Monday, 19 June 2017

Thoughts and Prayers

Craig will tell you that I never did have very much faith in Theresa May. As for Brexit, I like the principle that we can take back control but - ‘That’s all very well’ I’d say, ‘but who is gonna be the ‘we’ that takes it?

It could be Jeremy Corbyn, propelled into P.M-ship by the upcoming post-Brexit dip in the  economy. If Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell were the ‘we’, it would be even worse than the dreaded bad-deal, but by the same token if Theresa May made a pig’s ear of the negotiations we could be lumbered with a deal that could be a good deal worse than a bad deal..

Her first cabinet reshuffle was hardly confidence-inspiring, and her disastrous election campaign with its clumsily presented, ill-judged, and if I may say so, arrogant manifesto, together with Jeremy Corbyn’s fairy-godmother manifesto, not to mention those furious rallies and all the bullying by his antisemitic, politically illiterate Momentumists; between them they created a perfect storm.

For want of a better alternative many people were prepared to settle for Theresa May.

But, and it’s a big but (as Jeremy Corbyn probably said to the Shadow Home Secretary) if there’s one thing I certainly don’t think Theresa May should be criticised for, it’s the absence of that public show of emotion that everyone is clamouring for. I don’t want to see Theresa May or any other politician blinking back tears and I’m fed up of listening to anyone prefacing their political opinion with a sad-faced statement concerning their thoughts and prayers.  What prayers? Does everyone say prayers now?*

After Grenfell surely Theresa May should have been doing exactly what she says she has been doing. Setting up the public enquiry. Putting emergency funding in place. Doing Prime Minister stuff.

Yet we had a veritable stream  of identical-looking women parading through the TV studios (BBC and Sky) reviewing the Sunday papers. They all said the same thing, directly or indirectly, that Theresa May hasn’t shown sufficient emotional incontinence in public.

There’s a theory that economics influences fashion. Something in the current climate - hair straighteners ? - has produced armies of clones with the same infantilising hair-style and the same infantile opinions. They all want everything delivered in the form of a soap opera. To earn their approval Theresa May must be seen in public fanning her red-rimmed eyes and hugging a poor person.
Perhaps Theresa May can take heart from the turnaround within Her Majesty’s opposition.
Jeremy Corbyn outwitted the critics and rebels in his own party whose desire to unseat him evaporated with his electioneering triumph; so if he can ride out the storm, maybe she can too.
All she needs is a good Breakfast Breggsit Brexit.


I was too busy to blog yesterday. Now I’ve got Theresa May’s emotional inadequacy off my chest there's the latest car-ramming incident to respond to. More tear-filled thoughts and prayers. 

The BBC already speaks fluent Muslamic. Announcers pronounce “Muslim’ with the double ‘ss’. ‘Moosslim’, and enunciate the term ‘Friday prayers’ with a familiarity that subliminally incorporates Friday Prayers* into standard British culture, which I suppose, these days it just about has been. Mosque-goers are referred to as ‘worshippers’ in a reverential manner I’ve yet to hear applied to any other religion.

Unlike Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn has done the right thing. He’s blubbed. He’s just soo  honest.

Most of the Today Programme was devoted to this incident.  John Humphrys consulted Brendan Cox to ask if this was an act of hatred or an act of insanity?

“There is an increasingly strong group of people who are actively inciting hatred against others, and that has certainly been true from bits of the extremist Islamist community in the past and we’e spoken about what we can do to crack down on those hate preachers, but I think it’s also something, in the case of Islamophobia, people, there are extremists again who are driving hatred, who are using language about cleansing Britain of Islam, who are talking about a final solution for Muslims and I think we have to treat this  act of terrorism, if that’s what it ends up being, in the same as any other act of terrorism”

“Final solution” now where have I heard that before? Apart from your actual Hitler, wasn't it his modern incarnation, hate preacher and thought criminal Katie Hopkins? 

“Extremist voices feel more emboldened to act on these views and that’s all about the climate. You know, for example when there is the US president talking about Muslims in a disparaging way and failing to break down the difference between extremists and people that just happen to belong to a community, it changes the entire tenet of the debate. The person that did this is the person that has the responsibility. I said that in the context of the Manchester attack and the London attacks and the murder of my wife; the person that did it is the person that’s responsible, but we do have to look at the context in which these events happen and I don’t think we take that seriously enough.

Is there any evidence at all of any coherent organisation behind this far right extremism?

You’ll see online, and it’s very clear that there are a series of organisations who are actively inciting hatred, not against extremists, but against Muslims as a whole and I think those people are very organised, they’re well funded they’re well financed, and again I think we have to have a dual approach to this cos it’s partly about those extremist organisations, but I also think we all have to have a look at ourselves and actually more mainstream organisations and organisations who probably don’t tip over into that incitement to violence, but I think sometimes we do blur the distinction and talk in a way where people think that Muslims as a whole are represented by the people that committed the attacks in Manchester or London. They don’t, in the same way that this attack doesn’t represent the vast majority of people.
 You know yesterday and over the weekend we had this huge coming together of communities in celebration of the things that unite us across the UK.
That’s what represents our country, but we have to get much better at tackling hatred in whatever community that comes from.”

Who or what is this well organised, well-funded and well financed group? I’d be interested to know.

I didn’t join any of those ‘Get-Together’ celebrations yesterday but I did find time to watch some of the live-streamed footage of the Al Quds march through central London. 

People, including Sadiq Khan, who were talking about coming together were probably too busy to notice the bile that was megaphoned over the streets of London to the insistent beating of a drum. 

If Brendan Cox doesn’t acknowledge that it’s not just the violence of the few that needs to be dealt with, but the extremism of the many, then all his posturing is hypocritical and hollow.


  1. At 'The World at One' it was a step change to 'Right Wing Violence' even though the name, nationality, political leanings, etc were unknown.

  2. In the recent General Election Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party attracted votes from multi-cultural pro EU Londoners and other metropolitan city-dwellers, but also from disaffected UKIP voters who found that support for their party had vanished, and the old Labour stalwarts.

    At some stage, Jeremy will have to decide how to handle the expectations of the ex-UKIP voters and old Labourites, who in general hold views that are fundamentally different to his own and those of his inner circle of London-based supporters.