If there was such a thing as new month resolutions, they’d probably turn out to be as unrealisable as New Year resolutions; a tad more commitment would be required on the part of the person making the resolution, but as most struggle to stick to them on an annual basis, a monthly equivalent seems overly ambitious. After all, remember the beginning of the lockdown, when everyone on social media was boasting about the new languages they were going to become fluent in or the instruments they were going to learn to play or the unread novels they were finally going to tackle – let alone the novel they were actually going to write? Within a couple of weeks, it seemed all those spouting grandiose plans had reverted to the comfort zone of a lazy Sunday, spending all day in their pyjamas and getting fat by binging on Netflix and takeaway pizzas rather than getting fit with Joe Wicks. Still, the notion of a clean slate coming on the first day of every new month does have its appeal on paper.

How nice it would be to erase June 2020 from the calendar, for example; June 2020, as we all know, was the month the world went mad. After the surreal novelty of April and then the stir craziness of May, June saw the first concrete evidence of how damaging this unprecedented global experiment has been as the mental health effects of a worldwide curfew were released from behind closed doors and let loose into the public arena. The cyberspace personas of thousands materialised in the real world and were even uglier in the flesh than on Twitter. The true economic effects of the lockdown will probably begin to hit hard as the second half of the year unravels, but the midway point has shown what happens to people’s grasp of sanity when you cut them off from the rest of the world en masse.

An organisation like Black Lives Matter has exploited the situation with the mastery of Madison Avenue. They have the logo and they have the slogan, which is a good start; but the way in which they have taken ownership of such an emotive issue and weaponised it as the Trojan horse through which to smuggle their true, neo-Marxist agenda into the mainstream has been quite an achievement. Racism is something many people of good heart have genuine concerns about, so what better subject to copyright? Extinction Rebellion have done the same with climate change, ensuring any questioning or criticism of their ideology can provoke a retort that labels the critic a climate change ‘denier’, just as any disputing of BLM wisdom can be silenced with the word ‘racist’ – or, for all that, criticism of MeToo makes you a misogynist. Genius. BLM have been presented with an utterly unique set of circumstances to capitalise on and even they must have been surprised at how the system they seek to destroy has crumbled before their eyes with the speed of a Rich Tea biscuit coming into contact with a hot cup of coffee.

But of course, even they weren’t completely prepared for such a rapid capitulation and haven’t yet worked out that you’re not supposed to risk newfound support by giving everything away too early; that was highlighted with a BLM Tweet yesterday that exposed that familiar old far-left trope of pro-Palestine/anti-Israel sentiments to those who’d quickly donned the T-shirt without examining the small-print. With their sudden high profile, BLM would’ve kept quiet about that a little longer if the plan hadn’t surpassed its schedule; perhaps they got carried away in the face of such swift success and figured those who were there solely because they agreed with the simple central message would also swallow plans to defund the police and breakup the nuclear family as well as going along with anti-Semitism masquerading as ‘just’ hatred of the State of Israel. It would appear conquering so much enemy soil so speedily has imbued them with a strain of naive overconfidence.

Mind you, how delicious it was to see cheerleaders like Piers Moron backtracking on the more…erm…’difficult’ elements of the manifesto that he hadn’t bothered to read up on in his haste to virtue signal. Ditto the facile Keir Starmer, who’d been so eager to get down on one knee that he hadn’t even realised the organisation had a little bit more to it than a pat catchphrase and a cynical photo op. In the rush to be seen to be ‘on trend’, these fools are now having to modify their support, inserting caveats that weren’t there before. I can’t help but feel them expressing their disagreement with all the awkward bits whilst continuing to emphasise the one thing they thought it was all about isn’t a million miles away from the old solitary defence of the Third Reich, the one that claimed they at least ensured the trains ran on time.

So, if the lockdown must take a large portion of the blame for June’s insane excesses, how must the good people of Leicester feel now that their city has been singled out as the first example of a ‘regional’ lockdown, imposed as the rest of the country is slowly reopening for business? Just when they thought it was safe to venture out in public again, they’re being told they’ve got to go back indoors. Some of us argued a couple of months ago that a one-size-fits-all national lockdown was probably a mistake in the first place. The pandemic had barely impacted on the more sparsely populated corners of the country whilst naturally thriving in metropolitan sprawls, so it did appear to make sense for such factors to be taken into consideration. Perhaps the prospect of second-home outsiders descending upon clean countryside communities from infected cities risked spreading the virus far and wide, so the same measures applying everywhere was logical; but the highest death toll still took place in urban areas, even with identical restrictions being imposed across the whole country.

Maybe from now on, any isolated upsurge in cases will make the regional lockdown the preferred option, sealing-off the worst affected area in the hope it can be contained – not unlike the method used during the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak, which turned rural neighbourhoods into no-go zones whilst towns and cities carried on as normal. Naturally, this will require a greater degree of cooperation between Westminster and local government, not to mention delegating responsibility and powers; but even if the ‘pilot scheme’ in Leicester works, what additional damage will it do to Leicester itself – both economically and emotionally? For most people, life hasn’t quite returned to what it was before lockdown, but a few more shops opening and even a version of football fulfilling the fixture list is at least a facade of normality. For that little glimmer of normality to then vanish again will be a blow for many. The sacrifices the majority were prepared to make in the beginning had already been severely fraying at the edges, whether manifested as crowding the beach, reviving illegal raves or indulging in a spot of statue-dismantling; but how much more can a populace take?

I explained at the very start that, as I was accustomed to spending extended periods in solitary confinement in order to get on with my work, the lockdown was actually no great imposition on my personal liberty. I actually enjoyed the initial absence of traffic from the uncharacteristically quiet streets and, apart from reducing daily shopping expeditions to weekly occurrences, nothing really changed for me beyond not seeing anyone in person. However, there are some friends I now haven’t seen for months and I have to admit I am missing the stimulation of conversation. Most today text rather than talk on the phone and some don’t like to Skype, so typing has now replaced the spoken word, which I find a very flat form of communication between friends. Even not being a resident of Leicester doesn’t mean we are as we were, and that’s bad enough; but the thought of reverting to the stricter conditions of April and May isn’t an especially appetising one – and hardly suggests we can bid good riddance to June as though July will be an improvement.

© The Editor


It’s inevitable that at various times over the past five years, a particular story has generated enough twists and turns to dominate discourse; I’m currently trying to avoid the Telegram being renamed ‘Identity Politics News’, but it could just as easily have been renamed ‘The Pandemic Post’ immediately before that, in the same way ‘The Daily Brexit’ would’ve been an apt moniker last year and the year before or ‘The False Allegations Courier’ prior to that. I myself routinely take a break from all MSM outlets when overexposure kills my interest in a story, however much I might regard it as the story more relevant than any other to the moment, so I think it only right that – as much as the Woke wars continue to provoke my most animated responses – interludes of a specific nature provide necessary breathers between the latest developments.

With my own off-line unwinding regularly involving television time travel that serves as a welcome escape from the here and now, reviewing the destination once I get there in the manner of a pop cultural TripAdvisor has become a regular feature on the Telegram. From what I can gather, it seems to be a welcome periodical diversion; so, after such an intense sequence of recent events, I think it apt to resume the pattern once again by unearthing another slice of buried treasure from the archives and losing myself – and hopefully the readership – in a necessary detour from an alien century. And back we go to familiar territory, i.e. early 70s Britain – to be specific, London’s naughty square mile.

For a man known primarily as a pre-Beatles British pop star, Adam Faith was a brave choice for the lead in a new drama series set in sleazy Soho and made by London Weekend Television in 1971, but the pedigree of those behind the scenes was impeccable. Produced by Verity Lambert, who had been at the helm for the launch of ‘Doctor Who’ in 1963, and penned by the renowned writing partnership of Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, ‘Budgie’ was very much rooted in time and place whilst simultaneously years ahead of the likes of ‘Minder’ in portraying the capital’s tawdry underworld and its equally tawdry characters with the kind of rich, black humour that highlighted its grim absurdities.

