Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
The Queen, Alice in Wonderland
Ah, the lazy days of summer, when everyone has cleared off on their hols to spend precious time with their li’l darlings. Tumbleweed in the office, where usually there was an Ermine and a few other diehards to be found, ‘cos what person in their right mind would go on holiday when every other bastard is doing it, raising prices and infesting the joint with their
squealing kids little angels and miscellaneous hounds. Mad dogs and Englishmen, indeed.
That’s when the news is slow and you get all those unbelievable stories of 50 pound cats and alien invasions. We seemed to have jumped the gun this year- school’s not out yet and all sorts of impossible things are coming down the pike for us to believe in. Je suis Alice.
Do or Die. That’ll be die then
So there was a clear, though not overwhelming vote in 2016, and the plutocracy has grabbed it by the balls to visit disaster capitalism on us.
Funny old game, this democracy lark. I sure as hell don’t recall on the ballot paper the choice was Remain, or Leave, cursing Johnny Foreigner and the horse he rode in on. The impression was it would be a more polite affair, rather than the darkest desires in the demented craniums of the ERG ultras and the sort of people who wrote Britannia Unchained
We have two candidates for Prime Minister who are selected by a tiny and unrepresentative minority some of which have multiple votes anyway. The chief clown says he will shut down Parliament to stop it getting in the way of his Brexit do or die. Not sure what the other clown has to say but it doesn’t really matter, he’s an also-ran.
In the meantime Farage stooge Isabel Oakeshott suppresses some interesting leads that might cause him grief but suborns the unsurprising though perhaps for your eyes only observations of the British ambassador to the US. Farage fancies a pop at the job. Let’s hear it from the other clown on this subject, currently foreign sec.
We continue to think that under President Trump the US administration is not just highly effective but the best friend of Britain on the international stage.
Hmm. We are talking about a fellow who has only the faintest acquaintance with the history of powered flight. Maybe Clown 2 has a point though, Trump is highly effective. His administration has been stacking the courts for so long he doesn’t need to win again to cast a long shadow. That’s highly effective. You’re not just a pretty face, eh, Mr Hunt, are you?
Facts are history in the Great Endarkening as the Western world yields to the slow decline of living standards for the many, it’s been going on for nearly half a century in the States. It’s only going to get worse. Oswald Spengler foretold1 the populism that would rise to give a pushback to the way the rich use money to control the political system. The trick, of course, is to draw your populists from your plutocrats, hello Trump, Farage, BoJo. The playbook is “Nothing is True and Anything is Possible” by Peter Pomerantsev.
The Donald tells his base what they want to hear. There’s nothing that’s going to Make America Great Again for the great mass of people, but as long as he can keep up the othering of out-groups then it’ll sell well enough.
What the hell are public schools there for, then?
For three hundred years, the officers and senior administrators of the British Empire sent their sons back home to boarding schools for “education as gentlemen”. This was often for long uninterrupted periods of a year or more. The 19th-century public school ethos promoted ideas “of service to Crown and Empire”, familiar sentiments such as “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” and “the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton”.
Ah, but that was when Britain ruled the waves and the sun didn’t set on the Empire. Let’s see what this storied quest for excellence has given us now:
David Cameron, who was stupid enough to ask questions when he didn’t really want to hear half of the possible answer space. The lie is given to the much vaunted character-building claims of public schooling by this specimen who has never even fessed up to a mea culpa, how you play the game my ass, Dave. Boris play both sides against the middle Johnson- I rest my case. Public schools may say they build character, but you can’t detect it in the output.
So why go private? It’s simpler nowadays, parents pay for public schools to keep their precious darlings away from the chavs, urchins and general pond scum that infest the State system in droves. No, really they do. In Who Chooses Private Schooling in Britain, and Why? they asked them:
Leading motives for parents to choose private schooling are the wish for their children to gain better academic results through smaller class sizes and better facilities, and to mix with a preferred peer group.
Perfidious Albion wasn’t always this way
Sure, the French didn’t trust us but at least we had a reputation for competence and level-headedness, even if it did come leavened with duplicity. All that seems to have gone by the wayside now. Now we fail so others don’t have to.
Oh well, we have a couple of examples of Britain’s finest public school education to sort this snafu out – that’ll be BoJo (Eton) and Hunt (Charterhouse). Good to know that we’ll be in the hands of people who were educated in a system designed to run the British Empire. All we have to do is wind the clock back a hundred and fifty years and it’ll all be tickety-boo. I leave you with the cheery thought that some things in life have to get worse before they get better. We are all Alice now.