Happy new year folks. Hope you enjoyed a great bah humbug season and have gone back to keeping the economy afloat and occasionally wetting a line – that’s if you can get near a river. Boy, what a wet winter we’re having! Floods, floods and more floods.
All you barbel anglers should be creaming yourselves. It’s certainly been the perfect winter to bust a PB with the temperatures being so mild and there are a couple of more months of fattening up to go yet.
I make no apologies from the outset because this blog is long, rambling and marginally thinner than usual in the fishing detail. No doubt some of you will find this an improvement. To be honest, it was written to amuse myself while the weather improves. I enjoy writing.
I’m sure all but the brain dead will find something of interest and it could keep you occupied for an entire day. but first a Hollywood disclaimer. The stories below, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious, even those called Graham. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
Okay, let’s get started.
Too Ugly For X Factor
I spent Christmas visiting Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand (hence the lack of fishing action), returning just in time to let in the New Year with a bunch of friends who are addicted to watching Hootenanny. It was indeed a great line-up of acts but am I alone in feeling Jools Holland is music’s answer to John Terry? He simply has to hog the limelight even when he’s not playing!
A case of too much, ‘Write da feem toon, sing da feem toon…’ if you ask me.
I wouldn’t mind half so much if I didn’t keep mistaking him for Nev Fickling. Not exactly the most obvious doppelganger, I know, but there you are.
What truly struck me is the majority of these talented individuals would have struggled to get past Simon Cowell’s auditions on the grounds they were too ugly for X Factor and that’s the biggest crime ever in entertainment. I can imagine the regular panel of performing seals looking gormlessly at Simon hoping for a heads-up on whether it should be a yes or not. Then shedding a tear, of course.
In the last blog I shared a Joe Bonamassa track. Here’s Joe again, this time backing Beth Hart, who absolutely nailed it on Hootenany. Indeed she made the song her own, quite like a regular little pop star. She absolutely smashed it to the point where she probably actually owned it!
Originality’s In Short Supply
I’m not surprised that employers use social media to check up on potential employees but what do you think those poor souls who carry out this task on a regular basis actually learn? I’ll tell you – they learn the world at large is a somewhat dumb place riddled with repetition, plagiarism and mostly lacking in original thought.
‘Hey everyone, I’m in a pub/ restaurant/ market/ brothel/ drug den/ Old Trafford/ shopping centre/ etc, etc, and the voices in my head keep telling me the whole world needs to know this because I lead such a fascinating life. I’ve just eaten a sandwich. I’m drinking a beverage and I’m picking my nose. The waitress is HOT! Unfortunately she’s sneering at me like I’m a nerd. Bet she doesn’t realise how good I am at Minecraft. Or that I know someone, who knows someone, who’s got a video clip of a cat opening a door by jumping on the handle. Yesterday he sent me one of a baby falling asleep. Would you like to see it? Oh, go on, please stalk me!’
Gawd! When did the world get so mundane?
Then again, when did it get so cliché-ridden?
Who on this entire planet actually thinks that a photograph of an empty seat box plonked next to a muddy puddle is even vaguely interesting? And what kind of lame-brained fool then insists on trotting out the most nonsensical cliché of the lot?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you angling’s most annoying cliché:
‘My office for the day…’
No it bloody isn’t!
Nor is it your factory, your work station, your lathe, your gym, bathroom, garage, bungalow, armchair, kitchen or department store. It’s not even a viable alternative to wearing a McDonalds’ apron, it’s just a seat box missing an arse!
As an employer would I really see someone who plastered this sort of blandness across social media as a potential valued member of my team? And do I really want to be cooped-up in the same office as them for 8 hours a day? Oooh, yes please, and do let me pay you an inflated salary for this riveting privilege as well!
Fortunately I have the perfect trophy for these people, the real problem is working out who deserves it most. You see, there’s an awful lot of competition. I owe a big thanks to a certain gentleman at BFAMWy for the trophy.
