Last Days of the Asylum?


“A boy without a winkle? God be praised, it’s a miracle,” Nurse exclaimed joyfully as she remembered the birth of Queen Elizabeth in Blackadder II.

She then added “and then Sir Thomas More pointed out that a boy without a winkle is a girl. And everyone was really disappointed”.

Bells, the first episode of Blackadder II, aired on the BBC in January 1986 after the watershed.

No one took offence; all giggled.

In 1986, a boy without a winkle was a girl – it was self-evident and therein the comedy existed.

By 2022, comedy transitioned from the realm of fiction to a 24/7 live, reality TV-type, show.

Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, the writers of the Blackadder series, have gradually been replaced by ad-libbing politicians, corporate leaders, bureaucrats and academics. 

For instance, taking on the role of “Nurse”, Stella Creasy of the Labour Party and MP for Walthamstow, said in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph: “Sometimes you have to break cover and be controversial”. 

Do I think some women were born with penises? Yes” she said assertively.

“They are now women and I respect that.”

She couldn’t see eye to eye with J.K. Rowling, the author of the very successful Harry Potter series.

Stella Creasy added, “I don’t agree with her”, adding J.K. Rowling “doesn’t support self-identification” – whatever that might mean.

Stella is in good company.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, in a more discreet, not to say bumbling way, is of the same opinion.

When interviewed on the BBC by Andrew Marr, Sir Keir said it is “not right” to say only women have a cervix and it is something that “should not be said”.

The Oxford Dictionary seems to disagree – for the moment at least.

Indeed, the definition for a cervix is “the narrow passage at the opening of the womb of a woman.”

Both cannot be right. Either science is right or Sir Keir Starmer along with those who purport to hold the same view are.

Having heard a great deal over the last two years about the imperative of believing and following “the science” when it came to viruses, it is odd that our leaders are asking us to ignore it along with millennia of primary and secondary evidence in the narrow field of gender attribution.

It would be a great relief if we could count on the Sir Thomas More of Blackadder to point out that “a boy without a winkle is a girl”, risk to “disappoint” everyone and move on to more interesting pastures.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like we can. It would be one thing if it was only the Loony Left who supported that view. But it isn’t.

In politics, Carrie Johnson, wife of our current “Conservative” Prime Minister and residing at Number 10 Downing Street, called herself an ally of the Trans community.

Calling oneself an “ally” in this context is to reveal one’s position as someone who definitely is not conservative in any real sense of the word.

But then again, what do words mean nowadays? Or at least, what do our leaders think words mean?

If a woman can have a penis and a man can have a cervix, a supposed Tory can have Marxist views.

The Marxist, oddly, always remains a Marxist regardless of his vision’s many failures; the harm done to others and society at large; or the violence used to force an earthly utopia on the non-believers.

Every single institution of the state, along with corporates and universities, has now been fully permeated by this erroneous political novelty.

The notion that men and women are defined biologically has now become a heresy in elevated circles to which most of us do not belong.

On its own, this comedic notion would be odd enough.

Were our leaders competent, and would we think much less of our children than most of us do, this kind of distraction would be seen as the untethered mumblings of geniuses, who muse on physical impossibilities in their spare time for a lark.

However, our leaders are revealing themselves to be increasingly taken over by events in the real world. Their competence seems limited to re-arranging the deck chairs on the sinking Ship of State.

Recently, Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England Governor, while prognosticating the end of the world a few weeks ago, told us that his organisation was helpless in the face surging inflation.

Fighting to keep the Pound Sterling credible is the only job of the Bank of England. However, the staff had time to focus on redesigning its website to make the institution appear more “inclusive”.

Not to be Left behind, The Royal Mint released a 50p coin to celebrate the LGBT community in May this year. 

A greater gap between the real world and our distracted leadership cast cannot have been witnessed since the sacking of Rome in 410 AD.

Some politicians, such as Jacob Rees Mogg, are clear enough to remind us that the basics do matter. When asked on radio whether a woman can have a penis, he just said “no”.

The caller, a Labour supporter as it happens, was kind enough to say that she hated everything that Jacob Rees Mogg stood for, but on this one issue she was in full agreement. She added that she would find it difficult to vote Labour in future given Sir Keir Starmer’s ambiguous response to a similar question late last year.  

Some comedians, such as Ricky Gervais find the right notes when lambasting the accelerated march towards institutionalised reality-denial.

In Super Nature, his latest Netflix comedy skit, he brings out the absurdity of our leaders’ chosen direction of travel.

Old fashion women, “you know, the ones with wombs… those f***ing dinosaurs”, he says, adding “I love the new women… you know the ones with beards and c**ks”.

The audience laughed like it was 1986, no one present complained.

The clarity from Jacob is welcome; the jokes from Ricky heart-warming.

However given the intensity of this latest crusade against men and women, there is a sense that these two are the 21st Century equivalent of quixotic Cavaliers; officialdom, on the other side, the Roundheads.

The New-Cromwellians, as did their forefathers, seem poised to usher in decades of joylessness.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon is observable not just here in the United Kingdom but across the Western World.

And as the new crusaders set about crushing intellectual rebels and imposing an unhinged orthodoxy here at home, the West will shrink increasingly into impotence.

The real world is catching up on them fast. And unfortunately for us, they have commandeered the Ship and we have nowhere else to go.

Alex Story is Head of Business Development at a City broker working with Hedge Funds and other financial institutions. He stood for parliament in 2005, 2010 and 2015. In 2016, he won the right to represent Yorkshire & the Humber in the European Parliament. He didn’t take the seat.