been a general witch-hunt which has seen leading figures driven from American institutions. Last week, the senior curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art resigned, accused of ‘white supremacist language’ after he stated that refusing to collect white artists would be ‘reverse discrimination.’ The fact that he was correct did not help him at all.

And an opinion editor and writer at the New York Times resigned, citing ‘constant bullying by colleagues’ who attacked what they called her ‘forays into Wrongthink.’ This reference to George Orwell’s novel 1984 – where people are punished for ‘thought-crime’ – is surely significant.

What is more, major American news providers and magazines are now operating a system in which staff are encouraged to tell tales on their colleagues and denounce one another on Twitter. I may be right off the mark, but to me this hounding of people is strikingly reminiscent of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which convulsed communist China when I was a young man and wrecked much of what remained of the country’s ancient civilisation.

The only way someone accused of thought-crime in those days could escape punishment was through public confession, ‘re-education’ and abject apology in so-called ‘struggle sessions,’ in which they were humiliated and tormented by their accusers.

Tragically, the woke movement has reinvented this vile ritual, with teachers, journalists, professors, politicians and others seeking to hang on to their jobs by desperately begging forgiveness. Why damnit? Stand up for your views even if they go against the febrile opinions of the great unwashed.

In some ways, today’s Twitter Maoism is worse than the original Chinese version. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was unleashed by a communist dictator, who used the upheaval to consolidate his power. It was wrong and everyone knew it was wrong but that did not stop it.

In Britain and America today, our leading institutions have shamefully surrendered their own authority to another destructive ideology and it is surely vital that this ideological rampage does not rage on for a decade as Mao’s did in China.

Otherwise we will find our freedom lost to a movement that aims to dictate how we live and think, and British civilisation will suffer irreparable harm.

As I said, this is a far more dangerous and infectious disease than the Coronabug.

Since I started this piece, I looked up the word ‘woke’ and it would seem to mean being alert to injustice in society, especially racism.

“We need to stay angry and stay woke.” 

The computer dictionary did not tell me where the quote came from but it reinforces my belief that this really is a load of hysterical nonsense!

The Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle – a vast improvement on his poisonous predecessor – this week invited a police sniffer dog to sit in his chair in the Commons chamber. Poppy is an explosives detection specialist and was awarded a ‘canine OBE’ for her work during the 2017 Borough Market terror attack. She has since been employed sweeping the Houses of Parliament for bombs. 

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is considering scrapping the terms ‘Islamist terrorist’ and ‘jihadi’ to describe Islamist terrorists and jihadis. Why?

Well it seems that from now on they will be called ‘faith-claimed terrorists’ or ‘terrorists abusing religious motivations.’ This ridiculous idea has come from the ambitious anti-terror chief Neil Basu, who seems to think that the greatest security threat Britain faces is from the ‘Far Right.’ What rubbish! In recent years, all the Far Right have done is stage a few demonstrations and cause the odd punch up on the streets of London. Almost all the other attacks from Borough Market to Manchester Arena and a few places in between were the work of Islamist terrorists or as they like to call themselves, Jihadis.

Basu, who supports ‘taking the knee’ and thinks the Black Lives Matter violence – in which forty nine of his own officers were injured – was a triumph for enlightened policing, seems to fancy his chances of becoming Commissioner when Dame Dick hangs up her truncheon. 

He obviously believes spouting woke drivel will improve his chances. I think we would all feel safer they gave the job to Poppy.

Scraping the Political Barrel

Sorry about the varieties of text in the following paragraphs but with my limited technological knowledge, I don’t know how to adjust them. The larger letters are not meant to be in any way significant.

So much for Bunter Johnson’s claims that this is a land of liberty. Since half way through June, people have been visiting the shops that are open without masks and the Coronabug figures continue to improve.

Yet, the Government has now decreed that we must all wear masks in shops. Science is divided over the effectiveness of masks and the effects of the disease are lessening daily, but Bunter seems to be changing his mind as often as he – presumably – changes his socks. I wonder if he feels that he has to be seen to be doing something, even if it makes no sense at all.

Whenever he is interviewed or filmed now, he has a mask on, but why damnit? He has had the bug and had it badly so he must surely be immune and he hasn’t bothered to wear one until recently.

Consistency and logic have been sadly missing in this government’s approach to the pandemic and most of us are horribly confused. For instance, I met up with a friend in the local pub yesterday and we sat maskless, but when the new regulation comes in, I will need to don a mask to visit the post office directly across the road.

I do not like wearing a mask but have religiously done so for weeks now when visiting supermarkets. Somehow it seemed like common sense but now I am to be forced to wear one whether I like it or not and if I don’t cover my face up, I can be fined. A land of liberty did the man say?

I am not the only person I know who does not enjoy wearing a mask and I fear that most ‘mask-haters’ will now avoid shops in general and won’t be spending money at all. Yet spending money is what our Revered Leader and his Chancellor keep urging us to do.

After my visit to the Prince of Wales – the pub not the man – yesterday, I settled down to watch Prime Minister’s Questions on the iplayer. I am sorry but it is becoming ever more like a strange version of Tom and Jerry. No, that probably isn’t fair to the little mouse and old Tom! At least they are funny.

In his first few outings against Keir Starmer, Bunter was completely out of his depth and he has remained so I’m afraid. Unable to cope with the detail in Starmer’s questions, he lashes out and blusters, either accusing the Labour leader of doing something thatn he obviously has not, answering a different question to the one he has been asked or generally playing to his non existent gallery of Tory back benchers.

But I am afraid it is not working. Every week, Bunter shows what he is really made of. He is a thin-skinned unprepared opportunist who not only wants to be supremely popular but cannot tolerate scrutiny or criticism. It is like dealing with a spoiled toddler. If you are not one hundred percent behind him and telling him what a clever fellow he is, then you are an enemy out to get him. In terms of emotional development, I am afraid that our elected leader is barely out of nappies.

