Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
:sunglasses: 62.5 % :grinning: 25 % 😟 12.5 %
By Big Arnold
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At last! After a life of privilege as a white, able-bodied male, now I've turned 65 I'm finally part of a victimised minority, writes TOM UTLEY
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... -380729713

Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
By Bones McCoy
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I get the impression that the Rightminds writers are even shunned by their own golf club committe.

"I didn't mind having that Pinochet at the clubhouse, but that Utley's views are well beyond the pale".
By Chris S
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TOM UTLEY: It’s driving me potty – I’m due an oldies’ health check… but what if it costs me my driving licence?

I might suffer a ruptured aneurysm if I have to read the fucking moronic argument of "if you're so concerned about road safety why don't you just BAN CARS? Huh? And YOUNG PEOPLE?" one more time. We take reasonable steps to prevent road deaths and making sure that people who are at high risk of passing out, or dying, or seizing don't drive until they're healthier, is one of them.

It's along the same lines as "yeah, I've had six pints, but I bet my reactions are still better than some old fart's, I'll be fine".

Besides, they can fix an AAA.
By Safe_Timber_Man
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Now, I must tread carefully here, since the Prince clearly has some knowledge of what he’s talking about.

But I can’t help wondering if the modern mania for letting it all hang out may have gone too far, in this emotionally incontinent age when hiring a therapist seems to come as naturally to, say, the average Californian millionaire as visiting the hairdresser or dry cleaners.

This is typical of the Daily Mail attitude but I'd go as far to say that this is quite a dangerous narrative for them to keep pushish, in light of the fight to make mental health issues less stigmatised. The message given by people who understand mental illness far better than some twat who works for the Daily Mail is that people need to open up and talk about their struggles. The "stiff upper lip" is exactly what mental health charities are trying to argue against.

I worry about Prince William and his generation’s love of letting it all hang out. What’s wrong with a stiff upper lip?

Like so many of my fellow OAPs, I find myself watching a lot more TV these days — including programmes I wouldn’t have bothered with before I gave up full-time work at the end of November.

One such, which I’ve been watching this week, is the Netflix comedy drama Sex Education, which has won rave reviews in some quarters.

I should say at once that I wouldn’t recommend it to readers — least of all to those who think they see more than enough gratuitous sex on mainstream TV, without seeking out more through a streaming service.

Indeed, there are plenty of scenes in Sex Education that wouldn’t look out of place on a soft porn channel.

But although the show has its amusing moments (at least for those of us with a liberal attitude to the subject matter), my chief objection is that the plot is so wildly improbable. For a comic drama to work, if you ask me, it must feature believable characters and have at least some connection to real life.

Unless today’s teenagers — boys in particular — belong to a completely different species from those of my own generation, growing up in the Sixties, the show seems to lack any such link with reality.

For those wise enough to have given Sex Education a miss, I should explain that the story concerns a geeky 16-year-old, Otis Milburn, who is acutely embarrassed by his mother’s profession as a sex therapist.

So far, so believable. But then young Otis is persuaded by the school glamour puss, on whom he has a crush, to set up a nice little earner offering sex therapy to his fellow pupils, using the jargon of the psychiatrist’s couch, picked up from his mother, played by Gillian Anderson.

At this point, the script seems to me to part company from the real world of teenagers, as one after another of Otis’s schoolmates approach him for counselling on their highly embarrassing sexual problems.

These range from addiction to what used to be called the ‘solitary vice’, to difficulties with intercourse and other troubles I wouldn’t dream of committing to print in a family newspaper.

In the real world, would today’s youths really be so willing to open up to a fellow pupil about such delicate matters — and risk gossip and ridicule among their peers? If so, teenage attitudes must have changed beyond recognition since my day.

I particularly remember one afternoon in the late Sixties when a group of us 15-year-olds at Westminster School were summoned to a talk about sex, which was to be given by a visiting monk. (Yes, we thought it odd, too, that the school should have chosen a young man committed to a vow of chastity to advise us on this, of all subjects. But he seemed well informed, and spoke without any visible show of embarrassment.)

What sticks in my mind is that at the end of his talk, he gave us all pieces of paper, on which he invited us to write down questions about anything we wanted to know about sex, and any sexual anxieties we might be suffering. He promised to answer them all as best he could, anonymity guaranteed.

