News Grab Bag: Tories, Tattoos and Tweets

Getting in early

It may only be the 5th of January, but Conservative Councillor Chris Steward has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2013 twattiest statement award.

He told his local paper, the York Press, Steward attacked food banks, where folks donate food to ensure that the less fortunate have something to eat. Sounds like a nice plan and a beacon of kindness and decency during a period where many are struggling financially here in the UK.

Not if you’re Chris Steward, who not only had a go at those who use the banks but to those kind individuals who donate to them, saying that they’re merely helping those “people who can’t budget….or don’t want to, to have more money to spend on alcohol, cigarettes etc.”

Ah, yes, the traditional defence of the selfish who don’t want to appear that way. “If you give them money they’ll only spend it on drugs” line trotted out, the implication being that if anything people like Steward are doing the right thing, and saving the poor from themselves.

Steward also claims that nobody in the UK is starving and that the food banks are an insult to those people around the world who are dying of starvation. Aside from some of Mitt Romney’s comments during the Presidential race I can’t think of any statements I’ve heard that have more implied that the speaker really wants to use the word “peasants”.

The whole thing is a bit of a disaster and one can only imagine that Steward will not hold his position for much longer, and it’s rather embarrassing for the Tories in general, with one of their own breaking from their “we’re all in this together” line and appearing like some kind of callous, out of touch bastards looking down and judging the poor.

It doesn’t help that Steward is a bit on the large side which kind of increases the whole image of the rich stuffing their faces while the poor starve.

Steward- making political cartoonists jobs all the easier.

Steward- making political cartoonists jobs all the easier.

Well done, AC Milan!

I’m starting to realize that in many ways despite being 27 I’m still naive about some stuff.

For example, racism.

I’ve never been daft or optimistic enough to think that it was something consigned to history, but I did generally think it was something that only lingered in the hearts of a few idiots and that they generally kept this under wraps. This is probably due to my own parents’ being quite liberal in this manner and the fact that I grew up in a predominantly white area but that the non-whites I knew seemed to get treated fairly enough.

Of course, I grew up, and sadly I came to realize that this wasn’t the case. Off colour jokes (that wasn’t meant to be a pun or a joke, I just typed that phrase in without thinking) would get heard now and then, but often I felt that these weren’t always malicious. However, I’ve met people who are genuinely racist in their attitudes and it’s something that really depresses me.

Worst of all, a couple of people I quite like have expressed views that I find horribly intolerant or backwards. I guess I’d always imagined racists to be entirely loathsome, National Front style figures and being confronted by these opinions from someone you get on with and like was uncomfortable. I challenge them on it, but I doubt this will change their mind, but we have to try don’t we?

With Islamophobia rising in the last decade or so, the emergence of the BNP and some of the stuff coming out from America during Obama’s campaigning and time in office, it’s obvious that racism is still out there, and still something that we need to sort out.

Sad that in 2012 we still have dickheads like this walking around.

Sad that in 2012 we still have d**kheads like this walking around.

It’s raised it’s head frequently in the world of football too, with players getting accused of it, and governing bodies appearing not to do enough to combat it. Footage from Eastern European matches have revealed the extent there, but in the Western parts of the continent it appears to still be going on, and there have been incidents here in the UK. My naivety had been in believing that it had at the very least been forced out of being publicly acceptable here and that any racism would be quickly quelled by other fans.

But I’m a positive, see the good in people kind of guy, so I guess I would see it this way.

Racist chanting has been heard and it’s disgusting, and almost is bad is the pathetic response from UEFA/FIFA whoever. They stated that players leaving the field at the last European Championship over racism would be banned, and constantly play the “we can’t penalize everyone for the actions of one section of the crowd” argument.

Yet in the 80s they banned all English teams from competing in Europe after incidents of hooliganism. For five years.

Despite best intentions and it's backing, not enough is being done to enforce the anti-racism drive

Despite best intentions and it’s backing, not enough is being done to enforce the anti-racism drive

The fact is, cracking down hard is what’s going to work. Your non racist fan is going to get pretty fed up that the dickhead further down the terrace is getting matches abandoned after you’ve paid to get in, that he’s the reason your country/club won’t be in the next major tournament or why your club hasn’t got the money to buy in new players because they’ve had to pay out fines because of what he’s been chanting.

You annoy those guys and they’ll start intervening, they’ll join in with the anti-racism campaigns, they’ll name and shame the bigots in the stands. And that will force them out. But if you do nothing, if there’s no real fallout then your racists are going to crack on and the non-racists are just going to sit there feeling uncomfortable and guilty for not doing anything.

So I’m applauding the actions of AC Milan and their players. During a friendly with 4th division side Pro Patria, Kevin-Prince Boateng was subjected to racist abuse. Disgusted he kicked the ball into the crowd and walked from the field, his teammates joining him and the match was abandoned. (Story and video here)

The club has backed it’s players and it appears that the non-racists in the crowd responded well to this, applauding the team as they left the field. Boateng and co. handled it well and this should become the default response. If you’re getting racially abused just walk off, ask the ref to abandon the game, but if they don’t then just walk, the footballing federations may fine you but if they do they’ll look like their punishing the victim of abuse, not the abusers.

ac

So, well done to the AC Milan players.

Fools rush in, where Angels check licenses and past work

Man, got a little heavy there, let’s lighten up by looking at a terrible tattoo that’s meant to be Marilyn Monroe:

mmtat

One of the best descriptions of this monstrosity comes from the poor girl who’s got it on her arm, 16 year old hairdresser Siobhan Fields, who stated it looks like a “blow up sex doll”.

Now, I feel bad for the girl, I do, but at the same time discovering more about the story makes me start to think she’s kind of to blame. Here’s the thing, here in the UK you need a license to be able to do tattoos, this for health and safety reasons but also to stop any old idiot picking up a needle.

The thing is Fields went to an unlicensed tattooist, who came to her house to do it and only charged £50. Seems dodgy. The guy’s since vanished from Facebook, where she found him (that’s a rookie error right there) and refused to refund her cash. It now seems as though it might cost her around 300 quid to get it covered up. So remember kids, do your research, go to a proper shop and use some common sense.

Star Power

I’ve known about the Hollywood Walk of Fame since I was a kid, and always used to assume it was a special honour reserved for the great and good, learning later on that it was a bit easier than I’d planned and that there are over 2,400 of them. While some are indeed held by big names you feel deserve it (Elvis, John Wayne, Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Charlie Chaplin, Ray Charles etc.) there are others you do kind of think might have been awarded prematurely or over selling the person’s star power and achievements (dog star Rin Tin Tin, Paula Abdul or the Olsen twins perhaps).

However, one of the most recent stars to receive one definitely deserves hers, Dame Helen Mirren. The fantastically talented actress is simply wonderful and also by far the foxiest pensioner ever.

Helen Mirren

This kid is a legend

Finishing strong today with a fantastic story of downright awesomeness.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Jeremiah Anthony.

This cat set up a Twitter account devoted to spreading compliments and positivity at his high school. The Twitter account allows him to pay sincere compliments to his classmates, celebrating their achievements and generally looking for the good in people and spreading kindness.

Check out this video someone uploaded to HooplaHa about the project:

Jeremiah Anthony, you are a total legend and I salute you.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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