Adam Faith’s title character, Ronald ‘Budgie’ Bird, is a petty thief, career criminal and incurable chancer straight out of the open nick when we join him. Despite having a hilariously neurotic estranged wife in Watford – played with comic-bordering-on-tragic brilliance by the feisty Georgina Hale – Budgie also has a girlfriend in Fulham, the hapless albeit whiny Hazel (played by Lynn Dalby), lumbering her with an unplanned son and heir as a going-away present before his most recent spell behind bars. Budgie is an endearing optimist, a self-assured wide-boy whose cocky Cockney charm masks an awareness he will never make it to the big league occupied by Scottish porn baron Charlie Endell, the wealthy owner of a string of ‘adult book stores’ and strip-clubs who sees through Budgie’s front and exploits his craving to make a fast buck by using him as a perennial gopher; Endell’s intimidating physical presence and network of contacts on either side of the law usually override Budgie’s opposition.

Charlie Endell is one of the era’s great TV creations, played with the right mixture of urbane sophistication and gangland thuggery by Iain Cuthbertson. I’ve no doubt Waterhouse and Hall probably met and spoke to several real-life Charlie Endell figures, for Cuthbertson’s portrayal feels too real not to have been rooted in fact. The way in which Endell transmits an eminently respectable businessman facade, revelling in material luxury and sermonising on the decline and fall of old-fashioned decency whilst simultaneously flogging smut to the dirty mac brigade, is a sublime portrait of Great British hypocrisy. Outwardly, he stands in opposition to the loose morals of Swinging London, yet profits from the relaxation of standards that fuelled its sordid underbelly. Crafty and cunning, Endell is viewed with both admiration and fear by Budgie whilst Endell openly admits he tolerates Budgie, despite the regular testing of his patience, because he ‘amuses him’. Occasionally, the veil slips and we witness the scary reality of the kind of psychopath who would never curse in front of his wife yet thinks nothing of dispatching his henchmen to beat the shit out of someone lower down Soho’s food-chain – and Cuthbertson is genuinely frightening.

The difference between today’s formulaic television dramas and the era that produced ‘Budgie’ is evident in the way in which Waterhouse and Hall imbue even the most minor of characters – who may only appear in one scene – with a depth of almost-Dickensian characterisation that really breathes life into them and makes the viewer yearn for more. All are so well-drawn that each could have been at the centre of their own spin-off series, yet in most cases we never see them again. Some form the core of an entire episode, relegating the regulars to an effective supporting cast. There’s an episode set in a dreary out-of-town hotel that dovetails between the guests – including an early sighting of Peter Sallis – and the staff, led by a seedy Anthony Valentine as a lowly hotelier permanently thwarted in his career ambitions. Like the best plays, one comes away from it wanting to know what became of the characters after the credits rolled; and we never find out.

Some episodes work as stand-alone plays in their own right that could be watched and enjoyed in isolation without needing to see another instalment in the series. An example is one in which Budgie is hit by a bullet intended for Charlie Endell as the pair stroll back to Endell’s motor after attending a football match together; they evade a second shot and gatecrash an ordinary suburban house, spending virtually the whole of the episode under siege, much to the outrage and consternation of the middle-aged couple who live there. The husband’s protests are subdued both by Endell’s menacing presence and the eventual entrance of the couple’s spunky twenty-something daughter. The intrusion of the two uninvited visitors serves as a trigger for a dark family secret to be belatedly brought into the open for the first time, a secret that involved underage abuse of the daughter by a family friend and was then hushed up with a handsome payment. The shocking revelation is handled with an absolute absence of melodrama and works all the better for it.

Another affecting episode comes when Budgie recognises one of his former schoolteachers loitering in the Soho ‘bookshop’ he’s minding for Charlie Endell. Sensing a potential blackmail scam, Budgie returns to his old alma mater armed with a carrier bag of Swedish porn; invited home by the teacher, Budgie receives a compassionate lecture from a sad and lonely individual disgusted by his own moral lapses, one that beautifully strips away Budgie’s social armour and leaves him humbled rather than humiliated. We see what the teacher saw during Budgie’s schooldays – a scared little kid who uses the gift of the gab to claw his way above the factory-fodder obscurity awaiting him. The quality of both the writing and the acting is worthy of the best theatre dramas being produced at the time.

Adam Faith is superb as Budgie because he makes the character likeable even when his behaviour is often reprehensible. It was possible for people to be portrayed as inhabiting shades of grey back then; characters in TV dramas weren’t so black & white or designed solely as ciphers for agendas that fulfilled quotas. As with all the other vintage alternatives to contemporary schedules that make me wonder why I pay the licence fee, ‘Budgie’ stands up to repeated viewing every few years and seems to improve with the passing of them.

© The Editor


Liverpool FC are League Champions again. They deserve it, even if they won it in an atmosphere evocative of a reserve game at Torquay United. Maybe the team can celebrate down on the beach – as long as they pick the right resort. Of course, had the multitudes crammed onto the beach at Bournemouth been waving BLM or rainbow flags, perhaps their flouting of social distancing etiquette wouldn’t have led to their presence being regarded as a ‘major incident’. Instead of throwing their hands up in despair when confronted by such uncontrollable numbers, the police could have stripped down to their trunks and done ‘a gay dance’ on the sands or maybe taken the knee. Clearly, the latter addition to the police training manual didn’t work in Brixton the night before; or maybe a Force already regarded as an ineffective joke in the capital were facing the inevitable consequences when submissive virtue-signalling has portrayed them even further as weak and spineless. Well, they only have themselves to blame.

As somebody instinctively immune to the delights of either intense heat or crowds, the scenes at Bournemouth and Brighton would have resembled Hell on Earth to me, anyway – regardless of pandemic issues; but the minute mass demonstrations swept across several British cities when so many restrictions had yet to be lifted, the game was up; applauding those with a cause and condemning those without looks suspiciously like double standards. Neither type of gathering was a good idea for the containment of an infectious virus, but you can’t give the thumbs up to one and the thumbs down to the other because you’re scared of what will become of you should you stand up to the relentless emotional bullying of the loudest voice.

Indeed, as our old pal Mr Orwell said, ‘At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is “not done” to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was “not done” to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.’ The lexicon of undesirable labels to lob into the debating arena and instantly curtail criticism of the consensus is sold as a means of upholding democratic rights, though the beneficiaries of these rights are entirely selective in the New World Order, lest we forget. ‘In other words,’ added Orwell, ‘defending democracy involves destroying all independence of thought. These people don’t see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you.’

And they’ve come for Rebecca Long-Bailey now. The cancel culture so beloved of the regressive left has turned round and bitten one of their own on account of Sir Keir Starmer’s ‘first priority’ as Labour leader being to get a grip on the anti-Semitism rife in his party. Ms Double-Barrelled Socialist was ejected as Shadow Education Secretary for re-tweeting an interview with actress (and renowned Corbyn groupie) Maxine Peake, who spun a conspiracy theory yarn that the tactics used to squeeze the last breath from the lungs of George Floyd had been taught to the US police by Mossad. The chief Auton saw this promotion of yet another imaginary association with wicked old Israel as a good excuse to sack his former leadership rival and one-time heir to Jezza.

Whilst few outside of Momentum would mourn the exile of Long-Bailey from the Opposition frontbench, Starmer has a job on his hands if he truly intends to purge Labour of something so intrinsic to the extreme Identity Politics agenda that has both bolstered its membership and alienated its traditional voting base. Filling his Shadow Cabinet with yes-men entirely sympathetic to his own ‘Identitarian-Lite’ vision is not a unifying tactic anymore than Corbyn filling his with his own yes-persons was. Neither can call upon the considerable skill of Harold Wilson in holding together a frontbench of diverse opinions that were forced to work together for the greater good. Maxine Peake was quick to issue the standard humbling apology, perhaps mindful of her career receiving a Laurence Fox-type period of extended ‘resting’ as a consequence, and though Long-Bailey has also bent over backwards to stress she is NOT anti-Semitic, it made no difference to her reduced status.

