Sunday, 27 December 2015

Peanuts


The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Genesis: Chapters 49 and 50 - Long Lingering Deaths, Predictions and Set Ups


Jacob/Israel's long drawn out death continued now as he drew together his extensive family and, from his death bed, told them what would befall them. Its a remarkable family this. First of all Jacob/Israel was only in his position of great man and favourite of God because he had cheated his own brother of his birthright, something which God himself had overlooked. He had also of course wrestled God who had only won by cheating. And yet this is a book we look to for morality!

Anyway, this cheat and liar now presumed to judge his sons and tell them what was going to happen to them and to their families, because of course the sins of fathers should always be passed on through the generations.

One, his eldest, Reuben, was judged for having slept in his father's bed which he had defiled. We won't go there. I'll leave it your imagination. Anyway, Reuben was not in the favour of his father - he was said to be unstable as water and thus would not be the inheritor of his father as the eldest son should be.

Jacob/Israel then told all of his other sons, the tribes of Israel, their fates too, having already dealt with his favourite: Joseph.

Reuben and Levi were similarly harshly dealt with, although on this occasion it was because of their barbarism you may recall earlier in revenge for the rape of their sister.

These two sons, chastised by their now sanctimonious elderly father, would not be fathers of the tribes of Israel, their places taken by Joseph's sons, this giving Joseph effectively two tribes, but Reuben and Levi's families would be scattered throughout Jacob/Israel's lands without a tribe to call their own.

Judah on the other hand was the founder of a great and royal tribe to whom the others should bow down according to Jacob/Israel. From this tribe would one day come the Messiah it was said. A lot of store is made of this if you are of a credulous persuasion. Remember, none of these people ever existed. This tribe of Judah was predicted to reign 'until Shiloh.'

Next there was Zebulun, Issachar and Dan. Zebulun was going to have something to do with ships, or would at least live by the sea; Issachar was going to be a great farmer of sorts and Dan was going to be a great fighter. How convenient that all of these sons had such a diverse range of talents.

All of this predicting exhausted Jacob/Israel and he was almost ready to expire. But he still managed to deal with the futures and diverse talents of Gad, Asher and Naphtali.

Then he got to Joseph. Joseph was his favourite and had proven himself to be worthy and of course was dedicated to God, which is always the greatest recommendation.

Finally there was Benjamin, his other favourite from his favourite wife. His tribe would be a warrior tribe and would win great power and rewards.

These then were the twelve tribes of Israel. He blessed them all and told them that he should now be presented to his people and buried in the cave alongside his wife and in the land of Canaan.

Chapter 50

Jacob had finally died. Joseph wept for his father and then ordered that he be embalmed (turned into a mummy) and taken from Egypt and back to the land of his fathers to the cave he had purchased for posterity where his father had been buried and his wife.

There was then a lot of mourning. Forty days. Even the Egyptians mourned for this great man which seems spectacularly unlikely but then that is the agenda of the story. This is about them trying to be on a par with the Egyptians. Being embalmed makes you into a kind of mini god. Such is the fate that supposedly befell the man called Israel. As a point it ain't subtle.

At the end of this period of mourning Joseph went to the Pharaoh to ask for his permission to leave Egypt while he buried his father, who of course wanted to be returned to the land of his fathers. There's gratitude for you. Still, he can't have been smelling too good by then, embalming or no embalming, not after all of that long period of mourning, and so the Pharaoh granted his permission.

Now they are really shovelling it on. The Pharaoh's servants went with Joseph and the elders of the land all accompanied in a great procession of chariots and riches that Cecil B DeMille himself would have struggled to film. Joseph and the mummified remains of his father went for this burial just to show how important he was. Its almost as if they are trying to prove a point with this story: look how important we are. Even the Egyptians respect the man called Israel.

Indeed such was the procession that other nations en route remarked upon it. Needless to say none of them bothered to write any of this down.

Anyway, the procession reached its destination at the cave in Machpelah.

When all of this was over Joseph's brothers feared that he would not respect them any more or would hate them. But Joseph assured them that he would not and that as the head of the family he would now respect them and nurture them.

We then skip ahead. Joseph lives to the age of 110 and then he too decided it was time for him to die. He had lived long enough to see his own sons have sons and for them to have sons. There were probably even daughters too.

Joseph fortunately did not have such a long and drawn out death as his father. He simply told his sons that he was dying, that God would now come and see them and talk to them and protect them and that he would guide them from Egypt and back to the land of their fathers. It should be noted that Jacob/Israel had prophesied that Joseph himself would die and be buried in the land of his fathers. He didn't. He died in Egypt where he too was mummified and buried. Not that any trace of him has of course ever been found.

