Reader’s comment: Move out into the real world

In response to Lee Rotherham: Civil service dissidents must rout the Remainers, Colkitto03 wrote:

'An elite that had lost its nerve'. Such true words, Lee. The seventies look to all of us today as an economic madhouse of a decade. We were badly ruled by an elite that had no confidence in themselves or their country.
Today, thirty years later, our civil service is populated by what David Goodhart calls 'anywheres' – Oxbridge-educated 'citizens of the world'. These people also have no faith in the UK or its people.
With the technology available today there is no reason why vast parts of the civil service could not be re-situated around the country: the North, the Midlands etc.

The only thing that will cure their defeatism would be to throw them out into the country they work for, and force them to meet the people whom they are supposed to serve.




  • Reborn

    The redeployment of civil servants en masse is a great idea.
    As with the BBC, it is not essential that everything be Londoncentric.
    As someone who has valued London for its cultural life for 50 years, I find it an increasingly
    unpleasant, city state, full of “anywheres ” at the top who can decamp to just about anywhere
    else on Earth – and I wish they would.
    As for the rest of its residents, the British are a minority in their own capital, and the English
    a minority within a minority.
    The other countries within the UK have their own parliaments, save for the English, who foot most of the bills.
    We have too many politicians with their concomitant privileges & expenses, so I don’t want an English Parliament. I want just one UK Parliament with fewer MPs.
    I want the BBC, in its entirety moved to Manchester, & I want the civil service removed to
    a couple of dozen regional centres.

    • a misplaced modifier

      Perhaps we should start a campaign: ‘No taxation without representation’ would be a good slogan.

      • That one has a storied and successful heritage, especially when applied by British patriots. It is, however, a pretty hard road.

        • Unreconstructed reiver

          Okay, let’s try putting them in work camps for a year, for a period of self-reflection and ‘attitude’ re-adjustment. The ‘work camps’ in question are all the low-paid, boring jobs many are forced to endure to put food on the plate.

          • I suspect you, my friend, are missing the jokes here. I like that video, maybe not the funniest I ever heard but it’s funny – even to an American, probably because we have similar groups. I have nowt idea what you think you are on about on mine. But then I learned long ago that you can always tell a Yorkshireman, but you can’t tell him much.

          • Colkitto03

            Yes, I’m sure that sketch could easily be translated to the USA and most of the countries in the western world. Wherever society exists there are elite snobs.

          • Surely, in fact it’s rather more polite than we’re used too. But, like most of the Northerners I’ve known, we’re a thick skinned lot, and prefer it that way.

          • Alan Llandrindod Wells

            I see that May intends to accept EU fishing rights.
            Disgusting.
            She is not negotiating she is surrendering.
            But there are very few unemployed trawlermen, and fish processors, in London.
            And very few of them have worked for Goldman Sachs.

          • Unreconstructed Reiver

            I’m not missing anything, I’m merely pointing out what some of you are missiing; perception is in the eye of the beholder, as some in the South of the U.S.A. are finding when it comes to statues of Southern generals.

            What’s your American view on “Would it be as funny, or viewed as at all funny, or be viewed so benignly, if the nanny was a black south London girl speaking in that certain south London black patois some use?” – if you have ever heard it spoken.

            ” I have nowt idea what you think you are on about on mine.” What is that supposed to mean? Is it supposed to be ‘Yorkshire speak’ to complement your comment, “But then I learned long ago that you can always tell a Yorkshireman, but you can’t tell him much”? Do you think I am from Yorkshire, or is that what where your northern England geographical knowledge ends? Look up what a ‘Reiver ‘ is, and learn.

          • Sure it would be funny. Funny is always based on differences. Getting made, unlikely, but that’s down to those very elites that she is making fun of. The Southrons are hardly the only ones deploring the nonsense going on in America at the moment. Don’t know if I have or not, doesn’t matter either, except as to whether I’d understand what she was saying.

            It means exactly what it says, hardly my problem if you can’t understand simple English. Nope, I know the term, anachronistic as it is, but most of my friends are either from Norfolk, or Yorkshire, and I pick up things they say, as they do my Americanisms. See, that how cultural exchange works, not by hiding in the kitchen.

          • Unreconstructed Reiver

            ” I have nowt idea what you think you are on about on mine.” I strongly doubt any Yorkshireman or woman would say that, it doesn’t even make ‘Yorkshire’ sense, let alone English. They’d say something like ‘As nay, (or, nee’) idea what tha’s on abaht”, certainly not ‘nowt’ in that context.

