Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Fish, Quince, Mulberries, Spanish Armada, Sex, Lies and Stereotyping
Summer draws on in the Silly Season of our Disunited Kingdom, and age-old conflicts and prejudices are being brought out for another airing, for want of something better to do. We are a nation of bored children at this time of year, when the real children are on holiday.
The sovereignty of Gibralta is being squabbled about again, and - also again - the excuse is fish. Ok, Spain eats more fish than just about anyone else, but I can't help thinking that there is a deeper motive (of course). When Britain ruled the waves, they were only second to Spain, so it's nice to see the old Elizabethan competition being brought out of the cupboard for the season, for about the 400th time. I never get bored with it.
Barristers are also hitting the headlines by fulfilling the stereotype set by off-this-planet judges, when they accused a 13 year-old girl of being 'predatory' and 'provocative', as a mitigating factor when sentencing her 41 year-old abuser. Someone had to take them to one side and point out that when girls of this age behave in a sexually provocative manner, it is usually because they have been sexually abused a few times in the past, and their behaviour is simply a way of trying to understand it. I actually prefer the idea of the adversorial judiciary system, but you really have to be careful about how you talk to and treat abused children when grasping for straws as you defend your client. I would have thought that was taken for granted, but obviously not.
Because the BBC has nothing particularly political to report right now, they gave a lengthy airing to a prominent MEP for the UKIP party, who said he was echoing the opinions of the millions who listen to Radio 4 - if not the entire nation - when he said that we should stop giving aid in the form of tax-payer's hard-earned income to people in 'Bongo-Bongo Land', so that they could buy RayBan sunglasses and book expensive holidays in Paris.
I think that the absolute worst thing about UKIP (which has become the political wing of the National Front) is they they infallibly seek out the lowest common-denominator when addressing the Great British Public, and stir things up in times of hardship, so that the scum rises to the surface and floats on the top until all the bubbles burst again.
As it happens, I think it is crazy that the UK gives £millions to India which, rather than addressing the problems of hardship amongst the lower castes, spends billions on a space program and a Formula One schedule, but when UKIP talk about 'Bongo-Bongo Land', they are not talking about India, they are making childishly racist insults to starving black Africans and they pretend to be too damned stupid to realise that Africa is made up of many different countries with many different levels of wealth and poverty - from the richest Nigerians to children whose stomachs are bloated for lack of food, and whose mothers who are so hungry that they cannot produce the milk to feed their own babies. As all this is going on, we in the West are still speculating on food as a commodity - even the Church of England.
There is one seasonal delight in this country that I would not miss though - mulberries. In the autumn, it's quince, but right now that tree in the churchyard is covered in berries. Like quince, they are so Elizabethan. They also make you look as though you have just committed a horrible murder when you have picked a handful like this, which is an added bonus.