Saturday, June 11, 2016

Minor distractions on the Road to Freedom (1998)

From the August 1998 issue of the Socialist Standard

Paris erupts. 'At last - Victory Is Ours! We beat the world' And Chirac was wearing the team scarf. Who cannot be proud to be French tonight. asks the ecstatic newsreader. Old woman on the corner of the Rue de Rivoli throws her hat in the air and thinks of next week's rent. Liberty? Fraternity? Equality? Maybe not. but We won the Cup. Let the world gloat.

Of course, we should have played Gazza. Two men in a pub relive a battle in which they fought valiantly with six-packs and a remote control.The BBC should have played the fat Italian opera singer. Having Faure's music as the theme tune could only encourage the French. Beckham's name is spat with contempt. He robbed us of elusive victory. Forgive what Thatcher did to the miners and Blair's grin of the youthful oppressor as he picks on the disabled and single mums, but who can think welt of national treachery cheered only by Scots and Posh Spice?

Why Did Ginger Spice Leave? The nation demands to know. Man at the Job Centre with three kids and no prospects reads the Sun with latest revelations of Spice News. Which one is your favourite Spice Girl, then? When did we last hear the gossip about Fifteen-Hours-A-Day-In-A-Bangkok-Shirt-Factory Spice? Ad exec sighs; the name has no ring to it. The kids need a role model. Look at Barbie Doll: always smiling. She can take it. Why can't everyone?

Bowler-hatted bigoted know-nothing no-surrender boys demand inviolable right to pester neighbours. It's tradition, see? So, No Surrender. Three kids burned to death in their home. It's tradition, see' Burning kids alive will soon be forgotten. but never the triumph of 1690.Were they waiting for the Big Match, these harmless, innocent. defenceless children, before the psychotic patriots extinguished their lives? Blair condemns, with limp sincerity.

But what about the stink in his back yard? Yes, you Tony—you with the permanent ad-man's smile. Did young Draper promise to fix it for a yankee capitalist in return for a well-stuffed envelope? Mandelson lets Draper take the rap. Blair lets Mandelson take the rap. Clinton insists that Tony would never mess. Tony declares that Bill would never take advantage of no~one. The girl was only in his room to get a saxophone lesson. It was all a horrible misunderstanding. Honest, guy. The People Must Be Told. Did Monica inhale? Had Dodi and Di done the business before that fateful journey? Is Big Mac better than a Burger King Whopper? And why are William Hague and Baroness Thatcher never seen in the same room? lt's an old trick. Will. You can't disguise it by wearing your baseball hat and bopping to reggae. You're an octogenarian n the body of a young man. What do you think about these alien abductions? They wish for little else in Wolverhampton.

Have you booked your ticket for the Greenwich Dome? Why, what's there? Dunno—but I'm definitely going. Where will you be on New Year's Eve 999? Drunk as a skunk in an East End boozer reliving 1966—Geoff Hurst, Harold Wilson. the Kray Twins. They was harmless boys—only wanted to look after their mum and torture people. Wonder how Gerry Adams treats his mum. Isn't the Queen Mum wonderful! Won't we weep like babies when she finatly comes to terms with nature. Old women in tower block (Bevan Court, by name) decide whether to open baked beans or put on the heater. The blood gets thinner when you're old. Unless it's blue. Queen Mum always has a spare coin for the meter. They have her girl's picture on, you know.

What about this Euro, then? Give up the Queen's head on our flyers? Never! Lining up at the cash machine will never be the same. Sorry. But Your Request Has Been Referred To Your BankYoung William Hague will lead a national crusade to save our currency.We remember the blitz, Fritz. Britons never never never shall be. Gissa Job, guv.

Irritating pictures on the news of starving kids in Sudan. It's wrong—it's just not right to show that kind of thing when people are eating their dinner. Isn't life miserable enough without that? Pass the Prozac, pal. They look like humans. In your nightmares they look like your own children. The newsreader says—some of the images in this report may disturb some viewers. But most of the images won't. They'll leave you alone and let the mind rot in maladjusted tranquillity. It's called Normality.

After Winston Smith had come out from Room 101 he could see everything much more clearly. Distracting thoughts of freedom had been cleared from his head. News came on to the telescreen. France has won! Rejoice! But England should never have dropped Gazza.

No comments: