Category Archives: Sexism

Let’s Talk About: Milo Yiannopoulos

The British Right have always been a pretty mean-spirited bunch. Not content with grabbing all they can for themselves and their pals, they’re bullies to a man (and woman). The new crop of right-wingers are even worse that the old-timers. Constantly hiding behind phrases like ‘free speech’, they believe that they should be able to express nasty, misogynistic, racist and homophobic views without being challenged. For them, the idea of free speech is “I say what I like and you shut the fuck up”. The Cat has been dealing with people like these since he began blogging in 2010. Most of them are the products of poor parenting, while others are simply bullies having learnt to exploit those weaker or different to themselves while attending their posh boarding schools. It’s in their DNA, you see.

I was reading this blog by Kate Smurthwaite on the New Internationalist website in which she describes the relentless trolling and bullying by men who still haven’t managed to grow up. One of these men is Milo Yiannopolous, a self-styled web entrepreneur who has been implicated in the so-called #GamerGate controversy.

Smurthwaite has received 1,700 abusive tweets, some of which threaten rape and others that wish her dead. Call me old-fashioned, but I wouldn’t wish someone dead on Twitter because I disagree with them or dislike them. I can’t stand George Osborne and I call him a liar, but I don’t wish him dead – even though his government’s policies (which read like they were formulated after a massive cocaine binge) have been responsible for numerous deaths. Here’s what Milo Minderbinder tweeted.

milo minderbinder

The Cat has never taken kindly to bullies. They deserve his utmost contempt. “Bullies” as my mum used to tell me “are cowards”. Minderbinder is no different. In fact, he’s worse. He hides behind a keyboard, popping out occasionally to appear on programmes like BBC3’s Free Speech,  in which he wriggles in his seat, throws his head from side to side and refuses to make eye contact with fellow guests, while spewing vitriol on any subject put before him. He is especially nasty when it comes to women’s rights and anti-racism.

It comes as no surprise to The Cat that Minderbinder’s pal, James Delingpole, has also been involved in GamerGate. Delingtroll is the British editor of Breitbart, a right-wing news site that’s based in the United States. Like Minderbinder, Delingtroll hates anyone who’s tolerant but he especially hates feminists, Greens and left-wingers, who are referred to variously as ‘feminazis’, ‘libtards’ or ‘leftards’ (It’s a portmanteau of left/liberal and retard. Geddit?), and tends to label anyone who protests against fascists and racists as “liberal fascists”. Inverted logic or what? Minderbinder also writes for Breitbart, where he specialises in anti-feminist attack pieces like this one.  If you think that’s bad, try his opinion piece on the spree-killer, Elliot Rodger, who killed women at random because he was apparently knocked back.

Minderbinder wrote:

Anxieties about those of other sexes, sexual orientations and races are often crudely labeled “Right-wing” by snobbish metropolitan newspapers.

So, not only is this article a thinly-veiled anti-feminist attack piece, it also piles on the drama and the paranoia. It gets worse too.

So it is the games we should look to for insight into his condition. It’s understandable that after a tragedy those left should seek answers–and depressingly predictable that the feminist Left should seize on his manifesto as further ammunition for their insatiable, misandristic war of attrition.

“Misandristic”? Come again? The response of men, who have neither love for women nor sympathy for feminism, is to claim that feminists are “man-hating”. It’s lazy and simplistic. It’s also anti-intellectual. Minderbinder, who failed to finish his university courses at Manchester and Cambridge, appears to have landed on his feet, thus proving that the spoilt, rich scions of Britain’s grande-bourgeoisie don’t have to work hard academically, because they know they will have an easy life. They either inherit great wealth or they get a job with daddy’s firm. Whatever happens to them, they know that they will never have to draw the dole. The vain and conceited Minderbinder is one of them.

I haven’t named Yiannopoulos (formerly Milo Wagner), “Milo Minderbinder” for nothing. Those of you who have read Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 or seen the film, will recall that the character Milo Minderbinder is a war profiteer; the satirical representation of unbridled capitalism. The real Milo Minderbinder isn’t interested in anyone but himself. Yiannopoulos is similar… only more conceited.

