Now that we stay in a Kingdom of Dunces, crises have develop into regular

Well, yes, it is good in a way to see the former Post Office chief Paula Vennells publicly exposed for failing to notice or reverse the miserable injustice her organisation visited on innocent sub-postmasters. 

It is good to see something done at last about the revolting risks taken with NHS patients, by the use of tainted blood which should never have been allowed into this country. But how much better off are we?

I am sure there are plenty of other similar scandals, of injustice combined with incompetence made worse by complacency, rumbling along, some only just beginning. One very much in the making is the steady abolition of cash in our society.

This is simply bound to lead to misery and catastrophe. I wish someone in authority would grasp this. So many businesses now announce that they will not take money any more. If you say this early enough in any transaction, you can get round the normal rules about legal tender. Sooner or later, cash will become unusable.

If you have any, you will have to hand it in or lose it. All the money individuals possess will exist only in some digital limbo.

Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells leaves the inquiry last week flanked by police officers

Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells leaves the inquiry last week flanked by police officers

The Post Office’s Horizon system made up terrifying lies about blameless individuals. Can you imagine the pit of doom into which the cashless society might drag you, or anyone? Can you imagine the decades which will pass before anyone in authority admits they were wrong, and the extra decades before they pay you much too little to compensate you?

But this is just an example. The real problem is that our society is no longer run by intelligent or serious people. This is a dogma-driven Kingdom of Dunces, increasingly like the old Soviet Union which we claim to despise.

Promotion comes to those who fulfil quotas or mouth the slogans of the Red-Green state. Or both. Since our schools were wrecked 60 years ago, there is no longer a hard core of first-class minds, properly trained in their skills, who can stand up to stupid or wrong decisions.

Paula became tearful while she gave evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry as it assesses governance, redress and how the Post Office responded to the scandal

Paula became tearful while she gave evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry as it assesses governance, redress and how the Post Office responded to the scandal

Our warships conk out. We survive by importing electricity. Our Army is sent into combat with useless equipment. Our transport system is a national joke. Inquiry after inquiry reveals that our Heath Service, far from being the envy of the world, makes far too many promises that it cannot keep and, in many areas of medicine is actually going backwards.

Every so often I argue on this page that some national policy or other is bound to fail. I am almost invariably right. But the elite world has no time for me or similar critics. 

It will go on congratulating itself and awarding itself honours until the awful day we all find that everything we have until now relied on has ceased to function, that we are not a great or powerful or rich country and we must start again from the beginning. That is what the blood scandal and Post Office disgrace really mean.

How long till we can order death pills?

Up and up go the abortion figures. There were 251,377 in England and Wales in 2022. It is perhaps a good thing that pro-abortionists now no longer pretend that they want this procedure to be ‘safe, legal and rare’, and have made it clear that they actually think abortion is an unmixed good thing – so why should it be rare?

You can now get abortion pills by post, after a phone ‘consultation’. Back in the 1960s, when this was still controversial, it was only the crabby old stick-in-the-muds who suggested it might end like this. 

Just as they are the only ones warning against legalisation of ‘assisted dying’. And they are right. How long before that, too, is done by ordering pills by post? All slopes are slippery, if a lot of people slide down them.

Our elite have it all – except some backbone 

There is an easy way to reduce crime, which all modern governments have discovered. You just stop bothering to enforce the law against it, or to record that it is happening at all. Abracadabra! No more shoplifting, burglaries or assaults, muggings or vandalism.

The late Jose Harris, a fine historian, explained it beautifully in the Blair years: ‘If late 20th Century standards of policing and sentencing had been applied in Edwardian Britain, prisons would have been virtually empty; conversely, if Edwardian standards were applied in the 1990s, most of the youth of Britain would be in jail.’ 

There are only two problems with this clever method. First, though figures hide it, non-elite people continue to be robbed, vandalised, mugged and burgled, and besieged in or near their homes or on public transport, by drugged youths – and shops continue to be pillaged.

Second, even our limp, overwhelmed courts and absent police have to show signs of life from time to time. In exasperation, they pluck the occasional criminal from the streets. This is generally after 20 or so crimes that weren’t recorded and a catalogue of unpaid fines. 

So despite the pathetic softness of the system, prisons fill up, sumps of intractable evil, full of men who might once have been deterred by a serious justice system and an active, present police force.

We did it again last week, ‘diverting’ yet more criminals from prison because cells are full. It will not work on any terms. Those ‘spared jail’ will end up there in years to come.

It is astonishing how, as our justice system becomes ever more liberal, numbers in prison grow. But it is easy to put right, if anyone wanted to. They just don’t – lacking the nerve or moral force.

Words matter and last year’s Coronation was the first since at least 1689 to omit the King’s pledge to guard his subjects from evil. At the presentation of the Sword of State to the monarch, he has previously promised to use it ‘for the terror and punishment of evildoers’. Now somebody has taken those words out of the ceremony.

We have an elite which wants high office and big salaries but lacks the backbone to use its power to defend the people.

You can’t cut crime by pretending it’s gone away.