The Plastic Hippo

November 26, 2014

Dancing Queen of the Night

Via BBC Radio 4

If the old adage that any publicity is good publicity is true; then that there Home Secretary is putting herself about a bit. Even the BBC has temporarily scaled back its Farage 24 service in order to make room in the schedule for the daily Theresa May Show. In addition to her spectacular appearances on hourly news bulletins and interviews with senior and completely impartial political correspondents, Mrs May was honoured to share with the public her human side during an episode of Desert Island Discs. Ubiquity is seldom accidental.

Forget about bacon sandwiches and a couple of Labour MPs grumbling in a House of Commons bar prompting media types to bellow “leadership crisis”, ignore the continuing obsession with a single tweet featuring an image of a house and, for the sake of humanity, disregard pouting minor celebrities screeching outrage at the prospect of a mansion tax. If you require evidence of a “leadership crisis”, look instead toward defections, by election defeats, a feral 1922 committee, the omnipotence of the Home Secretary and a popular Twitter hash tag demanding that “Cameron Must Go”.

Mrs May has seized the moment and the knives and the stilettos are out. Weary of defensive apologising to the House of Commons and the nation on behalf of the Home Office for the Abu Qatada fiasco, the ongoing cover-up masquerading as a shambles that has failed to start the vitally important Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry, the trickery involved in denying MPs a vote on the European Arrest Warrant, intimidating racist poster vans cruising urban streets and immigration targets being a comment rather than a “no ifs – no buts” promise, she has gone into a more offensive mode.

Last week she banned some American charlatan from entering the UK. Up until then, the vast majority of intelligent life on earth had never heard of Julien Blanc but now that he has been refused a visa, his distasteful career is likely to skyrocket. In a free market economy where entrepreneurial exploitation outweighs morality, Mr Blanc as a self-styled “dating guru and pick-up artist” is successful in managing to extract money from roomfuls of frustrated, priapic, gibbering Bonobos in need of advice as to how to abuse women. Perhaps comparing sad, unattractive men to Bonobos is unfair. Bonobos are attractive, social and intelligent and have endless opportunities for torrid yet consensual sexual activity. There is a career opportunity for Mr Blanc. Instead of offering “tips” on sexual violence, he could advise his clients to wash more than once a week paying particular attention to the armpits, always lower the toilet seat after use, do the washing up and quote poetry. Works for me and I`m pig ugly.

By banning this nasty piece of work, the Home Secretary has guaranteed him a lucrative notoriety as dysfunctional primates currently in relationships with “specialist” publications and a box of Kleenex seek him out for guidance as to how to think between the legs rather than from between the ears. His visa should have been approved and I, for one, would be happy to witness this low-life being taken apart by people who have evolved beyond picking body lice, bum sniffing and the rampant demands of irrational tumescence. I guess evolution still has a long way to go. Denying entry to the UK because we find some people distasteful sets a dangerous precedent and banning this particular piece of flotsam because he encourages violence towards women will, if the Home Secretary displays any consistency, result in the RAF being scrambled to repel private jets flying in from Riyadh and beyond.

Blanking Blanc was just the warm-up in Theresa`s charm offensive to woo the public and, more importantly, the media. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill will be published later today and according to the carefully placed leaks of its content it is unlikely to be a great day for democracy and freedom of speech or even thought. Schools, colleges and universities will now have a statutory duty “to prevent individuals being drawn into terrorism” by banning “extremist speakers”. On the face of it, this is a very good thing as Michael Gove will never again be allowed to enter a school. Sadly it also means that whoever is tasked with defining “extremist” will have the power to ban poets, artists, nurses, doctors, academics and if Gove still holds to the views he expressed when he was Secretary of State for Education, teachers will be banned from schools.

TPIMS is an acronym for Terrorism Provision and Investigation Measures and is definitely not the choice of drinks at an English garden party. This beefed up control order allows the government to “relocate suspects to a different part of the country” based on a “reasonable balance of probabilities”. You can bet your rucksack full of fertilizer that whoever is tasked with defining “suspect” will not be relocating people to Mrs May`s Maidenhead constituency.

Passports and travel documents will be removed from people going overseas who have beards and don`t appear to be terribly white and any such persons currently abroad will be rendered stateless if they attempt to return to these shores. It`s not clear if these measures will apply to doctors and nurses volunteering their expertise is Syria and West Africa.

Interestingly, it will now be a criminal offence to provide insurance cover to companies fearful of employees being kidnapped and held to ransom. In the secretive world of government, it seems that these insurance policies have secured the release of kidnapped UK hostages in the past who have been sworn to secrecy after release. We have no idea of the numbers of UK citizens being held to ransom and only become aware of a kidnap after a brutal beheading. If the bill is passed, we may become aware of more and Mrs May might have to purchase a second black dress to wear at memorial services.

The real point of the bill is a requirement for internet service providers to collect and pass on to the security services details of what UK citizens are getting up to on our computers. It is not about terrorism or national security; it is about control and a stifling of criticism. Governments do not like free speech and freedom of thought and having rounded up old media into a compliant pen, the internet with all its lunacy needs to be controlled. The timeline is simple. Yesterday`s critic is today`s troll and tomorrow`s terrorist. This is not likely to end well.

After the almost compulsory Elgar and Purcell and a couple of Anglican hymns, Theresa May`s other desert island selections included a recording of Walk Like A Man and to further stress her woman-of-the-people credibility, Abba`s Dancing Queen. Unfortunately, she lost some connectivity with the people by introducing the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart`s Magic Flute by saying:
“I don`t think anybody can go through life without listening to a bit of Mozart.”
With a superb sense of irony, she also selected a spoken word clip from Yes Minister from an episode entitled “The Compassionate Society”. For this brilliant piece of humour, I have changed my opinion regarding Theresa May`s credentials as the next leader of the Conservative Party. This is not due to her charm, grace, style or wit, but because she is the only alternative to Boris Johnston.

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