            So it would be funny, would it – the black girl – but not likely to be
            made; we know why it would not be made: because of p.c. cultural
            ‘sensitivities’, yet, somehow, it is okay for those reasons it not be made to not apply when a whitw northerner is involved, because any perception is ‘fair game’ (which I agree with in terms of comedy) as long as it is politically correct -as far as certain groups are concerned; and it’s not the
            ‘elites’ making it, it’s Catherine Tate; ‘no holds barred’ Catherine
            Tate – as long as it is politically correct, it seems.

            ” The Southrons are hardly the only ones deploring the nonsense going on in America at the moment”. I didn’t say they were the only ones, I just gave a representative example concerning ‘perception’.

            The term ‘Reiver’ is not anachronistic, it is very much in use today in the Anglo-Scottish Borders region.

          • Little Black Censored

            The best way to deal with a reiver is to avoid him. Mind you, if you did manage to overpower him, you should cut off his thumbs.

          • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            “I don’t care who y’are, that’s funny, right there…” — the deathless words of Daniel “Larry the Cable Guy” Whitney, the archetypal Deep South American Good Ol’ Boy, Whitney himself being originally from Omaha or someplace in the Great Plains. HE likely offends many US coastal elites to the extent that he seems to be having fun and presenting the character as a likable Joe, perhaps coarse but not particularly all that loutish, and certainly not as stupid as such people are caricatured. And it is the fact that he does rub the coastal elites the wrong way, in manner if not necessarily content, that is part of his appeal, I should think. It is likely the actual “Larry’s” who in a lot of cases voted for Trump, and this is why he’s such a poke in the eye with a sharp stick for humourless asshats:

            “Dear Lord, he doesn’t even apologise for being a ‘rustic’! This is not to be borne! Quelle horreur!”

          • Indeed, he lives a ways out of Lincoln these days, has a farm of a bit more than a quarter section, 160 acres (a hobby farm in these parts), about 250 miles from me. He is indeed a smart dude, although I can’t understand why one would support the Huskers, but then I’m one of those Boilers. And that says something, he, like I, didn’t finish, but we’re both still fans of our colleges. I know a few guys that have met him around town, they uniformly say he’s just about like he is on TV, doesn’t surprise me at all.

            Besides out here his phrase says it all, “Git er done!”. Its our way of life.

          • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Larry could be the poster boy for accomplishing #Brexit: “Git ‘er done!”

          • Yep, he could, and should, be. BTW, he’s originally from Pawnee City, NE, down in the SE corner of the state, it’s the county seat of Pawnee County, and has slightly less than 900 residents in the last census. No wonder he turned out good. That sort of town (I grew up in one too back in Indiana) is more of an extended family than a town.

      • Little Black Censored

        “‘No taxation without representation’
        And vice-versa! That would change the complexion of the House of Commons.

    • Alan Llandrindod Wells

      You cannot reform the BBC just by trying to move it.
      It has to be shut down and restarted under another name news only.

    • Colkitto03

      Have you seen the Catherine Tate sketch called the agency nanny? When London elite family meets a northerner. Funniest couple of minutes ever.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE6p6YCyjwo
      Please watch

      The thing is that all great humour is based on some basic truths.

      • Unreconstructed Reiver

        Hmm. there’s two minutes I’ll never get back I can’t get close to thinking it is the ‘funniest two minutes ever’ – have you heard Woody Allen’s ‘The Nightclub Years’? Now THAT is funny, of course, you need to like intelligent humour.

        I agree with your humour/basic truths view, but what do you see is the ‘basic truth’ here?

        I’m a northerner, I can understand the potential humour inherent in the situation, but it was not particularly well done – in terms of fear/loathing of things ‘northern’, I have yet to see anything that out-does the exortation on the ‘M1 NORTH’ sign at Staples Corner, London; ‘Turn back NOW’.

        Would Tate do such a sketch with the nanny as a black girl with a strong south London patois, a person equally alien to such types?

        The other thing that struck me is that the Tate character darkly intones that the nanny is from “Newcastle – perhaps even as far north as Sunder Land” (I believe that is how she said it); I can easily believe someone born in London would think Sunderland is further north than Newcastle.

        • Colkitto03

          The basic truth represented here there the perception that there is an elite in London which is very detached from the rest of the country.
          What is fundamental to me the joke does not have to be ‘set up’. Its just runs. Pretty much nobody in the UK would need to have the humour behind the sketch explained to them. People get it an instinctive level. It represents an ingrained belief held by an overwhelming majority.
          As brilliant as Woody Allen could be, he is for many an acquired taste and many people simply would not get subtle elements of his humour

          • Unreconstructed Reiver

            I take it you are not from the north; you might need to explain to some northerners what’s funny about it – oh, they’ll understand the premise behind it, but as to whether they find it funny – depends if it is viewed as taking the rise out of the elite’ or the northern girl.

