Regarding Nigel’s Queen’s Head lunch affair, I was reading Bishop Hill’s comments and started wondering how far my hypocrisy could extend before coming clean.
Make no mistake – they are scum, as Nige said but the thing is … cough … er … ahem … so was I way back when.
You see, I had this affliction called yoof. I do understand it passed some of you by and some of you were born the fineupstanding adults you are today. Unfortunately, I passed through this yoof phase and was not, by any stretch of the imagination, mature. Some fineupstanding adults even called us wild.
Let me stress that we weren’t out and out crims, we didn’t go about breaking any laws, after all, we were the saviours of the world, the ones soaked, even steeped, in the left narrative, which leads me to reflect that this is not some new phenomenon by any stretch.
It was a combination of a few things. Firstly, we were young and therefore knew everything [a quality which has never departed your humble correspondent].
Secondly, we were [collectively] on the noble weed at the time and the bottle and the ciggies and our moral compasses were … interesting. Everything was a bit of a joke really. Everything was up for trying.
Thirdly, our professors, lecturers and tutors had guided us into Marx, Sorel, Fromm, Trotsky, Lenin, Shaw, Tawney and most of my acquaintance had turned into good little Fabians. We knew nothing of Adam Smith or other such writers. And our simplistic, hole-riddled philosophy we took into everyday life on the street behind the placard and loud chanting. Work for a living? What was that? Explain that one to us.
Didn’t matter what we supported – could have been gay workers of the world or the Nicaraguans – didn’t matter a damn, as long as it was a cause and the word could fit onto a placard. There was a real sense of community at the kitchen table, clearing away last night’s lentil soup and preparing for the demonstration, whilst not fighting for once over who had stolen whose milk and/or food.
We did actually fervently believe in it all once we were at the demo, we never actually called each other comrade a la Rik, it was more an unwritten, understood position we held. And there were genuine grievances, e.g. the way the police had treated the miners. Corporations were raping the world – Jim Morrison would soon confirm that for us. They were all fascists. Not us of course, our imposition on people we never gave a moment’s thought to. If someone did actually take us to task, we’d be the polite schoolboys, except for one of our peripheral members who took it all way too seriously and called the taskmaster unreconstructed, fascist scum.
Above all, it was such fun seeing the easily offended get offended, the fineupstanding adults of the right, the joyless bastards. We’d deliberately provoke, coz we had right on our side, remember. Once there was a tour of restaurants where we’d all stand by the windows in turn, pointing at the food diners were trying to partake of. Then we’d run. Naturally, we were all in costume, as dressing up was half the fun.
That’s how we lived – in that unserious and yet very, very serious frame of mind on world issues, where we had the solution by supporting the banning of something – out of our skulls when we weren’t pretending to study or attend lectures and occasionally when we were. Someone should have taken the whip to us, got some discipline into us.
One day, my housemates came home and were shocked to the core that I’d not been able to stand it any more and had vacuumed, washed and disinfected the whole house [barring their rooms, in which things were growing] and they saw then that I was showing signs of not being one of them.
Looking back at our “music” blasting at all hours of day and night, I can’t for the life of me see why the elderly neighbours next door didn’t call the Bill. They must have been deaf. Or frightened of us.
The end of all this? Gotta job, din I, eh? Started wearing a shirt and tie, often a jacket. As an out-and-out narrativist, right-on, love the trees, bros sort of guy, they entrusted the educating of children to such as me.
Sadly, the things I’d been brought up to believe by my parents started to impinge on the brain – you know, notions such as one lived within one’s means, there was no wealth without producing, keeping one’s house in order. What joyless tits we turned into.
From then on, by degrees, it was all downhill – hell, even marriages got in the way – and today, voila – the end product, a fineupstanding adult, appalled by the leftist scum who did that to Nigel at that pub.