We wrote, or pretended to write, then folded our papers and handed them in as instructed. One by one, he opened them up, finding that most were blank and the great majority of the rest were facetious.

To my shame, I recall that at least half a dozen in class — among whom I fear I must count myself — had been struck by the same unoriginal thought and written: ‘Do you have any dirty habits?’ Oh, how witty and sophisticated we thought ourselves. Monks. Habits. Geddit?

If my memory serves me right (a big if these days), only one of the 20 or so pieces of paper contained what might be called a genuine inquiry, from a boy wondering if any harm might come from his weakness for pleasuring himself.

When the monk read it out, we sniggered and looked round the classroom — to see one of our number turning a bright, beetroot red. He couldn’t have identified himself as the questioner more clearly if he’d had a flashing beacon on his head. So much for anonymity, poor chap. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had nightmares about it to this day.

As for the rest of us, brought up to keep our troubles to ourselves, we would rather have died than confess any ignorance of sexual matters — let alone unburden ourselves of an embarrassing problem to be shared with the group.

Then again, nor would we have dreamed of passing around photographs of our private parts, even if we’d had the technology to do it. Yet an extraordinary number of young people today seem to do little else on social media. So perhaps there may, after all, be a grain of truth in Sex Education’s depiction of an unembarrassed generation, happy to let it all hang out, as it were.

Ah, well, whatever the facts, it is clear that His Royal Highness Prince William would side firmly with the Otis Milburn approach, believing that openly discussing any anxieties or problems is the first step towards putting them right.

Indeed, in Davos this week he went further, blaming his grandmother’s generation and its buttoned-up, grin-and-bear-it ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality for an epidemic of mental health problems in Britain today.

‘I take it as far back as the war,’ he said. ‘It was very, very difficult for everybody, losing so many loved ones and dealing with such horrendous circumstances, that no matter how much you could talk, you were never going to fix the issue.

‘Completely by accident, they passed that on to the next generation. We all learn from our parents, how they deal with things. So this whole generation inherited that this is how we deal with problems — we don’t talk about them. Now there’s a generation realising this is not normal and we should talk about them.’

Now, I must tread carefully here, since the Prince clearly has some knowledge of what he’s talking about.

Indeed, his brother Prince Harry revealed in 2017 that he’d sought counselling after struggling to come to terms with the death of their mother, herself one of the great public emoters of our time (‘there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded’). Presumably, he found that discussing his problems with a therapist helped him, as it has certainly helped others.

But I can’t help wondering if the modern mania for letting it all hang out may have gone too far, in this emotionally incontinent age when hiring a therapist seems to come as naturally to, say, the average Californian millionaire as visiting the hairdresser or dry cleaners.

I don’t know about you, but rich Californians have often struck me as among the maddest people on the planet (and certainly a lot madder than our buttoned-up Queen, or most of her generation of stoical Britons).

Do they go to the therapist because they’re mad — or could it be that they’re mad because they spend so much of their time lying on the therapist’s couch, dwelling on their problems and possibly dreaming up new ones? I reckon that sometimes there’s a lot to be said for keeping a stiff upper lip.

Whatever the truth, I certainly can’t agree with this week’s advice from Nice, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which recommends that schoolchildren suffering from depression — of whom there are said to be at least 260,000, aged five to 18 — should be offered cognitive behavioural therapy via apps on smartphones and computers.

I can’t claim any special expertise, but I reckon that step one towards banishing children’s depression should be confiscating their smartphones to spare them the horrors of social media.

Meanwhile, step two should be cracking down hard on dealers in cannabis, with its proven links to psychosis and other mental health problems. And while the police are at it, they could also cheer everyone up by catching criminals, instead of merely offering counselling to victims.

Oh, and I have one more prescription for the mental health of the nation, of which I pray legislators will take heed: for God’s sake get a move on with Brexit, before you drive the whole lot of us mad!
By Big Arnold
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Like so many of my fellow OAPs, I find myself watching a lot more TV these days — including programmes I wouldn’t have bothered with before I gave up full-time work at the end of November.
What full time job? He was banging out a column or two a week before he retired. And is still doing so.
By MisterMuncher
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Anyone who reckons depression could be cured by taking phones away and affecting social and political change is a dangerous idiot with no fucking clue what they're on about, or a Mail Columnist. But I repeat myself.

