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Seven minutes of magic from Mark Steyn


A FEW weeks ago Mark Steyn joked that he had last been on British TV around the time of Muffin the Mule – which, for the benefit of younger readers, was a post-war puppet show and not a sordid, career-ending scandal.

Dear old Muffin has long gone to the knacker’s yard of television. While Canadian-born Mark Steyn avoided a similar fate by becoming a regular contributor to America’s Fox News, he has for several decades been ostracised by timorous TV stations in Britain, where he grew up and cut his teeth as a journalist and presenter.

Joyfully, GB News is now boldly broadcasting the gospel according to Mark. His exile ended during the last week of October when interviewed by the splendid Colin Brazier, whose introduction of his guest contained the reasons why in the UK Steyn has been persona non grata: ‘His views, especially on radical Islam and demographics, made him a panto villain for some on the Left; but his prose, his polemical gifts and in particular his sense of the ridiculous made him essential reading on the Right. His books became best sellers but they also made him a target for cancel culture. He spent years successfully fighting legal action brought by Canadian activists who accused him of hate speech.’

Since then, Mark has twice filled the 7-8pm slot normally occupied by Nigel Farage, most recently last Friday. The final quarter of the show was an interview with Douglas Murray, author of The Strange Death of Europe and The Madness of Crowds – mournful titles, yet Douglas remains the more optimistic of the pair. Steyn is not exaggerating when he self-describes as someone for whom ‘the glass is fifteen-sixteenths empty’.

As a caustic chronicler of the West’s political, demographic and cultural suicide, Mark Steyn has every reason to be downcast; nonetheless, he presents his pessimism with panache, mixing persiflage and profundity.

The mordant monologue with which he began the show on November 5 was a firecracker. Steyn vilified Jellyfish Johnson for his domestic dereliction while hubristically hobnobbing at COP26, as in this edited excoriation.

‘What a week . . . Boris Johnson is very concerned about rising sea levels washing away the Maldives in the year 2200. He’s not, last time I checked, Prime Minister of the Maldives; he’s purportedly the Prime Minister of an entirely different island nation and he has not the slightest interest in the tide washing up on English shores right now.

‘So far this year almost three times as many “migrants” have landed in England as did in the whole of 2020. This week a record number crossed the Channel in a single day: 853. If that were to become the norm, that would be a third-of-a-million a year, or the population of Belfast. I’m not suggesting they should all be re-settled there – I’ve no idea whether they incline to Sinn Féin or the DUP – but simply in demographic terms the answer to the Irish question may well be Somalia. I’ll bet Gladstone never saw that coming.

‘The Mayor of Calais presides over a town ruined by this human tide. She has men dead of hypothermia on her beaches and drowned in overloaded boats . . . England is a convenient fifteen-nation stroll from Eritrea and that Calais mayor, Natacha Bouchart, has no doubt who is to blame for the traffic: she says Britain’s “soft touch on migrants” has inflicted trauma on Calais residents for over 20 years by luring an unending torrent of human misery to one French port town which is the gateway to free housing and free money in what she calls the “El Dorado of England” . . .  

‘853 “refugees” per day is about half the number of all babies born in England and Wales that day . . . You might think that’s great news, given the collapsed Anglo-Celtic fertility rate . . . Except that 87 per cent of all the “refugees” are male . . . On this week’s numbers, Britain is going to wind up with a greater male-female demographic imbalance than China after 40 years of its one-child policy. Guys who can’t get any action is not a recipe for social tranquillity. If you’re a young lady in, say, Rotherham, you might want to buy a new pair of running shoes.

‘Let me go back to the Mayor of Calais. Mme Bouchart thinks UK law is nuts and is what incentivises this great tide of humanity. She says: ‘The British Government does not have the courage to review its legislation.’ 

‘She’s right: it is a question of courage. All these chaps are going to be staying permanently and running up the room-service tab because, as in Rotherham, no one wants to take the heat of being called racist by drawing attention to it. That’s why Boris is off in Glasgow saving the planet: because saving the planet is easier, it’s the soft option. Why you would want lessons in saving the planet from a guy who lives on an island and can’t control his borders at a time of global pandemic is beyond me . . . Saving the planet is where politicians go to preen and posture because they’re useless about the things that are their actual responsibility, like saving your country, saving your county, saving your town . . .

‘What’s the best way to save the planet? Well, why not get a sitcom actor from the American adaptation of The Office to fly-in an iceberg to melt all over the floor of the COP26 conference . . .

‘Speaking of large inert lumps dripping all over the floor, Boris Johnson is being berated for taking a private plane to have dinner at the Garrick Club with Charles Moore . . . This is the world our leaders are making for you: you’ll be on your Boris Bike, pedalling through streets of human misery, while he’s high above you, cruising at 30,000 feet en route to cocktails with Greta Thunberg. As the Mayor of Calais says, what’s missing is courage.’

Do yourself a favour and view all seven minutes of Steyn’s sardonic stricture.

It is not yet clear whether Mark Steyn is to be a fixture on GB News – we can but hope – but he ended last Friday’s show by promising to ‘see you next week’. You bet.

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Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver is an accountant who lives in East Lothian.

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