Friday 26 August 2005

It's all about the oil!

And there was I thinking that the Book Festival hadn't been too controversial, although let's not forget that George Galloway has still to appear. On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings we went to the Visions of America events, expecting them to be filled with Guardian-reading haters of George Bush and all his works. Not so: on both nights we heard balanced discussions from the (American and British) speakers as well as contributions from the (American and British) audiences. But today made up for all of this transatlantic blandness.

We were promised:

A vital investigation into the deep influence of evangelical Christianity on America's far right and domestic and foreign policy - shaped by eighty million born again Christians, among them George W Bush.
Barbara Victor appeared to be your standard-issue leftist Democrat, complete with the full repertoire of anti-Bush prejudices - she did after all work for CBS, like the recently deposed Dan Rather. Ms Victor was however fairly normal as these people go, and even understood that evil must sometimes be confronted.

The real star of the show was Revd Dr Michael S. Northcott BA MA PhD. I was probably in some danger of being thrown out of the event as I struggled to refrain from alternately laughing and booing. The Reverend Doctor could earn good money on the Fringe presenting a parody of the whole statist, tranzi, leftist, self-hating, anti-western mindset. Yes, we got the lot: capitalism, the environment, Bush (both of them in fact), the Shah of Iran, the Palestinians, the Christian "Right" (including Billy Graham), more capitalism, Ronald Reagan, global warming, the blessed Jimmy Carter and on and on and on. We were certainly getting our money's worth. At least Ms Victor said that she had told Arafat to his face that he was a thug. The Rev Dr would have found him to be "indefatigable".

I couldn't possibly have written down everything that was said, but how about these:

(1) Being forced to take off our shoes at US airports is a form of religious ritual described in the Bible.

Nothing to do with Richard Reid then?

(2) The British are more restrained than the Americans because: "We didn't bomb Belfast over the IRA."

One would have thought that a church minister would have known that the majority of Belfast's population are pro the union and against the IRA.

(3) The US imports 60% of its oil from the Middle East and that explains the war on Iraq. Mutterings of agreement from the audience except from yours truly who shouts: "rubbish". The actual numbers are these:

Imports from the Persian Gulf: 14% of consumption
Imports from elsewhere: 49% of consumption
Domestic production: 37% of consumption.

(4) The American media is in the hands of the Republicans!
I don't suppose that the Reverend Doctor has read this? No, probably not.
And that's only part of it. I imagine Mr Galloway will put on a bit of a show on Monday. I'll be reporting on his performance.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Bravo David! Glad you're standing up for Truth against the radicalised left.  
This American appreciates it!

27 August 2005, 01:20:17 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply

Thanks for shouting "rubbish" at that often stated claim of America's complete reliance on Middle East oil. Doubtless you received a few stares from the brainwashed around you.  
On one of his lucrative lecture tours, I had a go at Tony Benn when he spouted sh&te. I now know it takes some guts to just make a comment in that environment so well done. 
Looking forward to your report on Monday's proceedings.

26 August 2005, 21:04:50 GMT+01:00