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September 1, 2022

PHARMACIES in Wales have to send drivers to GP surgeries to physically pick up prescriptions before they can make them up and dispense them.

My visit this morning to Superdrug was the third unsuccessful one this week. Bellevue Surgery in Newport was, they tell me, contacted by them requesting a prescription for me on my behalf on or around August 20 and it still has not been received by them on September 1 (the August bank holiday closure, apparently when surgeries were all closed, has slowed the system down)!

Surgeries and pharmacies then engage in a game of batting the ball backwards and forwards in a blame game but it is almost always the surgery staff who enjoy generally better working hours and terms and conditions who have not supplied them with the paper-based script but raising the issue with them authentically risks you being banned from the surgery for “confrontational” behaviour.

A man in front of me was waiting for a prescription which had, again, not arrived and pharmacy staff were reduced to having to promise to telephone him if they managed to get it that day as a driver would be going out later. What use is that to him if he has run out and is starting to suffer?

This is pigeon post in the digital age, reminiscent of old carriages and horses taking forty days to get a parcel from London to Holyhead.

There is a massive issue with prescriptions in terms of:

A, Who at the surgery is authorised to sign them (you can wait days for a doctor to. The Welsh NHS has actively and very enthusiastically expanded the powers of senior, older nurses at surgeries to free up GPs and given them prescribing powers so why aren’t they signing them?).

B, The reliance, still, on hard copies being collected by visiting pharmacy staff and physically returned to the pharmacy because Wales, unlike England, has no digital system.

The grim reality of a third class NHS service now is exemplified most STARTLINGLY in the woefully disconnected and hopelessly inefficient way pharmacists and surgeries talk to each other or, more accurately do not.

Huge paper mountains exist within the system because surprisingly little has been converted and modernised to properly take maximum advantage of smoother, cleaner and much more rational digital in-built systems which dispense with the need for paper, boost productivity and greatly increase the speed of delivery.

How I wish Dr Phil Hammond might have been in Superdrug this morning!


August 31, 2022

A MEAN, cruel trick appears to have been successfully played on us and we now try to make sense of what is left of our connection with family doctors (clearly marginalised to the point of becoming irrelevant to both the NHS and to us) and try to plan future personal health care in a climate of chaos and deep distrust.

I assume that GPs at viciously overused surgeries in the Welsh NHS are still kitted out in surgical scrubs, masked and wearing gloves as if we were still in the middle of a raging tempest of terror (it is meeting these fearsome individuals that causes me most distress now, prompting me to avoid engagement with the NHS wherever possible and they, apparently, with me).

I noticed on Saturday morning two people wandering around in Splott wearing masks while everyone else was not. It looked painfully odd and decidedly sinister, almost as if they were deliberately provoking others or were trying to conceal their identities for malign motives.

The cruel trick, of course, is always to convince you that the drugs worked even if, and this is really crucial, there was NO threat of death or deep decay which those drugs were meant to protect you from. Much of that work is done at the outset when you are told by a higher authority it is for your own good and psychological belief naturally sets in, though that could be achieved with a placebo and frequently is.

My decision to take all the vaccines I did take was purely and simply pragmatic, as most of my decisions are. I was told I would not be able to travel (even from Wales to England), would face serious problems engaging with the NHS and could be disadvantaged in terms of health insurance and cover should I ever need free treatment.

I was jabbed in one arm with the other tied behind my back by the state, which for the first time ever suddenly started calling me on my mobile phone to urge me to comply with their wishes. The wearing of a mask was always impossible for me but I will now never forget the suddenly Nazi tone in the voices of health care providers and some others who wanted me to follow orders just because everybody else was.

What is most noticeable now is the sudden easing of restrictions with the relaxation of having to provide proof of vaccination to enter cinemas, theatres, hotels and the like naturally making you wonder if this was some kind of trick somebody somewhere was playing on us all along (IF IT WAS SO CRUCIAL THEN WHY IS IT NOT NOW?).

Private Eye has been allocating considerable space to Dr Phil Hammond, MD, to spew his blatantly biased left-leaning propaganda (entirely in harmony with the whole publication) which, essentially, mendaciously positions capitalist government refusing to properly fund a Marxist health system as the real virus killing people – not the medical profession.

Boris Johnson “partying” in Downing Street will survive in history as the most memorable motif for a virus which was about the despair of distrust (the antisocial virus) much more than it was about the disorder of destruction (an unlikely Hollywood-hyped occurrence) and it is this motif that leftists lean on persistently and predictably to try to condemn capitalism for their own selfish ends.

Hammond is now in an excitable state about a new risk from monkeypox which few if any people in my circle will even have considered (they are too busy trying to stay alive in a descending spiral of decay and neglect under Welsh Labour). This may, at some point, necessitate more coercive communication from the state who will attempt to jab again in one arm with the other tied behind our backs.

The drift from a meaningful and qualitative relationship with a family doctor who actually “knows” you and your real risk and who is able to work out an appropriate and entirely agreed suite of options most effective for you personally to a dangerously drug-dependent NHS obsessed with proactive bio-interventions which big pharma foist on big government is obvious to anyone with eyes, ears and a brain.

