The discussions surrounding the selection for the first Test show the cricket world up for what it is: white middle class men making sure their own nests are feathered. What could be more outrageous than a privileged man like Ashley Giles actually claiming a spot back in the England side ahead of the courageous Monty Panesar? Some people say Giles can bat and Panesar can't: but that is just typical of the quality-obsessed world of cricket. It is a disgrace if Panesar doesn't play. Why is ability to bat more important than ethnic origin?
Do go and read the whole, genius piece. However, this does rather bring me, rather neatly, onto Polly's latest column.
Although, I would never encourage anyone not to kick Polly until she bleeds from every sticky orifice, I, alas, have been remarkably indifferent of late. Luckily, when we met on Friday, my impecunious, Athenian friend held my head over her column—holding my eyes open with small, metal tools reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange (and, believe me, what I had to see was no less horrible than that which Alex was shown)—until I had seen and reacted to some of the utter, utter tripe which the Wicked Witch of the Wank had written on this occasion.
But over here it's another story. David Cameron owes his lead in the polls entirely to women's votes. Without them he might have a rebellion in the ranks by now. Does this augur a reversion to old voting habits? It is women who have kept Conservatives in power for most of the time since the suffragettes first won the vote.
Really? Have you been examining the voting papers, with a hand-writing expert, to determine whether those crosses were made by men or women?
British women are odd: traditionally, in France, Germany and Italy women lean to the left and men lean rightwards; but in Britain the right only ever won on the women's vote. The suffragettes' achievement made the last century the Conservative century; are women about to do it again?
So, hang on, who voted in the Tories before the sufragettes, Pol? Little green pixies?
For the first time, women helped Labour win in 1997, but that support has retreated steadily, and at the 2005 election women and men voted identically. By this summer a Guardian/ICM poll had detected women's defection from Labour. The growing anti-Labour gender gap emerged in June, when the Tories were 1% behind among men but scored an 8% lead among women. This week a Times/Populus poll showed Labour and Tories level pegging among men at 34% - but women voters gave Cameron 37% to Labour's 31%.
Ah, polls: almost as accurate as Pol…
But all the same, it suggests that Brown will have to pay rapt attention to what women think and what women want: he can't win without reclaiming them.
Come on, now, Polly; you are starting to look a little unsubtle now. You've tried the softly-softly-catchee-Scottish-monkey approach and The Gobblin' King has ignored the allure of your dampening knickers. Now you're just going all out, eh? "Quick, Gordon, fuck me quickly, here and now on Mr Rusbridger's desk! You must pay attention to the women if you want to win the crown… Oh, oh, oh… No, not there, you fool, there… Oh, yes, let me poke your eye-socket with my double-ended strap-on…"
It is an extraordinary failure by Labour to have lost support from the voters who have gained most from the most female-friendly government yet. Just consider the great investment in maternity leave, nurseries and childcare: every three- and four-year-old now gets a nursery education.
Well, there is that, Polly. But, as we have discussed before, the government's legislation which forces private companies to invest in maternity leave has, in fact, made women of child-bearing age less employable. If a private company is faced with two equally employable people, one male and one female, the male presents far less financial risk than the woman. The woman has to be substantially better than the man in order to justify the financial risk that her getting pregnant represents.
Thus, women who want a career find themselves disadvantaged by all of this maternity pay (and compulsory maternity leave); and most of them are absolutely intelligent enough to understand this. It has made them, quite reasonably, rather angry.
In 1997 there was a childcare place for only one in eight children, but now there is a place for one in three. Sure Start has done more for new mothers than any other programme. It was low-paid women who gained most from the minimum wage, while tax credits help millions of families. More has been spent on education and the NHS, with more new schools, hospitals and clinics, than in any other 10-year period. Crime has fallen; there are more police and a new community support force on the streets. But despite all that, women no longer see this as a government on their side.
Polly, you silly bitch, all of these things help the poorest women and these are not the women who would ever vote Tory. Those women who would vote Tory, the middle-class ones, have seen their salaries and savings—and those of their husbands—raped and plundered in order to fund this fucking caring miracle, to fund your podding hutches.
Women aren't one big group; many middle-class women will share fuck-all solidarity with a single mother in a council house. What they do see is that their own employment prospects are hurt and their take-home pay dimished so that the government may continue to bribe those who will not help themselves. For all of your bleating about the good that Nulabour have done, Polly, precisely how much solidarity with an over-privileged, £140,000 a year salaried, Left liberal, part-time, journo do you think the single mother in a sink estate feels, eh?
That's right, Polly; absolutely fucking none. But then, that council estate mother would not vote Tory (if she voted at all). What NuLabour have lost is the intelligent, employed (or at least employable) women who see that NuLabour have hit them hard in the wallet from all fucking sides.