And that's it for Genesis. We have reached the end of the beginning.










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Friday, 25 December 2015

Peanuts


Merry Christmas


As we all sit down this Christmas Day and over indulge and complain about how crap the television is (seriously, what highly paid arses thought that this was acceptable, particularly at the BBC?) we should take solace in the fact that our would be leaders are sitting muttering to themselves about us all.

Chauncey Steptoe, the leader of the Labour Party, disapproves of Christmas in much the same way he disapproves of the national anthem and Remembrance Sunday. If he is ever in charge they will be banned.

Labour likes banning things. It makes them feel more wholesome. They are the new puritans, a band of people high on sanctimony and ready to ban us from doing bad things ourselves to make us better people.

So as you tuck into your dinner today know that you are angering the official opposition who disapprove of meat eating, excessive alcohol consumption and all excess. As you open your presents know that they eschew and would like to prevent us from indulging in this crass commercialism and that we are all the pawns of greedy big business.

Chauncey Steptoe has refused to issue a Christmas message this year, although he denies that he is an atheist. This blogger is an atheist. But I love Christmas. I love it because people at least in this part of the world take this time to be with family and friends, to have a holiday, have a rest and indulge in some therapeutic and entirely harmless excess.

And David Cameron is entirely right to say that Christmas, whatever your objections, has its roots in Christianity and in our Christian roots. Of course it does. Indeed we live in a country and a society that is rooted in Christianity, even if it has now faded. Now we have a new species of puritans who wish to rule us and to stop us doing things for the alleged greater good. They will of course define the greater good and anyone disagreeing will be taken away for reeducation.

So raise a finger to them today and then raise a glass. Eat as much as you like. Drink as much as you like within reason and without endangering yourself or troubling the NHS. In short have a great day.

From this blog have a very very Happy Christmas.

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Musical Advent Calendar

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Peanuts


RIP: Jimmy Hill



Could Jimmy Hill, who died at the weekend be irritating? He could. And then some. And like many people he probably carried on in television and football for longer than he should have done.

But that should not detract from his legacy. He was a far sighted, often brilliant manager, chairman, presenter and later pundit. He saw the need for all seater stadia long before they became the norm. He was instrumental in such a range of things we now take for granted: 3 points for a win, the football programme, shirt sponsors and of course the sky high wages we see nowadays that attracts the world's nearly best footballers is thanks to Jim. He practically invented football on television.

But most of all he was that old fashioned notion, a gentleman. Football is in his debt. Its Sports Personality of the Year tonight. An excellent opportunity to remember and celebrate one of the biggest personalities of all.

The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Genesis: Chapter 48 - Jacob or Possibly Israel Starts A Long Death Scene


We now begin what is essentially a tidying up exercise at the end of Genesis as Jacob or possibly Israel - they can't really make up their minds and sometimes call him both in the same sentence - begins a long death scene and tells his sons what's what.

Joseph was sent word that his father was dying and so he went to see him with his own two sons for a kind of ceremonial handing over. In many ways this is like handing over God to the next generation. God was very much devoted to just one family, at least according to this story.

By this time Jacob/Israel was supposedly 147 years old and could barely see. But he had nevertheless moved to Egypt to be near to his favourite son and of course to eat his providentially stored food and reflect in his glory.

Anyway, Joseph went to see his Dad. Jacob/Israel told him the story of God appearing to him and telling him that he would make him fruitful and the father of a great tribe. He probably left out the parts about him having also stolen his birthright from his brother and having had more wives than he could shake a stick at. He clearly shook something else at them because they had baby after baby. God moving in mysterious ways to make of him a great tribe.

Now Jacob/Israel brought Joseph's two sons close to him and placed his hands on them to bless them. They and Joseph were told that they were the inheritors of God's blessing. Joseph was also the inheritor of Jacob's favourite status with a deity. That's better than a gold watch isn't it. Being God's favourite however does not necessarily prevent bad things happening. God doesn't work like that. He's an odd kind of God as we have been discovering in this whole silly story with still the best to come.

And typically even now there was some confusion. Jacob/Israel had put the wrong hand on the wrong sons because the right hand had to go on the eldest son. Don't ask why. It displeased Joseph that his ageing and 147 year old father had got this wrong. So he removed the hands and put them the right way around.

But Jacob/Israel was having none of this. Joseph protested that the right hand should go on the elder son. But Jacob/Israel said no. The younger son was going to be greater than the elder he prophesied.

