UK

PETER HITCHENS: If Dominic Cummings calls me bonkers, you know I must be right! 

Being called ‘bonkers’ by Dominic Cummings is a bit like being called ‘fat’ by the late Cyril Smith or ‘intolerant’ by the late Ian Paisley. So not all that deeply wounding. But it is important in its way. Let me explain.

Some of you may have seen that Mr Cummings claims to have heard the Prime Minister endorse my doubts, published in The Mail on Sunday, about throttling the country in an attempt to defeat Covid.

These were doubts which Mr Cummings dismissed, describing me as ‘Bonkers’. But he claims the First Lord of the Treasury replied: ‘The trouble is, Dom, I’m with Bonkers. My heart is with Bonkers. I don’t believe in any of this. It’s all bull****.’

Now, I know our Premier a tiny bit. Parts of him are likeable, though I doubt whether any male person ever gets properly close to him. When he was editor of The Spectator, we co-operated in some mischief against Michael Portillo, which both of us enjoyed.

But if his heart was with me, no other piece of him was, and he duly shut down the country as Mr Cummings wanted us to do (even though he himself did not believe the rules applied to him).

Some of you may have seen that Mr Cummings claims to have heard the Prime Minister endorse my doubts, published in The Mail on Sunday, about throttling the country in an attempt to defeat Covid

I strongly suspect that Johnson will very shortly shut it down again, on the usual basis of dodgy statistics and bad logic. For if he doesn’t, there will certainly be a putsch against him by the zero-Covid zealots who have seized control of the Government machine.

I would argue against this but I know it would be futile. I have seen too many former friends reduced to terrified, unreasoning, masked husks by the Covid panic. And I know that any attempt to get it into proportion will only lead to slanderous shrieks and screeches of ‘You want to kill the old! You are heartless and cruel!’ So why bother?

But I would make this small point. People who loathe my beliefs have been calling me ‘bonkers’ for a very long time. I was first given the name when, in the early 1980s, I was reporting on trade union affairs and on the many strikes which then convulsed the country and helped to ruin it. 

People who loathe my beliefs have been calling me 'bonkers' for a very long time. I was first given the name when, in the early 1980s, I was reporting on trade union affairs and on the many strikes which then convulsed the country and helped to ruin it

People who loathe my beliefs have been calling me ‘bonkers’ for a very long time. I was first given the name when, in the early 1980s, I was reporting on trade union affairs and on the many strikes which then convulsed the country and helped to ruin it

I think it fair to say that a lot of the reporters covering that beat were sympathetic to union militancy. Some were closer than I would ever have liked to be to the Communist Party’s highly effective and deeply embedded industrial organisation.

My sympathies were much more with the old sort of Right-wing Labour which has now pretty much vanished, patriotic and anti-Communist.

When it became obvious I wasn’t one of the Left-wing lads, the sneering started. 

Several people who were neither one thing or another joined in because there was one of me and quite a few of them, and it was easier. 

I remember being surprised to find adults behaving in this playground way. 

But the aim was to shut me up. It’s come up again, from time to time, on other occasions when I haven’t followed the current groupthink. I don’t like it. But I’m used to it.

I’d now ask, looking at the disastrous self-destruction of British militant trade unionism, and the equally miserable collapse of the old Soviet Union, who was bonkers and who was sane back then?

But four decades later, who remembers all that except me? And when, years from now, a level-headed assessment is made of these equally bonkers times, I won’t be around to say ‘I told you so’. So I’ll say it now.

So why did they ignore the warning?

I was puzzled to watch reports of the recent floods in Germany, whose huge rivers have always flooded throughout history. They droned on about global warming, as if this was unquestionably the reason. Was it? How could we know for sure so soon? How come so many had died? Couldn’t they have been warned in time?

Now I learn that timely warnings were given. A British expert, Hannah Cloke, who is professor of hydrology at Reading University, spoke of a ‘monumental failure of the system’, adding: ‘I’m disappointed that particularly in the cities you had people washed away. That suggests that lots of things are going badly wrong. It’s no use having massive computer models predicting what’s going to happen if people don’t know what to do in a flood.’

The European Flood Awareness System issued an extreme flood warning earlier that week and questioned why the toll was so high. And the German weather service, DWD, said it had passed on the warning to local authorities, who should have been responsible for organising any necessary evacuations. Yet you need to search to find this news, hacking your way through the modish dogma about climate change.

In the media coverage of the mass illegal migration from France to Britain, a lot of reports seem to be based on a total misunderstanding of what is going on. When British vessels pick up these illegal migrants from boats supplied for their use by gangsters, they are not ‘rescuing’ them. They are helping them to make an unlawful entry into this country. This is exactly what the gangsters intend, and we do what they want us to do.

The word ‘rescue’ should be reserved for people who, through no fault of their own, have got into difficulties at sea, thanks to unforeseeable events such as storm or wreck or collision. Such people do not mind in the slightest where they are brought to land, as all they seek is safety.

People who deliberately set out into congested, deep water in boats unfit for that purpose, and who would angrily object if they were taken back to their point of origin, have not been ‘rescued’ when they are helped to arrive in Britain.

I have no doubt that what I have written here will be distorted and misquoted, by the way. But I thought it was necessary to say it.

Incidentally, apart from these migrants, is anyone else fleeing France at the moment? I would be interested to know who they are and what their grievances are.

E-scooter tragedy was inevitable 

Until now, we’ve been able, more or less, to feel safe on pavements, on footpaths and in parks. 

Yes, I know about illegal cycling, but pushbikes cannot go at 60mph and don’t have engines. And in any case, you couldn’t ban bicycles if you wanted to.

But a horrible event in a London park last week warns us that we must act swiftly or we can kiss that safety goodbye.

A three-year-old girl was seriously injured on Monday, suffering severe and lasting injuries after what we must call a ‘collision’ with an electric scooter.

If Government plans to relax the present ban on e-scooters go ahead, these nasty bone-breaking toys, usually ridden by idiots, will swarm everywhere.

Another toddler was recently badly hurt in a similar event in Feltham, West London. Hardly a week goes by without an e-scooter rider being hurt or killed. 

E-scooters are inherently dangerous to their users and to the public. A survey last week predicted 200,000 e-scooter accidents this year alone.

There is no good reason to make them legal, and many to keep the ban on them. Please, while there is time, write to your MP and to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. Only huge numbers of such letters can stop this predictable tragedy from happening.

If you want to comment on Peter Hitchens click here 


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button