If only Long-Bailey had been a Woman of Colour and an academic to boot, such as Cambridge charmer Priyamvada Gopal, who tweeted the following heart-felt message of love and harmony – ‘Now we have the opportunity to carry out a resolute offensive against the whites, break their resistance, eliminate them as a class and replace their livelihoods with the livelihoods of people of colour and LGBTQ.’ A fairly routine and not remotely controversial opinion to hold within the hallowed walls that have served as the nursery for contemporary groupthink and enough to secure Dr Gopal promotion rather than the no-platforming reserved for academics whose opinions are the ‘wrong’ ones. Flying a banner over a football stadium bearing the legend ‘White Lives Matter’ is not a great idea, of course, but the race-baiters got what they wanted there, so why the fuss? It was bad racism and the idiot behind it has lost his job while that nice Dr Gopal has kept hers because she’d said ‘White Lives Don’t Matter’, which is good racism. Both dicks, but only one currently claiming Universal Credit, funnily enough.

At least we can rely on the BBC for a semblance of sanity. They might have quietly shuffled the horrific murder of three gay men in Reading to the back of the queue because the nasty man that did it might invite…ooh…’Islamophobic’ responses, but I’m sure the trio of victims received a respectful minutes’ silence in the Commons, didn’t they? Anyway, Auntie is getting her house in order by promising to spend £100 million of your licence fee on ‘diverse and inclusive content’. About time too. It’d be nice to think the BBC would extend its concept of diversity and inclusivity to encompass diversity of thought, opinion and – more than anything – class, but I suspect the Oxbridge graduates will keep their jobs and continue to portray the entire country as an Islington dinner-party ideal of a multicultural, LGBTXYZ Britain akin to the old Coca-Cola ad that taught the world to sing. We can probably look forward to an all-trans version of ‘Henry V’ once production resumes on the corporation’s drama output; in the meantime, it needs to keep the iPlayer clean of any embarrassing old uncles that contradict the narrative.

Failing that, the Beeb could simply do what the rest of the bankruptcy-threatened Arts have done. Woke infestation had already placed them on life-support, but Covid-19 could well deliver the fatal blow that the creative industries have brought upon themselves. As Maoist principles are chic again, it’s worth remembering how any plays, books or films deemed even vaguely critical of the regime were banned during the Cultural Revolution and replaced with regime-approved propaganda substitutes that ticked all the right boxes, the so-called Model Dramas. Look at the output of the BBC, Hollywood and the publishing industry under the rewritten rules and regulations and tell me we’re not being served-up our very own Model Dramas right now. It might explain why they’re all so shite, I guess. Suppress the dissenting voice of the individual and kill creativity in the process. That’s the kind of diversity and inclusivity we like in 2020. I’ve a feeling it’s going to be a long summer.

© The Editor


The colder the climate outdoors, the warmer the soundtrack indoors – that’s what I’ve found, anyway. The convenient distraction of creativity when the world has typed ‘Hell’ into its handcart satnav has kept me busy during this uniquely awful year so far. I always have a musical accompaniment as I write and it’s always been as varied as my tastes, with whatever the mood of the moment dictates resulting in an eclectic songbook; but my subconscious response to 2020 seems to have been exclusively manifested as that which is often dismissively labelled ‘Easy Listening’, ‘MOR’, or ‘Light Music’. Yes, it’s extremely easy on the ears and is highly conducive to creating a relaxed ambience in which the creative juices can flow uninterrupted; but an umbrella label is misleading. The only thing I sense any of these tunes have in common is that they all belong to an era that spanned around 40 years, roughly 1930-1970.

Every twist and turn that popular music went through during what was, for the world beyond the stage or studio, a pretty tumultuous period is represented on this makeshift mix-tape. There are the big bands, there is Swing, there is Be Bop, there is Cool; there are the song stylists with the sweeping strings; there are the instrumentals – the themes from movies or Broadway shows; there are the upbeat Light Programme ditties that the housewives chose; there are the post-Rock ‘n’ Roll tunesmiths like Bacharach & David, who blended the contemporary with the classic; there are the Bossa Nova rhythms evoking a turn-of-the 60s sophistication for those too mature to Rock. To paraphrase Dr Johnson, there is all that life can afford in there.

There are the vocal giants – Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Julie London, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Nat King Cole and (of course) Frank Sinatra; there are the master bandleaders, arrangers and orchestrators of orchestras playing the ‘pops’ and steering a steady course through the middle of the road – Henry Mancini, Ray Conniff, Bert Kaempfert, Wally Stott; there are the exotic – Astrud Gilberto, Sergio Mendes, Francis Lai; and there are the wonderful home-grown cheesemongers – Geoff Love, Engelbert, the Mike Sammes Singers. This is the alternative 50s and 60s that music historians are prone to write off as something that only existed so that Rock ‘n’ Roll and the counter-culture had something it could react against. The official narrative of this history says the listener cannot listen to both; but the one place barricades should never be erected is on the musical landscape.

And it’s such a warm embrace of a landscape. There’s a comforting intimacy to the finest stylists that lends itself to a certain lonely hour when the rest of the world is lost to slumber and you can’t sleep. When Julie London lights her chanteuse’s torch with just a guitar and a double bass for sparse support, she’s the only person in the room with you, but she’s there for you – reaching out to give you the sultriest, most sensuous hug you’ve ever received. Similarly, when Sinatra steps up to the midnight mic, he’s shed of the swaggering shield he wears during the day; this time of night, it’s just you and him and he needs to tell you what a lousy day he’s had so you realise you’re not alone after all; he doesn’t share this vulnerable, human side with ‘the guys’ or the yes-men who are paid to massage his ego and tell him how great he is; when he joins you for one last nightcap, you’re seeing the man, not the caricature. He’s your buddy. For singers who learnt their craft with a big band behind them, the ability to tone it down and make it personal, so you’re not singing to the man at the back of the hall but the solitary night-owl a few feet away, is a skill in itself – and they all have it.

The Great American Songbook has a multitude of immortal standards that belong to the listener rather than the singer; only a handful of numbers have been owned outright by an individual vocalist, whereas some have taken the same song and done it so differently that you cannot choose which you love the most. I will never be able to decide whether I prefer Sinatra’s melancholy, tear-jerking take on ‘Night and Day’ or Ella’s joyously swinging interpretation; I guess which one I opt for depends what mood I’m in. The rise of the writer-performer in the 60s put paid to the dominance of Tin Pan Alley, and though it lived on through the likes of New York’s legendary Brill Building, the majority of singers were thereafter judged as much on the quality of the songs they’d written as the voice they sang them with. The singer and the song became one and the same. Even though someone like Sinatra could convince you he was singing his own thoughts when he interpreted another’s words, it was no longer regarded as authentic.

This is ‘grown-up’ music that refutes the adolescent view that growing up means growing boring; it’s music for people not interested in pretending to be teenagers or forever fruitlessly trying to recapture their youth; it has dignity. Its writers, arrangers and producers look like bank managers; and its most photogenic performers look like they’ve lived. Frank Sinatra looks like a man, not a boy; Julie London looks like a woman, not a girl. You know they’ve had their hearts broken just by looking at them, and if you’ve been there yourself, you get it; they speak to you in a way that some floppy-haired student with a guitar or some gyrating ingénue doesn’t. Yes, some of it wears carpet slippers and smokes a pipe, but the best of it still has something to say about that overlooked age in the middle.

