Friday, May 26, 2006

Cry God for Barry, England and St George!

I THINK it’s the constant lying that gets to me most. Almost since Day One of this government, the policy has been to deceive and dissemble. Hence the good days to hide bad news and the spin-doctoring of Alistair Campbell and his henchmen.

It’s almost as if we’re considered too stupid to know the truth; as if we can’t be trusted to arrive at a rational judgment by ourselves. And it’s not just Whitehall that’s institutionally untruthful. The culture of deception has spread like a fish rotting from the head.

Earlier this week I had the misfortune to hear on the car radio a local government dogsbody squirming with embarrassment while trying to explain why taxi drivers in Cheltenham had been banned from flying St George’s Crosses from their cars during the forthcoming World Cup.

“It’s against regulations because it’s advertising,” was his first attempt at justification. Advertising? Displaying marketing information for a monetary reward? I think not.

“And it’s a safety issue,” was the snivelling jobsworth’s second effort. Safety? Try telling The Queen that the flag on her motor is likely to have someone’s eye out.

“Oh, and people might not recognise vehicles as a licensed taxis if they’re covered in flags.” Pathetic. Even the drunks of Cheltenham (and having been there during Gold Cup week I can assure you that they’re plentiful) aren’t stupid enough to confuse a battered Datsun driven by an illegal asylum seeker with a large black cab with a yellow sign on its roof, just because there’s a little flag dangling from the back window.

The truth of the matter is that there was no practical reason to ban flags from taxis. It was done in pursuit of a hidden ideological agenda which has at its heart the belief that patriotism is dirty and flying a flag is racist. You won’t find this written down anywhere, but you will find it accepted as received wisdom by the kind of clipboard-wielding, Guardian-reading, lentil-eating tosspot in a shiny suit who arbitrarily took the decision.

The Cross of St George, once the banner of the far right, has been largely rehabilitated by football fans in recent years. What the PC brigade don’t understand is that every time they stigmatise its use, they drive it back into the hands of the racists.

I tell you, it made me so angry that I drove straight home through the torrential rain and defiantly flushed the toilet. Twice.

GIVEN THE above, I don’t suppose we should be surprised that the government’s on-line list of English icons – allegedly voted for by the public – reveals some odd omissions.

The original 12 icons might have included the Spitfire, the Routemaster double-decker bus, the hymn Jerusalem and A Nice Cup of Tea, but somehow the SS Empire Windrush snuck in there as well.

Now as someone who grew up alongside the children of the West Indian immigrants who arrived on that ship in the 1950s, I eagerly recognise its important contribution to our culture. But do I really believe that the Great British Public voted for it? No, I don’t.

I suspect an element of politically-motivated vote-rigging, something to which the NuLabour apparatchiks are no strangers.

We then turn to the second list; another 21 English icons. Here we find the miniskirt, Blackpool Tower, cricket, HMS Victory and (cue gnashing of vegetarian teeth) the flag of St George.

But wait – what’s this? The Notting Hill Carnival gets a mention, and Brick Lane in East London. Now I don’t know about you, but all Brick Lane means to me is a collection of curry houses and the venue for some nasty demos a few decades ago.

I don’t know where it is, have never been there, and couldn’t locate it on a map. So do we really believe that more people across the country voted for Brick Lane than voted for … wait for it … fox hunting? Yes, fox hunting. It might be immortalised on pub table mats from Clacton to Carlisle, but the Thought Police would have us believe that all those country votes (and there was a mischievous campaign of support) amounted to fewer than those for an anonymous street in East London.

Pull the other one, Tony.

INEVITABLY, WE arrive at the Blahs, and their unerring ability to put their foot into any unoccupied receptacle.

Once again, it’s Cherie who’s stepped into the breach, for some reason deciding that autographing a copy of the Hutton Report, which was later to be auctioned off in aid of NuLabour funds, was a good idea.

What was she thinking of? The Hutton Report, already regarded as a whitewash by many, was an investigation into how Dr David Kelly, a government weapons expert, came to take his own life amid a torrent of lies and bullying. To turn such a sensitive document into nothing more than a cheap bingo card in this fashion simply beggars belief. (And if it went for £400 the first time around, just wait until it turns up on Ebay.)

As one columnist noted this week, we never thought we’d yearn for the return of Edward Heath – a Prime Minister unencumbered by troublesome wives or children. Even if he was a sausage jockey.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone remotely surprised that an immigration worker has been charged with possessing explosives, of anyone remotely surprised that the immigration official accused of selling passports for sex is himself an illegal, or of anyone remotely surprised that Shahbaz, Big Brother’s self-confessed “Paki poof”, has never managed to hold a job down in his 37 long years on this earth. As someone commented last week: “I wouldn’t say he’s emotional but he makes Judy Garland look like the Duke of Wellington.”


Blogger The Weardale Militia said...

Well stated and quite correct. As soon as an item or an idea is deemed to be politically incorrect or unsafe then the masses jump on the band wagon and embrace it whole heartedly as a rebellious statement. In the past we have been told Clackers were dangerous then all of a sudden every one bought more of them (Does any one remember them?). The music press castigated Joe Dolce with his song “Shut up your face” and it went to number one holding Ultra Vox’s “Vienna” in second place – because it was deemed to be naff everyone bought the single. Now that was a tragedy.
I have a St Georges flag on my tractor and it will be staying there.
I recall a gentleman in the area who was somewhat incensed by the present government and put up a sign on his land which read “ **** Off Tony Blair” now that was a statement expressing his feelings and apparently not exceeding his freedom of speech. The local council made him remove said sign, it offended visitors to the area.
Perhaps the MOD may wish to remove the union flag from battledress and uniforms in case in offends anyone – heavens above one would not want to offend the opposing force by wearing insignias that could offend.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous AndrewM said...

Wise words Bazza.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That St George was a rotten bastard - killing poor dragons for no apparent reason.

2:45 AM  
Blogger dizzy said...

Guardian-reading, lentil-eating tosspot in a shiny suit


the name Johan Hari just keep coming into my mind

8:55 AM  
Blogger Lord Elpus said...

It's a fit up! George didn't kill the dragon - it just fell down the stairs on the way to being questioned...

6:05 AM  
Blogger Aussie Fan Club said...

Reading this downunder having escaped the dreary life of Old Blighty, Bazza reminds me of many of the reasons i left, and also many of the things i miss about the old dart. Politics is the same the world over, we are blessed with a sycophantic PM who worships Dubbya Bush, but cant manage to run sthe country to the benefit of the majority. What ever cahnges stays the same, but i do look forward to Bazza's cynical and honest weekly observation

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn`t St George married to Mildred?

1:32 AM  

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