Certain things bug me more than others.
One is hypocrisy. Particularly when it's from self-righteous, pompous fuckers who believe whole heartedly that they're the intellectual, ethical elite of England and have the right to tell everyone else what to say and think. Worse still is when these same wankers try to censor or quash the opinions of others.
Nick Griffin is chairman of the British National Party. Not the most photogenic of people with his droopy eye and well-fed neck he heads up a political party that (amongst other things) advocate the repatriation of immigrants and want to keep England out of Europe. In the last European election he was voted in as an MEP and his party gained nearly 1 million votes in the last UK national election.
The BBC has a programme called Question Time. This has a panel of politicians and famous people each week who debate hot topics put to them either by the host or from the studio audience. The programme makers reflect national opinion by inviting people who illustrate the current political status on to the show.
Some months ago it was announced that Nick Griffin was to be invited on Question Time.
There was the usual backlash and tantrum throwing from people who regard the BNP as scum. Various political figures stated they would refuse to share the same studio with him while others ranted in the media that it was "abhorrent" that this man be allowed to air his fascistic beliefs on national television.
October 22nd and Question Time went ahead with Nick Griffin in attendance. About 1000 people turned up to demonstrate outside BBC Television Centre and it was expected that he would face a rough ride from the audience plus the host and fellow panelists.
As it was he emerged a victim due to the stupid and childish behaviour of the demonstrators, the panel and the audience.
First of all the supposedly "peaceful" demonstration resulted in various people illegally entering Television Centre in an attempt to halt the show. When police and private security tried to move them on they had to be physically escorted out (screeching about police brutality) and one group of fuckwits started chanting "Ian Tomlinson" after being cornered inside the studio premises by Police who had to use force to get them to leave when they remained obstinate about staying put.
Three cops ended up in in hospital as a result of this pantomime, which was meant to be a lawful venting of dissatisfaction at the perceived crassness of allowing Griffin to speak in public, but ended up being a free for all of stupid behaviour and taking a dig at the Police who are now too shit scared to use force anyway after the Smellie Fischer and Tomlinson fiascoes.
Then the impartiality of discussing news items currently in the public eye went out the window and the programme turned into a free for all of having a dig at the nasty nazi, with various members attacking Griffin for his views. This put more attention on to this man than these idiots supposedly wanted with him coming in for personal insults and attacks on his integrity. One guy called him "disgusting" and another wittily quipped that he should move to Antarctica where the "colourless landscape should suit you".
The panel themselves were not much better. Bonnie Greer, a black MP stated in the media that Griffin had tried to shake her hand before the show and was attempting small talk before filming started. She said that she had wanted to hit him in the face but managed to restrain herself and that he was "greasy". I'm confused as to how he could have won in this situation in that had he ignored her it would have added fuel to the fire that he was racist and if he had insulted her it would have poured kerosene on it. By trying to be polite he pissed her off and she appears to have wanted to assault him solely due to his politics, not anything he did or didn't do on Question Time or to her personally.
And to the crunch...
Whether you agree with this man or not HE IS AN ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE. His party got 1.6% of the population to vote for them at the last election which from 61 million people is far from mere peanuts. By bullying the perceived bully you are no better than you believe him and his party to be.
The petulant rage at the fact that he'd been invited on to the show. The disdain and rudeness with which he was treated. The turning of Question Time into a public lynching....all did nothing but make this man a victim in most people's eyes, even those who don't like him or his politics.
Within 24 hours of Question Time airing, the BBC received over 300 complaints and over 200 of those complained about bias AGAINST Griffin.
Various clueless cunts were quoted as saying that there would be attacks on minorities as a result of him appearing on the show. These same morons don't seem to grasp the fact that by treating him worse than you would expect to be treated yourselves, you have done nothing except allow him to emerge as someone who was not treated fairly and who has emerged with some semblance of dignity after being bullied and victimised by pompous moral high ground-holders.
On a lighter note...
A rather yummy female pal of mine invited me for dinner one night to a "Swap" party at her flat. After some searching I found her address which was in one of the many antiquated areas of Italy's capital, near Via del Corso not far from Colosseum. Finding her flat however was a different matter. She lives in some sort of museum and while it was very rewarding to stroll up the stairs past busts of long forgotten Roman nobility I had no bloody clue how to find her flat. Finally after calling her up on her mobile I came to the tiniest apartment I think I've ever seen.
The front (well, only) door opens directly into the kitchen. The bathroom is immediately on your left you come in and two enormous windows face you. The dining table is to the left of the door which means if anyone is eating on that side they get the door in their back. The stairs run to the left past the oven and fridge, with a very dinky little washing machine and microwave under them. Upstairs are two rooms, a guest room with no door, just big enough for a single bed and a wardrobe and directly above the kitchen is her bedroom with a double bed and the requisite collection of shoes that 90% of birds I meet in any country other than England, seem to own.