Minderbinder’s early venture into the web was an online publication called The Kernel.  He ended up being sued by the Employment Tribunal for not paying his contributors. It also appears that he’s good at making enemies. The Kernel was forced to close and was bought out by another company. This is from The Guardian.

Yiannopoulos’s acidic approach to many of the companies featured in the Kernel has made a number of enemies in the London startup scene, some of whom have contacted the Guardian privately to complain about what they saw as negative coverage. “They’re afraid to say so in public,” Steve Karmeinsky of NetTek told the Guardian. “He’s got a mouthpiece that he can’t be fired.

There’s more…

On 18 July he had a very public spat on Twitter with the blogger Zoe Margolis, author of The Girl With A One Track Mind books. That evening she complained on Twitter about a piece he had written for the Kernel about women in technology,tweeting that “someone needs to point out what a sexist, misogynistic prick [Yiannopoulos] is”.

I am pointing out what a sexist and misogynist prick he is and I wish more would do the same. Here’s some more.

From the end of 2010 he ran a project called the Startup 100 for the Daily Telegraph, but only three sponsors were secured to cover the costs of the awards ceremony in April 2011, and there was a row in May 2011 when Mike Butcher of TechCrunch said that he had given his casting vote for the winner to short-term loan company Wonga rather than the company that was awarded the prize, Spotify.

The fallout from the awards is understood to have left the Telegraph nursing a loss running into tens of thousands of pounds. Wrong Agency, Yiannopoulos’s company which he used to run the event, was dissolved in May 2011.

He’s a spiv and people like him  are often called ‘wealth-creators’ and ‘entrepreneurs’ by this government. Mind you, Grant Shapps is Tory party chairman, so there you go.

Minderbinder used to call himself “Milo Wagner”. The Cat doesn’t know if that’s his real name or whether he chose the surname because of his love of Wagnerian operas. One thing I do know is that he has a fetish for Iron Crosses. He’s also a self-loathing gay.  This is taken from his website.

You probably don’t agree. But I think we can all agree that, unless you live in the cosseted bubble of a liberal metropolis, the reality of growing up gay for most people is a horribly lonely, miserable experience. (If you don’t know, take it from me: it is.)Is being homosexual “wrong”? Something somewhere inside of me says Yes.

Later in the piece, he erroneously claims that the struggle for gay rights “has been won”. Someone should tell UKIP and the majority of the Tory Party that.

But the battle for gay rights has been won. All these preening poofs in public life do is make life more difficult for regular young gay people by reinforcing the stereotypes about gay behaviour: reminding a struggling child’s myopic dad that queers are uppity, in-your-face, camp-as-tits faggots who’ll rape you as soon as look at you.

Self-loathing, damned self-loathing. It turns out that he also hates lesbians.

Charming.
Here’s Minderbinder defending Farage and arguing against Equality laws.  He claims that the “straight white guy is losing out”, because of such legislation. Playing the victim is so undignified, but it’s only to be expected of people who enjoy positions of privilege by dint of the circumstances of their birth. For them, inequality is ‘natural’ and should be reinforced.
His replies are typical of so-called ‘classical liberals”, who believe that racism begins and ends at a person’s skin.

The question The Cat would like to ask is “Why is Minderbinder given so much air time”? He is no more qualified than you or I to comment on politics or anything else.

Here he is smirking and trolling the women in the The Big Questions audience on 15 March.

He appears at around 18.00 on this clip.

In today’s blog for Breitbart, he defends his anti-intellectualism, misogyny and misanthropy. It was clearly written in reply to Kate Smurthwaite’s article. Here’s a taster:

Critical theory
Horseshit

Death threats
Mean tweets

Dominant culture
The stuff people actually like. Not to be confused with taxpayer-funded lesbian performance art, which would surely break all Box Office records if only more people got to see it

Equality
Used to mean giving everyone a fair chance; now means enforcing 50-50 quotas in jobs women don’t want to do in order to punish men for being good at maths and physics

Feminism
Misandry masquerading as a fight against oppression and prejudice on the basis of sex; what unattractive men and women do to get attention

This is a man who hasn’t grown up but this is also a man who clearly hates women. I know nothing of his early life, save for his Wikipedia entry. However, from what I’ve seen of him so far, Minderbinder shouldn’t be allowed outdoors without a chaperone.

