My 2019: mice, Marrakesh and a fond farewell to my dear friend Christopher Booker

Christopher Booker (centre) with Richard Ingrams (left) and William Rushton working on Private Eye magazine in 1963 (John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Another year over and it wasn’t all bad, you know. Here are some of my personal highlights.

Best birthday parties: my dear old friend Liz Hogg’s 90th and my dear older friend’s Jim Lovelock’s 100th. The latter, in the Orangerie at Blenheim Palace, was possibly the most unboring semi-formal social occasion I’ve ever attended. My table included the philosopher John Gray, a dapper Japanese gentleman who had been blown out of his bed by the Hiroshima bomb, and an economist from northern Uganda who’d narrowly escaped the Lord’s Resistance Army massacres.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

The only way to survive Christmas TV is to avoid anything seasonal and watch Giri/Haji

Destined to become the actor of his generation: Will Sharpe as Rodney in Giri/Haji. Image: BBC / Sister Pictures / Luke Varley

If this blackly comic BBC drama doesn’t get every award going then there’s no justice.

The key to surviving the next couple of weeks of TV is to avoid like the plague anything that smacks of seasonal viewing. So, no Christmas specials (such as the semi-celebrity, elderly grown-ups version of University Challenge where the questions are even more laboriously PC than on the student edition), no Harry Potter, no adverts featuring tinsel, dragons and patronisingly diverse families making merry. Basically, you want to steer clear of terrestrial TV altogether — but with one exception. You may use BBC iPlayer to download the only decent drama series that slipped through the net: Giri/Haji.

Read the rest  in the Spectator.

 

Should We Celebrate #OwenJonesIsAWankerDay?

owen jones
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Today, according to Twitter, is #OwenJonesIsAWankerDay.

Normally, I would deplore such dog-piling. It’s what the left does all the time: naming a blameless individual for having committed some imaginary crime such as using the wrong pronoun or making a joke or being pro-Brexit – and then inviting the Social Justice Warrior hate mob to destroy them.

But I wonder if we may need to make an exception in the case of Owen Jones and his ilk, because what they have done to political discourse in Britain over the last few years is dangerous, frightening, and long overdue an almighty backlash.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

Three Cheers for Brexit Heroes Gina Miller and Jolyon Maugham!

brexit
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Let’s celebrate two of the unsung heroes of Brexit: Gina Miller and Jolyon Maugham QC!

Nobody remembers them today, of course. Like David Gauke, Andrew Adonis, Sam Gymiah, and all the other bizarre anomalous creatures who rose briefly to prominence during the Brexit wars, their destiny from now on is, at best, to be seen drinking liquidised kangaroo testicles on future series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here — or, at worst, to end up as the subject of tricky pub quiz trivia questions which not even the hardcore quizzers will get right.

But before they disappear forever down the plughole of history, let us pause briefly to toast their vital contribution to Brexit.

Gina Miller, you’ll dimly recall, was the posh, rich financier woman who appeared from nowhere with her wodges of City cash and her gobby relentlessness, determined to pull every trick in the book to try prevent all those plebby, uneducated people who voted for Brexit from getting their democratically expressed wish.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

Ex-Speaker John Bercow Finds True Vocation as a Performing Seal

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: John Bercow accepting the Special Award at the PinkNews Awards 2019 at The Church House on October 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Three months ago, he was the most powerful man in Britain. Today, he is reduced to bellowing his catchphrase ‘ORRRRDERR’ on Italian chat shows.

Can there be any more delicious consequence of Boris Johnson’s general election victory than the consignment to total irrelevance of that noisome dwarf creature John Bercow, formerly the Speaker of the House of Commons, now merely a very expensive [*] prat-for-hire?

Read the rest on Breitbart.

 

If Boris Can’t Counter the Red Menace in Education, This Is the Last Ever Conservative Government

education
Kurt Zindulka, Breitbart News

My biggest disappointment with the British general election result is that it has denied us the exquisite pleasure of watching young Corbyn voters being reduced to eating their household pets.

