When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

07 January 2008

Bracing, like a shot of battery acid

Author George MacDonald Fraser, OBE (of the Flashman novels) died last week.

(Telegraph obituary here.)

Framing his parting shot for him, the Daily Mail ran an excerpt from Fraser's 2002 memoirs, The Light's On At Signpost.

It's an extended and vitriolic rant against political correctness, and I read it with something approaching pure pleasure:

I loathe all political parties, which I regard as inventions of the devil. My favourite prime minister was Sir Alec Douglas-Home, not because he was on the Right, but because he spent a year in office without, on his own admission, doing a damned thing.

This would not commend him to New Labour, who count all time lost when they're not wrecking the country.

I am deeply concerned for the United Kingdom and its future. I look at the old country as it was in my youth and as it is today and, to use a fine Scots word, I am scunnered.

I know that some things are wonderfully better than they used to be: the new miracles of surgery, public attitudes to the disabled, the health and well-being of children, intelligent concern for the environment, the massive strides in science and technology.

Yes, there are material blessings and benefits innumerable which were unknown in our youth.

But much has deteriorated. The United Kingdom has begun to look more like a Third World country, shabby, littered, ugly, run down, without purpose or direction, misruled by a typical Third World government, corrupt, incompetent and undemocratic.

My generation has seen the decay of ordinary morality, standards of decency, sportsmanship, politeness, respect for the law, family values, politics and education and religion, the very character of the British.

The last testament of Flashman's creator: How Britain has destroyed itself

Hat tip: Abu Muquwama

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