Boring Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn lacks charisma. Views on him range from, “Nice guy, but lacking in the personal charisma needed to lead a party…”, to “Dangerous man living in the past and forcing the Labour Party into a black hole, because of personal ego.”


The general consensus – outside of his support – is:





Well, let’s have a look at the first point; Corbyn as lacking in charisma.


I’m calling bullshit on charisma in British politics, full stop. There is more charismatic appeal in waiting for a three minute YouTube advert to finish, than there is in the whole of Westminster. Charismatic people don’t get involved in organised politics, because at the crux of British politics is middle-aged flirting, upper-middle class passive aggression and an overwhelming passion for the sound of one’s own voice.


We don’t need occasional documentaries on the inner machinations of parliament. We could just go to any M & S, or John Lewis, in the busy festive period and see posh, old, white, angry, entitled people flirt and fight with other first hand.


Farage is charismatic. What? The chinless, brown-toothed, ex-banker, Nazi whose voice has the same sort of sing-song lyricism as the fella who reads out the football scores on a Sunday? Fuck off. Fuck all the way off.


Johnson is charismatic. The Eton-educated fella waggling his feet in a harness while suspended from a bungee, with a haircut that looks like someone’s been at him with a pair of hedge-trimmers? Once again, the panel don’t think he’s quite ready for Charisma Boot Camp.


Blair? Ruthless, joker-smile mother fucker who took us to an illegal war while pretending to like rock music and guitars. Blair was that teenaged lad at parties desperately trying to acquire his own weed, then trying to find someone who knew how to skin up, before vomiting in the front garden at half ten. Does not being able to smoke marijuana make you lacking in charisma? Possibly not. But I’m fairly sure needing press opportunities with Noel Gallagher and Gordon Ramsey, and using D:Reams ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ as a campaign song is a decisive indicator.


In any case, charisma – or lack of it – is too wildly bandied around when it comes to British politics and, particularly, politicians.


Professional politicians are the sort of oddballs that have a place to congregate and shag each other and direct their privileged tight-lipped rage, instead of working in their rightful position as GP Receptionists or Pervy Uncles.


Should we be happy that it’s these people condemning many of us to unfair living conditions whilst they live their own horrific, Waitrose sponsored soap opera, jutting between supporting legislation they feel is going to benefit their long-term career prospects, or make their soap opera existence a bit more comfortable?




Should we be happy that there’s some fairly substantial evidence that many of them (across parties) have been historical paedophiles and that an independent investigation into the matter is taking years and years to even begin?




But British politicians – resolutely – aren’t charismatic. Any leaders or politicians from the past who have been posthumously granted such fairy-tale qualities, weren’t either.


And if you believe charisma exists in British politics and is an essential ingredient of party leadership, how the fuck do you explain John Major?


If John Major – and this is a lazy example – whose single most interesting quality was secretly putting his dick in Jimmy Savile enabler, Edwina Currie (herself a total bore, afforded the mythical charisma) can win an election, it proves that charisma is irrelevant.


So, that’s the first thing.


I don’t think Corbyn needs to be charismatic. He doesn’t need to be charismatic and he doesn’t need to lead a party chock-full of self-aggrandising, New Labour, middle-ground, moderate wankers who want to undermine him.


Here’s why:


People who voted Brexit weren’t all right-wing, non-thinkers. Some left-wing people who voted Brexit believed the EU shouldn’t have overridden Greek Democracy and forced them to have an austerity government. Some people who voted for Brexit had a legitimate grievance with the bureaucratic and definitely corrupt organisation that employs people like Farage and Blair. And that’s fair.


By the same token, some people voted for Hitler because he had some sound socio-economic policies. And that’s also fair.


But it led to the biggest global tragedy in the last several hundred years.


I mentioned Hitler in my previous Brexit blog post and I don’t want people to think I’m aligning Brexit to The Holocaust. I’m clearly not.


Brexit isn’t really the problem and it never was. Brexit is a symptom. The main problem is that most people voted for Brexit because of an overwhelmingly successful, insidious emergence of right-wing politics based on Nationalism.


So successful has been this extreme new right-wing agenda, that history is being completely overlooked.


America – the richest country in the world – is comprised almost ENITRELY of immigrants, and yet you have Trump successfully engaging some people in the politics of banning Muslims from America and building a wall to keep Mexicans out.


That is to say, half (possibly more) of an entire nation of historic migrants are now resolutely committed to keeping immigrants out.


That is successful indoctrination, by anyone’s standards.


As I stated in the previous blog, if you’ve ever sat at the back of a history lesson and wondered how the fuck Germans voted for Hitler. Here it is.


The Nazis were really good at rhetoric and propaganda. You can do an entire post-graduate course on Nazi Propaganda, such was its’ success.


And I have to say, Farage and Johnson were very successful with their own propaganda. Trying to serve us the dog-shit on toast, that previous generations fought for an isolated Britain, when they were fighting with allies, against Nationalism.


The main, horrible lesson from The Second World War, is that Nationalist politics are evil and that unity is beautiful. That’s it. That’s the one thing we got from it.


And here we are, nearly eighty years later, headed into what looks like the same shit.


I think Trump could win. And whether he does, or doesn’t, the success of his (and Farage’s) brand of politics has divided the entire country in much the same way Brexit did here.


When people are very poor, they are attracted to revolutionary politics. They don’t want to be poor any more. They want change. The sort of change they seek is determined by who is the most successful at political rhetoric.


This is what is most unforgivable about the Labour Party.


The poorest amongst us are ready for change. They are sick of organised politics and politicians and have been swayed by some terrible people, with terrible politics and some brilliant propaganda.