Hammond reports that the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations has advised that adults should be offered a single dose as an autumn booster of one of six vaccines offered by Moderna, Novavax and/or Pfizer-BioNTech against the risk of SARS-CoV-2.

He states that “we” don’t know how well they will work but hurriedly adds that he will have his when offered though, for some reason, states that they should not be mandatory for everyone.

Hammond is ever eager to take what is offered and simply confuses the situation by insisting on the mirage of choice for others. Are we, for instance, expected to go on boosting boosters for the remainder of our lives or does there come a time when enough, as they say, is enough?

It is a mirage or a deception because modern medicine now appears to be biotech interventions and nothing, or precious little, else with medics telling you you are to blame if you get the flu, for instance, because you refused a jab (as I always do).

This is a subtle switch in personal responsibility and accountability from the medic to the service user and I fear that modern medicine will increasingly rely on that switch when push comes to shove in a rationed service.

So, I am now left wondering if I am free of any symptoms today because of bio-scientific interventions I agreed to take or because my risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 was negligible in the first place. I am also left wondering if the medication has added somewhat to my woes.

It helps to measure the efficacy of any treatment, of course, if you present to a doctor with some recognised and legitimate illness and are then able to compare the difference between how you feel before the drug and how you feel after taking the drug.

It is not true to say that vaccines for COVID-19 were the first ever cases of proactive bio-scientific interventions for people who showed no symptoms of illness. This shows how many are approved by the NHS and at what stage in our lives we take them.

Others – like me – will wonder why the latest bio-scientific interventions were so obviously forced on people by an increasingly coercive NHS falsely basking in the glory of having “saved your life” by vaccinating you against a virus you were unlikely to ever get by first frightening the life out of you to convince you that death or agony would follow if you went your own way.


August 27, 2022

A PRIDE procession wandered through the centre of Cardiff featuring rainbow-coloured revellers celebrating something today but they didn’t go down Splott way – I wonder why?

Splott market and boot sale shuts for good tomorrow (where will we get glass chess sets for £1 which cost Mary from Mynachdy “£30 at Argos” from now on, eh?) as the land has been sold, supposedly to make way for a new Willows High School.
Community engagement and social harmony will yet again suffer as we lose yet another mainly outdoor event held weekly all year round where socially non-distanced people rub together in scrums using cash to buy and sell from the back of cars and vans in an edgy, rough and ready unique lower working class atmosphere of conviviality and raucous often politically incorrect humour.
A competing boot sale which was held in the Bessemer Road fruit market on the west side of Cardiff near the football stadium has already gone so a lot of people will be at a loose end on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, massively worsening already epidemic levels of loneliness and psychological detachment and distress, which the Welsh NHS is woefully incapable of addressing.

The boot sale gave me a reason to get up in the morning and often motivated me to start my day early, as I did when I cycled there today.
But I was genuinely shocked by the deep decline and decay when I wandered the streets in and around Splott – a hop, skip and two or three jumps away from the thriving cultural and political hothouse of Cardiff Bay, with its glass fronted debating chamber meant to bring transparent, open and accessible government to people like the good-as-gold Splott Market regulars.

They were promised in 1997 that devolution would bring power closer to them, giving them more of a say.

After attending the boot sale today, I went back to Broadway, the Cardiff thoroughfare dividing Splott on one side and Roath on the other side.
I fell in love with the area when I came in 1981 to live for the first time away from Bangor, north Wales, at a house on Stacey Road as a young journalism student at the nearby Colchester Avenue campus of South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education, now demolished to make way for houses.
I loved it’s busy, frantic pace, wide cross section of cultures and backgrounds, vibrant social beat with pubs, clubs, cafes, and shops and a busy, bustling feel.
That was then, more than forty years ago.
It’s a desperately different place today.
The wide cross section of cultures and backgrounds still live here of course but the life – that heady sense of shared purpose, pride and prosperity with new business ventures appearing regularly on the streets and an expanding pub and club culture where active artisans toiled then enjoyed lively sport and pub games over beers which naturally brought them together have – VERY SADLY – now gone.

I saw a sign in one window in Clifton Street with a legal firm offering cut-price divorces for £150 and the overwhelming sense and feel was one of hell rather than heaven with rundown roads and scruffy streets.
There were three pubs The Bertram, The Locomotive and the New Docks Tavern all on Broadway here in 1981 – they’ve all gone.
The Roath Conservative Club was one of the busiest in Cardiff with snooker tables, a wide range of games and social events, lively public rooms heaving with locals watching sport and engaging in rowdy banter and frantic chat. That, too has suffered devastatingly and remains a pale shadow of its former self.
There used to be a greasy spoon cafe where a lovely Greek Cypriot family used to cook me liver and onions, peas and chips and a mug of builder’s tea. That, too, has gone.
Buildings are boarded up and derelict and, with the closure of the market and boot sale, there is little to no hope of revitalisation and regeneration even though – bizarrely – councils now have officers dedicated specifically to do just that in rundown inner cities.
What, I wonder is their strategy or do they even have one?

