Thursday, 28 March 2013

Eddie Mair, Sebastian Vettel, Andy Burnham, Abu Quatada: all examples of maddening unfairness

And then I'm going to stick it right up your...

The Left is always gassing on about fairness, but what it usually means by the word is equality – and, increasingly, equality of outcome, which, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with what we normal folk mean by the term. For us, fairness covers a range of things – roughly, playing whichever game you’re in according to the rules, and receiving one’s just deserts, i.e. rewards and punishments commensurate with one’s actions. There’s been an awful lot of unfairness around this past week.

Last Sunday, the German racing driver Sebastian Vettel disobeyed Red Bull team orders and overtook his rival and Aussie team-mate Mark Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix. F1 fans don’t like team orders, preferring to see genuine racing between every driver on the track rather than a strategic stitch-up – but team orders are legal, and any driver who disobeys them is a cheat. As regular readers of this blog will know, I generally like Germans and their country, but there’s often something distinctly dodgy about their sense of fair play, especially when they’re behind the wheel of a racing car. (And let’s not forget that it was their football players who introduced diving to try to get a penalty and rolling around on the ground pretending to be injured in order to get opponents sent off to European football.)

There’s a very good reason why nobody in the whole world feels any affection for the seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher. (I doubt if he’s even that keen on himself.) It’s not because he won with monotonous regularity: it’s because his pathological Will to Power often caused him to behave like a charmless cad – in 1994, he “accidentally” took his main rival Damon Hill out of the final race of the season in Australia in order (some maintain) to secure the Driver’s Championship. He tried to do the same thing in 1997 to main rival Justin Villeneuve, again in the final race – but failed to prevent the Canadian from finishing and becoming world champion. (Schumacher was disqualified for a year for his “error” – when he should have been banned for life for behaving like a CAUC.)

During the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix, Schumacher seemingly tried to force his former team-mate Rubens Barrichello – who was attempting to pass him on the inside at 180mph – into a concrete wall. In years of watching F1, I’ve never witnessed a more cold-bloodedly murderous manoeuvre. Schumacher subsequently tried to bluff his way out of taking the blame, but eventually apologised – too late, of course, because he’d once more revealed what sort of human being he really was. (He has now retired once and for all – good riddance.)

And now Vettel – who had managed to win three World Championships in a row in a dashing and likeable manner – has revealed himself to be just another victory-crazed Teuton only too willing to jettison the concept of fairness when it interferes with his lust for silverware. (Inevitably, Vettel has subsequently apologised for doing the dirty on Webber – but I imagine the tough but fair-minded Aussie’s attitude to this lamentably inadequate gesture will be “Too bloody late, mate!”)

Earlier the same day, the BBC presenter and left-wing Scot (aren’t they all, dear!) Eddie Mair had decided to take the ebullient Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, down a peg or two by raking up every one of the lovable mop-top’s past transgressions – all of which have in any case been repeatedly oxygenated in the media). At one point Mair even accused Johnson – bizarrely - of being “a nasty piece of work”. (Remarkable how BBC leftists seem so quickly to have obliterated from their memory the role of many current Labour front-benchers in destroying this country’s economy just a few short years back, but are happy to bring up what Boris Johnson – a journalist at the time – said to a dodgy chum with a silly name in a phone call 23 years ago.)

Now, it does no harm to remind people that our political leaders haven’t always behaved impeccably – but there is a time and place, and last Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show was neither, especially as Johnson had been given no warning that he'd been invited in for the purposes of having his character assassinated, and given that he’d presumed (justifiably) that Mair might have wanted to pursue some lines of enquiry more suited to his current role as the Mayor of one of the world’s greatest cities. What Mair did was aslo unfair. A nasty piece of work indeed.

Another example of BBC unfairness was the extraordinary and maddening sight of Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham popping up on our screens every few minutes to complain about the government’s handling of the Francis Report into the horrific cruelty suffered by patients at Mid Staffs. This fool was the Health Minister who recommended Mid Staffs for NHS foundation trust status in the first place. He and his then boss, Alan Johnson, ignored 81 requests into a full inquiry into the scandal.