They don’t want moderate, polished politicians any more. Cameron lost his own party on that ticket. People are demanding change.


Straight after Brexit – when the media attention should have been squarely on Cameron and the state the Tories have left us in and their divided party, with no idea about how to facilitate Brexit, and the Gove/ Johnson fallout – THIS is the moment the Labour Party choose to lose confidence in Corbyn and resign in droves from his cabinet?


The absolute moment the Tories self-imploded is the moment that Labour Party politicians – allegedly so aggrieved with Corbyns management – take to lose confidence in him publically?


Let’s say you hate the fucker. Let’s say Corbyn really is an absolute tyrant surrounded by the nastiest, anti-Jew, anti-women politicians in the world. Why choose this fucking moment? Why ever work for him?


When poor people are in the most need of a left-wing voice you decide that your personal vendetta against him is more important.


If he’s a tyrant, go straight away.


If, however, as has been espoused publically, his politics are too left-wing for the Labour Party to ever win an election under him – how fucking dare you!


Upcoming electability as the Tories implode is about the least left-leaning, socially responsible agenda you could possibly have.


Trump might become president of America.


The Tories led us into an EU Referendum, with no clear idea about how it would be implemented resulting in bitter in-fighting and a divided nation.


Never has the time been riper for a discernable left position in the country. The Labour Party didn’t start out to be a middle-of-the-road, saccharine, non-committal ship-jumping crew – that’s what the Liberals are there for.


Blair won on that ticket in a time of prosperity. You don’t win over the desperate on press pictures with Noel Gallagher anymore.


We’re on the precipice of something very, very bleak and very, very dangerous, and Labour are not optionally left-wing. Or shouldn’t be.


He’s imperfect, is Corbyn. He’s a bit corduroy and he’s not the greatest public speaker but I would take him twenty times over, before a sanitised Liz Kendall who has the fucking audacity to go on Question Time and talk about Corbyn’s support of Unilateral Disarmament when Britain just voted for the fucking Nazis.


New Labour can go fuck itself. Corbyn isn’t the solution to the shit storm ahead, but he’s the nearest thing organised British politics currently has to it. Charisma, or not.


Viva Corbyn.

Sovereignty and The Shit Butty



I’ve had a three-day chest infection, it’s pissing down in late June and to top it all I’ve found myself politically aligned with George Osborne.


You know you’re fucked when the current Tory Prime Minister resigns after a nation’s vote of no confidence and you’re not jubilant. I’m not at all unhappy with the gormless cretin’s departure and it’ll be nice to be rid of Daily Mail click-bait articles on Sam Cam’s choice of outfit at Royal Ascot, but it’s not offering me the sort of profound joy it should.


And instead of liberal sound-bites about how sad I feel; or projected statistics on economic decline, here’s why:


Nigel Farage is a Nazi.


Not a bumbling buffoon, with differing political views to me. Not an ex-banker with silly taste in clothing and green teeth. He’s not a chain-smoking, straight-talker who’s only saying what we’re all thinking in a nation of bureaucracy gone mad. He’s a fucking Nazi. He’s a bona fide racist in a party full of racists with nothing to lose. He’s left his post after election defeats before scuttling back, conceded a defeat before his ultimate fucking victory and defended colleagues involved in absolute, proven race hate.


Blair, Johnson, Osborne, Cameron, and even Gove also are all insufferable, sinister pricks. They’ve all been involved in policy and practice, that is self-serving and at times unconscionable. They’ve started and supported wars, whipped up unreasonable support against vulnerable people, tried to dismantle the NHS, lied, cheated and backtracked. They’re an enemy of the poorest in our society and I don’t ever want to be on their team in any sense, least of all politically.


It’s worth saying at this point that there should never have even been a referendum. It was offered so a central-right politician could garner the support of his right-wing lunatic party in order to be a shit Prime Minister for a short period in which he convinced a nation of poor people to be even poorer for a bit, because the bankers spunked their dosh.


There should never have been a referendum, because a political referendum that is legally binding should never have an option that includes certain economic doom for a whole nation. You don’t offer the kids chocolate or heroin in the hope they’ll go for the fucking Twix.


There was a problem with lies and rhetoric on both sides of the campaign, which could easily have been negated by an independent panel with financial experts from both sides of the campaign offering impartial wisdom on likely outcomes, which would’ve negated some of the deep regret many leave voters are currently experiencing and are likely to experience in the coming years.


But you’re fucked from the start when – fundamentally – neither Corbyn or Cameron really wanted to stay within the EU so the efficiency of their campaign is sort of irrelevant.


But what I’ve done here is take an elitist position that is making an assumption that staying within the EU is the humane, intellectual position and that all those voting are indoctrinated thickies who’ve been duped.


That’s not the whole truth.


Poor people are the pawns in any given situation.


If I were a Muslim in Barnsley and subject to the decade long trickle trickle of “I’m not racist but…” social media memes with a St George Cross in the background, and I’d experienced daily hostility and felt disempowered and isolated, you can understand how extremist propaganda from I.S., or the like, might become attractive – someone, somewhere is offering you (for their own primarily financial reasons) an enemy based on perceived fundamental difference, and because you’re suffering you desire an outlet.


If I were a white middle-aged fella in Barnsley and subject to the decade long trickle trickle of “I’m not racist, but…” social media memes with  a St George Cross in the background, and I’ve experienced problems with the health service and I’m in shit housing and every second ‘documentary’ on television is about how Ukrainian Benefit Scroungers are living the Vida Loca in twelve-bedroomed mansions, created from pure Italian granite, you can understand how propaganda (from the nicely housed and affluent Nazi Nigel Farage and) from long-standing racists with an agenda of hate (for their own, primarily financial reasons) offering you an enemy based on perceived fundamental difference might become attractive to you.


