What links MPs, public executions, native Americans and the Cornish?

Tory or turkey?

Wasn’t it an interesting election night? I had visitors staying, so I gave up my caravan and removed myself to my second home – the back of my van – where I ate cold chips and monitored general developments closely until I fell asleep. This morning, on checking for news, I was greeted by a photograph of the now former MP, Jane Ellison sporting the thousand-yard-stare of a turkey about to be guillotined. Which brings me to my first point, which is that as a fellow human being, you have to feel at least a bit sorry for MPs.

I think general election nights are the closest we in Britain come, to the revolting spectacle of public execution. Can you think of another scenario in which people are hauled before the baying mob to hear their fate? (OK, ignore X-Factor – who cares whether you can sing). It must be an excruciating experience for the losers. “You Jane Ellison, have been publicly fired, your career severed at the neck. May the Lord have mercy upon your miserable spin.”

Well she, and many others are gonners, others have taken their places, self-basting in the butter of public support…for now, because as we all know, summer goslings are Xmas’ geese. Which brings me to our native American friends.

The Lakota people

Former Tory MP, Jane Ellison

Imagine getting all annoyed at being called an Indian, even though you’re not from India, only to be called native American, when to you, it’s not even America?? I got this from a book – Neither Dog nor Wolf by Christopher Sweeney – very good it is too.

These are the paraphrased words of “Dan” of the Lakota people, who’s not bothered by being called an Indian. Point is, he says in Indian culture, a leader is only a leader as long as the people follow him or her; it’s the organic organising and reorganising of society in response to the specific demands of the day. As soon as people drift off to follow someone else, the previous leader is no longer a leader. To Indians, he says, elections are anathema – who needs to be represented, when everyone represents themselves?

In that culture, you follow someone if they’re good, skillful, wise, etc. – or you don’t. Following that logic, Jeremy Corbyn isn’t a leader because he won the Labour Party leadership – although of course he did – he’s a leader because a lot of people think he’s worth following. Think back to how horrified the establishment were, following his successful leadership bids.

“He can’t be a leader because he’s not a cock.”

Leaders aren’t cocky


Compare that to Theresa May, whose stance on Brexit, and domestic policy could be said to imply: “I’m a cocky Prime Minister. You owe me your vote.”

And suddenly, she’s lost the support of swathes of the population of these islands. Maybe we have more in common with the very sensible first people of the land mass to the far west of Ireland than we might have thought. Turns out Theresa May, may thanks to our political system, remain Prime Minister, but a leader she is no longer.

The Cornish connection

Dan the Lakota says that now Westerners have decided Indians possess a romantic, earthy wisdom, it’s no longer enough that they exterminated almost the entire people, now they want to expropriate the immortal soul of the culture too: They want to be Indian.

That struck a note with me, what with people moving to Cornwall who seem to think that by claiming distant Cornish lineage, it gives them the right to buy second homes here, making biannual visits during which they park their Range Rovers on your feet, and when you ask them to move, wind down their windows, smile patronisingly and pronounce the word “d’recky” with a Home Counties drawl.

I’m annoyed and I’m not even Cornish – though I do sometimes fudge the issue by saying I’m a Westcountry boy. What a hypocrite. Don’t follow me – I don’t know where I’m going.




  1. Gateth said:

    A joy, as always, to read the Falvey wit and wisdom.

    • robinfalvey said:

      Thank you Olde Bean, that’s very kind of you 🙂

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