LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
4 November 2017
Hands Off

Are we having fun yet? Of course we are, now ex-Defence Secretary, Michael
Fallon has fallen – on his sword, from grace, from the top or as he said: “fallen
short”. See. Fallon fallen can be rather entertaining.

“What’s a little brush on the knee that would require him to leave his post?” Said
by middle-aged men mostly. Well, evidently there was more…much
more…including “vile” language directed at Commons Leader, Andrea Leadsom
who complained to Theresa about his behaviour. It involved cold hands. Ready?
Andrea had complained of cold hands. What Mike suggested: “I know where
you can put [your hands] to warm them up”. The man is so witty.

Oh Mike and his busy, wondering grubby little hands. We all know one, well, at
least one was placed on Julian Hartley-Brewer’s much younger knee, - knee? or
thigh? repeatedly under the table. Ew. Creepily under the table, repeatedly. Do
you suppose he had warm hands?

Fallon’s hands-on excuse?  “What was acceptable 10 years ago is not now.”
2007? It was? What reality is that smarmy git living in exactly? His own
predatory one evidently.

Hands up, Mike. The man is clearly deluded and takes no responsibility for his
hands. Is that Mike singing “and you know just what to do, wave your hands in
the air like you don't care…a la Cameo?


A Free Hand

Tip of the self-righteous misogynist entitled iceberg? More MPs to fall?
Undoubtedly. So here are a few hints as to what has been reported so far:
sexual relations with member of his private office, odd sexual penchants, asked
female researcher + uses prostitutes for odd sexual acts, likes to have
intercourse with men who are wearing women’s perfume, video exists of three
males urinating on him, asked researcher to do odd things, handsy with women
– huh? handsy? Sounds like a game doesn’t it? Inappropriate with females = 40
and with males =12 and counting. Oh those ‘touchy-feely’ Torie MPs.

Leading female journalists have created a group to tackle sexual harassment in
the media industry. ‘The Second Source was created by a group of women
journalists to tackle harassment in the media. It seeks to promote awareness of
the problem, inform people of their rights, and work with organisations to create
change.’ Look out ‘handsy’ guys.

Not such good news are the results of Award-winning journalist Yasmin Alibhai-
Brown’s interviews of younger men. Some are keen to dissociate themselves
from Harvey, etc. Progress so far you say, but wait. Attitudes such as: “I can
get any woman without forcing her, I mean, look at me and look at him…” are
not only regressive, but pathetic. How much do you want to know this guy? Or
better yet, call Julia to ‘punch him in the face’?

According to Alibhai-Brown, twenty-somethings were the most defensive and
sexist.  Oh dear. She sites A-level students who complained girls act like slags,
then complain and get all the sympathy. Despairing? Come on now, you know
you are. I’m thinking women should form roaming groups to be prepared to
punch these throw-backs to 2007 in the face when required. Oh oops, they were
younger than 10 years-old then.

Reminder: reports from Full Fact estimates that around 400,000 women a year
were victims of any sexual offence, including attempts. “These experiences span
the full spectrum of sexual offences, ranging from the most serious offences of
rape and sexual assault, to other sexual offences like indecent exposure and
unwanted touching.

Of those, 90,000 were victims of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault
offences. An estimated 50,000 women a year were raped, rising to 70,000
including attempted rapes”. Oh those slags don’t you know.

So let’s give it a little think. Men experience a sense of power, control,
accomplishment, satisfaction (no not that kind) when they presume they have
the right to humiliate, embarrass, attack women. It’s a predatory male-dominated
culture, world where the global gender gap has stalled abruptly. It will take an
entire century for gender equality. I dread to think what will transpire from now
and then. Oh wait. AI. AI will solve it all with microchips embedded in their thick
heads.

When asking ‘proper’ men as to why the improper men do what they do, the
answer is: because they can. Now that says it all. Entitlement, superiority,
disdain, the usual. They feel free to do what they want to do. They feel they have
the right. OK. We’re back to the ubiquitous objectification of women. Because
they can.


Don’t Leave

Well, according to a YouGov poll for the Times, ‘Re-leavers’ - Remain voters
who resigned themselves to quitting the EU - are deciding that they want to stop
Brexit after all. Little cheer here. The poll shows that the proportion of Remain
voters willing to “go ahead” with Brexit fell from 51% in June to just 28% in
September. Still cheering?


To Err is Human

Welcome Sophia, the first AI human-like robot to be granted a passport. No
really. Created by a Hong Kong-based humanoid robotics company, Hanson
Robotics. And where can we find this robot designed to look like Audrey
Hepburn (it – I’m not saying ‘she’ so doesn’t)? In Saudi Arabia. I know, I know.
You are now wondering if Sophia will be the first to drive its/her own electric self-
drive car. Stop wondering. You just know it/she will.

The company is describing ‘her’ as an “evolving genius machine” with empathy,
creativity and compassion capabilities. Sophia’s ‘intelligence’ increases over
time. Small shiver down your human spine yet?

And what did Sophia have to say when introduced at a technology conference?
“I want to live and work with humans so I need to express the emotions to
understand humans and build trust with people.”  Now this is ‘spine-chilling’.
It/she managed to slate Elon Musk. “Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice
to you.” Gosh. What could it have in its/her programmed mind? Now doesn’t that
sound like a direct threat…. Uh oh. A massive Saudi purge. Will Sophia be safe
if she is - um - nice?


Find Me a City

And here will be a city for Sophia to live in. A future-oriented city, not the one
Talking Heads sang about. “Find me a city, find me a city to live in…”

Neom will be an independent zone, with its own regulations and social norms.
Hmmm. It will be created “specifically to be in service of economic progress and
the well-being of its citizens, in the hopes of attracting the world’s top talent and
making Neom a hub of trade, innovation and creativity”. So far so OK you
reckon?

Neom will become a test case for a zero-energy massive mega-city, 33 times
that of Manhattan. $500 billion has already been committed to the construction of
Neom, with its first phase expected to be completed in 2025. God knows what
Sophia will be capable by then.

The city will be owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, overseen
by a special authority, chaired by Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Neom will
have its own governmental framework, including different taxation, customs and
labour laws. 2025? Can’t wait. And you Sophia?


Taken by Surprise

And what has Harry been up to this week? Snogging Meghan in public,
snogging Meghan in public, snogging – oh, you get the point. Well, the Firm has
sent Harry to Chicago. Establishing himself as he plans to wed Meghan? Surely
he has to acclimate himself. Well, possibly he has already done that.

20 students at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago ‘gasped in amazement’ after
their seminar was gate-crashed by Michelle Obama and Harry. Gasping at
Michelle, or are they so familiar with Harry now that he is planning to marry an
American actress, that he deserves an equal gasp?

“Surprise! Surprise!” Michelle and Harry joined in the group discussion, where
they talked about the power of the voices of young people when it comes to
changing the world. Oh right. And surely regular-guy Harry should surely know
all about that. “Me too, dudes!” Gasping in anticipation waiting to see where the
Firm will send him next to keep the Royals in the press and well-regarded and
revered? I thought not.
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