HAPPY new year to you ALL!
It’s around a month now since the 8 December edition of the BBC’s Question Time from Maidenhead.
You can catch it on YouTube – the first few minutes of which are the subject of this article.
I have purposely let time pass to allow the tide of moderated thinking to ebb and flow. Brexit (ouch!…here we go again) and associated movements are best not reacted to in ‘knee jerk’ fashion.
I am referring to Will Self’s response to Nigel Farage’s answer to question one, and incidentally, my interest in politics is more with practice than policy and recent events have provided rich pickings indeed.
The question was…”Is Donald Trump a worthy recipient of Time Magazine’s ‘Person Of The Year’ award?”
Farage’s answer was typically objective and without undue self-satisfaction.
Will Self’s response was, as I perceived it to be, an unfettered opportunistic personal attack against Farage, Trump and the wider populist movement.
My attention was drawn initially by Will Self’s body language as he drew back his literary bow string in order to unleash the arrow of verbal vitriol.
He appeared to be scoffing from within (most unattractive to me) whilst pouring the vat of boiling scorn over his target.
It reminded me of David Cameron in the House of Commons, where he would frequently demonstrate how adept he was at hurling insults at the opposition – nothing like an expensive education to give you a ‘sharp’ cutting edge.
I was surprised that David Dimbleby didn’t offer Will Self the opportunity to reflect on the personal nature of his comments.
In his closing words, Will Self (when asked by D.D. what are they then, if not statesmen) described Farage and Trump as “grubby little opportunists”…with, what appeared to me, as considerable smugness.
Most unstatesman-like, I thought.
This comment by Will Self, which was truly the arrow of hatred being unleashed was greeted by gleeful applause from much of the audience; some expressions of delight were captured on camera which both saddened and worried me.
It put me in mind of lesser beings taking pleasure in the spectical of public humiliation/torture.
Farage, meanwhile, courtiously and humbly allowed Will Self his words… and Farage’s humility was affirmed by the next speaker who, despite being in opposition to Farage, had the kindness and sense of fairness to highlight the fact that he (Farage) had been a nominee for the very same Times Magazine award (no mean feat)… a comment which drew zero acknowledgment from Will Self.
I was shocked by Will Self’s attack. It worries me still. I wonder what his ‘locker-room’ version would have been.
Farage and Trump of course are far from being opportunistic (Farage in particular). 20 years of working, against all the odds, towards his victory, and 18 months of campaigning, and winning, against all the odds, for Trump. They surely could sense something, on both sides of the Atlantic, which the establishment, on both sides of the atlantic, could not.
I used to hold Will Self in some esteem, he is a fine wordsmith and can be funny.
He has however disappointed me greatly in his willingness to publicly attempt to inflict personal injury with such a poisonous pen.
I predict ‘Willful damage’ will be to Self.