I’ve been bollocked before, so I’m ok with people being outraged by the comparison I’ve made above, but I stand by it. You’re a pawn.


The problem with Nationalism, as has been proven historically, is that it causes war. The EU was a sort of response to that. An imperfect, flawed and definitely corrupt solution, but the fundamental message is that we’re ALL THE FUCKING SAME. We all want healthcare, a nice house, to live peacefully and to love and look after one another, and our families. This is the absolute case whether you’re from Scunthorpe or Syria and the main message from this whole Brexit thing is that young people get it – even the poor young people – and that old people, particularly old poor people, don’t.


And this is the main reason the entire thing is just so fucking sad (liberal soundbite alert). That millions of people have bought into an idea peddled by a shitload of corrupt politicians and indisputable racists, all of whom are significantly richer than them, that the reason they’re poor is that we’re not all the same and there’s an enemy that doesn’t have our values and it’s them that fucked the NHS, not say, Hunt or Blair.


Here’s what will happen: it won’t be absolute end of days, but you’re looking at a future dismantling of the EU as other countries, each entrenched with their own equivalent of the St George Cross meme politics, demand their own “Closed Borders” and “Sovereignty” and “We just want control of our own laws…” type behaviours and as the right-wing parties in each European country gain more support and momentum, we are weakened as a continent because we are fractured. The only potential World Leaders to congratulate us on Brexit are famous fascists Trump and Le Pen.


Ultimately, both World Wars evolved from a deep rhetoric of Nationalism and the biggest mistake of the internet era is underestimating the power of a right wing agenda on very poor people. Last time Judaism, Communists and Gays… This time it’s Islam.


“It’s only a St George’s Cross! It’s my national flag – I’m proud of my country, I’m not a racist!”


I’d be willing to bet “I’m not a racist…” is one of the most commonly used statements on social media.

I’d also be willing to bet that if Facebook was around in 1939 you’d have had Germans saying the same thing. And it’s not straight-forward racism; It’s fear. It’s fear and feeling disenfranchised and isolated and believing in an agenda that has been specifically designed to work on that fear.


Any economic repercussions will only be felt by the poor fuckers who’ve voted to leave and it will happen so insidiously, in this New Media age that they might not even register it came as a direct consequence of 23rd June 2016.


There are no new hospitals coming. In fact, key Leave campaigners want a privatised health service. There won’t be fewer immigrants, because border controls rely on harmonious relationships with countries in a continent we’ve just said ta-ra to.


But it’s not this nuts and bolts socio economic forecasting that really matters. The pound will stabilise, the world goes on.


It’s that we’ve not learnt the lessons of history. It’s that in the new media age the right have flourished and thrived and we’re living in Enoch Powell, Rivers of Blood rhetoric territory. It’s that this same shit is likely to happen in America, leading to Boris Johnson and Donald Trump photo opportunities as the very poorest get poorer and our standing not as national, but global citizens becomes weaker and more fractured.


We’ve let the trickle trickle go on for too long with the strongest responses being two-day outrage on Twitter. It’s time for there to be real, tangible opposition to this politics of self. Young people need to mobilise and create a viable political narrative so that disenfranchised poor people can have something other than the Trump/Farage agenda of hate to subscribe to.

We Still Know What You Are

And once again I’m compelled to write about someone and something I’d rather not, for a handful of people who don’t give a shit, and if they do, think I’ve done the topic to death.

Fuck it.

Let me start with the inevitable caveat: if evidence comes to light that exonerates a person of a crime for which they have served a prison sentence, they deserve absolute justice. Particularly when the crime has had social and personal consequences as extreme as losing a job, or being registered a sex offender. It’s difficult to comprehend what justice may look like, but lots of money and unreserved apologies would be a fairly good start.

I’m not great at apologies, but I’d be the first in the queue, because I’ve had some sharp words to say about Ched Evans, his millionaire father-in-law (owner of Preston’s of Boltons jewelers, from whom you should never make a purchase), and his ethically repugnant mother.

There is only one thing this “new evidence” needs to do, which is to prove – definitively – that the victim was not too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

I’ve read the testimony in this case and I’d assume this new evidence was not part of that or any of the hateful rhetoric espoused on the Justice for Ched website, so I will keep an open mind as to the alleged evidence and quality thereof.

There are two problems I have, though:

The first is the central point. I just heard a newsreader say that, “Ched Evans has always denied the attack…” in relation to the rape for which he was convicted.

This isn’t true.

This is the biggest misnomer about the whole case…

Ched Evans does not deny the incident occurred. His problem – and the problem of a great many swathes of other people – is that they don’t know what rape is.

Ched believes that he didn’t rape the girl. And the reasons for this are numerous and complex. But it essentially boils down to this:

1. The victim was a slag.

2. I was only doing what any other man in my position would have done.

3. The feminists are abusing me and my family, because we are a target for their overarching hatred of men – this is political correctness gone mad.

Let’s take that on a point-by-point basis.

1. On the justice for Ched website there is a fairly comprehensive and robust character assassination of the victim in this case. It has no literary, legal, or indeed, ethical merit, but I imagine it appeals to the sort of people who support Ched Evans. This website includes testimony from a rape survivor who comments not only on her own case, but on the moral merits of someone who has been viewed by a jury of her peers as a victim of rape.

