Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Telegraph thinks Brian Haw was “principled” – I think he was a selfish jerk

Temple Underground Station became my work stop in 1998. Outside, every morning, as I walked up to steps into the sunlight, I’d be assailed by a largish able-bodied chap selling The Big Issue, bellowing raucously about the unfairness of “Blair’s Britain”.  I was no fan of Tony Blair, but he’d only been in about a year, the economy was booming thanks to the legacy of a long-term Tory government, and it was hard to see what The Prime Minister could possibly have done to this chap (unless he’d been a Tory candidate at the previous election). 

I was relaxed about this for a week or two. Then, to be frank, the noisy pillock started to get on my nerves. I’m never at my best first thing, and having some self-pitying prole with an attitude problem insisting I read about how Tony Blair was destroying the working-classes (of which I wasn’t a member) wasn’t helping. Some days, the sun would be shining brilliantly, the gardens behind the station would look delightful, the Thames would be twinkling and normally one would have felt glad to be alive and solvent and healthy in the heart of this great City of Empire. And then some yobbo would spoil it all by blaring out, “Blair Out! Blair Out” - and it would shatter one’s benign mood. 

Bloody odd way of begging of course – but now and then you’d see some besuited middle-class twit buying an issue, smiling self-consciously yet supportively, evidently glowing with self-righteous pride at how fabulously tolerant and liberal they were being. I just wanted to knee him in the groin. As he was obviously quite tonto, he’d probably have blamed Tony Blair, and I’d have got away with it.

I have never, knowingly, imposed my views on anyone who is either minding their own business or who isn’t paid to listen to me, or who doesn’t actually want to listen (I can dream!) Unlike that Big Issue seller or Brian Haw.

When I read about Brian Haw’s death this morning I tried hard not to let out a relieved sigh  – after all, I’m supposed to be a Christian - but I just couldn’t help it.  I was going to leave it at that, given that the man was clearly unstable, and dying of lung cancer must be truly horrible. But then I saw the BBC’s Lunchtime News, which made him sound like a noble warrior in a just cause. And then I read a post by Harry Mount in the Telegraph, in which he states that “Brian Haw was a deeply principled man” whose marriage “broke up because of his principled protest”. 

Principles up the wazoo, evidently.

My take on Haw is slightly different. He was a tedious, moronic, selfish pimple on the backside of the body politic, who spoiled the experience of visiting Parliament Square for hundreds of thousands of people, and gave succour to Middle Eastern butchers who’d have lopped his idiotic, empty head off if he’d tried the same trick in the Third World sand-pits they’d turned into charnel houses. Haw was a prime exponent of the sort of belligerent, intolerant, essentially malign compassion which characterizes so much left-wing thinking these days.

The fact that two truly abysmal lefties - Tony Benn and Nick Serota - applauded the wretched twerp is all you really need to know. 

I think the word “principled” as applied to Haw is a lazy, feel-good synonym for “obsessive”. If he’d been an anti-immigration campaigner ranting on endlessly about sending them all back, he’d have found himself dismissed as a right-wing nutter, and as soon as a single member of the public had complained, a squadron of Plod would have arrived to cart him away before he’d had a chance of a first pee in the tin can he kept for that purpose.

We live in a democracy. We get to vote on a regular basis.  No doubt Haw (like all his ilk)  justified his selfishness by pointing out that none of the major parties represented his views. So what? You have to get down to the level of UKIP before finding a party that chimes with any of my views, and they don’t have a single MP. That makes me angry, but I don’t see that it would justify me despoiling a major London landmark and annoying the rest of electorate with my opinions, which are, I suspect, shared by far more people than were Haw’s. 

Life is nothing but a series of trade-offs. Perhaps Haw – and the repellent band of smug egoists and obsessives who have turned Parliament Square into a squalid eyesore – represents the price we have to pay for Freedom of Speech. Many conservatives got all teary at this demonstration of our ancient liberties made raucous flesh. But I don’t agree: there are plenty of elected politicians who publicly voice the same radical student bilge as the protesters (which basically boils down to “Nuke Israel”, “America Stinks” and “Your Money – Our Principles!”) 

Personally, I think the best way of protecting what’s left of our parliamentary democracy would be to power-hose these blisters out of the Square as soon as possible. At the very least, refuse them all benefit payments – let’s see how “principled” they are then. Of course, Islamist groups and the TUC and one or two rich socialists would chip in a few bob to keep them going – but that’s okay, because at least I wouldn’t be paying for people I despise through my taxes.

By the way, I’ve no idea what happened to that Big Issue seller – probably a Lib-Dem Cabinet member by now.  


  1. You terrible man…Haw was so noble and self-sacrificing he even ditched his SEVEN KIDS to hang out in Parliament Square defending the precious lives of other people’s children. He got divorced in 2003 so he sacrificed his marriage so that other wives wouldn’t lose their husbands. Fair makes one want to puke…I mean weep. When I heard about his demise tears streamed from my eyes but I eventually got the laughing fit under control.

    Shame on you Gronmark…have you no heart?
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 03:16 PM

  2. With pleasure, I have just deleted Brian Haw's name from a list I keep headed "Piano-Wire & Lamp-Post Candidates". He came below that guy who insisted on "rambling" up and down the country without any clothes, the tree-hugger who calls himself "Swampy", the obnoxious fiddler Nigel Kennedy and John Bercow. Their time will also come.
    Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 09:28 AM