LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
18 October 2014
Lost Her Marbles

Oh dear oh dear. We are living in 2014 are we not? Evidently not all of us.
George Clooney’s new wife is now Amal Clooney following their £8 million
wedding. Really? Really. Really £8m and really renamed. Tut, tut all round.

Having established herself as a terribly effective, successful human rights
lawyer, his new wife has decided to change her name straight away. Erm. Why
would she do that? Why would any woman do that? So she is now Mrs George
Clooney. Mr George Clooney’s wife. So where is Amal Alamuddin then?

Surely patriarchy enters the perfect picture. And the paparazzi - which have
been following every pose, lipstick colour choice, hair flick, outfit change,
whatever. Evidently in the US they want to know the product that ‘keeps those
long legs shimmering’ (all together now: aughhhh) All showbiz now.

Female journalists posing as feminists have rallied to her defence. Seriously.
Does she need it? Answer if you are equivocating: no. They are saying that her
choosing to give up her name and professional (and private) identity is a
feminist statement. Oh please.

“It’s a positive feminist choice...not a retrograde choice...what can be more self-
determined than choosing to take a new surname for yourself?” Everything
else. Clearly this ‘journalist’ hasn’t recognised the fact that AA took her
husband's instead of an arbitrary name change. Oh for example: A Baker, A
Day, A Woods. Surely more creative.

The journalist goes on: “In my parents’ generation, marriage and a surname
change meant giving up your life...” How old is she? 75? No, 37. Hmmm. Then
in 1977 women were sent into domestic servitude immediately after taking those
marriage vows. Women have been ‘allowed’ in the work force for over 50
years. I want to say this woman is an idiot, but I’m only saying it to myself...and
family members...and a few friends...and....

Another ‘journalist’ said that Amal had been living with her father’s name, so la-
la-la-la-la. Really? Fool me. I didn’t know that.

OK. I’ll give up on this madness and move on. Although not without a lot of effort.

Lost her marbles? Or his marbles? George has previously tried to extricate The
Elgin Marbles from the British Museum without victory.

His fame, connections, charm, world-wide regard bordering on the irrational
have clearly not resulted in a successful heist. Clearly it’s time to bring in the
missus.  Missus Clooney to us.

And now for a few facts: Between 1799 and 1810 the Ottoman Empire
controlled the city of Athens. The Ottomans supposedly used the Parthenon for
target practice. Lord Elgin found this practice objectionable. His original
intention was only to document the sculptures. Elgin came to believe he was
saving the artefacts by acquiring them. He used his own money (£70,000) and
they can be viewed at the British Museum. There’s more, but you get the
general account.

Arguments have raged on both sides. In the 1980s the Minster of Culture of
Greece and actress Melina Mercouri passionately led the efforts for their
repatriation. The Greek plan now is to have the statues returned to be placed in
the New Acropolis Museum. Rather like the British Museum then.

What do you reckon? Will changing Mrs Clooney’s name have the necessary
power, persuasion, pressure? And why exactly didn’t George change his name
to hers?


Why Doesn’t No Mean No?

OFGS. Here we are again. Must we? Controversy, attitudes, debates,
judgments.

When TV presenter Judy Finnigan showed up on TV’s
Loose Women chat
show, she put her foot perfectly in her mouth. We haven’t seen Judy since she
and husband, Richard Madeley, quit their TV show, except when photographed
nearly falling over. Oh dear. Did I hear ‘legless’? Oh dear.

Regarding the rape of a 19 year old by footballer Ched Evans, JF said on the
show: it “was not violent. He didn’t cause any bodily harm to the person
(person?) It was unpleasant, in a hotel room (Judy was there we can only
presume)…I believe and she was – she had far too much to drink… and you
know, that is reprehensible, but he has been convicted and he has served his
time (two and half of a five and a half year sentence. An appeal against his
conviction was rejected at the Court of Appeal if you need to know). Now when
he comes out, what are we supposed to do? Just actually refuse to let him do
his job?” Well, Judy. I don’t know what ‘we’ should do, unless we are suffering
from delusions of grandeur. No worries, Judy. The answer is party. When
Evans left prison he had a bouncy castle party with friends and family. As you
do surely.

I don’t and will never watch the show (unless I’d ever want to torture myself), but
many people do. It was Judy’s first day and as a result of her remarks, she has
been horribly trolled.

JF was forced to state a public apology: “I apologise unreservedly for any
offence that I may have caused as a result of the wording I used”. No, Judy. It
wasn’t just what you said, it was what you meant: ‘I should have said she, that
person, you know, who was, you know, didn’t die. It’s only rape, you know. She
was probably wearing an alluring outfit.’

As reported: ‘Evans was involved in a ‘threesome’ with the intoxicated  young
woman and another footballer in a cheap hotel room while two other men
attempted to film proceedings on a mobile phone from outside through the
window.’ Charming.

‘It wasn’t the first time Evans and McDonald engaged in group sex. The friends,
the court heard, also had a ‘threesome’ when they lived together early in their
football careers.’ More charming.

No harm done then, Judy. Who doesn’t want a ‘threesome’ with strangers in a
cheap hotel while being photographed?

Evans’ girlfriend, Natasha Massey, says she forgave Evans for ‘cheating’ on
her almost immediately and her instinct was to ‘protect’ him because she said
she knew he was not capable of rape. No so the court. But the Criminal Cases
Review Commission has prioritised a review of the whole case.

Evans has shown no remorse. He doesn’t think he did anything ‘wrong’. He has
made a video (I haven’t seen) and told his loyal fans he wished things could go
back to the way they were. Sheffield United is ‘deliberating’ before they hand
over his £500,000 contract. Although the deal is said to be a done-deal, a
petition opposing former footballer's return to club has over 150,000 signatures
so far.

All is not so fab for his victim who is living under a false name after pro-Evans
trolls relentlessly pursued her. No harm done, Judy.

As sociologists/psychotherapists have said for years: rape is not about sex. It’s
about power and often rage. Otherwise babies, children, pregnant women,
grannies, nuns and teenage boys wouldn’t be raped – would they?  A sharp
rise in rape has been documented; 22,116 reported, a rise of 29%. But, no
harm done.
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