Yesterday was one of those days where every piece of news I read literally made me want to tear my hair out and jump up and down like Violet Elizabeth on crack.
I suspect that if I read the news every day in as much detail as I did yesterday, this would be my natural state, and I would just be a teeny, screeching, balding harridan, wearing whatever the opposite of desire paths is into the carpets (hatred paths? I’ll take it), whilst typing my fingers to the bone.
I do, usually, try to avoid too much news for this very reason. Sadly, I am wrestling with chapter nine, and it is winning, so I am spending a lot of time reading the Guardian whilst huffing violently like a fleshy steam train.
I have had to give up the Daily Mail completely due to the fact that I am afraid I will spontaneously combust before I’ve finished the damn book.
The only bright spot on the horizon is that at least I am wrestling with chapter nine, not chapter eight.
All the fun.
Yesterday’s final indignity was that utter fuckweasel George Osborne’s autumn spending review speech.
The only bright spot as far as I can see was the fact that he was forced to abandon his draconian cuts to the tax credits for fear that he had finally pushed the population too far. I was almost tempted to wish he hadn’t backed down so I could have legitimately marched on Whitehall with a burning brand and a pitchfork.
Obviously, although not appearing in the slightest bit humiliated or sorry about this, it must have rankled with poor George. He does not like to be bested. Hence the reason why he managed to wreak his revenge by tightening the thumb screws everywhere else. Not content with slashing nursing bursaries, and sneaking in hikes in student loans, he is increasing defence spending, while still paring the armed forces to the bone so we will have to start training the local brownies to use Trident. The list goes on.
My best rage though, the one I have shined and polished until it gleams like a red dwarf going supernova, is for the Tampon tax fiasco.
George is very sorry, but he is absolutely unable to take the VAT on Tampons away. He is going to ask searching questions about it, but you know, there are stuff, and things, and apple carts and all that. Europe doesn’t like it, so you know. Tsk and pshaw.
Instead he has very kindly agreed to put that money aside, and use it to fund women’s health projects. He is particularly keen on using it to boost funding for women’s refuge services.
Isn’t that nice of him?
Isn’t it nice of him to tax women so that they can pay for other women to be sheltered from the violence that men do to them?
Isn’t it nice of him to take money off women, so that he can give it back to women he took money off of earlier, because it is his austerity measures that are causing refuges to close in the first place?
Isn’t it nice of him that the sum looks so generous on paper, even though it won’t go a fraction of the way towards replacing what he and his government have taken away?
Isn’t it nice of him to give ammunition to men who say to women: ‘That’s good. You can’t complain now. You can’t have it both ways. He’s doing things for women. You should be pleased.’?
Right, so we can’t expect to bleed every month without being taxed for it, and we can’t expect the government to keep women’s refuges open without using the money they take from us as a penalty for bleeding every month, even though it won’t really keep any more refuges actually open when you spread it across all the services that are needed?
What were we thinking?
I don’t know why we were so cross.
My friend Keith mentioned that I would have been more offended if he had given that money to men’s charities. I agree. I would have. It does not make what he is doing right or fair though.
What I would have preferred is that he avoid tokenism altogether, and put the money back into another service he is sucking the life out of. How about if he had put it into education, or helping to keep free school meals for infants going for a bit longer, or kept a library open for a few more months, instead of trying to fob us off with this patronising and offensive sop?