What's gone wrong?
I've just told you, you fucktard.
Women hate war, and they hate it more than men do: that held good in voting patterns in the US elections, as it does in opinion polls across Europe. Deborah Mattinson of Opinion Leader Research runs focus groups with women: "They are more upset about Iraq," she finds, yet she sees the varnish start to peel off Cameron: "Women's bullshit radar is more finely tuned that men's."
Apart from yours, Polly; apart from yours. You'll believe anything your great, one-eyed Norse warrior tells you, eh? You gullible idiot.
And if it is true that "women's bullshit radar is more finely tuned than men's", then they have had ample opportunity to fine tune it even more over the last ten years, haven't they? As every NuLabour promise is broken, as every "best year that the NHS" has had gets just better and better, as every financial scandal rocks the Labour Party; oh, yes, women have had a chance to really smell the bullshit.
Apart from you, Pol. You are still swallowing that shit; gulping down the great, steaming gobs of excreta dropping straight from Gordo's tight ringpiece—as you follow behind him on your hands and knees—filtering every little gobbet of farted follow-through, like some malevolent, coprophilic whale filtering stinking, Brown krill.
But her focus groups say the government is "stale" and has "run out of steam". John Reid's announcement yesterday of yet more criminal-justice legislation hardly feels like refreshment: Labour's 59 obsessive criminal-justice bills have often been repealed before they have been enacted. Blair and Reid hammer out security, security, security in a bid to outflank the Tories on the right, trying to brand Cameron "soft on crime". Not only is that daft politics and triangulation gone mad; it also doesn't work. Pollsters do find voters frightened and angry about crime, terror and immigration.
Many voters blame NuLabour—whether rightly or wrongly—for making this country a target of "terror". Many more fail to see any progress on "crime". And people are starting to realise that NuLabour (or, indeed, any UK government) is powerless to do anything about immigration whilst we are still part of the EU. People have given NuLabour a decade to try to sort all of this out and NuLabour has comprehensively failed; in fact, it could be argued that it has, in addition, created a whole raft of new problems.
There is a curious paradox here: psychological experiments, now pondered by the Downing Street strategy unit, find that people questioned about their political views are influenced rightwards by dark thoughts: a frightening poster on the wall makes people's attitudes move to the right. So the more Blair goes on about security, war and crime, the more he may drive people into the arms of the Conservatives.
But the Conservatives are not particularly "right"; they are moving ever leftwards at a rate of knots.
This political cross-dressing reached dizzying heights of absurdity with Cameron's daft "Let the sun shine in" speech at the Tory conference. It may have been vacuous and inauthentic, but it did make politics look bright. He talks about women, young people and families all the time, while Labour leaders talk tough. Where is Labour's progressive, optimistic, forward-looking hope for the future these days?
You see? You agree with me. If being scared drives people towards the right, towards the tougher lot, then it should be NuLabour reaping the benefits. You have just fucking contradicted youself in the space of one paragraph, you total nitwit.
It's bugger all to do with anateurish psychological profiles and everything to do with whom people place the blame for the current situation and that, I'm afraid, is the incumbents of the last decade of NuLabour government. You really are thick and out of touch, aren't you?
Winning back women has to be the project from now on. How can Labour do that?
Let me guess: does it involve Gordon's big, hard Scottish cock and your badly-packed, sloppy, well-fucked minge—some assembly required?
It could start by copying the Democrats in America in promoting more women up front.
Look, the Democrats have benefitted from the same major snafu that is doing for NuLabour: the Iraq fuck-up. Parading some tosspot like Hazel Blears is not going to alter that embarrassment (in fact, it'll probably add to it).
It has always been a mystery why Labour has been so bad at telling its own best stories.
Why would it need to when they have you to propagandise for them? Besides, there are any good stories; NuLabour has buggered up everything that it has touched.
It now needs a woman right at the top who never lets up. Harriet Harman is the only candidate for the deputy leadership who campaigns loudly and unashamedly on women's issues, always a jump ahead on what needs to be done next. "It would be inexcusable if we were to lose the election because we allowed Cameron to win women's votes," she says.
Polly, have you ever met another woman? Ever worked with them? Women are far bitchier about each other than men are. Why do you think that putting some useless mental case like Harriet Harman in a deputy leader will make any difference to women voters is a mystery to me.
How stupid do you think that the women of this country are? Do you think that they are going to forget all of the legitimate grievances against the government simply because they see a politician with tits, rather than a cock, up there lying that they are suddenly going to flock back to NuLabour? How shallow do you think women are? In how much contempt do you hold them?
When she was elected in 1982 there were only 10 Labour women MPs, to 13 Tory women. Now Labour has 97 women, while the Tories have achieved only four more in all those 24 years.
