Is It Time for Britain to Turn Into a Dictatorship?
Dec 4 2012
Out of North Korea, more good news on the unicorn front. Archaeologists there have located some of the earliest known unicorn caves in existence. A feat that puny Western science has yet to replicate. Having failed to find so much as a door previously butted by a unicorn, or an empty bag of unicorn carrots, we in the West can only stand in awe of the might of the North Korean scientific advance. As they march towards great victory; we are yet again left standing around waggling our dicks at the sun. All we've come up with recently is the Slingbox and Sky Atlantic. Compared to a unicorn cave? Big wank.
It makes you wish that we in Britain could finally get it together, if we could work towards being more like North Korea. It seems obvious to me that Britain would be uniquely skilled at adapting to dictatorship. We've already had a small-scale trial. Fifty years ago, Jews on the the Channel Island of Guernsey – not part of the UK, but still technically British soil – received a knock at the door from local police, who told them to pack their bags and forced them onto Nazi boats bound for France.
Given that these were just parochial bobbies, acting as apologetic death-shepherds for their Nazi occupiers (wow, that word had a different meaning back then), imagine how easily the managerialist psycho-coppers of today's Met could haul an out-group from their homes? Those fat lemons in their hi-vis jackets, politely asking whether, for the purposes of filling out this form, they would describe themselves as White British, White Irish, White European, White Other, or Choose Not To Specify.
Heinrich Boll once suggested that the fatal flaw in the German character was unquestioning obedience to authority. The fatal flaw in the British character is a secret love of adversity and an obscene enjoyment of really fancy uniforms. The national mythology we've watered over the past 70 years, of us chortling as the Doodlebugs fall and Vera Lynn pines for some cliffs on the radio, could be easily re-tooled. We'd just have to wake up to the fact that we revel most in our own misery – if we do that, then every winter of despair suddenly becomes a summer of love for the nation that invented Morrissey and Pontins.
Despite viewing ourselves as freewheeling liberals, this summer showed how unrivalled we are at scraping and toadying to a monarch: Why not a great dictator?
Nicholas Witchell could definitely stay. He'd barely have to re-tool anything. If anything, he'd have to tone down some of his anal tonguing. I'm sure, in his heart of hearts, Witchell already knows this, already fantasises when he's alone looking into the bathroom mirror about what a useful cog he could be in any future fascist state. Jenny Bond could help. Huw Edwards could employ the same pacifying dullness he breathes over the great occasions of state to announce that citizens who break curfew will be shot. Fearne Cotton would admit she finds jackboot Britain "a bit weird", before encouraging da yoot to "just go with it, have fun, it could be a total laugh".
For those who require the illusion of an intellectual life, The Today Programme could keep up the same staged debates between left and right. I'm sure Shami Chakrabarti and James Delingpole could continue to earn their keep by butting heads every week for our amusement. "Who's right?" we'd gurgle over our cornflakes, before realising that we knew the answer all along: "Dave's right."
In our hearts, we'd all love to see Cameron going out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace to take the salute of 100,000 adoring proles, Lizzie Windsor's body turning slowly in the gibbet behind him, while somewhere in the bowels of Whitehall, Jeremy Hunt produces endless reels about the time The Leader fought a lion single-handed, indulging in treacly homililies to the tiny log cabin in the Forest Of Dean where he was born, gently insinuating that he is a direct descendant of Jesus Christ by cut-aways to stigmata.
These beautiful visuals, rendered in the soft, warm filters that have coloured party-political broadcasts ever since Tony and Gordon dined by candlelight together in 2005, would more than compensate for the fact that us citizens would be pissing in our trousers just to stay warm. Though they could use darker charcoal hues for the footage of an emaciated Eric Pickles paraded before the cameras, bewildered, barely-recognisable, and confessing nine hours worth of crimes, from losing the American colonies up to and including failing to reintroduce weekly bin collections.
Of course, there'd be none of that Stakhanovite focus on pig iron production and wheat sheaves. We've spent the past 20 years turning ourselves into a service economy, so we'd fill The Times with stories about people who work in call centre wanker factories answering over 500 calls PER HOUR, or brand managers re-branding over 500 different items IN A MONTH.
People say that fascism's a drag. In fact, in spite of the urgent need for a man of destiny to rescue us from our present Weimar nightmare, there are still loads of people around who openly describe themselves as "anti-fascist". Aside from noting down the addresses and family details of these sorts, I enjoy reminding them that, whatever your views on the ideal form of government, the notion of Wayne Rooney being sent to a work camp just outside Whitby to atone for a missed penalty by lifting logs for three years evokes a kind of transcendent joy that no amount of personal liberty could offer.
Above all, Britain just works better as a villain. We've spent far too long pretending to be nice and enlightened and abolishing slavery and inventing the concept of human rights and exporting boy wizards. As Hollywood already knows, we're actually risible, squeaky-voiced, over-intellectualising, yellow-toothed "smartasses". It's a short jump to the point where we officially deserve to be killed by Matt Damon or whoever the new Vin Diesel is. I want to see films where British dudes get mowed through like they're popcorn. I want to see Rambo reloading another magazine so he can swat away more of the pale, bowler-hatted peril that keeps coming at him as he fights his way up an LA reconstruction of the Holloway Road. Screw the craven cuddliness of the Olympics – if Britain really wants to learn to like itself again, it needs to re-learn how much everyone else hates it.
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Catch up on the rest of Gavin Haynes' Sleepless Nights here.
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