The British sense of ‘fair play’ is a myth. Just look at Minderbinder, Delingtroll and the Tory Party if you don’t believe me.

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Filed under Ideologies, Let's Talk About, racism, Sexism, Society & culture

Clarkson, Cameron, The BBC And The Great British Art Of Bullying

I’ve written about bullying before on this blog and once again, I find myself writing another blog on the subject.  Bullying in Britain is a national institution. The nation’s leaders and the captains of industry, many of whom were educated at Britain’s top public (independent) schools, learnt to bully others at an early age through the institutionalized regime of fagging. Yet the rest of us, in other words, those of us who didn’t go to an independent boarding school either become victims of their relentless bullying or internalize it. This internalization often finds its outward expression in the ridicule of people for the colour of their skin, their sex, their gender, their occupation, their disability or their social status. Whether we want to admit it or not, Britain is a nation of bullies.

When Jeremy Clarkson told the viewers of The One Show a couple of years ago that public sector workers “should be taken out and shot in front of their families”, he apologised but brushed it off as a “joke”. He is not the first person to do this: Bernard Manning and the other club comics of yesteryear, used a similar excuse: “I can laugh at myself, why can’t Pakis, nig-nogs and poofters do the same”? The issue here isn’t humour itself, but the racist and sexist discourses that are couched in humour, which has the effect of legitimizing such discourses. These jokes chime with the joke-teller’s inner world. For jokes and humour, unless I am very much mistaken, are not created in an ideological vacuum; they are affected by discourse, and the joke-teller is very much aware of this. Brushing off something as a “joke” convinces no one but the joke-teller.

Yesterday, David Cameron’s feeble, almost jokey, defence of Clarkson saw the latter being recast as a children’s entertainer (sic). Cameron claimed that he “was a great fan” of Clarkson and that his children would be “heartbroken” if he was taken off the air. “He’s one of my constituents”, Cameron added. Yes, and the rest of it. Others lined up behind Cameron to repeat the same spiel: Clarkson is a national treasure; a favourite with children. Laughable.

But what about free speech? What about it? The Clarkson incident wasn’t about free speech. Clarkson punched a producer because he couldn’t get what he wanted. In the vast majority of workplaces, it’s a sackable offence to use violence towards your work colleagues. When Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made prank calls to actor, Andrew Sachs, they were dismissed. No questions asked.  Yet, Clarkson is seemingly in a different league to other workers. He punches a producer and 300,000 people sign a petition (that was started by Guido Fawkes) to have him reinstated. If you or I punched a workmate, we’d be told to leave the premises immediately and we’d be threatened with prosecution. Not Clarkson. In the end, the BBC merely suspended him,  which effectively amounts to little more than a slap on the wrists.

The Cat thinks Clarkson should be sacked with immediate effect and Top Gear should be cancelled and replaced with a new show. Preferably one that isn’t hosted by bullies and their mates. By allowing Clarkson to return after a period of suspension, the BBC sends out a message that bullying and violence are the legitimate means to get people to do what you want. Indeed, the BBC’s record when it comes to dealing with pederasts in its own ranks is woefully inadequate. It is, after all, run by members of his class who attended the same kinds of educational institutions. I’m not holding my breath for change.

UPDATE 24/3/15 @ 1940

Well, Clarkson’s been given the boot and already Brendan O’Neill has penned a paean to the man. In characteristic style, O’Neill has claimed that Clarkson’s sacking was because of “the dogmatic liberal elite”… now prepare to suspend your disbelief because I’ll repeat that, Clarkson’s sacking was because of “the dogmatic liberal elite”. A question: is O’Neill for real? What’s this really about? Look, Clarkson punched his producer after verbally abusing him for 20 minutes.The producer, Oisin Tymon, was taken to a local A&E for treatment for a cut and swollen lip. There’s no “liberal elite” involved here… unless you’re talking about the BBC’s management and even then, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The only people who believe the BBC is [coughs] “left-wing” are Tories, Kippers and assorted far-right knuckledraggers. But then, they’re fantasists and drama queens, so they make up stuff all the time.

