Uncommon Sense
Thomas Payne

‘I was born in Britain, and when I was growing up I sincerely believed I was fortunate to be able to call this rain-lashed rock my home. That warm, cosy feeling of innate superiority vanished some time ago, and I now look towards my birthplace from a distance, and with something approaching despair.’

So begins Thomas Payne, in the introduction to ‘Uncommon Sense: The Zero-Tolerance Guide to Political Correctness.’

Written by a best-selling thriller writer, working under a pseudonym, ‘Uncommon Sense’ is a double-barrelled, sawn-off shotgun assault on the state of Britain, Europe, and the world. In blunt, uncompromising language, Thomas Payne takes apart the political correct shibboleths of our time with a surgical fury.

From Afghanistan to Bankers, and from Speed Cameras to Vitamins, an A-Z of muddled thinking is systematically blown apart. This is a book that will open your eyes to the absurdities of the world the political class have created – and make you laugh out loud at the same time.

Nothing and nobody comes out of this book unscathed.

This is a book for the young and old, men and women, fans of Jeremy Clarkson and Thomas Paine alike.

Uncommon Sense book cover

I didn’t pay for this book, as it was a free Kindle promotion. I might’ve bought it for under a pound, but I don’t usually go for nonfiction.

One reviewer on Goodreads only gave it a single star because, and I quote,”This was just one man laying out
his opinions on things.” That is rather evident from the synopsis, so quite what she expected I don’t know. Another person gave it five, but didn’t comment as to whether or not she found herself agreeing with everything the author has to say, which one would imply from such effusive praise.

For my part, I enjoyed some of the humour. There are some very good points, I’m in complete agreement on the matters of Afghanistan, art, censorship and pornography, the Compensation Culture, Drug use, education and the Euro, just to name a few. There’s clearly a lot of thought been put into the sections on dieting and the health service.

On the other hand, the author suffers from that common to anyone seemingly with a history: the fact that “it was better in my day”. In a recent interview, Cory Doctorow said “I think people who insist that their personal recollection of things means that it was always better in the old times show a remarkable
lack of self-awareness and are just generally giant spoil sports.” Some of his attitudes are unorthodox and some of his writing is weird, but he’s got a valid point here. That’s the problem with any sort of condemnation of modern society, the angle you hit it with is always one comparing it to how it used to be. That never works.

So an enjoyable read, light, fun, certainly opinionated and not to take too seriously overall but with bits that are quite thought-provoking.
The full interview on Doctorow’s Novel Homeland is here.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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