All of this will be important - for a given value of importance admittedly - when later we talk about the 12 tribes of Israel. The sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh plus all the other sons of Jacob/Israel will create from them the twelve tribes of Israel. Ephraim however is the younger son intended for great things. We can't wait.

Jacob/Israel told Joseph that he was going to die now. But God would be with him, he said, and take him back to the land of his fathers.





Musical Advent Calendar

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Peanuts


The Eton Wars

Paul Owen is Going Away


You have to hand it to 2015. Though it has had many great moments and a not inconsiderable number of genuinely unpleasant, alarming or plain terrifying ones too, not all of which were to do with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of his party, it left a couple of real pearlers to near the end.

I ask you, what self respecting year would not have wanted to include Chelsea sacking Jose Mourinho after losing 9 games before the middle of December? And that after they just gave him a longer contract. This is a year with a sense of style.

But this happened on the same day that Chauncey was in Brussels at the same time as David Cameron. Chauncey, when interviewed by the BBC, wondered out loud if the Conservative Party's divisions were not to blame for the prime minister's troubles on Europe. This coming from the man who just over two weeks earlier had to sit grim faced while his own Shadow Foreign Secretary gave a speech outlining his own separate policy that was at odds with his leader. This the same leader who had tried to impose a whip on his party but whose Shadow Cabinet had told him to get stuffed and who had tried to sneak a different policy on them without bothering to discuss it first only for his highly professional media team to brief it to the media. It was then revealed on Twitter to the fury of said Shadow Cabinet who forced him to give them a free vote. Chauncey's supporters then erupted with fury and demonstrated against MPs who availed themselves of this free vote.

There is hypocrisy and then there is Chauncey hypocrisy it seems. And that's before we even mention his own voting record when he was a backbencher.

Yes, though it is true that many of we Tories do not hold David Cameron in the highest esteem right now, we consider him a political colossus when compared to Chauncey and his team of dysfunctionals. Quite apart from anything else we do not have as our leader a man who would hesitate to shoot a terrorist dead if he was on the streets of London waving a kalashnikov. Indeed not only would Chauncey hesitate he would probably send Ken Livingstone in under protection of a white flag to organise our surrender and to say sorry for whatever caused the poor chap offence. Sorry, that would be Lord Livingstone. Its reported that Chauncey wants to make the tax dodging hypocrite a peer.

Yes, 2015 has been quite a year. An unexpected Tory win at the election and then Labour sportingly handed the next election to the Tories too by electing the brown jacket wearing nonentity. Oh and he has a legion of bovver boys and girls to do his dirty work too. Perhaps they will be called the brown jackets.

Anyway, this blog is taking a couple of weeks off from the hilarity now. There will be items here every day over the holidays but mostly in the form of music and videos and the like.

My last Video Diary of the year will be here tomorrow as will this week's Introduction to Astronomy. There are a couple more World History episodes to come and The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale will be here both Sundays as usual. Page 3 is coming to an end this month - it was originally just my protest for freedom of speech anyway - but it will be replaced by a new feature in January. The countdown to the number one Christmas song in Musical Advent Calendar is coming to its less than startling conclusion next week and then there will be some more music for you to enjoy until my return.

Its been a record year for this blog, more posts than ever before being visited in ever higher numbers. My thanks to everyone who reads my posts and for your continuing support.

May I wish you all, regardless of your religious viewpoint, a very Merry Christmas. And let us hope that 2016 is peaceful and prosperous for us all.

Musical Advent Calendar

World History

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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Peanuts


Things That Make Me Laugh A Lot (Part 1 of 1)



Here now is a series I've decided to start in which I describe things that make me laugh uproariously. People who describe themselves as pansexuals is one. But I wrote about that yesterday and shall be talking about it in this week's Video Diary.

No, what I have really invented this series specifically for is the story that will be having football fans up and down the country giggling like a newborn. That is the news that Chelsea would probably be sacking Jose Mourinho now if they could identify someone who is available who would be an improvement. Its not a long cast list.

Yet just a couple of months ago my own club, Liverpool, sacked our useless manager and replaced him with a man who would no doubt now be tempting Chelsea to wave bye bye to Jose and with him another substantial cheque for compensation since they only handed him a new contract last summer. Jurgen Klopp is a kind of anti Jose. Oh and he believes in playing good football too rather than the austere, miserable type favoured by the allegedly special one. Now Chelsea are watching and wondering if they should make Pep Guardiola an offer and whether Abramovich's billions are enough to compete with the oil billions of Manchester City or PSG, especially since Russians no longer have the same swagger they had a few years ago.