This is the shape of things in Wales’s capital city just a hop skip and a few jumps away from Mark Drakeford’s ever expanding Senedd where more and more politicians on bigger and bigger salaries and expenses grow and prosper so that – of course – NONE will ever have to live in Splott.
But what I really, really do wonder far, far more is where local people will congregate, socialise, do business, play and pray together to maintain community attachments which are life-affirming and which last.
No pubs and clubs, very few churches, shops boarded up, and now the market and boot sale finished.
Over in the centre of Cardiff outside Talfan-Davies towers, the BBC’s brutal black HQ, there is a statue of Betty Campbell, a black teacher who helped to educate many of the disadvantaged locals who lived nearby in 1981.
But what legacy are we really leaving for youngsters just like I was in 1981 when I arrived here as an 18-year-old full of hope for future purpose, pride and prosperity, taking my first nervous steps into the big bad world in an area where there was plenty of purpose, pride and prosperity.

What has happened to it?

PILL CARNIVAL is on Monday in Newport so get down there if you fancy a sniff of something potent and a taste of exotic grub and groovy grooves.


August 23, 2022

THE DISTANCE – economically in standard of living, health care and well-being – between the represented lumpenproletariat and those appointed or elected (the difference between those two words in a one-party stasis aided and abetted by political gymnastics to ensure a permanent left of centre outcome is currently difficult to establish in a dubious electoral system which ensures Cuban Wales) to represent them is never more noticeable than in deprived and disadvantaged areas like Newport.

It also appears more startlingly wrong here than in areas like Ascot or Henley, where there is less meaningful evidence of deprivation and disadvantage so comparisons are less easy to make there.

The standard of living, health care and well-being of Newport City Council’s newly appointed presiding officer Councillor Paul Cockeram, who co-incidentally has represented me for many years, with those who actually live in this area, therefore, now appears massively incongruous on every level.

Which is why a storm has been brewing inside and outside the chamber over an apparent handsome increase in his standard of living, health care and well-being in the form of an increase to his basic salary for taking on the role of essentially a robust debate mediator and facilitator, distancing him and the council further from us, doing little or nothing to improve our lives but, apparently, making debate seem better just like in the Senedd.

As well as re-rigging local council elections so that more and more of its left-leaning suckers at the milky teat are encouraged to vote to ensure more of the same, Welsh Labour now has set itself the task of upgrading and status boosting politicians at all levels so that red-rosette wearing numbskulls and numpties suddenly find themselves “in office” rather than being unpaid community champions who everyone knew and could rely on to fight their corner, furthering the proud heritage of socialist service and dedication to the unrepresented disadvantaged not too dissimilar to themselves rather than to their own bank accounts as they luxuriate far from the madding crowd.

Councillors in the 1960s were not paid but actually had to live in the ward or area they were supposed to represent and at least try to mix with locals by rubbing shoulders with them at the corner shop rather than – as is the case currently – avoid them like the plague for fear of “confrontational” types who might ask them what they do with all their money (definitely NOT spend it at the corner shop).

This manic and malign upgrade and status boosting – ironically, exactly when everyone else is being downgraded and status suppressed and exactly when everyone else is having to economise so naturally demands it of others – has raised humble community champions to “officer-status” even when councils employ legions of officers whose sole income is meant to be precisely for doing what Councillor Cockeram appears to be doing, adding rather than subtracting an apparently superficial extra layer.

Councillor Cockeram’s winning margin in Shaftesbury dropped from 1,252 in 1995 to just 503 this year when Labour for the first time lost their permanent second councillor to the Green Party (whoopee!!) but far more significant was the capture of three Labour seats to Independents in just one ward (look to Lliswerry for hope of revolution, folks)

Click to access Newport-1995-2012.pdf

Welsh Labour seem to be ignoring the basic economic and political certainty that you add at a time of expansion and extraordinary enterprise but subtract at a time of reduction and rampant recession.

Voting figures in 1995 compared with 2022 show that while the disturbing distance between the represented and those who represent them grows radically and energetically what is contracting perhaps even more radically though less energetically is the number of engaged, involved voters with a real and meaningful stake in this permanently expanding local government bonanza.

I now read the local press – published, of course, by Newsquest, who also print the council’s “official newspaper” Newport Matters, so of course it must be true – for the hopefully uncensored and entirely authentic comments left by engaged and enraged onlookers who tend not to have to polish posteriors for profitable political purposes and these never disappoint.

A wag going by the name of M!ster Brightside seems most enraged by Welsh Labour’s rampant building of Cuban climbing frames while drawing needless distinctions and borders with England, needlessly weaponising the Welsh language and, of course, expanding its own base by devouring Plaid Cymru by pretending to be its best friend.

So when the Zabutonians at Cardiff Bay and in Talfan Davies Towers try to mindfuck you, again, we can always look on the Brightside of life – for now!


July 19, 2022

WHO in God’s good name allowed none other than COVID kissing creep Matt “do as I say not as I do” Hancock to have his own radio phone-in show? This bounder should be binned, barred and banned.

And why let Ed Balls, the former Labour shadow chancellor, sidle up to sexy Susanna and present Good Morning Britain as if he was Richard Dimblebey or Ed Murrow?

You know you’re in big trouble when politicians read the news or play any part – and I really do mean any part – in telling it.

