Sunday, January 23, 2011


There are good reasons for many people to applaud recent events in Tunisia, a country I'd hitherto thought was no more than a bebop reference:

- The Tunisians have a chance to enjoy their own beaches as mottled Brits flee to Gatwick;

- Leila Trabelsi, the rather fetching former First Lady, will soon tire of Saudi après-ski and relaunch herself onto the international jet trash circuit; and

- Channel 4 News can give unthinking credibility to a whole new phalanx of clerical fascists.

But the happiest desert campers are we brave web bloggers, for one of our one has been thrust from his encrusted bedroom blinking before the twin beams of government.

Slim Amamou used to have mad hair prior to his prison crop, a novelty pipe, excellent name and retro specs. He looked like a Karl Radek tribute act, and now, courtesy of the Tunis Department of Corrections, could pass for a French rapper or London barista. Instead, he's decided to become his country's secretary of state for youth and sport.

Now, cynics among you will rightly dub this portfolio the externally-genitalled equivalent of the Ministry of Children and Tiny Cakes. This is nonetheless a major step forward for the Near and Middle East, where power usually rests with courtesy colonels, delusional god-naggers, demented faux-nomads, retired bouncers and someone else's relatives.

I wish Slim well in persuading young North African men to take an interest in sport, and draw from his success the conclusion that the Bloggers' Time Has Come. From Lake Vyrnwy to the Finland Station, we must set aside our coffee mugs, ironic t-shirts and imaginary girlfriends, and Prepare for Government.

For too long has This Glorious Coalition of Ours ignored my overtures, and I can see why. Unlike the sleek Mr Cameron, I have sacrificed grandeur of gesture on the altar of detailed policy. No more. The Cymru Rouge will shortly dispatch a passenger pigeon to That London with but one word inscribed on its entrails - "Because".

We were sipping lunch in The Tethered Goat the other day. The Dog, stunned by the government's announcement that he had to eat eight "potions" of fruit and veg a day, was struggling to name as many after Dazza had pointed out that "rhubobs" are technically stalks, "just like Daleks' eyes".

Into this bucolic symposium the K Man injected a note of woe. He'd returned from some sort of Approved School reunion, where a young lady of his distant acquaintance, whom he dubbed "bowsome an' sonsie an' bricht", had taken up with a "toaley-heided bampot" on whom the K "wuildnae pish in Knox's fumous fornace".

The K Man's dilemma was how to raise the veil from her delightfully bossed eyes without driving her deeper into the "bawheid's" embrace. "You'd think the government could do something about such manifest injustice," he opined "but as your legal adviser I can tell you there's no provision for separating a beeheidit lassie from a gomerel".

It suddenly came to me. "How about a Law for the Prevention of Unforeseeable Disagreeableness?" I began. "We could call it 'Tam's Law'" - for such was the unsuitable suitor's name.

I explained the workings of my bill. "I gather than any normal person who meets Tam immediately files him under 'Arse: pain, in the', correct? So we lock him up, or whatever, and when Liberty and other human-rights lobbies/Regent St emporia come creeping round, we simply offer to introduce them to their object of concern. Sorted."

I imagined the following exchange in the House of Commons:

Ed Miliband, Friend of the Downtrodden: "Could the Rt Hon Gentleman the Prime Minister please tell the House why Mr Tam Bawheid was taken from his tenement and posted to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as a - and I quote - "go-it-alone one-man-army" - to take on the might of the Taliban, armed only with a Bronski Beat mix tape and a pair of PVC chaps?"

David Cameron, Oily Toff: "Mr Speaker - Bee-CAUSE!" [cheers from HM Govt benches]

Ed Miliband: "Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker, that trivial and dismissive response is typical of a Government that has -"

David Cameron, interrupting: "Would the Rt Hon Gentleman like to visit Mr Bawheid and assess his awfulness for himself?"

Miliband does so, and returns tanned, wiser and with a little less to say about Tam.

The possible applications of Tam's Law are as wide as a Chinaman's grin. How many boiled-beef, common-sense measures that hitherto got tangled in red tape, legal precedent and basic concepts of right and wrong could be settled with a simple, explanatory "because"?

Miliband, again: "The deportation of Imam al-Murjan to Algeria, where Amnesty reports that he has had a new top-up self-circumcision kit tested on his person in a number of frankly outlandish - "

Cameron, majestic: "Be-CAUSE!"

Miliband: "Mick Hucknall, Michael Winner, N-Dubz (except the girl) - how can the Prime Minister really expect us to believe that they volunteered for this alleged Venezuelan shark rodeo?"

Cameron: "I refer the Rt Hon Gentleman to my previous answer, which was Be-CAUSE! And, by the way, your brother's been in touch."

There are some who would compare the scope, intent and implications of my Unforeseeable Disagreeableness Prevention Law to Hitler's Enabling Act of March 1933, by which the Nazis turned the Weimar Republic into something cold, shiny and very fast.

They would have a point if they were dealing with normal politics. But, in a world where bloggers enjoy ministerial privilege, I can accuse them of breach of Godwin's Law - "as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches" - and simply leave it at that.

The objection that a comparison with the Nazis or Hitler is sometimes not only justifiable but unavoidable carries less weight in the vast dormitory that is the Intern Net than being caught holding a meme when the music stops.

Moreover, our cabinet's so blue of blood it could serve as a upended row of curaçao optics at a Vampire Convention, so a simple drawl of "listen, one instinctively knows when something is right" ought to take care of most Radio 4 interviewers and backbench Liberal Democrats.

Indeed, many Liberals, Fabians and environmentalists of a more ruthless bent might find something appealing about no longer having to reason with the irritatingly enfranchised. Although I must insist that there is no provision in my bill for the public immolation of children, athletes or actress just because they can't get excited about global warming.

Just think about it: your daughter's overfamiliar classmates, IT personnel who ask what they can "do you for", the "Question Time" audience. All redeployed usefully elsewhere, like organising a Bach Choir tour of Mogadishu.

And all because.


Gorilla Bananas said...

You can't just leave a Because hanging in the air like that, Boyo. It's an invitation for some clever dickie to say "the lady loves Milk Tray" and get a cheap laugh at your expense. What you're really saying is the powers-that-be should have the right to exile people, which I agree with wholeheartedly. How would Angelsey serve as a British Alcatraz?

No Good Boyo said...

I weas hoping someone would add the Milk Tray line, GB, as that's prima facie deportation material under Tam's law.

Have you ever literally swung by Anglesey? It is the British Alcatraz.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That was Dewi btw - the only password I remember is my cashpoint thing cos it's tattoed on my hand.

No Good Boyo said...

I'm alarmed that you're allowed a bank account, Dewi.

Taffy "Taffhead" Jones said...

It's not in the Welsh tradition to give a one word answer to anything, Boyo. Have the tight-lipped, verbophobic habits of the Engish rubbed off on you and your associates?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

- David

No Good Boyo said...

Dear Taff, I too am underwhelmed by the response, and still have so many anecdotes to recount. Perhaps all of Wales has been preparing for/recovering from St Dwynwen's Day.

Ms Scarlet said...

I am obviously very late to the party [I can't be re-deployed because of that, can I?] and I was going to witter on about Milk Tray... but that's already been done... so I'll just fizzle out then...

No Good Boyo said...

Thank you for the contribution, Scarl. I was worried that this fine post was being ignored in favour of Egypt, the economy etc.