We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day – dull UK “satire” edition

“Banksy is a billboard, promoting a product, and a set of ideas, that are as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola and as dangerous as Greggs. We need a new set of discordant voices, able to articulate ideas that challenge the consensus view of the new Establishment of the Banksies and Cold War Steves. Voices from neither the left nor the right, but coming from a place of originality, united by a desire to reveal the ludicrousness, and moral bankruptcy, of those who refuse to see it in themselves. And perhaps, in 2024, the most subversive voices would be offering us hope, not despair.”

David James, CapX.

For non-British readers, Greggs is a purveyor of meat pies and other marvellously unhealthy food.

12 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – dull UK “satire” edition

  • Fraser Orr

    I have lived in the US for two decades. People often ask me if I miss Britain, and I’ll tell them every time that I miss two things: my family still there, and the food. Scotland and England are not renowned for their cuisine, by my god do I miss it. Sometimes I’ll get a real craving for a haggis supper, or an indian on the way back from the pub, or that treacle tart you can buy from M&S. The principal of my daughter’s school is English and when I met with her the first time she had a bowl of Crunchies on the table. It was hard not embarrassing myself by eating them all.

    But I think I miss Greggs the most. Cheese and onion pasties. Beef pies. Cornish pasties. Millionaire shortbread. My mouth waters just thinking of it. So perhaps it is dangerous — I can easily add a stone in a week if one of those places is within easy reach.

    For those of you poor souls who have never had a Gregg’s cheese and onion pasty you might try this recipe. It isn’t as good as the original but it is pretty good.

  • ZilWerks

    Thank you for the update on Greggs. Save’s me some search-engine-fu.

  • bobby b

    When the underdogs become the overlords, subversion becomes silly.

  • The Wobbly Guy


    Why are meat pies and the other stuff from that company considered unhealthy? It’s just food.

    Please rework that sentence!

  • Alex

    Mostly it’s a class thing. Working class people are the main customers at most Greggs. The nearest one to me, for example, is in a small trading estate with a builders merchant, electrical supplies store, trade paint store, and a Screwfix store (general trade and retail parts supplier, screws, drill bits, etc).

    Naturally the upper-middle-class lefty types would rather be dead than seen in such places. Or maybe that’s just my own class bias showing.

  • Paul Marks

    Culture is the manifestation of ideas – of principles-beliefs.

    The principles of “Banksy” are no good, they are false. The fact that his work is highly prized is indeed a sign of an intellectually and morally bankrupt culture – but in the opposite way to the way that “Banksy” claims.

    Want a better culture? Then better principles, true principles, most become more popular in society – there is no other way.

    And if better principles, true principles, do not become more widespread in society – then society will fall.

    In the end what matters is the principles people have – if the truth is rejected and false principles adopted, as-they-have-been, then even the most wealthy society will eventually collapse.

    Dr Karl Marx was exactly WRONG – it is not the material conditions, the economy, that create ideas (principles) – it is ideas (principles) that create the economy.

  • John Tee

    I’m a Brit. For a while I worked in the UK for an American company. We had a steady flow of American middle management who would stay in the UK for six months, a year, two years. When they returned to the States they almost always said that the two delicacies they missed most were proper chip shop fish & chips, and Cadbury’s chocolate.

  • Paul Marks

    In some ways the article itself is a sign of the very problem (of “Banksy”, “Cold War Steve” and so on) that it attacks.

    For example, the article seems to go along with the view that Henry Kissinger was a warmonger so to award him the Nobel Peace Prize was worth of “satire” – in reality Henry Kissinger betrayed South Vietnam (and, by extension, Cambodia and Laos), by pushing for a “settlement” rather than victory (victory was a forbidden word right from the Kennedy Administration – due to Robert McNamara) over the Marxists. He was the opposite of a warmonger – Mr Kissinger was an appeaser of the Marxists, and not just in IndoChina.

    And, of course, there is the ritual attack on President Trump. These attacks are not based on President Trump’s real mistakes – such as going along with the advice of the despicable Tony Fauci, but rather on a series of lies against President Trump, and lies are NOT good “satire”.

    “Voices from neither the left or the right” – there is the error of David James.

    There is no “place of originality” – and if someone is not fighting the left from a place of sound principles (“the right”) they will inevitably become a puppet of the left.

    See O’Sullivan’s law – named after John O’Sullivan.

  • Fraser Orr

    John Tee
    the two delicacies they missed most were proper chip shop fish & chips, and Cadbury’s chocolate.

    You can actually buy Cadbury’s chocolate here, though it is kind of expensive. However, American chocolate such as Hershey’s, tastes like vomit to Brits. I don’t mean that as hyperbole, I mean it tastes like actual vomit. I remember when I first ate it I couldn’t believe people actually ate that stuff. The food blogger Adam Ragusea did a whole video on the subject, where he explains that one of the chemicals that gives vomit its taste is present in Hershey’s, and Americans, who grew up on it, are just used to it.

    And FWIW, you can get pretty decent fish and chips here, but definitely not a haggis supper. In fact you can’t buy haggis here at all except some fake haggis alternative. Ask me sometime about how I almost got arrested smuggling Haggis into the US.

  • bobby b

    “We need a new set of discordant voices, able to articulate ideas that challenge the consensus view of the new Establishment of the Banksies and Cold War Steves.”

    I think we need a new set of critic voices more than we need a new set of artists – which means we need a new source of news and opinion other than the MSM.

    The right-wing artists are out there, and (to me) they’re hilarious.

    But the entire body of public critique is overwhelmingly leftist. And, since right-wing humor offends their political sense, they simply dismiss it all as “not funny”, and much of the world simply accepts their verdict.

    I dismiss the current SNL, late night humor, and west-coast standup as “just not funny”, too, but I don’t have the reach or influence of the MSM, and so it becomes CW that it’s right-wing humor that is “just not funny.”

    But it’s changing.

  • John

    On returning from my generally biannual trips to the USA I am irresistibly compelled to stop off on the way home to purchase some Greggs sausage rolls.

    They are warm, greasy and explode into showers of flakey pastry with every bite. I have no illusions about the ingredients. The meat must be of dubious quality but the peppery seasoning compensates. Yet for me, at least at that particularly vulnerable moment, they match the very best of comfort or soul foods (even if one dose is sufficient for many weeks).

    For the benefits of non-Brits they are sold in supposedly greaseproof paper bags which are anything but and will cause havoc with your clothes should they ever make contact. They are also ridiculously cheap which I am sure contributes towards the widespread disapproval, derision and sneering from our chattering class.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – good point about the Critics.

    One of the reasons I stopped buying the Conservative Daily Telegraph were its terrible left wing art and film (and so on) critics – this was years ago, so it could have got better people covering literature, film, painting, comedy and-so-on, I do not know.

    For example, if one goes to a ratings site (such as Rotten Tomatoes) and 100% of critics say that a film or television show is wonderful – this means it is, most likely, terrible, that it is full of Frankfurt School tropes on race, sex, sexuality, and-so-on.

    Whether the paid critics really are far leftists – or whether they just pretend to be in order to keep their jobs, I do not know.

    Some years ago I was still shocked by “Capitalist” Corporations churning out endless far left propaganda (Agitprop – agitation propaganda), now I expect it.

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