You can look back to the thirties and forties and think how much easier it was then, when the bad guys wore the hooked cross so lusted over by the toffs and the good guys were the ones who were against those guys, by whatever means were available to them.
Yet a look beneath the surface shows a time that was as conflicted as our own. For instance, Orwell thought he could tell the difference between friend and foe when he headed to the front in Spain – by the time he made the return journey in an ambulance he had been taught by events not to assume that his own ‘side’ were any less dangerous than the nominal enemy across the valley. Naturally sympathetic to the causes of the left after his experiences in the pits around Wigan and the kitchens of Paris, he came to despise both the be sandalled socialists and the jackbooted communists who suppressed with enthusiastic ruthlessness the anarchist militias he fought with against the fascists. He was no respecter of the adage that the enemy of your enemy is your friend, recognising that the enemy of your enemy is just the next arsehole on the list to be dealt with once you have finished kicking the main pig.
‘He may be a bastard, but he’s OUR bastard’
is not a thought that ever crossed Orwell’s mind, or so I think. Nor would he have enjoyed the sight of tracksuit wearing secret police on our streets, imported from China like knock off Gucci handbags. Or the vision of the Labour party walking around on two legs trying to convince us that they are the autocratic masters, while the Tories trot around on four, snuggling up to hoodies, trees, Shami Chakrabati and anything else that looks like it needs a hug.
What the people of this land should realise is that if we stop shooting, knifing, cheating and dragging each other onto the Jeremy Kyle show for a good shout, stop paying any attention whatsoever to Kerry Katona and the latest skid in her car crash of a life and instead, say, started taking out Cabinet Ministers in hand-to-hand combat, we would pathetically quickly gain the upper hand. Those Kevlar vests they wear still leave a few major arteries open to the imagination. Imagine Harriet Harman taking a Hummer trip around her constituency because she cannot be protected from us any other way. Imagine Ed Balls fleeing from the kids’ playground because those same kids are chasing him off their turf, intent on pounding him with baseball bats. I wonder if you can?
Let’s make them fear us for a change, Britain.
Let’s give them sleepless nights instead
Don’t lie there worrying about your mortgage payments; ponder which one of Brown’s bull-shitting bastards you would like to take out first. Let them see that power brings consequences other than a shed-load of free John Lewis furnishings, great responsibility other than making sure your kids have a job for life. Well, you can keep the £4,000 a-roll wallpaper, Lord Chancellor, but with it comes a free Battle Royale style death match involving both Houses on Canvey Island. Last wo/man standing gets to rule. Perhaps it would also follow that seeing their backbench colleagues brutally massacred by feral teens would make them less keen on creating carnage in other people’s backyards?
Instead of Gladiators, let’s see Brown and Cameron really battle it out: just how bad do you want it, fella? Dave, want to see a wind turbine on every roof so much that you will gouge out Gordon’s other eye to triumph? Come on, Ken, now that there’s nothing to lose, let’s see how much of a class warrior you really are. I hear the argument that the landed gentry fight dirty and have been doing so for generations, but have always felt that in a street fight Red Ken would be naturally adept at the no-holds-barred style – after all, you can’t be that close to Stalin and Castro without picking up a few tricks. Boris pleading, claiming to be a lover not a fighter, while the newt-fancier stomps on the usurper’s crown jewels might be the best, most crowd pleasing way to decide a future Mayoral contest since Dick Whittington started talking to his cat.
I for one am sick of a no-choice vote deciding between competing mediocrities
I think it is possible that you, my fellow electors, are with me on this. Dwindling turnouts cannot only be blamed on a clash with a crucial episode of Eastenders. What is the point of getting off the couch to mark an X if all it serves to do is duck out of taking responsibility for another few years? Where is the incentive when 862,415 Irish voters can say they don’t want something and their rulers decide that actually, in fact, they do? Whaaat? is never happy advocating violence and I am sure there will be a lengthy editorial disclaimer somewhere about leaving minister’s arteries alone (Eh? Oh, yes. Very bad. Absolutely – Ed) but perhaps, just this once, it is time to act with aggression. Our marching taught them nothing. They need to be shown that they can no longer rely on the passivity of our implied goodwill.
Four hundred years after the last one, Britain needs to reclaim the brand of civil war she has been exporting in recent years and set it free to run amok on her own streets. Violence is a game we are playing from Basra to Kandahar – why should Basingstoke and Kensington miss out? Except that we are not going to turn brother against brother, putting fellow victims up against the wall: it is going to be strictly US v. THEM – the ones who presume to rule us based on flimsy margins, taken out by an electorate that have taken enough. They have squandered the peace our grandparents bought for them and in return given us nothing but penury, cronyism and state interference.
We have been complacent for too long; it is time to discover if there is sand underneath the cobble stones after all…
First published September 2008 in issue two of whaaat?