How else can you explain his performance yesterday as other than a full-on narcissistic breakdown? Starmer had started by asking about the lack of sector-specific support for aviation. Boris was outraged. Labour had broadly backed the chancellor’s bailout plans for other industries last week, so why was Starmer now choosing to make a fuss about widespread redundancies and BA’s somewhat nefarious plans to fire thirty thousand employees and rehire them on worse terms and conditions? This was just talking Britain down.

 “The Labour leader says one thing one week and another the next,” Boris yelled, hammering on the dispatch box with his index finger in a temper tantrum. I couldn’t help thinking about pots and kettles at that one! In recent weeks, we have had U turn after U turn from the motley crew of failures running this country.

Starmer moved on to a report from the Academy of Medical Sciences that has apparently warned that Britain risks another hundred and twenty thousand deaths from the coronabug this winter. He suggested that now might be a good time to make sure that the government’s test-and-trace system was working properly?

Now Boris just leapt into the realms of fantasy. Britain’s test-and-trace system was the envy of the world. The best there was. The very bestest, bigliest best. In which case the world might as well prepare for its end now as the test-and-trace figures are getting worse by the week.

Where once the system was reaching eighty percent of the contacts – of the twenty five percent of infected people it was managing to track – we are now down to barely seventy percent. At the current rate of decline, the whole system will be little better than guesswork in a few months. Or less if Mathew Hancock’s ‘world-beating’ app makes an appearance in the meantime.

“He should be building up the system, not undermining it,” Boris roared at his opposite number yesterday. He seemed blissfully unaware that no one has done more to reduce public confidence in the government’s response to the pandemic than him – Dominic Cummings excluded of course. Because at every opportunity, the prime minister has done too little, too late, which is one of the main reasons why the UK death figures genuinely are world beating.

When Starmer asked the prime minister whether he had actually read the report, it would have been comical to watch if it was not so tragic. ‘Um…er…um… er…. I am aware of it,’ was his feeble reply. In other words, he had not.

The Labour leader ended by basically accusing the prime minister of lying about the success of his government’s response and wondering what he might like to say to the families of those who had died – and of those who would die in the future – as a result of his negligence. It was a serious, solemn question. And one that was treated as a joke as Boris responded by saying Starmer had ‘more briefs than Calvin Klein.’ I’m sure that gave all the bereaved relatives a good chuckle. The prime minister’s ability to misjudge the mood of the nation he leads is verging on sociopathic I am afraid.

I switched off when it came to the run of the mill and sometimes sycophantic questions but I really did feel vaguely ashamed of having voted to put this clown into power. Prime Mister’s Questions is supposed to be a serious event but this was an utter travesty of its true purpose and an insult to us all. People are dying. People are losing their jobs. People are terrified about the future. And yet to Boris it all still feels like a big game where the only thing at stake is his fragile ego.

I wonder who he will blame when he finally consents to holding a full enquiry into the Coronabug fiasco. At times like these, Britain needs a leader who commands respect. What we have instead is a prime minister who urgently needs a bout or two of serious therapy.

He was humiliated again yesterday when that master of ministerial disasters, Chris Grayling who was his choice to lead parliament’s powerful intelligence and security committee, was unexpectedly rejected by fellow MPs.

The former cabinet minister was defeated by another Conservative, Julian Lewis – prompting an embarrassed Downing Street to kick the victor, who was accused of duplicitous behaviour, out of the parliamentary party.

One source said Grayling ‘didn’t see it coming’ as the nine members of the MPs’ committee voted five to four in favour of Lewis, with the four opposition members all voting against Grayling.

But how is this possible? Even Theresa Maybe was forced to fire Grayling for incompetence and his knowledge of security and intelligence must be miniscule as he has had no experience of such things. Lewis on the other hand chaired the committee in the past and chaired it well.

A furious Downing Street responded by stripping the whip from Lewis – a Tory MP since 1997 – ‘because he worked with Labour and other opposition MPs to his own advantage.’ Surely it is time we had adults rather than petulant children governing this country – or is that too much to hope for?

Botwana Elephants, ‘Racist’ Police and an Annoying Biscuit

A week or so ago I mentioned the unexplained deaths of four hundred elephants in Botswana and I have been following the situation as closely as I can from five thousand miles away.

It would seem that the deaths are reasonably attributable to tannin poisoning, which is borne out by the words of Ron Thompson, arguably the doyen of Southern African elephant men and now an adviser to the Botswana government.

In an article earlier this week he attributed the deaths to starvation due to elephant overpopulation. Let me quote.

The first person of authority to declare that there were too many elephants in Botswana was the late Dr Graham Child who, in 1960, was working in what is today called Chobe National Park. He was then employed by the United Nations FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation). He witnessed and recorded the destruction of the Chobe riverine forest which, that year, was already in an advanced stage of damage. He took the trouble to count and to identify all the big trees comprising that forest. Today none of them are still standing. The forest has gone! All the trees were killed by the feeding pressure of too many elephants.

He also recorded another forest at Chobe. Six hundred giant camel-thorn trees growing in a single valley away from the river. He determined that these trees were all some four hundred years old – which suggests that they grew out of a once extensive and later abandoned agricultural cropland (which is where the seeds of this tree species best germinate en masse). Despite their great size in 1960, today none of those ancient camel-thorns are still standing. All were killed by the feeding pressure of too many elephants after 1960. There were also smaller forests of Commiphora (Kanniedood) trees growing on sandy hillsides. They too have now all gone.

