As he grew into Olderhood, my father became increasingly less tolerant of the society around him. Everything seemed designed to annoy him, and succeeded.
I vowed years ago that as I aged, I would not allow things to get to me. I would remain hip and flexible, taking change on board for the progress it represents. It hasn’t worked out that way at all.
The list of stupidity that passes for modern behaviour would fill up two or three Internets (the reality almost fills up one), but the final straw in Britain will arrive at the end of this month in the shape of the imposition of media censorship by Parliament. The Government and its two main opposition parties agreed to take control of the media under a programme instituted by Hugh Grant, the one-dimensional actor and criminal (lewd conduct), and Jemima Khan. (Who is she? I don’t know either, but she and Hugh now make the law in Britain.)
Sounds wacky, doesn’t it? Britain has had no press censorship in more than 300 years. During that period, some very great political leaders, men and women of vision and insight, did not feel the need to control the things people wrote, relying on the existing laws of the land to manage that end of things. Now David Cameron, Ed Miliband and a man called Clegg, dim-witted cretins all, are to supervise and punish the country’s media.
Comedian George Carlin reminded us that, given how stupid the average person is, half of everyone is even more stupid than that. He failed to point out that morons might take the reins of government and do whatever they please. Examples abound: in the US, for example, two parties of feeble-minded incompetents have broken the global economic system and seem to be in no hurry to fix it. They, at least, cannot curtail freedom of speech for no good reason. In Britain, however, three men (two, really, the Prime Minister being too busy to take part), without reference to their parliamentary candidates or the general public whom they represent, have decided to terminate freedom of expression.
British publications that do not volunteer to be regulated by the new regime will be subject to “exemplary damages” every time they write something that upsets someone. By “exemplary” is meant a sum large enough to close the publication in question. Those who do not register with the new Press Control Agency (or whatever it is to be called) will have their legal rights abridged to ensure that they suffer “exemplary damages”.
The new laws are expected to come into force on October 30. Until then, I may call Mr. Milliband, whose toadies actually wrote the bill with Mr. Grant’s toadies, a freedom-hating Fascist, because he obviously is one. After October 30, because Olderhood.com has its locus in a British Overseas Territory, the very same words would result in Olderhood’s owners being fined out of existence.
Until now, I could never see the advantage of dying. In that it will free me from living in a world in which the brain-dead may assume dictatorial powers that Adolf Hitler could only dream of, I look forward to a swift end. There is no reason for anyone who values freedom to want to live in Britain.
My Dad, it turns out, was a beacon of tolerance.