The Week in News

I’m feeling a bit deflated. It’s possibly due to jet lag from the first week of school, a manic weekend, and my cold still dragging on. It’s possibly due to the fact that it’s my least favourite weather (how British of me to have weather rankings). Low grey skies, massive amounts of humidity and lovely, sweaty warmth. It could be that Mercury is retrograde or something.

Mercury always seems to be retrograde. Am I the only person who has ever noticed this? I wonder if Mercury just goes backwards as a matter of course, and the time to be worried is when it starts going forward, whatever the opposite term for retrograde is.

I have also made the mistake of reading the news. This was stupid of me. Here are the edited highlights:

The NHS is being held together with Calpol and abandoned dental floss. I am due to go to a primary care health summit on Friday to confirm this in more depressing detail. Nobody has accidentally on purpose kicked Jeremy Hunt into a giant, tiger trap. I am very sad about all of this.

Racism is on the rise thanks to the Brexit after effects. The only things that seem to be on the rise post Brexit are things I would rather like to see fall, into the same tiger trap as Jeremy.

Figures show that violence against women and children is at its highest reported levels ever. Please don’t tell me that this is good because it was probably happening anyway and people just weren’t reporting it before. I get that. It still doesn’t make it good. It just makes it possibly slightly less horrific. I donated another £20 to the Archers, Just Giving page for Refuge. I hoped it would make me feel more positive. It didn’t.

Theresa has come back from her blue sky thinking exercise about Brexit, several thousand exchequer pounds poorer, thanks to an extravagant dinner, and no wiser. Brexit is still Brexit. Donald Davies spent twelve minutes saying so yesterday in a speech to the House of Commons that was as dull as it was entirely uninformative. Basically, there is still no plan, our currency is still worth two buttons down the back of the sofa, and nobody is talking about the fact that international businesses are quietly packing their bags and doing a moonlight flit, but you know, it’s all great. Full steam ahead for the future. I am still putting all my hope into the fact that I was the best survivor on the ‘how long will you survive after the zombie apocalypse?’ questionnaire. It is worrying how often I cling to this ‘fact’ to self soothe these days.

The only story that has even remotely cheered me up over the last few days is the ongoing Keith Vaz saga. Keith is an MP who represents my city. Luckily, not my particular part of it, I’m grateful to say. Keith may well be, as my mother has said more than once over the last few years, as bent as a nine bob note. Not, I might add, that anyone has ever been able to prove it. It is amazing how many scandalous situations he has been linked with, and yet managed to oleaginously slither free from. Not for nothing is his nickname Vazeline.

It seems to be getting more appropriate by the day.

I wrestled with my feelings of glee, to be honest. After all, what a man or woman does with consenting adults in their private life is their own business, as long as they don’t hurt anyone. Although his admission that he has had unprotected sex with prostitutes means I don’t know if you can say that he hasn’t hurt anyone, given that he has a wife and children, who must be going through all kinds of hell right now, for all kinds of reasons.

I also find it somewhat hypocritical to say the least that he has been chairing the home affairs committee on crime, which advises on legislation regarding vice and drugs. Given his voting record regarding the legality of poppers and the Scandinavian model of prosecuting sex buyers rather than sex workers, it is also rather difficult not to think that there is a conflict of interest here.

It has been pointed out that he has, perhaps, valuable experience to offer on the committee now that his peccadilloes have come to light. Although given the chequered history of politicians I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t all have their areas of expertise, frankly. I don’t know why we just don’t stick a massive red light bulb on Big Ben and have at it. We could sell HOC lube in various flavours, and the term ‘Chief Whip’ could really come into its own at long last.

Despite all this, I cannot help laughing the most at the fact that he pretended to be a washing machine repairman called Jim. I hope he played a suitably ‘chickawawa’ guitar sound track and wore a tool belt. Although, due to the English generally not being known for their lascivious ways in the bedroom it’s more likely he wandered in with a stub of pencil behind his ear, sucked his teeth, smacked the top of the washer and made incomprehensible small talk about a new drum.

It comes to something when even our sex scandals are a joke doesn’t it?

9 responses to “The Week in News

  1. I read your excellent blog at around 10.30am – before my husband returns with the newspapers. You provide me with the necessary background material that answers my what? what? WHAT!! questions as I read these so-called ‘news’ papers. My eternal question is not ‘Why are we here?’, it’s ‘What’s the point of sentience and sapience?’ We seem to crud up the planet and each other with gay abandon and with no thought about long term effect. I am forming a splinter group, by the way, to claw back misused vocabulary. Gay is just one example. Many of my dearest friends prefer the company of their own sex, and that’s fine – I simply object to anyone nicking my favourite words to, inappropriately in my opinion, label themselves. I know I won’t win. That won’t stop me from trying. I’m sure there are groups out there trying to stop people like me from splitting infinitives. Drifting back on point… Sentience. It gives us the ability to suffer. And, boy, do we make sure we do! In every conceivable way. Then we have Sapience. Yeah. That thing some males (not yours or mine, although I had to train mine a little at the start of our relationship) believe cannot be accessed by the all-sentient females. Why don’t they use a scrap of their sapience to control the promiscuous behaviour that causes a painful sentient response in others? The piece about Mr Vaz in the papers rattled my cage. Oleaginous will be my mot du jour. As ever, thank you for your insightful blog.

  2. ‘accidently on purpose’ is the best phrase ever! it strangely makes me smile and gives me hope

  3. I was explaining “bent as a nine-bob note” to an American friend only yesterday!

  4. Just as I finished reading this, a pop up news message stated that Vaz had just resigned!😂

    Wish I could write half as well as you. Hilarious stuff😂😂😂

  5. I spent about a week post referendum holed up in a darkened room reading any and every brexit report/comment/news item I could find online, with occasional breaks to eat, sleep or pretend to do some work. I was desperately trying to make some sense of the incomprehensible and thought that someone, somewhere on the world wide web must have some insight. My verdict? They didn’t and they still don’t.
    I have a shockingly addictive personality, and Colin is just as bad, so even though we eventually emerged blinking into the daylight and got back to as close to normal as we get, we are still spending considerably more time on social media and news sites than previously. I’ve come to the conclusion they should all come with a government health warning (though I imagine most read ‘get private medical insurance pronto or you’re doomed’ nowadays).
    It is not uncommon for us to sit side by side peacefully ‘browsing’ until one or other suddenly makes a derisory snorting noise or utters an expletive. Sometimes we actually share the source of this outburst and have a discussion about it, other times we just shake our heads disbelievingly and say ‘you don’t want to know, trust me’.
    Whoever it was who said ‘ignorance is bliss’ had a point, I was a lot happier when I was less well informed.

    I am usually of the opinion that an MP’s (or anyone else’s for that matter) private life should remain just that, unless they are breaking the law or it is affecting their ability to do their job. It could be argued that Mr Vaz’s familiarity with rent boys made him ideally placed to comment on matters relating to prostitution, however does it enable him to make impartial judgements? Probably not. Had he been open about his preferences it shouldn’t have been an issue (although it might have hindered his appointment in the first place), it’s the secrecy and hypocrisy that complicates matters.
    It’s his wife and children I feel sorry for, as they are the real victims of this sordid business. I suspect his wife, at least, isn’t so much shocked by the revelations as the manner they came about – it’s one thing to privately accept your husband’s sexuality and another to have it become a media sensation. He strikes me as a pretty ebullient character, I fear it is they who will be struggling with the public humiliation long after he has moved on.

    • He was supposed to come to a day long event we had today about the future of the NHS in our city. He bailed. I was disappointed. I wanted to ask him about my spin cycle.

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