My day starts with two newspapers, usually The Daily Telegraph and The Times. Like most newspapers, both report on the folly of modern life and the views and decisions of people in authority who appear to be utterly clueless.
The following are among the stories the Telegraph had to offer last Friday, a typical news day:
● Royal news: Lady Diana fed Britain’s more scurrilous newspapers a steady diet of inside information on her husband and others. She considered her own interests more important than those of the monarchy or the nation. Separately, Charles’s private correspondence is to be made public, with no explanation given as to why.
● Education news: Students in the UK will no longer receive a ‘fail’ grade. Instead those who fail they will be graded ‘not yet’, so as to not hurt their feelings. Exam standards have been eased so much that hardly anyone will receive a ‘not yet’.
● Freedom news: The freedom to say only inoffensive things isn’t worth having, said the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger. He suggested that it should not be a crime to talk about anything. Both papers derided him for saying it. In Britain, the very mention of the words ‘same-sex marriage’, ‘immigration’ or ladies’ attractiveness, in a pub, say, can lead to a jail sentence for hate crimes — unless you’re a footballer who signals to a worldwide TV audience that Jews belong in concentration camps. That’s permitted.
● Political news: Britain has three main political parties. Each is led by teams of ninnies without a shred of brainpower. A fourth party has gained ground because its leader speaks common sense. The three other parties have begun a smear campaign against him. It’s the only policy they agree on.
● Transportation news: Trains were cancelled when a bus delivering a group of conductors (on-train managers) broke down half a mile from the station where they were to take up their duties. ‘Health and safety’ regulations made it illegal for the conductors to walk the half-mile.
● A dominatrix (a woman who sexually abuses men for profit) was fined for having poor fire safety at her dungeon. She suffered no penalty for plying her trade, nor was any meted out to her customers.
● Eric Cantona, who played football for Manchester United, reportedly punched a photographer in the face outside a pub. This was not the first time the Frenchman had resorted to violence when unhappy. Being famous, he was not punished.
● Distaff news: Women are happiest in their 50s. So many thoughts come to mind, but all would lead to a jail sentence (see above), so let’s move on.
● Tax news: A retired politician urged the scrapping of the 52 percent tax rate that kicks in when a Briton earns more than about £42,000 (about $70,000) a year. He was, of course, rebuffed by politicians of all stripes. Britain is among the most highly taxed countries in the world.
There are pages and pages of this stuff, every day. Why this should be, I cannot say. Sensible behaviour never gets a look-in.