Monday, 23 May 2011

Injunction Busting - Who's Next?

Where did it all go wrong?

Now that the Ryan Giggs injunction is out of the way, it's time for Twitter to turn its collective attention to other holders of injunctions preventing details of their private lives being published or discussed in public. In the interests of justice, your fearless correspondent has decided to reveal the identities of several individuals and companies currently misusing the legal system to hide their disgraceful activities. I ask nothing in return other than your undying admiration and love, and any spare change you might have lying about the place.

1) Harry Garry, professional shagger and occasional footballer. Has been having an adulterous affair with erstwhile Sunday Sport model Trixie Wibblytits. Injunction granted by Lord Justice Flugelhorn prevents any discussion of Garry's extramarital activities or of the fact that he has a tiny, tiny penis.

2) Sir Bob Banker - former Chief Executive of the Bank of Wank, took out a so-called super-injunction preventing his being referred to as a "useless cunt" and any publication or discussion of his extramarital affair with a member of staff, the dirty, dirty boy. The injunction granted by Mr Justice Bassoon prevented any mention of the existence of the injunction, any acknowledgement of the existence of the word "injunction"and any mention of the word "shameless Scotch prick" by anyone to anyone. Also prevented any discussion of the fact that Sir Bob had personally and directly overseen the virtual collapse of the bank, leading to thousands of "little people" losing their jobs, an absolutely obscene amount of money being spunked up its ungrateful corporate flue in the form of a government bail out and, as an indirect result, the advent of those fucking Halifax adverts.
This poor woman didn't deserve to end up doing that god-awful "ISA ISA Baby" ad.  She's a trained actor, for God's sake. 

3) Travestyra PLC - enormous global corporation engaged in digging stuff up, watering it down and flogging it on to investment banks and sovereign funds at a ridiculous mark up. The company in 2003 loaded a great big supertanker with ebola virus, copies of The X Factor Winners' album, hundreds of gallons of battery acid and 10,000 tonnes of rancid beef. It sailed it to a poor African country and dumped the lot in a reservoir next to an orphanage and kitten sanctuary. Emails unearthed in a subsequent investigation revealed that the company had done this "for shits and giggles". The company sought an injunction to prevent anyone anywhere ever publishing or discussing its actions in any form, including via the media of dance, mime, abstract sculpture or during a game of Pictionary. Lord Justice Totaltwat granted the injunction but MP Farrelly Brothers tabled a question in parliament detailing what a complete set of bastards these people really are, and the injunction was lifted. Travestyra was subsequently fined 0.000001% of the Finance Director's biscuit budget.

4) Gideon Shouty, celebrity chef and creator of cuntish cuisine. Shouty built his reputation around being an insufferably rude, intolerant, foul-mouthed, sexist prick, and made a fortune by building a business empire around his ability to make people cry. Took out an injunction to prevent publication of details involving his being insufferably rude, intolerant, foul mouthed and sexist to a member of staff and making her cry. Mrs Justice Fannybatter granted the injunction because she thought he was a bit dishy and, having heard that he wasn't terribly good at keeping his bratwurst in his lederhosen, was hoping for a shag.

5) Mr D'Arcy Buggery - actor, not terribly well known but has been in that thing with the people in the house. You know, the one with the war. And the boat. And that posh bird who was in that other thing. Buggery sought and won an injunction to prevent any publication of some rather unpleasant details involving his having a prostitute insert things into his bottom. Mr Justice Fang granted the injunction out of sympathy as he too enjoys being pleasured by brass tarts with great big plastic strap on cocks. They're all at it, apparently.

These are all the details I am able to divulge, at this time. There are other far more stringent injunctions in force - so-called Mega-Fuckoff-Hyper-Bastard-Fucking-Hell-You're-Joking-Injunctions, but to report on these would leave me vulnerable to state-sanctioned assassination (Case in point: Bernard Matthews, just before he mysteriously and suddenly died at the young age of 80, was about to reveal details of a serving member of the House of Lords and ex-Prime Minister who had for a number of years been borrowing prize Norfolk Bronze turkeys and returning them in a state of some disrepair).
Sort of like this but up the other end
I have done my bit, Twitter. Now it's your turn. Let battle commence!!