And just in case anyone is in any doubt, the asterisk obviously represents a ‘W’…
Bagging Up On Redfins
What is it about roach that anglers love. They don’t even grow as big as an F1 (Frankenstein) carp. They fight no better than most species, in fact when compared with tench, carp, barbel, grayling and chub, for instance, they are wimps. They are certainly not as striking to look at as a perch or as impossibly beautiful as a rudd. So what’s there to like?
Well, everything, really. It’s like you look at certain women and they don’t have supermodel figures, they’re not classically beautiful, yet there’s something about them. Enigmatic. Alluring. Honest. That’s a roach.
I recently spent a thoroughly enjoyable day at Messingham Sands fishing for roach with one of my oldest friends, Trev Empson. We fished the North Day Ticket Lake and permission was granted to use a keepnet. The day began with a frost and it never really warmed up. We were certainly glad of the shelter from a high bank because the winter was sharp enough to cut through you. Bites came from the off and we never gave the cold another thought until it was time to pack up. Only then did we begin to feel it.
Roach fishing is like that.
Messingham is superb. The roach are of a good average stamp with no shortage of proper netters. Fish well and you can expect a fair few around the pound mark and on a good day you might drop on something special. They’re certainly in there. In fact I know of no-where else locally to compare with it.
The catch above was taken pole fishing at 6 metres. I used less than a pint of casters and missed a million bites – well, perhaps a few less, but I did seem to miss at least three for every one I connected with. Despite the cold, Trev caught shallow and had far more fish than me, but his were mostly a smaller sample. I stuck to fishing on the deck but next time I’ll opt for a different feeding pattern because I’m convinced that’s the key to better bites and bigger fish.
We shall see.
Carving Out A Niche
I’ve followed the work of ‘Jimmi’ for a while now. He’s Polish and his carvings are quite remarkable. Even so I do believe he’s taken them to a whole new level with his latest effort. At first glance you might think the end result is a painting but it’s not. Follow the step-by-step sequence below and marvel at the detail in the finished result. It is truly magnificent.
I even contacted him to ask if it might possibly be for sale but sadly the work was a commission and involved so much work he’s not too keen to start another.
It all begins with a sketch on paper…
Traced onto the raw wood the scene is blocked out.
Slowly but surely it begins to take shape.
Fine detail is added.
And then painting brings everything to life.
Have you ever seen carving skills that even comes close to this? I certainly haven’t. Breathtaking. Imagine owning something as exquisite and unique as this.
You’ll find more stuff on his Facebook Page.
You Want Cheeps With That, Sir?
So I’m walking down the street, looking for somewhere to eat and I happen upon a fish restaurant with tanks outside. I’m sure you’ve seen similar ones containing live fish, lobsters and such like fairly often, but what grabbed my attention here was finding myself looking at a bloody great mahseer.
By gum you’d need a big plate and a lot of chips if you ordered one of those!
Be in no doubt at all that Sheffield is full of nutters and there’s even an angling club to prove it. The Sheffield Nutters have been going for near on 30 years and Gary Simpson has begun writing a blog about their exploits, plus his own views on this and that in fishing.
It’s called Slippery Fish and you can find it HERE.
Proper Nutters From Sheffield
Of course, I did state Sheffield is FULL of nutters and therefore feel, after making such a sweeping statement, it is bestowed upon me to demonstrate that Gary’s club doesn’t hold any kind of monopoly on lunacy in Steel City, indeed it’s something of a local speciality.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Bagginbros. Two more utter nutters from the City Of Steel.
Does it worry you that one day in the near future this pair might breed?
Not with each other, I hasten to add. The only offspring a liason of that sort could produce would be a Tyke.
And should that leave you puzzled, Tyke is a term most commonly used to describe residents of the nearby town of Barnsley. The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a tyke as being a small child, a clumsy, churlish, or eccentric person and an inferior or mongrel dog.
Apparently this video log is going to be a weekly feature. Let’s hope so. They’re completely bonkers and angling is short on genuine characters. Especially up-and-coming ones.