The throwaway dirges aimed at youth are unashamed fashion statements, as irrelevant six months down the line as whatever stupid dance was all the rage on TikTok yesterday; this music, on the other hand, may have been made back when your grandparents had yet to go grey, but it has a timelessness that keeps it eternally relevant for anyone wanting a musical accompaniment that tells it like it is, one that is brutally honest but still has space to dream, if undoubtedly wistfully. This music and those who made it has maturity but not senility; it’s celebrating that criminally-ignored interregnum between the wide-eyed know-it-all and the infirm incontinent, the years that actually cover a wider span of our lives than any other. Why shouldn’t that span have its own soundtrack, one that sings of what it really means to be grown-up?

Like all good music, the contents of my mix-tape conjure up imagery in the listener’s mind; this specific imagery is both clichéd and charming, straight out of ‘Mad Men’ era Madison Avenue, but oh-so seductive in its corny innocence. It’s of night-clubs with tables, guys in dinner-jackets, girls in tight satin dresses with an abundance of cleavage; it’s cocktails and drinks that they don’t serve in your local pub; it’s a convertible heading towards a deserted beach that has been reserved for the impossibly good-looking couple in the car; it’s a candlelit meal on a balcony overlooking the ocean; it’s a handsome man and a beautiful woman, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn; and it’s a pianist providing an unobtrusive accompaniment in the background. It’s a world of old-world certainties that the new world doesn’t recognise.

© The Editor


Anyone wondering where the current chaos may carry us and what possible future awaits the most comfortable, safe and secure society in the largely uncomfortable, unsafe and insecure history of western civilisation needs look no further than CHAZ. A twisted 21st century take on the 1871 Paris Commune, CHAZ stands for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone; God’s gift to the privileged desperately seeking a struggle, it rose from the ashes of the rioting that swept across America following the viral video of the George Floyd killing. This no-go area is a neighbourhood in Seattle covering six blocks and has been reborn as the blueprint for the Identitarian Utopia, whereby everyone stays in their designated lanes, and a society is segregated along racial, sexual and gender lines; it’s Identity Politics apartheid transferred from the Woke drawing board to the streets of a major American city.

In what sounds chillingly like a real-life replay of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’, Seattle police abandoned their station in the east precinct and left locals to their own devices as Antifa and their affiliated anarchists seized control. CHAZ is a lawless Wild West Dystopia with makeshift barricades keeping out unwelcome visitors that are patrolled by armed militia. Reports of what’s happening behind those barricades evoke descriptions of the towns that fell to ISIS in Syria – well, that and a mix of Waco and Jonestown with a dash of ‘Lord of the Flies’. The community has essentially been endorsed by both the State Governor and the Mayor of Seattle – both Democrats, unsurprisingly – and the official PR is of a ‘safe space’ on an unprecedented scale, a peaceful illegal occupation; I guess if your definition of peaceful is community policing via self-appointed armed security guards making up the rules as they go along, then CHAZ is the place to be. And as we’ve already had one toxic strain of Americana successfully imported to Blighty, maybe CHAZ is the way forward for town planning in the UK.

All those who observed lockdown rules for the greater good and sacrificed personal freedoms – those who were divided from friends and family for months and became house-bound because they were repeatedly informed deviating from the advice would lead to the NHS being swamped with coronavirus casualties and would turn hospitals into morgues – have had to stay indoors and stay alert whilst watching thousands of others then disregard all social distancing guidelines to congregate in public spaces. Adherents to the lockdown couldn’t go to the pub or cinema or meet in numbers exceeding half-a-dozen, but protestors were given carte blanche to spurn the rules governing ordinary social interaction because they had a superior moral cause, one that would allow them to deface, destroy and desecrate the surroundings they marched through whilst the same police force who harassed and hassled law-abiding observers of the pandemic manual stood back and knelt down before them. Is it any wonder the Law looks like one hell of an ass to millions of people right now?

Angela Rayner decries the online airing of a video apparently capturing the weekend’s gruesome knife attack and murder of three people in Reading; rightly so – who the hell would want to watch, let alone add to the trauma of those who knew or were related to the murdered? Yet, is that Rayner’s motive? Maybe the killer – a Libyan national, by all accounts – was the ‘wrong’ kind of killer (just like the girls scarred for life by grooming gangs in Rotherham were the ‘wrong’ kind of victims), thus adding an additional layer of unpleasantness to the video. Of course, the George Floyd video was on a virtual loop for weeks, becoming the Instagram generation’s equivalent of the Zapruder Footage; no problem with that one being repeatedly screened because it enforced the narrative and served as justification for the exploiters and manipulators of genuine grievances and authentic fears to hijack them, absorbing them into an agenda that has become a sponge for every campus cause hotwired into the world beyond the gates of academia via abundant MSM mouthpieces.

All pressing issues have been claimed by ‘the movement’ that operates under a variety of brands; but it matters not if this week’s chosen slogan is Black Lives Matter or Extinction Rebellion, for the aims are the same. The rights of those this movement claims to be fighting on behalf of are little more than a convenient smokescreen to obscure the actual intention, a facade to dupe and deceive the well-meaning; after all, who with half-a-brain would condone racism or the destruction of the planet? These are contemporary concerns that have been cannily copyrighted and owned by the movement so that any opposition to it can be instantly deflected back at the opponent. Not particularly keen on your culture or history being torn down before your eyes? Obviously, that makes you a racist. The movement hasn’t selected its patsies randomly. Had just one footballer in the resurrected Premier League refused to wear BLM on his shirt or said out loud that taking the knee was a humiliating, submissive, virtue-signalling gesture that had nothing to do with attempts to eradicate genuine racism would have seen his career collapse quicker than you can say free transfer. When emotional blackmail makes the optional compulsory, you know you’re not in the realm of reason.

It’s a clever ploy to suppress debate and to brand anyone daring to raise their head above the parapet as a ‘right-wing extremist’; and if they still won’t shut up after being called a nasty name, the trolls are released and the online campaign continues until they are silenced. However, just in case Twitter doesn’t deliver, the movement can depend upon the cynical endorsement of bandwagon-jumping corporations that profit from modern-day slavery effectively cancelling said ‘right-wing extremist’ because being on the right side of history will ensure their shareholders can ride the post-lockdown economic storm. Google, YouTube and Facebook – as with all other companies, public bodies and institutions – are in the hands of the movement, anyway, so they’re not going to let the side down.

The movement’s wealthy white manipulators continue to play the race card as their ace, yet any ‘person of colour’ who has actually expressed a dislike of white ‘liberals’ patronising them and speaking on their behalf are regarded as traitors to their race, effective Uncle Toms. Being non-white is supposed to be a collective experience, is it not? Groupthink rules, OK, and People of Colour must all share the same viewpoint and politics, whether your roots are in the West Indies, West Africa, the Subcontinent or the Deep South. You’re all the same, right, you coloured folks? Adhere to the narrative and we white folks will pat you on the head for being good little victims as we add you to our trophy cabinet of oppressed minorities. Don’t get ideas above your station, such as becoming Home Secretary, for God’s sake. That buggers everything up.