So-called news organisations are now umbillically attached to the political chattering classes and Islington and Cowbridge Zabutonians who surround them with positive vibes and are clearly denuded of journalistic talent nor do they have accessible pathways for emerging talent to blossom and fully bloom.

What will young eager aspirants desperate to get into journalism and broadcasting think if they lose out again and again to Hancock and Balls and a motley crew of politician “presenters” like David Lammy and Anne Widdecombe who all bend and spin to suit their own perverted ends.

And what has become of the profession itself that now you appear to have more chance of telling a story if you’re a Tory than a properly trained genuinely independent reporter.

I tuned in to LBC now and thought “haven’t I heard that voice before? Yes wasn’t it that scumbag who told me not to have non essential contact with anyone while he was kissing and canoodling all over his lover like a rash? Yes, that’s him.”

That was the only time I’ve felt relieved to hear the woefully inept Shelagh Fogarty’s voice, I can tell you.

Another of her passive aggressive hateful homilies about predatory stalkers who harrass women in the workplace seemed almost like light entertainment after Hancock’s horror show.

The distance between press and politicians is getting smaller by the day. Pretty soon we’ll think it must be true because that nice smiley bloke on the telly told us it was when all the time it was just another Hancock and Balls story.


July 19, 2022

“TAKE CARE EXTREME WEATHER FORECAST” screamed the sign at the side of the M4 as the coach wended its way back into Wales from England in the slow lane.

Silly me, I thought, I’m back in a country where other people decide for me what is extreme and what is not.

The superlatives come flying at you with old John Ketley wheeled out of his BBC care home somewhere on the Torquay riviera to tell us it’s the “hottest ever” (didn’t he say that last year?) and that firm favourite journalistic deceit of “unprecedented” in history gets wielded like a cane Whacko-style by Jimmy Edwards as journos and civil servants looking for stories and any work to do ramp up fear to justify their salaries.

Nobody argues, nobody challenges, nobody disputes, nobody denies, nobody disagrees any more – especially not journalists.

Wales – land of song and safety, extreme safety with motorists restricted to 20 mph as speeding health minister Baroness Morgan begs you not to use hard-pressed NHS facilities, don’t be selfish, think of others, listen to BBC Radio Wales for bulletins on how hot it is likely to get and for GOD’S SAKE STAY SAFE, STAY INDOORS, DON’T TRAVEL, DON’T SPEED, DON’T SMOKE IN THE SUN, DON’T DRINK IN THE SUN, DON’T SWIM IN OPEN WATER, DON’T SIT IN THE SUN, DON’T GO TO SCHOOL IN WARM WEATHER, DON’T ARGUE WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU IT’S EXTREME, DON’T BE AN EXTREMIST.

Yes, it’s warmer than it normally is (whoopee!) so the extreme police move in to tell us about potential health and safety dangers and pitfalls as if they were your parents and you were a silly, spoilt brat.

Rails might bend in the sun, sending trains hurtling off track or smashing into tunnels, rivers might swallow up swimmers, rays may blind you or send you into catatonic rage, temperature gauges will smash, bridges will buckle and break, sweltering heat will endanger pets, removing any clothing will risk you catching something, especially if you’re not smeared in cream, water shortages might suddenly start leaving us foaming at the mouth wandering aimlessly around town centres like zombies sucking manically on dry water outlets as we scream at the skies at an avenging God.


Who is behind the decision to put these warnings on the M4?

Pretty soon we’ll have Dr Doom himself, Mark Drakeford standing at a presidential lectern at Cathays with the world’s press hanging on his every utterance advising against sitting in the sun or going out at all, schools will close, trains will halt, buses will stop, shops will close and Drakeford will start to talk v e r y v e r y s l o w l y again like a record that moves suddenly from 45 rpm to 78 emphasising words as if we were too stupid to make informed decisions or lacked capacity and agency.

The signs on the M4 in Wales should say “TAKE CARE EXTREME EXTREMISTS FORECAST”.


July 14, 2022

IF there is no demand nor appetite for a white man to be cast as Martin Luther King or Mahatma Ghandi and for their stories to be told through an entirely white perspective why then can you tell me is there a need to re-cast Alexander Hamilton, American independence co-founder, as a black man and for his story to be told through an entirely black perspective?


July 8, 2022
BLACK BEAUTY: Kemi Badenoch. Picture by Wikimedia.

KEMI Badenoch is the only “futureproof” answer to the Tory government’s current predicament down in the deepest mire.

I like to think that she would wait to be asked before grasping the greasy pole so it may be some time before she gets into Downing Street as the usual suspects grapple and grind in the mud and muck.

But think of the unalloyed joy in Conservative Central Office of moving from being the only party to appoint a woman leader to being the only party to appoint a black woman leader (That would shut up the odious David Lammy and Dawn Butler – negative symbols of furious black resentment – for ever).

And sensible yet sassy ballsy bombshell Badenoch – hugely authoritative and capable, hard-working, sincere and clever – would offer a much-needed tonic as the complete opposite of the slippery Boris Johnson (clearly understanding the need for loyalty and trust in family life) while smashing any bid by opposition parties to brandish the Tories as out of touch with the needs of ethnic minorities and biased towards privileged, entitled public school educated white toffs.

