All rise to clap Comrade Corbyn (Minimum 15 Mins)

Someone in the street recently wanted me to open a direct debit for charity. He suddenly raised his hand in front of my face. ‘Well, don’t leave me hanging here,’ he said disconcerted.  He wanted me to strike his palm with my own. A kind of clapping for people with one arm, well he was collecting for the disabled. It’s called a ‘high-five,’ part of the new clapping culture which has arrived from the US, along with mass hugging and men crying in public. It amounts to American style humourless geniality.

Contestants now clap themselves on TV quiz shows, women particularly tend to applaud each other on panel games, even University Challenge. Applause breaks out at weddings, funerals, that started after Princess Diana’s brother gave her eulogy. People who don’t go to church much often begin it by mistake after the sermon. Children must now receive a hearty round of applause for everything they do, from eating broccoli to not swearing at granny.  

This import, which fits well with the arrival of ‘impactful’ as a verb, designed to show how friendly, appreciative and cohesive we all are. Not true of course and in Parliament yesterday it immediately became a weapon of war. During Boris’s first session of PMQs, we were  diverted from the terrible spectacle of Boris Agonistes to see Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Labour MP for Slough since 2017, raging against ‘derogatory, racist and Islamophobic remarks’ in an article by Boris in which he said Muslim women and everyone else can wear whatever they like, even if they look like bank robbers and letter boxes.

‘Racism,’ the turbaned fury screamed, demanding the obligatory ‘apology.’ Dhesi added that he receives racist abuse from Britons thinking he’s a member of the Taliban.  He certainly sounded like one, and mounted a belated, illogical digression which was likely to win beleaguered Boris more support. Despite that the opposition side of the house erupted into a standing ovation which lasted for nearly five minutes. The normally spiteful, acid tongued Speaker later offered them only a very mild rebuke.

Clapping in the Chamber has been banned since the 17th century. A ‘modernisation committee’ set up by Tony Blair in 1978 decided to continue that convention to guard against a practice which, ‘might lead to orchestration of standing ovations with the success or failure of a speech judged by the length of the ovation at the end, disrupting the tenor of the debate, as indeed would slow handclapping.’

That was before the current obsession with inclusivity. If people on the Westminster pavements like clapping, as they probably do, no doubt it will soon arrive in the chamber.

Brian Wheeler a BBC Political Reporter expressed the popular bafflement with tradition:  ‘You can join in with frankly weird displays of mass groaning or that elongated “hear, hear” thing they do,’ he wrote on line, ‘but try joining your party comrades in a sincere appreciation of a point well made in the traditional way and you will have Speaker John Bercow telling you to respect the traditions of the House. But like many other things in Britain’s elasticated, unwritten constitution, the no-clapping convention is there to be broken.’

Unrelated to US style cheerfulness the Left has its own particular clapping tradition. In ‘The Gulag Archipelago,’ Solzhenitsyn recalled how someone toasted Stalin at a Communist Party conference and ‘stormy applause, rising to an ovation,’ broke out.  Stalin wasn’t present but the applause continued regardless. ‘Palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching,’ he wrote, ‘but who would dare be the first to stop?’

If clapped out Corbyn gets in to power in October the age of applause will be fully on us.

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9 Comments on All rise to clap Comrade Corbyn (Minimum 15 Mins)

  1. I was watching PMQ on TV when Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Labour MP for Slough put his “will the prime minister now apologise” question before the house. I wouldn’t say that he actually screamed but he certainly displayed that repulsive socialist righteousness that so blights political discourse. Preaching from the moral highground (a territory reserved exclusively for the Left) he condemned the PM for failing to enact Savid Javid’s impulsive, sentimental and frankly silly promise made to Emily Maitlis and one of her more dubious vox populi guests that the candidates for Conservative leadership would fight tooth and nail to root out Islamaphobia. As brainless an example of virtue-signalling as I have ever seen.

    So, in a more calculated bit of virtue-signalling, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Labour MP for Slough since 2017, has had his moment on TV. With this bit of theatre he will be hoping that his constituents will see him as a bold and righteous man prepared to fight for immigrants against a bigoted white community led by “racist Tory scum”. Job done.

