Guest Notes

Dystopian notes

20 June 2020

9:00 AM

20 June 2020

9:00 AM

Albion is toast

Australia: will you take me? You’ve always been high on my list of escape destinations when everything goes to pot in the Mother Country. And now that moment has come: the ravens have left the Tower, Helm’s Deep has fallen, Albion is toast. It may be time for this Pom to get out of Dodge.

You might think this is an overreaction to a few statues being pulled down, the odd riot in which no one, thankfully, has yet been killed, and a few police making pillocks of themselves by kowtowing (aka ‘taking the knee’) to a bunch of race-baiting thugs. But it’s not what has happened so far that most bothers me. Rather, it’s that no one in authority will own up to the scale of the problem, let alone to take responsibility for dealing with it. Which means that things can only get worse.

Take the toppling in Bristol, of the bronze statue of a 17th century merchant, Edward Colston. You may think that, as a former slaver, Colston had it coming. Or you may think this was just more cry-bullying from the hard-left mob. Either way, what surely ought to concern us most is that it happened right under the noses of the acquiescent police. Public property was vandalised in broad daylight and instead of intervening in this clear breach of the peace, the police looked on indulgently, even admiringly.

This was not an exception. Across the nation, PC PCs are giving up on neutrality and surrendering to the militant Left. In Cambridge, a few months ago, activists from the eco-fascist group Extinction Rebellion closed down streets and dug up the lawns of Trinity College with the apparent backing of a sympathetic local constabulary. In Hertfordshire, police have been told by their bosses that it’s not obligatory to show their deference to Black Lives Matter protesters by ‘taking a knee’ — but that those who ‘do not do so may become the focus of the protesters’ attention.’

Now would be the perfect time, you might have hoped, for Britain’s proudly Thatcherite Home Secretary Priti Patel to show her mettle and clamp down hard on this neo-Marxist insurrection. Instead, at the weekend, she decided to throw in her lot with all the other virtue-signalling sell-outs in government by tweeting her disgust at an image of a white working class male at a ‘far right’ demo in London urinating near a memorial to PC Keith Palmer, who was murdered in 2017 by an Islamist terrorist.

‘Shameful,’ the Home Secretary tweeted. But not as shameful, surely, as some of the stuff she didn’t tweet: random white people being grabbed and beaten to within an inch of their life by ‘largely peaceful’ (or so the BBC insisted) BLM protestors; a police rider being thrown backwards from her terrified horse as it bolted under a hail of BLM fire from objects including a bicycle and a distress flare; one BLM thug climbing the Cenotaph and trying to set light to the Union flag, others spray painting ‘racist’ on the statues of Winston Churchill and, more bizarrely, Mahatma Gandhi.

Which is worse: an inebriated, desperate bloke relieving himself against a pillar because, thanks to lockdown, all the public toilets have been closed? (He got two weeks in jail). Or acts of premeditated violence by hardcore leftist agitators bent on destroying the system and fomenting civil war? (A lot of them got off scot-free.) Even if Britain’s increasingly abject and distrusted media is incapable of telling the difference, the ordinary British people can. Last year, they voted overwhelmingly for Boris Johnson Conservatives. But what they now fear they have ended up with is a regime at least as incompetent and almost as left-leaning as the Labour one they were hoping to avoid.

‘What we now face is regime change,’ wrote Peter Hitchens, at the weekend, in a lament for the Britain he now believes is lost forever. ‘That is why these strange crowds have begun to gather round ancient and forgotten monuments demanding their removal and destruction. They do not know what they want, or understand what they are destroying. But that no longer matters. They think their moment has come, and they may well be right.’

Relentless gloom, unrelieved by the merest scintilla of hope, is Hitchens’s stock in trade. But he does rather have a point. Boris — ruined by the triple whammy of Covid-19, a new baby, and a green/leftist girlfriend —has gone AWOL. None of his lieutenants appears to have the slightest conservative conviction. They only won the election six months ago: yet even at this early stage they look like a dead government walking. And waiting in the wings is Keir Starmer, an Opposition leader so woke that he too was recently photographed ‘taking the knee’ to Black Lives Matter.

Perhaps, if it hadn’t been for the coronavirus outbreak, the ineptitude and spinelessness of Boris’s Conservatives-in-name-only would never have been so cruelly exposed. They’ve been unlucky, certainly. But still that’s no excuse for just how useless they’ve been — especially on coronavirus. The interminable lockdown they’ve imposed — claiming, dishonestly, to be ‘following the science’ — now looks to have been a huge mistake, which may ultimately cause more deaths than it prevented, and at incalculable cost to the economy, to children’s education and, as we’re seeing now, to social cohesion.

In only one single area has the government been remotely successful: using its wickedly effective propaganda department into terrifying the populace into believing that Covid-19 — in fact no deadlier than bad seasonal flu — is worse than the Black Death. With the economy in freefall — a 20 per cent drop this quarter, the worst in three centuries — what the country needs is everyone to get working and spending again. Thanks to Boris’s black arts experts, though, the productive section of the economy are cowering at home, while the unproductive part are out on the streets fomenting revolution. This cannot end well.

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