It’s Not Exclusive
Alas we northern folk don’t own the nutter franchise. Remember last month how I spoke about my affection for folk called Graham? Well, the Graham around which the section was crafted sent me a lovely email. It read:
“Don’t want to make you any worse but now up to 30 double for the year off 55 trips, had a fantastic afternoon/evening session (again!) with 4 doubles (yes 4!) best 12lb 2oz in a 16 fish catch for 142lb. Very kind words on your blog, nearly didn’t recognise myself, ha ha
Keep catching, I intend to!”
(that’s his ‘The‘, by the way, not mine)
A few days later I get this from him:
Yet another double for Graham and good luck to him. Keep it up sir, I’m chuffed for you. The message reads, ‘Barbel number 1000! Not bad to say only 50 in first year. Those coaching lessons are still working!’
A different and much less merry gentlemen prefers to interpret my blogs in a rather less charitable way. The date/time stamps recorded by WordPress suggest he spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day hammering away at a keyboard messaging me about how he would write to my employers, the police and anyone else who could probably care less.
How sad, especially in this season of good will.
Sadder still is that I was thousands of miles away in the South China Sea and didn’t receive his messages until a week later meaning he could have spent Christmas relaxing and enjoying the company of his friends and family, saving his bile for later.
Perhaps I should send him a peace offering by way of an apology:
Seriously, some folk need to take a chill pill and spend a little more time in the fresh air. Definitely a contender for WOTW or even WOTC!
Take a bit of advice folks. If for some reason my blog offends you, then don’t read it. Simples! Try and manage your obsession a little better. Channel the time and energy you waste on the internet into something useful and creative? Think about your blood pressure. It can’t be doing yours any good. Perhaps get a life of your own? Do something you actually enjoy. You will be a lot happier and probably live longer.
Although we may be inbred, wear flat caps, speak with a strange accent, be useless at football and self-confessed nutters, we still retain our humility. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Yorkshire Teabaggers…
Continuing the theme of this being more-or-less a non-fishing blog post I visited Singapore recently. What an amazing city. No litter, drug dealing is punishable by death, chewing gum is banned – so no black, sticky patches on every pavement, it’s safe to walk around at night on your own, the public transport is cheap and effective, the highways are bedecked by a riot of flowering shrubs, fantastic hotels and an endless list of tourist attractions. I’d love to spend a whole week there and maybe will do sometime.
When this is the view from my hotel balcony I could hardly fail to be impressed. Singapore walks straight into my list of favourite cites and the nightly laser light show over the bay is worthy of the 13-hour flight alone. But where else impresses?
Obviously there are lots of places I’ve never visited yet but off the top of my head, based on personal experience, I’d say London, Venice, Hong Kong, Prague, Vienna, St Petersburgh and Copenhagen are definite contenders to be in my top 10.
Choosing the next 3 gets much harder but the likes of Dubrovnic, Barcelona, Istanbul, Rome, Helsinki, Valencia, Philadelphia, Newcastle and maybe Dublin are each worthy of serious consideration.
So, what are your favourite cities, and why?
Would you like a glimpse of my new Lambourghini? Doubtful as to whether it will negotiate those bumpy lanes down to the Trent and I’m not sure I’ll find a roof rack that fits but one thing’s for sure, those barbel will definitely hear me coming.
Failing that I’ll just give it to Jan Porter…
Over the years I’ve fished in a fair few countries targeting lots of species. It brings home to me how limited our fishing is in the UK and why revisiting to the same old foreign places shows a severe lack of imagination. After all, if you are going to travel half way round the world why on earth would you return to somewhere you’ve been before to catch the same old fish on the same old methods when there are so many new experiences to be tried?
Fin Chasers magazine is freely available online and it’s gratuitous fly fishing porn. Seriously, even if you have no desire to ever cast a fly do have a flick through this. Trust me there’s inspiration to be had by the bucket load and you’ll have one of two reactions.
Some will complain that it’s only for the stinking rich but most will drool and fantasize about having a crack at just one of the many fantastic locations.
At 250 pages it’s a hell of a read. The quality of the writing and photography is outstanding and the mandatory ram-it-down-your-throat advertising we’re used to is absent. It is about as good as magazines, on- or off-line, ever get. Enjoy.
