Nobody tell Vince Cable but John Cleese, one of the Lib Dems most high profile luvie supporters, has come out strongly against multiculturalism and the Britain with its “strange” values which, along with Vince and his progressive chums, Cleese helped create.
In an interview to be published in next week’s Seven magazine Cleese says: “There were disadvantages to the old culture, it was a bit stuffy and it was more sexist and more racist. But it was an educated and middle-class culture. Now it’s a yob culture. The values are so strange.”
He added that he preferred living in Bath to London because the capital no longer felt “English”. “London is no longer an English city which is why I love Bath,” he said. “That’s how they sold it for the Olympics, not as the capital of England but as the cosmopolitan city. I love being down in Bath because it feels like the England that I grew up in.”
Being old enough to remember Monty Python the first time around I can remember the impact as it poked fun at the undoubted stuffiness of British society of the day. The sketches with Cleese, Barker and Corbet sending up the class system became classics because although truly funny they were oh so uncomfortably accurate. Monty Python was arguably one of the greatest comedy shows of all time.
Demolishing that which is pompous and self-satisfied is a worthy endeavour and to do it with humour is effective in a way dry analysis can never be. Unfortunately change for its own sake, no matter how humorously expressed, is irresponsible as it rarely works, usually it ends up as merely amusingly destructive. Once the pomposity has been punctured what replaces it? Unless there is a clear alternative any value untainted by the past will rush in to fill the vacuum.
With a Church weak at the knees with apologising for having any clear view at all we shouldn’t be surprised if the replacement social values are much less tolerant and open. The result of 60’s hedonism (and, “Yes I did enjoy it, I’m as much to blame as anyone else.”) is that we have a society where polite toleration has been replaced by the enforced conformity of political correctness. We have stuffy stoicism replaced by sentimental dependency, the stiff upper lip has been replaced by a flabby lower one. We have a society in which citizens bore their responsibilities being replaced by a society in which individuals demand their rights. An imperfect self-reliant adult society has been replaced by an even worse therapeutic childish society. Cleese and his friends did their work all too well.
There was something quintessentially British in Monty Python, it stood in a long tradition of poking fun at authority going all the way back to Chaucer. Yet I wonder if Life of Brian could be filmed today. We certainly couldn’t film Life of Abdul.
Tomorrow is Good Friday so for the next few days I shall be concentrating on things a wee bit more important than my latest rant. I shall be back on Tuesday, in the meantime here are a couple of links to views on Scripture from very different stances.
This Easter Try To Avoid The Gospel of Grayling by Brendan O’Niell of Spiked
How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism by Leo Strobel in The Wall Street Journal