Giant Cloud of Noxious Ass

A volcano going off on one
Reports are coming in of chaotic scenes in the country's more credulous and idiotic towns, following the release of a huge cloud of ass from Dåǽïlÿmặîl, an enormous fountain of hot shit which caused widespread problems for tourists last summer by convincing them that if they went abroad they'd catch superAIDS and their houses would be overrun by rabid Eastern European squatters while they were away.

The toxic ass cloud was released over the weekend when a mountain in the country of Iceland went bang, causing journalists to immediately re-file the same copy they spunked out of their gaping shit-chasms a year ago, about how anyone getting on a plane was as good as committing suicide and how it was all the fault of gypsies and brown people.

Meanwhile, in the other Iceland - the purveyor of rock hard chunks of mechanically-recovered animal by-products - hordes of fat, greasy fuckwits, convinced that they were witnessing the start of "that Rupture thing" they'd heard about, fought pitched battles to get at the last few remaining multipacks of battered chicken-flavoured lumps and mini hamlike-and-cheese-motivated chicken-textured breaded kievballs.
Yum yum yum.

One of the looters, 14 year-old single-mother-of-8 Spazmodia Clunt, said "I dint read it cos I carnt read of nuffink but my mate Chlamydia said she erd someone dahn the Bingo oo's cousin done a exam in reading and she said it was the end of the world so I fort well I ain't dyin ungry so I came darn ere to load up on bacon-coloured shitsticks."

Meanwhile, a large cloud of ash pumped out by the Grímsvötn volcano was heading towards the UK, where it was predicted to have absolutely no detrimental impact whatsoever on anything or anyone. The volcano, in a statement released via its lawyers, said that it was dismayed that its "private eruption, an entirely personal matter" had been leaked to the press and that anyone discussing it on Twitter would be tracked down and murdered in their beds.

Ryan Giggs is 37.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Defending Ken

Warning: This is going to be long, and serious. My intention is to examine the frankly infuriating way in which Ken Clarke's interview on BBC 5 Live yesterday morning has been reported, and more importantly how (in my not remotely humble opinion) it has been misquoted, misrepresented and latched on to by a number of different (but all self-serving) individuals and groups.

