Here’s a thought to kick things off tonight: what does an undertaker undertake to do? We Brits call funeral directors ‘undertakers’, and this might be because they are forced by respect for the dead to travel slowly through the traffic, and so mustn’t overtake.
Another weirdness about English is that lots of words have no exact antonym. For example, to be rudely questioning is to be impertinent, but to point out something relevant is to be pertinent. This may reflect the genuflecting nature of our class system.
Such linguistic nuances could also explain why English is still the most commonly used diplomatic language. Thus, I may offer a vigorous expression of my viewpoint, but the purpose of doing so could be to give the impression that I am being genuine: however, such things in the Foreign Office are expressly forbidden.
English is an odd language, but British politics are infinitely more odd. So internecine are they, in fact, that one could even suggest we might have an oddity complex.
Many things have come to the fore in the current British election race, but few are quite as daft as the row at the BBC about popular Top Gear car-news presenter Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson – an amusing but fundamentally infantile berk – appears to have had a bit of a handbags at three paces dust-up with his producer. As a result – entirely within its rights as an employer – the Beeb suspended Clarkson forthwith…pointing out that this is the fifth time he’s broken employment rules there, and so not surprisingly they’re a bit pissed off with his antics.
Clarkson’s bizarre reaction was to suggest that he might stand as the MP for the North Yorkshire constituency currently held for Labour by its leader and General Accident Ed Miliband. So while it might seem at first sight a bit of a leap to choose the leader of the Opposition as his target for the destruction of all things anti-Clarkson, the UK media pack have decided that this might well be the Fight of the Century. Sadly, Clarkson – car groupie, bigot and general all-round idiot – may have a point.
Trying to unravel all this bollocks only serves to explain why I have felt disenfranchised in the country of my birth for the last thirty years. The minute the news broke, Culture and Media Secretary Sajid David blasted the BBC, but then this chap has form with The Slog. Suffice to say that he is entirely on message with the Government’s plan to raze the BBC to the ground…and thus any excuse will do to bash an institution merely obeying its own rules. If nothing else, Mr David displays all the characteristics of a card-carrying neoliberal Mammonesque plonker.
Perhaps because of this (I couldn’t possibly comment) Prime Minister Avid Cameldung interrupted his busy schedule of cliched soundbites to offer vigorous support to Jeremy Clarkson – a man whose moral compass is so bent out of shape, he sent a crate of Champagne to his ladette mate Rebekah Brooks when she was acquitted of any knowledge of – or involvement in – mobile phone hacking while she was in charge of a Newscorp company undertaking such illegal activities on a globalist industrial scale. But then here too, Brooks and Cameron have form.
However, the real reason I have nobody for whom I’d wish to vote in the UK (apart from the adorable and agelessly sexy Kate Hoey) is because – when it comes to Miliband’s stewardship of his North Yorkshire constituency – the bloke is an obvious phoney and absentee landlord. Across the British press spectrum yesterday, Ed Miliband was vilified by his constituents as a chap they never see, from whom they feel completely isolated, and who doesn’t know the first thing about their lives.
Which of course he wouldn’t, coming as he does from the same privileged Oxbridge bubble as his alleged opponent Mr Scumerbung. OK, they might have had a different route to power – Cameron out of offshore tax-evader, Milibland out of Highgate Jewish Marxist intellectual – but my point isn’t to be either a class or race warrior: rather, it is to point out how ludicrously atypical of – and inexperienced in – real life they are.
As indeed is Jeremy Clarkson….himself a public schoolboy who appeared on a BBC genealogy series, but seemed largely hacked off that his great grandparents had drunk away all the money that was rightfully his. Well of course it was Jezzer, of course it was.
What else is an upstanding member of the British blogerati Yeoman class to wish for other than a plague on all their houses, and the right to tick a box next May that says ‘None of the above’? Unfortunately – although the Electoral Reform Society campaigns hard for the right of all UK citizens so to do – it is forbidden for all of us banished voters to express our detestation of the current system. Worse still, we must wear the yellow Star of David and be cast out as NVEs – non-violent extremists.
It’s a rum old business being British these days. And if we born and bred Brits can’t grasp WTF is going on, then how dare we take the mickey out of foreigners who can’t speak our deliberately confusing language?
I suppose the answer would be that we find most foreigners amusingly silly and naïve. And looking at the European Bunion, who is qualified to blame us?