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October 24, 2021

SOME people have called me a sad conspiracy theorist who isn’t happy until he’s made others miserable, others that I should have been aborted – and those, dear reader, are just my closest relatives.
Imagine what it would be like in a room with no referee if our clan got up close and personal?
Imagine, also, if I was Strictly Come Dancing diva Tilly Ramsay, daughter of foul-mouthed ranting and raving Gordon “Chef” Ramsay (a master of personal abuse and insults in a hot sweaty kitchen who can expertly sear with a stare and kebab with a comment but aimed mostly at failing young male kitchen staff, significantly not so much female, who do nothing less negligent than slightly over or under cook a chicken breast. I assume Tilly stays out of his kitchen, where you have to “man up” to survive).
I felt I’d woken up in a world altered and rearranged overnight specifically to suit people with borderline personalities the other day when I heard a BBC Wales radio presenter condemning chubby little LBC radio presenter Steve Allen for calling her “a chubby little thing” as if he had plunged daggers into her heart then twisted multiple times to make sure she was properly dead and later dumped the body on waste ground underneath scrap metal on a dark and dingy hill outside Aberystwyth.
A procession of psychobabblers were trotted out to confirm the BBC Wales presenter’s righteous indignation and apparently real frothing outrage at Allen’s description of the lass (which I thought was, if anything, eccentric and offbeat ribaldry but hardly Lenny Bruce) on the grounds that it was misogyny (misandry, of course, doesn’t exist) and gratuitous fat shaming likely to have adverse psychological effects on her – poor chubby little thing.
Allen faces the sack and Ofcom is investigating after Gary Lineker and the usual rich and privileged suspects piled in on Twitter to condemn him because he hasn’t swallowed the BBC diversity, gender and multiculturalism style book and gone to an unconscious bias seminar somewhere in Bloomsbury to iron out his prejudices so, like comics up and down the land, can still say what he thinks rather than what he thinks he should say.
Tilly is a young woman – not an elderly or middle-aged man – has a platform, followers and, now, big media presence (even now she is probably speaking to an agent about her next television appearance and how much she will charge) so doesn’t have to put up with insults and abuse like most people her age do.
Lucky young Tilly, eh.
I was called far worse things as a schoolboy struggling with “puppy fat” than “chubby” with teachers calling me “insolent” and “a disruptive influence in class” so finding out in 1980 that I would need a “thick-skin” to be a journalist made me wonder if that meant fatty, flabby skin, which, of course, I had, or something else.
It was, of course, something else.
In essence, the personal strength and composure to keep on task and determined even when others are insulting and abusing you with “vile, hateful” abuse like calling you, whisper it softly so the neighbours don’t hear, “chubby”.
As a journo, I would later have people I’d given a bad restaurant review to or featured in a court report detailing their misdeeds try to have me sacked or socked, preferably both, and thereby, and only thereby, I gained the sort of personal strength and composure you acquire only after people have insulted and abused you regularly and muscularly – a bit like the young chefs Ramsey reduced to tears with his vile and hateful bullying insults and abuse in the devil’s kitchen where if you couldn’t stand the heat you stayed out of.
I had to overcome judgmental teachers who told me I wasn’t bright enough to go to university, pupils who laughed when I said I would have my name in the newspapers one day and just about everyone who commented on my appearance unfavourably, as some often did using a wide variety of industrial adjectives to reduce and rein me in as Allen, who seems to specialise in the type of deliciously vapid, witless, spiteful knockabout jaundiced bile you hear outside bingo halls and pubs every day whenever two chubby little things gather for a gossip, appears to have done.
It was their right to call me “fatty”, “Billy Bunter”, “Two ten Tessie” or “Elephant Man” because insult and abuse is not a criminal offence and can often add not detract from discourse though it was hard for me to see it then.
Well, it’s not an offence yet.
Many of these people were doing me a favour because if nobody points out your faults and deficiencies you never do anything about them and you never change. Weightwatchers and Slimming World classes are jam-packed with people who would never have got their lardy arses up off their sofas if someone hadn’t called them “chubby”.
