Time for us all to stop stroking sharks


There have been a few events over the last few days which show up better than anything just how complacently naïve we have become as a country.

The first – our World Cup bid – I touched on last week, but it is worth pointing out that the English Establishment reaction since has been staggeringly naïve. For anyone senior in 2010 to imagine that a bid process involving Africans, Arabs and Russians would be above board demonstrates a level of innocence to make one wonder what on earth they were doing involved in it in the first place.

While Becks, Prince William and Cameron have a natural insouciance at the best of times, it would be hard to make a charge of naivety stick to the FA. Corrupt stupidity yes – but not innocence. No, the problem with the Football Association has always been its smug complacency. I would very seriously doubt, for instance, if the FA has any well-informed sources in FIFA at all. The idea that Russia and Qatar didn’t have such access is ridiculous.

Precisely the same combination has been obvious in the reaction to Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock’s assistant being debriefed and deported by MI5.

Mr Hancock himself says the whole thing is rubbish, a statement that is as predictable as it is irrelevant: the LibDem has a widely­-known reputation for serial womanising, and a track record of hiring leggy East Europeans. The arrested assistant alerted MI5 when she made an application to join a large UK defence contractor recently – a position she narrowly failed to get. Mike Hancock having defence contractors in his constituency, the young Russian had a highly relevant cv: but then, this is how long-term spies operate. They start in an apparently innocuous position, and gradually move into the mainstream of sensitive information.

The response of the Progressive tendency has been the usual ‘MI5 making it up, how on earth could she have had access to anything useful?’ bollocks. These are precisely the same bourgeois Lefties who let first Maclean, then Burgess and finally Philby off the hook in the 1950s. They are the same Foreign Office pillocks who have always hated MI5, and supported the Nazi and Arab viewpoints on the subject of everything from the Jews after 1945 to Palestine in 2009. They’re also (remarkably) the same idiots who advised Cameron to lick Erodgan’s Turkey all over – shortly before that State pledged itself to Iran – in 2010.

I say ‘remarkably’ because for me, it is scarcely believable that such consistent incompetence has never evoked a mass clear-out of the Foreign Office by politicians, and a mass rejection of the Liberal-Left as a whole by the British electorate. The combined forces of FO defeatism and liberal pacifism have been duped by every villain from Von Ribbentrop via Nasser to Brezhnev and Mugabe. Every view of character they have formed, and every precept they have held dear, has been shown to be disastrously mistaken. Yet still they soldier on proudly, advancing Forward Not Back into the battle of life, armed with ASBO legislation, sanctions, crucifixes and anything else that might be to hand.

The willingness of investors and ordinary EU citizens to give credence to the endless stream of whoppers emanating from Brussels and Frankfurt does suggest that most of us, in fact, prefer forcing denial to facing the music. But the Sharm el Sheik shark episode has been something of a clincher for me. First of all some folks get bitten by sharks, and because the locals kill a couple of the nasties, they shoot straight back into the water. Then somebody gets bitten to death, and so even the Arab authorities get the message and close the beaches. This morning, people are still swimming in the sea.

Surveying these various stories, it’s hard to resist the conclusion that people are daft; and thus that – however ironic it might seem – the Progressive Health & Safety mob are quite right to treat them as if they are brainless infants. Except that we are back to the chicken and egg debate – and there is no doubt in my mind which came first.

The pacifist pro-Hitler press sold the idea of appeasement in the 1930s – in the face of most people’s natural instincts to sort him out long before Czechoslovakia. The Foreign Office first encouraged the belief that the Nazis could be used to smash the USSR….and then after the War, switched their undiscerning allegiance to the even more dangerous Stalin. The Oxbridge Left elite who produced a foreign service riddled with communist traitors then went on to abolish Grammar schools. They peopled the Universities with senior lecturers convincing naïve students like me in the 1960s that there was no Russian threat, and Mao Tse Tung was the finest man on the planet.

Those same types who marched to Aldermaston in 1958 went on to declare a hippy drug paradise in 1967, and run local government into Hard Left bankruptcy in the 1970s. They sang off-key in Peace Camps against US missile bases in the 1980s, and eventually – having found themselves routed three times at the ballot box – diversified into the fields of feminism, anti-racism, education, social work, and low-profile New Labour positions in the 1990s.

From their ranks emerged Harriet Harman, Peter Mandelson, Charlie Whelan, Ed Balls, Gordon Brown, Vince Cable, Ed Miliband, and Mike Hancock. They have infected nigh on two generations with their sufficiency-will-do, there’s nothing to fear, welfare is good for you, kid-snatching, we’re all equal, Europhile, give crooks the vote, don’t smack kids, one big happy world family drivel over that time, and they are still at it today – complacent about Chinese aims, creeping Islamism, national debt, family breakdown, export drives and World Cup Bids.

It is this that makes Michael Gove and Iain Duncan-Smith by far the two most important men in the Government. Osborne is too narrow, Clegg too selfish, Johnson too ambitious and Cameron too thick to grasp why this is, but there can be no doubting it: for if they can’t get people thinking for themselves and looking after themselves again, then Britain is finished.