That is to say, someone who has been raped, has written a letter about someone else who has been raped discrediting the validity of their rape, despite a jury having ruled in their favour, in order to support a rapist.

I think publishing this sordid, abusive, dogshit should be a crime. He and they deserve five years in prison for that sort of cuntery alone.

However, this is but one of the many, many ways in which they paint the victim as a “slag”.

They move on to her behaviour after the crime. About how she allegedly said she would get financial recompense for being raped.

Because, dear readers, if someone rapes you and they are very rich and you are not very rich it is slaggy to do anything other than weep in a corner.

Although, to be fair to the Justice for Ched campaign, they’ve done pretty well at trying to make this girl weep in a corner.

This girl, about whom the family couldn’t have the dignity or self-restraint not to persecute, name and vilify on social media (the same social media the survivor is alleged to have talked about wanting to profit from her own rape on) – has a new identity and I would argue has lost significantly more than Ched as a consequence of his crime.

Let me hold my hands up here and say I don’t know what I’d want if I’d been raped. Probably fucking blood. But if I’d been raped and subsequently persecuted to the degree this girl had I’d want blood and money. Then more fucking blood.

I must be a slag too. And so must anyone wanting compensation by person or persons significantly wealthier than them after they have been subjected to heinous crimes by said wealthier persons. I won’t list all the people in the public eye who are in the process of reaching compensation claims against people and institutions wealthier than them who committed crimes against them, but Ched thinks you’re all slags.

About six months ago I saw Ched, his girlfriend and her family enter a gastro pub in Cheshire one Sunday afternoon (bizarrely, followed by his ex-teammate Shea Given although they were not sat together, Shea fans) and as I made a hasty retreat I couldn’t help but be taken by the fucking gall of that cunt who was enjoying himself, while someone he raped has been forced to move away and have limited contact with her own family.

Finally – and it’s worth noting – there is no such thing as a slag. A slag is a word devised to reduce women to their sexual desirability, a process which begins in your early teens (if you’re lucky) and never fucking ends.

You’ve got to be sexually desirable, without being sexually available.

You’ve got to be not too thin and not too fat, you’ve got to have tits and shave your body hair and smell nice and not talk too much. If you fall within these narrow limits you’ve then got to be able to converse with men in such a way as to not be haughty because if you ignore men’s catcalls and whistles you’re stuck up, or fucking love yourself, or you’re a lesbian.

You’ve got to work out a way to decline the advances of someone who finds you attractive, without offending them, regardless of the nature of those advances because otherwise you might be hurt.

You’ve got to be pleasant, but you can’t be too pleasant.

You’ve got to be attractive enough for lots of men to want to have sex with you, but not have sex with lots of men.

And now – according to this website – if you go home with someone you’ve got to accept that as your intoxication gets more potent, you’re a sexual vehicle for any friends wandering in, whom you’ve never met before, because you’re having sex with their friend.

And a slag.

2. No you weren’t. This does a tremendous disservice to men and isn’t true.

I’m not talking about his relationship.

I don’t have any close male friends who’d witness an incapacitated female having sex with their friend and rape them. I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty confident that any man I value and trust as a friend would view the person having very drunken sex with their friend as a real person.

Not a sexual commodity.

Before the rape, even. How disrespectful is it to walk into a hotel room and see a woman you’ve never met before naked and having sex and not leave?

To walk in to the room and rape someone clearly too drunk to consent, is grotesque. It’s not normal. It’s not excusable. It’s not merely regrettable. It’s rape.

3. We don’t hate men, we hate rape and it’s only Ched and Co who think the two are interchangeable. I’d be most pissed off if I were a man, because to lump you all in with that cunt is unforgivable.

Here’s my second and final point with this “new evidence” Ched Evans appeal. I’m highly skeptical about why it is a multi-millionaire would want to so vehemently protect and support a man who, even if you don’t know what rape is, has been unfaithful to your child. I’m not sure what prompts someone to support an individual that honest, hardworking people the length and breadth of the country have identified to have raped and further persecuted a woman to unfathomable degrees.

But if you’re prepared to pay someone else’s astronomical wages just for the privilege of saying your son-in-law’s a footballer, there’s a fuckload of ego and cash involved.

It’s precisely this cash, and the cash in football, that makes me extremely fearful that this “new evidence” which I do not believe can conclusively prove the victim wasn’t too drunk to consent, will result in a quashed conviction as the chance of him receiving a second trial are much slimmer. I’ve always felt that Ched will play professional football again, because of money.

I’ve revealed more than I wanted to about the girl who was raped in this blog. I have also repeated some things I’ve said in a previous blog. I apologise for both of those things.

But the reason I have is that I predict that this new evidence will focus more on the “quality” and “integrity” of the survivor. Which has formed the crux of this case. Her actions before, after and during the rape matter not one jot if Ched had penetrative intercourse with a stranger who was too drunk to consent.

Slags aren’t real. Rapists are.

HB-Oh, fuck off

Here’s what happened on my International Women’s Day:


I started the day listening to Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill, which I haven’t heard since Coogan used it as a comedy device on The Trip, and before that it’d been years.


It’s alright, you know, that album. She can hold a tune and despite her much-spoofed understanding of the concept of irony, it’s great to hear a record in which someone’s willing to be vulnerable and honest. But it’s that honesty that most depresses me.


Aside from the pop-rock anthemic quality of the album, and the lovely (though screechy) vocal arrangements, I think a large part of the reason the album was successful was this sense that it was relatable. And I just don’t fucking relate.


What’s more, I’m sad that other people – especially women – would find the feelings espoused on the record as universal.


