Prepare to be bored

24 June 2013

Something very odd is going to happen in your newspapers and on your television screens, perhaps this week, perhaps not. Soon, anyway. It looks likely that poor old Nelson Mandela is on his last legs and will very soon expire. As soon as he does, just you watch. You will hear of nothing else for days. Your morning newspaper, if you still get one, will have a vast pull-out commemorating the man’s life and achievements (all of which you know about). There will be think pieces, stuff by his friends, stuff by his enemies, stuff by people he patted on the head while visiting Brixton. The BBC will have lined up a week’s worth of programming, on his life and times, his country, what black people thought about him, what white people thought about him, what nDubz and Kanye West and Bono thought about him. The funeral will be live for an entire day, and previewed and previewed and previewed.

Add the odd thing is that all of the editors involved in commissioning this stuff know full well that it will bore you.  All of them. They know that the overkill will leave you gasping for air and pleading for mercy. And they know this because they find it boring too. But they will go right ahead and do it nonetheless because…..because in some weird sense they all feel they have to. Just as they will for the Queen, just as they did for Mrs Thatcher (although on the BBC, the programme for Nels will probably have fewer critics). It will not be enough to say: very old critically ill man dies. They feel they MUST bore you out of your senses, and go on doing so, interminably.

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  • rosebery

    How predictably accurate this was. My compassion fatigue set in five minutes after I heard the news, as it interrupted the re-run of that day’s Melvyn Bragg on R4.

  • MikeF

    It’s Saturday and the BBC is going into overdrive with its coverage of Barack Obama’s visit to South Africa. It led the news on the radio this morning and it is heading up its website this evening yet…if you look nothing has actually happened other than formal greetings and speeches in tribute to Nelson Mandela. It is simply a bubble inflated by nothing but the BBC’s perception of itself.

  • Basil Creese Jr

    Goodness… It’s all a bit bigoted on here, isn’t it?

  • StephanieJCW

    Those who aren’t interested can ignore (like my father did with the Royal wedding.)

    Those of us who are interested will watch it.

  • Wilhelm

    Under apartheid, 90 % of the whites paid the taxes, 60% of the taxes went on education and hospitals for blacks. A very harsh system, wasn’t it ?

    Zuma is now building a £17 Million pound palace for himself.–president-spends-17-5million-palace.html

    • Adrian Wainer

      Nelson Mandela is not white and much of the UK MSM is racist against white people and aligned to the Arab racial supremacist Islamist Grand Jihad so the UK MSM by and large will be eager to treat Mandela in his obituaries as if he is a second coming of Jesus with the proviso that Christianity is wrong and Jesus was not God’s only begotten Son, born of the Virgin Mary of Immaculate Conception, was crucified, died on the Cross, was brought back to life and ascended to heaven but was a Muslim Prophet and Messenger as described in the noble Koran. None of that nor the issue that the RoSA is going the way of Rhodesia as it morphed in to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe justifies apartheid. Nor does apartheid justify the destruction of the Rhodesia since Rhodesia was not an apartheid state.

      National Anthem of Rhodesia (1974 – 1979)

      Green Leader

  • Wilhelm

    Since the black Jesus is dying, I think it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the wisdom of Hendrik Verwoerd .

    ” They say they want one man, one vote, but what they really want is a black dictatorship, that is the way of black Africa, a one party state, no man, no vote.”

    Wise words I think you would agree, and hasn’t that happened ? Verwoerd at 15.30

  • Wilhelm


  • Dogsnob

    We need this man to last a little longer. I’ve got him with William Hills for September.

  • ProffessorPlum

    “Prepare to be bored”

    Are you going to write a book?

    Besides that, you do make one good point Rod.

    “The BBC will have lined up a week’s worth of programming,”

    Last week, when an ex French foreign ambassador claimed that Britain had started planning the otherthrow of Assad two years ago, and the UN issued a report on Israel breaches of international war, the BBC ran a story about some sporting craze in Israeli where the players bang balls against a wall.

    Which sttory would you have found more interesting?

  • sunnydayrider

    If he’s going to fall off his perch, lets hope he does the decent thing and does it before The Ashes starts.

  • timinsingapore

    I’m bored already. I’m quite prepared to acknowledge NM’s stature as a human being. But they should let the old chap get on and die in peace and dignity.

    The most grindingly tedious and self-promoting responses will come from those in the ‘music industry’. It will only take a few microseconds for Hahllywood to get on the band-wagon.

  • Geoff

    Where’s Eddie gone?

    • It

      Probably to where all the missing socks go.

      • ArchiePonsonby

        It’s common knowledge that missing socks turn into wire clothes hangers, at least in our house!

        • It


  • edlancey

    I plan on commemorating him by burning a rubber tyre in my back garden

  • Daniel Maris

    He was undoubtedly a great man, but he’s not our leader and the coverage has already been absurdly overblown.

    We also need to have a bit more warts coverage…

    • Wilhelm

      Maris ”He was undoubtedly a great man,”

      You sad poor deluded fool, what exactly has he done ? Hitler built the autobahns, Mussolini got the trains running on time, even Caligula built a viaduct, Mandela , nothing.

  • Augustus

    He will be remembered as some godly peacemaker and freedom fighter, but he was really just another plain vanilla terrorist. And as head of the armed wing of the ANC he had a lot of blood on his hands. The media would like us to believe that the whites, when they set foot in this land, didn’t find a primitive wilderness, which they did, but a thriving, harmonious and settled black peoples community. And that these ‘racists’ had no other purpose but to rob a peaceful indigenous ‘ community of their wealth, and then cruelly to submit them to slavery. In the new South Africa many street, an airport and a dam were stripped of their titled association with Hendrik Verwoerd, Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until 1966. This petty exercise in meanness, however, cannot hide the sharp contrast between Mandela and Verwoerd: Under the leadership of the one, a country on the rise; under legacy of the other; crime, abuse of power, broken promises, mismanagement and white genocide.