This is O’Neill’s [ahem] argument in a nutshell.

Their main interest is not in protecting a BBC producer’s face from Clarkson’s fists — it’s in protecting the public’s ears, and our allegedly putty-like brains, from Clarkson’s words, from his consensus-pricking, fast-car loving, two-fingered salute to modern liberal orthodoxies.

Say what?

So, Clarkson’s on his way out. His former co-presenter, Quentin Willson, is less than flattering about the Repton Reptile, saying he was “difficult to work with”.

“If you’ve got a global audience of 350 million people hanging on your every word, then that makes you detached from your sources. It’s so sad that this is his requiem, if you like.”

Yeah, I’m all choked up.

However, that’s not the end of the story. Apparently North Yorkshire Police may want a word with Clarkson. Stick that in your pipe, O’Neill.

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Filed under BBC, Bullying, Child sex abuse, Media, racism, Sexism, Society & culture

Telegraph Comment of the Week (#1)

Some of the comments on Telegraph blogs are totally nuts and most are racist or sexist. Many who comment on Telegraph blogs are singularly obsessed (which may indicate an untreated disorder) and others can’t focus on the blog on which they’re commenting.

Here’s this week’s Telegraph comment of the week, which was found on this blog.

Racist NHS comment

Here, “barbican” blames his aunt’s MRSA on “African” doctors. Nowhere Towers is only surprised that this commenter didn’t say “witch-doctor”.

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Filed under Media, Racism, Sexism, Telegraph Comment of the Week, Tory press

Charles Moore: the EDL is misunderstood

Most, if not all Tories, are out of touch; on another planet and only capable of listening to the voices in their heads. This is something they have in common with Blairites, who are really nothing less than Tory entryists who infiltrated the Labour Party. Charles Moore, former editor of The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph and is, more recently, Thatcher’s official biographer sums this up more than most.

At Nowhere Towers we know how some of the Telegraph’s bloggers routinely play to an audience of fascists, racists and sexists.  Kennite is one, Tobes is another. So it comes as no surprise that Charles Moore, who is not the sharpest tool in the box nor the most original hack in the Barclay Brothers stable, rides in on Gilligan’s coat-tails with this article.  The title is hysterical and screams:

Woolwich outrage: we are too weak to face up to the extremism in our midst

A sense of victimhood oozes from every letter and punctuation mark. It also suggests emasculation; the poisoning of our precious fluids. Have a look at the opening paragraph:

It is less than a month since Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, yet already the incident feels half-forgotten. In terms of the legal process, all is well. Two men have been charged. There will be a trial. No doubt justice will be done. But I have a sense that the horror felt at the crime is slipping away.

Is horror something that we all want to feel every minute, every hour of the day? No. It is evident that Moore’s completely lost touch with the real world. He grudgingly admits that ” justice will be done” but then begins to paint a nightmarish picture of his own mind that even Heironymus Bosch would have envied. For in the next paragraph, he says:

The media, notably the BBC, quickly changed the subject. After a day or two focusing on the crime itself, the reports switched to anxiety about the “Islamophobic backlash”. According to Tell Mamma, an organisation paid large sums by the Government to monitor anti-Muslim acts, “the horrendous events in Woolwich brought it [Islamophobia] to the fore”. Tell Mamma spoke of a “cycle of violence” against Muslims.

Well, it’s true. In the aftermath of Lee Rigby’s murder, the number of attacks against Muslims and anyone who was ‘of Muslim appearance’ actually increased. If Moore doesn’t want to believe that, then perhaps he’d like to have word with the Met? He claims that monitoring groups like Tell Mama are using the tragedy to pursue a political agenda…unlike the EDL or the BNP? Get real, Charlie.

Yet the only serious violence was against a British soldier, who was dead.

