A word about evil.
Arising from gothic fiction of the 19th and 20th Centuries there is a literary cliché that assumes "evil" to be somehow intellectually attractive, decadently fashionable and really much sexier than common old virtue. I mean, anyone can be good, right?
But many years ago the now unfashionable author C.S.Lewis wrote a trilogy of science-fiction novels called Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra or Voyage to Venus and That Hideous Strength. They were a sort of The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe for adults, with a strong underlying Christian allegory and a brilliant and thoughtful portrayal of evil and the devil (another of his books, the masterpiece Screwtape Letters, is a correspondence between two fiends of Hell). In Perelandra Lewis was at pains to picture the essential stupidity of evil - the Devil, at ease and feeling bored, amuses himself by pulling the skin off frogs with his fingernails just to hear them scream.
I have this in mind when I say that Harriet Harman (normally we call her Harperson, but this is no time for silly little jokes) is a thoroughly evil woman, intent on damaging the life of a society she despises, and that she is doing so with a mind-sapping stupidity that makes skinning frogs seem like quite a jolly game, really.
According to a report in the Sunday Times this week, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned schools that once Harman's Equality Bill comes into force this autumn, it will be illegal to insist that girls wear skirts in school, and boys wear trousers. The reason it gives is almost as moronic as the legislation itself: apparently forcing children to wear gender-specific clothing discriminates against transsexuals. The GOS was a teacher for thirty years and never knowingly met a transsexual child, but what the hell? It's obviously well worth having parliament pass a piece of legislation just in case there is one sitting in a classroom somewhere in Porthcawl, Arbroath or Middle Wallop.
The fact of the matter is that Harman is motivated by blind, imbecile hatred. For some reason even she may not fully understand but probably rooted in her own childhood, she despises the middle-class mores by which she was raised, and means to keep pushing ridiculous, unfair and simplistic legislation through parliament in her bid to smash anything - school uniforms, respect for authority, earning your keep and so on - the middle-classes have ever espoused, right up to the moment she is swept away by public repulsion at the next election and she has to retire to a seat on the board and a fecking great pension.
Well, you'll have to forgive me but I have quite a busy week ahead of me. On Monday I have an audition for the local girls' choir (I'm not a girl. I'm actually a 67-year-old man, but I can sing pretty well and they can hardly refuse me because that would be sexual and ageist discrimination). On Tuesday I have to do the shopping at Tesco's. I'm not taking any money because I don't intend to pay. When I get to the checkout I shall simply explain that if they don't let me through with my trolley, I shall sue them for discriminating against me because I'm poor.
Wednesday is my day for the doctor's. There's nothing wrong with me, to tell the truth, but I always enjoy fifteen minutes' chat with the doctor who happens to be an attractive young woman, and why should I spend good money on "Hallo" magazine and "What Car?" when I can read them for nothing in the waiting room? Then Thursday is dedicated to the local council. I intend to have a little discussion with them about their discrimination against my rubbish - insisting that potato peelings go in the black bin and cardboard goes in the green is little short of racist, in my view. My potato peelings are as good as next door's cornflake packets any day. Bloody fascist bullies. My father fought in the war to prevent that sort of thing.
Friday night it's off down the pub. They recently refused entry to an old lady wearing a woolly hat because they said her face wouldn't show up on the CCTV when she kicked off and glassed someone, so I'm going to see if they discriminate against Sikhs by turning up in a turban. Then Saturday it's footie, of course. Oh no, I'm not going to watch. I'm going to play. They can hardly reject me down at Portman Road; I mean, they're an equal opportunities employer, I imagine, so they can't turn me away on the irrelevant and discriminatory grounds that I'm far too old and not very good at football. I've even bought the right shirt.
And on Sunday I thought I'd wander down to the local mosque. I'll saunter around in there, singing along with the muezzin, shouting out witty interjections to the prayers, wearing wellington boots and chewing on a bacon sarnie. Let the buggers pick the bones out of that.
And at the end of the service I thought I'd ask the mullah for a leaflet about claiming the seventy-two virgins.
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