It may be the motto of House Stark but this is no Game Of Thrones. Forget all the wet and windy stuff we’re having, real winter is surely just around the corner and that means it will be time for some proper chubbing soon. Can’t wait!
Anyway, you’ve had your fishing fix, now I’m going to ramble on for a while, mainly because I can. Feel free to quit whenever you like.
Are You Politically Correct?
I was a child of the Fifties. It means I enjoyed puberty in the Sixties, witnessed the birth of rock’n’roll, muddled through all that disco crap in the Seventies, loved heavy rock and punk, grew jaded by the manufactured pulp of the Eighties. And then music kinda died. It’s still lurking in the shadows somewhere but the mainstream is now dominated by music’s equivalent of FIFA.
It means I grew up with rationing, black and white TV, pirate radio, no internet, no mobile phones, red phone boxes allowed you to place a call for 4 old pennies, we played football in the streets and invented jumpers for goalposts.
Dieting wasn’t a fad. The majority of people were slim already and we weren’t drowning in a sea of celebrity chefs. Indeed to be a celebrity anything you actually had to have achieved something worth celebrating.
Then came Woodstock and Monterey. Working Men’s Clubs thrived. There was a higher level cabaret circuit. The likes of Shirley Bassey appeared just down the road from here in what’s now a Sainsbury’s Express. Aids was unheard of. Women never swore or drank pints. Men treated them with dignity. Decorum was more than an obscure word in the dictionary.
Fans were allowed to stand at football matches. Respect wasn’t a campaign. Footballers shook hands because they wanted to. The word sportsman meant more than wearing fancy clothes and driving a fast car. Entertainers like Bernard Manning were superstars. They smoked on stage. Comedians were either blue or Ken Dodd. Pubs employed strippers. Parents thought nothing of slapping their kids to discipline them. Teachers frequently punished us with slippers, canes and by throwing blackboard erasers.
Kids collected cards given away inside packets of tea, we saved paper golliwogs tucked inside the labels of Robertson’s jam jars. The Black and White Minstrels were top of the bill fare. On the Buses, Till Death Us Do Part, To Sir With Love, Hair, you name it, we survived all sorts of entertainment that is currently vilified. Of course, there was Mary Whitehouse to protect us. Somehow we didn’t end up as jabbering wrecks. There was no rioting or great moral indignation. Folk just got on with life, because that’s how it was.
The bottom line is we grew up confused. We didn’t understand what constituted political correctness. It was a case of re-learning everything later.
Youngsters are being taught that much of what was normal then is a moral outrage today but we knew no different. Nothing really prepared my generation for such social change and was not made any easier when the rules kept changing. Folk were coloured one day, a person of colour the next and then they were all black. Get that wrong nowadays and you’re an instant pariah.
Personally I prefer not to look at people as black and white. I prefer to think of them simply as people. Someone isn’t blue because they wear a blue shirt. Why do we need to invent special labels? Just treat folk as your equals.
It is almost as if some campaigners are trying to create and incite racism where it is not intended or does not exist. Take golliwogs again. Do small children see them as dolls or a vitriolic symbol of hatred? Surely they only become a problem when you plant that seed in the head of a child. Surely that’s teaching racism? If it’s such a serious issue why not make golliwogs illegal and be done with it?
Personally I find the recently invented crusade of retrospective racism really annoying. In other words, judging of the past by present day values. I’m sick and tired of seeing TV programmes featuring desperate Z-listers spouting sneering cynicism at a 40-year-old scene from Love Thy Neighbor or It Ain’t Half Hot Mum? If the world has now changed for the better, why is there a need to dig up the past? Why show it at all? What positives are achieved?
Of course, certain entertainment icons have always been immune from criticism. Take Monty Python as an example. I watched Monty Python’s Best Bits (Mostly) on a plane recently hosted by Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville. It featured a cast of veritable comedic royalty praising the virtues of this privileged bunch of middle-class Oxbridge entertainers who have raised more than a few quid to support human rights through Amnesty International. So, surely not? No, come on, poleese…
I watched in bemusement as a cartoon was selected that featured a facial black spot which developed a life of its own, eventually marrying another black spot and moving into a typical London Edwardian terrace. ‘There goes the neighbourhood!’ Intoned Eric Idle’s voice-over.
