Helter-Skelter: From Ealing Comedy to Ealing Murder in one generation
“Eddie and Bertie and I went to the Zoo. We persecuted the ostriches, tried to make them put their heads in the sand, but they wouldn’t. Eddie got into the cage and chased them all over the place with a black keeper pleading through the wire.”
Evelyn Waugh, Officers and Gentlemen
The violence which has disfigured English cities over the past week may have subsided for the moment, but a war of words has erupted all over the shop:
- Politicians and police, barely keeping their temper in check, are at loggerheads over cop numbers, US super cops, Robocops, elected cops, but where were the cops when it mattered most?
- On the airwaves and in the television studios, broadcasters and commentators are mutually offended and appalled by opposing points of view, barely able to prevent themselves from spluttering in indignation. On BBC2’s Newsnight the historian, David Starkey, attempting to discuss Enoch Powell, scrunched up his face and hands in frustration as he was shouted down by representatives of the liberal-left idiocracy.
- In Parliament, the Prime Minister demonised decent, ordinary working class citizens while a congealed potage of MPs nodded their sage heads in senescent dotage.
And the public watches in dismay wondering what it will take for the ostrich class to take its collective head out of the sand.
|1.||The title refers to the death of Richard Mannington Bowes who was savagely beaten by thugs in Ealing on Monday while attempting to put out a fire in a wheelie bin. He subsequently died in hospital. Not far from the scene of this horrible event are the Ealing Studios where some of Britain’s most cherished films were produced - films such as Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955).|
|2.||In The Sword of Honour Trilogy, Everyman’s Library, London, 1994 , p. 336.|
|3.||As might be expected, the progressive liberal idiocracy, otherwise known as the Ostrich Class, has erupted in fury and are accusing Starkey of being a racist [see this Guardian report]. The Daily Express ran a front-page headline earlier this week — ‘Sweep the scum off our streets’ — a sentiment which may as well be applied to our screens.|