Kelvin MacKenzie made me leave soot-filled North for gold-plated South
Many years ago, I packed my meagre possessions into a handkerchief and tied that handkerchief onto the end of a stick, which I slung over my shoulder. I bade farewell to my parents, who were surely to die soon from all the coal in their lungs, not acquired through coal mining but through breathing the foul, dank, soot-thick air of the North of England, and I hitched a ride on the first horse towards Preston.
Ahhh, Preston. To think that I once believed Preston to be the South of England. Oh how wrong I was. In Preston, this mainly Catholic “Priest Town”, the rat-people rummaged in the bins of life, half-bent over as they made their way from dole queue to pub, yet still it was cheerier than where I had come from, the north of the north. This was Preston. Where priests begged for mercy from the Satan that is poverty. Where the only religion people clung on to was despair. This was Preston.
But this was not the South. My destination was the hard-working, tax-paying, streets-paved-with-gold South. The South, where they say the temperatures are “slightly warmer” and there are these things called “jobs” where, it was rumoured, you could do a day’s work in exchange for something called “money”. They told us of money in school, of how we’d never get any, or of how to steal some when a southerner made a wrong turn on the M25 and ventured into the north by mistake. They told us of fortunes that could be made “down south”, but warned us not to go there, for fear that we would be racially abused, if not sodomised by those people on the television, or the politicians.
They told us of men like Kelvin MacKenzie, who made his fortune by libelling people from Liverpool, or by working for organisations who hacked into the mobile phones of young girls who had gone missing. They told us that he, only he, could save our fine country from ruin. He was the man to emulate, they told us. For he had money. And a job. He was Golden Kelvin, the man who would lead the crusade for fairness.
I had a picture of Kelvin MacKenzie in my knotted handkerchief. I had slept by that picture since that day in Class 3 when Mrs Cunningham told us about the existence of Kelvin MacKenzie. It was framed, and a little faded, but it inspired me. It inspired me to better myself. To get a job. To pay taxes. But I could only do this in the South. Kelvin MacKenzie brought me southwards, and he was travelling with me, in my handkerchief-on-a-stick.
They told us also of George ‘Gideon’ Osborne, a man with so much love in his heart, a man with so much compassion and caring, that he would look after us all. Gideon and Kelvin were my guiding stars in this solemn voyage southwards.
As I travelled further southwards in search of fortune, not once did I see a car nor did I see a working person who paid taxes. In Wigan, the people were the shape of pies, although God alone knows who made those pies and how they cobbled together the coins that paid for those pies. For there were no jobs. Only poors. As pie-shaped people, they did not need to use their feet, they rolled down the hills of Wigan towards Central Park rugby league stadium in order to cheer on their team of unemployed rugby players. While eating pies.
I travelled even further southwards, through something called “the midlands”, but it was largely forgettable and full of people who looked like Adrian Chiles. Toby jugs. Slightly broken, and mystifyingly popular, but most of all – terrifying. As I shivered on the cold, dank streets of Wolverhampton, looking for a hovel in which to sleep the night, I clung on to my Kelvin MacKenzie photo, whispering to it quietly: “I shall be with you, Kelvin. I shall join your Southern crusade. I shall better myself.”
That night, hallucinating on what I thought was a cup of tea but turned out to be a cup filled with tramp’s piss, I saw the warm, beaming face of Kelvin, looking down at me from the starry sky.
“Live within your means”, he hushed. “Don’t look upon me as another wallet to steal from” said his soothing voice, as I frothed at the mouth and was rushed to another closed A&E, only to be dumped outside and kicked by NHS workers. Kelvin was there with me that night in the seventh circle of hell known as Wolverhampton. Kelvin was always there with me.
I woke up, three months later, with the sun shining on my face. It was Guildford. Ahhh, Guildford. The good people of Guildford, they said, they would look after you. The good people of Guildford, they’re wealth creators and they don’t have the filthy habits of the bad people of Glasgow. They eat salad and drink one glass of red wine at most, no more than that, the good people of Guildford. They create wealth, pay taxes and they don’t have heart attacks like the filthy people of Glasgow.
The good people of Guildford. How beautiful they were. The sun always shone in Guildford. And yet they complained. They complained of the North, those leeches who were taking their tax money and spending it on pies. Ahh, I thought, so that’s how the people of Wigan could afford their pies. That’s how the people of Preston could afford their weekly piece of bread. That’s how the people of Wolverhampton could afford to give me a cup of tramp’s piss.
It was the tax from the good people of Guildford. Kelvin MacKenzie was right all along. The wealth-creators were down here, and the North was just taking it all and pissing it away on pies and soot. The people of Guildford were hard-working, clever and creative – you could see it wherever they went. They were discussing Marx and Engels, they were painting on their iPads, they were planning trips to the moon. The good people of Guildford, they were doing all this AND paying tax so that the people of the North could eat pies.
So Kelvin, Kelvin MacKenzie, you starry-eyed cunt, you libellous, separatist fucker, I fight your fight. Yes, without the hard-working, clever, intelligent people of the South-East, the rest of the country would be Ethiopia. They’re stupid, poor and undeserving, they’re workshy, lazy and a few sandwiches short of a picnic. They’re the shape of pies. They drink tramp’s piss. So leave them. Leave this Ethiopia to choke on its own gristle, for we, the South, are too good for them.