  2. Ah Jane, didn’t you get the latest directive from the Communist Party HQ? Clapping is now regarded as “triggering” and, therefore, comrades show their appreciation by a show of jazz hands (I’m not making this up). As Stalin might have asked – and as Comrade Corbyn will undoubtedly ask, when a non-approved source receives public approbation – “Who organized this mass showing of jazz hands?”

    • The left wing ninny’s enthusiasm for “jazz hands” is quite bizarre. Don’t they realise that this makes them look like stereotypical American negroes from the jazz age? Anyone old enough to remember the BBC’s Black & White Minstrel Show (despised by anti-racists) will recall the regular use of jazz hands in their routines.

      Someone on the left will eventually realise that this is grand opportunity for a display of moral outrage. I guess that the time is not right at the moment.

  3. You could say of such people at one time – “They are seeking their five minutes of fame” – Now such contrived outrage is routine, this was almost Vaudeville in its clownish predictability.

  4. Jane, if you thought that applause was “nearly five minutes, your boyfriend must be a hell of a persuasive liar.

    Boris might defend racist comments by pointing out he said people should be allowed to wear whatever they want (what an amazing suggestion, by the way; only a fascist sound think otherwise), but we know he is a racist and a liar, and he and his pathetic crowd will be history next month.

    • You really will have to sit on the naughty step. While there, consult a dictionary and be glad that Tories do not readily sue for libel.
      Racism is disparaging someone because of their supposed race, or the belief that race is a reliable guide to other characteristics, usually negative ones.
      Islam is a religion not a race – though founded by a racist who claimed to be white and regarded black people (‘raisin heads’ was the term he used) as having the appearance of Satan. (If Satan is still around he’ll be Labour or Libdem so maybe you’ve met him.)
      Boris was too generous to hijab wearers. What do you think the women of Iran think about it. Several are serving 16 years for refusing to wear the garment. the female lawyer who defended them got 38 years and 148 lashes. Female prisoners are regularly ‘married’ for as long as it takes to rape them and then divorced. This is especially necessary for those about to be hanged as Islam, such a lovely faith, forbids the execution of virgins.

      Another point. There are many vets who have lost limbs while trying to civilise such ratholes as Afghan. How do you think they feel when they see men and women in their home country wearing the same gear favoured by the bestialTaliban?

    • Speaking of pathetic crowds, that intense socialist fun-run laughingly called “The Labour Party” is already out campaigning for the next general election in my neighbourhood – those eager activists just couldn’t wait.

      A group of terribly posh young girls were handing out promotional leaflets. Judging by the photo and accompanying “pledges” it looks as though the next “Labour” candidate in my area will be a terribly posh young girl (with the full set of contemporary socialist priorities, natch).

      If you think that the current crop of MPs are a sorry bunch get ready for worse to come. The most shallow, badly educated and trivial minded generation in history are pouring out of our universities into politics and the media. The world as they see it is full of fascists, racists, sexists, bloated capitalists, climate change deniers and populist demagogues. A cultural revolution will be the only remedy they can imagine.

      I presume, Attlee, that will be your remedy of choice as well. Be careful what you wish for – the fascists started out as socialists. Ideologies need to be enforced. Persuasion is never enough.

      • Excellent para 3.
        But twas ever thus??
        Here’s Adam Smith some time after a spell at Oxford in 1746: (English universities) ‘were sanctuaries in which exploded systems and obsolete prejudices found shelter and protection after they had been hunted out of every other corner of the world.’

      • I’m reading Denis Rasmussen’s Infidel and the Professor on Hume and Smith and have come across this.
        Smith in a letter: It would be his own fault if anyone were to injure his health by excessive study at Oxford, our only business here being to pray twice and day and to lecture twice a week.

        This has come round again and is one reason the young have so much time to waste and so much disappointment in the menu before them that comes out in their senseless desperate protests. They are really protesting at the contempt our universities have for them.

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