I don’t want to disparage either the creativity or honesty of another woman, especially as this is about International Women’s Day and women should be allowed to be and feel exactly what they want, without being derided for it.


This is more of a lament about the state of things.


Take, You Oughtta Know


Here’s the answer to her questions:


‘Yes, she’d probably go down on him in a theatre. That’s not the perfect measure of the perversion you allude to. The relative merits of you both operate outside the realms of your willingness to give head in public, and in either case, it’s not a fucking competition.’


‘No, he’s almost certainly not thinking of you when he fucks her.”


“No, he doesn’t feel it when you scratch your nails down someone else’s back, it’s a physiological impossibility, and in any case, he’s busy fucking his new girlfriend.”


I want to live in a world where women just assume that anyone they used to fuck is thinking about them constantly, because they’re immeasurably unique and magnificent, but that they aren’t arsed either way. When’s that album coming out?


The dream break-up album track list would go:


  1. “Who are you again?”
  2. “Didn’t we used to fuck?”
  3. “Best of luck in all your future endeavours [The “Ah Well” Remix]”
  4. “I’m fucking great”
  5. “Next!”
  6. Six
  7. Songs
  8. Not
  9. About
  10. Dick
  11. At All
  12. “Still great”


No-one’s saying it isn’t tricky if you’re in love and someone bins you. I’m not even saying if you want to hold someone accountable for not loving you anymore, as if they were contractually obliged to, is bad. I’m not disputing her feelings, anyone else’s feelings, and I’m not saying there’s a wrong or right way to cope with rejection. Knock yourself out if you’re consumed with anger about the issue to a point where you want to write a catchy album about the whole fucking thing.


What I hate is this sense that those feelings are universal. Because they aren’t. I’ve never felt them and I’ve been in love. I hate the sense that a woman’s identity is beholden to their relationships with men.


Which is why when I’d stopped listening to Alanis on my way to work and walked into the communal staff area in which women were discussing the division of domestic labour in their homes, I felt further saddened.


I don’t care what you do in your house. I don’t care if you live in shit, or if you cook and clean all day. I don’t care if your fella does it all, or nothing.


But I do care that you’re discussing it in work. I do care that you speak about the said division of labour as if there were universal truths pertaining to gender identity and cleanliness. I do care that you’re doing it on my time. I do care that some of you are 24 and talking about still walking into domestic arrangements in which you’re doing all the fucking chores, when you don’t want to. I care that you’re arguing with your fella about him not picking his clothes up off the bedroom floor in 2015 as if there aren’t other fucking options and you aren’t in control of your own fucking living arrangements.


I care that there’s an assumption I know what you’re talking about. I care that you’re in work and there’s still this Loose Women-style narrative that this is what men are and this is what women are and that the liberated bit of it is just fucking identifying it and moaning.


You have a choice. Unless there’s a threat of physical violence in the household, and I’ve no doubt – statistically speaking – that is a reality for some of them, you have a choice. Don’t do it.


“But if I don’t do it, he won’t do it…” So none of you do it, and live in shit. Just don’t bore me with dull rhetoric, because you have a choice. And if you don’t have a choice, don’t sanctify your relationship in other instances when you talk about him being a great dad or your rock. If you’re getting the tea on simply because you’ve got a fanny, you’re not in a relationship, you’re in a fucking prison.


“Me and Steve are going to Madrid in May…”


If this is the same Steve who you’ve told the office you row with because he hasn’t washed up in four years, why don’t you go to Spain on your own and fuck a few Spaniards?


As I say, it’s not the individual women I have the problem with. We live in a society that informs us and our relationships. It’s not that people are in shit relationships; it’s that we’re creating shit relationships for each other by normalising behaviours and gender roles that are bad for us.


It’s that we live in a world in which it is commonplace for women to openly discuss and dwell on all the various ways they are oppressed, but it’s not commonplace for other women to say…” Oh man, Steve sounds like an absolute oppressive wankstain. Have you considered living with someone who’ll clean for you, or better still why not fuck your way around Great Britain and then when you cook and clean for yourself it’ll seem less exploitative?”


Later on that same day I came home to watch Better Call Saul.


Oh man, I am loving Better Call Saul.


At this point I think it has even better potential than Breaking Bad, which I also love. It has the same great cinematography and soundtrack, but I think Saul is a much more rounded character and it’s funnier. But it got me thinking about all my favourite TV programmes.


The Sopranos is the greatest, obviously. Not up for debate. Then we have The Wire, Breaking Bad… they’re all programmes that you could watch time and again and still enjoy.


And yet. No great women in any of them.


Carmella Soprano, possibly. But not until season 4 and in any case one great female – and her greatness could be contested because her role is a device for virtue over sin for much of the drama – does not make for any meaningful dent.


I don’t think I’m actively selecting male dominated dramas, either.


Game of Thrones and House of Cards have a couple of women of interest, but you couldn’t say the drama in either isn’t inherently propelled by men.


No, my International Women’s Day was dominated and, indeed, subjugated by the prevailing sense that I don’t recognise myself in the social constructs of womanhood. I don’t think I’m alone in that.


I’m reminded that there are other women in the world suffering horribly in war and poverty, and so my petty observations about what it means to be a woman are fairly meek and inconsequential.


I’m reminded that we do have that one great TV show (not Girls; Girls is shit) in which women are sexual, emotional and intellectual protagonists; Orange is the New Black (I’d put it on the school syllabus). I’m also reminded that for every Alanis there’s a Missy Elliott talking about working big dicks and using her music to boast about how beautiful and talented she is, without apology.


