Thursday, 3 December 2009

Night thoughts

It occurred to me as I gazed out of the train window going past Battersea Power Station at midnight the other week (I work nights) that the seed of Labour’s disastrous years in power was this: when you and your members/supporters are out of office for a generation you start to think you’re right simply because the government of the day is wrong - and so does everybody else. That’s exactly why I warn people from voting Cameron. The prime lesson to be learned from Blair’s tenure was just because it’s all gone wrong don’t think the incoming cabinet are going to be anything other than shit with bad ideas.
The English middle classes and the English working class Tories developed a kind of in-advance version of Stockholm Syndrome about the Labour Party back in the dog days of Major. The media onslaught against the Tories and the recession – remember how thick it was laid on compared to Labour’s recession? – pushed these sections into loving something they normally hated with a passion and they voted and voted for ‘Home Counties’ Tony, and by doing so they entrenched a gang of former and not-so-former Communists in power.
Well, as an old gangerman I knew when I worked in the building game used to say when someone had injured themselves through their own stupidity: ‘that’ll fucking learn yer.’

When are all the young urban liberals – and the comedians, pop singers and DJs who manufacture their attitudes and ideas – going to start shouting about President Barack ‘W’ Obama, as I am pleased to call him?
He announced his upping of the ante in the AfghaniNAM war this week in an assertive speech at West Point that would have made every young urban liberal I know absolutely venomous with righteous indignation – if, er, he didn’t happen to be black and a ‘liberal’.
But I see nothing much about it. If it had been Dubya himself, then it would have been a very different matter. It is this squalid hypocrisy among the young that I find so disgusting – they want to lead us in the fight for a rainbow world of equality, low carbon consumerism, middle-class bummer rock and quality coffee shops, and yet, when confronted with a Jack-and-Jill test of their moral reasoning, they fail at the first. Dear me. All that whining, all the marches and gigs, all those Marcus Brigstocke gags and then tumbleweeds when a Black Democrat does the warmonger boogie.
Do you remember when comedians, pop singers, the BBC and actors used to criticise British governments? It happened for a while during what I call the Luvvies’ Interregnum – the freezing winter of 2002-3 – when, after five happy years of Thatcho-Socialism (that’s where you can be a pig for money, power and privilege safe in the knowledge that your tax money is financing Cultural Marxism) Blair made his fateful, stupid decision to go to war and the Left split down the middle. (You may also remember that apart from the Iraq scrimmage, Labour’s pop culture vanguards never had anything to say about Blair’s other wars)
But apart from that, this appalling government – far worse than Margaret Thatcher’s government and I’ll award ten English pounds to the first person who can write below a convincing explanation of why that statement is wrong – has never had any serious opposition from popular culture and as regular readers of this blog know that makes me mad.
It’s all very well to say that centre-left governments are always the darlings of the arts, media and academe, but when things have become so pisspoor and people who could speak out don’t, then you have to question the intellects and morals of these people. And I do. And I find them wanting and so, therefore, I find the mainstream culture wanting.

One of my strongest dislikes these days are so called stand-up comedians. Among my extensive network of friends and acquaintances I find so many people’s beliefs about how the world works are shaped by men like Eddie Izzard. This amounts to a pathological sarcasm about western civilisation, or rather the defence mechanisms of civilisation – the nation state, empirical thinking, cultural conservatism. See Izzard’s routine about flags, on youtube. I long for the day that people such as Izzard and Stephen Fry get some of their own medicine from a younger generation.
Of course, scratch one of these ‘comic geniuses’ and what do you find? Neil Kinnock. By which I mean dreary, socialist EU fanatics. Izzard is a Labour party groupie and last time I heard an aspirant MEP.
The only contemporary stand up comedian who I find consistently funny is Harry Hill.

A few of useful things that have come out of the Iraq and Afghanistan fiascos: It has clearly demonstrated to the British public that, as ever, a Labour government cannot behave in a responsible manner towards the armed services. We forget that at our peril.
Injudicious comments from ministers have revealed that a major reason Whitehall will not countenance pulling out is because they fear the legal and immigration ramifications a retreat would cause – extraordinary but check Hansard.
Finally, a lot of intellectual bigheads have had to shut their mouths about what a jolly good thing these wars are. You don’t hear so much of C Hitchens and his merry men these days now the whole thing’s gone tits up. I am not an intellectual bighead but I was pro Iraq and I am big enough to admit I changed my mind. As I was writing this I thought about some of the arguments I used to have with a blog called Drink-Soaked Trotskyist Popinjays for War, a group of Australian Hitch-ite left-wing ‘hawks’. They didn’t half like to give it the big one, as they say. I decided to look them up on the net and it looks like they’ve disappeared. I wonder why.
Finally, I like to say to people in regard to the mass media/culture’s attitude to the war in Afghanistan: Imagine what people would say if it was a TORY war…
Good night all.


Mark Brentano said...

"All that whining, all the marches and gigs, all those Marcus Brigstocke gags and then tumbleweeds when a Black Democrat does the warmonger boogie." Superb. The younger generation is all for political activism provided a. It's anti 'the right', racism, bad men, white men etc. etc and b. They can record and share the fun on their iPhones. We are being severely let down by the under-30s in this country. Word verification: tograyap. I'm sure that was the name of my Armenian cab driver the other night. said...

Agree with much of what you say, Gazy, other than when did Brigstocke tell anything approaching a "gag"? Surely gagging is the audience's response (by which I don't mean the poor lobotomised Islington lefties who regularly comprise BBC studio audiences, most of whom are administered ECT at the "appropriate" moments to elicit a suitable braying farmyard noise the producers mistake for laughter). Bob Hope told gags. Groucho Marx told gags. Tommy Cooper told gags. Please do not sully their great names by including Brigstocke in that pantheon.

Ayrdale said...

Yes, many of "the young" together with their celebrity heroes show spineless conformity when it comes to political activism. It's perfectly fine to laud Ellen de Generes for her courage in coming out as a lesbian, and the Dixie Chicks for their courage in lambasting George Bush because their courage matches the groupthink. Speak to them on a personal basis though and many of them see right through the hypocrisy.

Ayrdale said...

Imagine if some, or one of our literary/arty/pop darlings came out in support of someone like this...