Oh really? What about the elderly Pakistani man who was stabbed to death in a racist attack on the streets of Birmingham weeks before?  But it’s the next part of the paragraph that’s really Dagenham (two stops past Barking).

In The Sunday Telegraph, Andrew Gilligan brilliantly exposed the Tell Mamma statistics – most of them referred merely to nasty remarks on the web rather than actual attacks, many were not verified, no reported attack had required medical attention, and so on.

Ah, but Charlie, if I were to threaten to carry out violent acts against your wretched and pitiful body on the Internet, you would be perfectly entitled to refer the matter to the cops as I know you would.

A trap is set here, inviting those of us who reject such statements, to defend the EDL. I do not. While not, in its stated ideology, a racist organisation like the BNP, the EDL has an air of menace. It must feel particularly unpleasant for Muslims when its supporters hit the streets. But the EDL is merely reactive. It does not – officially at least – support violence.

The EDL is what? Yes, here Moore claims that the EDL “doesn’t support violence”. Laughable isn’t it?

It is the instinctive reaction of elements of an indigenous working class which rightly perceives itself marginalised by authority, whereas Muslim groups are subsidised and excused by it. Four days ago, six Muslim men were sentenced at the Old Bailey for a plot to blow up an EDL rally. The news was received quietly, though it was a horrifying enterprise. No one spoke of “white-phobia”. Imagine the hugely greater coverage if the story had been the other way round.

Here Moore panders to the bigots he knows will be attracted to his ill-informed rubbish. It would appear that Moore, like Kennite, has also taken issue with the word “Islamophobia”.  Similarly, Torygraph hacks also have a problem with the word “homophobia”. Tell you what, Charlie, if the word offends you that much, The Cat will use the phrases “anti-Muslim attacks” and “anti-gay attacks” instead. That way you and your chums won’t get your knickers in a twist over semantics. Is it a deal? But there’s still an element of fear to both kinds of bigotry. Deny it all you like.

All journalists experience this disparity. If we attack the EDL for being racist, fascist and pro-violence, we can do so with impunity, although we are not being strictly accurate. If we make similar remarks about Islamist organisations, we will be accused of being racist ourselves. “Human rights” will be thrown at us.

“Human rights”? Yeah, God damn those human rights. That reminds me of a passage from Gil Scott-Heron’s excellent rap poem B-Movie.

Civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights…it’s all wrong. Call in the cavalry to disrupt this perception of freedom gone wild. God damn it…first one wants freedom, then the whole damn world wants freedom.

We can’t have that. Human rights get in the way of making massive profits… just like it did in the 19th century, which is where Moore, Kennite and Hon. Tobes long to be.

Moore lays it on rather thickly here:

Much more important – from the point of view of the general public – you frequently find that Muslim groups like Tell Mamma get taxpayers’ money (though, in its case, this is now coming to an end). You discover that leading figures of respectable officialdom share conference platforms with dubious groups. You learn that Muslim charities with blatantly political aims and Islamist links have been let off lightly by the Charity Commission. And you notice that many bigwigs in Muslim groups are decorated with public honours. Fiyaz Mughal, for example, who runs Tell Mamma, has an OBE. Obviously it would be half-laughable, half-disgusting, if activists of the EDL were indulged in this way; yet they are, in fact, less extreme than some of those Muslims who are.

Here he uses the ad reductio absurdum argument that it’s “your money” that pays for Tell Mama. Remember, these people want to abolish the Equality and Human Rights Commission for the same spurious reasons. You often hear these people get defensive and scream “I’m not a racist”, then in the next sentence they’ll try to rationalize their bigotry by using plausible-sounding economic language taken from the lexicon of Murray Rothbard or Ron Paul to justify segregation and continued racism.

To show us what a weasel he is, Moore closes with this cloying paragraph in which he invokes the name of Nelson Mandela for effect.