Also, social media is toxic, but good old fashioned face-to-face bullying and mockery is somehow formative?
Boiler, lord_kobel, mattomac liked this
By Big Arnold
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TOM UTLEY: Great news! I saved £12.70 on my VAT bill but paid £95 to sort it... proof our tax rules are potty

For a start, it came as an unpleasant surprise to me that since my turnover was likely to exceed £85,000 (yes, I know, I’m spoiled rotten) I would have to start charging VAT to anyone who employed my services.
Where's my nano violin?

By Safe_Timber_Man
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It's been a while but he's still as much of a twat as he's always been.

He's waffling on about The Left not being able to take a joke and getting offended all the time. Never mind the fact the Daily Mail is constantly outraged about the latest "lefty comedian" making a joke about the Queen or Brexit or something.

TOM UTLEY: If I happen to die from a pig falling on my head and not lung cancer or liver cirrhosis, you have my permission to roar with laughter
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... ghter.html

o everyone who hasn't heard it, I warmly recommend Piers Morgan's magnificent diatribe against 'utterly, pathetically illiberal liberals', aired this week on the Ben Shapiro Show by the California-based internet platform, PodcastOne.

I know Piers isn't everyone's cup of tea, vilified as he is in particular by holier-than-thou actors, academics and bien pensant broadcasters who despise the 63 million Americans who voted his chum and sparring partner Donald Trump into office.

But open-minded people the world over will surely acknowledge the truth behind his warning that vindictive attacks on free expression by those who claim to be liberals have become a 'massive problem'.

As he puts it: 'What's the point of calling yourself a liberal if you don't allow anyone else to have a different view? This snowflake culture, this victimhood culture … everyone has to think a certain way, behave a certain way …

'It's all completely skewed to an environment in which everyone is offended by everything, no one is allowed to say anything and no one is allowed to say a joke.'

In this stifling atmosphere of political correctness, Morgan argues, it's no wonder that voters turn to forceful, populist leaders who say it's all nonsense.

Bang on cue, this week has thrown up a host of examples of nonsense from self-appointed censors determined to take offence where it's clear none is intended.

It began on Monday with a fatuous row over the pun selected by a public vote as the winner of Dave TV's award for the Funniest Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: 'I keep randomly shouting out 'broccoli' and 'cauliflower' — I think I might have florets.'

Now, some may agree with me that Olaf Falafel's one-liner was a little on the lame side.

In my view it wasn't a patch on previous winners, such as Tim Vine's 2014 entry: 'I've decided to sell my Hoover — well, it was just collecting dust.' Indeed, if I'd had the last word on this year's contenders, I'd have given the prize to Ross Smith, who came fifth with this effort: 'A thesaurus is great. There's no other word for it.'

But then of course something that tickles me may well leave others cold. Humour is a matter of personal taste, after all. Believe it or not, I even have a friend who, inexplicably, fails to find anything funny in the works of P. G. Wodehouse.

Equally inexplicably, some claim to be amused by Nish Kumar's pious Lefty platitudes on BBC2 satire The Mash Report. But whether we find Olaf Falafel's 2019 winner funny or not, it should be abundantly clear to the meanest intelligence that he meant no harm by it.

Yet this didn't stop a Tourette's Syndrome charity from mounting its high horse and demanding an apology for his insensitivity.

Said Suzanne Dobson, UK chief executive of Tourettes [sic] Action: 'Humour is a great way of educating people — but not only is it not funny to poke fun at people with Tourette's, it's not even that funny a joke, is it?'

In the spirit of these times, I should say at once that Tourette's is a hugely distressing condition for sufferers and their families, and my heart goes out to them. But isn't it sometimes healthy — cathartic, even — to laugh at life's cruelties, instead of wallowing in victimhood?

Whatever the truth, Falafel was far from alone this week in being told by po-faced virtue-signallers that an attempt at a joke was no laughing matter.

