23 January 2007
THIS is the introduction to a piece which appeared in the 06/01/07 issue of The Spectator:
'In 2007, Britain will almost certainly be the chief testing ground of the attempt by radical Muslims to gain more power and influence in Western society.Read the rest of the article, if you dare, here.
'The United States, too, is threatened by militant Islam - not least by the prospect of terrorist attacks on its own territory - but the problem in the United Kingdom is much greater. In America, radical Islamists have used civil rights legislation and the habits of multicultural courtesy to gain advantages that might not be available to them in Europe. At any rate there has been no debate there about niqab or face-covering. Britain, however, gives the impression of a society approaching a fork in its historical road: either toward more 'Islamization' of the broader society or toward a powerful backlash as Britons grow increasingly troubled by the apparent forcible dilution of the majority culture.'
THE furore that erupted over the chauvinism and spitefulness unsurprisingly exhibited by a number of the contestants on Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) last week provoked a flurry of reactions from the nation's columnists. Two in particular, VPL felt, got to the heart of the matter. In The Daily Mail, David Seymour wonders '…how it is that society tolerates the yobbish, drunken, inconsiderate behaviour that our young people exhibit…' and bleakly surmises that 'Jade, Danielle and Jo are not one-off misfits. …the sorry truth is that there are thousands – perhaps hundreds of thousands – of others like them in Britain today.' Whilst, writing in The Independent, Howard Jacobson eloquently concludes of the stupidity that typifies most of the housemates:
'They add up, though - the words you can't pronounce, the events you haven't heard of, the ideas with which you are not and do not wish to be acquainted. At some point the accumulation of missing information and curiosity amounts to your not being in the world at all. … There is vindictiveness in dumbing down. It aims to dethrone not only intelligence but the means by which we rate one thing above another. Dumbing down is an assault upon the very concept of value.'Indeed, the notion that the boorish antics of self-obsessed and dim-witted CBB housemates like Jade Goody and Danielle Lloyd are somehow symptomatic of a wider cultural malaise which has beset the nation is the most valid and portentous to be drawn from this fiasco. As Mr Jacobson points out, it has to do with dumbing down, and the downhill charge that is the ongoing dumbing down of British cultural life has undeniably accelerated greatly in the last decade; with an obliging shove from the evermore senseless drivel that comprises modern popular culture it now careers on a relentless descent, destined for the great morass of excrement that festers at the bottom; the unpleasant location in which our self-destructing society will eventually come to rest: a fall from grace historically unequalled in its swiftness and execution. As a character from a Robert E. Howard story warns: 'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.' Whether, in the end, it is the spread of Islamism or the prevalence of the witless amorality promoted through popular culture, or a lethal cocktail of the two, barbarism is not far off triumphing.
Parallel and indelibly connected to this rush to idiocy has been the rise to fame (or, rather, notoriety) of such ignoramuses as Jordan, Jade Goody and the plethora of other BB veterans, countless footballers wives, and the reinvented Charlotte Church; vulgar, unintelligent, aggressive, avaricious and largely untalented individuals whose secular narcissism greatly exceeds that of any twentieth-century European dictator, and whose very prominence conveys the detrimental notion that academic achievement and toil are not in any way essential to acquiring renown and riches in post-modern Britain. In fact, it may even appear to the observer that erudition and industriousness actually prove an insurmountable stumbling block to entering the bling-encrusted and tracksuit-clad ranks of this peculiar new aristocracy.
