Its been a bit of a heavy week in the news – nothing really odd or surreal going on. Let’s finish on a political satire and hope to get off the wall again next week.
Do you remember Bernard Matthews, the smug git who used to claim that the gobs of gloop shaped roughly like bits of dead turkeys and bearing his name were “Bootiful”?
Although nobody quite bought the idea of Matthews the jolly farmer that the ad agency tried to portray his TV commercials never generated the kind of rabid hatred stirred up recently by Crazy Frog. But it seems we underestimated bootiful Bernard. As the first generation fed on his turkey twizzlers grows to puberty it turns out our jolly farmer was Beelzebub, The Great Whore Babylon and Vernon effing Kaye all rolled into one.
Where Attila the Hun, Genghis Kahn, Sultan Suleman and Adolf Hitler, all backed up by vast and well equipped armies tried and failed to destroy western civilisation it looks like the Bootiful one has succeeded. Not single handed of course, he did have a ruthless and amoral advertising agency and some particularly warped chemists equipped with unlimited supplies of brain rotting chemicals at his disposal.
Fed on Sugar, artificial flavourings, Agent Orange coating and monosodium glutamate from the moment they had teeth our children’s behaviour soon began to resemble that of monkeys on speed. They roam the streets vomiting up bellyfuls of artificially flavoured and coloured alcopops and the chemical sludge of half digested snack foods onto the soil of civic gardens thus polluting the water table so that these toxins reach all of us. It is as if evolution had gone into reverse. Darwin did not see that one coming.
Now society is cowering under an avalanche of ABSOs as gangs roam the streets looking for more chemicals to stuff their faces with. Everywhere they destroyed all signs of civilisation (well, if you call bus stops and wheelie bins signs of civilisation.) Chemically loaded convenience foods have been proved to be responsible for all society’s ills ..WAIT!
Is it fair to make Bootiful Bernard a scapegoat for so much that has gone wrong and is the government’s announcement that all school catering staff will in future be taught to cook just a placebo? Does the source of the malaise that poisons our society lie just a little deeper. Fifty years ago the Labour politician Ernest Bevin said “poverty of aspiration leads to poverty of spirit.” The state Bevan was instrumental in creating was on in which the working classes were for the first time given the opportunity to raise their expectations, to aspire to something more than a life of drudgery and a premature death. They were encouraged to shake off the shackles of oppressive religion and an inflexible class system. In the vocabulary of Bevan and socialists like him “aspiration” meant a desire to improve one’s quality of life and to consider the common good as well as narrow personal advantage.
Obviously that sort of silly nonsense could not be allowed to continue. Every great economic empire has been built on some kind of slavery. Free the wage slaves and who would replace them?
Business and the establishment closed ranks and engineered the first known example of a paradigm shift. Instead of human beings we all became economic units. If we all worked harder and spent more money everyone would get rich. They did not mention that some would get obscenely rich while others got debt rich. We were all tricked into believing that “aspiration” was a synonym of greed and we learned to aspire to trade up from a Mondeo to a Beemer, to live in a bigger house, own a forty – two inch TV.
If Bevin had been the socialist messiah, Margaret Thatcher cast herself as the antichrist when she declared “there is no such thing as society, only individuals.” The mass of new middle class mortgage owners embraced her creed and gleefully set about acquiring the trappings of their new status.
Somewhere along the way though we forgot that humans function best in communities.
Ironically the people who now complain loudest about the anti social behaviour of the dispossessed, dysfunctional, degenerate underclass are those who created them. The selfish society, Thatcher’s children.
“They have no respect for anything,” the whingers complain as another car gets torched.
“You did not respect us reply,” the hooded hoards, “you privatised the playing fields, you made education a bureaucratic minefield, you exported the manufacturing jobs that gave our father’s lives a little meaning and you destroyed our hopes. Where are the communities that should nurture and protect us. You fucked with our fish and chips and now our brains are poisoned with Turkey Twizzlers yet you complain if we choose to poison ourselves with booze and drugs. You poisoned our world with greed and now we poison yours with our presence.”
Natural Justice is BOOTIFUL !!!