If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t more people happy?
Clearly, I need to start following Stephen Fry on Twitter.
Because this is brilliant.
“Almost the whole of my text at the moment, in my head as I fall asleep, is summed up by the word “contempt”. Contempt, in politics, for the hypocrisy, the double standards, the double dealing, the corruption and the moral suasion. It’s almost impossible for me to explain just how deeply I feel contempt. I want to go into detail – and I think you’ll be rather shocked, and I hope rather edified, by what I have to say.
So who are these terrible hypocrites? Who are these double dealers? Who are these liars and fraudulent corrupt people? Well, you’re listening to one of them: that’s me. And I’m talking to millions of them: that’s you. It’s not the politicians, God bless them. Sexless, uninteresting, graceless and very often styleless people as they may be, it is we who are the problem in politics. We expect a very high standard of living. We expect food to be cheap and available. We expect energy to be cheap and available. we also expect to be able to mouth off at parties about how terrible it is that the ozone layer is being eaten away and the glaciers are melting and how awful it is that people are starving in other countries. And we pay this group of styleless sexless people whom we call politicians a small amount of money in order to lay off our own guilt. Our own cant and hypocrisy is laid at their door. And apparently, it’s they who are the hypocrites. It is they who are corrupt. It is they who refuse to solve the problems of the world.
Well, it isn’t.
It’s me, and it’s you.
Take this week, for example. Suppose you’re prime minister, you’ve got all these illegal immigrants. What are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to hide the true facts? That’s hardly something the public would accept, so you campaign and you say “we don’t know how many there are – let’s do something about it”, and then you’re accused of incompetence. Well, of course you don’t know how many there are: they’re illegal immigrants. Do we expect magic from our politicians? We’re not going to get it. They’re just human beings like you and me.
And what about this “Let’s Talk” business? Yes, it sounds like a very bad BT advert. On the other hand, what would we say if they didn’t say that? We’d say that they’re arrogant, and that they never listen. They can’t win because they’ve got us to serve, and we are filth. The wheels have come off the New Labour project, everyone agrees, and so therefore it will come to pass. All aeroplanes have a certain amount of life in the sky, and then metal fatigue hits and they fall out of it. As someone who worked hard for a Labour victory in the 90s, do I regret it? Not really. It was bound to happen. And it’ll happen with the next government, and the one after it. Because all governments serve us. They serve the filth.“
The icing on the cake?
“That cricket is manifestly the greatest game that humankind ever devised is, for those who understand the game, too obvious to mention but we are all too wearily used to others dismissing it as boring, incomprehensible – elitist even. Nothing worth the pursuit was ever easy or obvious.”