Next thing there’s loads of small black spots emerging from the front door providing a connotation that cannot possibly mistaken.
Of course, John Cleese’s behaviour towards Manuel in Fawlty Towers was one of physical and verbal racist abuse. All of which leads me to wonder if, like the TV entertainers, DJs and pop stars of that era who are being accused of past misdemeanours, can any one of us claim to be completely free of retrospective PC guilt? I’m sure we have all transgressed the PC line at some point in our pasts. So are we next in line for punishment?
Trouble is, you cannot alter the past. Many tyrants and despots throughout history have tried to rewrite history and failed. It seems to me that if you wish to embrace [and take any credit for] today’s liberal society then you should embrace the past and understand how and why society has changed. Why not take that fake indignity and put it to positive use?
So far, no-one is claiming to be offended by young children having been sent down the pits or by the 10-year-old chimney sweeps of yesteryear (not yet anyway) but it’ll probably happen. At this rate Walt Disney and Mary Poppins will soon need to bunker down!
And the Prime Minister will then be expected to issue an apology to the long deceased families of juvenile mine workers and sweeps.
Should leading politicians really be expected to apologise over historic slave trading in an era when America now has a black President? Surely that more than anything says times have improved demonstrably. The very idea of a black man in charge of a world superpower was unthinkable barely fifty years ago.
The world is bonkers! Can we not accept horrible things happened in history and let them lie when times have clearly changed beyond recognition and continue to improve? We should be celebrating the present and investing in the future, not raking over the past. But if you are going to rake over the past, are we talking till the beginning of time? What’s the Statute Of Limitations on this kind of retrospective navel gazing?
What if PG Wodehouse’s Three Men In A Boat had been written today? Would PG have needed to write about a man, a woman and a transgendered person in a boat? Would one have had to be Caucasian, one black and one Asian? I’m guessing it’s a complete no-no to tell jokes about the Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman anymore?
To remain politically correct at all times is practically impossible. If you say absolutely nothing then you can’t possibly be wrong – but nothing then improves. What happened to learning from mistakes? It’s so much easier to take a stance where you’re offended by everything but say absolutely nothing. That way you can’t fail to remain safe and smug when all around you are condemned.
Researching this subject I learned it is non-PC to use the term confined to a wheelchair. You have to say, person who uses a wheelchair. You should not say birth defect. You should say person who has a congenital disability or a disability that has existed from birth. You cannot say harelip, it’s a person who has a cleft lip.
All this in an age when the Government is worried that children are leaving Primary School too thick to have learned their times tables. If they can’t multiply a couple of prime numbers how on earth are they going to deal with the complexities of political correctness?
So, with no more ado, let’s take a look at a few examples. Maybe it’ll help you to decide whether you’re on the ball or not.
Meanwhile, count me out. I’m definitely sitting on the fence with this lot!
1. I Know An Old Lady…
I have no doubt whatsoever that this first example is reprehensible, yet it was apparently watched by 9.5 million viewers and only a tiny, tiny percentage of these complained (less than 0.01% actually).
Surely eating any kind of live creature, especially in the name of entertainment, is wrong. Absolutely abhorrent. If eating a witchetty grub is acceptable then who’s to say a eating a spider’s not okay? Where do we draw the line? A baby bird? Biting the head off a bat? Chewing the balls off a rottweiller? You tell me.
Now if we care to spin it around and have lions eating so-called celebrities in a jungle then count me in. I’ll pay good money for a ringside seat.
What happened to all those Meat Is Murder campaigners? Or PETA? Perhaps they don’t bother watching this kind of crap. And anyway, don’t all food outlets have to be sanctioned and inspected by the local authority?
2. Spaghetti Westerners
This next one I had to think about. Then I had to stop thinking about it – boom, boom!
It’s clever (and possibly very funny) but a lesbian might think otherwise. Blowed if I can tell. I considered sending it to a lesbian friend of mine but bottled out. They’re so temperamental, aren’t they? – No, seriously, scratch that comment! It’s a gratuitous (undoubtedly offensive) use of a gender stereotype delivered with tongue firmly in cheek. Bad boy!