We got stuck in to some good cheese and then tiriamisu (sp?) and she casually mentioned that she'd invited 30 people for dinner but most of them had cancelled. There were at this point only 5 of us in the apartment and it already resembled one of the Captain's Table scenes from Russell Crowe's "Master and Commander" movie. To really make it comical her two cats (that she'd transported from Finland when she took up her au pair job, at a cost of 350 Euros) kept peeping over the stairwell at us, timidly refusing to come down and be fussed by the women who typically went all gooey at the sight of them.
While I would love a flat like this, it's not ideal for hosting dinner parties unless you have the type of flexibility trapeze artists would envy (actually now I think about it, one guest was training for the circus).
When I got back to my flat in the south of Rome three weeks ago, there was a free internet connection available. Soon as I turned on my Netbook it connected to it and I didn't think anything of it until last Friday when the bastard thing had changed from "Unrestricted Wi-Fi Network" to "Security Enabled" and wanted a PIN number.
Obviously whichever neighbour owned the modem called "PDlomfo12" didn't appreciate piggybackers using up all their bandwith and upped the ante. I now need to sit in a dog shit riddled "park" (bit of grass at the back of the flats with a bench) in order to use another hot spot I found a year ago.
I have stopped drinking booze after 2 bad experiences in the last 2 weeks.
First of all we went out for a meal two weeks ago and after 3 bottles of red wine all to myself plus a Diavola pizza I ended up spending all day Sunday in bed puking and shitting (not in the bed, I managed to make it into the bog for that) and last week it was my birthday party and I ended up getting maudlin and miserable.
First problem with heavy drinking is I live way out in the sticks. My flat is in an area called EUR which is a piece of piss to get to if public transport is running (45 minutes from my front door to Termini train station in the centre) but a right fucking arse ache if it's Night Bus time.
I usually need to leave my pals by about 1am to get the last Tube home (unlike Transport for London, the Roman underground stays open 2 hours later Friday and Saturday) and once I arrive at Laurentina (end of line B) I have to either fanny about waiting for the N21 bus that runs hourly, or walk home. It's about 2 miles which means if you're steaming drunk that it's a thoroughly depressing experience, especially if it's pissing with rain like it was the day before I was laid up with gut rot.
Further, as beer is expensive in Italy (5-ish Euros a pint) I was basically paying to make myself feel miserable. Turning 39 was not fun and although I didn't realise it at the time I was well fucked off with this step away from 40 celebration and my pal Dawn kept saying "what's wrong?" in the Irish bar we went into after dinner and the following Monday at work said I was a right miserable shit all night (although she may have been venting her spleen over the video I don't remember filming where I try to persuade her and another girl to snog each other. The other glared at me and shouted "I'M NOT DOING THAT JUST COZ IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY YOU LITTLE PERVERT!!!").
Finally, being 39 and not 19 hangovers tend to last all of Sunday and I have found much to my dismay that it isn't just limited to a thumping headache and fatigue, it also extends to paranoia, insecurity and a multitude of other horrible shit, dredged up from the dungeons of my mind and left to prowl around the corridors of my fragile psyche. The only thing you can do in a situation like this is try to ride the feeling out even though you know that you are just being silly for feeling very guilty about pushing Nicholas over in the playground when you were 6 years old but are powerless to stop that feeling until your body has purged the alcohol toxins.
So, for the last 7 days I haven't had any booze at all and feel much better for it. I have every intention of getting shit faced off my tits at Christmas and shagging some bird who's wearing in a sexy Santa outfit in Murphy's Bar, but at the moment am enjoying my sobriety and feeling fresh faced of a weekend and more importantly Monday morning.
I have also started up jogging again. A rather delightful park is just down the street with an obstacle course. This is a fitness fanatic's wet dream as it has hurdles, climbing frames, pull up bars and those bars where you pull yourself along hand over hand (anyone know the short name?) and some balance beams. First 5 times I went out I came back heaving like a horse and seriously regretting 4 months of excessive drinking and smoking over the summer. Now it's getting easier and I have found my energy levels have increased considerably.
Only downer is that not only has my energy increased but true to past form, so has my libido and also my appetite. The latter is fine because in Italy I just wolf down a shed load of pasta and fry omelettes for lunch. The former is a downer though as my duvet is starting to look like it was used in the movie Bugsy Malone and as I only go out on weekends my chances of getting a mid week shag are slim.