This weekend, Nelson Mandela is gravely ill. When he was a boy, his teacher – whose name was Wellington – replaced his African first name with that of a British hero: he called him Nelson. It stuck. Anti-imperialist though he is, Mandela was educated with a profound respect for the British culture of parliamentary democracy. It became, in many respects, his model for a multiracial South Africa. It arose from good beliefs inculcated early in life. In our own country today, almost the opposite happens. In our state schools, in mosques, on the internet, in university gatherings, many young people are taught to detest the freedom in which they live. Just as surely as good teaching, bad teaching has its power. We refuse even to face it, let alone to stop it.

Yet, when Moore was editor of The Spectator The Dictator, he did not call for sanctions against South Africa. Indeed, like all right-wing journals of the period, The Dictator supported the perpetuation of apartheid. But let’s not forget the embarrassing episode in 2003 when Moore’s Telegraph had alleged that George Galloway had received a substantial sum of money from Saddam Hussein that had been creamed off the Oil for Food programme. Even Tony Blair believed the lies… well, what did you expect? Galloway, a serial litigant, sued the paper successfully for libel and the Telegraph was ordered to pay £150,000 in damages.

As I said  earlier, Moore’s article rides on the coat-tails of Kennite’s article but he also manages to kick one of his favourite hobby horses in the process: the BBC. This is from The Guardian (2 October 2003):

Moore has, in recent weeks, adopted an extreme anti-BBC stance, launching Beebwatch to note down incidents of leftwing bias noted by his readers (and himself) in the corporation’s broadcasts. It began with the Kelly affair and coincides with Black’s loathing of the organisation. Why did the line change, I ask. At the beginning the paper took a very neutral line, then suddenly it became rabidly anti-BBC. “We got it slightly wrong at the beginning. We were right, and we maintain the view, that the Kelly affair reflects very badly on the government. But I think for about a week we missed how all this was going to be used, which is to discredit the whole war, and once we’d twigged that, we hardened the line.”

Kennite, who was sacked from the BBC was soon hired by the Telegraph to write hatchet-jobs. I’m telling you, these people stick together like shit to a blanket.

UPDATE 15/6/13 @ 1546

Title changed.

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Filed under BBC, Ideologies, Islamophobia, Journalism, Media, racism, Racism, Sexism, Society & culture, Tory press, Yellow journalism

UKIP, diversity, the thorny issue of the far right and the Croydon North by-election

Throw in the towel, Winston, you’re toast

Yes, it’s another blog about UKIP!

UKIP tell us that they’re a mainstream party and perhaps they are. They are certainly a populist party that believes that they’ve tapped into latent Eurosceptic and Islamophobic feelings of the British people. There is most definitely a heavy streak of nationalism that suggests to me, at least, there’s a longing for the days of Empire. Is this the reason they have attracted so many supporters from the far-right along with many other self-styled libertarians and Europhobes?

Torygraph bloggers like Fred Ed West deny that UKIP is a far-right party but then, you see, West is an inadvertent fan of Francis Galton, who was Darwin’s cousin and the father of scientific racism. Earlier this year, West claimed in his blog that “there’s nothing extremist about rejecting ‘the benefits’ of diversity”. He goes on to say,

UKIP is something of a strange beast politically, a mixture of libertarians and social conservatives; aside from the Greens, it is the only party considering supporting the legalisation of cannabis. Economically it is the polar opposite of the BNP, but it’s true to say that like that party it draws much of its support from people alienated and repulsed by the new moral order. Social conservatives who overall feel happier with the values of pre-1968 Britain, whether it’s patriotism, their views on marriage, crime and punishment, or sexual mores; and libertarians who hate the way that the cultural revolution has brought a massively expanded state with an insatiable appetite for making new laws, New Labour’s era being a nadir. Both wings of the party have a particularly English opposition to the nanny state, telling them off and leeching their taxes, whether it’s in the name of “health inequality” or “promoting diversity” or any of the other mantras that the statist clergy repeat ad nauseam.

