Posts Tagged Boris Johnson

Hard to Spill

Hard to Spill

It’s like the sordid saga of the ubiquitous blow-up doll Jordan and the toad-faced Antipodean Peter Andre: they love each other, then they don’t. Then they do again. Then there’s a massive row about nothing, with all media hell breaking loose; mirrors are smashed, cars are crashed, million-pound photo opportunities are finally dashed. Of course, the truth is that there was nothing there in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tango man is back…

Tango man is back...

Here’s the scene.

Gordon Brown takes a battering from Messrs. Cameron and Clegg during these new-fangled televised debates, failes dismally at trying to smile for the cameras, and then abuses a member of the public. Cue the entrance of none other than our old friend Tony Blair, looking more orange than ever. Read the rest of this entry »

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When a molehill is turned into a mountain…

When a molehill is turned into a mountain...

Well, it appears that there is no let-up in the press assault against Bernie Ecclestone following his interviewer where perhaps foolishly failed to condemn the likes of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein in a manner acceptable to certain parties.

It’s all rather ridiculous really – rather than read the comments for what they are, the career moaners are finding various ways of keeping this one running – even though the fuel ran out of the tank long ago. In an article in today’s Times, Libby Purves writes:

“Cue general outrage at this blithe explanation of Hitler’s role in the Holocaust, accompanied by lesser outrage at the idea of Saddam as a strong, wise ruler rather than a murderous, hostage-taking, neighbour-invading chemical-weapon freak. Whatever you think of our Iraq war — I was against it – the idea of Saddam as a model leader is as breathtaking as casting Hitler as a patsy, too easily led…”

(Libby Purves, “Preening populism has put us off democracy”, The Times, 6 July 2009)

First, I don’t think Ecclestone’s comments were in any way “blithe”. If anything, they were well-considered. Further, at no point did Ecclestone suggest that Saddam was a “wise ruler”; he simply stated the clear-as-day fact that his leadership was best for that country. Just a bit of a difference there. One can argue that the point doesn’t really need to be made, for any moron can see that Iraq circa 1990 was a far better place than the shambles it is today. But oh, no – you surely cannot say that… For you would be defending a dictator.

The truth is the truth is the truth. Everything else is political bluster and propaganda – including terms like “murderous, hostage-taking, neighbour-invading chemical-weapon freak”. You have to wonder where these journalists get their lines from. And no, I am not talking about the lines these meedja types can be seen shoving up their snouts.

As for Hitler being a “patsy”, Ecclestone didn’t say that either. He merely suggested that he – for one reason or another – fell away from the path of responsible leadership. Now this may come as something of a revelation for some, but as I said on Saturday Adolf Hitler was far from being a “hands-on” leader. He was remote, aloof, and up to his neck in his own obsessions, which ranged from dog-walking and architecture through the evening viewings of King Kong and paint-drying monologues. The mundane act of government bored him rigid, and while he pored over scale models of Berlin the real work was being undertaken by the likes of Goebbels, Bormann and Himmler. You just need to read Hitler’s own Table Talk or, better still, the excellent book by Frederic Spotts, Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics.

It’s a shame that Libby Purves has to make it a point show that she is singing from the same hymnsheet as the haters, for the rest of her article is pretty much on the mark – particularly when she lambasts the mainstream political elite for arguing which of their two parties are the most gay-friendly (as if anybody really cares) or Gordon Brown’s rather painful statement concerning the recently-departed Michael Jackson.

Of course, the mere mention of Hitler in any sense other than the comedic or pejorative brings vast numbers of people out in a rash, such as the Board of German Jews, who have called for a boycott of Formula 1. It’s all rather silly.

Talking of things silly, there is nothing sillier than than the current obsession we have with “Health and Safety” – for that, read treating the public like children or imbeciles. Or both. In an excellent article appropriately titled “Health and safety fears are making Britain a safe place for extremely stupid people”, London Mayor Boris Johnson rips into these nanny-state nincompoops with his usual rapier-like thrusts of wit.

Elf and Sayftee. Silly.

One bit in particular made me laugh:

“It was some years ago that my daughter and I first became aware of their achievements. We were exploring the magical cliff-top castle of Tintagel and we came across a sign on the edge of the cliff. It was expensively hand‑painted and about 1ft high. It said: “Edge of cliff”. As a statement of the plonkingly obvious, it could have been bettered only if there had been another sign with a vertical arrow saying “Sky”. We laughed so much we almost fell off.”

Funny in itself, but more so given the fact that when Caroline and I were in France recently – walking around the fortress town of Montreuil-sur-Mer – we noted the wonderfully unfenced cliff edge. Families with well-behaved children were happily walking around the area, and one could see no real reason for spoiling the view.

Maybe we should remove all of the silly signs from cliff faces and dangerous places; the results would no doubt aid what could be happily described as natural selection. And rather than wasting time and energy protecting stupid people, we should be encouraging them to do what they do best.

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