1. At school, a fascist bearded history teacher used to bellow “Is it the Daily Mail?” upon sighting a newspaper or magazine of any description. It’s now the only newspaper i bother to read every day though i rarely read any of the articles to the end. i lack the patience to read any newspaper as they are all badly and boringly written, and focus on politics, sport, and finance. The Daily Mail, while very badly written, focuses principally on murder, rape, mutilation, and torture – subjects of interest. Most of the DM stories are also covered in the other newspapers, but one has to first wade through tedium about the stock market and Ronaldo and the Bank of England and the latest speech given by such-and-such a political non-entity.

In part, i like the Daily Mail because its bias is so clear i can filter it out without trouble; i also don’t really read it, i just pluck a few grisly facts out for my own delectation.  The BBC and Guardian, by contrast, are slippery and i don’t have the time or patience to re-read everything trying to disentangle truth from propaganda. i’m only interested in what’s happening at street level in England – the latest speech by the Junior Under-Secretary for Outreach Resolution is of no interest to me. i want to know who was murdered in Manchester, who was savagely beaten by bearded Muslims, who was raped and eaten by tattooed cannibals. i found it strange, living in England, how often i saw or heard of savage street beatdowns and yet the newspapers were full only of stories about the latest iphone, politics, Jade Goodie, as if the actual danger of walking through the city after 9 pm was of no consequence. In my hospital job, when my colleagues moaned about how violent the streets were, i asked them when they thought it began; they all said it was in the late 90s (or rather in 2007 they said “it was about ten years ago”). The Daily Mail at least reflects my own experience of living in England between 1976 and 2009:

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2. From time to time, my Facebook friends would privately remark quizzically on my repeated links to the Daily Mail, usually to do with murder/rape/torture stories. Living in the wealthiest & safest city in Germany, i don’t want to forget that civilisation is precarious; that in England most of the people i know report that things are getting worse and worse, on the street level. The 1% who confidently assert that England has never been better all have cushy managerial positions and live an enviably pampered life of ease and gilded magnificence.

3. My only genuinely Communist FB friend, a champagne socialist who left England 30 years ago and lives in a village for extremely rich people outside Geneva, used to leave abusive jeers to every Daily Mail post, and indeed many others when he was in the mood. The jeers were predictable: “Not the Daily Grail again” or “It’s in the Daily Grail so it must be true”. When he insinuated that the whole story was invented and that i was, therefore, a gullible idiot i took the time to Google and find the story covered on several other newspapers, some left-wing (though typically it wouldn’t appear anywhere in the Guardian); and to ascertain that the Mail hadn’t in any way falsified the story. i then posted this after his trollish comment; he would always ignore this, only to return with another “Daily Grail” comment a few days later.

The last time, i linked to an article about the Office of National Statistics report, regarding the rise of chavvery; the Communist commented: “Oh no, not more Daily Grail ‘statistics'”. i laboriously found the original report and provided a link so he could check that, in fact, the Mail hadn’t fabricated them; then realised he wouldn’t bother since as a Communist he already knows what’s true and the facts need not concern him; so i just unfriended him instead.

He then emailed to tell me he’s pissed off that someone with my so-called intelligence and so-called education should waste his time on “propaganda written for the hard of thinking”. He told me i should spend my time attacking Judith Butler and modern academia, this being “a far worse crime than anything in the Daily Mail.” i do feel that the left-wing destruction of academia has caused enormous damage to the country, but i personally wouldn’t say it’s “a far worse crime” than, for example, torture or murder or rape. But then, living in a village for investment bankers, perhaps things appear so to him.

4. Back when i enabled comments on this blog i often received comments which more or less ran: “Normally I like your blog but I don’t like this post. Never write anything like this again. Only write the things I like.” Being a nice elberry i tried to give these comments some thought; eventually, i realised that if i did as my readers said i would have no blog left at all: a cashier at Tesco’s told me i shouldn’t write about my shitty job because i earned 50 pence an hour more than she did; a Speech Therapist told me off for reporting wearily on the atrocious written English of the therapists for whom i worked; every time i wrote about a band or film or book i didn’t like someone would tell me i was a fucking idiot and should die; when i wrote about the weirdness of standing at the bus stop for 10 minutes and hearing 3 conversations, not a single one in English, i received a series of enraged comments from white people calling me a racist; and so on. If i had excised all the objectionable material there would have been nothing left except reports on the weather, and i guess sooner or later someone would have taken umbrage at that and told me i was a stupid weatherist cunt.

5. The trollish comments, on FB and my blog, were almost always from left-wingers. i don’t recall a single trollish comment from a conservative, and like Joyce i am a “collector of injustices” and hoard my bad memories like love letters.