Be under no illusions. We all want peace on earth and so on, but this isn’t it; this is a power-grab by charlatans posing as freedom-fighters; if they believed in freedom, that would also encompass thought and speech; but it doesn’t. Anyone who knows history knows what happens when authorities leave their posts and the mob move in to fill the vacuum; it happened during the Terror and it happened during the Cultural Revolution; relics of the old society are symbolically destroyed because the new society cannot get a foothold when surrounded by reminders of what is being lost. People might then actually regret losing them. Anyway, as for national monuments, Jake Thackray once highlighted how you can make much more inventive use of them…

© The Editor


There’s a telling interview with Jim Morrison from 1970 in which the Doors frontman reflects on the place of ‘nudity in Art’ following his…erm…’trouble’ in Miami, where he was alleged to have exposed himself on stage during a gig. ‘I think that nudity is really a cyclical phenomenon,’ he says. ‘It comes, it gets very liberal and extreme, then it goes back and reacts the other way and it just seems to be a cycle in entertainment…in the realm of art and theatre, I do think there should be complete freedom for the artist and performer.’ It’s a fascinating snapshot of one of the most literate and intelligent artists of that era before he succumbed to the self-indulgent excesses of the expectations placed upon him by an audience that desired a performing monkey to live out their vicarious fantasies. Morrison was speaking 20 years on from the persecutions of the McCarthy witch-hunts, but at a time when the worst crimes of the Cultural Revolution in China were still fresh in the minds of many. He recognised the importance of retaining artistic freedom in the face of inevitable pressure from philistine puritans with no understanding of the nuances that accompany the best Art has to offer.

Edward VI did it; Stalin did it; Mao did it; Pol Pot did it; the Taliban did it; ISIS did it; educated fleas may well have done it, but for now it is the Identitarian extremists of Black Lives Matter and their affiliated anarchists that have done it. The circumstances may differ, but the zealous, iconoclastic self-righteousness remains the same, along with the song. From the pathetic grovelling apologies of David Walliams and Matt Lucas – both of whom lost all lingering credibility or respect in an instant – to the hilariously humourless and oh-so sincere atonement video issued by white Hollywood ‘stars’ self-flagellating to save their careers, the gutless, capitulating cowardice of the established order cannot help but evoke historical throwbacks to the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings at the turn of the 50s. Everyone is too concerned with saving their own scared skin to stand up to the relentless bullying of the latest slogan to which we must all submit.

There may not be an official equivalent of the ‘Hollywood Blacklist’ today, but be in no doubt we are back in the Dark Ages that Jim Morrison only experienced the tail-end of in Miami; Morrison’s philosophical perspective on how genuine liberalism swings back and forth gave hope for the future, but he was fortunate to be at the vanguard of something that freed culture from the stranglehold of Puritanism for the best part of three decades. The notion that someone could once be condemned and cast out for something positive (and subsequently discarded) they had penned about Communism in a student rag 20 years before had rightly been regarded as ridiculous after the event, yet how is that any different from someone who created a character on a popular TV comedy series 20 years before now being forced to desperately beg for forgiveness that will never come?

A friend of a FB ‘friend’ in the wake of Leigh Francis’s deluded confessional the other week actually said in reply, ‘David Baddiel also needs to apologise for the same thing – and if he has apologised, maybe now is the time to do it again.’ Within that sentence is implicit the evidence that one apology isn’t enough, and who’s to say two will do? These people really believe they are liberal, free-thinking and in the right; they are utterly blind to the reality of their own prejudicial and illiberal attitudes to anyone who contradicts their worldview, and completely opposed to freedom of speech. The enemy must be punished, humiliated and forced to atone for their sins, end of – and even though he will never be entirely forgiven, we shall enjoy watching him suffer. The demands will become increasingly ludicrous if the authorities keep giving in to them and effectively endorsing purges, for the appetite of a fanatic is insatiable as they attempt to claim ownership of both the private and the public space. But to say this out loud is to get into bed with Tommy Robinson, and I’ve heard he has a habit of hogging the duvet, so sod that. And, of course, under the sun there is nothing new.

There was once a tried-and-trusted KGB method of destabilising the Soviet Union’s enemies by stealth, not through dropping bombs or even smearing nerve agents on doorknobs, but by infiltrating the public bodies, institutions and academia of a nation through neo-Marxist dogma masquerading as progressive liberal ideology. This long-term project could take 20 years or more to come to fruition, but by the time at least one generation had been indoctrinated, the instigators of the infiltration could sit back and watch society begin to destroy itself. Fill said generation with self-loathing, a hatred of their country and its history, and a desire to reduce it to cultural ashes; they would do the work for you. For many, this took root in the heady atmosphere of political turmoil that swept across Western Europe in 1968, giving birth to the likes of the Baader-Meinhof Gang at one end and a proliferation of Che Guevara T-shirts at the other; but anyone assuming it was a fashionable flash-in-the-pan that disappeared with the dissolution of the USSR needs to pause and ponder on the possibility it might have worked after all.

Whilst neither Putin nor lizards were necessarily involved, the 21st century equivalent of this operation was initially to divide men and women via Radical Feminism, though – despite intense efforts – it ultimately failed because at the end of the day the opposite sexes tend to be dependent on each other; then the intervention of Trans-activism threw a spanner in the works that continues to place women themselves in a state of crisis; dividing black and white seemed the easiest option – easy enough in a country with such a troubled racial history as the USA. And this one appears to really be working; we witnessed decades of progression towards colour blindness – decades that resulted in the election of a black President, lest we forget – yet the constant conditioning of being told one is a perpetually oppressed victim and that skin colour defines one’s identity above everything else (just like authentic white supremacists have been preaching for years, funnily enough) ensures the continuation of the division that numerous organisations require in order to stay in business.

Yes, there are cycles to this, just as Jim Morrison pointed out half-a-century ago; the pendulum swings to one extreme and then gradually swings back to a place in which we can actually all get along – though this frustratingly takes time. BLM have an advantage at the moment in that raising any doubts as to the wisdom of their demands can lead to one being instantly dismissed as a racist, just as those of us who doubted the wisdom of Operation Yewtree a decade ago were instantly dismissed as Paedos. And who’d relish being either a racist or a Paedo? Therefore, Premier League football can resume with Black Lives Matter printed on shirts and no one says a damn thing. They wouldn’t dare. Would anyone have protested if the Northern Ireland team had taken to the field with shirts advertising the IRA in the 1970s? Probably, though not in those parts of the UK where any dissent could result in a kneecapping. Already, there are signs of despair on social media over the defacing of the ‘wrong’ statues. Come on, children – did you really think they’d stop at all the ‘right’ ones?

© The Editor


A shadow backbench MP nobody beyond her constituency had heard of was ‘owned’ by the Home Secretary last week. Hot on the heels of a staggeringly condescending letter to Priti Patel signed by various Labour MPs that accused the Home Secretary of using her race to ‘gaslight other minority communities’, this latest desperate leap on the BLM bandwagon by Her Majesty’s Opposition wheeled out the usual Labour copyright claim on race issues. Florence Eshalomi sought to uphold the oppressed immigrant victim narrative so beloved of the left and it was immediately evident the gambit had backfired brilliantly. Priti Patel disputed the accusation that her government doesn’t understand racial inequality.

‘On that basis,’ Patel retorted, ‘it must have been a very different Home Secretary who as a child was frequently called a paki in the playground, a very different Home Secretary who was racially abused in the streets or even advised to drop her surname and use her husband’s in order to advance her career, a different Home Secretary recently characterised in the Guardian newspaper as a fat cow with a ring through its nose, something that was not only racist but offensive both culturally and religiously. This is hardly an example of respect, equality, tolerance or fairness; so when it comes to racism, sexism, tolerance or social justice, I will not take lectures from the other side of the House…and sadly, too many people are too willing, too casual to dismiss the contributions of those who don’t necessarily conform to preconceived views or ideas about how ethnic minorities should behave or think. This…is racist in itself.’

The Labour MP didn’t call Patel an ‘Uncle Tom’, but the implication was inherent in her arrogant assumption that only Labour has the right to narrate this saga. Four great Offices of State and two of them held by British Asians rather than the evil white men who should always occupy them in order to validate the left’s story arc – that wasn’t in the script. And what a script; primarily penned by the self-loathing white middle-class that has echoes across the Atlantic at the heart of the Democratic Party, the politically-correct facade of tolerance obscuring a myriad of old-school bigotry and nastiness. Priti Patel doesn’t fit the narrative, so she’s fair game to be demonised in a racist character assassination as vile as any the left routinely accuses its enemies of.

