Blue Ticks

BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE

The intense smugness emanating from Twitter Blue Ticks is a scourge for which there seems no cure.

When I say Blue Tick, I don’t mean the people its verification protects – mostly decent folk – I mean the sort who latch their personality onto it like some manky hermit crab scuttling into a beached bottle. A neo-feudal system has emerged with the blue tick acting as a symbol for the high-minded, Brexit-bashing elite. Watch how they cast their scorn onto the lower orders. 

Though it is their stated aim to free minorities from the shackles of bigotry, it’s often the Blue Ticks who we find tightening the locks. Having assessed – and probably assessed correctly – that a truly equal world would be one void of virtue, they act towards social justice as the Luddites did towards machinery, ensuring that progressivism never quite progresses to the point of racial emancipation.

Guided by an unquenchable thirst for virtue, the Blue Tick prowls Twitter in search of minorities to drain of their character while leaving only a pool of their pronouns and insipid characteristics behind.  Just look at how the Blue Ticks appropriated Emma Raducanu’s victory for their own ends, tweeting variations of ‘Hey Brexit voters, did you know Emma Raducanu is an immigrant?’

Honestly, their tweets read like quips too banal and inane even to have made it onto the Mash Report.

Gary Lineker – a man who does little to disabuse us of the notion that footballers aren’t all that bright – posted a newspaper headline about illegal migrants being turned away from our borders paired with a picture of Raducanu, adding: ‘Oh, the irony’.

‘When they’re white, the Express loves immigrants’, serial loser and fox beater Jolyon Maugham somewhat confusingly crowed … before then hurriedly deleting.

‘Bloody immigrants! Coming over here, making it from qualifying to win the US Open without dropping a set.’, ran a searingly original tweet from David Schneider – he to whom masks are a vast improvement and all those that can see would not disagree.

And in all the excitement, James ‘how to be right’ O’Brien somehow managed to get Raducanu’s name hopelessly wrong. One would have thought that during his five years at a major public school he would have learnt how to spell the names of foreigners, who bought and sold his sort – today embarrassed by the mention of his name.

Until now, I had struggled to put my finger on who it was the Blue Ticks reminded me of. I now know it was of one of my old teachers, Mr Betts.  A flawlessly clean-cut sort who looked so Christian that he had to have been a homosexual. I think Christianity is a running theme with these Blue Ticks (note that O’Brien and Shelagh ‘shoot ‘em’ Fogarty are both staunch Catholics). That’s not to say that Christianity hasn’t supplied us with one of the best moral frameworks the world has seen, but Christianity and Progressivism merge the twin horrors of anti-Westernism with the belief that one has an inalienable right to morality.

Mr Betts would often subject us to the sort of lame moralising that I hear now constitutes the bulk of O’Brien’s commercial radio slot. When I was 10 years old, I made the mistake of saying to Mr Betts that a lawyer is a more important profession than a bin man. By important, I clearly meant prestigious, but it was too late, I had bared my neck to the virtue vampire. He drew towards me, manoeuvring himself between the other boys’ desks with a serpentine rhythm. ‘Actually’, his baritone voice began, ‘I find the jobs you just listed as unimportant, Mr Bembridge – cleaners, bin men and sewage workers – to be the most important ones in our society.’ Clearly thinking that to be an utterly profound point, he then slithered back to the other end of the room where he stayed for the duration of the lesson, smirking like a satiated snake.

‘St George was Turkish’; ‘Fish and Chips were created by an Israeli’; ‘the full English breakfast isn’t as “English” as you’d think’ – I can just imagine these tired Blue Tick lines emanating from Mr Betts’ suspiciously glossy lips.

Yes, ‘Betty’ Betts was a Blue Tick before they even existed.

I think the real revulsion towards Blue Ticks comes from their enduring need for praise. Take the recent interview between James O’Brien and Joylon Maugham. Fawning almost to the point of flirtation, failed scholarship boy James O’Brien asked Joylon when it was that he ‘realised he was clever.’

So incestuous is the thinking between these gnomes that the question may as well have been directed at a mirror. Yet, without any hint of irony or embarrassment, Joylon actually had the poor taste to answer – although I’m not sure how edifying an answer it was given that he then went on to ramble about lodging with men who were sexually attracted to him at which point I choked on a Viennese Twirl. I didn’t know the Royal National Institute for the Blind allowed shared lodgings – blind dogs would end up on top of each other, no? Was it his cleverness these men were attracted to? Perhaps it was the kimono?

Scrap the blue ticks. They are the worst kind of ticks. Lunaticks.

James Bembridge is Deputy Editor of Country Squire Magazine.