Graham also recorded the multiple isolated occurrences of various quite common Acacia tree species; African ebonies and many others that were commonly scattered and/or growing on anthills throughout the Ngamiland game reserve habitats between Chobe and Maun. They, too, have all disappeared!

The once common and ancient Baobab tree – some said to be five thousand years old have mostly already disappeared or they are damaged beyond redemption.’

As a result of this forest decimation – and this is me ‘speaking’ – elephants will always turn to small trees and scrubland for their food. In most of Southern Africa this is primarily mopani scrub and when the youthful mopani is attacked, it gives off tannin in an effort to drive the attackers away.

Botswana claims to have an elephant population of one hundred and thirty thousand yet in 2013 an official government count established that population at two hundred and three thousand. Personally, I do not believe that the elephant population has dropped by seventy thousand in seven years. If so, where are all the carcasses and why has there not been a fuss from the bunny hugging fraternity? At the moment, they are railing at the Botswana government for not coming up with a definitive cause for four hundred deaths damnit! Yet even if there are only one hundred and thirty thousand animals, according to the scientists that is seventeen times more elephant than Botswana can sustain.

So there are too many elephants and not enough trees. An impossible situation for the elephants I’m afraid and they are literally killing themselves by eating extensively of the mopani scrub. It is tragic, but whereas in days gone by, elephants could decimate an area of vegetation, and then move on, allowing the damaged area to recover, now they are confined by the ever expanding human population. I fear that many more ‘unexplained’ elephant deaths will occur over the next few years.

As I say in my talks on elephants, we have to either cull elephants or cull people. I know which I would prefer but it is illegal.

Even without the ivory problem, elephants seem doomed unless harsh decisions are taken by those in authority. They are there on the ground while the ‘celebrities’ and supposedly conservation supporting organisations that regard hunting and control of elephants as obscene are a long way from the problem.

I try not to comment too often on this black lives matter nonsense, but the situation really is getting out of hand. A few days ago a black athlete Bianca Williams was stopped in her car by the Metropolitan Police and immediately claimed to all and sundry that ‘the UK is very racist.’ She has called for the Metropolitan Police commissioner to quit after what was an entirely legitimate stop and search.

Yet when one examines the facts of the incident, a different picture emerges. She was in a car which was observed by police officers driving erratically, repeatedly braking hard before speeding off, and on the wrong side of the road. It accelerated away from a police car, and when it stopped, both occupants refused to cooperate with the officers. The driver refused to get out of the car.

This incident had nothing to do with the colour of Ms Williams’ skin or being an athlete or a woman or a representative of team Great Britain. If this woman feels the law should treat her differently for any of those reasons, perhaps she should resign from the British team.

An official Police statement has described the incident.

‘Officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards have reviewed both footage from social media and the body-worn video of the officers and are satisfied that there is no concern around the officers’ conduct.’

Surely that should be enough?

As ever though, the BBC and other mainstream media have taken the side of the athlete rather than the cops. They have chosen to distort the facts, even editing and omitting some details from the official police statement on their websites and articles.

Police stop-and-search tactics are often criticised as being used disproportionately against people from ethnic minorities but if crimes in a particular area are committed mainly by those same minorities, is this not an inevitable corollary? I am often rude about modern coppers but they don’t stand a chance in the febrile situation with Black Lives Matter.

Believe it or not, the Met and their commissioner Dame Dickhead ignored the official findings and apologised to Bianca Williams. Why for God’s sake?

I had hoped that when the formerly royal Biscuit and his Yank departed these shores, we would have heard the last of them. But no, it seems that Harry is going to spend the rest of his privileged life lecturing us all from his magnificent borrowed mansion ‘over there.’ Whether it be climate change or racial issues, do we really have to put up with him pontificating from his luxurious quarters while the rest of us try to keep cheerful as coronabug devastates our care homes and our economy?

The Biscuit has nothing to do with Britain any more damnit! He has made his choice. He should get on with making a living in California, relieving his Father of the burden of supporting him.

I was never an admirer of Harry but most of the British population seemed to like him and enjoy his antics. But these are the people he deserted and now speaks patronisingly to.

Listen, I don’t mind if he decides that he wants to spend his life in wherever he wants. I don’t care if he needs to rub shoulders with so-called celebrities, but I wish he would face up to the fact that by denying his birth-right he’s lost another right – to expect us to pay any attention at all to his chiding burbles, just because he was once a member of the Royal Family.

Speaking of which, his wife’s lawyers in her High Court action against the Mail on Sunday have claimed her wedding to Prince Harry generated one billion pounds in tourism revenue, arguing that her wealth and privilege has no bearing on her right to privacy.

I believe everyone has a right to privacy, but how on earth can her legal team know how much money her wedding made for us all? That’s an awful lot of mugs and tea towels.

I watched part of his latest diatribe and it made me feel vaguely queasy. This time he was attacking the Commonwealth and prattling about a need to ‘acknowledge the past.’ I couldn’t help wondering how the two were connected.

Meghan gazed at him throughout with the air of a proud mother watching her slightly stupid child recite a poem off by heart, nodding approvingly as he reeled off the approved platitudes before joining in and adding that ‘we have to be a little uncomfortable right now.’ 

Is that right, Dear Lady? And exactly how uncomfortable are you ‘right now,’ in your eight-bedroom Hollywood mansion with all your bills paid by your father-in-law?

And let’s face it, the Biscuit obviously has little knowledge of history. The modern Commonwealth was born as the Empire shrivelled. It was and is, an entirely voluntary organisation created in 1949 with ‘the King as the symbol of the free association of its independent member nations and as such the Head of the Commonwealth. The whole point was that no one HAD to belong.

Yet given the choice, almost all the free and independent nations which had once been part of the British Empire gladly signed up to this new creation. To this day, fifteen of them (not including Britain) freely retain Queenie as their head of state. 