Everyone has their opinion, and an awful lot of people have already aired their views, either on telly or radio, or in the press, or by blogging or tweeting. I get the sense that a lot of these people haven't bothered actually to listen to or read exactly what it was he said. So, because I have nothing better to do, and in the safe and certain knowledge that no one will read this anyway, I'm going to break it down (not in the style of MC Hammer, I'm afraid). What follows are extracts from the BBC transcript of Ken Clarke's interview, verbatim. If you have a life I'd get on with that rather than wade through this, but if you are interested - read on. I'll be referring to Clarke as KC and Victoria Derbyshire, the interviewer, as VD (not the ideal initials, particularly given the subject matter, but what can you do?).
KC: Most people don't realise you get a discount for pleading guilty. And until you think about it you wonder "Why do you do that?" when he's actually done it. Now rape is actually the strongest example in my opinion of why you do it. Somebody who stops messing about, stops accusing the people accusing him of being liars, stops a great long trial, relieves the victim and the witness of going through the whole ordeal again and being called a liar - that's why we give a discount. That's why we have always given a discount. We still have far too many people who don't plead guilty in the first place. And it, you know, wastes police time, and costs money and all the other things. But the thing that's most compelling with me is, just, we will give you credit if you put your hands up, stop messing about and don't make things worse for the victim. And in the case of rape, I can't think of a better example. If you plead guilty...
I think all of this is sensible - don't you?
VD: (interrupts) Have you met women who've been raped?
Sorry, but what the fuck has this got to do with anything? Really? He is trying to explain why criminals who plead guilty early in the process get a discount on their jail sentence. Why ask if he's met women who have been raped if she isn't pursuing an agenda? 
KC: I've taken part in rape trials. I was a lawyer, sort of, yes I've met women who've been raped.
VD: And have you put this idea to women who've been raped?
KC: No I haven't put this idea to women who've been raped because I haven't met one recently. My experience of rape trials….
VD: Wouldn't it have been…it was a long time ago….
KC: that the trial…Contested rape…
VD: ...which was a long time ago…
So fucking what? It's more experience of rape trials than she has had. 
KC: What I think happens is that the woman finds that another ordeal is now being imposed upon her. The woman's already distressed and traumatised enough by the rape finds she's now in a witness box, in front of a jury, the lawyer accusing her of lying, going over the whole thing again.
Valid point, no? Clarke is by no means trivialising the ordeal of being raped - quite the opposite. 
VD: Under your plans that woman could find… that woman could find the rapist back on her street in a year and a bit. It's an insult to her isn't it?
This is a hypothetical woman we're talking about, remember. She doesn't actually exist. Yet Derbyshire is suggesting to Clarke and to the audience that he is actually insulting her. Actually insulting a hypothetical woman, who DOES NOT EXIST. 
KC: The rapist is going to be….very light sentence for a…a year and a bit?
VD: Yes. A rapist gets five years.
KC: Rapists don't get… rapists get more than that.
VD: Hang on a minute. Five years on average, yes they do Mr Clarke, yes they do.
KC: That includes date rape, 17-year-olds having intercourse with 15-year-olds.
Listening to the interview, it seems clear that Clarke is not saying date rape and 17 year olds having sex with 15 year olds is the same thing. He has, however, gone wrong here as while having consensual sex with a girl under 16 (and older than 13) while a criminal offence, is, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, no longer classified as rape. This is, of course, a technicality but it does serve to undermine his point that the five-year average sentence encompasses "all rape convictions".

This next bit is where it all starts to go properly wrong for Clarke. He doesn't really think it through.
KC: Serious rape, I don't think many judges give five years for a forcible rape, the tariff is longer than that. And a serious rape where, you know, violence and an unwilling woman, the tariff's much longer than that. Secondly, half way through they are released but they are released on licence so they're still supervised. They can be recalled if they do anything wrong on licence - all this 'they're let out after half the time' which is… really right I didn't introduce that but that's where we are, but it is subject to licence and subject to recall. So they are the idea is at that stage you're trying to stop them doing it again and eventually they will finish the sentence and they're let out.
It's his use of the phrase "serious rape" that has been latched on to by those who are demanding his resignation/sacking. It could be construed that he considers there to be a type of rape that is not serious. I strongly doubt this is actually the case, but it is a massive open goal for anyone looking for an excuse to have a go at him.
VD: If I had been raped why would I be encouraged to go to the police when I know full well that the rapist could get just over a year in jail. Why would I put myself through the trauma, the examinations, the hell of it, when he might be out in 15 months?
Oh, I dunno. Possibly because if you don't go to the police, the rapist won't get any time in jail at all? And if you want to know why a rape victim might be discouraged to go to the police, it could be because they've heard rampant bullshit from the likes of you, trying to convince her that the perpetrator won't go to prison for very long... Just a thought.
KC: Well, I must stop you repeating this total nonsense…assuming you and I are talking about rape in the ordinary conversational sense. Some man has forcefully, with a bit of violence...
VD: Rape is rape, with respect.
KC: No it's not, and if an 18-year-old has sex with a 15-year-old and she's perfectly willing, that is rape. That's 'cause she's underage, she can't consent. Anybody has sex with a 15-year-old, it's rape.
Not true. Clarke, as Justice Minister, probably ought to know this, frankly. 
KC: So what you and I are talking about, we're talking about a man forcibly having sex with a woman and she doesn't want to. That is rape. Serious crime, of course it's a serious crime. 
Let's stop here and consider, in I hope not too salacious a way, how different offences of rape could attract different sentences. I'd just like to put in on record that I consider anyone who forces themselves on a woman for any reason is an odious little fucker who deserves to be subjected to the full force of the law. I am no apologist for rapists, of any description, but I do agree with Clarke that there is not just one "sort" of rape. 

