Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Corruption incarnate


On Sunday I caught about one minute of a radio programme featuring the English writer John Mortimer (1923-2009) - in which he was speaking about his life to a sycophantic audience; emanating a smug self-satisfaction so powerful that it came out into the kitchen from the speaker and grabbed me by the throat.

In the space a about 30 seconds Mortimer talked about joining the Communist Party as a young Oxford student (during world war two, after the Nazi-Soviet pact), which got an indulgent laugh; then described how (as a lawyer) he had found most murderers to be decent chaps - implicitly by comparison with respectable people, such as those who supported punishing them.

And I realised that here was successful, talented decadence incarnate.


Just look at the life:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mortimer ...

Upper class decadent through-and-through, from the elite schooling, through the Communism and fellow-travelling socialism, the 'anti-establishment' posturing, self-indulgence and ostentation, the adultery and dishonesty, right up to the CBE and knighthood. A hedonistic, selfish, greedy, bloated, irresponsible rake. And yet, throughout all this, a colossal sense of moral superiority! This combination is the unique triumph of Leftsim - no wonder it is so popular among the elites!


Mortimer was a very talented writer - at least, his creation of Rumpole of the Bailey seemed to me (as a late teen) an excellent example of the comic novel genre, and it worked particularly well on TV.

Yet now I find it undreadable and unwatchable because the undercurrent of moral inversion, of subversive, hedonic, Leftist propaganda.

The Rumpole series is (I now believe) evil by intent; but skilfully coated in sugar - cozy traditionalism and earthy humour.


The situation can be summarised in these terms: Sir John Mortimer was one of the prime architects of a climate in which it is edgily-admirable and sophisticatedly-amusing to express admiration for Communists, convicted murderers and deliberate obscenity; and in which anti-Communism is regarded with great suspicion, anyone who publicly criticises murderers and lawbreakers is seen as being fanatical and offensive, and to be revolted by obscenity is despised as a lower middle class trait: boring, weak, timid and anti-cultural.

And now the likes of JM rule the public world!



Proph said...

And now, barring some kind of unpublished repentance and conversion (unlikely), he is in Hell, where God, in His infinite love, mercy, and goodness, will not permit him to continue suffering under the delusion that evil can triumph over good for long.

bgc said...

@Proph - well, I don't know about that . But - thinking back on your piece on comedy - I find it horrifying how much talent went into the promotion of the anti-Good over the past half century. Really smart, clever, funny, charismatic, skilled people made it their life's work to permeate the culture with Leftism, atheism, moral inversion, ugliness, untruth, relativism/ nihilism, hedonism and so on...

dearieme said...

He really was a loathsome Mr Smug.

JP said...

I find the Rumpole stories annoying because they are so transparently a vehicle for transmitting the political views of the author. I don't like such stories when I agree with the political views being transmitted, but I really detest such stories when the political views are as odious as those of Mortimer. It is particularly annoying when the author makes the characters who hold his favored views intelligent and sympathetic, and the characters who hold the opposing views stupid and unsympathetic. In Rumpole, the prosecutors, the judges, and the police are reactionary blockheads dedicated to the vicious pursuit of putting the poor and unfortunate in horrid prisons. As a reader, I hate being railroaded like that.

The persistent theme in the Rumpole stories that there is nobody who truly deserves to be in prison is simply insane. Civilization is impossible without prisons - or without Churches, yet that is exactly where PC is taking us (no prisons and no Churches).

bgc said...

@JP - I entirely agree with you now, but I have to admit I was completely 'taken in' by Rumpole as a youth. Perhaps becayse he was played by the actor Leo McKern who was one of my favourites. e.g. McKern played Socrates in a wonderful radio dramatization of The Apology, and also the lead role in a TV production of Ibsen's Master Builder which made a big impression on me at the time; .

He was a great 'character actor' - which means a great *actor*, but one that was never a 'star' - I bracket him with Freddie Jones.