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By Phil Thornton

Iím getting heartily sick of overgrown boy scouts on tv telling me how to survive nettle stings, global warming and nuclear meltdown. If itís not Ray FatBoy Mears showing me how to whittle a piece of elm into a fucking ocean going liner itís former SAS tit, Bear ĎMixedí Grylls (I thought that was a village in Wales) showing me how to catch a narwhal using only a flint and a giant cobweb.  Now thereís a pair of public school whoppers trying to convince us that we too can survive as hunter gatherers if we only know where and when to look for natureís bounty and how to trade mushrooms and eels with local tribesmen from Devon in return for straw, wood and bricks, just like in the three little pigs (the ultimate survivalist fable).; he catches and kills the meat, she gathers herbs and dishes it up. Just as they did in ye goode olde caveman days, when life was a lot simpler and people didnít eat out of microwaved packets and worry about wooly mammoths causing a crash in share prices. Letís not forget former Marine Bruce Parry learning how to drink cow blood and eat monkey brains all in the name of cultural understanding you understand and not cheap, sneering  voyeurism. For all I know Bruce may well be sincere in his pleas for understanding primitive customs and lifestyles yet I doubt many of his viewers are watching in order to contemplate the rich array of anthropological subjects but simply get off on laughing at the silly heathens and their charmingly anachronistic ways. Anyway go buy his book! He's a celebrity junglist get him outa there, all proceeds going to er, the BBC and Bruce 'Down Wid Da Homies' Parry.

As it these toff survivalists werenít a bad enough representation of upper and middle class sanctimony parading as self-sufficiency and philanthropy, now weíve got Michael  Palin touring the former eastern bloc  in his usual imperialist manner. Like all of the Python brigade, Palin is at heart just another reactionary Oxbridge duffer who likes to indulge himself by good natured patronisation of various shades of darkies. He is indicative of the new breed of Empire apologists, for whom the world has been in a terrible state since the useless natives were allowed to govern themselves. Never mind that it was his own classís greed and economic ineptitude that gave us two world wars, no for Palin and his right-wing revisionist pals in tv-history land who are feeding the pathetic, Brit Is Best mentality that has infected the likes of Gordon Brown.

We expect the  Tories to bang the drum for empire and the mythologized, sanitised version of British history but Brown seems to be obsessed with sucking up to the most rabid elements of the Tory press in his desire to woo those all important floating voters. Letís get this right, when and if the planet goes Mad Max on us, whoís gonna be best equipped to get their hands on the necessities of life? Poncey former army officers, dullard M&S hausfraus and pot bellied woggle whoppers or the boyz from the hood trained in the everyday survival skills of day to day life in the projects and council estates? My moneyís not on Ray and crew thatís for sure.




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