A few of those have even had the odd referendum on replacing her with a president but each time, the voters have vetoed the idea. No compulsion there, either.

Just as no one has ever been compelled to join this club, so those who leave or who get kicked out soon end up trying to get back in  – the Maldives have just been readmitted after a few years in the cold.

It is hard to think of an organisation which has had a better record in confronting oppression in modern times, be it bringing about the end of white rule in Rhodesia or fighting apartheid in South Africa.

One of Nelson Mandela’s first executive acts on being elected president of a new and supposedly democratic South Africa in 1994 was to resume its membership of the Commonwealth and that was before it returned to the United Nations.

The Commonwealth may not be the force it once was. It might embrace diversity (encompassing every major faith on every continent) but it can also be equally diverse when it comes to human rights. 

Many members, for example, still criminalise homosexuality while more than twenty of them still have the death penalty. It doesn’t pretend to be perfect, but gets things done among nations with a shared language and legal code, all of whom have pledged to improve their democratic standards.

Come on Biscuit, what does this organisation really have to be ashamed about? I fear that your Yank did not prepare you properly for your little rant or perhaps she allowed her own anti-British sentiment to creep in. You probably meant to say the British Empire but surely even you, can not confuse the two?

‘Friendly’ Coppering, Green Hypocrisy and Hansard

I can’t help worrying about Dame Cressida Dickhead’s strategy of permitting large Black Lives Matter demonstrations to go ahead in contravention of social distancing rules – and even encouraging officers to signal their support by ‘taking a knee.’ If this was supposed to prevent widespread disorder in general, it certainly has not worked. Instead, large night-time street ‘raves’ have sprung up with a criminal minority exploiting the size of the gatherings to attack officers.

Trouble has also broken out in several cities apart from London, including Liverpool where police were pelted with bottles by a thug element in the crowds celebrating Liverpool winning the football Premier League.

The worry is that the mistakes of the softly softly approach taken towards disturbances in Tottenham in 2011, which quickly led to riots and looting across the country are being repeated.

At the same time, many officers also worry that faith in them is fading away among the traditional, law-abiding majority of the British public. Of course it is. Most thinking people are dismayed by what they view as police appeasement of criminals and about Bobbies adopting supportive positions in respect to particular political causes.

Videos of squads of dancing officers at Gay Pride, Extinction Rebellion and other events, might have started out as harmless fun, but are now seen to signal that something is very wrong. Instead of being conscious of the need to behave as authority figures who naturally command respect, some younger officers have at times seemed to view their vocation as primarily an opportunity for self-expression. This is unfair on those whose lives and livelihoods they are supposed to be protecting. Life on the streets of urban Britain is far from a ruddy cabaret I’m afraid.

Policing by consent – a principle dating right back to Robert Peel’s inauguration of the British force – is one thing. Trying too hard to be everyone’s mate is something else. A fairer and more sensible way forward clearly needs to be found and I am sure most coppers would agree. For all my criticism of modern policing, I realise that the majority of officers are courageously doing their jobs.

The unarmed officers who recently tackled men on the rampage with knives in Reading and Glasgow put their own lives on the line in pursuit of public protection. Glasgow’s PC David Whyte sustained injuries that almost killed him.

We cannot help but give our wholehearted support for such people.

But what happens when such lions are led by politically correct donkeys? The situation becomes farcical and Priti Patel faces a major task in doing something about policing’s most senior ranks. In my coppering years I saw many incidents of police incompetence and that is natural in any job. However, we were apolitical and the idea of actively supporting one side or another in matters of politics or of regarding criminals as ‘clients’ whose preferences deserve to be listened to would not have occurred to us and should not be allowed today.

A police officer’s job is to enforce the law without fear or favour and that must be returned to be the norm. Let’s face it, there will never be one hundred percent satisfaction with the police. If the villains are not complaining about them and no longer resent their presence, the cops are doing something wrong.

On the other hand, successive gutless governments should stop making the lives of coppers more difficult. Cutting twenty thousand policing posts over ten years in which the overall population rose by more than four million was surely the height of folly and a recipe for disaster. Now Bunter Johnson promises to put another twenty thousand back, but where is he going to find them?

Another quick road to disaster was imposing upon the police a duty to intervene in matters of free speech and expression even where the criminal law has not been broken – so-called ‘non-crime hate incidents.’ What a load of politically correct nonsense that is proving and how terribly damaging to the reputation of police officers. If I am burgled or robbed, little action is taken. If I call someone a name they don’t like, I am hauled into the local nick. What a dreadful waste of everybody’s time!

The requirement for new recruits to have graduate-level academic qualifications, which is already temporarily in abeyance, needs to be permanently put out to grass too. Restoring a Dixon of Dock Green straightforwardness to the policing of this complex modern society will be no easy task. But it has to be done as a matter of urgency or anarchy will rule in Britain.

I have to laugh at the Green Party. Since their arrival on the scene, they have been committed to abolishing the ‘undemocratic’ House of Lords’ and that was a policy that certainly had my support. They wanted to replace it with a fully elected second chamber and that too seemed eminently sensible.

But why then are the Greens who already have two peers, now asking their few remaining supporters who should be put forward for the said House of Lords if it needs to appoint an additional member?

What a load of hypocrites! For a bunch of self-proclaimed save the world environmentalists, their principles seem like a load of hot air to me I’m afraid.

But I have to say a word or three in praise for the team of scribblers working for Hansard. Their job is to deliver official verbatim reports of what is said in Parliament and that must be hugely difficult at the best of times.

Last week they were really put to the test by the new Conservative MP for Workington, Mark Jenkinson.