Next to incur the wrath of the politically correct was Gary Lineker, who drew official complaints to the BBC over a joshing remark at the expense of his Match of the Day co-hosts. 'It's a strong start to the Premier League season,' he said. 'Real hair-raising times … unless you're Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy.'

The camera then panned to the two pundits — neither sporting a single hair on his shining skull — laughing and shaking their heads, as bald as eggs.

In most circumstances, I'd be reluctant to defend Lineker — himself as preachy a peddler of virtue-signalling pieties as you could hope to avoid.

But it's surely preposterous to add balding men to the growing list of victims entitled to official protection from jocular comments. And I write as a 65-year-old growing distinctly thin on top myself.

But for those who seem to revel in taking offence, the week had hardly begun. Next to complain about an -ism was 80-year-old Phyllis Hidden, after a visit with her husband Robert to the Riverside Hotel in Kendal, Cumbria.

She said she was left 'incensed' and 'shaking with anger' when she discovered that instead of a table number, a waiter had entered the words 'old people' on the couple's bill for lunchtime drinks and pate.

'It's a terrible thing to label people like that,' she said. 'Age shouldn't be what defines you.'

For heaven's sake. Even in these hypersensitive times, can it really be thought offensive to describe an octogenarian as old? You'd think a product of the wartime generation might have a thicker skin.

Scroll forward, next, to Wednesday, when the nation's guardians against -isms turned their fire on the Army, accusing it of sexism because regiments light-heartedly refer to sewing sets carried by soldiers as 'housewife kits'.

Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith said the phrase was outdated. Lib Dem armed forces spokesman Jamie Stone condemned it as sexist and embarrassing.

Not to be outdone, the SNP's Martin Docherty-Hughes said that language was extremely important and 'clearly someone in the MoD needs to get with it in terms of coming into the 21st century'.

More depressing still, an abject MoD has surrendered to those who've complained, declaring that the term housewife kits 'no longer has a place in the forces'. God help us all if our defence chiefs ever have something more serious to fret about.

Which brings me to yesterday morning and yet another storm in a teacup, whipped up by illiberal liberals who seek to silence and punish attempts at humour that offend them.

This time their targets were the BBC's John Humphrys and former Brexit Secretary David Davis, who appeared to make light of an incident at the World Tango Championships in Buenos Aires, in which a Russian contestant was disqualified for punching his dancing partner, who happened to be his wife.

Appearing on the Today programme, Mr Davis told Humphrys: 'I guess this is our last tango.' 'It is indeed,' said the veteran broadcaster, 'but I promise not to punch you if you don't punch me.' At which Mr Davis said: 'Ah, very good.'

Cue a storm of outrage from the likes of Labour MP Chris Bryant, who suggested the Today host should resign, tweeting: 'How on earth can it be right for John Humphrys to JOKE about a man punching his tango partner?'

Now, whether or not you agree with me that there's something intrinsically funny about a spat between tango dancers, isn't it seriously deranged to suggest Mr Humphrys was in any way condoning or encouraging domestic violence?

To illustrate what I mean, I commend Graham Greene's wonderful short story, A Shocking Accident — in my book, one of the finest pieces of comic writing in our language.

In it, a housemaster struggles to suppress his laughter when he breaks the news to a nine-year-old boy that his father has been killed by a pig falling on his head from a balcony in Naples.

Greene's brilliant achievement is to bring home both the tragedy of the boy's bereavement and the comedy of the circumstances of his father's death.

But woe betide any latter-day Greene who told such a tale today. He'd have the humourless champions of political correctness crashing down on him for making fun of pig-related fatal accidents (of which there are many, I see from the internet).

So I end with this pledge: as a heavy smoker and drinker, I fully expect to die of something painful and unamusing, such as lung cancer or cirrhosis of the liver.

But if I should happen to be killed by a pig falling on my head, I give you all my permission to laugh out loud.
By Watchman
Membership Days Posts
I think he needs to read some of the comments re that twat getting off posting a video of setting fire to a model of Grenfell Tower

Also, Tom, any view on this;

The nasty party strikes again.

Tory treasurer suspended over cruel joke about Nicola Sturgeon's miscarriage

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/ ... 8986722?n1
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Even in a fluffing Tweet he looks bad tempered.