I MAY have mentioned a few weeks ago that Boris would be well advised to lift the lockdown, sharpish. For reasons that are obscure to me, he declined to do so. Perhaps he felt it was too risky. Perhaps he took the advice of scientists working on the principles of public health so clearly set out by Governor Lepetomane in Blazing Saddles: ‘We’ve gotta protect our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen!’
Whatever the reasons, the Government is now reaping if not the whirlwind at least a stiff breeze.
It may be that all those thousands of young people, ably led by a mix of variously wild-eyed or Marx-soaked revolutionaries, have been motivated to turn out to Black Lives Matter demonstrations by a righteous sense of anger. I would, however, note that these demonstrations have happened at a time when all schools and universities are shut, alongside all the jobs that students tend to do. There haven’t been many opportunities in waitressing this summer.
So, given the chance to alleviate the boredom by pulling down a statue or two, what else is a red-blooded young person to do? There are non-political illegal raves and parties, of course, but it must also be a lot of fun, if you are a 20-year-old BLM demonstrator, to observe the speed with which the nation’s great institutions have not so much taken the knee as taken to crawling on their bellies.
There are TV stations which appear to have become BLM propaganda arms. In the rush to avoid anybody getting the idea they think black lives don’t matter, they seem to have forgotten the Martin Luther King dream that is, properly, taught in our schools. Does BLM think people should be judged not on the colour of their skin but the content of their character? No, it doesn’t. It thinks the BAME experience is special, it thinks that colour blindness is a microagression.
That’s before you get to some of the BLM core beliefs about the need to ‘dismantle cisgender privilege’ and ‘disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement’.
Let’s set aside the consideration that it was slavery that disrupted the possibility of nuclear family structure for the enslaved in the first place and in the cruellest possible way. Let’s ignore any possibility that it is the lack of a two-parent family for many children that has contributed to the poverty, crime and ill-health that is routinely blamed on racism.
Let’s just say: Black Wives Don’t Matter.
I have to offer some sympathy to the Arsenal fan who complained on TCW about his club flying the BLM flag. I remain puzzled that football clubs can subscribe to a set of ambitions that include defunding – which means abolishing – the police.
Football has depended for more than a century on the willingness of police forces to steward and protect its crowds. It is a shame that our chief constables are so busy virtue-signalling that they haven’t noticed this. I would be intrigued to see what would happen, if, say, the Metropolitan Police announced that they no longer had enough officers for football, and that as a result Arsenal would no longer be permitted to stage matches in front of paying spectators.
While we’re on football, I have noticed that TV stations continue to allow Everton to play their club tune when the players run on to the pitch. This is an old sailors’ song called Johnny Todd, famous as the Z Cars TV theme, but well-known in Liverpool in the 19th century, and collected and published in the 1890s. Please don’t pretend to me for a moment that any sea shanty from Liverpool has no connection with slavery. What’s more, the song urges sailors to marry their sweethearts. This conflicts directly with the Black Lives Matter pledge on nuclear families.
Everton must drop it, just as surely as the English Rugby Union must drop Swing Low Sweet Chariot. They could replace it with Swing Low Sweet Cadillac – although for all I know Dizzy Gillespie may now be a racist – but for rugby followers it would have to be Swing Low Sweet Range Rover, which just doesn’t scan.
There are of course other problematic football songs. Spurs Are On Their Way to Wembley was written about the horseback trail to freedom at the boundary of the slave states at Wembley, Indiana. Good Old Arsenal was a favourite of Irish slave overseers in the ecstasy fields of Ibiza in the 1870s. My historical accuracy is of the same order as that of most BLM supporters.
In this spirit of inquiry I have some advice for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who wishes to tear down cathedral monuments, and whose analysis of the history of statue-breaking appears to hold Robert Baden-Powell and Felix Dzerzhinsky as figures of similar moral standing.
My own researches into the ethnicity of Jesus suggest that He is quite likely to have been Jewish. Because of Israeli links to the George Floyd killing, highlighted by Rebecca Long Bailey, this is problematic. As a temporary expedient, until the Church of England can debate this matter in full in its committees and synods, I suggest that clergy do the safe thing and start worshipping Satan.
That’s enough advice. I’m off for a picnic on the beach at Bournemouth.