This is because NuLabour have forced all-women shortlists on their constituencies, merely as a sop to political correctness. They have been nominated purely because they are women, not because they are necessarily the best person for the job. The Conservatives are, rather more subtely, doing the same sort of thing with the A-List.
Why has Labour made its 97 women so invisible, she asks?
Because the vast majority of them are either useless or active embarrassments. Think of those who have actually been in government: Patsy "best year ever" Hewitt, Tessa "what money, guv?" Jowell, Harriet "fucking incompetent" Harman, Hazel "universally derided as a squirrel-faced moron" Blears, Clare "embittered and opportunistic" Short. Need I go on?
Admittedly the men have been little better, but the female contingent has been a fucking joke.
Cameron will almost certainly choose a woman as his deputy to disguise his party's almost total maleness. It could be fatal if Labour puts up two men.
And who is SpamCam going to choose? I haven't heard of many Tory women at present; apart from Theresa May, and her time is long gone. We don't want quotas, we want people who are going to do a good job, or at least not compehensively fuck it up.
Life is still hard for mothers, and they know it.
Life is hard for many people, dear. That, as they say, is life.
When I spent time with a New Deal adviser last week, he despaired at trying to persuade employers to offer jobs to suit mothers' hours: there were none in supermarkets, offices or anywhere. If employers were forced to offer all jobs part time, mothers' prospects could be transformed.
What. The. Fuck? How can I possibly answer... I mean, what could I possibly say to a comment that stupid? Force employers to make all jobs part-time? Are you mad?
I think that Timmy sums it up well.
I mean, what the fuck? Seriously, this is the first time that even Polly has left me pretty much speechless. When I originally read this, my jaw dropped and I was incoherent for a good couple of minutes. What can one possibly say to something this stupid?
What if I want to work full-time? I have to get two jobs? With all of the associated complexity of tax and employment regulations? Doubling the paperwork for every single job? The hand-over diffculties? The... No, I'm sorry, I just can't find the words to express what a brain-dead, irritating, dangerous, fuckwitted moron Polly really is.
And that's the case right up the career ladder; highly skilled mothers find no part-time jobs advertised either. Why not have a fight with the CBI about it, so women get to hear? Also fight it to raise the minimum wage so women can earn enough to keep their families.
Ach... I... what... I... cor-whumph! Look, Polly, having a child is a life-style choice; people choose to have a child, OK? It isn't as though it is a state-imposed duty and the children should not be paid for by those who choose not to have them. In practice, we choose to provide some subsistance on the basis of the good of the community, but this...? What are you on about, you utter wanker?
Why should women's jobs be so undervalued?
They aren't. Women tend to earn less because they take time out to have children; men who take time out also earn less than their contempories who don't. This is why there is almost no wage gap in the late twenties, but there is in the late forties: because some people choose to take career breaks, for whatever reason.
Make extended schools work, with brilliant activities from 8am to 6pm for free.
Actually, I agree with you here. I effectively went to school from 8.30am to 6pm and I think that state schools should too; it would leave less children wandering the streets and it might even give teachers enough time to teach their pupils to read by the time that they are 16. But that's never going to happen because your precious unions will block it.
Make childcare affordable; it isn't for most families.
how do you "make childcare affordable"? Oh, you plunge more money into it. So you take money of those women who work, or take it off the husbands and partners of those who don't (maybe these women are, at home, choosing to look after their children rather than placing them in state podding hutches) and thus make them poorer. This, of course, continues to drive intelligent women to the Tories as I'm described above. Do you ever think anything through, Polly?
Abolish the "provocation" defence for jealous men who kill their wives.
Where the fuck does that fit in? What the fuck is anything you say?
How on earth does this total non-sequitur fit in with what you are saying about childcare? I know, why don't we also abolish the "self-defence" excuse for women who kill their wife-battering husbands too? And now, let's abolish custard pies: every clown's favourite misnoma'd throwing object, because small weevils might fly up to the tops of jube-jube trees and start selling Del-boy endorsed Parkas from their rainbow-decorated wibble-jam booths in the orange cupcake sky... Do you see?
What Labour needs is a high-profile woman campaigner who never lets go, to make sure the policy reviews push these things high up the agenda. If women voters just don't get the message about what Labour does for women, that's because the wrong messengers at the top fail to convince.
Has it ever occurred to you, you silly cow, that just maybe women don't like the message, full-stop? That maybe many women do not appreciate NuLabour "message", however it is presented? No, it hasn't, has it. Good god.
Mothers listen to mothers: to win, Labour needs its women up front.
Yup, because it poll of women in Parliament is just packed to the ancient rafters with talent, eh?
Polly, why don't you fuck off and go back to eating The Gobblin' King's shit, rather than spouting it.