One of the advantages of those few post-prandial days falling after too much New Year’s Eve celebrating and before the cold shower of the first day back at work is that there are a fair few moments when you can take stock and see various issues through an outside lens looking in rather than being in the “up close and personal” position. I guess they call it “objectivity”.
What hits you, fair dinkum straight between the eyes, is what is known in the best of circles, in the drawing rooms of High Society, as “A Statement of the Bleedin’ Obvious”. The first recorded incidence of this phenomenon was when an unknown little boy loudly observed that The Emperor had no clothes on.
Oh for a load more of the same right now! Because we are all, by our inaction and our “leaving it to someone else”, complicit in keeping His Emperorship’s robes firmly in place. Consider ………..
– Emily Dawes is the President of Southampton University’s Students’ Union. She tweeted “Mark my words – we’re taking down the mural of white men in the Uni Senate Room, even if I have to paint over it myself.” Her target was a 1916 mural commemorating members of British Universities who fought and died in the First World War.
Ms Dawes has since apologised but surely, surely it is a Statement of the Bleedin’ Obvious (“SBO”) that 21 year-old Presidents of Students’ Unions should act with a greater degree of responsibility to Society in general and particularly to the Country that is providing her with her start in life. As Jenny McCartney said in The Sunday Times: Our Society has arrived at “the bizarre place in which a well off, educated young woman can retrospectively dismiss the male foot soldiers of the Great War as distasteful representatives of privilege”.
– James Knight, a student at the University of West England, recently stood as a candidate for election as “Men’s Officer” to highlight “how deeply mental health issues run in men”; he faced a staggering amount of opposition and condemnation. Sarah Lasoye of the National Union of Students said “The role of a Men’s Officer is entirely obsolete.” Her colleague called the Election “the worst thing I’ve seen in student politics”. By now it will come as no surprise to you that Ms Lasoye is the NUS’s ………Women’s Officer! What cant, hate-fuelled, misandristic hypocrisy is that! Mr Knight sadly withdrew his candidature. I am not making this up! Surely it is an SBO that this personal vilification, this appalling hate-filled personality-targeting that is evident everywhere in those of a Millennial and younger disposition is unacceptable and will damage the cohesion of our Society forever if it doesn’t stop. Maybe Mr Zuckerburg and his fellow West Coast billionaires might like to make a contribution to mankind for once rather than his wallet and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! For it is in their power to stop all this if they really want to, such is their hold over an entire generation.
– Japan is leaving the International Whaling Commission so that it can resume the mass-murder of defenceless fellow mammals, most of whom are, judging by this decision, probably more intelligent than the few Japanese administrators who have sanctioned this appalling move. Whale meat consists of 0.1% of all meat consumed in the Land of the Rising Sun. So what’s this about? It’s an SBO that this is about “not being told what to do by other countries” aka “reasserting Nationhood”. Why does that send shivers down my spine? So we’re just going to moan about this over our dinner party fodder are we…..and do nothing? At least we could boycott goods made in Japan, or get out on the streets with the placards (sure beats banging on about B****y B****t!). But presumably we just don’t care enough. How many whale species will become extinct before we do?
– Nicola Sturgeon presumably wants to be the democratically-elected Prime Minister of a fairly (in EU terms) insignificant Country one day. Last October she refused to open a conference co-hosted by the BBC because (and I’m not making this up) the following day the BBC’s Scotland Editor, Sarah Smith, was due to interview President Trump’s former Senior Aide, the far-right Steve Bannon. Sturgeon said that the BBC ran “the risk of normalisation” of Bannon’s views. For God’s Sake……can’t a would-be Leader of an independent Country show a bit more savvy than that! It is an SBO that all that such behaviour does is to create a martyr, a poster boy for extremism ……and adds fuel to the fire of those who feel dispossessed by “them”. Underground goes the extremism and becomes all the more dangerous for that. One of the best things the BBC Question Time producers ever did, in the teeth of the screaming hate of the SBO-deniers, was to give a slot to the loathsome Nick Griffin of the BNP. I remember how his answers on Transport Policy were not that edifying! It showed him up for what he was. He blinked in the daylight. But to refuse to work with the BBC? Dumb, Ms Sturgeon, just plain dumb.
– And lastly I give you as my most significant example of an SBO…… one specific aspect of the raging Brexit Debate:
Not once,(once!) in all the propositions and arguments from the Remain Camp have I heard how precisely continued membership of the EU intends to deal with:
—— The sheer waste of a quarter of a billion euros each and every year by moving the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg every (yes, EVERY!) month just to please the French.
—— The fact that what Germany wants, Germany gets. (Don’t blame the Germans for this; if I paid the most in I’d want to boss it too). Why doesn’t anyone refer to this situation and why does no-one appear bothered by being run by another Country?
—— The Big Lie: Martin Wolf in the Financial Times (a Remain propaganda sheet if ever there was one; its Editor has even been awarded the Legion d’Honneur!) wrote; The EU is a “ peace project that works by embedding mutual relations in a framework of equally-applicable and legally-binding rules. The rules need to be clear and subject to an authoritative legal process.” Really Mr Wolf? So how do you account for the flagrant and frequent cheating by France, Italy, Greece et al? Even Germany ignored the Growth and Stability Pact when it suited them (but then enforced strict near-fatal rules on Greece). Just ask any UK Small Business which regularly deals in those countries; they cheat, mainly because they can. Enforcement is expensive, takes too long and is opaque at best. It isn’t working for the average woman and man in Northern, Anglo-Saxon Europe and they’re fed up of being told to shut up because their (unelected) Masters know best.
Politicians (who love blaming “Europe” for domestic spinelessness and inadequacy), the Establishment Elite and Big Business call for us all to look at “the bigger picture”. Surely it is the biggest Statement of the Bleedin’ Obvious of all that millions and millions of Leavers (and, I guess, more Remainers than will admit it publicly) can see; the EU Emperor has no clothes on. Those basic questions remain unanswered, they are buried in Euroflannel ……. and the only answer seems to be “put up with it, you don’t understand”.
But we DO understand; why? Because it’s so Bleedin’ Obvious!