Happened to be in the barbers today and nothing else to read but the Daily Mail rag. To be fair, this housepaper-in-waiting for the genocidal BNP dictatorship had one good double page memoir about sexual mores in France, which was worth reading - an eye opener as they say. However it also contained a pageful of brutal and racist rants by a big Jeremy Clarkson-like buffoon called Richard Littlejohn. Like Clarkson this blatherer Littlejohn has made a living out of being an arse in the media for years.
He criticizes the police in a strange backhanded way, for example he complains that a guy was Tasered three times while spreadeagled on the ground while also describing him as "a piece of lard who probably deserved a good kicking". He gets some things sort of half right, probably by accident, including pointing out the stupidity of Tasering a sheep that was blocking a road. He then goes on in another strange backhanded sort of way about police swimming lessons being cancelled in Wales because it would put Muslim women off joining.
What I really didn't like was how he then went on via a tenuous link to say (and I quote) that "the Warwickshire police are holding a pikey's picnic this weekend, inviting all members of 'the travelling community' to a day of festivities at the force's Leek Wootton headquarters. The manicured lawns of the country house HQ will play host to a traditional Roma band, story-telling and even 'a graffiti project'. I hope they remember to lock up their lawn-mowers." [My emphasis]
It's not just the word "pikey" - which is offensive enough, I think, but that remark about locking up their lawn-mowers. I don't think you need me to draw the historical parallels of vilification that little jibe evokes. Have people like him learned nothing from history? As long as this country thinks he and people like him are, in the American term, "good old boys" we are headed for the horrors.
Remember today, remember everything you see around you: the communities, the arts, the hospitals and hospices, the schools and special schools, the languages you hear everywhere, the public transport passes for pensioners, welfare for people in hardship, benefits, pensions, freedom, rights. All these things will be violently and wilfully destroyed and disappear forever if people like him have their way, if they ever gain power. All that will be left is a feudal system of mansions, with unrepaired roads between them and surrounded by hovels, the Brazil of Europe, a banana republic with no bananas and no republic, run on the divine right of inherited privilege.
We can start the fight by binning the Daily Mail. Let's also oppose the Tories 10% cuts proposals and their alliance with the far right parties of Europe. New Labour sucks, and Gordon's expenses fiasco (yes, let him own it all) sucks majorly but look around, there is regeneration everywhere: new sports centre, rebuilt secondary school, rebuilt community hospital all within five minutes walk of where I live. When you go to a hospital appointment, you don't have to wait as long to be seen. There are new tests that are pro-actively promulgated for preventive medicine. There is a minimum wage. These are just some of the things one could list.
Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, let's purge lazy and concupiscent MP's but let us not install Lord Snooty and his friends to try to turn the clock back. Don't let them dismantle and sell off the investment that has been made. At the very worst, a Lib-Lab pact can survive. It is by no means over till it's over. Cameron is "measuring the curtains for 10 Downing Street" and therein lies his party's Achilles' heel: they think they have it in the bag, they have seen the winning post too soon.