Here are some other options:

1, Scouse sisters Nadine Dorries and Esther McVey combine in a job share and promote a bold bid to build a new House of Commons in Birkenhead near the tunnel. Esther lives in one part of Number Ten and Nadine lives in another. Nadine does mornings while Esther does afternoons and they alternate evenings. Cabinet meetings will start with the two starting up “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with MPs (some of whom take to singing “You’ll Never Walk Again”) at PMQs encouraged to wave scarves whenever either one of them stands up.

2, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid combine in a similar all-male job share but trip over their own knives on the way to Downing Street sustaining self-inflicted injuries. An ambulance is called but NHS staff are not convinced that Javid is a human being at all and mistake him for the speaking clock while Sunak is too small and rich to qualify for emergency aid of any kind.

3, Chris Pincher turns Number Ten literally into a private “members only” club but takes too long hand-picking his staff after insisting that all new recruits show him their members privately so he can fully get to grips with inflation.

4, Neil Parish sensationally re-emerges proposing to drive a tractor into Downing Street but his premiership goes pear-shaped when someone points out that it wasn’t really a tractor he was looking for.

5, Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell both join the Tories in time to get back in power and immediately declare war on Scotland, sending troops to Carlisle. Alistair writes a dossier insisting that Nicola Sturgeon has been secretly building up weapons of mass distraction she could unleash on us in 40 minutes and our only hope is “regime change”.

6, Mark Drakeford is told he is the new Prime Minister but because there is no Welsh translation he refuses to believe it.

7, Winston Churchill is resurrected using breathtaking new secret MI5 powers developed in laboratories backed by big pharma vaccine pioneers until someone spoils it by pointing out that it is just Boris trying to pull the wool over our eyes again and keep his old job.

8, Prince Charles uses ancient royal rights to rule from Number Ten and turns Westminster into an “affordable housing” complex based on Poundbury but walks out in protest at a “carbuncle” nearby called Buckingham Palace.

9, The Queen decides to do the job herself from Windsor Castle via Zoom but mobility issues make it impossible for her to attend Parliament nor carry out any tasks other than the weekly audience with the Prime Minister, for which a mirror is produced by flunkeys.

10, Meghan Markle flies in to take the reins after Harry agreed that she should because he’s a feminist. It starts well but hits the buffers when her deputies Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg are marginalised by racial-gender microaggressions at the first PMQs and they all need therapy.


July 6, 2022

STUCK in a death circle of half to whopping full untruths spoken in mainly carefully prepared and rehearsed utterances designed to deceive and obfuscate (“there can be no place for the sort of despicable behaviour we have just witnessed in our party” nonsensically saying there is no place for it when it has already happened, XXXXXXX idiot), he staggers on busted and broken down oxymoron road near non-sequitur street – not because he is the wrong man for the job but because now a universally imposed artificially concocted and confected high moral sanctity, opprobrium and judgement has ensured that Boris Johnson CANNOT ever tell the truth and nor, indeed, can anyone else any more.

The mad rush to seem sanctimonious and raise yourself above everyone to high altar (which, taken to it’s natural conclusion, will bring us unfrocked nun Yvette Cooper dispensing radical feminist, trans, eco BLM neo-Marxist Bibles in coruscating closed convents, permanently affronted and slighted forever on the arid and righteous high ground with a rictus disgusted stare to make you worry that you just let rip a particularly obnoxious smelling and toxic fart directly in her direction until you realise that she looks like that all the time) during the COVID-19 pandemic has now ushered in a political hair-shirt and mask wearing high church priesthood of personal saviours with impeccable ethics and spotless personal behaviour oddly in arenas not noted for such things but which more often harbours oddballs, con artists and perverts a bit like Chris Pincher by name Pincher by nature.

But these are not and never were meant to be people we looked up to. You don’t buy a car or a house from a robotic egg-headed Sajid Javid-sounding absolutely faultless automaton with earnest and intense intentions but you might from Saucy Sal down the caf with that personal patter and those racy lines.

Suddenly, we have to believe our politicians are telling us the truth – not the far more realistic and sensible expectation of the version of the truth that we want to hear. Why?

In their millions, people told half to whopping full untruths themselves during the pandemic to claim just about anything that was going from furlough money to inventing new businesses which weren’t businesses at all but set up just to milk the Treasury of lucrative “emergency aid and financial assistance to keep afloat”.

The level of fraud was staggering, confirming, for me, that even when the end of the world finally does arrive someone, somewhere will be furiously stealing the lead off the church roof convinced it’s a hoax.

It all went horribly pear-shaped around 2020 when we suddenly were told by Boris Johnson how to wash our hands and how often we should do it. Nobody asked him how he washed his hands and how often. We’re still stuck in that dangerous dependent gap of wanting to believe that what they say is true.

Why didn’t someone say “YOU, telling us to wash our hands? Are you serious? Isn’t that a bit like Keir Starmer giving us free legal advice or prosecuting Jimmy Savile?”

