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Cluster index: Michael Blackburn

Labour’s lost boy.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Jeremy Corbyn, then, is Peter Pan, and a great example of him in the purest mode. But in order to continue promulgating this sort of fantasy you have to ignore the lessons of reality. That brings me to my second point — amnesia. There is virtually no memory in Neverland. People come and go and no one cares or remembers. Peter Pan returns sporadically to the Darling household but lives in a state of forgetting. Even Tinker Bell and Captain disappear into oblivion.’

A surfeit of elections.

Michael Blackburn: ‘All that most people know about Macron is that he looks like he’s a bit too young to be in charge of one of Europe’s biggest nations and that he married his teacher. No doubt he’ll huff and puff Gallically over the Brexit negotiations while doing exactly what his boss, Mrs Merkel, tells him to. The “open”, “stronger” Europe racket is still in business, so the one thing the French can do is stock up on candles and prepare themselves for the next round of Muslim terror attacks.’

What’s so funny?

Michael Blackburn: ‘Hasan Minhaj’s leaden quips and jibes were as relentless as those by our own comics on such programmes as Have I Got News For You? and Mock The Week, series in which the twitching dead of leftist comedy are allowed to squeak and gibber in their own echo chamber.’

The leftist love-in with Islam.

IT CAN’T HAVE escaped the intelligent observer that the left — and what we can call the Establishment in general — is more than indulgent towards Islam. It is truly, madly, deeply, pathologically besotted with it.

Another slap from Nanny.

Michael Blackburn: ‘We are now at a stage in public life and private life where we have to pretend we’re not grown-up enough to understand jokes, language or context. We have to pretend that words are actual things like sticks and stones. We need Nanny to give us a slap for being bad children (but mainly bad boys) who say bad things, while the bullies and their sneaky little hangers-on point their fingers saying, “It was him, Miss, it was him. He was the one who said it.”’

Transnational buffoonery.

Michael Blackburn: ‘In south Wales the road signs are bilingual even though few few people there use Welsh (different, I know, in north Wales) and it annoys the hell out of me whenever I visit. It’s another form of virtue signalling but with racist overtones (but acceptably racist in PC terms).’

Trigger Nanny.

Michael Blackburn: ‘It’s enough to drive you to your safe space for a cuddle with your teddy bear and a suck of your thumb. What’s funniest is when they warn us about the strong language just before a foreign language film. Unless they translate the original Swedish, say, into something a bit more fulsome in English, most of us are not going to realise whether a character is effing and blinding or reciting lines of poetry by Tomas Transtromer.’

Muckety-mucks and fashy cuts.

Michael Blackburn: ‘If you’re going to be a fascist you can at least signal your naziness more openly and not look like a graphic designer from Shoreditch. The muckety-mucks in the States are now getting quivery about it, although it has to be said their home-grown nazis appear to cling to the regular clean-shaven look. As The Washington Post says, “When these groups look and dress like everyone else, it is easier for their extremism to look outwardly normal.” And we can’t have these folks looking normal, can we?’

Staying home to watch the riots.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Maybe I’m being romantic and nostalgic but those were the days when a riot was a real riot and the police got stuck in good and proper, especially when they brought the cavalry along. The cops then didn’t have all this armoured paramilitary gear they have now. They usually just had their old-fashioned helmets and truncheons. That didn’t stop them from putting it about and getting bloodied in the process. Now they just seem to hang about a while, occasionally making a half-hearted waddling advance followed by a swift retreat.’

A little philosophy.

Michael Blackburn: ‘I don’t think many, apart from politicians and intellectuals, believe in some grander vision of hope, any more than of progress, which is another concept discussed by Bauman. Hope for most of us is a belief that we will get through the next day, week, month or year without having anything painful to contend with, and that constitutes a working idea of the future.’

‘The sun is God.’

Michael Blackburn: ‘It was all to get my haircut, because I prefer to travel twelve miles through this landscape there and back, however long the wait at the other end, rather than making the less attractive journey into town. This particular morning I’d seen familiar sights briefly transformed in singular ways, ways that created a sense of enchantment. Enchantment may seem an oddly old-fashioned idea but we all crave it in one form or another, and the enchantment of place is one of the most enduring we can experience. ‘

The joy of mindfulness.

Michael Blackburn: ‘The drama of listening to recondite legal precedents and proposals is lost on me, though it is faintly amusing to hear the learned ones trying to work out whether the documents under discussion are labelled as volume three or part three or have a separate nomenclature when provided in an electronic pack. Whatever the supporters of this legal challenge say about democracy and the sovereignty of parliament, however, is hypocrisy. We know the challenge was launched to sabotage the Brexit process either by stopping it from happening or by causing damaging delays.’

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).’

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!’

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.’