A Poundland Sun Tzu
Isn’t our 21st century bingo card filling up nicely? We got off to a storming start with 9/11, followed by the still unexplained decision to address this incident by attacking a country that had nothing to do with it.
We’ve enjoyed the financial crash which, in retrospect, seems to have been the logical end of Western capitalism, austerity – which any sixth–form economist could have told you would only make matters worse, the murderous Brexit campaign which left an MP dead and the UK’s international reputation shredded, a pandemic managed by the bloke off The Apprentice and the bloke off Have I Got News For You, Liz Truss’s 45–day Monte Carlo or Bust reimagining of high office, an upcoming environmental apocalypse that half the world thinks is a prank, artificial intelligence, an attempted coup in Washington, the return of war in Europe, and Elf on the Shelf.
It’s not enough, is it? Sensing that the nation’s blood pressure had dropped below fatal levels for half an hour, our Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps, sprang into action.
A hitherto unimaginable phenomenon in his own right, Mr Shapps informed the numbed-by-decades-of-abuse British public that the easy times are over.
We have, Mr. Shapps explained, moved from a ‘post-war period’ to a ‘pre-war period’.
It’s easy to underestimate our Defence Sec, possessed as he is of an airy persuasiveness that helped him sell business advice in happier times, but you must concede that he made a splash here.
Firstly, in this era of unremitting crisis, Mr. Shapps seems to have eliminated the very concept of hope.
If the ‘post-war period’ is followed by the ‘pre-war period’, it suggests that a ‘no-war period’ has been deleted from human imagination.
Orwell in the raw
This isn’t Orwellian, it’s just Orwell in the raw: war as a permanent condition that fluctuates only according to its perpetual cycle.
And let’s be clear, this isn’t the sort of pastime war we’ve engaged in recently, where the other side is making up the numbers while the USA explodes its newest bombs over themon telly.
The war foretold in the Book of Shapps involves the UK – a country that has recently given up on its dream of building a railway line – taking on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea at the same time.
‘Now, hold on,’ you might protest. ‘We have far too many immediate problems at hand to be worrying about a potential event in the distant future,’ but this is the very complacency that our get-rich-quick salesman turned prophet has been sent to dispel.
We’ve apparently got to get our act together in readiness for this exciting new challenge within five years.
Has the UK ever accomplished something within five years? For context, HS2, until recently the British equivalent of the pyramids, was proposed in 2009.
So, it’s taken the UK government 15 years to discover it can’t be done.
I don’t wish to sound defeatist, but it’s going to take a hell of a Joe Wicks pep talk to get Project David & Several Goliaths over the line in time for kick-off.
My sincere advice is to chill out as best you can. You’ve been impoverished, diseased, had God knows how many needles stuck in you, locked in your house for months, enraged daily, neglected, stolen from, lied to, and been betrayed by these clowns for decades.
If they try to start World War III, you can pretty much guarantee they will arse it up so comprehensively that we’ll be annihilated within ten minutes, or else accidentally stumble into unintended perpetual peace.
These aren’t the drums of war, but the kazoos of self-promotion. I opt for pre-Shappsarian bliss.
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