Yes, all of that makes me laugh. A lot. Well worth creating a series of just one to mention it I'm sure you will agree.

PS

And he's gone. Just announced. Just fantastic. The special one with an especially big payoff for failure.

Musical Advent Calendar

World History

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Peanuts


PMQs Review 16th December 2015 - The Annual NHS Crisis Scare Edition


Big news from Europe this morning. The EU has decided it needs to reinforce its borders so as to protect its integrity. It will have its own border force, which can be imposed against the will of member states. To keep out impertinent prime ministers making renegotiation attempts against the overriding demands of ever closer union that the people clearly want so much so that they must never ever be consulted? Well who are we to say?

Dave's renegotiation is not going well. His already diluted demands are being diluted some more. And then ignored. This despite the fact that the opinion polls show that Britain is warming to the idea of voting to leave. Perhaps the EU simply plans to ignore this as usual. The EU seems to think it is the Hotel California. Check out? Of course, sir.

The Labour Party is excited by the news that an auction of Lady Thatcher's old clothes, handbags and political ephemera is raising millions. They hate to come over all, you know, capitalist, but here is an opportunity to sell some of Chauncey's stuff to raise some money. Then perhaps he will be able to buy a suit that fits and matches. How much will his adoring mandate pay for instance for one of his collection of dirty brown jackets with non matching trouser ensembles? Actually I'm told its not a collection there's just the one and he wears them constantly, but surely someone would buy them?

They may have to wait though since Chauncey is currently engaged on a tour of poorly attended Christmas parties in which he gives drunken dad type speeches that everyone shuffles their feet to. He also gives inspiring quotes from communist dictators. Its becoming a tradition. No it is. The Great Leader must be obeyed and respected and possibly preserved in formaldehyde in Trafalgar Square on the 4th plinth.

Last week neither Dave nor Chauncey were in attendance. Dave was doing his dance of despair with various European leaders. Chauncey was for once enthusiastically observing a great parliamentary tradition and absenting himself when the PM is not there. Its an idiotic tradition but one that suits opposition leaders. It is beneath their dignity to question a prime ministerial underling. But also its a great excuse to not have to go through this weekly agony. As traditions go its one worth observing. Even if you are an iconoclast devoted to a more honest new type of politics.

Unfortunately for Chauncey his stand in was Angela Eagle and she did rather well. She shone. She was quite funny. She even gently ridiculed the Great Leader himself. The great tribe of Chauncey cheerleaders will be unleashed. Its said that come the revolution the reshuffle Angela is a prime candidate to be moved on. Possibly up against a wall and firing squad. Or forced to listen to one of his speeches. Or at least she will have nasty things tweeted about her and called a Tory. Those who disagree with the Great Leader are all Tories.


Anyway, its our last session of the year.

Dave offered our best wishes to Major Tim Peake who is 250 miles above us. Chauncey did the same, pointing out that he (Major Tim) is not currently on the same planet. The whole House added their own punch line to that. Chauncey's deputy, Tom Watson, chortled away like a beardless Santa. Diane Abbott, there no doubt to show allegiance to the leader if not advice about witty rejoinders, was stony faced. Its fair to say that not many of her fellow MPs joined her, much as they don't join their leader at Christmas parties.

Earlier this week I wrote a piece on this blog which was harshly critical of our prime minister as he jets around Europe on his forlorn quest for it to hand back our right to govern ourselves. It would be unfair then if I did not acknowledge he was on good form today. He was feisty, witty and as usual entirely across the issues even if he didn't answer the questions. He did it with style and panache though.

Of course he was up against Chauncey who was wearing his collection of one brown jacket again and stuck to his script like a barnacle sticks to a boat. The only time he departed from it was when he pointed out that he had in fact wished everyone a Happy Christmas rather than season's greetings. Another lefty tradition demolished.

It is Chauncey's inability to depart from his script, even to quote approvingly from the texts of vicious dictators that makes his own MPs despair. Its not even as if the script was a good script.



It is another Christmas, or at least winter tradition for Labour to warn of an oncoming crisis in the NHS. They do it every year, much as they promise at every election that voting for them is the only way to save the NHS. One cannot help feeling that they are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of a crisis. Look at all the people dying and suffering they tell themselves. All the better for the revolution.

Chauncey devoted all of his rambling discursive questions to the subject. He was batted away each time by Cameron. There was a question about the Government's record on bed blocking, which is one of the great issues of the NHS under any government. The PM claimed his record on this was one of improvement and talked about the new precept for local government to raise additional funds for social care as announced in the Autumn Statement.