            Most sketches about the north – and the West Country, the Midlands, The Broads, and others, have traditionally been to highlight the perceived inadequacies of the them from a metropolitan point of view, be it how they sound, their beliefs, their practices, or how their mentality is viewed and NOT to make ‘a ‘elite’ sound stupid- though one of the funniest things I ever heard was from ‘Withnail and I’ in which ‘I’ splutters out under ‘interrogation’ by a visitor to the cottage that: ‘We’ve come on holiday by mistake”.

            “Pretty much nobody in the UK would need to have the humour behind the sketch explained to them” – ditto, jokes/sketches about Irishman, blacks, foreigners, homosexuals – yet all jokes are frowned upon, at least publicly, usually by such ‘elites’, but northerners are fair game. Interesting.

          • Colkitto03

            I was raised in the Scottish Hebrides and now live in Lincolnshire.
            You are the first northerner I have met who has not found it funny. Fair enough I’m sure there are others. You are also the first northerner I have met that thinks the joke in the sketch is somehow focused on northerners.
            The butt of the humour in the sketch is focused entirely on the metropolitan elite in London.

          • Unreconstructed Reiver

            The Scottish Hebrides and Lincolnshire is not the north of Engand; mindsets can be seen as different in all three – and I have relatives in Lincolnshire.

            I wrote: “I can’t get close to thinking it is the ‘funniest two minutes ever”, not that I didn’t find it funny, though ‘mildy amusing’ is more correct. I also wrote: “you might need to explain to SOME northerners what’s funny about it” because, as a northerner, I can see the potential for seeing the northern girl as the butt of the joke, the fact you can’t may be because you are not a northerner (English).

            “You are the first northerner I have met who has not found it funny.” For that to be true, it means you have somehow elicited from every northerner you have met that a) they viewed the sketch, and, b) you are somehow party to their opinion of it, elicited or not.

            You are equally certain of your view that “You are also the first northerner I have met that thinks the joke in the sketch is somehow focused on northerners”. What I wrote in the preceding paragraph applies to this also…

            … and again, I ask: would you watch and find it “the funniest two minutes ever” if the nanny had been a south London black girl speaking in that particular patois many do, someone who is every bit as ‘alien’ to the metropolitan ‘elite’ that Tate sought to ‘send up’? Would it even be made by Tate?

            Much humour is based on pre-conceptions, the pre-conception by the Tate here is that northerners are somehow inferior, or deficient, or damaging to their children if placed in charge of them; for that to work, whoever finds it funny must at least recognise that, otherwise it doesn’t make sense that she would be so alarmed and therefore ‘funny’. Look at it another way: most jokes about Irishmen are based on the premise they are thick, otherwise the joke doesn’t work; they don’t see themselves like that – just like northerners don’t see themselves as viewed by the Tate character, that’s why you might need to explain to SOME why it is ‘funny’.

            You say the butt of the joke is focussed on the ‘elite’, but that is only because that’s how you perceive it, perhaps even how Tate perceived it, but perception, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

          • Little Black Censored

            “It requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding.” Sydney Smith

          • AKM

            On a related note: Southern scientists discover some Northerners not working class ( http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/southern-scientists-discover-some-northerners-not-working-class-20171112138877 )

          • Colkitto03

            LOL

          • blingmun

            “depends if it is viewed as taking the rise out of the elite’ or the northern girl.”

            There is one reasonable interpretation of this sketch. The northern girl is young and attractive, open, friendly, normal etc. The family are terrified of her because they’re small minded snobs.

            I’m guessing you struggled with GCSE English Lit.

          • Unreconstructed Reiver

            You’d be ‘guessing’ incorrectly. I’m not sure why you feel the need to be insulting.

            That you can only see your ‘reasonable’ – I assume that’s what you imply by ‘one’, as in definitive – interpretation of the sketch you’d also find English literature a struggle. Feel free to answer the question I posed: Would you view the sketch as funny, in the same light, if the nanny was a black girl speaking in that particular south London patois some use?” Would it even be made? If not, to one or both, why not? There are some who would say it is racist – now why would that be, when the butt is ‘clearly’ – you say – intended to be the Tate character?

          • blingmun

            In Little Britain the ghastly Marjorie Dawes can’t understand anything Meera says.

          • Unreconstructed Reiver

            Ah, the chasm of artistic freedom – homosexual darling of the left wing TV world, Matt Lucas, is allowed free reign – would they be so accommodating if it were a Jim Davidson joke, or a sketch by any right wing scriptwriter – if you can find one.

