There is something endearing about a national culture which does not just tolerate, but celebrates eccentricity. For our money it is one of the attractions of the United Kingdom. Yes, we acknowledge the UK is in a kind of death spiral; only radical changes in the polity will allow its survival as the UK we have known.
But vestiges of former greatness remain. Take, for example, the irascible Duke of Edinburgh who, amongst other diverting behaviours, has had the temerity to scorn, mock and deride wind power. According to His Royal Highness, wind power is a stupid crock. So much for respecting current PC wisdom. Not to mention, of course, his son Charles, who reportedly talks to plants. And then there are delightful characters like Jeremy Clarkson and his colleagues.
Clarkson is a publishing and broadcasting phenomenon.
He has made his mark by an unceasing verbal roasting of sub-standard cars, global warming mythology, and political correctness. The biggest hoot of all is that the BBC--the most politically correct broadcaster yet to inflict itself upon mankind--has been forced by commercial reality to continue carrying Clarkson's eccentricities. He had become too valuable to can.
One of the best defences of civil freedom is a healthy dose of daily laughter at the inanities of politicians and bureaucrats who persist in attempts to ram their received elitist paternalistic wisdom down everybody's throat. The UK is blessed to have a number of such defenders of civic freedom.
One icon we have particularly enjoyed over the years is the Hairy Bikers. Most of what they represent is a poke in the eye of politically correct "wisdom". No doubt that contributes not insignificantly to their popularity with much of the general public. We were amused and gratified, therefore, to read in the Guardian that their latest book, The Hairy Dieters has become the latest best seller on Amazon (UK). It has replaced the narcissistically vacuous Shades of Grey. One up for decency and common sense.
Celebrity chefs Si King and Dave Myers's latest title, The Hairy Dieters, has become Amazon.co.uk's number one bestseller after weeks of dominance by EL James' bestselling erotica trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey. The book, which accompanies a BBC2 television series watched by more than 2.5m people, describes how the pair "lost almost six stone between them", detailing a range of "tasty recipes that are low in calories and big on flavour".Good on them. To all eccentrics we say, "Live long, and prosper."
"We've always known our food is sexy but this is mad," said the Bikers. "Sex may be important but the way to a nation's heart is still through its stomach. We're delighted and thrilled that people have taken the programme in the spirit in which it was intended. You can still have a pint and enjoy your food."