They put children in cages, but we mustn’t be impolite…

I bet you’ve been asked it, too. Perhaps the silliest question of all.

Asked what? If we can put LEO readers out of their misery by ending this biweekly ‘matey banter’ shite? That’s not a silly question.

Nobody asks me that. I hear this column is quite popular.

Among feeble-minded Highlands hipsters who think that being British makes us exotic, perhaps. But OK, for the sake of trying to squeeze 900 words out of this, go on, what is this question you’ve been asked?

How do you celebrate July 4 in Britain? I’ve been asked it about 10 times. At least once a year, some nitwit asks me how we celebrate losing a war nearly 300 years ago. It’s tough to remain polite and stiff-upper-lipped in the face of such rank stupidity — especially since we didn’t lose. We chose to end the police action.

That’s my version, too, so you’ve earnt your bees this week. What do we get for this? Five shillings each? Anyway, being polite in the face of rank stupidity. Topical and it leads us into current affairs and gives us a chance to be as rude as possible. [Ed. Note: We pay in cryptocurrency.]

This column and our current national dilemma, in a nutshell. Now here’s a serious question: Who do you loathe more, Republican fascists or mealy-mouthed Democrats?

Whom, dear boy: whom. Still, it’s tough. I mean, obviously anyone still supporting Fat Nixon is by default a bigoted sack of shit with no redeeming qualities. At the same time, Democrats who give in to every fucking demand — knowing that ‘being polite’ is what gives them their power — are utterly wretched. They’ll die with an American Nazi boot imprinted on their throats. Their final words will be ‘At least I was polite about it,’ and The New York Times will say it’s lamentable, or something equally insipid.

They put children in cages, but we mustn’t be impolite. They wear their racism on their sleeves, but we mustn’t be impolite. They spent eight years attacking Obama, his wife and his children, in any and all ways, however far from the truth and however vile, but we mustn’t be impolite. Their leader mocks the disabled, admits to sexual assault and is in thrall to Vladimir Putin, but we mustn’t be impolite. To hell with them and to being polite.

As Popper put it, correctly — when we extend tolerance to people who’re openly intolerant, the tolerant ones end up being destroyed. Now’s the moment to understand that.

It’s hard not to feel utterly depressed about the direction this country is going in. Even when that half-wit GWB was president — whose rehabilitation in public opinion is based entirely on the fact that he’s not Trump and despite the glaring proof that he remains one of the worst presidents this country’s ever been cursed with — I was confident that his stupidity was a temporary aberration and would have little lasting impact. I’ve changed my mind, though. Obama was the aberration.

It’s a sad day when a corporate sell-out like Obama is the high bar, but there it is. Next up are the ‘if you don’t like it here you’re free to leave’ comments. There’s something a country based on freedom of speech can brag about. Speaking of giving it the old verbal and specifically in the business and economics sense, you were once an overpaid business comment writer, so who’s going to be right about bourbon and tariffs, McConnell or Bevin?

Honestly, I think Bevin is more likely to be right, at least in terms of the bourbon industry’s ability to ride it out. Tariffs, awful idea that they are, are likely to hit other industries harder, and Kentucky’s dominance in bourbon’s niche market should offer decent protection. Alcohol has always been a safe port in a storm. I’m not suggesting that Bevin or McConnell have the first clue about business or economics, but I’d guess it won’t hit Kentucky’s bourbon as hard as it hits Iowa’s soybeans.

The issue plays stronger for McConnell than for Bevin. While it seems as if our theory about Bevin challenging McConnell is looking more and more likely, it’ll boil down to who blinks first and on that front I’m backing McConnell’s glassy stare over Bevin’s Mad Hatter grin. And while Bevin might be right on bourbon and tariffs, it’s a non-issue with GOP primary voters. Like GOP economists — or as I call them, Libertarians — they’re all about what happens in theory rather than what happens in reality.

Right, and these turkeys aren’t going to stop voting for Thanksgiving any time soon. However, our political predictions have been about as accurate as our sporting predictions, so based on that, we’d better find out a way to profit from the imminent tariff-induced collapse of the bourbon industry. Argentina for the World Cup? That worked out well, didn’t it?

Not so much a prediction as a preference based on our shared admiration of Lionel Messi — one of the finest players the world has ever seen and a bloke who, unfortunately for him, is playing on one of the worst Argentine teams of our lifetimes. Still, lots of great players never won it, so he’s in good company.

England to win it?

Hammered the mighty Panama, which qualified from the same group the USA failed to qualify from, so I’d hardly say that positions us for imminent glory. I’ve seen worse sides win it, though — the Italian team that won it thanks to Zidane’s chest-butt in 2006 were atrocious; off the top of my head I can’t even name a single player from that side. So yeah, why not England?

I like this new methodology, though — predict one thing and then the following week predict the opposite. That way we can always be wrong, but also always be right.

Hedging our bets, my old son. We haven’t done it often enough. Better yet, now that the yield curve is in negative territory and an economic crash is a cast-iron certainty, we can go out bankrupt and homeless screaming, ‘We told you so!’