The jury did not take long to reach its verdict: I stand convicted of being an idiot.
I wasn’t always an idiot and perhaps, in the early stages, I could be forgiven for the naiveties of youth.
More worrying, however, is the failure of my in-built horse manure detector, so necessary for living in Britain today. You see, I became a teacher in the 1970s and I subscribed to all the wonders of Progressive Education. The philosophy preached the integrated day (key topics lost in an amorphous lump of ‘social studies’); creativity and project work.
More recently, a fair-minded, remainder bookshop purchase (Ban this Filth! Ben Thompson) has forced me to confront my sneering attitude to Mary Whitehouse. She may have been round the bend, but not everything she said was without substance.
If you don’t believe me, try watching any pop music channel and see how permissiveness has resulted in young women’s bodies being exploited, exactly as Mary Whitehouse predicted. Specifically, check out the videos of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj or Miley Cyrus.
And then we come to Mr Blair and his Weapons of Mass Destruction.
I wondered at the time about the flimsiness of the evidence, but I told myself that there must be something else, something he could not tell us about.
But there wasn’t and I believed him. What an idiot! Now we have Austerity. It was Economics I could understand: if you can’t afford something, you stop spending. So we put up with libraries closing, pot holes the size of tank traps and cuts in benefits. Surely, that had to work.
Have you seen our current account deficit? It is £1.5 trillion. But don’t worry –“We are all in this together”. Unless, that is, you are loaded, in which case you export your lolly to Panama and leave the idiots back home to pick up the bill. Any hope of rehabilitation? Actually, no. I have no desire to become one of those people who begin a sentence with, “Of course, you can’t believe a word s/he says...”
Still naive then, I believe that being an idiot is preferable to know-it-all cynicism.