I suspect like many others I’ve lived the bulk of my life in a warm bubble of perception in which – broadly speaking, despite growing evidence to the contrary as from the late 19th Century onwards as Britain slid from a Grade A imperial power into something a little more mundane – at least our institutions and people had stood (and would always stand) for enviable standards of logic, rationality, the ‘rule of law’, impartiality and what the disgraced Tory MP Jonathan Aitken once infamously described as ‘the Sword of Truth’.
It didn’t matter what errant and distorted propaganda and/or nonsense-filled wishful-thinking the state-controlled media of right or left-leaning dictatorships daily spewed out across the world with due but fake solemnity because, of course, the BBC could always be relied upon to provide The Truth to those huddled masses of the human race who wished to know what was really going on via either BBC1 and/or its World Service.
We all knew that, unlike Her Majesty’s great and bountiful Government, no nation south of the English Channel was ever going to abide by any of the rules of international trade, the EU or any other world body that weren’t to their advantage – you’d only ever got to look at the untrustworthy French surrender-monkeys to know that! – but with humility we allowed them to get away with it because … well, you know how it is … one cannot in all honesty expect lesser races to meet the highest possible (i.e. British) standards of probity and integrity.
The fact that they paid lip service to them and/or even aspired (but ultimately failed) to attain them, was almost enough – we Brits could then give at least give them marks for trying as we continued to set our perfect example of how civilised people should conduct themselves.
Even during our recent ‘little local difficulties’ regarding Europe, we have been typically indulgent of – and patient with – other nation’s inevitable failings.
As my guru and friend Nigel Molesworth would say, “As any fule no …” it has never ceased to amaze me that the faceless unelected (and unelectable) bureaucrats who run the EU have never realised that all their problems would go away – and Europe then run properly for the good of all – if only they had acquiesced to the obvious staring them in the face and let Britain run it.
Instead, with typical short-sightedness and arrogance, they sent that humiliated little squirt David Cameron away with a half-baked hotch-potch of (non) half-concessions, stuck two metaphorical fingers in our direction and challenged us to do our worst. Well, they’ve got what they asked for now – they’ve made their bed and must lie in it.
It is the current fashion of the moment to blame President Donald Trump for everything that is going wrong in the world but in one way I think we should be grateful to him.
For years I had basked in the BBC’s cosy self-justification that – as long as both the right and left wing factions of opinion were complaining equally hard about its coverage of current affairs and politics – it was probably in the correct ball park as regards its own unimpeachable standard of impartiality.
Mind you, here’s a link a brief opinion piece by Zoe Williams – attacking the BBC for being a major bastion of the Right – that appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN
I’m not saying she’s right or wrong in her views, but they certainly provide a counterpoint to the general impression that I and my close circle have gained over time that the BBC has been taken over by a sizeable clique of ‘snowflake’ lefty, feminist, politically-correct fetishists with an agenda to destroy everything that hitherto British society held dear.
Up to now I have regarded The Times as peddling Murdoch’s version of the news, The Daily Telegraph the 1950s’ version, The Guardian the Hampstead lefties’ version, the Daily Mail an extreme right-wing Daily Telegraph version … and all the other newspapers as being just rags.
The Duke of Edinburgh once described the Daily Express as a ‘bloody awful newspaper’ – a verdict it is hard to take issue with and indeed one I’d now happily but regretfully apply to The Independent. When it began, under the stewardship of Andrea Whittam-Smith, it was genuinely attempting to be a new and independent voice but latterly, in the cold light of modern social-media dominated Britain, it has become simply the mouthpiece of its owner.
Ah well, at least The Independent has now come off the fence and espoused the notion of a second EU Referendum for which it is now officially campaigning. All the usual Remoaner suspects are being dusted off and deployed – Gina Miller, Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair, to name but three so far this week.
What I fail to grasp is the ‘logic’ behind their thrust – well, other than the glaringly obvious (but necessarily downplayed in public) arrogance that “we know better than the Great Unwashed British masses”, which is all their message actually boils down to.
Because the logic of their argument – that the UK is better off inside a 28-member organisation in which everyone has an equal vote and the UK’s influence to control or affect any decision is no greater than anyone else’s – would condemn us forever to be at the whim of whatever weirdos, lunatics, half-wits (and even Frenchmen or women, for goodness’ sake!) might percolate at any time towards the senior positions of ultimate EU power, apparently on a ‘Buggin’s Turn’ basis.
It’s not going to end well, this isn’t …