Monday, 21 April 2014

“Fuck off Beaker” – how social media is giving people the courage to stick to their anti-Establishment opinions

There’s a Twitter game in which people race to see who, when Ed Miliband posts a tweet, can be the first to respond with the message, “Fuck off Beaker”. Beaker (as any fule kno) was the Miliband-lookalike assistant to Dr Bunsen Honeydew in The Muppet Show. This sort of playground name-calling lowers the tone of political debate by using important political and social issues as an excuse for unpleasant ad hominem attacks and crude, schoolboy sniggering. Which is why I welcome it with both arms.

In case you’re wondering why anyone would feel the need to post a “Fuck off Beaker” comment in response to an Ed Miliband tweet, here are a few examples of the Labour leader’s recent efforts:
Happy Easter to Christians in the UK and across the world
My thoughts are at Anfield today, and with all those who lost friends and loved ones at Hillsborough. They will never be forgotten.
Thank you to the Sikh community for the contribution you make to British life. I'm marking Vaisakhi with you
My warmest wishes to Jewish communities across Britain preparing for Pesach
Just finished a Q&A with students at Hebrew University. Really interesting questions about the peace process, Israel and Britain.
Devolving power from Whitehall to our towns and cities is essential to generate the new jobs we need
Labour will help businesses create the middle-income jobs that are crucial to overcoming this cost-of-living crisis
If that sort of anodyne, meaningless, condescending, tone-deaf claptrap doesn’t make you want to shout “Fuck off Beaker!” (or variants thereof, such as “Fuck right off Beaker and when you get there, fuck off again”), you’re an Anglican bishop or a member of Britain’s urban liberal politico-media elite or a Guardian-reader - or all three.

The internet is not – let’s be honest – entirely a force for good: it encourages the bullying of vulnerable people, the distribution of child pornography, the dissemination of violent hate-filled propaganda by intellectually and socially inadequate political and religious zealots, and the organisation of riots by drooling nihilists who can’t be arsed to work for a living. But one of its many benefits is that we no longer have to rely on a dozy mainstream media or the people we happen to bump into in our daily lives in order to discover whether our opinions are abnormal or acceptable. It’s heartening to go online and discover that one’s visceral reaction to Ed Miliband – that he’s a blithering idiot without an original thought in his head – is shared by multitudes of like-minded souls.

I’m an instinctive conservative – I appreciate order and respect for authority. But when order and authority are represented by a weird little clique of like-minded fools who give every impression of being somewhere on the autism disorder spectrum when it comes to interpreting what’s going inside the heads of those us unlucky (or fortunate) enough not to be in their robot gang, it’s a relief to find that one’s own views are entirely unexceptional.

An example of the disconnect between Them and Us is the current attempt by the Tory press to make Nigel Farage’s expenses a major issue. It’s failing dismally, because a sizable section of the population – no matter whether or not we support UKIP – feel that Farage is One of Us: we may not agree with him on every subject, and we may not see him as a potential Prime Minister, but the chap shares our instincts. We like him – and the MSM is going to have to come up with something pretty sensationally dodgy about him (possibly involving transvestism or bestiality) to make us change our minds. I’m absolutely certain that the likes of the BBC and The Times and the Conservative Party would long ago have buried Farage and his rag-tag army had we not had social media to assure us that we are really not the weird ones here.

The “Them” brigade were out in force this week, signing a letter complaining about David Cameron’s perfectly reasonable assertion that Britain is still a Christian country. Who knows? Without social media, some of “Us” might have felt cowed by such an illustrious list of eminent left-liberals reinforcing the establishment’s multiculti, atheistic, anti-Christian prejudices. As it is, I suspect many non-believers – understanding that Christianity in this context refers as much to this country’s cultural underpinnings and a shared moral understanding as to matters of faith – will join believers like me in blowing an enormous, extended, fruity raspberry and shouting “Fuck off Beaker!” in the general direction of the following self-regarding pillocks:

Professor Jim Al-Khalil
Philip Pullman
Tim Minchin
Dr Simon Singh
Ken Follett
Dr Adam Rutherford
Sir John Sulston
Sir David Smith
Professor Jonathan Glover
Professor Anthony Grayling
Nick Ross
Virginia Ironside
Professor Steven Rose
Natalie Haynes
Peter Tatchell
Professor Raymond Tallis
Dr Iolo ap Gwynn
Stephen Volk
Professor Steve Jones
Sir Terry Pratchett
Dr Evan Harris
Dr Richard Bartle
Sian Berry
C J De Mooi
Professor John A Lee
Professor Richard Norman
Zoe Margolis
Joan Smith
Michael Gore
Derek McAuley
Lorraine Barratt
Dr Susan Blackmore
Dr Harry Stopes-Roe
Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC
Adele Anderson
Dr Helena Cronin
Professor Alice Roberts
Professor Chris French
Sir Tom Blundell
Maureen Duffy
Baroness Whitaker
Lord Avebury
Richard Herring
Martin Rowson
Tony Hawks
Peter Cave
Diane Munday
Professor Norman MacLean
Professor Sir Harold Kroto
Sir Richard Dalton
Sir David Blatherwick
Michael Rubenstein
Polly Toynbee
Lord O'Neill
Dan Snow

I have a feeling the days when we were expected to defer to the views of Radio 4 "comedians", television presenters, science fiction writers, maths lecturers, Guardian columnists and quangocrats are well and truly behind us. Thank God!


  1. Wot - no comments ! Fuckin hilarious. Am tellin all me mates. Mrs. Trellis, Colwyn Bay.

  2. Stephen Fry and Eddie Izzard didn't sign?! Was it their day off?

    1. Far too B-list for such eminent lovey A-listers