Let’s face it, the planet is in an unholy mess. To be fair, it did not look much better 12 months ago when that posturing prima donna, Donald Trump, was turfed out of office with the worst possible grace. Capitol Hill was invaded by a mob of his fanatical supporters with fatal results.
It was no advertisement for the Western way of life and, sadly, Joe Biden has done little to improve it. We may be spared Trump’s government by Twitter and White House officials are not resigning or being slung out every other day, but there is not much evidence of leadership.
The overriding impression is of an old man, bordering on senility, out of his depth and unable to control his own party in government. Worse still, from the British point of view, he seems partial of the EU and therefore hostile to Brexit, with Irish Republican hang-ups.
Meanwhile, Russia and China exploit the vacuum of Western leadership with threats to the Ukraine and Taiwan. It may be argued that Vladimir Putin’s intervention in the Kazakhstan uprising is a token of his determination to oppose Chinese expansion into – or influence in – the old Soviet empire. In other words, the two Commies are wary of each other.
If that is so, it is an uncovenanted bonus for the West. China has increasingly emerged over the past year as a nation bent on taking over the world by stealth – Taiwan apart – whereas Putin’s Russia is more oriented towards military conquest. Hence the 100,000 troops massed on the Ukraine border.
Leave aside spying, we now see that China has for years been buying up the world by financing major projects which put individual nations in hock to Beijing and tapping into academic research and strategic businesses. No one knows the extent of this, so why isn’t the Foreign Office calling on the Commonwealth to establish authoritatively the extent of China’s attempted colonisation? I fear it would not be a pretty sight.
One of the bonuses of such an honest appraisal would be to pour ridicule on those hypocrites in the West who are determined to re-write our history by eliminating references to slavery and colonialism. It would underline the enslavement of Hong Kong, entirely at odds with the hand-over treaty of 1997, to the totalitarian dictates of mainland China.
We might also inquire how many languishing in Russian gulags and labour camps are real villains or just dissidents. This raises the question as to what the West has been doing, apart from wrestling with coronavirus, while the Communist threat grows? Wherever you look, it is preoccupied with relative trivia when weighed against the need for unity of purpose in the free world.
The EU is leaderless with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, increasingly preposterous in his election plight and Germany’s new Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, a prisoner of a coalition likely only to put the EU’s gas supplies at the mercy Putin.
Which brings me to Britain’s Boris Johnson, the only hope for Western leadership. Westminster is fixated on how long he will last, not because of some major policy failure but because of No 10’s propensity for partying – or should I say gathering – in its garden during Government-imposed Covid restrictions.
It is, I fear, just the sort of scrape Boris could be expected to get into with his cavalier approach to government. He seems oblivious to the impact on ordinary voters of evidence of one rule for the elite and another for the plebs.
But it is still relatively trivial compared to the current risks to Western freedom, not to mention all our domestic financial, economic, social and attitudinal problems.
In the midst of all this – and the Duke of York crisis – we find civil servants banned from using the offensive term “Brexit”. Microsoft is introducing an “inclusive checker” to warn me if my writing is liable to offend the sensitive.
And as a ginger nut – still – I find it incredible that Equalities and Human Rights UK claims that worldwide discrimination against redheads is “particularly acute” in the UK. Not that I have noticed over the last 80 years. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns! Is this Great Britain any more? God save us.
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app, receive exclusive members-only offers and access to all premium content and columns. Click here to subscribe.