As the son of a binman and an office clerk, who himself was once a British Steel apprentice, Jenkinson told the Commons that the traditional way to identify a fellow Cumbrian was by asking: ‘As thou e’er sin cuddy lowp a five-barred yat?’

(It translates as: ‘Have you ever seen a donkey jump a five-barred gate?’)

Naturally, the Hansard writers reproduced it word for word and without mistake. It seems there is a little bit of efficiency somewhere in that mausoleum known as the Houses of Parliament after all.

Leadership, Archbishops and a Long Dead Dog

What on earth had happened to the concept of good leadership in this modern world? I read a piece yesterday saying that the elevation of Bunter Johnson to the prime ministership marked the first occasion that Britain has had three disastrous prime ministers in succession. Occasionally there have been two misfits in the role, but then someone has appeared on the scene to clear up the mess.

This time, we might well have to suffer this chaos of leadership for another four years and then pray that we get that proper leader.

And it is not only in politics. Take the Church of England for example. Their leader, Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury would seem to be completely out of touch with reality. Two years ago he claimed to be ‘finding inspiration in the lead up to the Royal Wedding by listening to the grime rapper, Stormzy’ – whoever he may be.

As the majority of church goers nowadays are middle aged or elderly, that was hardly likely to appeal to their sensibilities. This was just a naïve attempt by a silly little man to endear himself to the urban young by appearing culturally and socially ‘cool’ – that fatally narcissistic middle-class condition that seems to affect modern political leaders, celebrities and tens of thousands of households across the wealthier suburbs of London.

Welby went to Eton, and then to Oxford and then onto an oil company where he served as an executive before being ‘called to God,’ so his enthusiasm for the lower ranks of a music genre that has been accused of glorifying violence, particularly knife crime, is curious.

But the man has form in this regard. On the day of his appointment in 2013, he painfully attempted to diminish the privileges he had enjoyed by calling himself stupid. He was trying to demolish the documented link between a privileged upbringing and prominence in public life – that well-trodden path of opportunity with minimum effort available to so many of Britain’s middle and upper classes. But at the time there was already an abundance of unimaginative and very stupid Conservative politicians, so Welby’s denial that his appointment was consistent with Britain’s habit of rewarding connections was generally laughed at. He should never have got the job in any case.

Instead it should have gone to John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. Sentamu was born on the outskirts of Kampala and uniquely positioned to fill the role, given that his own calling was prompted by spending time in the hell of one of Idi Amin’s jails. Unlike Welby, Sentamu was not and is not stupid or privileged. Having trained as a lawyer, he arrived in Britain an immigrant, which even in 2013 should have counted for something – at the very least, to identify with the myriad complexities of building a multi-cultural society.

Sentamu actually cared about black people everywhere. In 2007, when the likes of Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma and Julius Malema were refusing to condemn the leader of my own country Robert Mugabe, he famously cut up his dog collar on television in disgust at the behaviour of Zimbabwe’s President. Where was support from his superior? Welby said not a word.

The Coronabug pandemic caused more problems for the Church of England I’m afraid. Under government advice, many churches closed their doors and services were reduced to virtual affairs, embittering some parishioners for whom the Church is the central, binding feature of their lives. Whilst this was an acceptable response given the information available, many among the elderly, suddenly alone, vulnerable and confused, were startled to see some senior bishops emerge to involve themselves in highly-charged political issues, none of which had anything to do with faith.

When the dust was beginning to settle over these regrettable incidents, Welby again went on the stupidly offensive. He entered the debate on the removal of statues by suggesting that the identity of Jesus as a white person needs examination. Some statues, he admitted, would have to come down, before going on to declare that ‘forgiveness for the past is possible…but only if there is justice.’

What? I am Catholic so I am not sure what the Church of England teaches, but I was brought up to believe that the basis – indeed the bedrock – of Christianity is unconditional forgiveness.

Even during colonial times, the Church of England largely showed a love and respect for humanity that transcended belief and to an admirable extent, made up for the country’s problematic history. It was the first institution to acknowledge that there were serious problems with how small countries were being occupied and occasionally pillaged in the name of governance. To make peace with the brutality of so much of the world being conquered in its name, the Church shifted its focus to the role of the family, encouraging stability and reflection. Without shirking responsibility, it re calibrated and successfully distanced itself from the establishment.

In contrast to a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie who was awarded the Military Cross for two astonishing feats of bravery during the Second World War, Justin Welby lacks the courage to resist fashionable opportunism and now appears about as useful as some of these hopeless Democrat Mayors in America, stumbling their way through excuses and platitudes as their cities burn.

What distinguishes Welby, however, from rank and file establishment profiles selling out for popularity sake is that his burden is not some ideological stage he can jump back on, as and when it suits him. Misinterpreting the fundamental principle of Christianity is not simply an insult to the religious, but it is a threat to order that emphasises fairness. And any country without this order is a country that is in serious trouble.

As the country opens up for business and entertainment – to a certain extent – today, the madness of the Black Lives Matter campaign continues to seem ever more deranged.

Now we learn that the gravestone of a dog named Nigger has been removed in Warwickshire. The dog died in July 1902 and his memorial in Coombe Abbey Park – a popular cultural attraction – displayed his controversial name along with the date of his death.

Following complaints made last year, Coventry City Council refused to remove the gravestone due to property reasons, but it has finally been taken away following the worldwide protests sparked by Floyd ‘s death in the United States.

A council spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm the historical gravestone in memory of a loved pet was removed. Our stance on racism is clear and although the gravestone was from another time it is not appropriate today.’

Why don’t these mealie-mouthed officials just tear up all the history books and start again from the year 2020. Offence can be taken to almost anything, if taking offence is wanted and the situation is becoming ever more farcical. With a name like Lemon, I have been subjected to bullying and insults for a goodly part of my life but it has left no lasting effect.

