Warning: Noel Edmonds

Only fair to warn you. I do try to stay on topic here, and believe me there will some detailed analysis of somebody’s prose style in the very near future. But. Noel Edmonds. Blimey. He’s all over the internet this week, thanks to this clip from his new show Noel Gets Right In Yer Face, Scumbags (Sky One, Thursdays):

Now, there are two interesting things about this clip. First, the spookily ageless Edmonds has struck a nerve. A lot of people, and not just the studio audience, have responded to the programme, with its litany of “health and safety nazis”, “political correctness gone mad” etc etc. Sometimes, of course, this is justified. I don’t know the particular case, but we have a pretty bad record of looking after injured former service men and women — you only have to look at homelessness and mental health statistics to work that out — and this man probably deserves his bungalow. Mostly, though, it’s the kneejerk reactionary attitude that sells millions of copies of the Daily Mail every week, and keeps Jeremy Kyle in employment, known in the trade as ‘dog whistle’ politics. But there is a strange, inchoate anger out there, a sense of unease, distress and fear about the way the country’s headed. The government has largely tried to ignore it, while hoping to change things for the better, but is running out of time. David Cameron circles it warily, knowing that a large swathe of his party would embrace it gleefully, but that it could be electoral suicide all over again: Labour may be unpopular and struggling, but Cameron doesn’t underestimate the party’s ferocious campaigning machine. Right now, therefore, this anger is unfocused, breaking out sporadically — the fuel protests, the fury at bankers — but never quite taking shape. Much like the countryside marches, it’s an uneasy coalition of different interest groups, without enough shared purpose to build momentum. The question is: what if it does, how might it manifest itself, and how much power might it wield if it did? And is Noel Edmonds the new Oswald Mosley?

The second interesting thing about the clip, of course, is how much it reminds you of this:


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