Monday, February 20, 2012

The rule of derision

We heard that John Prescott is considering standing for the post of elected Police Commissioner and that he also had a go at becoming a chanteuse. Splendiferous! It reminds us of that movie scene with a group of yobs breaking in a luxury fashion store and trying on various fineries, one after the other, madly exhilarated by the fun of seeing themselves in incredible guises.
But this is nothing unusual, for we have already seen entertainers posing as revolutionaries or statesmen – depending on what fitted best their haircut and mirror-reflected physique - and politicians constantly acting as impersonators - for nothing most of them say nowadays betrays any conviction.

When all things turn belly up, it is only natural that Mr Prescott should dispense law and order in Hull. (With the summer coming, it may be getting too hot for the lordly ermine.) Just imagine his heavy fist cracking down on gambling and vice, and the admiration he would command in his brand new uniform, epaulettes and Brasso-polished badges, and the benefits of a short-skirted sergeant in tow.

The reality as seen on the ground or as reported in the press is just tragedy and derision. Delinquent and joyous is today’s legendary figure. But this hero is not the tough highway robber or the fearless outlaw celebrated by folklore, but the well-connected, risk-averse, confidence man. Being a scoundrel has never been safer or more entertaining.
There is only one comfort that we can derive from the present state of affairs, and that is that, compared to other places on earth, ours still looks pretty sane.

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