We must either blank out history altogether or leave its monuments alone, whether they it be graves or statues before this country has no recognisable history left and becomes yet another banana republic like the countries of Africa and other places that have rewritten their history books..

PMQs and Floppy Trunk

Over recent weeks Prime Minster’s Questions in Parliament has become ever more like an edition of the Goon Show. Bunter J was fine when he was facing the dim-witted allotment chief, Jeremy Corbyn, but in Keir Starmer, he finds himself up against a man who can think and knows not only how to prepare his questions, but how to back them up with well researched statistics.

This inevitably exposes Bunter’s fallibilities. Not because he is too lazy to properly prepare and is not nearly as clever as he imagines himself to be – though both of those things are probably true – but because the very idea causes his psyche to go into meltdown. Bunter J seems to be the supreme narcissist. He believes in his inalienable right to do whatever he pleases. It seems that even the merest hint of a challenge is an insult to his ego.

Someone more self-aware would surely realise that the coronabug crisis has been handled badly from the start. Huge mistakes have been made and others may well be in the future. A pandemic like this can make fools of anyone and a degree of humility might be in order if Johnson is to keep the country onside in the weeks and months of uncertainty still ahead. People can forgive a lot if they feel they aren’t being taken for fools. However, for our revered leader any admission of failure or liability would seem to be a psychological impossibility.

The problem Bunter has is that while he can dump wives, mistresses, ministers and friends, he just can’t get rid of Keir Starmer. For the first time in his life, he has come up against a man who can think clearly and prepares his brief with lawyerly care beforehand. Rather than accept the inevitable, Bunter has merely allowed himself to regress into bluster.

I feel that at first he saw the new Labour leader as a mild inconvenience – an unwelcome intrusion into his alternative reality – but, after discovering that he couldn’t make him go away with mockery, a few cheap gags and by trying to turn the session into an interrogation of Starmer rather than himself, his feelings have turned to active dislike. Starmer might not have much in the way of personality or pezazz but he has certainly got under the prime minister’s skin. Somewhere in Bunter J’s subconscious he knows that the Labour leader is both better briefed and a great deal sharper than he is. That he cannot abide, so all he can do is lash out, flailing wildly like a demented Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

Part of Keir Starmer’s skill is to keep things simple. His questions have a logic that even a ten year old can follow. It seems a shame that the prime minister of a sovereign nation would appear to be stuck in the toddler age of development. All he has to offer is histrionics and gestures of feigned ‘What me Guv?’ innocence, combined with what I fear are blatant untruths.

Either he is lying through his teeth or Starmer is manufacturing the facts and figures that he brandishes with such aplomb every Wednesday. I know which alternative I find more plausible.

The few dozen Tory backbenchers in the chamber yesterday kept their heads down, seemingly as embarrassed as Bunter should have been. I think it is slowly dawning on most Conservatives that their anointed leader just isn’t up to the job as they witness him unravel at PMQs week after week. Nor do many have much faith in his ability to make the right calls at the right time with the coronabug problem. And having used up what little goodwill he might have had – Bunter has never bothered to conceal his contempt for most of his colleagues – his support must surely be dwindling.

Too many more PMQs like this and something will start to give. And as Boris is incapable of change, then it surely cannot be long before his suitability for the job comes under scrutiny from his own party. It was probably always inevitable that the person who would ultimately destroy Bunter was Bunter himself but Starmer is doing a great job of exposing his faults.

How long will it take I wonder for Tory MPs ask themselves why they have never noticed that this particular emperor has no clothes.

With the Black Lives Matter nonsense and the Coronabug, it seems to have largely slipped under the British media radar but more than four hundred elephant have been found dead in one area of Botswana.

That particular area has long been a centre for conflict between wild life and local tribesmen, but there does not appear to be any reason for the deaths, as they have not been killed as such. Many of the dead elephants seem to have died in mid stride and they have not been poisoned as happens in Zimbabwe, because scavengers feeding on the carcasses have not been harmed.

The Botswana government seem to have tried to cover up the deaths, but personally as an elephant man, I am not sure why. Elephants do suffer from outbursts of disease in the same way as human beings. Way back in the nineteen nineties, we had an epidemic of what was called ‘floppy trunk disease’ in Northern Zimbabwe where the bulls would lose the use of their trunks and die slowly as a result. Many tests were made but the reason or reasons for the disease were never discovered.

After a period of some years, floppy trunk disease faded away and I have never heard of it cropping up anywhere else. I wonder if this Botswana outbreak could be something similar and more violent?

On the other hand, ‘floppy trunk’ only affected bulls whereas the Botswana victims have been male, female and juveniles.

I can only pray that the Botswana government stop trying to cover it all up and get samples to relevant laboratories before their elephant population – currently the highest in the world – is completely decimated.

I have never much cared how many people die from the Coronabug – even if I happen to be one of them – but a world without elephants will – and I use that word rather than ‘would’ – be a sad place indeed.

Anarchy, Madness and Anarchy

It has surely been a week of madness and I fear that anarchy in the cities is just around the corner. After all, if the forces of law and order behave like kittens rather than lions, then the natural troublemakers will feel they have the upper hand and take advantage of it. That is just human nature.

At the core of the current pressure-cooker atmosphere is what I believe to be a complete failure of nerve by almost everybody in a position of authority – from politicians, the police, religious leaders and the mainstream media. The vacuum in moral leadership has been replaced by political virtue-signalling.

For example, the Archbishop of Canterbury seems obsessed by ‘white supremacy’ and has suggested that some statues in his cathedral ‘will have to come down.’ He also wants to portray Jesus as black. Why? How many black people would have been living in Galilee two millennia ago?

