We can be heroes just for one day. — David Bowie
Hans, are we the baddies? — Mitchell and Webb sketch featuring Nazi soldiers
As European and Commonwealth countries act like faithful servants to the autocratic global coup currently taking place, my own home country of England has fallen into step like a good foot-soldier. The government, nominally Conservative but actually a sort of Green Socialist elite oligarchy, has gone full Bezmenov, contradicting itself on a daily basis about COVID and preventing its people from seeing dying loved ones while it parties maskless indoors.
Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, who trades on his comical name of “Boris,” is succeeding in his attempt to be the worst Conservative Prime Minister of modern times, and that against a tough field. Johnson has always relied heavily on his loveable goofball act, its sloppiness as carefully contrived as any politician’s public image. A journalist friend of mine once told me he attended a press conference when Johnson was Mayor of London and glimpsed the future PM through a gap in a curtain, carefully mussing up his blond thatch of hair in the mirror before meeting the press. Johnson is a definitive English zero, and is increasingly seen as such by his own party.
Other Conservatives, however, do still seem to understand the meaning of the term. The MP Steve Baker has shaken up the party by actually acting like a Tory, MP Andrew Bridgen has been forthright about the COVID fiasco, and MP Peter Bone (who I have had the pleasure of meeting) is a great servant to his constituency and is for me what a true Conservative should look and sound like. Another true conservative, who is no longer a Conservative, is MP Anne Widdecombe. She may look and talk like your batty grandmother, but she is as patriotic as she is shrewd and insightful, and we wish her long life. Actually, your batty grandmother would probably govern Britain better than Johnson.
Although currently retired from politics, the engineer of Brexit, Nigel Farage, will always be a shining star to any English conservative, and he is almost alone in highlighting the daily arrivals of hundreds of economic migrants on England’s Kent coast. Vilified by the Left, shunned by the media, and hated by Remainers (the nickname for those who wanted Britain to stay in the EU, also known as “Remoaners” because they won’t shut up about it), Farage must be doing something right.
As for sports, England’s soccer manager, Gareth Southgate, managed the remarkable feat of being both hero and zero. He guided a young and vibrant England team to the final of the European Championships in which they lost to Italy after a penalty shootout. It was not losing the game which gains him zero status, however, but the manner in which he conspired to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
As the penalties progressed, Southgate chose not more experienced white players to take the spot-kicks, but three young black players. This was a curious type of virtue-signaling intended to play to the media class by enabling Southgate to crow about the minority sharpshooters’ influence in winning the Championships. They all missed, and this cost the national side the game. The media coverage after the defeat ignored this failed tokenism, concentrating instead on a couple of hundred tweets about the debacle they deemed “racist,” of which just 11 originated from within the British Isles.
It is difficult to find much to trumpet in English soccer, but hero status has to go to Carlisle United FC, a small club in the north of England. On hearing that vaccine passports were necessary for any game attended by 10,000 or more supporters, they promptly dropped their official stadium capacity to 9,999. Goal!
As for cricket, rain didn’t stop play, for once; woke did. Ollie Anderson, who I wrote about here, was dropped by the England team after a great performance in the match prior because of tweets he wrote when he was 18, and the bowler’s enforced absence surely did not help England’s defeat in the following Test match. Off-guard historical comments also did for legendary ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan, ruining his commentary career after Pakistani player Azeem Rafiq complained about Vaughan calling him an “elephant washer” in a game from the dim past. Rafiq — couldn’t you just guess it? — was himself later disgraced for anti-Semitic remarks he made in his social media portfolio, demonstrating the instant karma that is Twitter. So, in 2021 cricket ran itself out without troubling the scorer.
Turning to the media, both mainstream and dissident, British YouTubers of note continue to provide me with the perfect resumé of United Kingdom news without my having to bother reading it myself. These aggregators provide a vital service for us dissidents, going through the news so we don’t have to and distilling the verbiage and stringer-speak into bite-sized nuggets of relevance. They also have what the Left naturally lack: a sense of humor.