Ditto the recent graffiti on the statue of Queen Victoria in Leeds – look beyond the historically inaccurate ‘slavery’ sloganeering and notice the statue’s breasts and genitals have been highlighted in spray-paint; what does that say to you about the ‘artist’s’ attitudes to women? Funny how so many who wear their Woke colours with pride are – beneath the approved T-shirt and the perceived immunity that comes from occupying the moral high ground – utterly guilty of everything they are quick to weaponise and aim at anyone who doesn’t fall into line; one might conclude the shame over their own thought-crimes is manifested as transferring them onto the enemy. One particular Facebook ‘friend’ of mine is such a prolific virtue-signaller for all the correct causes that her posts imply she’s one of the kindest, most compassionate people you could ever wish to meet, when she is in fact one of the most unpleasantly manipulative and nastiest individuals imaginable. But I keep her in my newsfeed because I derive amusement from her hypocrisy.

At times like this, it’s always apt to defer to a man who nailed it 80 years ago – George Orwell. How long, one wonders, before some possessed fanatic discovers such a wry critic of the British Empire in its decrepit redundancy was actually employed as a colonial copper in Burma and decides his statue outside the BBC deserves the ‘racist’ epithet? You heard it here first. Of course, Orwell’s impression of the Empire came from the one thing today’s obsessive experts on it don’t have – first-hand experience; but his experience – and gradual disillusionment with – the left in this country seems the most relevant and timeless when placed in a contemporary context. His 1941 essay, ‘England Your England’, is as well worth a read as either of his two most famous works of fiction in what it has to say about where we are now.

‘It should be noted that there is now no intelligentsia that is not in some sense Left,’ he writes – and with the mainstream media of 2020 forbidding any diversity of thought or opinion, that certainly rings true. ‘The mentality of the English left-wing intelligentsia can be studied in half-a-dozen weekly and monthly papers,’ he goes on. ‘The immediately striking thing about all these papers is their generally negative, querulous attitude, their complete lack at all times of any constructive suggestion.’ When was the last time you saw anything but what he describes in the pages of the Guardian? Everything is shit, everything is rotten and corrupt, everything is beyond repair, and – it goes without saying – everything is racist.

When he writes ‘under this is the really important fact about so many of the English intelligentsia – their severance from the common culture of the country,’ one cannot help but instantly think of the political class’s failure to anticipate – and its reaction to – Brexit. ‘England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality,’ he writes. ‘In left-wing circles, it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution.’ The contemporary left narrative certainly endorses that statement; in Orwell’s day, naturally, most Englishmen were white; if one were to insert the word ‘white’ before the word ‘Englishman’, that last quoted passage would make even more sense in 2020, where the disgrace is embodied in ‘taking the knee’.

But perhaps his opinion on how the left of the 1930s was complicit in creating a sense of the English being a defeated, redundant race that they themselves should be ashamed of highlights how doing so leaves the English vulnerable to the enemy within. ‘All through the critical years,’ he writes, ‘many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were decadent and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the left was partly responsible.’ Witness the response to what happened last weekend – or this – from the left; the violent desecration by their side was justified because the hymn sheet is the same one passed around the whole congregation, and those at the top have been distributing it for years.

Fear of reprisals governs discourse. One is not allowed to question or query the incoherent manifesto of an organisation that wants to defund the police, destroy the nuclear family and effectively reorganise society along the lines of a neo-Marxist kibbutz. As the FA follows the same cynical line as all other public bodies, institutions, companies and corporations in enforcing BLM on football shirts with the ‘you must wear this or else’ decree previously applied to the LGBT rainbow logo, any resistance will result in instant dismissal; ditto the black square on social media. Funnily enough, the same sporting authority informed any England player refusing to give the Nazi salute when the team lined-up to play Germany in Berlin in 1938 that they would never be picked for their country again. Wonder if Orwell watched the game?

© The Editor


Sod it. If it’s in your hands, it’s out of theirs. Any archive that is embodied in a physical object rather than floating around the cyber ether is free from editing, tampering, censoring and deleting. Any attempts on the part of streaming services to deny viewers vintage TV in order to protect the oversensitive from being triggered are ultimately futile because it’s already all out there. The Pandora’s Box of the televisual past was opened a long time ago and released into the homes of millions when its curators realised they could recoup an income from it – firstly via VHS, then the DVD and its Blu-ray sibling. And while there may have been a push to proclaim as passé the physical format over the last couple of years, the streaming salesmen are not unlike the record companies of 25-30 years back, the ones that misjudged the value of vinyl when urging punters to buy their albums all over again on CD. It’s in their interests that you subscribe and submit, even though everybody I know who accesses the likes of Netflix does so illicitly and consequently never pays a penny, which is quite funny.

As a format for storing favourite films or TV shows, for my money the DVD is the finest ever conceived – and one that will probably now never be superseded. VHS tape was great in its day, but the DVD is undoubtedly superior. The streaming spiel is that we now have a format-free version of what we might otherwise have had on DVD, but on our phones or PCs and therefore not taking up ‘valuable’ storage space; this is bullshit. We don’t own it just because we can access it online anymore than we own any book we could borrow from a library – whereas we do own the ones we have at home. There’s a difference. Librarians can remove from the shelves any of the books we require their permission to loan, just as broadcasters and streaming services can remove ‘Fawlty Towers’, ‘Little Britain’, ‘The League of Gentlemen’ or ‘Gone With the Wind’. But if we have them as a physical object, they’re ours to access for life.

Therefore, this seems an apt moment to indulge in one of my periodical forays into viewing habits that serve as a pleasant diversion from a world containing nothing that anyone with sanity intact would want to embrace. The series under today’s spotlight isn’t ‘problematic’ as far as I can tell, though it ran from 1972 to 1974, so I suppose that means it must be racist, I guess. Well, it features three white people as its lead characters, so that’s not a good sign, is it? And only one of them is a woman, which is clearly misogynistic. And they’re all straight, which obviously suggests it’s a very homophobic series. And occasionally actors who do not belong to an ethnically diverse demographic are adopting middle-eastern accents whilst looking like they’ve overslept on the sun-bed, thus being guilty of both ‘blacking-up’ and of stereotyping anyone not white as inherently villainous, which is unquestionably racist and serves to reinforce negative, colonialist perceptions of minorities. Maybe the actors were hired on merit rather than because they fulfilled a quota? Funnily enough, I’m not talking about ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ or ‘Mind Your Language’, but ‘The Protectors’.

‘The Protectors’ was perhaps the last in the run of relentlessly entertaining, escapist adventure series produced by Lew Grade’s ITC from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. These shows – ‘The Saint’, ‘Man in a Suitcase’, ‘The Champions’, ‘Department S’, ‘The Persuaders’, ‘Jason King’ – adhered to a joyously familiar formula in which the lead characters were never short of money for the finest clothes, cars, food, drink, beautiful women and flash pads; they were usually begrudgingly employed by some secret organisation loosely affiliated to government-sponsored espionage – organisations that clearly regarded playboy dilettantes as the ideal employees in the tradition of the gentleman spy, the amateur who saves the world in his spare time. Shot on glossy colour film in order to sell them to the US networks when British TV was still primarily broadcasting in monochrome, all of these series still look visually impressive today and retain their surreal charm.

‘The Protectors’ followed a familiar ITC pattern when seeking American backing, that of giving a leading role to an American actor, in this case the Man from UNCLE himself, Robert Vaughn. He plays the London-based Harry Rule, a man who shares his luxury apartment with a sexy Chinese ‘girl servant’ and an Irish Wolfhound; he’s a member of the mysterious Protectors organisation, which is portrayed as international by having the two other stars of the show working out of Italy and France. Eye candy for the guys is provided by the beautiful and elegant Nyree Dawn Porter as the Contessa di Contini, the exotic English widow of an Italian millionaire (who clearly had nobody else to bequeath his fortune to), whilst eye candy for the girls comes in the suave shape of young Paul Buchet, played by Tony Anholt. All three are effortlessly affluent and can handle themselves in a fight – which is handy, because they get into a lot of fights, albeit fights of the Wild West saloon school.