Chauncey wondered why the Government is abolishing the publication of some data when he used to be in favour of transparency. Dave pointed out that Chauncey's first question had been compiled using data that wasn't published under previous administrations. When Chauncey quoted something from Today on Radio 4 the PM wondered why it was that Chauncey is so reluctant to submit himself to questioning on this programme given his commitment to openness.

If we are being entirely fair we would have to point out that Dave did not always answer the questions. But then it was ever thus. If we are also being fair we would have to point out that Chauncey never once departed from his script to answer the PM's invocations to welcome the unemployment figures or the growth in the economy. Was this because of his limpet like attachment to his script, because he was sticking to his theme or merely because Chauncey doesn't really do debate and never listens to other people's point of view if he can help it?

So we finished the year with Dave having problems on Europe as usual but in command of a Tory Party that is in Government alone, with a majority and with a double digit lead in the polls over a Labour Party in disarray and with an accidental leader determined to hang on and to pull every trick in the book, every technique of dissembling dishonesty to stay there. But he did wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

So I'll do the same. The Review returns on 6th January. Mark it in your diary or on your phone. 2016 looks like it is going to be a year of wonders. Unless you are a Labour MP in which case you are probably a Tory if you voted the wrong way on a free vote. More of that sort of thing to come I suspect. Merry Christmas.


The Less Than Scary Legions of Chauncey


So, Labour MPs, what are you all so afraid of? Why the bleating about being bullied? Why the stories about you refusing to go to your Christmas party in the company of your boss rather than taking him on and defeating his juvenile, nasty brand of politics?

Is it because of all of those nasty activists he has on his side? The Corbyn army?

Well I have to tell you, they are not actually all of that scary when you confront them.

Yesterday Dan Hodges resigned from Labour once again and announced it via a piece in The Telegraph. Cue hundreds of tweets from the Corbynistas calling him a Tory or some such.

But in a bored moment I decided to confront a couple of them, entirely at random about their blithe and brainless assertions. One posted a Youtube clip of Tony Benn for reasons that elude me.

The other, who is called Melissa Loizou, decided to respond. And it turns out that she is a dimwit. In the worldview of Melissa anyone who disagrees with her is not a proper lefty and so should be drummed out of the party. In vain did I point out that almost all of the parliamentary party disagrees with her and the Dear Leader. But if they all left the party he wouldn't have a party and would no longer be leader of anything.



She kept talking about Tristram Hunt. She has it in for Tristram Hunt for some reason. When I pointed out that just because someone has a different interpretation of what it is to be Labour than her does not necessarily make them a Tory she demurred. She had never said anything of the sort she protested. Except of course she had. As evidence for this however she said that she liked Yvette Cooper. Well, good for you. But does that not make your dislike of Tristram Hunt a bit quixotic? Is it because he's called Tristram? A bit posh? Really, I think Tristram Hunt is a tit. But I don't think he's a Tory. We wouldn't want him.

But if Melissa and her strange form of reasoning is the calibre of cyber Chauncey we are dealing with then it's not very intimidating is it. In reality your average Cyber political nasty is accustomed to simply operating in their own narcissistic bubble of self regard. Chauncey has made a whole career out of it after all. But it seems to come as a shock when anyone challenges them. They whine and complain when it happens. Not one of them is capable of debate or even reasoned argument. They fulminated angrily when it was suggested to them that dropping the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki could actually be defended both morally and militarily. Their incomprehension at this was something to behold. In the end they just agreed that I wasn't worth their bother, even though they had at no point offered a counter argument.

But this is what lefties do. They prefer talking to themselves. That way their views are never challenged. Its an approach that Charlotte Church takes to any dissent. She prefers to be adored, her appearance on Question Time recently was something she blamed on poor audience selection. The same was probably true of my fellow Tweeters. They would have been happier talking amongst themselves. So does anyone wonder at their being convinced how right they are and that things are going just swimmingly in Labour. And how dare those MPs dissent from this by doing what Chauncey has spent his entire career doing and dissenting?

Melissa, I suspect, is one of those people who has jumped on a bandwagon because it is the current trend among people she thinks look as though they might be cool and interesting. Like many people in their teens and twenties she is rabidly left wing, because, well she's not sure why. But isn't everyone?

Melissa is a slavish follower of fashion you see, isn't very bright, probably went to some kind of achingly earnest further education college or university that isn't really a university and now imagines herself to be a radical.

Oh and she describes herself as pansexual. I admit I laughed when I read that. Then I laughed some more. Then I took the piss.

