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Index: Currente Calamo

Boredom busters.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Before I get too blasé about all this, it’s worth having a laugh at a couple of figures who will go down in political history as fluff-brained lightweights compared with El Commandante (as those of us who never met the great Fidel like to call him).’

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Insulting the stupid natives.

Michael Blackburn: ‘You can see why the outcome of the referendum is such an annoyance to the Europhiles and mandarins. It’s the triumph of the gullible, the uneducated, the ill-informed. Look at how they were misled, Kerr says, about immigration (repeating one of the numerous cliches of the remain side) — some of the areas with the largest vote to leave were those with the smallest amount of immigration!’

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The Vicars of Bray at their Rubicon.

Michael Blackburn: ‘This is not politics as normal. It is not the same as promising to build more houses then failing to do so, or promising not to raise taxes and then raising them. This is not the kind of promise that can be fudged or dumped. It’s too big for that. Whether we have politicians big enough to understand this and act upon it properly we’ll have to see. But if they want to keep their seats and the trust of the electorate they will have to be our Vicars of Bray and cross the Rubicon, because there’s no turning back.’

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Hijab Jibber Jabber.

Michael Blackburn: ‘One thing we do know as viewers is that those in the media know better than us: we’ve proved ourselves to be racist, xenophobic Islamophobes, and it’s their job to make sure we get a face full of multicultural correctness as often as possible.’

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Charmed and privileged hypocrites.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Chakrabarti could not clear herself of the charge of being a hypocrite — because it is not possible. If you are a leftist you live in a permanent state of cognitive dissonance. You know you can’t pontificate about a non-selective, one-size fits all comprehensive-style education for everyone else at the same time as you are sending your own child to a selective school, private or not. But you will do it all the same.’

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Mr Dylan Cannot Be Found.

Michael Blackburn: ‘After Dylan there seems little point in writing a poem in any traditional manner. The expression of emotion, the exploration of human behaviour, the search for meaning in the world, the use of narrative, all are done as well in popular song, more memorably and reaching a greater number of people than they are in contemporary poetry. ‘

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The History of Art is now history.

Michael Blackburn: ‘If I had my way there would be more classical art and music on the curriculum than there is at the moment. What is truly lacking in modern education is a sense of culture.’

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Tea and visions for jihadis.

Michael Blackburn: ‘ The Church of England has enthusiastically thrown in its lot with the progressives who attack all of the traditional values of the nation. Conceding legal and religious ground to your opponent is a form of capitulation.’

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The Brexit Weimar Apocalypse.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Ashdown is right when he says “It’s not our country any more,” — but not for the reason he thinks. “Our country” for him is the country of the political and media establishment, not that of the majority of people in Britain. For the moment at least, the people have shaken that establishment by demanding their country back. And they have made this desire plain in the most peaceable way.’

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Hillary Clinton, Pepe and the Deplorables.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Both the 9/11 fall and the punking by Pepe show a political class in serious moral and physical decay. If Clinton gets elected all bets are off as to how long she will survive but one thing is certain: Pepe the green cartoon frog will taunt her all the way.’

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The Zappa rule for bankers.

Michael Blackburn: ‘A knowledge of the old adage, “never wear brown in town” would come in useful for coping with those opaques codes. For, as any well-bred fule kno, brown shoes are not to be worn except on one’s country estate. And certainly never with a dark suit.’

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The moral tyranny of books.

Michael Blackburn: ‘So here I sit with the double-parked shelves in front of me and volumes to right and left, wondering what is the point and feeling somewhat guilty. Articles and listicles frequently appear in papers and magazines, goading you with titles you ought (there’s that moral imperative again) to have read and testing your (dis)honesty. Nobody knows if you have read Ulysses or not, especially if they haven’t read it themselves. But when you have read a book and forgotten everything between its covers, it’s almost as if you were bluffing anyway.’

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From bikes to badgers.

Michael Blackburn: ‘A lot of green types would like the bicycle to be a solution, but having just spent four days in Amsterdam I can vouch for the fact that walking around a city where cyclists of all ages and sizes coming at you from every direction (and often at speed) is unnerving and downright dangerous. ‘

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Diversity unto death.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Yet the bigwigs are faffing about with this PC nonsense. How will we know if their efforts succeed? We won’t. There is no way of measuring the success or failure of such nonsense. ‘

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Unpopular populism.

Michael Blackburn: ‘The overwhelming fear emanating from these anti-populists is not just that of no longer being in control of the agenda but also of no longer being in control of the people. The power of the media to peddle their pacifying PC agenda has weakened. ‘

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