I’VE been weaning myself off social media recently. It’s getting increasingly like a dark and seedy corner of a bad neighbourhood – if you hang around any length of time you’ll meet some pretty unsavoury characters.
Oh sure, I’ll post a cute photo of Arthur-dog on Facebook occasionally, but my Fake News detector is turned up to maximum and I’ve pretty much called time making ‘witty’ remarks on current affairs.
What sounded pretty funny five minutes before can quickly start a fire-storm of bile. It’s not worth it.
I was filming Rugby League Backchat in Leeds on Tuesday and a fellow guest remarked that I hadn’t been populating the Twittersphere much lately.
Nope, binned that too. You presume Twitter fans follow you for a laugh, a thought-provoking insight into this, that and t’other – and many do. But the place is far too full of spiteful haters, whose own literary talents are neanderthal. No wit, just shhhh … you know what.
Any of you unfortunate enough to have seen or heard me on TV or radio would not confuse my dulcet tones with those of Prince Harry or Hugh Grant. I take a bath love, not a baaaarrth, daaahling.
Radio 4 once thought it would be amusing to have me review a theatre production of Oedipus Rex while an arts correspondent went to cover a football match. I got what that dirty Greek sod was up to, but unfortunately the arts chappie never even mentioned the final score.
‘Refereeing’ in the studio alongside Jenni Murray was the now disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall. Knowing then what we all know now, I should have given him one on the chin end when he poncily ridiculed my nasal-flat Yorkshire vowels.
But here’s the thing. I don’t get interviewed about nuclear fission or sub-Saharan crop rotations. I’m asked about rugby because I have an understanding of sorts regarding the sport.
Media organisations pester me about the social and criminal issues in Dewsbury and Batley because I have first-hand knowledge and, hopefully, some ability in communicating them – thick Yorkshire accent or not.
Speaking of which, I caught a volley of personal abuse on Facebook recently from some Cleckheaton cretin I’ve never met or heard of called Gary Whiting.
If you ‘do’ FB have a quick search – you can’t miss him. Whatever ills are beguiling your life, one look at that bloke will make you feel instantly better. His profile tells the world that he’s single. You don’t say...
I had joined in a conversation on the Batley and Spen Politics Group referencing Labour’s shadow education minister Angela Rayner.
Rayner was bleating about being abused over her northern accent – and it’s certainly that – although from what I saw of the emails involved, she was being somewhat disingenuous (look it up in a dictionary sweetheart – that’s a big book with lots of words in it).
One ‘correspondent’ said she sounded “thick as mince and seem to be devoid of original thought...” while another wrote “if you wanted to represent Northerners as ‘thick individuals’, then well done you have succeeded.”
This would-be holder of high office is quite expert at playing the self-pity card – one of her few talents – but nothing in what I read implied that her accent was what made her thick.
Angela Rayner is a barely-educated Trade Union hack who has manipulated her way into frontline politics by virtue of slavish devotion to left-wing zealots who, like her, are intellectually vacant.
Most of them however can still articulate half-a-thought, however daft it is. She can’t even manage that.
The issue here, the one thing Rayner will never accept or even address, is ‘what’ she says, not ‘how’ she says it. But combine the two and the public impression she gives is clear.
David Cameron was branded as an Old Etonian posh boy because he was. Peter ‘Slytherin’ Mandelson was caricatured as the Prince of Darkness because he was.
Angela Rayner’s problem, similar to, but worse than so many of her front bench colleagues, is that she’s thick, however you dress it up.
If people want halfwits running the country – whatever accent they have – then that’s democracy at work.
But please don’t pretend this is Einstein we’re listening to, when the monster from Frankenstein would make more sense.
I USED to think the Conservative Party was the haven of slightly crusty chaps who did the gardening wearing a tie and a cardigan with leather elbow patches.
Their wives made marmalade for the Women’s Institute and once past 40 all wore frumpy frocks and blue rinse hair-dos.
Such as traditional Tories were ‘progressive’ it was in considering self-rule for former British colonies. They weren’t best pleased when licensing hours went from 10.30pm to 11pm, let alone the anarchic chaos that infests towns and cities to godforsaken o’clock these days.
How wrong was I?
If this column finishes abruptly, it’s because I had to nip off to the town hall to reigster my ‘gender realignment’. You see, there’s a women-only aerobics class at our village hall tonight – and you should see some of the gear these girlies almost wear! Exercise? I’d lose a half-a-stone just sweating while watching them.
And now, under Tory plans for a gender free-for-all, blokes can wake up and decide they’re feeling literally in touch with their feminine side (as can women who for some unfathomable reason might suddenly want to share pints, farts and mucky jokes in the pub tap room).
No longer will transgender confused.coms have to live as the ‘other’ sex for two years before re-identifying, under this harebrained Tory plan.
No need for hormones and ops, just call me Danielle for the day, and don’t you dare try to stop me getting into a borrowed cossie from the wife in the female changing rooms.
So what if I’m a 100 per cent testosterone-fed male, lingering in the ladies with bulging eyes and short of breath? If I feel like a lay-dee, then I’m a lay-dee – because the idiot Tories say it’s my right to be whatever I want!
People will even be able to identify as ‘X’ gender, which presumably would take the fuss out of switching back and forth depending on whether 6ft 2in, 16-stone ‘X’ wants to play in the men’s golf team, or fancies winning all the prizes in the ladies’ invitational. They’ll just love that.
Here’s a thought chaps – if you wake up with the monk on, just phone the boss and say it’s your time of the month. At this rate he/she/it won’t dare challenge you.
This madness is not even excused or explained by being the brainchild of Justine Greening, the lesbian Women and Equalities Minister, trying to score a few cheap points on the 50th anniversary of homosexuality being legalised.
Equality and respect for all people regardless of race, gender, religion or even hair colour is one thing, but this insults our intelligence and demeans government.
PS: In the spirit of pushing back the boundaries, can I advise any local drunks who Plod catches peeing in the street, to try telling them that you now identify not as Bob Jones, but Champion the Wonder Horse.
THERE was a nasty head-on car crash on Staincliffe Road, along from the Butchers Arms traffic lights on Wednesday afternoon.
I’ve seen mobile phone video showing police examining one vehicle. You can see a baseball bat and sword – as in chop your head off, sword – in the back seat, another bat/stick in the front.
The occupants of that vehicle were nowhere to be found apparently. One witness said no-one was to be found, but that it was typical in these drug gang incidents. I got our staff to check the West Yorkshire Police newsline to see what was going down. Nope. Nowt. Move along, nothing to see here.
Clearly the car occupants ran off because they were late for the opening of a new baseball field and needed to find a new ceremonial sword to cut the official ribbon...