LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
5 September 2015
It Rained On Our Parade - 5 September 2015

It’s over. The summer we never had. None of that ‘hottest summer on record’ for
us. One day in July and one in August a summer does not make. While all of
Europe sweltered and sweated – and continues to do so. Where was that jet
stream we were promised? The UK high street has endured its worst summer in
six years. It was the weather; cool, rain, wind. Shopping for summer outfits?
Why? Sigh. October and November are expected to yield above average rainfall
and below average temperatures throughout most of the country. All we can do
is hope TV delivers this autumn.

The biggest street festival in the world outside Rio had it’s biggest day rained
out. However, that didn’t deter stabbings, scuffles and the highest number of
arrests since 2008, when it ended in a riot. All those TV reruns were clearly not
a draw. Shows from 2009...really....

7,000 police officers, 314 people arrested by 8.30pm on Monday, that included
44 for possession of knives and ‘other bladed weapons’ – yikes – are we
thinking machetes here? Eight officers were injured in scuffles, one was stabbed
and one was bitten. Huh? Even with a new ‘dispersal zone’ allowing police to
remove unruly revellers engaging in ‘antisocial behaviour’. Clearly the weather
was not a deterrent.

If you feel the need to know: the 314 arrests is a 17% rise on last year’s total of
261. More than 3,500 nitrous oxide canisters - street value of £17,000 -
counterfeit alcoholic drinks worth £30,000 were seized. Nevertheless, revellers
revelled.


When You Don’t Say No

So let’s clear this up. If rape was solely a sexual act, nuns, old age pensioners,
mentally challenged, children wouldn’t be raped would they? OK. Children are
another issue.

Sociologists told us years (years!) ago that rape was an act of aggression, an
act of power, an act of rage. Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde clearly didn’t listen.
She has revealed in her autobiography that she alone takes responsibility for her
forced sexual acts with a group of the notorious Hell’s Angels in the 90s. Then
she blames not only herself (for the last 40 years), but holds women accountable
who dress to impress – men of course.

"If you play with fire, you get burnt," she said in an interview with The Sunday
Times: "It's not any secret, is it?" Play? Fire? Rape? Rather a non-sequitur
really.

CH meant that women who dress provocatively are to blame if they get attacked.
"If I'm walking around in my underwear and I'm drunk? Who else’s fault can it
be?" she asked. "If you don’t want to entice a rapist, don't wear high heels so
you can’t run from him."

Well, she surely wasn’t wearing high heels when she then started a brief
relationship with one of the rapist bikers. You are saying ‘what’ aren’t you? On
one occasion she was given to his ‘bro’ (ew) who knocking her about in “what I
learned was a form of sexual foreplay”. When she complained, he hit her so
hard that she could see “white stars exploding around the room”. Was that an
orgasm then?

Blimey. Clearly Chrissie needs a little chat with Germaine (Greer naturally) or
read feminist literature – quickly. Curiously; why hasn’t she? Sad really...40
years of self-blame, self-torture. If you want more harrowing stories of her
abuse, you can read her book. I’ve read enough.

The logic of this endless argument is obvious. Women are held to be inferior
and clearly sexually available objects by most of the world. Rape is about power,
humiliation, often revenge. Need an example? In India two sisters, 25 and 15,
were set to be gang raped (yes, you read that right) because their brother
eloped with a woman of a higher caste. Now there was a denial after an
Amnesty International online petition gathered 260,000 signatures.  More? In the
US boarding schools and universities held to the highest esteem are now being
investigated for endemic rapes. Lovely.

It isn’t about men keeping control – okay, keeping it in their pants – it’s about
having respect for half the population, feeling entitled – oh I give up. It’s all so
obvious. Chrissie – get help.


Rants and Raves or I’m Losing the Will to Live

Shame! A Crying Shame

If ‘Compassionate Conservative’ PM CallMeDave had a soul the photo of the little
body of three year old Aylan Kurdi lying lifeless face-down in the surf on a
holiday beach near the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, a favourite with British
holiday makers, then being carried gently by the Turkish border guard, should
have given him a moment of  reflection, rethink of his anti-refugee policy.

Oh wait. De-humanising Dave doesn’t ever actual ‘think’ does he? Are we
certain Dave can actually think? Well, we know he’s known as a bit thick. “We
think the most important thing is to try to bring peace and stability to that region
(well, I did mention his intellectual aptitude). I don’t think (oh dear) there is an
answer that can be achieved simply by taking more and more refugees.”

Defiant Dave’s response to the heart-breaking image when asked by The
Independent (who put the photo on its front page and created a petition) if
Britain could do more; “We’re doing enough.”  Now for Georgie-Boy, who was
“shocked!” after he saw the photo – two days after it was published world-wide.
“We need to tackle Isis and the criminal gangs who killed that boy...” Criminal
gangs? Oh, the Tories then. Georgie was off to hang with his workers at a car
factory. As you do. Ah. Sociopaths sans charm.

Proselytising Tory Toby Young wrote in The Telegraph, you might be surprised,
possibly, “According to Save the Children, there are currently around 5,000
unaccompanied children languishing in European refugee camps. Many of them
are from Syria, but they’re also from Iraq, Libya, Eretria and other war-torn
parts of the world. For the most part, they’ve become separated from their
parents in the course of making the journeys from home – in all likelihood, the
majority are now orphans...for some it’s already too late – they have been taken
by trafficking gangs and disappeared into the criminal underground...I think an
exception should be made for these children.” Well, he is a parent – like Dave
and Georgie...the same parent-Dave who has rejected this option.

Dave does a U-turn (plus ça change). CMD announced he (it’s always me, me,
me, I, I, I isn’t it?) is willing to do a pick ‘n mix method. But how will Dave choose
from the millions trapped in the middle-eastern camps then? Only the refugees in
camps who have the most facebook followers?

Surely you’ve wondered who took that iconic photo. “At that moment, when I saw
the 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, I was petrified,” said Nilüfer Dogan who works for
the News Agency DHA and has documented the refugee crisis as a press
photographer.

“I often work from the beaches of Bodrum. My agency DHA and I regularly
report on the refugees' situation. On that day, I was on the beach to document a
group of Pakistani refugees that were just taking off in a rubber dinghy.

“On the one hand, I wish I hadn't had to take that picture. I would have much
preferred to have taken one of Alan playing on the beach than photographing his
corpse. What I saw has left a terrible impression that keeps me awake at night.
Then again, I am happy that the word finally cares and is mourning the dead
children. I hope that my picture can contribute to changing the way we look at
immigration in Europe, and that no more people have to die on their way out of a
war.” Some credit where credit is due.

Not planning a holiday in Hungary any time soon. OK. Never. What short
memories: 200,000 Hungarian refugees welcomed by the west in 1956…just
saying….
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