This seemingly paradoxical conviction proves especially attractive to the burgeoning and dysfunctional portion of our working class, from whose ranks these celebrities are almost exclusively drawn, but, ominously, it has also permeated upwards into the higher classes as well, as can be seen from the slatternly behaviour and appearance of wealthy socialites like Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and, in particular, Paris Hilton (who was pithily but accurately described as a 'stupid spoiled whore' in South Park). As psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple noted in his myth-shattering Life at the Bottom: '…in modern Britain, the direction of cultural aspiration has reversed: for the first time in history, it is the middle and upper classes that aspire to be taken for their social inferiors, an aspiration that (in their opinion) necessitates misconduct.' This downward cultural aspiration encompasses language, clothing and outlook and has in particular infected the insecure middle classes, whose younger generations are terrified of being thought 'posh' – now a fiercely derogatory term – and so do their level best to at least look or, worse, act like their social inferiors. When the behavioural traits of those who, generally for a legitimate reason, reside at the very bottom of the social ladder are accepted and even emulated by a significant number of those inhabiting the rungs above it, one may reasonably conclude that something has gone very wrong with society. As Dr Dalrymple points out such an inversion is unprecedented, except perhaps where civilised societies have been conquered and subjugated by barbaric ones. For obvious reasons such a scramble to baseness en masse has never willingly been undertaken by a nation.
Of course, to criticise the shameless behaviour of these 'personalities' is to be denounced as 'judgemental' and 'classist' by the left, but through their unashamed antagonism and gratuitous ignorance these false idols have themselves foully betrayed their own class by advocating its very worst traits, as have those unscrupulous agents and producers who promote them in the first place. To consider, as some do, Jade Goody and her drooling cohorts 'working-class heroes' of a sort is a grossly unfair slur on those elements of the working-class who do struggle, often against often horrendous odds, to better themselves and their families. These icons of idiocy are perhaps helpful in that they at least draw attention to all that is wrong with our depraved lower classes, as they have recently in CBB, but, simultaneously, through their prominence they succeed in making these very attitudes and modes of behaviour desirable to hundreds of thousands of impressionable spectators.
Indeed our new noblesse actively emphasise their worldly ignorance, for it is partly this 'talent' which gifted them their status. And what ignorance! Last year CBB contestant Danielle Lloyd appeared on BBC1's Test the Nation and was asked the implausibly difficult question of 'who was Winston Churchill?' To make things extra simple she was given the choice of four possible answers: a rapper, a US President, a Prime Minister, or a King. In a display of utter nescience that reflects darkly on our inadequate education system and the growing cult of ignorance she pouted and answered: 'Wasn't he the first black president of America? There's a statue of him near me - that's black.' In a nation where 5 million adults can't read or write and 11 million can't even manage basic arithmetic, this candid demonstration of complete detachment from the recent past, an echo of a 2005 survey of 15-year-olds in which 15 per cent of those asked the same question as Ms Lloyd thought that Winston Churchill was a nodding dog who advertises car insurance, is sadly to be expected.
Whilst it is might be easy to dismiss these wealthy simpletons as irrelevant, it would be foolish to underestimate their collective influence – or 'iffuence', as Ms Goody would verbalise it in estuary English – on the easily-influenced and the young in particular. A survey last year asked 1,500 children under the age of 10 'what do you think is the very best thing in the world?' The top three replies were: 1) being a celebrity, 2) having good looks and 3) being wealthy. The proliferation of celebrity-specific gossip magazines and columns in newspapers would suggest that many adults share to some degree these shallow and egocentric priorities and obsessions. Of course, people have always desired fame and wealth, but in the past they have generally had healthier rolemodels and their aspirations were at least tempered by Christian humility.
Those who lack the ability to follow in the footsteps of genuinely talented individuals, who often come from stable middle and upper class backgrounds, will automatically be attracted to the likes of Ms. Goody whose ascendancy (and, equally, descent) can be easily emulated by any foul-mouthed, dim-witted oik. Mere television exposure is all that is required.
It was Robert Frost who wrote 'I'm against a homogenized society, because I want the cream to rise.' At the eventual conclusion of the downward cultural spiral upon which Britain is presently and remorselessly descending there will be no cream left; just a foul coagulation of rancid milk at the bottom.
ACCORDING to this article personal debt in Britain is increasing by £1 million every four minutes. As the Lord admonishes the Jews in Ezekiel (22:12-14):
'In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.
'Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.
'Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, on the days that I shall deal with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.'
IF you are a child molester the advantages posed by New Labour's generous 'come one, come all' attitude towards immigration into the UK are clearly evident. You can berate Labour as much as you want, but it cannot be said that they're not inclusive.