John Cleese was already one of my heroes before last week, but the fantastic way he exposed woke obsessiveness as the selective censorship it really is and made the president of the Cambridge Union eat his words was the stuff of legend.
It deserves to be spoken of in hushed, reverent tones around college grounds, in punts on the Cam and in rugby scrums for centuries to come – the day Kier Bradwell was handed his own self righteous ass on a plate.
Oxbridge has a long tradition of lively debates with guest speakers and on November 4 art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon took part in a discussion at Cambridge on the concept of good taste, during which, to make a point, he impersonated Adolf Hitler – something Mr Bradwell claims offended members.
He went on to say: “We will create a blacklist of speakers never to be invited back, and we will share it with other unions too. Andrew will be on that list,” which goes against the Cambridge Union’s purpose, to promote free speech through discussion.
Enter Mr Teabag from the Ministry for Silly Walks, Norwegian Blue owner, cheese connoisseur, Tim the Enchanter, John Cleese to expose the hypocrisy of the situation.
Booked himself to appear at the Cambridge Union, the former Downing College law student and Footlights member cancelled his scheduled talk, saying he was blacklisting himself “before someone else does” as he had previously impersonated Hitler on Monty Python.
The 82-year old comedy titan omitted to mention his legendary dining room scene in the Fawlty Towers episode The Germans, but the withdrawal of such a high profile figure (and old boy) obviously sent a French Taunter-like fart in the general direction of the pompous swots, future Spectator editors and aspiring cabinet ministers, prompting a screeching U-turn worthy of the present government in which Mr Bradwell claimed that there was no blacklist, adding that speakers may say what they wish in the chamber, and that nothing they say will put them on a list of any sort.
In a feeble effort to save face he admitted that he misspoke yet still insisted that he would recommend to his successor in December that Mr Graham-Dixon should not be invited back to speak at the union.
So they should probably forget about inviting Mel Brooks, Taika Waititi, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Ian McKellern, Seth MacFarlane, Sarah Silverman and many others who have portrayed or impersonated Hitler.
Hardly the bastion of free speech it claims to be then.
When I was growing up milk was delivered in glass bottles by a guy in an electric vehicle and the empties would be placed on the doorstep for him to pick up. Pop was also in bottles which would be returned for small change.
Groceries were either put into paper bags or loose into fabric shopping trolleys.
Of course, cows still farted methane into the atmosphere, but if not exactly socially acceptable, it was part of the deal if we wanted that milk and a nice Sunday roast.
My generation and the one before it developed the technology demanded by a marketplace driven by the very people who now accuse us of destroying the planet.
As Greta Thunberg is travelling by pedalo to the next climate summit she should maybe consider that before pointing the finger.
The Blah Blah, as she calls it, comes from the world’s worst for carbon emissions – India because they see coal as vital to their development into s world power, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there won’t be a world left to be a power in; then Russia, the US and China, whose rulers’ plans rely on the continued existence of a third world to exploit.
Stupid TV quiz answers of the week:
Q: What does the F stand for in IVF?
Q: William Holden was best man at which future president’s wedding?
A: Bernie Sanders
Q: Which Beatles are credited with writing the song Can’t Buy Me Love?
A: John and Ringo?