Tag Archives: Tories

Category Errors #2 – Ann Widdecombe

Ok, not a category error as such, but a mental derailment all the same.

There I was, chatting away at the WI Christmas party with another member. It turns out that she’d had a pub about 20 miles from where I used to live. It further turns out she used to work for the local MP running his constituency office. It further further turns out she is a raving, raging, spittle-frothing tory.

We had a slightly one-sided conversation about Wonderful Tories She Had Met. “Michael Hestletine, he’s a very interesting man”. “That Boris Johnson, everyone under-estimates him”. Even, “Jeffrey Archer did a lot of good” and “Margaret Thatcher, what a lovely lady”.

I made suitably non-committal replies. I was brought up nicely. I have good manners.

Then she said

Ann Widdecombe, I’m a big fan. She talks such sense in the Daily Express every Wednesday”.

(The Daily Express thinks that Prince Philip took out a contract on the Princess of Wales, so we are not talking about evidence-based news-reporting, really).

Now it may be that there is much that is great and good about Ann Widdecombe, but unfortunately friends of mine used her name as a safe word during what the Daily Express would probably call “kinky sex sessions” and this struck me as being a rather good idea. You see, unless you are Paul Merton (who is a twisty so-and-so if ever there was one) you cannot think about Ann Widdecombe and sex at the same time. Or not in a good way, anyway.

Try it.

It cannot be done.

Not without feeling enormous physical and mental discomfort.

On the other hand if you have summoned the spirit of la Widdecombe to rescue you from pleasure past bearing, then she is inextricably bound up in your mind with kinky sex. Not a pleasant image I grant you, but that is rather the point.

So there you are. Not actually a category error. But while “rabid Tories I have known” might be a suitable subject for a chat at the WI, “choosing and using a good safeword for bondage games” isn’t really.

Or not at the one I go to, anyway.

“aphra behn racism poems”

Checking my blog-stats yesterday, I found someone had been looking for “aphra behn racism poems”. My guess is they were actually searching for 17th century racism, but – hey – they stopped by, which is always nice.

Oddly, I had in fact considered blogging about racist poems yesterday.

A local councillor and aspirant MP is in the news in the UK and has been suspended by the Conservative Party because a racist poem was sent out from her email account. She says her husband sent it out from her account, forwarding it to his friends in the same spirit of light-humoured jokiness that someone had sent it to her.

She obviously has not thought through the implications of what she is saying:

(a) someone sent it to her in the first place – Not good really; you can control what you receive: when an aquaintance was sending me “nuke ’em all” stuff after 9/11 I told her not to.

(b) her husband thought it funny – Or did he? See below.

(c) he thought it funny enough to send on to other people – Which at the very best is a lapse in judgement which is worrying in itself, and at worst is racism showing exclusionist thinking which one most definitely does not want in representatives to parliament. But of course it was sent out by her husband, so that’s ok. Sure it is.

(d) he has so little respect for her privacy, and for the confidentiality of emails sent to her, that he not only reads her emails, he also uses her email account – Or perhaps this is not an issue, see below.

If she had thought this lot through, then she might not have blamed him so easily. Especially since he is almost certainly innocent. The forwarded email is signed with the message:

“Oh Yes!

Ellie”

Cow. I think. Don’t you? Lying cow, it seems. I’ll stop now before my ranting deafens myself.

Is the poem racist? Undoubtedly.

Is it funny? No. It has some moderately witty wordplay, but it isn’t funny. The cute use of animated icons is particularly offensive.

“Some years ago”, according to a old joke, “the Conservative Party decided that it needed to broaden its appeal to ethnic minorities and selected the following slogan:

“Goodness Gracious! Glory! Glory!
Clever darkies all vote Tory.”

That, my ladles and jellyspoons, is a political joke, not a racist one.