Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Beaker Scapegoat

There is nothing brings a community together like a common vision. That is maybe where David Cameron's "Big Society" falls down - apart from being a transparent attempt to get public services for nothing (which, when you think about it, isn't such a bad thing, is it?) it is a vague and unfocussed  buzzword rather than an aspiration we can all grasp and take forward as part of a great national project.
But the Beaker Project is in many ways essentially individualistic. Tailoring worship to one's own needs, trying not to cause any kind of offence, taking resort in tealights and pebbles... it's all a bit "me and my little soul". But thankfully we've realised that there's something that unites all in the Community. And that is a common enemy. Let's face it, the English have always done wonders for the cause of Welsh, Scottish, Irish and French unity. We all like to have someone in common to hate. And that is why we have the Beaker Scapegoat. The person we can blame for everything.

The rules are that when we've forgotten why the current Scapegoat is the Scapegoat, it's time to elect a new one. I can tell you that the current Scapegoat is Pat Robertson, but I had to look up the reason myself. So it's been election day today, and the votes are in.

Someone who made a brave but late stab (in the strictest sense of the word) at a nomination was Canon Phil Ritchie. But he's got away with it, because he's a decent bloke and a good blogger and because we suspect the people of Romford might want to elect him to this role for themselves. Phil also seems to think that the number 66 has something to do with the books in the Bible, which has had me confused. I've just counted the books in mine and I make it 77. But I guess it's possible that only Evangelicals go to Spring Harvest, whatever that is.

So we turn to Nick Clegg. I know, it's tempting to blame him for everything. But as I've noted before, the only people with the right to get angry with him for not "keeping his word" by refusing to support the Government and forcing either a messy minority government or a fresh election in which the LibDems would get trounced, are people who actually voted for him. If you voted Labour, you can't complain he's conned you. So Nick's not going to be our Scapegoat. Although it's close.

So we turn to Terry Jones.

He's a hate-monger, a bigot, someone who is deep in trouble which he could have foreseen, deep out of his depth, absurdly vain, a  hick's hick and addicted to publicity. But as the Heresiarch sets out very clearly, the blood of innocents is not on his hands. Those guilty of murdering the UN staff are the people that killed them. They are moral beings with responsibilities, and you can't blame killing innocent people on somebody 10,000 miles away making you angry. No matter how disrespectful, provocative and cowardly they are.

No, this year's Beaker Scapegoat is David Cameron. Normally he'd have got away with it, as everyone's blaming him for everything when they're  not blaming Nick Clegg. But he's getting it for his remarks on Britain and its empire being responsible for much of the modern-day trouble in the world, and especially for his use of the word "we". Not in my name, Shiny-Face, as Konnolsky might say. "You", or at least your upper-crust ancestors, might have been responsible for imperialistic expansion into the world.  If you want to take the blame for your shiny-faced ancestors with their cut-glass vowels, taking a break from fox-hunting to go and bag a few natives - that's up to you. It's your tea-party. But don't bring everybody else into it. Most of the British are descended from the people who were down coalmines so your ancestors could ride first class, or stuck in woollen mills so your ancestors could keep the cold out while conquering the Himalayas, or making straw hats so when your ancestors had bought their way into Oxford, their hats could float amusingly on the Cherwell when they accidentally fell off their punts after too much Pimms. Pimms that was probably bought on the strength of money you made by getting working-class people shot at in the Hindu Kush. Not to mention that fine group of British people who are actually descended from those that your ancestors colonised in  the first place. Don't go apologising on their behalf -  their ancestors were on the wrong end of the Empire. It was bad enough Tony Blair apologising for "our" part in everything from the extinction of the dodo to the Thomas and the Magic Railway,without you getting your shiny face round the language of the Politically Correct.

So because he's tried to get us  the blame for his  family's wrong-doing, this year's Beaker Scapegoat is David Cameron. I apologise for any historical inaccuracies in the above. Power to the People.

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