Last night in his “Paltalk” Chatroom, Paul “Green Arrow” Morris held his much-vaunted "Finding A Way Forward” session.
Billed as a “Debate”, and a Bridge-Building Exercise, the couple of hours were, of course, largely an excuse for Morris (“Warsash”!) and his long-suffering sidekick “Bertie Bert” to chat among themselves and repeatedly tell one another how eminently reasonable, civilised and downright gentlemanly they were.
Over and over again.
Despite the invitations extended to all and sundry, including Simon Darby and even Eddy Butler (!), those present (besides at least a dozen amused Anti's) were, for the most part, the regular, dwindling gang of Arrow Loyalists. All of whom were, naturally, keen to express just how eminently reasonable, civilised and downright gentlemanly everyone was being.
It was, indeed, a Night of Wonders.
Most notable of these (and despite a palpable sticking in the throat from Warsash, Bert and Corsham Crusader), was the insistence on addressing everyone discussed with the prefix “Mr”. Hence; “Mr” Griffin. “Mr” Harrington. “Mr” Brons.
Even (like I said – a Night of Wonders) “Mr” Butler. I would have at least expected him to be addressed as “Mr Brothel” Butler.
So the little gang got together for a mutual backslapping session. Everyone reiterated, once again, how eminently reasonable, civilised and downright gentlemanly everyone was being, and the session ended with the general agreement that they had, among themselves, proven that Morris was, indeed, the most eminently reasonable, the most civilised and the most downright gentlemanly one of the lot. A veritable successor to Dag Hammarskjold, with the diplomacy of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wisdom of Bertrand Russell and the saintly bearing of Simeon Stylites.
(Sadly for Observers, it should be noted that although Morris might agree that he has “a face for radio”, he certainly hasn't got the voice for it.)
A cynic, of course, might suggest an alternative view.
A cynic might suspect that Morris is a man who's world is crumbling faster than a jet ski made of cake and he's got to pull something out of the bag - Fast!
Having spent most of the past year leading a hate campaign of spectacularly poisonous vitriol against the likes of (Mr) Butler, (Mr) Beverley, (Mr) Cass, (Mr) Barnbrook and any other Mr or Mrs who dared to so much as not bow low enough in the presence of his beloved (Mr) Griffin; (Mr) Morris suddenly finds himself out in the cold as (Mr) Griffin adds him to the bonfire of discards outside the gates of his disintegrating palace.
Morris – a cynic might suggest – is motivated by pure ego. An increasingly frightened little man desperate to be seen as a Mover and Shaker; existing at the very Glowing Heart of Nationalism and feted for his wise counsel and heroic adherence to principal.
Problem is – he's picked the wrong team. And now he's desperate to get into somebody's – Anybody's! - good books once again.
And the stuff he came out with!
He is, of course (by his own declaration), one of Nationalism's “Old Guard”. That's despite many years of accusations that his supposed “history” within the movement is sketchier than the early days of Kaspar Hauser.
He sagely agreed with contributors who bemoaned the amount of egotism among the various factions while – arguably – having the biggest ego of the lot.
At one point, a rant about Harrington and his position at Head Office became a thinly-disguised plea for a job. (Hilariously, in one memorable aside, bemoaning the fact that (“Mr”) Harrington “isn't even a Member” before adding “I know I'm not a Member either, but that's for entirely different reasons...”)
He slated (“Mr”) Phillips for threatening to put him on Redwatch and denied, in the strongest possible terms, that he would ever stoop so low. Conveniently neglecting to mention the fact that in the past he has, indeed, stooped exactly that low.
He was beside himself with mock horror over the (“Mr” and “Mrs”) Kitchen revelations. Despite the fact that he presumably knew (along with everyone else at the Glowing Heart of Nationalism - and us, thanks to a post last year on Sharon Ebanks' forum) about it many months ago.
Despite the backslapping as it ended, and grandiose declarations that “we've made a start – we've opened a dialogue and now we need to build upon it”, it was most illuminating to return to the room a couple of hours later.
It was, of course, Business As Usual.
(Footnote: Having sat up in the Office listening to this landmark in broadcasting I was moved to catch a movie before bed. I chose Don Siegel's 1956 classic “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers”. You'll remember it's about people who suddenly and mysteriously don't seem to be quite themselves any longer. Just saying.)