Sunday, 29 March 2015

Britain loses all sense of proportion

To judge by the endless pieces of merchandise plastered with the slogan "Keep calm and carry on" you'd think we Brits were calm, unflappable and quietly got on with things, when more excitable foreigners would be losing their heads, running around, shouting and gesticulating. The BBC Radio 4 news headlines this morning told a rather-less self-flattering story.

According to our national broadcasting organisation, three of the four most headline-worthy things that happened in the world today related to British people indulging in a screaming orgy of over-reaction.

The top headline involved some individual who has apparently e-mailed a death threat to the BBC's director general because the latter has failed to renew the contract of somebody who presents a popular programme about cars. Not only does the so-far unidentified e-mailer need to get out more, but the idea of this being a top news story, when , in all probability, the "death threat" is just some sad twit mouthing off under the cover of anonymity, rather than one of Jeremy's Jihadis hatching a serious plan to behead Tony Hall for insulting to the Prophet Clarkson (peace be upon him). Sure enough, the headline-grabbing story seems to have first been blurted out by UK Panic Central, the Mail on Sunday.

Then there's the calm, measured announcement by a group of head teachers in Cheshire that they will report parents to the authorities for neglect if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

And Rob Wainwright of Europol, hyperventilating because some devices allow users to encrypt data, potentially allowing members of extreme groups like Jeremy Clarkson's Barmy Army to  radicalise or groom new recruits, who might end up writing angry e-mails to the BBC's director general. The horror!

I propose that Great Britain should henceforth be re-named The Kingdom of Chicken Little and that anybody caught buying a poster or piece of merchandise bearing the words "Keep calm and carry on" should be reported to the authorities and prosecuted for libellously misrepresenting The Land of the Scared and of The Home of the Wuss.