As you know, I loathe bullying, whether it’s by individuals or local councils, Government departments or vast conglomerates. Not that there’s many tiny conglomerates . . .
Ganging-up against the old, the sick, the weak and the defenceless is indefensible. I also like to call out people – protestors, students, any type of in-your-face vocal mob – who use their numbers to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view. Because if there’s one thing I can’t tolerate it’s intolerance.
Veteran (he won’t mind me calling him that because he lives on the island of Antigua where you rarely see this paper on sale) comedian John Cleese has been getting a lot of flak lately, due to his comparison of the Great Britain of today and the country he grew up in.
In fact, his comments have been accused of being ‘racist’ and, although I abhor racism as much as bullying and intolerance, calling someone a ‘racist’ is one of the easiest, laziest ways to shut down the opinion of someone whose opinion you disagree with.
For the benefit of his critics who didn’t actually read what he said but nonetheless jumped on the ‘Let’s have a go at Cleese’ bandwagon, here’s his description of Britain 50 years ago.
“In some ways I found it calmer, more polite, more humorous, less tabloid and less money-orientated.”
If you disagree with that statement, you probably weren’t alive 50 years ago because despite all the technological advancements made since then, there’s no doubt that, in many respects, the Britain of 2019 is a somewhat coarser, more selfish place.
For a start, consider all the litter around today.
In the 1960s there were no McDonalds or KFCs around, so bone-idle boneheads didn’t drop their milkshake and burger cartons in the street.
If I have one tiny criticism of John Cleese, it’s a professional one. He once famously announced the first rule of comedy was . . . “No puns! No puns! No puns!”
What title did he give to his classic sitcom set in a hotel? “FawltyTowers!”