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Paradise for Parasites.


WHAT HAVE LIZ Jolly, Chief Librarian of the British Library; Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum; Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum; and Hilary McGrady of the National Trust, all got in common?

Well, they are all in charge of various institutions of national importance, three of which happen to have the word “British” in their titles. They are all entrusted with preserving and promoting the culture and achievements of the British nation as represented by the bodies they run. These institutions are much loved and respected, contributing greatly to the national good and also helping to bring in visitors from around the world.

They must all, we assume, be people of outstanding talents and experience to have reached their eminent positions. And also, presumably, have made sure they fit in with the relevant elites and cliques of their profession, and espoused the necessary political mindset so they do not rock the boat.

But more to the point is the fact they are also parasites, intent on bleeding out of each institution the very life blood of that Britishness. They are being paid to weaken and ultimately destroy the institutions they run.

I did think hard about using the word parasites and wondered if there were any other way of describing them, given that I have already written about the “barbarians in the citadel”, mainly in academia, before. And the term may be personally insulting. But I could not think of any other description that adequately fit. Parasites live on a host organism, feeding off it while giving nothing back, always causing it harm and often killing it.

What unites all these apparatchiks is their mania for national self-abasement and shame boasting, and because black is the new black at the moment, slavery is the main grift. You LGBTQers and trans fanatics have had enough of the spotlight for now, you can take a back seat. And you environmental zealots, you can hang on a bit more before you start hogging the headlines again.

Thus Liz Jolly, to start with, committing the British Library to an “anti-racist” stance, has said:

The murder of George Floyd has shown that we’re good at saying that we don’t believe in racism, but I have to say as Chief Librarian that we haven’t done enough to ensure that this organisation is anti-racist, and I apologise for that. In convening the Anti-Racism Working Group this is our chance to get it right. The group will make recommendations both in terms of immediate actions and longer term proposals that we will integrate into our strategy and our culture, to make us a truly anti-racist organisation, in a wide-ranging and sustainable way.

It’s a pity that Jolly didn’t pay more attention to what she was saying: whether George Floyd, violent criminal and fentanyl addict who lived in another country and who happened to be black was murdered or died in custody as a result of his drug intake is still to be ascertained; nor is there any link between his death and the activities of the Library. But it seems that exercising judicious thought and showing discretion is not a requirement these days for heading up great national organisations, just as long as you wave the right flags.

Michael Dixon at the Natural History Museum, not wanting to be left out of the competition, has launched an audit into collections that could prove “problematic” because of their links with colonialism and racism. This includes Darwin (he sailed on The Beagle, a ship hell-bent on spreading British colonial power, dontcha know) and other similar villains, such as Joseph Banks, who sneakily hid his seething, British, white supremacist evil under the innocent guise of being interested in plants.

The purge, however, may spread like the ooze from a seeping septic tank to taint those objects connected with these ogres:

The ceiling of the main Hintze Hall of the Natural History Museum — where ‘Hope’, a skeleton of a blue whale is hanging (pictured) — could also be ‘problematic’ due to paintings of colonial exports such as cotton, tea and tobacco, as the Daily Mail warned.

First they come for the statues then they come for your tea.

Over at the British Museum (or should they call it the Brutish Museum, given its appalling record of promoting imperial violence?), Hartwig Fischer, current Correctness Commissar, has toppled Sir Hans Sloane, your actual founder of the place: “We have pushed him off the pedestal. We must not hide anything. Healing is knowledge,” he gloated, according to the Guardian, adding (probably recalling Chapter One of the Modern Malleus Maleficarium, “How To Find Racism Everywhere”):

The British Museum has done a lot of work – accelerated and enlarged its work on its own history, the history of empire, the history of colonialism, and also of slavery. These are subjects which need to be addressed, and to be addressed properly. We need to understand our own history.

If you’re tired of being lectured to in the city and fancy a shame-free day out in the countryside, forget it. The National Trust has been at this game for years and is increasing the dose of purgative. Hilary McGrady, Director-General; Tarnya Cooper, collections director; and John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Culture and Engagement, are all busy on the same decolonialising spasm. They’re preparing to publish a National Trust report, saying, in part:

On the links between houses cared for by the Trust and historic slavery and colonialism. We are also developing new interpretation on these histories for our website and for houses and collections themselves. The work is being led by Trust curators and specialists and will be just one example of high quality research applied to a topic of huge importance.

Huge importance. Yes. Huge. Because lessons in the slave trade and imperial predation are exactly what the public have been demanding for years. They’ve been clamouring to be told how dreadful their ancestors were and how ashamed they should be for enjoying those buildings, gardens, paintings and sculptures which were the fruits of historic wrong-mindedness. Re-education and mental purification are just what they crave.

And it doesn’t matter if these bodies lose members, visitors or donors. It doesn’t matter if they dwindle physically to shadows of what they are now. The commissars are correct and correctness is everything.

Don’t expect any resistance to this to come from the political establishment. The parasites who sit in Westminster are also too busy feeding off the nation’s life blood to do anything about it. True to the laws of evolution as revealed by the problematic Darwin, nature drives species relentlessly towards survival. Hence even the parasites have parasites.

MPs are being pressured to submit to unconscious bias training to root out their racial bias. This is being organised by ParliREACH, “a Workplace Equality Network (WEN) established to increase awareness and appreciation of race, ethnicity and cultural heritage issues in Parliament.” We all know what’s going on here.

Unconscious bias testing is a fraud but institutions are easily scammed by grifters. Today’s society is a paradise for parasites.

suxcoverCurrente Calamo columnist, poet and writer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire. A Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Lincoln University (2005 – 2008), his poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent book is Albion Days (perennisperegrinator press). Sucks to Your Revolution is a collection of his Fortnightly columns.

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