This year’s Big Tech champs include: Alex Belfield (Voice of Reason, covered by me here at Counter-Currents). Metaphor-mangling, music-hall loving, ex-BBC whistleblower Belfield continues his rise, and deserves special praise for highlighting the shocking amount of police corruption in Blighty. Simon Webb (History Debunked) was once a teacher, and I wish he had taught me history. This charming gentleman picks apart the many loose threads in the British black narrative. Michael Heaver produces snappy and informative political videos with a special interest in Anglo-French relations. As far as France and England are concerned, all I can say is we need men and ships, laddie, men and ships. Mahyar Tousi is connected at Westminster, and gets stories quickly. Honorable mentions also go to Rotten Politics, We Have a Problem, and Russell Brand. The latter in particular is coming slowly across to normality, like Bill Maher in the States, after having spent years being an unfunny Lefty comedian.
As for the mainstream media, new channel GB News was launched to much conservative fanfare, but soon tripped over its own shoelaces. Despite a £60 million budget, the presentation was amateurish and they were plagued with technical gremlins you would expect from a teenage YouTuber and not a newly-launched, prime-time British TV enterprise. They also had a genuine louse at the helm.
Andrew Neil is what is known as a veteran journalist, and left the BBC to set up GB News. Within two weeks he had slunk back to his lair in the south of France, then he quit GB News and scuttled back to his natural habitat at the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, leaving those of us on the Right pondering that if the whole thing had been an intentional put-up job by Neil to scupper a much-needed alternative British media voice (an equivalent to FOX News), nothing would have happened differently. Zero points, Neil. GB News, however, rallied. They now have some decent talking heads and have secured the ratings-boosting services of the aforementioned Saint Nigel of Farage.
As for the Royal Family, I don’t want to risk my chances of a Knighthood (the only time an Englishman ever wants to encounter a woman with a sword in her hand) by not making Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II monarchical heroine of the year. She lost her husband, Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and generally agreed to be the most amusing Greek since Aristophanes. His gaffes were legendary, my favorite being when he met an English cricket team in the 1990s which featured just one colored player, the coal-black fast bowler Devon Malcolm. The Duke mistook him for a waiter and asked him to fetch a glass of wine. RIP, sir.
Her Majesty also behaved with grace while her family betrayed her, with Prince Andrew mired in Epstein allegations and the ridiculous PR cavorting of one of her grandsons, whose exploits follow below. Only Prince William and his fragrant wife Kate maintained the dignity one might hope for from a dying dynasty, in bold contradistinction to his brother and attendant trollop.
Yes, sniveling royal shit of the year is an easy choice. When I was in magazines in London, it was rumored that the worst-kept secret in journalism was that the ginger whiner Prince Harry was not even Charles’ son, but the bastard progeny of polo-playing cad James Hewitt, one of Lady Diana’s paramours. Whatever his DNA, Harry has consistently prostituted his royal credentials to the highest bidder, becoming the Fresh Prince of Woke and clearly worked from behind by his hideous wife, Meghan Markle, just as scabrous an American export to Britain as rap music, action movies, and McDonald’s.
Musically, there was not much to celebrate from the sceptr’d isle. A band I have heard of but am far too old to have ever heard, Mumford and Sons, threw one of their members under the omnibus — and out of the band — for daring to praise Andy Ngo’s book on antifa, Unmasked, and The Strolling Bones made fools of themselves by cancelling the perennial Brown Sugar for its racist overtones. This, despite the band now having an all-black rhythm section after the sad death this year of the man Jagger called the “Wembley Whammer,” Charlie Watts. The heroics were performed by uncancellables Eric Clapton and Van Morrison for their anti-vax stance and songs, covered by me here at Counter Currents.