Rather than trying to expiate his own sense of privileged guilt, the worthy prelate ought to be trying to find more practical ways of repairing this fractured society. Everywhere I look, there seems to be an attempt to present modern Britain as something that it is not.

The radical Leftists who run Black Lives Matter (the group’s founders are self-declared Marxists) claim that Britain is a uniquely racist and unfair society, with historic sins unlike any other. They then build on this nonsense to try to impose a whole new set of values on this country. Instead of standing up to these lunatics, major corporations and once-great institutions have paid lip service and more to these demands.

We are told, too, that we must all be re-educated and reprogrammed to atone for our sinful and racist past, but there is never any positive or practical proposal for addressing the past – only a vicious insistence that everyone has to agree with these fanatics. They seem determined to shut down anyone who questions their extreme demands.

Against this background, a Cambridge academic called Priyamvada Gopal sent a message on Twitter saying, ‘white lives don’t matter.’

‘Now we have the opportunity to carry out a resolute offensive against the white, break their resistance, eliminate them as a class and replace their livelihoods with the livelihoods of people of colour and LGBTQ,’ this paragon of liberalism wrote.

So how did her university bosses react? They immediately sent out a message supporting her and presenting her as a victim because of the negative reaction that she had received. Next, by Gopal’s own account, the university promoted her to a full professorship.

Most of us cannot help but wonder what is happening to this country and we watch in despair as Society falls apart, but what we are witnessing is the result of decades of figures in authority pandering to political activists instead of doing their job.

And it doesn’t seem to matter how destructive the process becomes, they never learn. The more politically correct the police become, the more they lose control. The more they dance with protesters, take the knee or run away from them, the more that those who want to destroy the normal way of life, believe they are free to do so.

I find it somewhat ironic that police chiefs are now complaining that they might not be able to cope next Saturday when the British public is allowed to go back into the pubs. It is a case of you reap what you sow, Fellows. The fact is that Britain needs to return to normality as swiftly as possible. And that includes allowing us to regain some semblance of ordinary life again.

Let’s face it the entire situation is a complete mess. We have a lockdown in which people are not allowed to honour their dead or even have the joy of a proper wedding, yet half a million people can descend on to the Dorset beaches and BLM ‘demonstrators’ are allowed to throng the streets of cities.

It’s not just the Brixton mob who have gone feral – the whole country seems to have been driven to insanity by a virus other than Covid-19 that has infected the national nervous system.

Now is the time for strong leadership from all society’s institutions. We wait with bated breath for Bunter Johnson to address the nation – as perhaps only he can – in a spirit of optimism and positivity.

The malcontents, rioters and anarchist activists must be told that Britain will not be changed by violence or intimidation. That we live in an unusually fair country, not a bastion of racism these ill informed hotheads have been telling us about in recent weeks.

With the country reeling financially why waste nearly a million pounds on transforming an RAF Airbus into a cheap copy of Air Force One. Prime Ministers – unlike US Presidents – are not heads of state and should not pretend to be. Britain’s head of state is the Queen.

The flashy painting of a union flag all over the tail makes Bunter’s current vanity project look as if it belongs to a slightly dodgy holiday airline. It also draws attention to the fact that Britain no longer makes passenger jets of its own.

Margaret Thatcher used to use an unadorned VC-10 of RAF Transport Command, in which everyone had to fly facing backwards because that is what the RAF do as it is much safer. That ancient, graceful, wholly British plane was impressive precisely because of the absence of silly grandeur and self-promotion. Get your feet back on the floor please Mr Johnson. You are supposed to be a leader, although my doubts about that are rapidly increasing.

As for the politicians – after property tycoon and former pornographer, Richard Desmond paid £12,000 to sit next to the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, the pair cosied up through a series of texts. Desmond’s £1 billion development plan was then fast-tracked, which saved him £45 million – that is forty five million pounds damnit! That money could have been used for all sorts of noble purposes and might have alleviated the harshness of life for many people.

Oh I know Bunter J went down with the Coronabug and that is said to take away the sense of smell but let me assure our revered leader that this sort of nonsense stinks to high heaven.

On the other side of the House, I take my hat off to Keir Starmer for sacking Corbynista Rebecca Long Bailey after she refused to apologise for ‘liking’ an article by actress Maxine Peake that contained malicious anti-Semitic material. He had to argue his case with the likes of Corbyn and the ridiculous and thankfully gone Diane Abbot, but he stood his ground against their demands for Long Bailey to be reinstated.

Quite apart from the anti-Semitism involved, Long Baily could not have been very good at her job of Shadow Education Secretary. I mean, if she couldn’t flatten a cabinet minister as useless as the hapless Gavin Williamson, what could she do?

To add to all the chaos this week, the Premier League was at it again – multi-millionaires kneeling like medieval supplicants and sporting their ridiculous BLM badges on their shirts.

How many of those players, currently protesting against centuries-old slavery, will refuse to take part in the World Cup in Qatar, which will be staged in stadia built by the modern equivalent of slave labour? I wouldn’t bet on a single one having the moral gumption to boycott that.

And why oh why is this allegedly Conservative Government with its eighty seat majority so terrified to stand up to the Black Lives Matter mob.

A week or so ago, Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab made a harmless joke about only bending the knee before his wife and Her Majesty. Five minutes later, after the predictably tedious Twitter storm of condemnation, he was reduced to putting out a pathetic official apology for any ‘offence’ he may have caused.

Get off your knees, man. What are you scared of?

I must finish my rant with the sublimely fatuous debate raging in Australia over whether chess is a racist game – because convention dictates that white moves first.

Of course there is racism in the world and probably always will be, but this really is taking the matter to extremes. Though it is true that the player who moves first has a slight advantage in chess (statistics collected since 1851 suggest white tends to win between fifty two and fifty six per cent of games between Grand Masters), how can anyone seriously suggest that this makes the game racist?

