I salute Professor Neil Ferguson

I salute Professor Neil Ferguson
Prof Ferguson has nothing to feel sorry about. He has proved, in the fine British tradition of Horatio Nelson, that sex conquers all. Credit: Roger-Viollet/Shutterstock
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Let me begin with a salute to the winner of this year’s Sir Jimmy Goldsmith prize: Professor Neil Ferguson. The prize is awarded every year to a man who casts convention aside and — lockdown or no lockdown — continues to shag his mistress and to hell with the coronavirus. The professor has apologised but Antonia Staats, the mistress, has not. Neither of them has anything to feel sorry about. When the urge comes, social distancing grows smaller, pardon the reverse pun. We all want to flatten the curve, and Ferguson did just that. He has proved by his rash action that sex conquers all, following in the tradition of England’s greatest hero, Horatio Nelson, and countless others, unsung heroes all. They have been overshadowed by the French and Italians to be sure, but now, with the prof leading the way, there’s hope that Britain can emerge as a nation of shaggers who are fearless in their pursuit of sexual gratification even in the face of Chinese efforts to turn us all into a nation of self-abusers.

And speaking of non-self-abusers, two years or so ago I had back-to-back New York luncheons with Steve Bannon, and boy, have some of his predictions and fears ever come true! Bannon’s days as chief adviser to the Donald were numbered right off the bat. He had only one agenda: China. He never mentioned Trump or attempted to settle any scores when talking to me — Steve’s much too sophisticated for that.

His main theme was that certain critical US technologies and resources are controlled by China. This was 18 months before the Chinese communist government disappeared journalists or punished various scientists who set off alarms about the virus. World domination through commercial means is China’s goal, according to Steve. But his one-trick pony act began to grate in the rapid news cycle that is the White House. Steve wanted Trump to stick it to the Chinese, which he eventually did, but there are those who believe that’s when all the problems began.

Now the chickens have come home to roost. But the media’s loathing of Trump has blinded them to the fact that he had absorbed Steve’s lesson about the Chinese threat and was way ahead of the curve when he accused China of stealing Uncle Sam’s technology and intellectual properties. Trump was called everything under the sun, especially when he turned the screws on China with the tariffs. Then came the virus. Now the Chinese economy is up and running while the West’s is dead in the water. Go figure.

Looking back, the orgy of anti-Donald propaganda surpasses anything Pravda or the Soviet machine managed during the Cold War. It’s a conspiracy theorist’s dream, the media daily injecting poison while an army of Chinese apparatchiks grind away at America’s foundations. China has even managed to censor Hollywood films that portray it negatively. Britain, needless to say, has not been asleep at the wheel, at least not Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who has repeatedly warned against appeasement of a communist regime that initially covered up the virus.

I know, I know, this all sounds like the stuff of cheap novels, but just look at the results: the West is reeling and its economies are dead in the water, while China is up and running and raking it in. As if that was not enough, China has failed to shut down the wildlife markets that have been producing pandemics since the word was invented. And if you’re among those useful fools who still believe in the UN, China controls almost all of Africa’s votes in the chamber. And don’t get me started on the WHO, an institution totally infiltrated by Chinese agents.

But let’s get back to my buddy Steve. Bannon was pushed out by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and for a very simple reason. Kushner wanted to do business with China and Saudi Arabia, whose long-term interests Steve saw as inimical to those of Uncle Sam. Kushner’s real-estate holdings and business were in deep trouble when the Donald got elected in 2016. He owed one billion big ones for the white elephant 666 Fifth Avenue. Here were two moneybags itching for influence in the White House and willing to invest in New York real estate. It was a natural fit, but not as long as there was someone whispering Iago-like in Trump’s ear about Uncle Sam’s real enemies. We know the rest.

Mind you, this is the Taki version of what really happened. Steve’s response was sphinx-like when the great inquisitor brought up his departure from the White House.

As things now stand, Trump’s re-election seems a pipe dream, although six months in politics is a century in real life. A multipronged attack by those who profit from unrestrained globalism, coupled with the media’s excoriation of anything Trumpian, means sleepy Joe Biden will be America’s 46th president. The problem, of course, is who will take over once he’s declared incompetent because of dementia. It will be a woman, needless to say, probably a black woman, or Amy Klobuchar, the only presidential candidate who didn’t call him an incompetent fool during the debates.

One thing I am sure of is that his son, who likes booze and drugs (who doesn’t?) and used to hang out in Ukraine, will enjoy the White House. The whole point of having a father is to benefit from him, at least that’s what my own dear father refused to say to me when I told him that I was not interested in owning ships but wished to write about those who did. How wrong I was. A laid-up tanker now makes $150,000 a day and I owned half a fleet of 20. Do the maths and you’ll see that my Spectator salary does not match that.