          • Little Black Censored

            I expect many of your acquaintance will be glad when you get round to being reconstructed.

          • Reborn

            Northerners are not mocked here.
            It is the ghastly metropolitan elite.
            You’re right though, we can mock Northerners & Southerners
            because they’re indigenous white British.
            Another white group who can take a joke are Jews, and the ones they make against themselves can be toe curling.
            White working class are the butt of much British humour, with
            Londoners & Northerners easiest targets.
            Alf Garnett’s creator, Johny Speight was a wealthy communist sympathiser and hated Alf. He was furious that so many of us sympathised with his plight.
            Dim wife & an appalling layabout son in law who, in real life, left much
            to be desired.

          • Little Black Censored

            Jokes can be made about any one or anything; the important thing is that they should be funny.

          • Little Black Censored

            The joke is entirely on the family, not the nanny, or didn’t you realize?

      • Reborn

        We love Catherine T.
        Real, acerbic, talent, based as you say, on real life.

  • Peejos

    Yes, and while we are at it, draw up a list of all the ministries and quangos together with a raison d’etre and annual cost for public discussion.

    Separately quantify the costs of parliamentary involvement and then the actual pension costs associated.

    Finally indicate the annual payments; say over half a million pounds, to charities, together with details of their other income

    Then publish the results on a specific governmental web site, to permit comments.

    • Alan Llandrindod Wells

      And a list of what the big bent charities get.
      A lot of so-called Foreign Aid money, is spent on fake London advisers.
      A list of their monies too, please.
      I would still like to know what happened to the £2m, the morons Cameron and Osborne threw into that stupid charity, that went bust a few hours later.

      • Unreconstructed Reiver

        If that is that the one ‘run’ by Camilla Batmanoutfit, I believe the sting to the public purse was tens of millions.

        • Alan Llandrindod Wells

          I believe Dave and Sam Cam thought she was wonderful.
          There should be a public enquiry.

          • Harley Quin

            One doesn’t mind them being suckers on their own account. But on ours ?

          • Little Black Censored

            Her name alone was the cause of much innocent mirth; and her appearance.

      • Reborn

        I think KidsCompany got 3 million.
        The charity employees proved to be very charitable, and quite a lot continued
        working free.
        The enormous lump of lard at the top has kept a very low profile (media wise).
        I believe the charity provided her with a personal swimming pool which no one
        else was allowed to use.
        At the very least, she could have been used educationally
        when immersed to illustrate the principles of water displacement.
        And talking of displacement, I am informed that a top BBC man called Yentob
        has erased all involvement with it from his CV.
        A Yentob sounds like an unpleasant boil like infection found under the armpits.

        • Julian Flood

          IIRC it was £5,000,000, paid just before the whole thing went bust, on top of tens of millions before that. That last tranche of money was paid after the civil servant advising the politicians concerned (Hancock and Letwin I believe) said they would be foolish to pay and, when they insisted, made them write him a letter ordering him to do so against his own better judgement.
          Multum in parvo. They’ll chuck around millions for practice. Then they move on to billions — HS2, Hinkley and Sizewell, Brexit — having got a taste for the game. After all, it’s only (other peoples’) money.
          Having got bored with billions it’ll be trillions next. I wonder how big the national debt is now.

          JF
          Some idea of priorities. When Kid’s Company was given £60 million, in an unrelated grant Reaction Engines Ltd, who are developing an engine which could be as important as the Merlin proved to be, got £50 million. Who are these people?

          • Reborn

            “Who are these people?”
            This is an area worth investigating by some independent organisation.
            I suggest that, apart from the crooks involved, the gullible elements
            are people who genuinely believe that all high profile charities are
            automatically virtuous.
            Not long established charities with known track records (but we should look at the massive salaries earned by some CEOs), but the more high
            profile, media friendly ones.
            Think of anything involving pop stars, TV “personalities”and foreign
            “aid”.

        • Harley Quin

          She was female, larger than life and and incredibly ethnic. What better qualifications could there be for huge dollops of public money ?

        • Alan Llandrindod Wells

          I thought trustees were liable , if there was a failure.

          • Reborn

            Funnily enough, I’m interested in this issue re a charity I’m involved with.
            I don’t think trustees are liable.

          • Alan Llandrindod Wells

            Check the terms of office.

    • Colkitto03

      Well said, Its one vast gravy train,
      There is a very strong argument that HS2 will actually suck more business into London rather than spread opportunity outwards as many assume.

      • Owen_Morgan

        And, to mix mechanical metaphors, it’s a gravy train with revolving doors.