Melissa pretended to take offence in her faux earnest way. Ridiculing my sexuality? She exclaimed. Yes, Melissa. Because it is no more your sexuality than it is mine. Because it is nobody's sexuality. There is no such thing as pansexuality. It is a made up word to describe something, or a lot of things actually, that do not exist.

Let me explain. Pansexuality comes from the sort of minds that created safe spaces in universities and demands that people with opinions that others might find offence at be no platformed. It is a label created by the mouth breathers of the left, a kind of badge to be worn to illustrate that you have no capacity for rational thought and really ought not to be allowed out on your own lest you be confused by crossing the road.

I wholeheartedly accept that there is a spectrum of sexuality. But there is not such a thing as a pansexual. It is supposed to mark out those who self describe themselves this way as open minded. It doesn't. It makes them look dim and very very suggestible. It is just this year's trend that will soon die out to be replaced by something equally transient and equally facile. Oh and it will be picked up with great enthusiasm by Guardian readers who will be offended when you laugh at them.

I'm not saying all of the legions following Chauncey are like this. But I bet most of them are. So if Chauncey and co really think they are starting some kind of grass roots revolution then look at the history of these left obsessions and then wonder what you are going to be doing once your six months is up. Anyone remember check your privilege? No, exactly. Labour MPs, really, what are you waiting for?

Oh and Melissa, I was going to leave you alone. But then you started calling me a c**t behind my back. Gloves off my transgendered delusional friend. Gloves off. But feel free to treat me to your response in the comments.

Melissa wrote that just over a week ago as you can see. Transgendered my arse.

Musical Advent Calendar

World History

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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Peanuts


Whisper It, But Our Prime Minister Is A Bit Crap


Last week, while the PM was away on some fool's errand to get turkeys to vote for Christmas, or possibly something to do with the EU giving up powers, George Osborne stood in for him at PMQs. He didn't do very well. It wasn't a disaster, but neither was it a triumph. He somehow contrived to make Angela Eagle look witty. It was actually rather like some of Dave's more dispiriting performances actually, the sort when he just trots out the same old tired lines and makes it all look as if it is a bit beneath him.

He's no Dave, they said. And those were the Labour MPs. His own side may well have muttered something a lot less flattering. George is no Dave. But then why would anyone want to be.

Because, and I think we are just going to have to come right out and admit it aren't we? The thing is. Well, Dave's a bit crap. He's not very crap. He sometimes raises himself up to do the job properly when he can be bothered. But most of the time he just isn't very good. He's a bit.....meh!

Remember the election campaign, the one in which he kept being not very convincing, not very passionate, not really capable of looking as if he could be bothered? Well no, you probably have forgotten it now because he somehow managed to win it, not least because he was up against Wallace, someone who is properly crap. Really really crap. I mean, really. He even believes in all of that climate change crap. You know, the sort that those halfwits at the BBC keep banging on about and that we keep having only five years to save ourselves from.



But Dave is the sort of chap, well he sort of manages somehow to glide through life. He kind of always gets away with stuff. He got elected to parliament because he kind of felt like it because he had made a lot of money extraordinarily easily and what else was there to do? Its what chaps with the right kind of background have to do, especially as being a bounder wasn't really an option since he had sprogs and a really rather lovely wife. Or was it that he felt that being a Tory MP was the sort of thing a bounder should do? Damned if I can remember now. Bit confusing.

But then damn me if he didn't, after about five minutes as a Tory MP, become Tory leader. He went into it on a wing and a prayer, did this really damned good speech which he sort of made up as he went along because he couldn't be bothered to prepare for it frankly, and he won the damned thing, albeit against some oik called Davis who went to something called a Grammar School. No, me neither. But its something you have to talk about a lot if you want them applauding you at the party conference.

So yes there he was as Tory leader and everything. What to do now? Well he didn't have to worry about it. Because bugger me if he wasn't all of a sudden up against that loony Brown rather than Blair as PM. And then bugger me again if the economy didn't explode and the loony went all loony tunes and suddenly old Dave was in Number 10 as PM.

What to do now? Well he didn't have to worry about that either because he had to have something called a coalition. No, me neither. But it essentially meant that Dave could triangulate everything. This is a sophisticated way of saying that he got to blame everything on the last Labour government, on his coalition partners holding him back from what he would rather be doing because he's true blue Tory and on his Tory backbenchers being bloody awkward. He just got to put his feet up. Oh and then Labour elected some nerd as their leader, someone called Tom. Or was it Jerry. Someone named after a cartoon character anyway. And he was properly bloody useless.

