Home / Royal Mail / Opinion: Robert McNeil: Is Johnson a socialist? Watch this space war

Opinion: Robert McNeil: Is Johnson a socialist? Watch this space war

I THOUGHT we’d talk about military matters and money this week. What? I’m not qualified? I pay taxes, don’t I? I had money once. I bought a ukelele with it.

As for the military, I was in the Air Training Corps for two years (aged 14-16) and had high hopes of becoming an assistant storeman in the RAF until I was weeded out in the recruitment process on account of the syphilis. I didn’t have any.

My curiosity military-wise was piqued first by the head of yon RAF warning that Britain needed to prepare itself now for future wars in … ooter space!

That was followed suspiciously swiftly by an announcement from the Prime Minister that £16bn of taxpayers’ money had been found up a magic tree and would be spent creating a space age military.

Of the dangers, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston apologised for “painting a grim picture” but felt constrained to warn that the Russians and Chinese – never, not these lovely guys! – were rapidly militarising the cosmos and that their fiendish anti-satellite weapons could have your eye out.

Worse still, you couldn’t get your cash out an ATM, there’d be no petrol at the pumps, and your satnav would go wonky. All in all, said Sir Mike, there’d be a “disastrous” effect on the lives of decent, ordinary British ratepayers back here on the planet Earth.

You say: “I’m not having that! If only we had a socialist government that would spend billions of public money on rectifying the situation.” But that’s the point: we do!

For, next day, Boris Johnson announced the £16bn cash injection to create a “space command”, like in Dan Dare. Mr Johnson declared: “The international situation is more perilous … than at any time since the Cold War and … true to our history … global influence … defend our people … way of life … blah-blah.”

Whitehall sources said the money would “demonstrate to our allies that they can always count on the UK” to pony up when it came to toys for the boys.

Later, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he’d no idea where the money would come from but, still, it was a great day and who cared?

All this comes on top of the weird Covid spending. Decent taxpayers have been quite flabbergasted by it. Ordinary socialists like you and me look at these spending plans and splutter: “But how are they going to pay for all this?”

The year 2020 is like 1945 all over again, but without rationing, other than of toilet rolls and pasta occasionally. Covid has created a socialist paradise, including public propaganda campaigns and limits on our freedoms. I dreamed for years that this day would come.

And now that it’s here, I’m discombobulated. The whole point of being a socialist is based on the assumption that it can never happen. But here we have a Conservative Government implementing it.

The wireless is full of educational programmes about racism and sexism and, not as in days gone by, of how great these are. Even the Royals are woke, with British princes agitating in the slums of Beverly Hills.

I get frequent emails from the Government begging me to take free money. This is after they threw me a great wedge, as a self-employed person, at the start of Covid. When I asked them to take it back, they said they couldn’t and advised me just to spend it on drink. So, in support of the revolution, I did.

There’s something not right about all this. The world has turned upside down. Apart from anything else, it shows we could have had socialist governments all along and ignored all that “where’s the money going to come from?” rubbish.

There is no money. It’s just a concept. A number. The whole point of socialism was that it was better to travel than to arrive. And, now that we’re here, I want to go back. I want it to be like it was before, when governments never had any money and we had respectable, decent wars doon here on the planet Earth.

Postie modern

THIS column is a Champion of the Postie. Truly, they are trusty pillars of the community who do genuinely worthwhile work, just like nurses and journalists.

But how their lot has changed. They’re loaded doon with parcels as everyone buys everything online.

Meanwhile, Royal Mail still moans about a drop in profits … to £17m! Get that dished out to the posties.

As reported exclusively in this column before, one postie told me it was like Xmas every day with all the parcels.

If the Royal Mail won’t give them more money, then at least let them pick one of the parcels that they can keep. That way, it’ll truly be Xmas every day for the posties. Hooray!

Five things we’ve learned this week

1 Israeli scientists discovered the ageing process can be reversed through oxygen therapy in a pressurised chamber. The procedure lengthens the telomeres which, as you know, are repetitive nucleotide sequences. Too much, of course, and you turn into Benjamin Button.

2 Wading through a heavy online discussion about dynamics of tone and technical specs on Cube guitar amplifiers, we were losing the will to live when somebody cut in with: “If I got one of these I would call it Cubie.” Brilliant.

3 The fad for vitamin D continues. It not only stops Covid but could reduce the risk of advanced cancer by up to 17%, according to a new study. Next week: how vitamin D causes Covid and gives you cancer.

4 Scotch eggs sales have soared in Bristol, Plymouth and Bournemouth, say Deliveroo. Subsequent increases in flatus levels led scientists to predict danger to the ozone layer from these areas. Greta Thunberg said: “Scotch eggs! How dare you! You have stolen my dreams.”

5 More bad news for yonder environment after German scientists warned half the world’s population will be overweight by 2050. Meat-eating and processed foods were blamed for “pushing the limits of our planet”. Pushing the limits of our trouser belts too.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.




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