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Index: Currente Calamo

What’s a proper copper?

Michael Blackburn: ‘That deliberate blurring of the boundary between private and public, between the personal and the professional, is a notable characteristic of our times. More and more we see individuals in public office using the position to display their own personal tastes or the politics of some group or class to which they belong.’

Social-justice racism.

Michael Blackburn: ‘I can’t see how this can be of benefit to ordinary people. As with all identity politics the intention is not to unite but to highlight differences and turn those differences into divisions and conflicts.’

No more oil for the arts machine.

Michael Blackburn: ‘One thing I’ve learned about lefties and luvvies when they talk about tax and big companies is that you can’t trust anything they say, mainly because they don’t seem to have an understanding of the basics of either tax or business. Except, I suppose, when it comes to finagling their personal accounts or blagging money out of funders (usually the government, ie, the taxpayer).’

We have seen the female of the future. It has one eye.

michael Blackburn: ‘All I saw was some odd body language from the old lady when Sir Ian appeared. She moved away from him on the sofa as if he were honking like a derelict, and carried on leaning away from him. It was quite odd. After the preliminary small talk in which she admitted she didn’t remember meeting him at some entertainment bash years before I gave up.’

Take a Break from Bedlam.

Michael Blackburn: ‘So it is when you take into account what others, such as your own parents or grandparents, have had to go through that you can start to get some perspective on the madhouse of the current situation and the snivelling over-sensitivity purveyed by the establishment. They had to cope with things of which subsequent generations have no inkling: personal losses, pain, shortages, great discomfort, the wrecking of dreams and careers.’

First, abolish the universities.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Charles Moore has drawn our attention to the suggestions of an associate professor in mediaeval history at Oxford that Notre Dame should not be rebuilt but be left in ruins to stand as a symbol of climate change, environmental decay and colonialism. Why stop there, asks Moore, why not just “set fire to the medieval, western, environmental rapist otherwise known as Oxford University, and then give lectures about its iniquity among its smouldering ruins?”’

The attack of the invertebrates.

Michael Blackburn: ‘James Brokenshire, Housing Secretary, sacked Scruton immediately; although, as is so often the case these days with the communicative incompetence of our political class, he failed to pass the news on to Scruton first. It was clear from the mechanical cliches uttered by Tories and Labour alike (“deeply offensive and completely unacceptable,” press button and repeat cycle) that they had not checked any source material to see if the accusations were true. Nor was Scruton given the opportunity to rebut the smears.’

Protecting the culture.

Michael Blackburn; ‘What to do with something like Notre Dame has ramifications beyond the physical. A culture is more than its buildings, which can be preserved in some manner even if they are drastically altered. What also needs preservation and nourishing are all the other living parts – the arts and sciences, the language, the institutions, the appreciation of the land, its birds, beasts and flowers, and so on.’

The Ladies of Aintree.

By MICHAEL BLACKBURN. THERE’S AN OLD folk song that starts: So the Ladies of Aintree went out for the day, With hey and a ho and hey nonny-no, And they took to the course with their flesh on display, With a hey and a ho and hey nonny-no… and then goes on for a dozen […]

The egging of Anning.

By MICHAEL BLACKBURN. NOBODY SHOULD BE surprised that malevolence can be found in the hearts of humans wherever they live, even New Zealand. The massacre at the mosques in Christchurch was not surprising because it happened, given the febrile nature of the world, but because of where it happened. I don’t want to be rude […]

Fluffy Bunnies & Cuddly Piggies.

Michael Blackburn: ‘If young people are so keen on saving the environment they should get out into it a bit more, even if it is just to walk in the countryside. They could be involved in helping conservation groups, visiting farms or cleaning up verges, watercourses and beaches, and improving their physical and mental health at the same time. It would be more constructive than going on marches organised by older, cynical ideologues out to manipulate them.’

Priest of the Awkward Squad.

Michael Blackburn: ‘And so we come back to the beginning: somebody says something you don’t like, you push the outrage button, release the predigested script and hope the collective flood washes it all away. You’ll do anything to avoid the lonely process of having to think for yourself. That would be too hard, wouldn’t it? Worse, you might find you’re not as virtuous as you think you are.’

Stasi and Snitch.

Michael Blackburn: And as for those pinnacles of British university education, Oxford and Cambridge, you can forget about them. Plans are afoot to make the Oxford Classics degree easier for the girls because not enough of them are getting Firsts. We can’t have another gender gap, can we?

Fight, Fight for Europe! No Thanks.

Michael Blackburn: ‘the one clear, incontrovertible truth the Brexit business has demonstrated to us in our knuckle-dragging oikiness is the blistering ineptitude of our politicians.’

Dad: bad, mad, sad.

Michael Blackburn: ‘God help the poor blokes who end up being “helped” by those espousing these ideas. If they aren’t screwed up when they start they certainly will be by the time the shrinks have finished with them.’