Perhaps it is to do with the nature of the left/right-wing divide. To some degree, the divide is meaningless – the Nazis were National Socialists, and the actual methods of control in the USSR and Nazi Germany were very similar. In the 21st Century, “the right” seems to mean capitalist, conservative, opposed to an authoritarian State and a bloated public sector. i don’t know anyone on the right, even people who are very right, who would be happy with the Nazi model; but the lefties always have a soft spot for Stalin, for gulags, pogroms, beatings, the Lubyanka, special shops and privileges for KGB and senior Party members, caviar for the bosses, tree bark soup for everyone else. For example, George Galloway praising North Korea.

6. The left feeds on the myth of the underdog. Yesterday i posted this Daily Mail link on Facebook, about the supposed architect of the so-called plot to disrupt Margaret Thatcher’s funeral: an Oxford student whose parents live in a 700,000 pound house in Tunbridge Wells. The essential details, incidentally, are also to be found in the Telegraph. My friend Bonehead commented:

Typical socialist – someone who has much and yet somehow believes themselves to be part of a band of threadbare brothers living hand to mouth on the scraps the cruel state tosses them from its table.

Bonehead is from a slum in Bradford, his mother is black, his father Irish/Polish, and he’s worked since leaving university, at a series of temp jobs, never signing on. He has no interest at all in English traditions but believes, as i do, that it’s better to work – even at shit jobs on low pay – than to take money from the State. i have some respect for socialists who actually work in McDonald’s and live in Bradford, not that any such exist; but they all seem to live in 700,000 pound mansions in Tunbridge Wells.

7. i sometimes call myself right-wing but in truth i’m just anti-left-wing, if by left-wing one means George Galloway, Polly Toynbee, Tony Blair, Stalin, Beria, Decca Aitkenhead, Laurie Penny, Judith Butler, etc. i have no real interest in politics. i’m interested in the national culture, what happens in daily life; in whether the streets become safer or more dangerous; in how vile or polite people become; and so on. Political men and women always seem hollow and clamorous to me; in Buddhism, there is a “hell of hungry ghosts”: an appropriate name for those interested in politics.

i remember reading an American academic somewhere writing that he was asked to appear on a university committee, as a token rightist. When he asked how they knew his politics, since he never talked about them, the students said “we know you must be right-wing because you never talk about politics.” Likewise, i only got talking about politics with the painter in our last session, a good 18 months after we first met; and found he’s as “right-wing” as me, meaning he distrusts an intrusive State run by power-hungry manager trash, their ideology woven by self-righteous retards like Judith Butler and Laurie Penny. Here is Boris Johnson on a conversation with the queen of champagne socialists, Polly Toynbee:

At the end of a harrowing conversation, she said: “You don’t understand. You think this is all some game, some debating forum for civilised adults. But this is serious. You are on one side and I am on the other.” Shortly afterwards, she vented a volcanic piece, accusing everyone at the Spectator of being effete, slimy, bullying creeps. The article was illustrated by a picture of Auberon Waugh as a human turd about to be flushed down the pan – and the poor chap had only just died.

This makes me think that there is an interesting psychological difference between left-wingers and right-wingers. On the whole, right-wingers are prepared to indulge left-wingers on the grounds that they may be wrong and misguided but are still perfectly nice. Lefties, on the other hand, are much more likely to think right-wingers are genuinely evil.

i’m not right-wing; i just don’t care about politics and don’t want to be harangued by champagne socialists, anymore than i want to be harangued by conservatives – the difference is that only socialists harangue and bully; because they are convinced they are right, and that they are fighting the good fight, they feel no interest in logic, discussion, civilised debate, or leaving people alone: they want to win the argument by whatever means (slander, abuse, threats); they want to re-educate their opponents; i’m sure that if my Communist friend had the political power, he would ban the Daily Mail and anything right of the BBC and Guardian; he would have me taken away and re-educated, and it would be for my own good. And he isn’t a bad man – just a communist, a true believer.

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8. One can draw up a preliminary sketch of character by asking, Which Russian writer do you identify with? i love Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad but withdraw from his polemics and arrogance. Dostoevsky describes my more lunatic youth. Chekhov is my ideal. Consider this, courtesy of Patrick Kurp:

“The students were different from Anton Pavlovich. They loved to argue, and they were in some peculiar way opposed to just about everything.

“`If you have no convictions,’ said one student turning to Chekhov, `you can’t be a writer.’
“No one can say, `I have no convictions,’ said another. `I can’t understand how anyone could not have convictions.’

“`I have no convictions,’ replied Chekhov.

“`You claim to be a man without convictions, but how can you write a work of literature without any ideology? Don’t you have an ideology?’

“`I have no ideology and no convictions,’ answered Chekhov.

“These students had an odd way of arguing. They were apparently displeased with Anton Pavlovich. It was clear that they could not fit him into the didactic turn of their outlook or into their moralizing ideology. They wanted to guide, to instruct, to lead, and to influence. They knew everything. They understood everything. And Anton Pavlovich was plainly bored by it all.

“`Who needs your stories? Where do they lead? They don’t oppose anything. They contain no ideas. The Russian Bulletin, say, would have no use for you. Your stories are entertaining and nothing else.’

“`Nothing else,’ answered Anton Pavlovich.”

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