It’s not about slating Alanis, or the staffroom women with terrible husbands. I have lots and lots of great women in my life who don’t subscribe to aforementioned constructs either. We don’t attack the women, we attack the constructs.


I’m just saying that there’s a lot of work to be done, post-feminism is a myth, and it’s about time HBO stopped ignoring women.


Happy (Belated) International Women’s Day!


Celebrity Paedophiles

During the course of the last couple of years we’ve all been fairly astonished by the depth and scale of the British paedophile scandal.

Turns out that in the 1970’s, Light Entertainment was awash with predatory paedophiles abusing children, and procuring children for others to abuse, along with other criminal sexual and violent acts.

It seems barely a month goes by without new arrests, suspects and accusations being leveled at public figures, before a criminal trial in the case of the (few still) living, or a posthumous reconciliation of the fact that hugely popular cultural figures died having never answered for their abhorrent criminality (Savile, Cyril Smith and others).

Which begs the question; are we witnessing a witch-hunt? Are the public so buoyed-up by this tidal wave of historical – I hate the use of this word, in this context, because it suggests a distance that doesn’t exist – paedophile exposure that we want more? Are vulnerable ex-celebrities sitting targets for women who were kids in the 70’s, just waiting to prey on their wealth and notoriety for personal gain?

Well, the answer to that is almost certainly, no. And there are good reasons for that. Liz Kershaw, who has spoken brilliantly about her experiences with Savile and given some great insight into the culture of Radio 1 whilst she worked there, suggested that Operation Yew Tree don’t need evidence to go after certain celebrities, which is why she felt it wasn’t appropriate for her to pursue a sexual abuse incident in the workplace prosecution after a colleague (she won’t name) put his hands up her top at work. She says she felt this wasn’t a sexual act in any case, and was more about power, and putting her “in her place”.

It is, of course, her own choice about whether or not she wants to pursue the matter. And it is also her own choice as to how she wishes to view the assault.

Nonetheless; I think it is worth mentioning that Paedophilia and rape are always about power. Power and control are the central premise of all violent sexual criminal activity.

Which is why most victims of sexual abuse never report the abuse, either in the moment or retrospectively (once again, that historic word irks me, and I don’t think it’s either accurate or ethical) and why the current stream of child sex abuse claims aren’t really a witch hunt.

When a person reports an “historic” sexual abuse allegation, even in the current climate, and with great swathes of new jobs for people assigned to treat alleged victims more sensitively than before, they are forced to recite details of the incident. There is a burden of proof to be ascertained.

No famous person under the Yew Tree umbrella is going to go prison for one solitary accusation, or even several accusations, that don’t follow the same pattern.

It is possible, indeed probable, that many victims of celebrity child abusers felt that the Yew Tree investigation has afforded them the opportunity to speak out about their abuse, but ultimately the CPS needs to feel there is enough of a case for it to go to court. And we are talking about some of the wealthiest people in the country who have shrouded themselves in some of the best criminal defense teams.

Criminal profilers know that predatory paedophiles are most successful when they create an outward profile of impunity. Priests, teachers, scout leaders, community workers, religious leaders, and charity workers make for typical working choices for paedophiles. Which is not to say – of course – that everyone involved in these professions are doing so to abuse children. Of course, the vast majority of people in these professions won’t abuse children. But if you were wanting unsupervised access to vulnerable children, and a moral standing in the community that afforded you protection, these occupational choices would seem logical.

Reeks a bit of Daily Mail that, but I make no apologies.

Of course, parents, family members and family friends, perpetrate most sexual abuse of children, which is much harder in terms of social prevention.

The point is that this dynamic, of private predator and public saintliness serves paedophiles extremely well.

In the case of celebrity paedophiles, I’m sure we’ll see bigger ‘saints’ exposed, which brings me to the main crux of my argument.

As more and more public figures come under scrutiny – indeed rumours abound about Elm House Guest Lodge and a number of other celebrities and establishment figures. How long will it be before – and it’s sort of beginning already – this progress in examining the paedophilic activity of public figures, will be dampened by outcries from people who start to see people they like or admire exposed as child abusers?

Woody Allen’s a good example. Us leftie, thinkers love an Allen, film don’t we? We’ve loved to see the philosophical, neurotic, wit make films about… oh, fucking impossibly attractive young women again. And them fucking each other. And them fucking him for a bit, using words they’d never use, and then fucking off again.

You’ve got two clear camps here. You’ve got the “handy if you want to justify loving Allen films” version of bitter Mia Farrow, who fucked Sinatra when she was 19 anyway, so she hasn’t got a leg to stand on, and he’s been happily married for over twenty years and she wasn’t his adopted daughter, side.

And then you’ve got the… he was fifty and took pictures of his girlfriend’s nineteen year old daughter’s fanny, which she subsequently found. You’ve known this girl since she was eight, so the length of your marriage matters not one fucking jot, your adult daughter still maintains you abused her and your art belies your odd and unsettling preoccupation with young women. So there’s something disturbing about your sexual behaviour at the very fucking least. Also, to attribute an alleged survivor’s account to manipulation, is a really clever way to strengthen that dichotomy I spoke about earlier when paedophiles cultivate their public image to detract from their criminality.

“What’s the scandal? I fell in love with this girl, married her…”

Well, you met her when she was 8 and you were 45, Woody. She’s the sister of your kids, Woody. She was your girlfriend’s daughter, Woody.

The truth is, I don’t know whether Woody abused his daughter. But more importantly, neither do you.

Victoria Coren seems to though, give this shit a read if you can’t stand the thought of your favourite filmmaker being a paedophile:

Probably don’t read it if you’ve ever been the victim of a sexual crime though, because it turns out Victoria doesn’t trust your own version of what happened to you.