As for academia, and to tweak a phrase from the Bard’s Romeo and Juliet, a plague on all their houses. Professor Kathleen Stock – again, covered by me here — was hounded from her post as Professor of Philosophy at my alma mater, the University of Sussex, for having traditional views on genitalia and gender, and was followed in short order by Professor Jo Phoenix (both women unprotected by their intersectional bonus points of being lesbians) at the University of Essex for the same heresy. Topping them both for dunce of the year, however, was St. Andrew’s University in Fife (not actually in England, I grant ye). Despite beating even Oxbridge colleges in academic league tables, St. Andrew’s now requires freshmen (can you still say that?) to pass an introductory examination on white privilege and contrition for which there are only right answers. Only English 18-year-olds who didn’t start a Humanities degree course this year get a gold star. The rest of the English universities? Fail!
Pre-university education continues to threaten the mental health of children across Britain, although regular readers of my pieces will be surprised to read that the gold crescent for lower education goes to . . . Islam! Yes, when it came to protesting outside school gates against LGBTQ classroom propaganda, drag-queen story hour, and colorful books about gay dragons, it was Muslim parents who barricaded the academic entrances. It must never be forgotten that Muslims are hyper-conservative. Fuddy-duddy old Tories in the Shires merely want England to revert to the 1950s. Why stop there when you can go back to the 700s? Seriously, the mosque is the place to be if you don’t want your children to hear that Kevin has two daddies.
On to English literature. There. That didn’t take long, did it? Dickens and Hardy put in good efforts, but we didn’t hear much from Galsworthy or Arnold Bennett. Oh, my mistake. That was the nineteenth century. Are there still English novels? There are still novelists, but that doesn’t answer the question. Orwell’s Julia is a mechanic tending to novel-writing machines in 1984, and so yet another of Eric Blair’s predictions comes to pass. I am sure everyone is aware of the modern “sensitivity reader” now employed by all major publishing houses. Yet another layer of cultural commissar, these ideological sniffer dogs troll through new manuscripts to make certain there are the same racial and minority quotas being forced onto us in all other walks of life.
So it’s difficult to find heroes among the zeros, but plaudits to J. K. Rowling, another uncancellable. She held her ground on the gender question to the extent that she was not invited to a celebration of the first Harry Potter movie’s twentieth anniversary. Three hideous transgender creatures also paraded outside Rowling’s house, the address clearly visible online, as a reminder that the Left do not care whose life they endanger in their psychotic quest to destroy normality.
Actors are not my area of expertise, and the last time I watched a British TV drama, Duran Duran were probably at number one. Britain has no Hollywood to act as a morality trade union (about all that can be said for its thespians), although deviating from orthodoxy still leads to ostracism. A mention in dispatches, then, for Laurence Fox, scion of the Fox acting clan with James as his father and Edward his uncle. Fox was on a political chat show when he was asked by a chippy Scouse woman of color in the audience whether he was aware that his opinion was that of a privileged white male. I don’t recall anyone ending their career simply by rolling their eyes, but Fox proceeded to do just that, and the bedlamites of social media turned on him with all the vitriol of classical furies, an allusion they would not understand. Fox’s response to being theatrically terminated was admirable: He formed a political party. The Reclaim Party have not exactly set the British political world on fire, but with the increasing electoral instability caused by the Tory shambles, they may end up being vote-splitters, and Fox’s outfit are being supplied with the political lifeblood of funding from genuinely conservative donors. So, an ovation for the fantastic Mr. Fox, a luvvy actually interested in people other than himself.
As for England as a whole, affectionate and patriotic as I feel towards the old country, it looks increasingly like the last days of Rome without the wonderful architecture. The barbarians are not at the gates but inside them, there being no gates, and at least Nero could actually play the fiddle rather than being on it, as are Britain’s political class. Inflation has crossed the herring pond like cold weather, and if the British are paying a fiver for a loaf of bread next year, then the famously stoical, stiff upper lip of the English may begin to quiver.
In the meantime, wherever you are and wherever you are from, have a very merry Christmas, and a hopeful New Year.
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