Stay Out Of My Safe (Time And) Space

A tale of our times

The internet is currently involved in one of those periodic storms that blows up every now and then over the most innocuous of topics. And in the best traditions of pointless internet squabbles (has the internet been around long enough to have traditions I wonder) people have been taking completely binary positions about the issue at hand – this is either the best thing that has happened in history or the worst possible event that may lead to the extinction of all human life. I refer of course to the BBC’s appointment of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor in the long-running science fiction show, Dr Who. Continue reading “Stay Out Of My Safe (Time And) Space”

The Delusions Of Tony Blair Part 4,652

Those whom the gods would destroy…

I have no strong feelings about the European Union; I am not particularly in favour of the EU but nor do a suffer from the visceral hatred that some of the Conservative party appear to have. This hatred has seen the last three Conservative Prime Ministers brought down by divisions over Europe and it will almost certainly see off a fourth, probably by the end of this year. If I was still living in the UK, I would probably have voted to remain in the EU, seeing the status quo as the least worst option. In that I am rather like Jeremy Corbyn who appeared to abandon his lifelong opposition to the EU; Corbyn claimed he was “seven out of ten” in favour of the EU – this despite being a follower of Tony Benn, who “loathed” the EU and as a Cabinet Minister campaigned for a “No” vote in the 1975 Referendum. However, despite not sharing the intense dislike for all things EU on the Labour left and Conservative right, I am mystified by the insane Europhilia evidenced in all mainstream parties – the Scottish Nazis, the Illiberal Undemocrats, the Conservatives and Labour. And no more insane Europhile exists than the war criminal himself, Tony Blair.

Continue reading “The Delusions Of Tony Blair Part 4,652”

A Strange Obsession Update

Fixated on niche issues

Yesterday I remarked on the media’s obsession with transgender people and the wedding of a gay Muslim couple. The point I was making that the amount of attention these issues – particularly those to do with transgender people – is completely disproportionate to their representation in the general population. Then in the Sunday Times today, I read this story about a Scottish midwife who says she sees 150 cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) a year. Yesterday, I pointed out that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 transgendered folks in the UK and about 42,000 gay Muslims. It was estimated that at least 103,000 women were living with FGM in Britain in 2011. FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but there have been no successful prosecutions to date. And which of these issues gets the press coverage? Incidentally, it has always stuck me as odd that the supposed unequal pay of multimillionaire (mostly white) Hollywood actresses is a “feminist issue” but the brutal mutilation of poor (mostly non-white) women is not. Ho hum.

A Strange Obsession

Fixated on niche issues

Two stories that have been heavily reported by the British press this week demonstrate the strange obsessions that are increasingly dominating the mainstream media. In one, Jahed Choudhury and Sean Rogan got married in what is believed to be the first gay marriage in the UK that involves a Muslim person. The second story involved Transport for London changing announcements on the Underground from “ladies and gentlemen” to “hello everyone” in an effort to be gender neutral. The disproportionate reporting of these two stories and the neglect of others – the first anniversary of the terrorist attack in Nice for example – shows that the media continues to be fixated on issues that can be most generously described as “niche.” Continue reading “A Strange Obsession”

The $22,000 Fidget Spinner

The wastefulness of the obscenely rich

There are few things guaranteed to upset me more than the arrogance, vulgarity and sheer sense of entitlement displayed by the global super rich. Ipswich’s repeated failure to return to the Premier League and the existence of Victoria Beckham are the only things I can think of that give me similar attacks of rage. So, you can imagine the spike in my blood pressure when I heard about a fidget spinner for sale at $22,000 (£13,000). It reminded me of the time back in the 1980s when Mike Tyson paid £650,000 for a watch. It demonstrates clearly that the obscene wealth enjoyed by some of the global rich is also obscenely wasteful  – as well as being economically illiterate and environmentally unsustainable. Continue reading “The $22,000 Fidget Spinner”