This evening I was on the panel for the recording of the Radio 4 show Heresy
with Su Perkins, Peter Bradshaw and David ¬ďThat¬ís You That Is¬Ē Baddiel as the host (it¬ís broadcast on Wednesday at 6.30pm if you want to hear it). It¬ís a good idea for a show where David suggests a subject that is a received piece of wisdom and the panel and the audience discuss whether it¬ís actually true or not. As a panel member you are really encouraged to go against the received opinion, which is an interesting exercise and not unlike some of the things that I have been experimenting with stand up. One of the subjects was ¬ďWas Margaret Thatcher a bad thing?¬Ē which when I was told about it I thought, ¬ďThere¬ís no way that I can argue the opposite of that.¬Ē But actually it was very enlightening to be forced to think about why Thatcher is just seen as a pariah and how readily I just accept that as a fact. So as well as being a challenge to think of good things she did, it was good to challenge my own beliefs and work out why I thought them. It¬ís certainly possible to argue that she modernised the British economy which although tough at the time has had a positive impact on the way that we live today. Life is certainly generally more comfortable and our choices more diverse than they were in the Seventies, but whether this is solely due to Thatch or whether it¬ís down to technological advances that would have happened without her is debatable. I did at least get to say in this section that I would have preferred it if Ben Elton had collaborated with the Nazis than with Andrew Lloyd Webber, which I almost do believe. I think I still hate Thatcher, but with the passage of time I have more sympathy for her. To read on the internet about her decline into Alzheimer¬ís and the fact that she can no longer read a book as she can¬ít remember the beginning of a sentence by the time she is at the end of it made me a little sad, whereas I think five years ago I would have cheered with joy. It¬ís weird to think of this once proud and powerful figure as a weak and feeble-minded old lady and I suppose that makes us consider our own frailty. It doesn¬ít feel that long ago that she was the Prime Minister (it¬ís 15 years amazingly enough), but she left such an indelible mark and stain on our lives that her influence creeps further than it might have done. She did at least snatch school milk, which for me was a good thing, as I hated having to drink milk at school (though David said some people are blaming that decision on the Wayne Rooney injury as the bones of his generation are not as strong due to the lack of that compulsory calcium. Good that Thatcher can be blamed for that).
We also had to discuss whether children really are the most important thing in the world, which was fun to argue against. I argued that if there were no children, then there would be no paedophiles and we would thus overnight rid the world of the most hated and evil section of society. I hate paedophiles so much that I would actually countenance the (loving and painless) execution of all children in order to put a stop to the fiddlers disgusting work. I think any right thinking person would have to agree with me on that.
Personally I hate all children, making the polar opposite of a paedophile. So if a paedophile is the worst kind of person and I am the opposite of a paedophile then surely I am the best kind of person and should be lauded and celebrated for my child hating work. Yet society that hypocritical coquette, treats me, the hater of children as being almost as bad as the paedophile, the literal liker of children. Where¬ís the justice? It¬ís interesting how weak the word paedophile is for what it actually describes isn¬ít it? Someone who has sex with children is a paedophile, but the -phile suffix is usually such a positive thing. I¬ím a Bibliophile, I like books
I¬ím a Francophile, I love all things French (especially the apple of the ground thing)
I¬ím a paedophile, I rape children.
There must be a better word for that.
Most of this isn¬ít in the actual show (and there¬ís a good chance that even the bits that were might get cut) but do tune in. As long as you can cope with heretical views. Which I am sure you can.