We wish our several readers a Happy Christmas. We will resume getting worked up about things in the New Year. In the meantime, since it is still, we suppose, the season of symbolism, here is what one supporter once thought would make an appropriate coat of arms for John Wilkes. Enjoy!
As MPs effectively vote themselves an inflation-busting pay-rise for doing whatever it is that the misbegotten wretches do all day, we remind ourselves that a keen eye for one’s own financial interests and to hell with the public finances is an attitude at least as old as Parliament itself. As Uncle Jack observed 240 years ago:
“We frequently meet with persons who are careful to the last degree of their own money, and lavish beyond precedent of what is entrusted to them by others.”
The North Briton, No. 34, January 22 1763.
Here is an interesting piece in the Daily Mail about public perceptions of that revolting and asinine spectacle, Prime Minister’s Questions, which we presume is carefully orchestrated to ensure the absolute minimum public interest in what the swine are actually doing. We have written before that professional politics resembles certain avian mating rituals, in that it is a performance whose audience consists exclusively of the other performers and whose only objective is to convince the other performers that they have been out-performed. Even the squawking is far from dissimilar.
We were struck once again, however, by that weird and repellent attitude towards the past which is so characteristic of the English-speaking world, and which if applied to people in other places instead of other times would certainly be a kind of racism: the lazy and ugly assumption that people from an unfamiliar milieu are necessarily wicked and inferior. Consider in particular this popular comment in the Mail article: “I presume that [the ghastliness of PMQs] originates in the…Victorian era, steeped in prejudiced superiority and the determination to dominate by foul means.” Read more