Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back in Blighty

I am briefly in England, preparing for my motorised expedition to the Cote d'Azur. So far I have had three conversations with people outside my family.

The man who drove me from Manchester Airport (proud sponsors of the Labour Party) expressed his doubts about Thursday's terrrorism alert. "You can't believe anything this lot say, can you?" he observed wearily. If the denizens of the Northern Heartlands, who have unquestioningly drunk the Party's hemlock for generations, think Labour might lie on this scale, anything is possible.

To be honest, I have been a bit shocked that so many (including Guido) think our Government would imitate Goebbels so shamelessly. Cynicism is one thing, but that verges on moonbattery, surely? I don't even think it's good politics. If they were lies, surely Blair would have stayed home to deliver them, movingly? Leaving such powerful drama to his understudies makes no sense.

The second chat was with the guy who cut my hair. Unprovoked he observed, when hearing that I live in Russia, that I should probably stay there. He said many of his more educated customers have left England in the last 10 years. "The American tourists" [ours is a small-scale tourist town] "are amazed we can live with low wages, high prices AND high taxes" he added, sadly.

The third exchange of views was with a bewhiskered Trot who thrust a leaflet into my hand denouncing BushandBlair and calling for "immediate unconditional ceasefire" in Lebanon. "You must be joking", I said. "Children are dying!" she Gallowayed for the benefit of the adjoining counties. "But what about Hezbollah's rockets? Didn't you mind when it was just Jewish children?" I said, and started to walk away. She bellowed after me, for the benefit of passersby, "Afraid to stop and argue, then?"

I swivelled on my heel and went back. I am so glad I did. If I hadn't I would have missed the first laugh of my holiday.

"Have you read the Hezbollah Charter?" I asked. Somewhat evasively she riposted "I've read a lot of things I have. I've got three university degrees, I have. I'm not stupid."

That made my day. I hadn't called her stupid; effectively she just had. Three degrees were not enough to fill the cracks in her well-justified sense of inferiority. Nor enough to get her a job, judging by her bedraggled appearance.

After exchanging a few more pleasantries, she decided that, so far from being afraid to argue, I was deliberately distracting her from the struggle. She turned away and resumed ranting at the bemused shoppers.

The nostalgic smell of Trotskyite fear in my nostrils, I strolled away, contentedly wondering where I could find the "Ramon Mercador Fan Club" badge I used to wear at National Union of Students conferences.


Anonymous said...

"The American ...amazed we can live with low wages, high prices AND high taxes"

I live in the US and when I tell my friends about 17.5% sales tax NI costs and fuel prices etc, the think I'm taking the p*ss because no-one can live like that!
As to Blair being away, that would make sense he wanted to distance himself from the operation in case it went pear-shaped (a' la Forest Gate), and return like an avenging angel to restore peace and calm if there was any backlash on the streets.....

Gareth said...

I had a similar encounter with one of these anti-war types in Brighton yesterday.

"Protest against the war?" he would say to anyone that was passing whilst waving an anti-Jewish pro-Lebanon leaflet in their face.

I call them 'anti-war types' because they seem to be of the opinion that anyone that does not agree with them is pro-war, and that, in their eyes, makes them anti-war and morally superior to everyone else who is by exclusion pro-war.

Of course none of us are pro-war, we just realise the futility of handing out bigotted leaflets and attributing blame to the most persecuted religion in history and to the state that stands like a beacon of democracy in the sewer of humanity that is the Middle East.

Where are these anti-war demonstrators when Hezbollah are firing rockets into Izrael and Muslims are dive-bombing New York in passenger aircraft I wonder?

The Remittance Man said...

Toque asks: "Where are these anti-war demonstrators when Hezbollah are firing rockets into Izrael and Muslims are dive-bombing New York in passenger aircraft I wonder?"

RM answers: Dancing in the streets with their hirabi chums. Remember according to the theology of the left, a war is only just when conducted against "the west".

Miss Carnivorous said...

I want her to go to Iraq and pass out anti-war, stop the violence leaflets! The trouble is these anti-war types are never really against violence, they are just embarrassed to be British or American. Often they are just too concerned with being "liked" by people with brown skin.