Which is the sole reason many survivors don’t ever want to publically accuse their abusers. They fear they won’t be believed.

“We’re not saying you’re a liar, because in your head it probably seemed that way…”

There’s no getting away from the fact that that Guardian article is potentially the most offensive, cunty thing I’ve ever read. Nonetheless, I do understand that compulsion to not want your favourite celebrity to be a paedophile. I myself am a big fan of the music of Michael Jackson, but those rumours persist and there is no getting away from the fact that his relationship and dubious proximity to great numbers of children is at the very least questionable.

It’s ok for Fred Talbot and Rolf Harris, but we’re not quite so fucking vocal about Pete Townshend’s book that never materialized or Bill Wyman’s marriage to Mandy Smith.

And these paedophiles, alleged paedophiles and men whose sexuality is at the very least questionable… they use their cool ticket in the same way priests and scout leaders use their social currency. Because people are unable or unwilling to look past carefully constructed power structures that may, or may not be, the very platform upon which their criminal activity rests.

There’s no witch-hunt. The people who bravely come forward to accuse their abusers face no five minutes of fame, usually constitute a wider body of robust evidence – Talbot wrote a fucking diary of abuse and was still acquitted of some of the crimes he was accused of – they have to make their way through the legal teams of much richer people, and – most often – their testimony never even makes it to court.

It’s time to separate the art from the crime. Which seems easier to do when it’s Rolf Harris, not the Rolling Stones. It’s time to understand, recognize and address institutional paedophilia – in all its guises – from Westminster to fucking Hollywood. While we’re at it, this Independent Review (which has had to be disbanded because everyone the Tories pick to run it turns out to be related or known to high profile politicians, Lords and royalty who are all implicated in an alleged paedophile ring of which Savile is alleged to have been a part, which might explain why he was effectively handed the keys to Broadmoor, where he allegedly abused the ill) needs to kick in, but it never will because all roads lead to Thatcher and the Throne. It’s time to recognize that the talented paedophiles are still fucking paedophiles. And it’s time Victoria Coren Mitchell fucked right off.

I Don’t Want Your Freedom

There’s no doubt about it that new media has its upsides. For one, it provides knobbers like me with an arena to espouse ridiculous opinions and frame it like a potty-mouthed Mussolini for strangers who aren’t arsed and don’t agree. For another, you get to see things like 15-second videos of Idris Elba doing sit-ups and for me that’s entirely justified the Internet and everything on it.

You get to know about news events before the national news teams report it, and you get to see celebrities writing pissed up rants, deleting them, apologising for them, and then doing it again. Everyone’s a winner.

But there are, of course, intrinsic flaws in new technology that make for some horrific and seemingly inescapable trauma.

The first is that knobbers like me have an arena to espouse ridiculous opinions like a potty-mouthed Mussolini. And the second is that this new information landscape is difficult to navigate. The important things get lost. There are a myriad of dissenting voices, but only the powerful, hegemonic voices survive the malaise.

There are some notable exceptions. I mentioned The London Riots in a previous blog, which were partly mobilised because of social network activity and there are some great voices and political positions I’ve only ever heard from via the internet, but nonetheless I think the point remains.

For me, one of the most troubling outcomes of social media has been the reinforcement of Western Islamophobia.

There just seems to be great swathes of people who have a warped conception of Islam and Muslims, and because new media operates so insidiously, many of these people think they hate Muslims for entirely rational, logical and ethical reasons and that their position on Muslims came from their own experiences of them, which usually just isn’t true.

Islamophobia isn’t a new thing, of course. Edward Said wrote in his academic discourse of ‘Orientalism’ and the power of positioning people from the East as of ‘The great other’ – something different. Unlike us. To be feared and reviled in equal measure and as of having fundamentally different views to the rest of us.

This is an important message that has served Western governments well when trying to persuade us to go to war for oil, and framing it within a fictional premise of a potential for weapons of mass destruction, or when supporting Israel and funding their mass genocide, or when trying to contextualise Bin Laden in such a way that negates the fact they have previously funded him.

In addition to the most powerful governments in the world manipulating ordinary people into believing Muslims aren’t like us, there is a second reinforcement of Islamophobia from Nazis. The UKIPs, BNPs, Tea Parties, Tories and just general fascist arseholes whose hatred is not just restricted to Islam, but for whom Islam is a fantastic and culturally endorsed scapegoat. The seemingly constant and intellectually stunted bandying around of words like ‘Sharia Law’ by people who know little of it, is relatively new, profoundly disturbing and further evidence of the growing culture of animosity. Most of the founding laws in Europe and America were based on Christian religious scripture. Muslims themselves are divided – secularists, traditionalists and modernist – on a great many issues.

The mistreatment and murder of women and homosexuals is not something that is pertinent to Islam. As is demonstrated in Russia, the USA and Europe every day of every year.

Perhaps the most troubling thing for me is a new third-wave branch of Islamophobia. The neo-liberal assertion of Freedom of Speech, as espoused around the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Freedom of Speech is important to me. Vitally important. Not least because it allows me an arena for my potty-mouthed Mussolini points of view. But I question everyone’s conception of freedom.

How free are ordinary, decent Muslim people when they must first suffer the huge and numerous political attacks upon them by Western Governments who put oil and money before the lives of hundreds of thousands of Muslim people globally? When they live here – sometimes as a consequence of aforementioned mistreatment, sometimes as nationals – they are persecuted for their religious identity. They go to the cinema and every second film is a Hollywood interpretation of their ‘otherness, violence and incivility’ – see Argo, American Sniper et al. They go on social media sites and are confronted with distorted understandings of Islam presented in a way to escalate fear and hatred. They see support for one-policy Nazi parties whose entire identity is built around sustaining, maintaining and creating a climate of prejudice.