I have a horrible feeling that there is worse to come.

Is This Really What We Want?

Reading through a National Daily this morning, I saw yet another article on the proposed toppling of the Rhodes statue outside Oriel College in Oxford. Half way through the article I was asked to vote as to whether I thought the statue should come down or not.

Naturally I suppose, I voted against taking it down and expected to be part of a small minority. However, when I had cast my vote, the newspaper informed me that ninety seven percent of readers were of the same mind and only three percent thought the statue should come down.

Why does that tell you? To me it shows that this country is being led toward disaster and anarchy by a tiny mob who are bent on mischief. Today’s young activists never miss an opportunity to congratulate themselves on their unprecedented moral self-righteousness.

Yet I can’t see anything admirable or clever about posturing in the street during a pandemic. Nor is there anything idealistic about haranguing journalists (I watched a video of protesters haranguing the columnist Peter Hitchens in Oxford last week) or anyone else who might happen to disagree with their cause.

What on earth is happening to the young people of today? I was brought up a child of the wartime generation who were genuinely brave and determined to do good. They were stoical and resilient, modest and self-effacing. Yes, they tried to keep their feelings to themselves but they never believed those feelings were important and refused to luxuriate in victimhood and self-pity like the snowflakes of today. How many times have you heard a World War II veteran insist he was not especially heroic and was just ‘doing his bit?’

Those wartime veterans survived hellish deprivation and in direct contrast with other news from Oxford last week, they remained steadfast and got on with their lives. Yet it seems that dozens of students are suffering ‘traumatic effects’ after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

I wasn’t there nor have I seen the video of Floyd’s death, but the American courts will have to decide whether it was legal or not. I find it frankly unbelievable that Oxford dons are now being encouraged to make allowances for these supposedly ‘mitigating circumstances’ which took place on another continent if their students perform badly in exams. The poor little turnips! However will they cope with the real world?

Yes there is racism everywhere as can be seen by the story of Ntokozo Qwabe, the South African-born Rhodes Scholar who founded the inane Rhodes Must Fall movement five years ago. 

On his Facebook page, this arrogant twonk actually bragged that when he was served by a white waitress, he took pleasure in telling her he would only give her a tip ‘when you return the land.’ The waitress, he wrote, started shaking and burst ‘into typical white tears.’

In other words, a hugely privileged, black Rhodes Scholar took great delight in taunting and humiliating a poorly paid young white woman so he could flaunt his supposedly progressive principles. How’s that for racism at its very worst?

No one dares correct the RMF campaigners when they describe Rhodes as an ‘architect of apartheid’ – despite the fact that he died in 1902, while apartheid was imposed on South Africa in 1948. In fact, far from facilitating apartheid, Rhodes opposed the attempt to take away the vote from black men in Cape Colony.

‘My motto is equal rights for every civilised man south of the Zambezi,’ he wrote at the time. ‘What is a civilised man? A man, whether white or black, who has sufficient education to write his name, has some property, or works.’

The modern leftie demonstrators don’t want to hear this.

Nor do they want to be told that Rhodes was an early sponsor of Izwi Labantu, the newspaper of what became the African National Congress, the party of the late Nelson Mandela. Nor do they care that, when Rhodes endowed the scholarships that have brought thousands of Commonwealth and American students to Oxford, he specified that: ‘No student shall be qualified or disqualified for election to a scholarship on account of his race.’

Nor that, within five years, one of those coveted places had been won by a black American. Nor that, as Chris Patten, the Chancellor of Oxford University, reminds us, Africa currently supplies a fifth of all Rhodes Scholars.

They don’t want to hear these things because they are not interested in Rhodes as a human being. They want him to be a target: a symbol of racist oppression that allows them to flaunt their supposed indignation.

Of course Rhodes was no saint. Many of his mines stood on land that he had arguably tricked out of the Matabele king Lobengula who had not understood the implications of the contracts they signed. 

That misunderstanding led to a brutal war but let’s bear in mind that wars over land were pretty much the norm in Africa at that time. The Matabele themselves had only recently acquired those lands by waging a far more gruesome campaign against the Shona.

That is not to excuse anything, simply to point out the difficulty of applying retrospective morality. ‘The study of the past with one eye upon the present is the source of all sins and sophistries in history,’ wrote the historian Herbert Butterfield. ‘It is the essence of what we mean by the word ‘unhistorical.’

Winston Churchill was in southern Africa at roughly the same time as Rhodes. So was Gandhi. The first opposed Indian independence, while the second viewed black Africans as dirty and savage.

Should we tear down their statues, too? Of course not.

Rhodes stands in stone because, having made a lot of money early in life, he did not spend it on himself, but gave it away to what he saw as deserving causes – including Oxford University, which he had first attended in 1873. None of this becomes any less true because of a killing in Minnesota that everyone agrees was stupidly indefensible. 

One thing is clear to me though is that an institution that treats a benefactor like this – not in the light of new revelations but simply because of the self-righteousness of a juvenile and noisy pressure group – will struggle to persuade anyone else to donate to it – ever!

I have spent the past few days reading up on Cecil John Rhodes and contrary to what seems to be popular belief, he was one hell of a man- and one of only three people to have a country named after him. The other two were Christopher Columbus and Simon Bolivar.

While I wonder with some trepidation whether the Oriel College statue of Rhodes will come down, I am reminded of similar happenings in Rhodesia when my country became independent and known as Zimbabwe. Rhodes’ statues were pulled down in Harare and Bulawayo which proved to be a symbolic event that set the country on a sad course to self-destruction under tyrannical rule.

Is this what the British people want?