I could spend all day taking Fred’s poorly constructed arguments apart and the above passage is a classic but let’s just say that West is not a man for honesty. He describes UKIP as a “a mixture of libertarians and social conservatives” but this isn’t the whole story. UKIP attracts the racists who wouldn’t be seen dead in the BNP or National Front. Some current members hold views that are most certainly on the the far-right and more than a few of them are unquestionably sexist,  racist or xenophobic. Step forward, Godfrey Bloom! UKIP supporters may argue that other parties have their racists and sexists but that would be a deflection, especially since Bloom’s views are a matter of public record. Westie finishes his piece with this classic piece of analysis,

But that hardly makes it “far” anything, any more than Labour are extreme for attracting people who might otherwise vote for the extreme Left and for using the same language of equality and social justice. The irony is that this report seeks to address peoples’ alienation from mainstream politics, and then characterises them as extremists. Is it any wonder that people feel so disconnected?

What jaw-dropping dishonesty: anyone who normally votes for the “extreme left” as he puts it, do not vote for the Labour Party unless they happen to live, as I do, in a marginal constituency where the fight is between the Tories and Labour… in which case they don’t vote for the “extreme left” – thanks to the shitty voting system. Not even the Lib Dems can get a sniff here. West also seems to feel that there is something inherently evil in the concepts of social justice and equality.

UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage is always at pains to point out that UKIP is not a racist party and will use Winston McKenzie (and Rusty Lee, yeah…) as an example of UKIP’s er, diversity. But look at UKIP’s membership and you’ll see that there aren’t many BME faces among them, which is something they share in common with the Lib Dems, by the way. In the 1980s McKenzie was a member of the Labour Party, he briefly became a Lib Dem, joined Kilroy-Silk’s vanity party, Veritas and he immediately challenged Kilroy for the leadership in a sort of repeat of Kilroy’s immediate challenge to Farage’s leadership. McKenzie left them to join UKIP in 2009.  McKenzie is something of a political journeyman… sort of.  Let’s just say that he’s always on the look-out for a party that will accommodate his ego. But political parties are full of egos. The competition is tough out there.

UKIP’s adoption of McKenzie as their candidate in the Croydon North by-election says a great deal about them as a political party too: they see Croydon North, a Labour safe seat, a place with a large multi-ethnic demographic just there for the taking, but in their naiveté  they believe that they have a vote magnet in McKenzie. They hope he will magically attract those, er, multi-cultural votes to UKIP and they will, at last, be able claim once and for all that they aren’t a racist or a homophobic party. But unfortunately for McKenzie he opened his gob and the world came pouring in. Let’s put it this way, he’s not going to get the LGBT vote.

Can he win?

You must be joking, but would you vote for RESPECT’s Lee Grasper instead? No, I wouldn’t either.

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Filed under Government & politics, Media, Racism, Sexism, Tory press, UKIP, Yellow journalism

“It’s just a bit of fun”. Sexual repression and the bizarre breast obsession of the British tabloid press.

A typical Sun front page

“It was just a joke”. How many times have you heard that and thought, “No, it isn’t”. The Sun, a paper well-known to all of us for Page 3, gossip and sports coverage, is a paper that claims to be “fun”. “It’s just a bit of a larf, love” and “Can’t you take a joke” are trotted out by those who defend The Sun’s breast fixation and trashy news stories. In amongst such trash, one will find “The Sun says” leader column, which is The Sun’s version of the truth along with stories of Muslims doing horrible things to people.  The fact that Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists do horrible things to others is ignored to advance a weak nationalistic thesis, which is invariably based on cultural relativism.

The Sun, like many of the tabloid papers, is possibly one of the best examples of the Spectacle. It is a paper that denies the existence of reality and ignores the lived experience. It pushes a very right-wing agenda that is supported by its use of distractions: bare breasts being one such distraction, the  celebrity gossip being another. Well, it’s something to talk about at work. Innit? “Did you see the bird on Page 3 today? Phwoar”! While this is happening, your rights in the workplace are being stolen from you as your attention is diverted to the tits on Page 3.

The Sun is no friend of the working class, the elderly, the poor, women, minority ethnic groups, the disabled, LGBT, in fact, anyone who doesn’t conform. Its gossip stories are peppered with nationalistic garbage about “our boys” and “Europe: why we should get out”. If you don’t agree with The Sun, then you must be a pinko or just a po-faced misery-guts and a sexual prude to boot.