Consider: a man goes out at night, carrying a knife, dressed in dark clothing and making deliberate attempts to conceal his identity. He follows a woman from a train station or bus stop, waits until he is confident of not being observed, and attacks her, using the knife to threaten her with injury, and forcefully and completely against her will has sex with her.

Compare this to a man who goes to a bar, carrying on his person some sort of drug which he intends to use to sedate or otherwise chemically influence a woman, for the purposes of having sex with her. He selects a victim, drugs her, takes her to some private place and, in the certain knowledge that she does not consent, has sex with her.

Compare this again to a man who goes to a party, meets a woman, they both get drunk but she much more so than he, and they end up having sex to which he wrongly thinks she consents. He may or may not have had doubts as to her consent at the time.

All of these are rapes, without question, but are they all deserving of the same jail sentence? I don't think so, Clarke doesn't think so, and I suspect most people, giving it due consideration, also don't think so.

But to listen to or read the torrent of approbation, condemnation and in some cases vicious bile poured forth in the media, you'd think that Clarke had actually suggested that unless violence is used in the perpetration of a rape, it's not a serious offence. He has very clearly said no such thing, or even a thing which, in a certain light could be reasonably mistaken for such a thing. Yet we've got Milliband demanding, like a petulant schoolboy demanding his pocket money, for Clarke to be sacked. We've got otherwise seemingly sensible journalists completely ignoring the facts and making out that Clarke is an apologist for rapists, and we've got people on Twitter casually stating that they hope he himself is raped, or that because he is posh and a Tory that he thinks rape victims are all responsible for their ordeals. It's insane.

I find it deeply worrying that it seems impossible to have a debate about any serious issue in this country without it immediately descending to mindless, knee-jerk tabloid-fed reactionism. 

If anyone is actually reading this, I'd be interested to know your thoughts. Comments below.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Four X Four X Fuck Off

Firstly, straight off the bat, I am by no means an eco-hippy. I don't believe that CO2 is going to murder my children, and I don't believe the world is going to catch on fire if we don't all stop using electricity and replace it with rainbow power.

I do, however, really really REALLY fucking hate 4x4s and I'll tell you why (like you give a shit).

I hate 4x4s because I live in one of the many suburbs of London (in my case, Wimbledon) where an increasing number of people who live nearby (I'm loathe to use the word "neighbour" as that implies I have to be "neighbourly") have decided that having hand-made wooden "plantation" blinds in their windows and organic Free Trade gravel in their front gardens is not enough. Oh no. Not nearly enough to satisfy their need to show the world that they are not just Middle Class, thank you very much, but Upper Middle Class. Yah, y'know, like, we used to have Ikea furniture and John Lewis saucepans but now it's all bespoke rosewood pedestal units and yak skin sofas, well we can afford it now Jerry's finally been promoted to Executive Vice President and Manager of Pointless Wank.

None of this is ENOUGH, do you hear? People might not notice, and then what would be the POINT? No, the only way to satisfy that yearning deep within their hollow, empty hearts is to buy a fucking great big car that shouts LOOK AT ME, I'M A SUCCESS. Cars such as this:

Audi Nob Jockey 4.2 XL

Porsche Piss Wizard STD

Range Rover 4.8 Turbo Fuck Basket "The Footballer's Friend"
Notice how the utter cuntedness of this model has caused all
the vegetation in the area to wither and die. 