Surprisingly, ‘The Protectors’ was conceived and co-produced by Gerry Anderson – surprisingly because it lacks the science fiction/fantasy hallmarks that characterise his TV CV. Sandwiched between his first non-puppet series, ‘UFO’, and his final regular television outing, ‘Space 1999’, ‘The Protectors’ is something of an aberration in the Anderson canon, but fits neatly into the ITC pantheon. Money was clearly spent on the series, as location filming, rather than relying on stock footage and back projection, is a key element of its appeal. Although there are an abundance of stories set along the Mediterranean and about half-a-dozen shot in Venice, various European cities feature and the actors are unmistakably there rather than on the ITC back-lot. Viewing it today, it’s refreshing how distinctively different and authentically European – in an old-fashioned sense of the word – these locations look to a modern eye dulled by identikit streets colonised by the same corporate chain-stores the world over. To a British public making its first tentative forays to the Continent via package tours in the early 70s, it must have served as a useful travelogue.

Unusually for an ITC series, ‘The Protectors’ eschews the standard 50-minute format and crams everything into 25-minute episodes. To some degree, this time limit comes at the expense of character development, leaving the three leads as rather blank canvases who have little breathing space to grow as people before the quick-fire plot drags them into action. On the plus side, there’s no padding and no messing about; everything has to be resolved within an extremely narrow frame. However, one could say this might make the series appealing to a contemporary audience accustomed to the fast-paced MTV editing of TV drama today; if you like your adventures diluted into a show that will nicely span your evening meal, ‘The Protectors’ could well be the TV dinner side-order for you.

Guest stars who did the ITC rounds feature throughout – Patrick Mower, Derren Nesbitt, Patrick Troughton, Anton Rodgers, Peter Bowles, Ian Hendry, Michael Gough, Stephanie Beacham, Kate O’Mara – and there are a few surprising cameos from an adolescent Peter Firth, Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones (looking more like a Doobie Brother), and even Eartha Kitt. The enjoyably formulaic plotlines are penned by the usual roster of ITC wordsmiths and, like all ITC shows, it had a great theme tune – in this case, ‘Avenues and Alleyways’, sung by Tony Christie in true melodramatic style. As a slice of vintage escapism, it’s glorious hokum with flamboyant threads to match and a plethora of Zapata moustaches and dodgy ‘foreign’ accents on the part of the villains. There are no attempts at ‘Scandi-Noir’ angst or inserting ‘issues’ into the stories with a sledgehammer. No, it’s actually nothing more than innocent, undemanding fun. Remember that? ‘The Protectors’ now is what it was then, not what 2020 has imposed upon it.

© The Editor


Just look at that image. Just look at that shameless, opportunistic vapid vacuum of an excuse for a politician. Do you really hate the admittedly useless Boris Johnson so much that you’d want this unprincipled plastic weasel as your leader? Even if you were ignorant of the far-reaching crimes he committed in his past life as DPP and of the long-term damage he inflicted upon Law and policing in this country even before he’d set foot in Westminster, surely that image alone, an image of a man who seeks to be Prime Minister submitting to the demands of a divisive race-baiting cult because he values the transient currency of hash-tags so much, is worthy of your eternal contempt. It says everything you need to know about what a complete c*** he is. How could you ever respect someone so pussy-whipped by the Twitterati that you’d want him to move in to Downing Street? How could you ever vote for the party he leads ever again after seeing that image?

It’s amusing, yes – and one has to laugh now, really – how giddy so many on the left became when Sir Keir Starmer applied the plodding forensic techniques he’d honed as an unspectacular barrister when first facing Boris Johnson across the dispatch box during his inaugural PMQs. Ooh! He’s really putting Boris on the spot, isn’t he?! Excuse me, but isn’t that what the Leader of the Opposition is supposed to do? Perhaps Starmer’s desperate groupies were so excitable because they’d forgotten this fact. And perhaps it highlighted just how f***ing useless their beloved Jezza had been in the same spot when confronting three Prime Ministers throughout his argument-winning tenure as Labour leader.

As someone unpleasantly estranged from actual family members, my gradual estrangement from the left in this country has the same feel to it. It’s like having to abandon an old uncle I was once extremely fond of because he’s finally lost his marbles and has started spouting incoherent nonsensical bullshit that essentially has the same logic to it as 2+2=5. The left – like the right – always had its lunatic fringe, but it was traditionally the madwoman in the attic, the one kept locked away from polite society because everyone knew she would only frighten the horses and alienate the electorate. And then the lunatic fringe seized power in the coup d’état of 2015, instigating five years of disintegration that some foolishly imagined would cease with Corbyn’s retirement. That image of his charmless successor says everything you need to know about what has become of that forlorn hope.

A decade ago, I would’ve been regarded as a lefty liberal, whereas the goalposts have been shifted so far from the penalty area since then that I’m probably now viewed as a far-right fascist/Nazi/racist/misogynist/Transphobe/Islamophobe (apply where applicable), i.e. somewhere to the right of Oswald Mosley. But groupthink has never been my bag; I’ve always had what you might call herd immunity, spending most of my life fighting against being boxed, labelled or pigeonholed. I resisted safety in numbers at school by defiantly declaring I thought ‘Happy Days’ was shit when everyone in my class thought the Fonz was the personification of cool; I knew in my heart (and still do) that ‘Happy Days’ was shit, even if it meant I couldn’t be part of the crowd for going against the consensus. I remember during my 80s adolescence, many of my peers were Goths; I might have found some of those ladies-in-black attractive, but to embrace the lifestyle would have required blocking my ears to the latest catchy hit by Madonna or Prince – and I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice myself to something that necessitated that kind of personal dishonesty.

In many respects, I’m not entirely surprised the under-25s have embraced the lunatic fringe in its new role as the alternative to the Conservative Party. Loyal old lefties remain true to ‘the cause’ because they still cherish the struggle of the 1984 Miners’ Strike like previous generations on the left clung to the General Strike of 1926. Their blind faith is almost touching, however irrelevant. They remind me of the hardcore supporters of football clubs that are destined to spend their days in the lower leagues, forever dreaming of a giant-killing act in the FA Cup every time the Third Round comes around. But at least they did alright out of capitalism, for all that; not so their offspring. What has capitalism ever done for them? If they’d studied for a degree that meant something, they’d have graduated to a career that meant something and would own a home as a reward for their efforts. Capitalism has given them none of that, so why should we be surprised that they’ve rejected it completely and attached themselves to a series of dogmatic cults that simply want to destroy without actually offering a tangible replacement for the system?

The blame is entirely with the previous generation of western leaders that created this situation, yet their successors are doing nothing to repair the damage, being more concerned with signalling their virtue and appeasing the demographic their predecessors didn’t plan for because they never thought to wear a condom. Like a divorced parent attempting to buy their child’s favours, Sadiq Khan falling over himself to remove statues of philanthropists whose tenuous links to a global trade the British initiated the abolition of 200 years ago does so whilst simultaneously failing to address an epidemic of inner-city black-on-black murders. Then again, so does the organisation whose logo is becoming as depressingly ubiquitous in suburban Woke windows as the Unionist flag is in East Belfast.