And another thing; each time there is an Islamic Fundamentalist terror attack the Muslim community are criticised for not being vehement enough in their condemnation of said attack.

I don’t remember Christians being asked to go on television and apologise for sectarian bombings. Nor should they. It’s implied.

Which brings us back to Charlie Hebdo.

Freedom of Speech is important. Satire is also important. It pricks at the conscience of the powerful and it has the power to provoke and stimulate conversation, which can result in beneficial change. I think everyone should be a target for satire, including the religious.

I just don’t feel that attacking the personal beliefs of a group of already marginalised people is proper satire. First decent Muslims get fucked over by laws that undermine, murder and persecute them and then they face the further indignity of a second image of the Prophet Mohammed as some sort of internationally agreed code for global unity against terror? No.

The world has decided that the best way to fight hate is with more hate, and it’s this hate that will make for a better future for us all? No, thanks.

Satire is about socking it to the man. Not socking it to the persecuted on behalf of the man.

If we want to critique religion, I’m in. I won’t do it in the Ricky Gervais, professional atheist way, because it’s dull, condescending and doesn’t take into account that people who rely on religion are often doing so in the poorest of countries, after centuries of tradition and deserve a discussion, not derision.

But if we’re just looking to attack one religion, continuing to not identify their wrongful persecution, not reporting attacks on them properly, and frame it as a crusade for freedom? Je ne suis pas Charlie.

Katie Fucking Hopkins

There’s no two ways about it; I love shit telly. I’ve always loved shit telly, and I will continue to love shit telly. My friends often tell me that there are worthier pursuits, and there are, but I love the inordinate sense of pleasure I derive from watching people be dicks for my entertainment.

Partly because I’m also a dick. But mostly because, so are you.

Every single thing we ever watch on television is entirely weighted by political and socio-economic burden, so you may at well be watching Animals Do the Funniest Things, as opposed to an art house documentary, because neither are pure and polar bears are funny as fuck when they slip.

I’m not even trying to justify my watching of this year’s Celebrity Big Brother, because I always watch it and one year George Galloway wore a leotard and pretended to lick milk out of a purring Rula Lenska’s hands, and that’s entertainment in anyone’s book.

I think sometimes though, you have to look at the freak show and rule yourself out.

I’m there.

It’s been just over a week and I’ve watched a televised sexual assault, racial abuse, predatory sexual behaviour and relentless bullying, and at some point you have to object to a platform for Katie Hopkins.

Here’s (part of) the problem with having a vehicle for Katie Hopkins:

Big Brother is a popularity contest and Katie Hopkins is a Nazi.

Freedom of Speech seems to be the topic of the moment (next blog), nonetheless lines need to be drawn.

Abu Hamza might do a cracking Katy Perry impression, and perhaps Pinochet had a heart of gold after a couple of bottles of vino and would’ve got in the hot tub with his dick out. I wouldn’t want to know though, because I’m unwilling to look past their failings.

And let’s talk about those failings.

She called Palestinians filthy rodents and endorsed Israeli bombing.

She recently tweeted “Little sweaty jocks, sending us Ebola bombs in the form of sweaty Glaswegians just isn’t cricket. Scottish NHS sucks.”

She’s claimed she wouldn’t employ a fat person.

She hates the unemployed.

She works for The Sun.

On that basis, she’s legitimately abhorrent.

She preys on the scared and the disenfranchised, because people who hold reactionary views tend to be those of us most in need. And because those people are aspirational, they see someone with a posh accent, as ‘classy.’ So it works as a sort of double-pronged success.

What happens in Big Brother is that people are judged primarily on their behaviour for three weeks, and usually this operates in almost total isolation from their way of living.

This means people like Jim Davidson win Big Brother, despite having a racist act for 30 years and generally being a massive cunt.

One could argue that I’m demonstrating sour grapes towards Davidson – and I am – but the point remains.

In the scheme of things, it’s no great shakes if Hopkins wins Big Brother, but I just don’t want to be a part of it.

In the first few episodes – and there was much to be offended about – one of the most offensive suggestions was that Hopkins is clever.

If she were clever she wouldn’t be fucking around on Channel 5 with a couple of Page Three Girls and Keith fucking Chegwin.

None of the intellectual powerhouses in Great Britain have ever, EVER sat down and argued the misfortunate social scourge that is parents naming their children Tyler.


Nor will they.

Neither is she employed (which in itself is a sin) to espouse, “What we’re all thinking, but too scared to say.”

Not until I hear her say “My career is a vehicle of hate, because it earns me money and yields me an attention I revel in,  and because I’m fundamentally deeply unhappy and desperate for the approval of dick.”

I don’t care about Katie Hopkins’ pleasant, softer side in the same way I didn’t care Hitler was a vegetarian, dog-lover.

Just not arsed.

It’s possibly true that Katie’s hatred of fat is as a consequence of her own patriarchal slavishness to be considered attractive, which is fully demonstrated by the endless coquettish giggles and pouts.

It also might be true that she doesn’t believe what she’s saying and is instead just trying to earn a living by being the pantomime villain.

The point is that she is a filthy embodiment of attributes any humane, thinking person would object to.

Big Brother is giving Hopkins the opportunity to demonstrate her party trick – and she’ll win or lose on that basis – when she shouldn’t have been invited to the fucking party.