Teenage Kicks

The cricketer Ollie Robinson has been yanked out of his England debut because of some boundary-breaching, turdist tweets that he had posted a decade ago.

At worst it was throwaway bravado or attempts at humour through extreme shock value, and to be fair, I’ve heard worse from your average grim gaggle of giggling girlies in the local.

However, any mention of -ism and that is a big old bandwagon waiting with hordes of people-pleasing invertebrates on hand to pipe the witless activist drones aboard.

And it’s fair to say that the cricketer’s material covered a fair amount of the -ism field. In fact, such was the range of targets, it would be difficult to imagine any individual actually holding deeply held views on all of the themes he, erm, explored. In the hate game, nobody could be that much of an all-rounder, so it did all whiff of big stuff.

But firstly, let’s turn to the activists who outed the hapless willow-waver. Any moves to eradicate prejudice must be based on education, and that invariably involves learning lessons and self-improvement.

There’s not a sniff of that caper here. This current hullabaloo feels more like a lynching.

Whatever was going through Robinson’s mind at the time he trotted out his literary gems, these were observations made by a teenager who has clearly come a long way since then.

And let’s be unequivocal: he isn’t being punished for anything controversial he has said recently, because he hasn’t put a foot wrong as far as anybody can tell.

In fact, had he been pulled up for this 10 years ago, punished, and had never regurgitated his insights, the powers-that-be would have considered him ‘rehabilitated’.

Had he just not repeated them for a decade, they might reasonably have assumed that he had grown up and in effect had rehabilitated himself.

And that is surely the sweet spot for genuine campaigners on any anti-prejudice ticket and looks to be exactly what has happened.

Happy days.

It seems like he had long since got his act together, if indeed he had even ever gone off the rails in the first place. On a balance of probabilities, he had just at one time gone off on one and spat out all the most outrageous stuff he could think of for a laugh.

It’s what my grandad used to refer to as ‘kid blabber’. Teenage kicks, which are now earning him a right kicking.

In another context, he’d be hosting the Golden Globes or be a team captain on Mock the Week.

But the spin kings smell blood, and they’re going to have some. Who knows where the madness will now end? He certainly won’t be the last one who gets mobbed.

Next up, we’ll be placing comedians under house arrest and pinning piracy raps on Johnny Depp.

You couldn’t make it up, but arguably Robinson’s accusers have. Sure, the tweets are primary evidence of crass language, but the epithets used to describe him have been applied grossly disingenuously, and he’s had his legs cut away for nothing.

If these gobwaffling activists had any integrity, they’d be going in hard on those responsible for systemic inequality, but it’s much easier to ritualise facile gestures and pile onto a sitting duck.

The mouthy social media foghorns have their rants, but they never rock the boat too hard. They’re all themselves assiduously skimming cream from the established order – the salaries, the nice houses, the cars, the prestige, the awards, the entertainment.

How many of them voluntarily revert to the living wage and donate any surplus to their precious causes?

I’ve never met one.

They rinse it, and it goes only one way. The key messages of the so-called causes get drowned out, and all that remains is a skid mark of resentment.

It’s their own special contribution to inequality.

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