See how complicated it gets? There’s this whole grey area that’s a minefield.
If you flip the picture to two guys in a similar scenario. How does that pan out?
And how about the recent Coronation Street episode where Tracy Barlow decided to convert her Bargain Buys business to a florist shop. Asked if she’s told her employee (Todd Grimshaw) about the new direction, she replied, ‘Oh, he won’t mind selling flowers, he’s gay!’
I thought the switchboard might have gone into meltdown after that but not a peep, apparently.
3. Niggas On Da River!
Without doubt this next video clip is offensive on so many levels, although I’m not sure exactly who it is most offensive to. It’s one of a series of fishing clips created by a guy called Westbred Diamond. He’s black, so that apparently allows him to use of the word ‘niggas’ – all the time.
Double standards? Don’t ask me! I don’t feel it’s a word anyone should be using today, irrespective of skin colour.
In episode one Westbred Diamond and Crappie Killer fish for white sturgeon in Colorado. The filming is so bad it borders on clever, but you may feel pretty awkward watching it. They swear rather more than is necessary and they make un-PC references about white people. But that’s not what bothers me. I’m so concerned by race pitfallsthat I’m more offended for the blacks they constantly patronise.
Maybe I’m being over-sensitive. Your call.
4. LIghten Up!
Over in Lenz, Austria, these pedestrian lights were recently banned.
Initially they were introduced to foster greater tolerance towards gays.
Can you spot the PC problem? No?
How about the fact they’re not inclusive?
Apparently the Traffic Chief has insisted they all be replaced. Presumably to the conventional image of a man…
So, who’s right and who’s wrong here?
Bonkers, or what?
5. Sport Is Not Immune
Back in the 1930’s some bright spark decided it would be a good idea to create a ‘football’ (ahem – I consider the American use of that term, along with soccer, as offensive!) team called the Washington Redskins. Where we have teams called Town, City, United, Athletic, Wanderers and Rovers, over in the States they prefer a bit of chutzpah, so it’s all Eagles, Hawks, Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Giants, Titans, Raiders, Chargers and so on.
Not sure about the use of Vikings, though. Or Cowboys.
Unfortunately the term Redskins is deemed taboo in some quarters and surrounded in controversy. Eighty years on the debate still continues as to whether the name Washington Redskins is acceptable though recent polls favour keeping it despite no shortage of objections that it is offensive, disparaging and taboo. Alas it leads to predictable headlines by lazy journos, if you follow my drift:
But it’s a name. It isn’t a political rallying call. Fans always cling on to tradition. They support, identify and have an affiliation with a name rather than a sentiment. Attempting to change a name simply invites martyrdom. Just look at the problems at Hull City when the new owner wanted to re-name them Hull Tigers. Or the fellow at Cardiff who decided red shirts would result in better on-field performances by the Bluebirds…
The real battle for rights in Washington was won half a century ago when, up until 1962, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall refused to employ black players and it took the threat of a civil rights legal action by the Kennedy Administration to force a change and this action really only came about because the stadium they played in was owned by the US Department of the Interior and thus Federal Government property.
Seems unthinkable now, doesn’t it?
6. Balanced Personality?
And then there’s Tyson Fury. What can you say? Well nothing really, he says plenty without our help, like:
“Men don’t look good in dresses. Women do. And what? Why is that bad?
“Why should it be for a sportswoman not to look nice in dresses? Are they not allowed to do that? Do they have to be treated like men all the time?”
“I’m a little bit backward I didn’t really go to school so which part of ‘a woman looks good in a dress is sexist’?…
He also made specific homophobic comments not to mention throwing in paedophilia and abortion for good measure whilst referencing the bible. Then again, he ain’t exactly a politician, a ballet dancer or a brain surgeon, is he? He’s a 6 foot 9 thug with a talent for unarmed combat against other giant thugs.
