He’s a writer on Medium. If you [search-engine] his name, you’ll find that he’s a lot else besides. Go to his website, which is hosted on Medium, and read My Story. All of it – or more exactly, enough of it to understand why he uses the word “vampire” to describe himself. He’s interesting.
Umair Haque writes a lot of articles about a lot of issues, and he always puts a picture at the top before he publishes them. Lately, he’s got onto the subject of Britain (sic), and the picture he put at the top showed that young couple who gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey the other day.
Long-ish piece about Britain, but the title gives you the gist of it. How Britain Became the Dumbest Society in the World. And the sub-title. Britain is Becoming the World’s Newest Failed State.
Not Britain Made a Mistake or Britain Got It Wrong but how we dropped straight to the bottom of the list – we’re number 195 in the rankings for stupidity (or would be, if we could count that high). And we’re about to fail completely. There are 193 member-states of the United Nations; soon there will be 192.
[Palestine and the Holy See are non-member observer states, in case you’re not-British enough to have noticed the 195/193 discrepancy – and there are other states to mention, but this is complicated enough already.]
Anyway – Umair’s article (8-minute read, says Medium) paints a gloriously sunny picture of Britain ten-plus years ago – the best healthcare in the world, the finest public broadcaster, part of “the world’s most successful political union” (he means the EU), and overall, back then Britain “was a gentle, intelligent, warm, friendly, and wealthy society.”
Mr Haque, if you’re reading this, pick up a copy of Andrew Rawnsley’s The End of the Party. It describes the period you’re eulogising. Oh, and since you ruin the effect slightly by revealing that you got the “failed state” line from a newspaper report of a Gordon Brown soundbite – Rawnsley’s book also covers Gordon Brown’s time as Prime Minister.
Around 4 minutes into Umair’s article, well after the Gordon Brown bit, Umair asks and answers the question “What had gentle Europeans ever done to hurt Britain? Nothing at all.” Writing about Brexit at that point – taking a broadly Remain stance with the twist that we were being nasty to the “gentle Europeans” by blaming them for our problems.
Let’s not get into Brexit. I picked up on that “ever”. What had the Europeans “ever” done to nasty old Britain? Went to the comments, and sure enough, somebody had written a reply starting with “The Roman invasion…” right through to WW2. There were two replies to that reply. One said “Dream on, don’t wake up,” and the other, “You sound like a clown with your comments.”
Mr Haque, have you ever seen the 2006 film Idiocracy? Set mostly 500 years in the future, in about – pardon my maths – 2021.
I suppose if you’re going to get an audience these days you have to respond to the latest celebrity interview and take a side in whatever big-time culture war it represents.
And I suppose modern etiquette requires that I either condemn Umair Haque absolutely or praise him to the skies. How Umair Haque Became the Dumbest/Best Writer in the World, perhaps. But I can’t quite do that. He’s readable, interesting, and despite not knowing him, I kind of like the guy.
Umair Haque has moved his writing from his website as linked above, to Eudaimonia & Co., which you’ll also find on Medium. Here, in fact.
I suggest you go there now. After his non-quite-convincing Gordon Brown-based article about Britain becoming dumb, Umair Haque staged a dramatic return to form yesterday with How My People Became the World’s Greatest Idiots.
Not a celebrity nor a has-been politician in sight. And like the world – all the better for it.