#30 Who’s Next?
The Kids Are Alright. Just
It was a different time in the seventies.
Parenting was a much simpler affair for a start. Rather than leaving your kids home alone and going down the pub or to Marbella or whatever you simply invited your friends round and got mangled in your front room while they slept on the pile of coats in the back bedroom.
People came to those affairs armed with a Party Seven, a massive can of seven pints of warm flat beer. This was considered the height of sophistication.
Facial hair wasn’t ironic.
In hindsight it appears to have been against the law not to be some kind of sex pest and work at the BBC.
In this light the developments regarding Harriet Harman, the dish faced humourless harridan who has somehow risen to be a chicken bone away from being leader of a major political party, and the artist formerly known as The National Council For Civil Liberties look a bit more explicable. But only a bit.
The problem with all this isn’t the Daily Mail’s gloriously evidence free yet innuendo heavy articles alleging guilt by association with a vile organisation with no place in any kind of society. It’s not with their monstrous hypocrisy for attacking her refusal to apologise for the links given their historical love of Hitler and the Blackshirts. It’s with a fact (pointed out to me by a correspondent yesterday) that should immediately disqualify her and anyone else who was part of what is now known as Liberty in those days from holding any kind of public office, or even be allowed a driving licence or the vote.
All these great minds, that have turned out to be high profile responsible public figures, didn’t spot a problem with an organisation called the Paedophile Information Exchange.
An organisation that was upfront about its mission to see the age of consent lowered to 10.
You can argue all you like about not being directly involved, but I’m pretty certain that if the National Front had tried to pay an affiliation fee it would have been given straight back. What’s the difference? Well to me it’s rank incompetence, and Patricia Hewitt has this week apologised for it.
But, as the Saville revelations have proved, it was a different time in the seventies…
Mama’s Got A Squeezed Box
Apparently the goodie bag at the Oscars this weekend includes a $2,700 voucher for vaginal rejuvenation. I don’t have any more on this; I just wanted you to know that I aborted about ten frankly disgusting punchlines. I’m sure you can imagine…..
Won’t Get Fooled Again. Again
On the 25th of September 1983 one of Europe’s biggest mass jailbreaks occurred in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland (or Long Kesh in old money). It held the famous H Blocks surrounded by 18 foot walls topped with barbed wire, and with its 15 foot fences and the fact it held people convicted of paramilitary violence during the troubles it was considered to be one of the most escape proof prisons in Europe.
In a coordinated action it took 20 minutes to take control of block H7, involving stabbings and shots from firearms smuggled in. Almost 40 prisoners managed to get out.
The fallout exposed complacency and incompetence from the prison guards, government, and police.it was a massive propaganda coup for the IRA, being seen as not only a daring escape, but easy too. You’d think they’d have learned…
In this light it came as quite a surprise to hear that John Downey, a suspect for the Hyde Park bombing in 1982 had heard that he was wanted for questioning and as part of the Good Friday agreement had written to the Police Service Of Northern Ireland for written confirmation that he wasn’t wanted for something. In a wonderful show of how not to administer they then firstly sent him a letter telling him, no, he was in the clear and wasn’t going to be arrested or questioned for anything, despite the Met being quite anxious to talk about a few things with him. Then, having found out that the letter was a mistake they decided not to do anything about it.
As a consequence Downey, who denies any involvement in the terrorist action, walked free and is doubtless still laughing and nursing a wicked hangover now.
The unionists have complained and threatened to derail devolution by walking out of Stormont. Assurances that this trick won’t work again have kept them onside. Given the lessons of recent history I wouldn’t unpack all my stuff just yet if I were them…..
I’m Free (except in matters of sexuality and reproductive control)
Ah America, I do enjoy you so. With your hot dogs and blue jeans and profusion of right wing nutcases.
Latest off the rank this week are a couple of instances of barely concealed spite designed to make you wonder what happened to freedom of choice. Than realise it never really existed at all.
Firstly, in Iowa a law is being pushed through that allows women to sue their doctor up to ten years after an abortion; not because they have suffered some kind of physical trauma during the procedure, but because they experienced regret. Yes, regret. Greg Heartsill (male, Republican, but you’d probably guessed this) is suggesting that malpractice lawsuits for “pain and suffering” be allowed even if the patient has signed a release form.
Again, there do not have to be any medical issues surrounding the abortion. The woman only has to have second thoughts almost a decade later and a perfectly satisfactory procedure could land a competent doctor with a huge fine or even prison.
Put aside the notion that poor dumb women don’t know their own minds. Ignore the implied assertion that in a crucial moment of a woman’s life a stranger has more grasp of her mental state than her. Concentrate on what you think will happen as doctors start to refuse to perform abortions, not on moral grounds, but because the risk of regret lawsuits down the line is too great.
Once you make it harder or more expensive for women to control their reproductive choices they will often turn to less scrupulous and as a result more dangerous methods of abortion. Failing that the other ill effects for women of a law that bullies doctors into performing fewer abortions include: the burden of unwanted pregnancy, the dangers of childbirth (which by far exceed those of a kosher abortion), the emotional stress of adoption, and the lacerating responsibility of raising a kid you don’t want.
Let’s hope some sense prevails here eh?
And then in Arizona, a place so boring, dry and dusty that people have nothing better to do than shoot rattlesnakes and dream up bonkers laws a bill allowing people to refuse to serve gay people in shops, hotels and restaurants almost got signed into law, until the corporate world informed the Governor that pushing it through would result in a boycott that would cause the local economy to implode. Luckily she relented and for now naked bigotry isn’t enshrined in legislation.
Best comment I’ve read was from Bill Maher, who tweeted that it was ironic Arizona ruled gay men can shop without discrimination, because if you ever shopped with a gay man, they’re the ones in most shops who ARE discriminating.
Here is a photo of a posh bloke stood in sewage water in Clapham.
He’s very angry about the sewer pipe bursting. He’s more angry about not being able to afford to live in a posh area north of the river where other people’s shit hasn’t run down the fucking streets since the middle ages.
South London. Shithole.
Next time, possibly a bit about horse racing……..