But when you’re a newly crowned World Champion the poor old Beeb has little choice but to offer you up as a contender for Sports Personality Of The Year. On paper he’s a shoe-in because no-one else in the frame appears to have any personality whatsoever. I’ve seen Miss World contestants who are more loquacious! Or is this whole charade nothing to do with ‘personality’ in the first place?
I cannot see where it’s called ‘Nice’ Sports Personality Of The Year.
Then the BBC suspends one of its own, Andy West, for entering the public arena to tweet how he’s ashamed to work for the BBC. I tend to think, ‘Dear me sunshine, if you are so upset by the principles of your employer, show some of your own and just resign. Refuse to accept the BBC’s money. Let your feet do the talking. Go work for someone you respect. No need for a song and dance.’
He’s probably on full pay knowing how the Beeb likes to squander our license fee money.
Or was he simply seeking a few moments in the limelight? Surely he knew exactly what he was doing. Perhaps he would do well to read my earlier comments about posting on social media. Criticising your employer so publicly is not without its risks and it’s no use crying afterwards if they take disciplinary action. Nor if potential future employers decide to pass on you.
7. Police Priorities
And of course, it comes as no surprise Greater Manchester Police were roped into the Fury because one individual took upon himself to report Tyson’s words as a hate crime and in this impossibly mad ultra-PC world one man’s effrontery trumps all else. Drop everything Sergeant! Those terrorists, robbers, rapists, muggers, drug dealers, wife beaters, you name it, they can all go on the back burner, here’s a real priority case for you!
Of course no action was taken against Tyson. Perhaps the idiots who make spurious complaints should be arrested for wasting Police time instead. Or maybe you don’t agree?
It begs the question, exactly what outcome is the complainant hoping for? Smacks of a revenge mission to me.
The thing is, and I run the risk of being shouted down here, somewhat unfairly, because I’m merely playing devil’s advocate to provoke discussion. Till this erupted I had no idea who Tyson Fury was and I’m still not much wiser in truth. I do understand though, that when a bloke’s been punched in the head often enough he’s quite likely to spout a bit of rubbish.
Meanwhile UKIP member Winston McKenzie is being paid rather well to spout anti-gay views in the Celebrity Big Brother house. Not for long I suspect, but ‘Why?’ is the question someone should be asking. What is Channel 5 thinking about? Why do the broadcasting authorities condone this?
Ratings is the answer. Maybe the C5 audience is still in the dinosaur age.
Speaking as he entered the house McKenzie delighted the waiting TV cameras by stating: “I could cope with a homosexual in the house. I guess I’ll just have to stand with my back against a brick wall all the time.”
And this from a guy with ambitions of winning a parliamentary seat. Lord help us. It would hardly be a surprise if someone hasn’t already reported his remarks to the police.
Oh, hang on a minute, wasn’t McKenzie an amateur boxer? Perhaps, like Fury, he has suffered a few too many punches to the head.
8. Cry Freedom
In the UK we pride ourselves on enjoying freedom of speech. Every extremist in the land is allowed to protest on our shores, providing it is done peacefully. Muslim clerics, pacifists, unionists, gay rights activists, anti-capitalist rebels, climate changers, stop Trident, animal rights, anti-austerity, anti-Islam, pro-refugees, anti-racism, anti-fascism, CND, protests against the Indian Prime Minister’s visit, the NHS, No More Fukushimas, Stand Up To Racism, Free Palestine, the list goes on, and on, and on.
So where do a Romany pugilist’s views fit into this barmy PC-gone-mad world we live in. Fury comes from a traveller community with a remarkably strong moral code – no sex before marriage, total opposition to abortion and believing homosexuality is wrong. That’s his upbringing, that’s his lore, and maybe that’s where we run into a minefield of cultural issues and freedom difficulties.
We allow minorities an awful lot of leeway when it comes to upholding their traditional values and culture. If we’re not careful we’ll end up denying HIM his civil liberties!
After all, are we truly worried that anyone will actually take what he says seriously and commit violent crimes because of his outbursts? Or, perish the thought, he might win a daft trophy that quite frankly is nothing but a meaningless self-indulgent popularity poll that he has stated he has no interest in anyway? (I’m with him on that point. Who are these nominees? Never heard of half of them!)