    • Wilhelm

      South Africa , a Warning to America

      • Augustus

        Yes, interesting. What makes our European betrayal of the SA whites even more contemptible is the total lack of retrospective remorse. A European ethnic farming culture simply kicked in the dust (the same with Rhodesia). And nobody today even questions such shameful behaviour. It’s not just a question of being bored by the imminent beatification and glorification of this individual, but wanting to have no part in it whatsoever for honourable and ethical reasons.

  • John Steadman

    I wrote a post earlier in which I suggested that the latest revelations in the Stephen Lawrence case might provide us with equal boredom as reports on the possible imminent demise of Mandela. I made no judgement as to the validity of the allegations against the Met police – which, anyhow, as far as I know, is not yet a matter of sub-judice – but it is heartening to know that the Spectator is maintaining a firm stance on freedom expression.

  • Baron

    It was years ago, the man still breathing well, when the tedium of his beatification began. The next stage of it we’re about to enter soon is his ascension to the place reserved for the gods of the left leaning phylum. One would expect some gearing up in the press, and one shouldn’t begrudge the pseudo-liberal tossers the limelight, what else is there for them to celebrate.

  • blindsticks

    Didn’t Nick Griffin get all the opprobrium recently for his ‘sick’
    Mandela tweets. Inverted commas -though undoubtedly he was –
    is – a sick old man. Nothing like disrespecting one of the
    saintly black fellows to piss off the pinkoes. Never mind
    their lack of coverage over the disgusting Thatcher ‘death
    parties’.Now Can you imagine anyone doing the like when Nelson is gone and
    getting away with it. What – ? You only have to look back at the
    Fabrice Muamba travesty.

  • ArchiePonsonby

    I said exactly the same thing to my better half not two weeks since. I’m bored already, never having been a fan in the first place!

  • Hexhamgeezer

    There will be some cat-fight at the Beeb over which news ‘person’ will be granted the career inflating honour of announcing ‘The Passing’. Each will be demonstrating to editors their lachrymose abilities. Perhaps they could disinter the lady would cried as she watched the ‘great’ Yasser Arafat depart for France?

    Perhaps Paul Boateng could lead a campaign to rename Monday, Manday?

    • edlancey

      Manday ? Does the anti-racism trump the inherent sexism (personday) ?

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Yes does, at least according to my set of Grievance Top Trumps cards.

  • Tron

    “Ding Dong the Witch Doctor is Dead!” will be top of the charts for weeks……..or maybe not.

    • blindsticks

      What happened to Winnie the Witch. You know, she who liked to see children being burned alive in rubber and petrol.
      And we’re supposed to believe Nelson had no part in it, and it was al Winnie’s idea. Yeah right.

  • E Hart

    Well, isn’t this ‘normal’ in our Caracalla-style media circus? No day is complete without something ludicrously over-hyped. Alex Ferguson was virtually beatified when he retired. Every sportsman/woman, however ridiculous the sport, is honoured. It’s less a case of ‘let the games begin’ than stopping them for a moment to allow a glimmer of non-magic realism to permeate.This might be the least of our worries, though. Don’t forget, we’ve got the biggest birth story since Moses was found in the bullshit and Herod put out an APB on Mary and Joseph. Then we’ve got Jubilee Trumpton to contend for the rest of the year with before all the toy soldiers and everything else go back into the box. It should be a condition of employment in the media that hysterics and sheep need not apply. But a country that prides itself on its Govian-style Ruritanianism deserves no better.

    • Robert Taggart

      YIKES ! – agreed !!

  • The_greyhound

    The t-shirts are printed.

    The street party is organised.

    All that is wanting is the tasteless celebratory song for the BBC to plug.

  • JonBW

    You’re probably right, though Mandela is genuinely a great and good man.

    However, for real, mind-numbing, energy-draining, suffocating tedium, the coverage will not be able to match Wimbledon….

  • DougS

    I would suggest that, in his honour, and to commemorate his many years of incarceration on Robben Island, the Tower of London be renamed ‘Mandela Tower’ – not to be confused with some block of flats in Camden of course!

    Sign up to the petition – you know it makes sense.

    • Robert Taggart

      Fortunately, with a ‘Blue’ in charge at City Hall – methinks this unlikely to happen.
      You should not give the ‘Red’ hopefuls ideas !

  • FrenchNewsonlin

    And all for what? Nearly twenty years on and his successors are busily turning a beautiful and wealthy country into an inefficient “Socialism with Red ideals ” nightmare.

  • Robert Taggart

    Will ‘Auntie Beeb’ be showing Brian Waldens critique of Madiba ?…
    February ’98, Walden on Heroes, episode five, Nelson Mandela – according to the ‘great man’, Mandela was no hero – and that coming from a leftie must be a revelation !

    • Forest Fan

      I remember that series and even recorded it on VHS…great stuff!

      • AlfTupperDarlin

        Maybe put it up on Youtube?

      • Robert Taggart

        VHS ? – its ‘glory days’ were yesterday – bit like ‘Forest ?!

        • Forest Fan

          Now now!

    • Joshaw

      Fat chance.

      Been hoping to see that again for years.

  • Bert3000

    In Britain we’re used to the days of fawning when some aged royal pops their clogs. This’ll be nothing compared with that.

  • Darnell Jackson

    Nelson who?

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