But we were in an emergency and so our health and safety suddenly became a political issue and these herberts were elevated for some reason alongside medical and scientific authority figures as worship leaders and we were deliberately lowered to congregation or audience members whose questions were never answered.

“Just believe,” the reverend Johnson kept intoning and chanting, “just believe and we will get through this together.”

While we were silently at prayer or cooped up in confinement slavering over laptops in dim, darkened bedrooms not breathing on anyone, however, likely lads, lasses and bits of both were helping themselves to the communion wine, getting high as kites at parties we weren’t supposed to have and loading up on free gear.

A strange kind of cruelly manipulative doublespeak which we far, far too readily want to believe if our lives are in danger set in during the pandemic (a bit like believing a bank robber who says “don’t worry, there aren’t any bullets in the gun I’m pointing at you” which extends over time until eventually you see so many of his/her positive traits that you want to ask him/her to marry you). This has partly explained why Boris Johnson has succeeded and certainly explains Drakeford and Sturgeon (who, of course, never lie).

I expect all politicians to tell me there aren’t any bullets in their fully-loaded guns because they tell you what you want to hear so relying on them – EVER – to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is foolish.

What disturbs me most is that the type of truth people appear now to want to hear from their politicians – and they will line up hungrily to tell it to you from the left – is a pack of lies far, far worse than any of the wild whoppers Boris Johnson tells.


July 3, 2022

THE councillor told me he had a package of material I would be very interested in as a reporter so I naively agreed to meet him in a pub and would later find myself in my living room finding that the package was a porno film which he wanted to play to get me aroused.

I told the news-desk about his sexual grooming of me – as older men with some authority and power can do when they want to “experiment” outside marriage – but nobody was interested and I just made a mental note to never speak to him again. His behaviour had made me feel unsafe and vulnerable.

The mystery man was not in a council I covered on a regular basis so it was not difficult for me to avoid him. Exposing him by reporting the matter to the council personnel department would have ruined his career and his family life and I had accepted his drinks, flattery and racy banter so all it needed was a firm but clear “no, thanks” and there was never any need to involve PC Plod nor to suddenly turn myself into a victim.

Had he, alternatively, been my employer or linked to an employer who might have the power to advance my prospects, get me better pay and conditions or raise me socially, my response that night may have been rather different to his suggestion that we should “relax” and watch porn together in the privacy of my own home with his secret hope that one thing would lead to another.

These episodes were not regular and everyday as a young reporter in the grimly grasping 1980s in a horrendously traditionally and historically male-dominated red in tooth and claw print newspaper industry where bullying and abuse – almost always male news editors and senior editors who would humiliate, harass and harangue like powerful white slave owners holding the whip hand in the cotton fields – was normalised but there was never any sexual misbehaviour.

I tried to convince myself that that style of management – raw, impudent, militaristic and warlike entirely in the tradition of that suffered by my lower working class male ancestors who naturally lived in fear of their bosses “bollocking” them if they weren’t prosecuting them for theft of tiny bundles of stationery paper – was a hugely effective personal motivator, first setting me against competitors to elevate myself above them but then frequently pointing out my inadequacies and failings when I fell below them.

A pub near the Daily and Sunday Mirror newsroom in London was called “The Stab” not because that was its actual name but because it was where senior executives would take lower salaried editorial staff to break the bad news that their job had gone (Stab in the back).

These instances of humiliation and abuse in this rancid, macho devil’s kitchen atmosphere were legion and I came to accept them as perfectly normal and now I even find myself sometimes yearning sentimentally for a return to that simple “kill or be killed” shared understanding so that at least I have some idea of who is most likely to stab me in the front.

Workplaces were naturally dysfunctional fortresses of abuse, alcoholism, fierce and ferocious dispute and disagreement, sometimes bad tempered and menacing, seething resentment, noxious nepotism (journos, being odd and insular, were often forced to marry or couple with their own kind in narrow social circles), blind bias (each and every “news” organisation has an established collective political stance just like in social clubs and in order to get on you have to sing the company anthem at least sounding like you genuinely mean it), biting and often bitter sarcasm and denigration of others, rampant sexism with a “boys will be boys” mischievous and sometimes malicious marauding naturally predatory naughty lads on the prowl central, dominating feel to fuel and fire a rebellious, unreconstructed, rampantly disrespecting alternative creative zeal and drive.

The language (papers were “put to bed”, staff worked to “deadlines”, “hard” and “master” copies were produced, “blacks” were copies of stories stored on “spikes”, “number two” reported to “number one” “deputies” to “chiefs”, there was a “father of chapel” in the NUJ and a “chairman” of the board) was penis-obsessed paternalistic and militaristic.

The presses have stopped rolling and the language as well as the methods of production have radically altered so we now have a totally different landscape in journalism as, indeed, in nearly all industry, trade, commerce and services.

Offices and office politics has evolved and changed beyond comprehension. So much so, in fact, that damaged dinosaurs like me might struggle to recognise them as workplaces at all if I visited and spent a day in one now.

Kim Scott’s vision of the perfect workplace set out in her book Just Work, How to confront bias, prejudice and bullying to build a culture of inclusivity (Panmacmillan 2021 £10.99) starts, as I did in this post, by outlining instances of sexual grooming of her by older, more powerful males which she, too, did not report but for her were part of a macho management culture which she, too, felt abused and marginalised by.