By his own admission Tyson Fury is a semi-literate individual. He’s not Abu Hamza al-Masri. Nor is he Albert Einstein reincarnated. When someone wins the Voice or X Factor, do we really expect them to be the new Bob Dylan and Nelson Mandella rolled into one? Had Bolliie and Reggie won would anyone have expected them to become the new Lennon and McCartney? Or Simon and Garfunkel?
A bit of perspective required, methinks.
9. Beefcake Equality
The launch of the new TV blockbuster series War and Peace is apparently getting females rather flustered in their undergarments (according to the popular press). All this cheekbones and trumped-up phwoar reminds me of the recent Poldark remake where ladies apparently lusted in their millions over the hero’s fit torso.
Of course, if I was to publish an image of a topless woman in an identical come hither pose I’d be accused of sexism, objectification and vulgarity.
So, how come it’s okay for women to lust over provocative male images and not vice versa? Surely this contravenes every rule of PC feminism and demand for equality? Are these the same women who campaigned to end the Sun’s Page 3 Stunners?
10. And Finally – A Tricky One
When we were kids we tended to call fat kids names. Awful when you look back, I know. Cruel, indeed. But there were far less of them then. It was definitely a stigma. These days it’s becoming the norm and surely we must blame the parents. It’s all too easy to indulge children and feed them crap, later blaming the inevitable consequence as, ‘Ooh, he’s big boned, it’s her hormones, genes, etc, etc.’
It’s not. It’s child abuse.
Right now there appears to be a co-ordinated Government initiative to point out we’re carrying too many extra pounds without exactly calling anyone out for being fat. Can’t do that or it will cause great offense with the PC mob.
However, it’s all over the media. Too many of us are now deemed to be ‘curvy’ and each time we turn on the news there’s a new campaign that skirts around the real issues instead of calling a spade a spade. Oh, hang on, can I actually say that these days? Probably not.
We’re now being bombarded daily with features about the hidden sugars in food and drinks, about the huge number of useless calories in alcohol, how we need more excercise, how we need better labeling, to eat 5-a-day, the risks of red meat, good fats, bad fats, better diets, controlled calorie intake, avoiding refined sugars and so on. But few take any notice. There’s a whooshing noise as it sweeps over their heads.
Women still ask, ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ But woe betide he who says yes! It’s not PC to say, ‘Sorry dear, your bum looks massive in whatever you wear because frankly you’re morbidly obese!’
Harsh, I know, but sometimes cruelty might be a kindness.
Our health service will eventually sink under the ever-increasing demands placed upon it. A record number of over 7,000 people now have limbs amputated each year because they have Type 2 diabetes. There are 4 million sufferers in the UK and 24,000 of them will die prematurely. That’s a staggering 65%increase in a single decade.
Listen up folks. Type 2 diabetes is avoidable. In 80% of cases it’s your own fault! All that is required to avoid it is a change of attitude. Unfortunately we must not mention someone is fat. It’s a complete no-no. Being overweight, eating a poor diet and not taking enough excercise is the equivalent of volunteering for a death sentence. Cheaper and quicker to chew your own leg off!
Throw in that research shows around 24,000 cancer cases in the UK could be avoided if everyone was a healthy weight and you may have an uncomfortable yet compelling argument that fattism should never be allowed to become a bedfellow of racism.
Mommy (the Government) knows best but she’s afraid to lay it on the line. Perhaps it’s time to stop being all nicey-nicey and save a few thousand lives in the process.
Quit While You’re Behind
So, how did you get on? Are you a racist? A sexist? A realist? A Nationalist? A cosmopolitan? A fattist? Or Peter Perfect?
I’m probably a lost cause and someone is already rushing to report me to the authorities but do remember, I’m not taking sides here, just mulling over everyday problems we all have to address.
I guess the one thing we need to understand is that political correctness doesn’t actually teach people to be mindful of problems in the way they think; it merely teaches them to avoid offending people as this closing song illustrates perfectly:
Never mind. The closed season debates will be starting shortly…
Meanwhile I need to go fishing. I’ve got Graham’s on me brain!