News Grab Bag: Nigella, Nick and No Good Guys

In defence of Nick Clegg

The other day shocking photos emerged showing television presenter Nigella Lawson and her husband, Charles Saatchi, in an argument during which Saatchi grabbed hold of Nigella by the neck. The images are quite unsettling and Lawson appears extremely distressed in them. Saatchi has been cautioned by the police despite describing the incident as a “tiff”.

Due to it featuring a popular celebrity, and dealing with domestic violence, an issue that is still a big problem in our society, it’s become a major talking point and deputy PM Nick Clegg was asked about it, and what he would have done had he been in the restaurant when it happened.


His answer has seen him come under fire, mainly because he used the term “fleeting” to describe the incident.

Now, I’m not massively fond of Clegg, but I feel he’s been rather harshly treated for his response. The question appears to have been sprung on him and while a regular Joe in the pub would respond instinctively he does have to consider his response. He states that he’s not sure what he would have done, and let’s face it, most of us can’t say for definite.

We’d all like to imagine ourselves as the hero, leaping to Nigella’s defence and stopping Saatchi, but in truth how many of us have passed by other situations where someone has been in need of help? I have. I regret some of the situations where I haven’t intervened, and always hope that should I see something more serious I would be more assertive in dealing with them.

As for his use of the word fleeting, Clegg has a point. Something in a photograph can look more dramatic than it was in reality, and it may have been something that happened extremely quickly. I’m not saying what Saatchi did wasn’t wrong, grabbing anyone by the throat, unless you’re in the WWE is usually a terrible thing to do, especially to someone who’s meant to be able to trust you.

You often see it in sports coverage- a slow motion replay will make an impact or incident look far worse than it actually is. In normal speed a collision between two players can seem minor, but slow it down or pause it at the right time and it can look like lives may be lost.

I think Clegg was being honest, had he spoken about how he’d have leapt into action he’d probably be being slammed for trying to act like the big man, in a similar way to what happened to Mark Wahlberg a while back. The problem is with a hypothetical question like this, none of us can be sure how we’d respond or how things really played out, because all we have to go on are three pictures.

Personally, I think Saatchi’s actions are despicable and this is not a situation where physical restraint or a violent response are in any way acceptable, but I don’t think Clegg should be slammed for his response, as he makes a good point, the pictures might make the situation appear far worse than it was. It was bad, but it may have been a brief grasp of the throat.

And at the end of the day, everyone criticizing Clegg is assuming that they would behave in a noble way, while sadly human nature tends to lean towards not getting involved with other people’s problems. It’s not right, but Clegg isn’t alone in being hesitant to step up to wrongdoing, so I feel he’s been unfairly treated by the response.

Here’s his answer to the question:

Whoever wins, we lose

Like when mega shark took on giant octopus, two loathsome opponents have recently locked horns in the courts. Yes, in a battle where it’s hard to decide which one you want to win “Psychic” Sally Morgan took the Daily M**l to court over their claims that she scammed people.

In the red corner we had a charlatan who feeds off people’s vulnerability and loss to make money. In the blue corner, a paper so hateful if you wrapped your chips with it you’d probably die of poisoning.

Sally won in the end, with the paper having to pay out significant damages because they’d accused a woman who claims to be able to talk to the spirits of being full of crap. It turned out that because they’d accused her of using an earpiece, which wasn’t true, she’s clearly using some other means to con people out of their hard earned money with the promise of closure and a connection with lost loved ones.


The story it reminds me of most is when Liberace filed and won a suit against a paper which claimed he was gay. He was gay, but the way the paper claimed to have found out was in error. Basically, he and Sally have won on technicalities.

Story here.

Hmm, not sure on this one

So, apparently in China someone has made and marketed hairy stockings in order to put of perverts.


The reason I’m not so sure about this is twofold- one, I think it underestimates perverts and secondly, it just doesn’t seem like the right way of approaching the situation.

It’s prevention rather than cure. Why should women have to wear stuff like this to safeguard against pervs, surely the onus should be on society to educate our menfolk better and foster a society where touching up some random girl isn’t acceptable, and people call the pervs out on it.

I’m sure that it’s an anti-touch measure, right? I mean, it can’t just be a “quit looking at me” item because that won’t work, guys will just realize it’s fake or look anyway. Hell, I’ve even found women in England rugby shirts attractive, so if that doesn’t put me off what will?

Like a lot of anti-rape stuff, I can’t help feel that while helpful, we’re still approaching the whole issue from the wrong angle.

Doggy bag

Staying in China, a controversial food festival is to go ahead despite strong protest. The festival, celebrated in the Guangxi, sees the locals dine out on dog meat.

Several groups have complained of the cruelty experienced by the 10,000 dogs who will provide the meat.

Initially I thought 10,000 seemed a tad excessive, but if you compare it to Christmas here or Thanksgiving in the US, turkeys take substantially bigger hits.

Now, I fully agree that if these animals are being kept in cruel, cramped conditions and mistreated then that’s got to stop. Free range dogs are the way to go.

See, I agree with this campaign, but probably not in the way they wanted.

See, I agree with this campaign, but probably not in the way they wanted.

But as a confirmed and unrepentant meat-eater, I’ve got to say I think a lot of the controversy over this, particularly here in the West, is hypocritical. We’re happy to eat other animals, but some daft emotional response to dogs means we’ve placed them above cows, sheep, pigs and fowl. Personally, I’d eat dog if offered (and given the number of late night kebabs I’ve had, I probably already have), I mean, it’s just another type of meat and according to one lady interviewed about it dog meat is the “tastiest dish” so I might be missing out on something special.

You can read the story here, but there are a few pictures that might upset some people.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.



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