So then Dave only went and won the election. Properly won an election with a majority and everything. No, me neither.



But here's the thing now. Has our hero got himself into an essay crisis he cannot possibly ease his way out of at the last minute? Has all of his heroic dodging and weaving finally brought him to a grisly denouement? Is this political career going to end in failure as they all do just when Dave had thought he would pull off a last minute manoeuvre and hand it all to his hapless assistant George to balls it up and take the blame? Certainly George looks like the gormless one.

Well I think we have a better idea for the two of them. Why don't we help them out? Why don't we tell them that the game is up and that it is time for them to move aside? Why don't we do what Tories are supposed to do and show Labour how to commit a proper, bloody act of regicide?

Dave has secured us our majority so now let us move him aside. We would be doing him and the country a favour. His heart isn't in it any more anyway. What was all that talk last week about him thinking of joining the vote leave campaign? For whose benefit was that? Europe's or ours? How come we all rolled our eyes at him synchronously? It may be the first time that Brussels and Peter Bone have been in agreement. Its rather like that time when Dave told us that he damn well would not pay that surprise Brussels bill for another billion quid. And he didn't. But then of course he quietly did. Now he's just trying the same trick but with immigrants and welfare and hoping we don't notice.

Seriously, are we really going to go all the way to the referendum with this? Do they really think this will fly? As essay crises go this must be the equivalent of turning up to the exam hall still being high on a class A drug we have all heard of but cannot afford, having had your todger in a pig until five minutes before.



Why isn't our prime minister, who has a proper, bona fide referendum to bargain with, one that is on a proper, bona fide knife edge, going into Europe and not seeking a namby pamby renegotiation but making demands? Why are we negotiating with Europe over who we damn well allow into our country and to whom we pay benefits? Dress it up in whatever language you like. Let them shrug in whatever gallic fashion they choose, but its our way or no way. If Dave wants to still play nice then let him blame it on his backbenchers and the electorate. You can do that if you want to prime minister. But it will make you a bit, you know, crap. Why would you want to be crap?

I hate to come over all Peter Hitchens here, but its time to call a halt to this isn't it? The Cameron Osborne duopoly has had a good run but now it is time to call a halt, before Labour wake up and elect someone half sentient. There is an opportunity here. There is an opportunity to get Britain out of Europe and to destroy the hateful, undemocratic, arrogant shambles as we leave. There is an opportunity to elect someone who will govern this country in such a way that a truly one nation Conservative Party will not only win the next election but will do so with such a landslide that even Labour might consider electing as its next leader someone who doesn't think patriotism is a dirty word and who doesn't recoil in horror every time they see a white van festooned in the flag of St George.

Dave doesn't really want the job anyway. He is the first prime minister in recent history who will be voluntarily walking away from it without losing an election, being prised out of it or realising that he is losing his marbles and so had better get out before it finally happens. Do we want this man and his goofy chum who thinks he is a political genius negotiating for us in our one and only chance of either getting the deal we thought we were getting in the first place or getting us out? Do we trust these two chumps to do the decent thing when the country votes to leave anyway? Or do they think this is one more essay crisis they will somehow be able to extricate themselves from?

Let's not give them the chance. Let's set fire to the examining hall, tell Europe to get stuffed, that Dave is no longer negotiating for us and that we will call our referendum as soon as possible and recommend to the British people that we vote to leave.


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Monday, 14 December 2015

Peanuts


The Future Is Bright, The Future Is Technological


One of the most interesting news items of the weekend was the story that Google has been in conversations with the British government over driverless cars.

Why is this interesting? Because this is the future. Even petrolheads know that this is the future. We may not like it but we accept it, in much the same way that aficionados of steam trains had to accept that the future was electric with just a dash of diesel if you are backward and British.

In my novel to be published next year (title still being debated) I write of many exciting and some rather worrying things in my eccentrically imagined future, but one of the better technologies is the driverless car. Because if the driverless car is created it instantly renders the personally owned car pointless. Seriously, why would you own such a joyless utilitarian device which has had all the fun taken out of it? You wouldn't. You would hire them. Everyone would go to work by taxi or of course as now by public transport. Why pay for the overheads of a car, for the fuel, parking, purchase cost and depreciation and have the bloody thing driven for you by a robot? Where's the liberation, the sense of empowerment, the opportunity for driving (within speed limits obviously) on challenging roads, of enjoying the thrill of driving, of man and machine through the steering wheel and the seat of your pants in perfect harmony?