Had Jeremy Corbyn’s Marxists won — as so many 18-24-year-old voters hoped — it would, of course, have been a disaster for Britain.

But at least it would have proved a salutary lesson to all those university-brainwashed kids who think the only problem with communism is that hasn’t been tried properly yet.

“Well we did warn you!” we could have said to Araminta in her tattered ‘Fuck Boris’ t-shirt, as she tucked ruefully into her pony Che. “Now you know what fully automated luxury communism tastes like.”

What have the Anglo-Saxons ever done for us?

It has been a while since I’ve considered the vexed question of Byrhtnoth’s ‘ofermod’. More than 30 years, in fact. I remember, as if it were yesterday, my Anglo-Saxon tutorials with dear, lovely, gentle Richard Hamer. And now he is the author of the standard translation being used by my children on their own university English Literature courses. (I suppose the Latin equivalent would be having been taught by the author of Kennedy’s ‘Eating’ Primer.)

Byrhtnoth’s ‘ofermod’ is the pivotal word in ‘The Battle of Maldon’, a 325-line fragment of Old English poetry about an otherwise obscure skirmish between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings, and much studied on English courses because it’s one of very few surviving examples of our island’s nascent literature.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Britain Just Dodged the Marxist Bullet!

marxist
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

So Britain doesn’t, after all, want to be run by an antisemitic, terrorist-supporting Marxist and his gang of nasty, aggressive, intolerant, historically illiterate Social Justice Warriors who think the only problem with Communism is that it hasn’t been tried properly yet…

Who would have thought, eh?

Well, I did, for one. I’ve been calling a big Conservative win ever since this general election was announced: not because I’m Nostradamus but because it seemed to me that all the Tories’ stars were so obviously in alignment.
Unelectable Opposition led by crabby hard-left ideologue with very dodgy friends? Check.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

 

 

 

RIP David Bellamy – Nature TV Star Cancelled by BBC for Climate Change Wrongthink

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images

David Bellamy is dead — and if his name doesn’t mean much to you that is largely the fault of the disgusting BBC.

For a decade or so from the ’70s onwards, botanist and environmentalist Bellamy was just about the biggest nature star on British TV, only equalled in celebrity by his fellow David, David Attenborough.

In some respects, Bellamy was the more famous and better-loved character, especially when comedian Lenny Henry spoofed him as a bearded eccentric with the catchphrase “gwapple me gwapenuts”.

(Bellamy was easy to impersonate because he pronounced his ‘r’s as ‘w’s – a condition known as ‘rhotacism’).

Attenborough specialised in wildlife; Bellamy in plants; both were superstars, even back in the 1970s; both were well on their way to becoming national treasures.

But only one of them did. What happened to Bellamy?

Simple. Bellamy was an early victim of what is now known as cancel culture.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

From Hitler and Stalin to Greta Thunberg — Time Loves to Celebrate Totalitarian Icons

Teen activist Greta Thunberg poses for a picture after an interview ahead of the Global Climate Strike march on September 20, 2019 in New York City. - Crowds of children skipped school to join a global strike against climate change, heeding the rallying cry of teen activist Greta Thunberg and …
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Adolf Hitler 1938
Joseph Stalin 1939
Joseph Stalin (again) 1942
Ayatollah Khomeini 1979
Greta Thunberg 2019

Yes, you’ve got to hand it to what’s left of Time magazine: it hasn’t lost its unerring ability to put its finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, invariably managing to name a Person of the Year who sums up perfectly the madness of the age.

In the 1930s, it was the twin evils of Nazism and Soviet Communism.

In the 1970s, it was militant Islam.

Today, it’s Environmentalism.

That screeching noise you can hear, by the way, is the sound of a gazillion greenies squawking about how unfair it is to pick on a 16-year old child whose only crime is to want to make the world a better place:

Read the rest on Breitbart.