And now Burnham has the effrontery to turn up on television and in the House of Commons to criticise the Coalition Health Secretary for failing to fully respond to the report into events that happened on Burnham’s watch?

This represents unfairness on a cosmic scale: why hasn’t this ghastly man slunk away to spend the rest of his days in obscurity, praying for forgiveness?

As for Abu Quatada, well, goodness me – the inability of this pathetic, supine government to remove this noxious, scum-sucking sub-human from our midst is proof, if any more were needed, that Human Rights legislation has nothing whatsoever to do with justice, and everything to do with enabling a privileged, left-wing, European elite to feel morally superior to the rest of us, for whom the concept and practice of fairness is the very foundation of morality.


  1. I think you've nailed Schumacher. Sports journalists, other than Martin Samuel, rarely tell us what footballers and other sportsmen are really like so we have to wait for the super-injunctions to be lifted in order to find out for ourselves. Occasionally, behaviour which you can't ignore, like Schumacher on Damon Hill, tells its own story.

    However, I think you are a bit harsh on Vettel. Whether team orders are legal or not, they represent an artificial attempt to alter the natural outcome of the race, which should be decided on merit. You could argue that that is higher up the scale of cheating than refusing to obey an instruction to perform below your best. I have to say I rather admired him for it.

    1. For good or ill, FI is a team sport. If you're part of a team, you obey team orders. If you don't like the team orders you're given, join another team.

      Here endeth lesson.

    2. I thought you would prefer Germans of the kind that don't simply obey orders. In 2008, Renault F1 ordered team member Nelson Piquet Jr to crash deliberately into a wall as they had figured out that the subsequent deployment of a safety car would give a competitive advantage to their other driver Alonso. So it proved. He went on to win the race. That's OK too, is it? He was only obeying team orders.

      F1 is not a team sport in the same sense as rugby or soccer. Like any other race involving speed, it's meant to be about the fastest winning. The team element is more to do with a tactical battle to win the constructors' championship, by whatever means. The sport would be better off without it. I am not sure that Vettel's motives were entirely pure but the original principle of a race between individuals is a far better one than the present situation in which drivers are ordered to throw a race and the sport tolerates it.

  2. Boris Johnson. "...dodgy chum with a silly name ". You are not a reader of Herodotus, then? "Lovable mop-top"? You're having a laugh, right? Not being English I struggle with irony. I suspect that your indignation about BBC interviewers' refusal to attack the Left has spilt over into an endorsement of Johnson.

    The Mayor's contrived eccentricity has now worn wafer-thin. His incoherence, his inability to finish sentences, his use of obscure vocabulary and Latin quotations in everyday conversation, his chaotic appearance [a tube of hair gel and a visit to a good tailor would work wonders] , his silly stunts and his posturing as a naughty school-boy is driving me nuts. He would make a good presenter on children's TV [good followup to the reistable Chris Tarrant, Noel Edmonds, a sort of upper class "I'm mad, me!" or "I am a bit of a card and want to prove it"].

    His editorship of the Spectator was a disaster [sexual shenanigans, the hiring of that other "I'm mad, me" clown Toby Young etc] and his performance during and after the London riots is a matter of record. Members of his family are even worse. See Rod Liddle in the current Spectator: "....the epic highborn smugness of the entire Johnson clan....these privileged inbred scions with their ludicrous accents and questionable abilities and vaulting ambitions..."

    But what finished Mr Johnson's reputation for me [apart from his recent claim that he was a count from Baden-Wurttemberg. Well, I don't know about the BW bit...] was the meekness of his response to Eddie Mair. He just rolled over and took it and went into his shifty schoolboy routine. No steel. Not a man to take on a tiger shoot.

    I could go on, but I know when it is time to shuffle off.