One of the advantages of those few post-prandial days falling after too much New Year’s Eve celebrating and before the cold shower of the first day back at work is that there are a fair few moments when you can take stock and see various issues through an outside lens looking in, rather than being in the “up close & personal” position. I guess they call it “objectivity”.

What hits you, fair dinkum straight between the eyes, is what is known in the best of circles, in the drawing rooms of High Society, as “A Statement of the Bleedin’ Obvious”. The first recorded incidence of this phenomenon was when an unknown little boy loudly observed that the Emperor had no clothes on.

Oh for a load more of the same right now, because we are all, by our inaction and our “leaving it to someone else”, complicit in keeping His Emperorship’s robes firmly in place. Consider…


• Emily Dawes is the President of Southampton University’s Students’ Union. She tweeted “Mark my words – we’re taking down the mural of white men in the Uni Senate Room, even if I have to paint over it myself.” Her target was a 1916 mural commemorating members of British universities who fought and died in the First World War.

Ms Dawes has since apologised, but surely, surely it is a “Statement of the Bleedin’ Obvious” (“SBO”) that 21- year-old Presidents of Students’ Unions should act with a greater degree of responsibility to society in general and particularly to the country that is providing her with her start in life. Jenny McCartney said in The Sunday Times that our society has arrived at “the bizarre place in which a well-off, educated young woman can retrospectively dismiss the male foot soldiers of the Great War as distasteful representatives of privilege”.

• James Knight, a student at the University of West England, recently stood as a candidate for election as “Men’s Officer” to highlight “how deeply mental health issues run in men”; he faced a staggering amount of opposition and condemnation. Sarah Lasoye of the National Union of Students said, “The role of a Men’s Officer is entirely obsolete.” Her colleague called the election, “The worst thing I’ve seen in student politics”. By now it will come as no surprise to you that Ms Lasoye is the NUS’s .........Women’s Officer! What cant, hate-fuelled, misandristic hypocrisy is that? Mr Knight sadly withdrew his candidature. I am not making this up! Surely it is an SBO that this personal vilification, this appalling hate-filled personality-targeting that is evident everywhere in those of a Millennial and younger

disposition is unacceptable and will damage the cohesion of our society forever if it doesn’t stop. Maybe Mr Zuckerburg and his fellow West Coast billionaires might like to make a contribution to mankind for once rather than his wallet and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! For it is in their power to stop all this, if they really want to, such is their hold over an entire generation.

• Japan is leaving the International Whaling Commission

so that it can resume the mass-murder of defenceless fellow mammals, most of whom are, judging by this decision, probably more intelligent than the few Japanese administrators who have sanctioned this appalling move. Whale meat consists of 0.1% of all meat consumed in the Land of the Rising Sun. So what’s this about? It’s an SBO that this is about “not being told what to do by other countries” aka “ reasserting Nationhood”. Why does that send shivers down my spine? So we’re just going to moan about this over our dinner party fodder are we...and do nothing? At least we could boycott goods made in Japan, or get out on the streets with the placards (sure beats banging on about B****y B****t!). But presumably we just don’t care enough. How many whale species will become extinct before we do?

• Nicola Sturgeon presumably wants to be the democratically-elected Prime Minister of a fairly (in EU terms) insignificant country one day. Last October she refused to open a

conference co-hosted by the BBC because (and I’m not making this up) the following day the BBC’s Scotland Editor, Sarah Smith, was due to interview President Trump’s former Senior Aide, the far-right Steve Bannon. Sturgeon said that the BBC ran “the risk of normalisation” of Bannon’s views. For God’s Sake...can’t a would-be leader of an independent country show a bit more savvy than that! It is an SBO that all that such behaviour does is to create a martyr, a poster boy for extremism and adds fuel to the fire of those who feel dispossessed by “them”. Underground goes the extremism and becomes all the more dangerous for that. One of the best things the BBC Question Time producers ever did, in the teeth of the screaming hate of the SBO-deniers, was to give a slot to the loathsome Nick Griffin of the BNP.



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