Kim (not to be confused with rapper Eminem’s ex-wife) is a woman who was “hit on” far more regularly than I was (she faced the issue of sleeping with the boss for better pay and prospects which I most certainly did not, thankfully) and, clearly, has far more reasons to assert herself as a victim. So she has calculatedly used that victimhood to promote a radical feminist post #MeToo solution to pale, male and stale monster management moguls who must back off while sisters now wear the trousers rather than iron and crease them for the big bosses.

My workplace experiences were before major revolutions in sexual politics emphasised the legitimacy and assertion of female autonomy and agency and, crucially, before the institutional abuse and sexploitation of young female employees by older, richer male employers like Harvey Weinstein and Fox News’s Roger Ailes in a casting couch culture where attractive young people, overwhelmingly girls, could get on by getting things off was fully exposed and addressed.

Our own Welsh politician Labour’s Carl Sergeant, of course, was a tragic victim of this new much more stridently vengeful radical feminist workplace culture when mere allegations of sexual impropriety from apparently anonymous sources were enough to tip him over and take his own life although former SNP leader Alex Salmond admirably went to court to defend himself against anonymous allegations which were all thrown out by a jury.

So Silicon Valley family woman Kim Scott – who was a chief executive officer coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter and other tech companies and faculty member at Apple University, having led teams for AdSense, YouTube and DoubleClick at Google – naturally opens by shining a light on older males sexploiting younger females as one of THE major causes of workplace toxicity and to do this she goes back to her first job after college in 1991 when she was 23 and approached a man called Robert (not his real name) chief executive officer of a private equity firm because she thought she was being underpaid (didn’t we all, eh!).

“At the first opportunity I asked Robert for a meeting and soon found myself facing him in a conference room. He was seated comfortably in an armchair. Something about his appearance gave him a benevolent appearance, like Santa Claus,” she starts in this mischievously maliciously mendaciously manipulative manner which she never lets go of for one second.

Needless to say, their conversation ended abruptly “Robert was really angry, almost unhinged”. He was “gaslighting” her (of course he was). No mention is made of why she thought that she deserved more money so soon nor why Robert disagreed so vehemently with her.

Another boss Thomas told her he feared he might not live past 40 and did not want to die a virgin (virgin on the ridiculous?) so she very kindly but foolishly accommodated him in her bed, bless her, only for Thomas to later scold her angrily (as conmen who trick you into sex are inclined to do in my very limited experience).

Yet another boss, Fred, sympathetically then told her “he was really nasty back there” so she happily and, it transpires, again foolishly agreed to a hug in the lift with him but was horrified to find that Fred was grinding his erect penis into her (taking things to another level with basement behaviour). “Mercifully the elevator door opened; I ducked under his arm and darted out. I’ve rarely felt so alone or under siege”. Phew!

Now these episodes were never reported and she did not get a pay rise so, naturally, a jaundiced and affronted righteously indignant view of the dynamics of the workplace inspired in her a missionary almost evangelical bitter zeal and drive to fight aggressively against acceptance of working life for young women being naturally and normally as the lower paid sexual playthings of higher paid male executives. This one, single issue dominated and, by featuring these anecdotes at the outset, she firmly sets her entire argument in her expectations of male sexual misbehaviour to females with little understanding of male to male or female to male (too many women have groomed men in the workplace) and this introduces us to her crippling fear of toxic powerful, predatory males while explaining her obsession with righting historical wrongs based on her own bitterness and resentment.

“That first job was so deeply disorienting, in fact, that it took me 30 years to come up with a theory that united my intellectual questions about how to build just working environments with my personal experiences of being mistreated at work. This book is the result of that effort.”

I’ve never worked in a “just working environment” nor lived in a “just environment” nor ever wanted to. Justice is meted out by authority to people below them often as punishment (all “just” environments have to rely on justice meted out by a higher authority rather like prisons) and who wants to live like that?

Indeed, if a journalist lived and worked in a “just environment” with no conflict, confrontation, dispute and disagreement there would be precious little for him or her to write about.

And this, of course, is the final intention of all radical feminist far-left extremists like Kim Scott in their cosy west coast technological glass-fronted “safe space” cabals and covens – eradicate conflict, confrontation, dispute and disagreement, mainly, of course, the fault of penis-swinging males with their dreaded build-up of testosterone and eventually you get universal mandatory agreement entirely on their terms with a managerial Kim Scott-style figure under a new though equally authoritarian and frighteningly imposing dictatorial management regime but without the groping and grooming. Simples!

Kim Scott’s language is deliberately and calculatedly wielded rather than simply used – always grounded in a radical feminist universal style sheet compiled by high priestesses (the sainted Audre Lorde at the head stirring audacious toxic spells of their own at academic, intellectually stimulating frontier disruptive technology glass-fronted settings mainly in California where liberal loonies pontificate and proliferate perched in the lotus position on their chic saffron meditation Zabutons (trendy Japanese cushions).