If, of course, you cannot bear the thought of someone pointing out your faults and deficiencies or commenting on your appearance (and borderline personalities can revert to babyish howls and sulks when faced with even marginally conflicting views and opinions – so does that mean we have to stop giving even marginally conflicting views and opinions ever to anyone?) then life is going to be very strange.
Life, in fact, is going to be a zombified Stepford Wives just-so, nice and neat type of an existence where everyone, and I mean everyone, is too afraid to say anything uncomplimentary or negative (think the Westminster Labour front bench in their passive aggressive multilaterally masked scowls and howls to virtue signal from a self constructed false moral plateau of smug unanimity with thick layers of frothy whipped-up faux righteous indignation on top).
The bus isn’t late, it’s unconventional; the girl isn’t chubby, she’s ample; the food isn’t bad, it’s flavour challenged; the game isn’t crap, it’s unremarkable; the house isn’t a bloody mess, it’s characterful. This kind of nonsense is leading our education regimes now, with school reports reading like advertising brochures for the pupil rather than a no-holds-barred account of their faults and deficiencies for them and the school to address and, hopefully, do something about.
“Garry is insolent and a disruptive influence in class” would now be “Garry is well able to assert himself combatively and adds considerable energy and variety to classroom debate and group interaction.” A cheeky little shit would be turned into a prize politician.
If we have now made “chubby” an adjective to be avoided in our spoken and written discourse on the grounds that it is “hate speech” then where and when will it end?
Tilly’s a silly billy who needs to get a grip and Gordon needs to give her some tough love and home truths as if he were trying to save one of those failing restaurants in the American rustbelt where the chef regularly urinates in the soup and the waitress has very bad breath and poor spatial awareness.
“For fuck’s sake,” Gordon would holler menacingly, his arms rhythmically outstretched in parallel alignment making those odd strong forward motions in his crisp chef’s whites drawing himself to his full height to tower over everyone, “stop pissing in the soup you fat twat and you, you chubby waitress, brush your fucking teeth regularly and use mouthwash.”
If we pander to silly little tarts like Tilly by crying for the thought police or Ofcom every time someone describes her unfavourably then we will end up living imprisoned in a totalitarian state where every utterance is potentially actionable with Siberian gulags for mild-mannered but irritating radio presenters who speak colloquially, unrehearsed and off-the-cuff.
❤Which leads me conveniently on to the latest weekly bulletin from the Free Speech Union about horrendous “cancel culture” abuses by radical feminist progressive trans BLM neo-Marxists trying to viciously persecute people for open, honest expressions in university and public life.
People like University of Sussex philosopher Professor Kathleen Stock, the subject of a violent vendetta by trans activists who want her sacked and disgraced for speaking scientific and religious fundamental truths about gender.
I am a member of this body and look forward to hearing from Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, in an online speakeasy Zoom event tomorrow (Monday) night at 7pm which is free to fellow members.

His books have identified numerous contemporary trends well before they become mainstream concerns — Paranoid Parenting (2001), Culture of Fear (2002), Therapy Culture (2003). He has consistently raised the alarm about the undermining of democracy, freedom of speech and the value of education — Democracy Under Siege: don’t let them lock it down! (2020), On Tolerance (2011), What’s Happened to the University (2016), Wasted: why education is not educating (2009).

His new book, 100 Years of Identity Crisis: culture war over socialisation, argues that the principal driver of the ‘crisis of identity’ was and continues to be the conflict surrounding the socialisation of young people. In turn, the politicisation of this conflict provides a terrain on which the culture wars and the politicisation of identity can flourish. This, he argues, is what underpins ‘woke’.

To see just how perilously close we are to be being muted, masked, marked and manipulated by a frightening combination of big tech and big state, you need to read the weekly bulletins released by the Free Speech Union about these abuses.

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