Now I can think of many people, my Mum being one, who would embrace this future with great enthusiasm since she always hated driving and found motorways terrifying. But that is why personal cars would die. Because we all know that driverless cars would be more efficient. Imagine if they were all driven and controlled by computer and were linked wirelessly. They would be able to drive closer together but without the worry of accidents. People could have meetings in cars, work in cars, play games in cars, sleep in cars, watch videos in cars, have sex in cars thanks to windows that could be blacked out sunglasses style without fear of blinding the driver.

But there would be no rationale for owning a car. What would be the point? You would just use them as and when you needed to. It would also solve the problem of parking. If people only used cars when they needed to then they wouldn't need to park them. The car would drop you off and then move on to its next customer which it would locate by their mobile phone. Like I say its all in my new book, plus much much more. There's interesting futuristic sex, nuclear disasters, political chicanery, the age old debate between science and religion but this time it is resolved. God wins. Publishing next year. Watch this space and the forthcoming advertising on this site and elsewhere. Agents and producers feel free to get in touch for the worldwide rights and movie rights.



But it is precisely this kind of new technology that is going to realise the future for us all - a lower carbon future. The one promised ludicrously by world leaders this weekend, despite the fact that none of them have the first idea of how it is going to be delivered. They just gave targets, made promises and then gave themselves hearty pats on the back, telling the world how much had been achieved and that they would all get together in a few years time to go through the whole farce all over again.

They would be better able to save the planet if they would just stop trying to save the planet.

All that has been done is a kind of massive gentleman's agreement between lots of men and a few women with absolutely nothing to bind them to this whatsoever. So they will do what they always do, go away and do nothing. Oh a few of them will piffle about at the edges as Europe has done, but it will be piffling and it will be gestures. Money will not be sent to the third world in the numbers predicted and, even if it is, history suggests that it will be spent on things other than on what it was meant for. Ironically a lot of it will probably be spent on large gas guzzling cars. Maybe they can be encouraged to spend it on hybrids. Electric? That would just encourage them to build coal fired power stations.

But here we come back to technology once again. Even those of us who regard the whole global warming scare as ridiculous accept that mankind will have to wean itself off fossil fuels eventually. We just don't see it as urgent. The fact is its not even slightly urgent. The planet is not warming at a scary rate at all.



So we have plenty of time. We have plenty of time to start innovating our way out of our dependence on fossil fuels. We have plenty of time to develop better ways of generating clean energy than idiotic wind turbines that seldom generate much and do it when we least need it. We have plenty of time to develop better energy storage, better fuel cells, better solar cells, better nuclear energy. You never know one day soon we may even perfect nuclear fusion generation and then we will have limitless energy.

When that happens we will look back on the current global warming scare and laugh ourselves silly. Because when that happens we might finally throw off our hubristic idea that humans have any real bearing on the weather patterns of our planet and learn to accept them for what they are. And we will go and look at petrol driven cars in museums and look in wonder at their savage beauty.

Yes they were dangerous but they made you feel so alive. And they had a TV show called Top Gear - the best TV show.......in the world -  in which three middle aged blokes made arses of themselves in various types of car but had a good laugh. All until it was killed off by the joyless killjoys at an organisation called the BBC.

The BBC itself was killed off eventually. It disappeared up its own fundament when global warming was finally confirmed as a hoax. 'No, no' they shouted as they were taken off into some non subsidised world in which they had to work for a living 'what about the consensus?'

You see the world will adapt to the new reality. It always does. By world I actually mean humanity, but our planet will adapt too. It has got over much worse than we have ever thrown at it or ever will. We could wipe ourselves out with nuclear weapons and the planet would recover.

We, like it, just have to adapt, use our brains and endless ability to invent. We are now at our most inventive ever. Progress is taking place so fast it is hard to explain to children that there was a time within living memory when phones were fixed and attached to wires and when homes had only one TV set and no computers.

We have progressed from the world of my childhood to the one we enjoy now. How? Because we live in an interconnected world in which great ideas are debated and discussed and tested. Thats why talk of consensus and of debates being over is so nonsensical and dangerous. That is how human progress has historically been prevented down the years. There is no idea, no creed that can be allowed to protect itself and be regarded as inviolable. That some are seeking this protection for a scientific theory ought to be anathema.

We will adapt, we will change, we will progress. That is what humanity does. We are better able to do that now than at any time in our history. Our genius for reinvention knows no bounds because now there are 7 billion of us and the majority of us can now talk to one another, compare ideas, test ideas, discard what doesn't work or fails the tests we set for it. The theory of climate change has failed. Its just that nobody can see that yet. Read my book. It explains what happens next.