Hence she was “disoriented” at work surrounded by men who demanded “himpathy” alongside sexual favours (though, significantly, there is no witness verification of any of her allegations and all the men have had their names changed so she refuses to identify them). Disorienting is losing one’s sense of direction and it was her sense of not being valued equally with men which made her lose motivation, trust and direction but why did she describe her rage and resentment as “disoriented”? What an odd, calculatedly manipulative way of expressing yourself.

And what an odd, calculatedly manipulative set of anonymous employees were set against Alex Salmond at Scottish government’s Hollyrood HQ to concoct stories a jury could not believe of him forcing them into alleged sex acts not dissimilar to those perpetrated by Thomas and Fred on poor Kim Scott.

Is this “just workplace” (where women like Kim Scott seem incapable of taking their own moral inventory before asserting their “rights” not to be touched, there is a considerable chunk on when it is appropriate to touch an opposite sex colleague which reads rather like a Nazi party handbook on handling non Arians) just an arena for wronged and vengeful radical feminist far-left extremists to exact perfect revenge on male, pale and stale monsters of yesteryear?

Well, Kim Scott has a “futureproof” plan to bring sanity and safety to the big, bad world of work and it appears to rely on her politically motivated appropriation of the words “bias”, “prejudice”, and “bullying”.

My working world was full of completely conscious bias, prejudice and bullying. You knew where it was coming from and so you knew how to respond to it.

The west coast sisterhood now dominating the internet, however, want to live in a world free of all these perfectly natural, perfectly sensible and appropriate factors which influence behaviour and interpersonal dynamics so they have embraced radical feminist Foucauldian neo-Marxist social psychological pseudo science and gender studies “breakthroughs” which are themselves blatantly biased, prejudiced and bullying and raised them to religious status and have been allowed so to do because our meaningless mainstream church has surrendered meekly to this new radical orthodoxy.

It starts with the splitting up of “bias” into conscious and unconscious motivation. Many of my colleagues were positive about their biases and displayed them often amusingly and sometimes disturbingly, but always as fuel for a creative furnace, while some were unaware, fully, of how being trapped in rancid settings had changed them.

Unconscious bias, according to Kim Scott, can be rescued though education if it is admitted and there is a will, on the part of the employee, to change (hence the sudden explosion of courses run by Zabutonians with the scattering of cushions in reception). Conscious bias, however, always leads to “prejudice” and “prejudice” will inevitably lead to “bullying” so to completely eradicate the former two we have to completely eradicate “bias”.

So (I hear you cry) what, exactly, constitutes “bias” in the modern workplace?

Disorientation (again, this obsession with your own personal direction being unimpeded by others around you) and “discomfort” as if work were some kind of organised group therapy or, perhaps, occupational therapy at one of Nurse Ratched’s wards in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in between “medication times” can, apparently, be caused by people making assumptions based on stereotypes.

Silly little assumptions like thinking that because a person is wearing a skirt and has enormous breasts they are certainly female. (How very dare them!).

Now that’s a classic gender stereotype, isn’t it? Deliberate stupidity like this will inevitably lead to:

1, Making incorrect role assumptions.

2, Making incorrect “task” assumptions.

3, Making incorrect assumptions about intelligence/skills.

4, Making incorrect assumptions about expertise.

5, Using names or gender pronouns incorrectly.

6, Ignoring one person’s idea then celebrating the exact same idea from someone else moments later (this happens to me a lot).

7, Confusing people of the same race, gender, or other “attribute” (neither of those are attributes so why name them incorrectly?).

8, Belittling/insulting word choices.

9, Unexamined expectations based on stereotypes.

And it doesn’t stop there. Oh no, Kim Scott is a Zabutonian who likes the sound of her own sanctity and enjoys nothing more than pointing out your faults purely, of course, for the common good and to promote group cohesion and combined collegiality. She even tells you how to apologise appropriately, for God’s sake.

She has found allies in the mushrooming big tech platform human resources departments, too, and is packed impressively with knowledge of legitimate and mighty “human rights” legal redress against anyone who threatens that cohesion and collegiality, so don’t even think of challenging her. Non-Disclosure Agreements binding employees to secrecy and “culture of consent” guidelines are explored in depth from her selfish perspective.

Some of the things she writes made me laugh but always at rather than with her.

Try this for size:

“What if you’re not sure it’s bias? It’s OK. You don’t have to be 100 per cent sure to speak up. Whether you’re right or wrong, your feedback is a gift. When you speak up, remain open to the possibility that you’re wrong about which attitude is behind the behaviour, yet also confident in your own perception – this is how it struck you. If you’re right and it was bias, you’ve given the person an opportunity to learn; if you’re wrong, you’ve given the person an opportunity to explain what was meant.”

And this:

“I was just about to give a Radical Candor talk to the founders and executives of some of Sillicon Valley’s hottest start-ups. A couple hundred men were at the conference. I was one of only a handful of women. Just as I was about to go onstage, one of the participants approached me, his lips pursed in frustration.

“‘I need a safety pin’ he hissed at me. He was clutching at his shirt-front – a button had dropped off. Evidently, he assumed I was on the event-staff team. To prevent this situation, the conference organisers had given the event staff bright yellow T-shirts. But all he could notice was his need and my gender.”