For anyone pushed away from the left in the wake of the lunatic fringe’s power-grab, it’s a lonely world indeed. With the right as repugnant as ever, you’re stranded in the middle; and the middle is not a location occupied by those you’d want to spend much time in the company of. It’s like attending a party and being stuck in a corner with the kind of people who make you wonder if a social life is worth it. Tony Blair? The Lib Dems? Change UK? That’s the pathetic choice when it comes to centrist politics today. Even if you didn’t want to be a ‘centrist’ in the first place, finding yourself amongst that lot is as depressing as having to choose between a blue-haired SJW throwing a tantrum on one hand and Tommy bloody Robinson on the other. After a while, you find yourself withdrawing completely, yet any guilt over doing so doesn’t linger long when you watch the spineless capitulation of authorities to the minority and feel utterly powerless to prevent the madness from escalating further.

Recent events are something some of us have seen coming for a long time, mind. We saw the first stirrings during the Paedo-shaming hysteria of the post-Savile Yewtree era, and I wonder who was in charge of the CPS when that was all kicking-off? If only I could remember. Anyway, as insanely damaging as that witch-hunt was, it retrospectively feels more like a warm-up for the main event now. It was easy to dismiss some of the more extreme campus lunacy as just students letting off steam before they grew up and moved on, but then we have to remember that these are the same people that leave academia and are welcomed into the media, politics, the social services, and the teaching profession, indoctrinating the next generation with the same nihilistic Marxist dogma they themselves were taught. The masses may reject their message, but the minority remain in control of the biggest platforms. So, we were warned. In fact, we were warned a long time ago…

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten…every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.”

© The Editor


Have you heard? It’s in the stars: Next July we collide with Mars. Well, let’s get a move on with that. Puts me in mind of a 1971 ‘Doctor Who’ story in which the Doc’s Timelord nemesis, The Master, invites an alien invader to Earth; the Nestene Intelligence isn’t Martian, but a species that can bring any inanimate object to life as long as it’s plastic. It animates shop-window dummies and uses them to seize power in advance of the invasion with The Master’s assistance. However, at the moment when The Master is poised to finally welcome the alien invader, the Doctor asks The Master if he thinks that once the Nestene Intelligence sets eyes on him, it will instantly distinguish between him and mankind. After all, he doesn’t exactly look very alien. Obviously, the Doctor’s point registers and the invasion is averted. But The Master was playing with fire and labouring under the misapprehension that his obedience would spare him the fate that awaited everyone else – not unlike those on social media who were aghast when the wild animal in their lap suddenly bit them.

Why were Graham Linehan and JK Rowling so surprised? Hadn’t they shamelessly pandered to the Woke consensus? Hadn’t they tried to do the one thing you cannot do with fanatics – appease and please them? Their PC credentials hadn’t guaranteed them the immunity they naively imagined they would and now they’re paying the price as designated un-persons. Both have become targets for the nastiest disciples of the SJW cult – the trans-terrorists. To be honest, it’s hard to be sympathetic. Comedian Leigh Francis of ‘Keith Lemon’ fame made the same mistake a few days ago, apologising for once making people laugh on his early noughties series ‘Bo’ Selecta!’, in which he parodied every celebrity of the day – of all colours and genders; he clearly doesn’t realise the confession-cum-apology demanded still won’t satisfy those he seeks to forgive him. Forgiveness is not an element of the new religion.

In fact, Leigh Francis’s bumbled pre-emptive strike was actually the least nauseating missive launched online in a week that has seen a wave of collective hysteria sweep through the English-speaking world quicker than you can say coronavirus. The faint hope that a global pandemic would put the brakes on the culture wars was to underestimate the width of the polarisation that now exists between the warring factions. Yes, one can cite a certain stir-craziness courtesy of the lockdown, but it hardly excuses the extremities of behaviour on the streets of cities that have absolutely no connection whatsoever with events in Minneapolis. British Police officers who just a few weeks ago were harassing socially-distanced sunbathers and rooting through shopping bags foolishly imagined that submitting to the lunatics now running the asylum would spare them. But adopting a humiliating pose that implied they were about to ask for their hand in marriage didn’t prevent them from being targeted – or even their bloody horses. Again, you cannot appease or please fanatics.

Dancing at Pride marches and making similarly undignified concessions to Instagram culture does not earn Woke Brownie-points when confronted by a toxic brand of politicised anarchy that originated in the US and now sadly has a foothold here. And it has a foothold because the powers-that-be have done nothing to prevent it. Such is the fear of online ostracism after attaching disproportionate volume to the loudest voices on Twitter that inches have been given and miles have been taken, and this weekend saw the inevitable outcome of this spineless compliance. Inaction has opened the door to those whose only cause is chaos. Like the hooligan armies who used to attend football matches simply because they loved a punch-up and didn’t give two shits about the beautiful game, for the worst offenders in London and Bristol the name of George Floyd is nothing more than a convenient buzz-word to hang their intentions on.

A line was crossed in Bristol yesterday. Pause for a moment and think what happened; even if we are coerced into accepting some vague justification on the part of the perpetrators, what happened was the kind of thing we read about in history books when it comes to the streets of British cities, back when we were supposedly more barbaric than we are today. If it happens today, it happens in other countries in specific circumstances. When it happened in Iraq, it was a spontaneous action by people who had just been liberated from a despot; the manifestation of their unleashed relief was directed towards a symbolic monument to the despised dictator who had the blood of their families on his stone hands. That wasn’t the case yesterday. This was a statue to a long-dead local philanthropist whose fortune was derived from a despised historical trade that, lest we forget, the British led the way in abolishing 200 years ago, at a time when it remained a profitable industry. 200 f***ing years ago.

The disturbingly supine attitude towards this by many people I follow on social media, people I otherwise admire, is either a Leigh Francis-like expression of not wanting to be targeted themselves, or it reflects a short-sighted awareness of what it really represents and what it could lead to. Fine if a mob pulls down a symbol of something few could defend, but what happens if they next select a symbol of something you hold dear? Indeed, once these Taliban tactics have succeeded on the streets of one British city, why should they end in Bristol? Some of England’s grandest and most beautiful stately homes were built on the profits of slavery; are they next on the hit-list? So many triggering and problematic publications line the shelves of the nation’s libraries; surely they should be gathered together in a public space and set alight? Now, that would be an anti-fascist gesture!

Name one prominent figure from the past who couldn’t be considered ‘problematic’ if placed in the narrow context of judging everyone and everything through the prism of contemporary discourse; chances are it can’t be done. Indeed, the fast-moving nature of who is and who isn’t acceptable means even characters elevated to icon status this century can be raised and felled in the blink of an eye. Had a statue of Aung San Suu Kyi been erected at the height of her deification, no doubt it would’ve already been pulled down by now – such was the speed of her seamless transition from heroine to villainess. Defacing and vandalising monuments to Churchill or Lincoln is one thing; but when white rich-kids with daddy issues up their game unchallenged, the stakes change considerably. Of course, the shameless applause of the left’s pseudo-intellectuals is no surprise; the far-left foot-soldiers do the dirty work so they can sit back and vicariously celebrate from the comfort of their gated communities. They can wear the slogan of the moment on a T-shirt and write a column about events as they toast the revolution – just like they did with Uncle Joe and Chairman Mao.

The aim of the far-left, of course, is to ‘smash the system’ and sod the rest of us who are just trying to get on with each other; by being able to engage in criminal damage uninterrupted, the provocation aimed at the far-right is blatant. The far-left wants to convince us the far-right is the threat rather than a bunch of hairy-palmed bedroom saddoes playing at being Nazis online; they want to draw them out of their mothers’ houses to engage in the ‘race war’ they so desperately crave to vindicate their narrative. Reinforcing divisions is a hallmark of this regressive movement; and telling one side they are in a perpetual state of oppression whilst telling the other their whiteness is an original sin that must be cleansed is already in danger of becoming perceived wisdom. But naively imagining the mob won’t eventually come for you just because its actions so far chime with your worldview is to play with the proverbial fire; it’s like stroking a tiger and believing it won’t take your hand off because you make a monthly donation to cat charities. Reaping and sowing, eh?

© The Editor