The most unsettling aspect of modern politics is that the Enemy is no longer plain in view.
A few years ago, my at-the-time-quite-impoverished screenwriter friend Jake Michie told me about this brilliant new children’s TV series he’d dreamed up about the Knights of the Round Table.
No, this isn’t one of those articles written after the event, where you only pretend you’re writing from an exotic dateline but you’ve actually since got home.
You’ll forgive me, I hope, for coming back so soon to the subject of Adam Curtis, the first part of whose All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace was so ably dissected by Simon Hoggart last week.
The big question this week is: ‘Should Giles Coren be bound, gagged, shackled and sentenced to life imprisonment in the torture block of the sexual offenders’ wing of Black Beach maximum security prison in Equatorial Guinea, there to become the plaything of Mad “Mamba” Mbigawanga, the Man-Rapist Giant of Malabo?’ Well, obviously, when you put it like that, the answer’s obvious.
For the past few weeks, unnoticed by all but the most sharp-eyed critics, BBC1 has been running a Celebrate Communitarianism season.
I’m in Dallas, Texas, for a Heritage Foundation conference when who should march into my hotel but a battalion of US marines, ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan.
There’s a brilliant moment in the 1975 Doctor Who storyline The Ark In Space when Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen), on a vital mission to save Earth from the evil insectoid Wirrn, gets stuck in a ventilator shaft.
One of the things I’ve belatedly realised now I’ve acquired the wisdom of age is that I’ve always been anti-establishment.
It’s about two years since my old friend Damian Thompson approached me with a couple of yellowish rocks and a pipe and said: ‘Have a puff on this.
When I was a teenager I used to upset my father by telling him I thought it would be really glamorous to die young in a car crash.
The other day Girl’s class found themselves with time to spare in the vast play area behind the Imperial War Museum.
I vividly remember the moment when I saw my first black person. It was December in either ’68 or ’69, so I would have been three or four at the time, and my father’s works had arranged some kind of coach outing to meet Father Christmas. Seated near me was a black child a bit older than me, and I recall gazing fascinated at the blackness of his skin and noticing that it had white blotches on it like a mirror image of the dark freckles and moles on my skin. ‘Daddy, what are those white things?’ I asked, pointing at the boy’s skin. ‘Pigment,’ my father explained.
The Fawn came up to me the other day in a state of extreme agitation: she’d been listening to George Monbiot on the radio.
If at the beginning of the 15th century you’d had to predict who was going to dominate the world for the next 500 years, the answer would surely have been China.
‘Oh Daddy, please can I have that Nazi eagle badge.
So you’re the leader of the Netherlands’ youngest, and now second-most-popular political party — and the reason you’re doing so well so soon is that your policies strike a chord with many Dutch.
Just because you’re a hypochondriac doesn’t mean you’re not suffering from an obscure and terrible disease which is going to kill you very horribly.
In the good old days, when Hackney still had a proper swimming pool, I used to do lengths every morning with an old boy called Bob.
Last week I was stitched up like a kipper by the BBC. Perhaps you saw the programme — a Horizon documentary called Science Under Attack. Perhaps you were even among the dozens whom it inspired to send me hate emails along the lines of, ‘Ha ha. Think you know more about science than a Nobel prizewinner do you? Idiot!’ Perhaps it’s time I set the record straight.
Just before Christmas, a TV production company asked whether I might be interested in appearing in a zappy new live and topical political series they were soon to launch on Channel 4.
‘Have you heard about the vast Libertarian conspiracy? We’re going to take over the government — and then leave you alone!’ This is the kind of joke that makes me proud to be libertarian, as a lot of the wisest, funniest and best people are these days, from Kelsey Grammer to Clint Eastwood to Trey Parker from South Park.
‘I want everyone to be as angry as I am,’ says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and I hope he succeeds for the thing that makes him so angry is one of the things that makes me most angry, too: the senseless eradication of the world’s fish stocks.
Q. Why did God give liberals annoying, whiny voices? A. So that even the blind could hate them.
Did you hear the one about Jordan’s disabled son? Unlikely, since you probably don’t watch Tramadol Nights (Channel 4), nor read the Mirror (‘Katie Price furious after Frankie Boyle joke about her disabled son’), nor the Guardian (‘Frankie Boyle’s Katie Price joke sparks Ofcom investigation’).