The Torygraph’s Ed West used to work for Nuts.

But what nation, other than Britain, has such a juvenile obsession with bare breasts? I can think of no other, certainly there are no countries that have daily newspapers that publish pictures of naked breasts for the titillation of their male readers. Normally, you’d have to buy a specialist magazine for that. It isn’t just The Sun either, The Daily Star, Nuts, ZooLoaded and all the other lads mags do it too. I once found a copy of Nuts that had pages of bare breasts that had been detached from their owners. It was as if to suggest that women don’t deserve to have faces, personalities or thoughts of their own; they are objects to gaze upon.  This week’s edition has a section titled “Assess my breasts”. Again, there are no faces, just tits.

The tabloids and lads mags value women for one thing: their breasts. Should a woman complain about any of this, she is labelled a “lesbian” or similar. If a man should complain, their masculinity is questioned. “What? Don’t you like women”, asks the avid Nuts reader. Yes, I like women, I just don’t objectify them, I value them for their intellect, their sense of humour and their company. Such things are alien to these men. Those  men who regularly read lads mags and The Sun, not only have masculinity mediated to them, their relationship with women often tends to be pretty strained. They see women, not as equals or fellow human beings but as people to serve their carnal needs and to cook for them.

The Sun and Nuts’ preoccupation with breasts, reveals an undercurrent of sexual repression and suppression. While blokes are gawping at the bare breasts on Page 3, Britain’s attitude to sex remains curiously prudish. Even the act of sexual intercourse is mediated by these press titans. “Can you do it like Brad and Angelina? The Sun will show you how” and “Mr So and So confesses that he does it 50 times a day and it still isn’t enough” are two of the ways in which people are made to feel inadequate about themselves and therefore they don’t feel confident enough to challenge the authorities that keep them in their place.

Wilhelm Reich wrote in The Mass Psychology of Fascism,

The suppression of the gratification of primitive material needs has a result different from that of the suppression of the gratification of the sexual needs. The former incites rebellion. The latter, however—by repressing the sexual needs and by becoming anchored as moralistic defense—paralyzes the rebellion against either kind of suppression. More than that, the inhibition of rebellion itself is unconscious. The conscious mind of the average unpolitical individual does not even show a trace of it.
The result of this process is fear of freedom, and a conservative, reactionary mentality. Sexual repression aids political reaction not only through this process which makes the mass individual passive and unpolitical but also by creating in his structure an interest in actively supporting the authoritarian order. The suppression of natural sexual gratification leads to various kinds of substitute gratifications. Natural aggression, for example, becomes brutal sadism which then is an essential mass-psychological factor in imperialistic wars.

Is this what we’re witnessing in Britain?  Before The Sun came along, there were no bare breasts in any of the tabloid papers. Naked breasts, along with other parts of the anatomy, could only be found in top shelf magazines or the pages of H&E or National Geographic. Now some would say we live in a liberated age and no longer stiff upper-lipped about our sexual habits. But nothing could be further from the truth. So let’s talk about sex. “You what”? [fnarr, fnarr!]… see what I mean?

Wake up, Britain!

Already there is talk of a war with Iran, yet there are those who, while gazing at pictures of bare breasts, who would repeat the whole nonsense that “We’ve lost our way and need to show the enemy that we mean business”. These men would also claim that we live in a “free country” but ask them what they mean by this and all you’ll get is a mouthful of nonsense about “muzzies” and “commies”. They may even start spouting garbage about Churchill, ignorant of the fact that he sent troops in to shoot miners at Tonypandy or dispatched warships to the Mersey and the Humber.

It was The Sun that perpetuated the lies about Hillsborough for 23 years. The people of Merseyside woke up to the reality of The Sun, it’s time the rest of the country did the same. And the lads mags? The same goes for them too.

Finally, here’s the Artist Taxi Driver from last year talking about The Sun.

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Filed under History, History & Memory, Media, News Corporation, propaganda, Racism, Sexism, Tory press, Yellow journalism