A Draper's Tale
Letter to Derek, from Love'sLaboursLost
This fracas in cyberspace does raise, as they say, interesting questions.
Are, for instance global travellers on the information Superhighway, commenting, bound by the same arch and obscurantist politesse as is Westminster - dishonourable and right dishonourable thieving lying bastards on all sides facetiously bowing and scraping at one another, a faux courtliness masking an unprincipled gutter trade - or is it the case that the Internet is, as intended, a prohibitions-free zone, rightly uncorraled by UK legislation and convention ? Are bloggers to call on some CyberSpeaker to insist, point of order, that so-and-so withdraws that last remark?
It does seem that, as with much else, the House of Commons and its agents would, in matters of self-expression, ever restrict, proscribe, cajole and punish; the cry of I Spy Racist, here, being an example of the over-regulatory tendencies of all in MediaMinster.
Of nearly three hundred comments on the posting at order-order, a handful, fewer than usual, actually, are witty, many are angry, bilious, frustrated and another handful could be deemed deeply unpleasant; that comment moderation is enabled indicates that the truly incendiary comments are being filtered-out, so an element of notional Decency - always a difficult value judgement to make - is loosely imposed - for some, of course, any censoring is counterproductive; how can you challenge the unspeakable when none can speak it or hear it ? It must, nevertheless, be acknowledged that, as with the peurile TottyWatch - Guido aping that giant of Fleet Street, the great Libertarian, Mr Kelvin McKenzie - order-order does invite and provoke comment which it's owner, while clearly welcoming and celebrating, carefully refrains from making himself; this, though, is just the nature of show business and you have no business criticising Mr Fawkes' act or in pronouncing magisterially upon what may and may not appear in cyberspace, as though you are the sole arbiter not only of taste but of right and wrong.
There exists a legal framework for punishing incitement to racial hatred, if that is insufficiently potent you should lobby for it's strengthening; the reality of modern Britain, however - never mind the global audience which even a poor plumber can address, via the Internet - is that so-called incorrect language is the norm. In factories - such as remain - in pubs, in cafes, in clubs, at football grounds, in fact, everywhere outside the charmed circles of wealthy, political celebrity and Guardian-advertised "posts" in the public sector, where such corectness is rigidly policed, the comments which offend you so are everyday currency, that's how life is and order-order is, if anything, more tilted to "correctness" than you allow; more considerate and tolerant of Otherness than is assumed in your critique. Even within the component nations of the Union, hatreds, resentments and grievances flourish for centuries, mostly, these days, without incident; it is simply impossible to frame laws to make people like people they don't want to like. And rightly so, people will homogenise in time by their own efforts and exigencies, the State need only police the policeable- unfair discrimination, oppression and violence.
A minority of the country, a small minority, listens to Radio 4, reads the broadsheets, ho-ho-ho, watches Newsnight; an even smaller minority joins political parties; the endless, tyrannical rebukes from the braying, self-congratulatory Yasmin Alibhai Brown, the remorseless chiding of the ill-educated Melanine Phillips, the purple-faced why-oh-whyisms of Simon Heffer; the breathless I-Know-Bestism of Will Hutton and now the manufactured righteous indignation of Labour'sList, the sermonising cacophony, in short, from those whose only talent is to reprove, whose only industry is to hector, falls on deaf ears. The often coarse but evidently heartfelt jibes, however, of those who worship at order-order, reveal, in their vulgarity and acidity, in their anarchical bellicosity, the temper of the times.
Labour and Tory members, engineers of a racist holocaust in Iraq, promoters of and shareholders in AirTorture Inc. and joint authors of creeping totalitarianism at home can take their purse-lipped anti-racism sermons and preach them in the hospitals of Baghdad and Gaza and Kabul, among those made refugee to secure Tony Blair's fortune, his medal of Dishounour, let them preen and strut before the child amputees, the blind, the melted; let them, before they further lecture anyone, explain, if they can, the anti-racist credentials they reveal in this most recent Crusade.
You assume, Mr Draper, a morality which is obviously not yours, a correctness which your every word and action disown but most importantly and risibly, you claim a competence made ridiculous by each preposterous, daily maladroitness of the ludicrous Mr Brown and his Ship of Fools; in belittling the perfectly understandable outrage, rancour and cynicism for which order-order is a lightning conductor you demonstrate a complete failure to understand not only which way the wind blows but that there is a wind at all; here, you are out of your depth. Your Country, as Earl Kitchener might have said had he known you, doesn't need you.
Enlist who you will, marshal the whole of Westmister but you can't do this. You have neither the wit nor the industry; others may, Guido, for one, does, you don't. If you would, as we all should, assist what remains of the workers movement against the depradations of House of Commons Banking plc, you would go away, son, and spin no more.