Ban them all – and I’m petitioning the government to that effect. You’ll definitely join in once you’ve learned these harrowing facts.
But first a fact to be proud of. As a passionate Londoner, I take pleasure in every achievement of my city, even those that might strike some as dubious.
Thus I’ve long found it annoying that, though London has for years led New York in most crime categories, those brash New Yorkers could still boast a higher murder rate.
I’m happy to report that this is no longer the case. Ever since handguns were banned in 1996, the murder rate in London has been climbing steadily, until our capital has finally pulled ahead of New York.
We now have Johannesburg in our sights, so those South Africans don’t have long to rest on the laurels of their wreaths. The murder rate in London is growing at 12 per cent a year – take that, New York and J’burg.
Now that getting a firearm has become harder (though buying a South London barman a pint is a good start), knives have moved to the forefront of killing implements.
In the year to March 2018, 40,147 people were stabbed in Britain. Cold steel has thus replaced firearms as a means of controlling inordinate population growth. And there I was, thinking that banning handguns would enable every Briton to die a natural death.
One’s pride in such achievements is slightly dampened by the realisation that shivs are rather old hat. People have been using them since time immemorial, at least since Abraham pulled a knife on his son.
On the other hand, disfiguring attacks with household detergents, such as lyes and acids, are rather new, at least when launched on the present British scale.
Britain comfortably leads the rest of the world in the rate of acid attacks and, much as one sympathises with the plight of the mutilated victims, this is yet another glorious achievement.
Many of such attacks are launched from motorcycles. Ride-by splash-ups have become popular, which is good news for the manufacturers of both motorcycles and domestic cleansers.
The rest of us, however, may regard such statistics as lamentable – that is, once we’ve contained our pride in our country’s accomplishments. For it’s sometimes disconcerting to see so many people disfigured with chemical compounds, stabbed, slashed or disembowelled.
One might think we have a bit of a social problem there, further augmented by a lamentable failure of our law enforcement.
If so, how do we solve such problems? The short answer is, we can’t.
The longer answer is that any attempt to do so would run into the stonewall of accusations of racism, xenophobia, elitism and possibly even Islamophobia (I’m not sure where homophobia fits in, but it must somehow).
For, it pains me to report, such acts aren’t typically committed by tweedy, clubbable gentlemen. Most of them are perpetrated by young chaps securely protected by the above-mentioned stonewall.
Hence the solution offers itself: ban the items in the title. Admittedly, there will be some practical hitches to overcome, but that’s nothing that British ingenuity, honed by decades of progressive legislation, can’t handle.
How, I hear you ask, will it be possible to cook without easy access to knives? I had to think about this long and hard, but then – Archimedes in his bath, Newton with his apple – the solution came to me in a flash.
The purchase of kitchen knives must require a professional licence, only available to purveyors of food: chefs, butchers and fishmongers. Knives not in use must be kept in padlocked cabinets.
When buying a piece of silverside at, say, Tesco’s, a customer can tell the butcher how the meat will be cooked. The licensed professional will then cut up the beef to the specified requirements. The resulting meal may then be consumed using plastic cutlery or, better still, fingers.
How, I also hear you ask, will people be able to clean their floors and other dirty surfaces if household detergents are banned? By posing this question you’ve instantly branded yourself as a hater of tradition.
For the answer is: the same way your grandmother (okay, great-grandmother) did it: tucking the hem of her skirt into her belt, getting down on her hands and knees in front of a bucket of soaped water and scrubbing the floor. Then getting up and using the same liquid to clean the kitchen counter and, while at it, house pets.
As to motorcycles, banning them is even easier. Who needs personal transportation anyway when Britain boasts such an advanced system of public transport?
Our trains, for example, are justly famous for encouraging a relaxed attitude to getting to work on time, while our buses vindicate the Roman injunction festina lente (make haste slowly).
Obsession with punctuality is a major source of stress, and curing this problem is yet another area in which Britain excels.
The aforementioned petition is available on the website of The Charles Martel Society for Multiculturalism, of which I’m the founder, president and so far the only member. Or rather it will be available there once I’ve got around to registering the website.