Now look. I really, honestly have no issue with wanting to flash a bit of cash, I'm sure you've worked hard to earn it and it's yours to do with what you like. Let's ignore the fact that you can pick one of these ludicrous twat-wagons up second hand for £30k or so, thus somewhat diluting the suggestion that you've "made it" by being able to afford one. Similarly, let's brush over the undeniable fact that having an off-road 4X4 in London is about as idiotic as having a submarine at the top of Ben Nevis. And just to reiterate, I absolutely do not have the slightest interest in your car's fuel consumption, or the amount of CO2 it pumps out, or even whether 13 Guatemalan school children were killed in horrible and pointless fashion during its manufacture. Couldn't give a fuck.

But what I DO care about is not being able to park my own car (a dreary and soulless family hatchback, since you ask) outside my own house because YOU, you hopeless FUCKER, have plonked your ruddy great cockmobile right fucking there. Not only in MY FUCKING PARKING SPACE, but taking up THREE spaces because the fucking thing is so huge, it has the turning circle of a cross channel ferry and you can't see how much space you have in front or behind.

I believe that it should be illegal to own a 4X4 if you live in London and can't prove that you spend at least one weekend per month herding sheep. Up a mountain. In Mongolia. And if you park outside my house again, I'm having your wing mirrors.

Monday, 16 May 2011

A few simple rules to help you choose a dog

If it is less than 3 feet tall at the shoulder, it is not a dog.

If it can comfortably lie in your lap, it is not a dog.

If it is called Pixie, Snookums, FrouFrou or Snowdrop, it is not a dog.

If it cannot carry a branch (not a twig) which is at least twice as long as itself, it is not a dog.

If it needs a coat in winter, it is not a dog.

If it might ever require a trip to the hairdressers, it is not a dog.

If it couldn't scare off a burglar, it is not a dog.


is a dog.

As is this:

This is not a dog:

It is a hairy rat.

Generally, if it isn't big enough to eat you if it wanted to, and it doesn't look thicker than a plank (and act twice as thick as it looks), it's not a dog. Bear in mind, looking "stupid" is not the same as looking "thick". 

Finally, please get your dog from a rescue centre, not a breeder. If you insist on having a pedigree pet, get a fucking koi carp. And then fuck off.

What's wrong with this picture?

A child grows up in a working-class part of a provincial town. At the age of 7 he is already displaying a prodigious talent for athletics and football. His PE teacher thinks he has a potential genius on his hands. The teacher arranges to meet with the boy's parents, and discusses with them the possibility of their son applying for a place at one of the several "elite" sporting acadamies into which the government and the Lottery have both piled large sums of money. The parents, their dull eyes for once gleaming with promises of untold future riches, agree wholeheartedly. The boy goes off to the academy, receives top-flight training from experienced sportsmen and women, and goes on to join Arsenal at the tender age of 15. By 21, he is one of the Premiership's highest-paid footballers. By 27 he is a hopeless cocaine addict living in an enormous mansion near Chelmsford andpaying child support to three different women.

Another child grows up in a different part of the same town. At the age of 7 he is already displaying a prodigious talent for mathematics and sciences. His biology teacher thinks he has a potential genius on his hands. Unfortunately, however, the government does not believe in "elitism" in what it laughably calls our education system, so there are no "elite" academic academies where the boy's talents can be nurtured. The parents, while fully aware that their son is clearly very bright, simply cannot afford to send him to public school, so he remains where he is. By the age of 15, he has given up hope of getting out of the town, and, after dropping out of school at 16, takes a job at the local PC World, where the last vestiges of hope and self-esteem are drained from him by the vacuousness of his existence.

The government is tieing itself in knots trying to decide how the education system should be "structured", but seems to have completely given up on the idea of actually trying to teach children. So-called "elitism" is forbidden, and as such, bright, intelligent, curious children are held back so as not to "disadvantage" their duller, less curious, less intelligent peers. The government tests kids from the most ludicrously early age, but seems concerned only with checking to see how many of the useless "national curriculum" facts they have retained, not whether they are actually using those facts to form their own opinions.

Somehow I'm not filled to overflowing with confidence about my kids' prospects.