Ed Lines

CALL ME old-fashioned, but I still struggle with the idea that women tennis players who couldn’t win a single game playing against men, and whose matches are generally only half as long, are paid exactly the same for winning Wimbledon.

Now before the sisterhood starts sticking pins in Lockwood effigies, can I qualify that statement?

For instance, I would gladly accept the financial situation if the women played stark naked – or in the case of Serena and Venus Williams, stark b****ck naked.

Sexist bounder, you say?

Not at all ladeees! Have you heard these crones? Have you been deafened by their screaming and panting and grunting, the like of which shouldn’t be heard beyond a well sound-proofed bedroom? Talk about Fifty Shades of White.

Whoever delivers Maria Sharapova’s first infant had better wear industrial earplugs, I can tell you.

And if having them quieten down isn’t on the agenda, can I at least request the imposition of a punitive system, whereby every deliberate shriek is fined a sensible amount – let’s say £1,000 per ear-splitting atrocity.

Most would be going home skint after the Wimbledon fortnight. Where, for my money, they’d be welcome to stay.

Do some washing and ironing, love. Learn to cook or something useful. And, in the highly unlikely even of you fancying a dabble with old Locky, wear a gag.

Yes, of course I’m writing all of that with tongue fixed firmly in cheek – and no, that isn’t another Frankie Howerd “ooh-errr-missus” double entendre, either.

But I’ll tell you what. If it wasn’t for the fact that I own this fine little newspaper, I’d be thinking very hard about the wisdom of poking – stop it! – such fun at the fairer sex.

You see, in humourless Britain today, trying to raise a smile needs to come with a health and safety warning.

Sir Tim Hunt is an eminent, Nobel Prize-winning scientist, whose career was torn asunder. His unforgivable sin was to begin a speech at a conference in South Korea with a not very funny line about science benefiting from single-sex laboratories.

He said that in a mixed lab, male and female scientists fall in love and then, when you criticise them, they cry (he married a female scientist by the way).

That was it. And it brought his world crashing down about his ears, thanks mostly to a humourless crone by the name of Connie St Louis.

Mrs St Louis is a lecturer at City University in London, and claims to be a much heralded academic, journalist, author, broadcaster and eminent member of numerous distinguished institutions. Except she’s not.

She took to social media to destroy Sir Tim Hunt’s career over one mediocre joke – which, by the way, he made clear was supposed to be a joke.

He was actually speaking in praise of women scientists. She didn’t include that disclaimer however, in telling the world the man was an unadulterated chauvinist bastard. She hung him out to dry.

Some ‘journalist’ eh? Except she isn’t that, either.

Claims to write for all the big national newspapers were quickly exposed as lies. She did win a £50,000 grant from the far left Joseph Rowntree Trust to write a book.

Except she never wrote it. Ten years on, she says it’s still a work in progress. Clearly a journalist who never heard of deadlines.

TV and radio shows she claims high and ongoing praise for are variously non-existent, ancient and peripheral.

Yet here was this fraud, ruining the life of a world-leading scientist.

IN THE greater scheme of things, with the truth of things having been revealed, Sir Tim would be reinstated to his professorship at University College London, to the Royal Society and the European Research Society, wouldn’t he?

Of course not. This is fascist 21st century England now, not the land celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

He remains untouchable with a barge pole, by virtue of a slightly embarrassing social faux pas, and the fatal mistake of crossing the Sisterhood.

A lauded career lies in tatters not because he’s a lousy candidate for the after-dinner circuit, but because he is white and male.

Liar, fraud and back-stabbing ‘journalist’ Connie St Louis?

No sanction, except that her self-praising (and partly fictitious) CV is being hastily re-written on the advice of her employers at City University, London.

She remains a valued member of an historic seat of learning which, as far as I can see, doesn’t even know if her basic degree is legitimate.

But then again, the exotic Mrs St Louis is not only humourless and malevolently motivated, but both black and female. And in Britain today, that’s a poker hand of four aces.

Somebody should give that woman something to scream about.

A tennis racket round the noggin would be a start.

THE CLOCK was ticking towards midnight on Thursday, the final deadline in Greece’s desperate bid to keep the euro. That’s ‘final’ as in ‘final final final’, unlike the previous final deadlines.

The heroin addict is sitting with arm extended, empty syringe in hand, begging and pleading for just one last fix and promising to mend its self-destructing ways.

Will the finger-wagging Germans dispense the drug? Will the Greek people who backed their government’s anti-austerity referendum swallow the bitter pill of ... yes, austerity? Will last night’s final deadline pass without a final outcome? I think we all know the answer to that one..

THERE isn’t a week goes by when I don’t fail to be astonished by the latest example of financial madness within the National Health Service.

Often it is the latest revolving door wheeze of a mega-rich executive being given hundreds of thousands in redundancy or early retirement, then being sneaked in through the back door on a ‘consultancy’ basis, or given the same job in a neighbouring authority.

A question – are there no rules governing what ‘early retirement’ is? Some of these people are clocking off at 52 or 53, and are back before their next birthday.

But this latest wheeze really takes some beating. A locum GP in Scotland was paid £19,000 for one week’s cover.

Nineteen grand – for a week prescribing antibiotics and wielding a stethoscope? Now I’m sure that’s not a typical week’s work, but it does represent a not inconsiderable annual salary of £988,000. Nearly a million quid a year for taking temperatures and blood pressures?

Strewth. Make no wonder Trusts are skint.

The shame is that we can’t even debate reforming the NHS without being accused of wanting to privatise it.

Here’s the thing – if £19k a week isn’t privatisation on an obscene scale that would make a banker blush, what is it? I’ll tell you what it is – it’s what NHS executives do best. Waste other people’s money.

NO ED LINES picking apart the budget? Why bother? It will be a week or two before forensic independent accountants have dug up all the tax rises and caveats that are always hidden in the small print.

Share this post