On the first day of Christmas, Josie gave to me, the news I was a daddy: Josie Cunningham: The Final Chapter

Long time followers of this blog will know that I have long been interested in the tabloid saga that is Josie Cunningham’s life (click the tag for more). Since gaining notoriety as the “NHS boob job girl”, Josie has been a regular feature in the tabloids, her life becoming a soap opera that has seen her vilified in the press, subjected to online abuse and dubbed “Britain’s most hated woman”, although that is contested.

The latest appearance came as Josie announced her plans regarding how she planned to let the father of her child know her kid was his.

There are 3 possible daddies: The guy who catfished her pretending to be a professional footballer, a surgeon who was a customer when she was escorting and a friend’s boyfriend.

Josie is having paternity tests and on Christmas Eve is getting a friend to drop off cards to the three blokes’ houses with their results. It’s kinda smart and Josie’s idea to sever ties with the non-dads sounds good (none of them sounding like winners).

The problem is that yet again Josie decided to go public in a big way. This was a bad idea, as the reaction was general outrage and more abuse. Had she just done it on the quiet then that would have been alright (not the best way to tell a guy he’s the daddy, but I guess it beats going on Jeremy Kyle) but blabbing to the press just made Josie the target for more outrage and abuse.

But the problem is that Josie is doomed to continue to live her soap opera life in the spotlight. This is partly because she seems to have become hooked on the notoriety she has garnered, the closest to celebrity she can get. Like many people in our celeb-obsessed culture, fame must have seemed like a dream, a get out for Josie, and unable to get the real thing she’s settled for this.

I’ve said since day one that Josie would probably be better off out of the public eye, that her introduction to the world as the “NHS boob girl” meant she would be doomed to be a tabloid villain. And sadly, not being the savviest operator Josie has been unable to turn the tide. In fact she’s given the press plenty of ammo to continue demonizing her due to a knack for saying/tweeting controversial things.

Like in this instance.

The problem is that I’ve realized that I’m not helping this situation. As long as people keep talking about her antics the longer she’ll stay, for lack of a better word, “newsworthy”. I honestly think Josie would be better off fading away, becoming a half-remembered item from the papers.

So I need to act appropriately, and while my blogs are just a drop in the ocean of comments and discussion of Miss Cunningham (and far less vicious than most) they are still part of the problem.

Barring the fact that she does something truly remarkable (e.g. being the first person on Mars, headbutting the Pope or discovering the cure for cancer) or actively impacts my life (if I meet her, for example) this will be the last time I write about Josie on this blog, it’s an early start for a 2015 resolution, I guess.

I’ve always felt that Josie was something of a victim of the press’ desire to create hate figures to distract us from the real problems of the world (the first boob job cost under £5k, and the UK government has wasted much more on much worse), and her own desire to be famous, seemingly at any cost and without regard for how she achieves that fame or how it manifests.

This is the 14th post I’ve written about Josie Cunningham and over that time she’s intrigued and frustrated me. There have been times when she’s said nasty or stupid things I’ve disagreed with, or times when she’s gone after other celebrities in a way I don’t feel was called for and which just seemed nasty and vindictive, especially from someone who knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end. She’s no saint, and I’m far from a fan of what she’s done.

But I genuinely believe that Josie doesn’t deserve most of the abuse she receives and that much of it is utterly vile and unnecessary. Her major crimes appear to have been lack of thought before speaking/tweeting and a heightened desire for fame, which is hardly something she’s alone in possessing as evidenced by the fact that Big Brother can still fill a house every year. Neither of these justify the level of vitriol that gets thrown at her online.

This is a young woman who came to our attention because she received a boob job on the NHS, which stemmed from her insecurities around her body and the bullying of others. The public reaction to a clearly insecure person has been disgusting, and shows a depressing lack of compassion or attempt at understanding, and exhibits an ugly side of online communication where people just pile on to send hate and threats to somebody they don’t even know. For me, the trolls are worse than Josie.

I wish her well for the future, and hope that she can find someway to be happy, although I suspect that would involve sacrificing her current “fame”, which is how she makes money and which she seems hooked on.

Goodbye, Josie.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Josie on one of her television appearances, which is how she makes her living and continues to fuel her “fame”

 

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Catfishes and Cruelty: The Josie Cunningham saga continues

Catfishing– The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships. (From The Urban Dictionary)

So, Josie Cunningham’s time in the media spotlight has been a surreal journey (click the “Josie Cunningham” tag for more), with the “NHS boob job girl” becoming a much loathed figure and a soap opera story involving her pregnancy and the identity of the father. From day one Josie stated that there were a couple of guys in the frame, one of whom was a Premier League footballer.

Cunningham didn’t reveal the identity of the footballer, throughout the pregnancy, which could be seen as admirable, but could just have been her saving it up for a later revelation, who knows.

josie

Then this week, after the baby arrived (congratulations!) there was a further twist in the tale, as Josie revealed that she’d fallen victim to a Catfish.

This is a term that is getting more widespread after a documentary and a TV series (which is a triumph of trash TV) explored the phenomenon of people pretending to be someone else online.

This creation of a fake life is fascinating, not merely for the sheer weirdness of it, but also the motivations behind it, why would someone want to pretend to be someone else (usually due to lust, cruelty, boredom or loneliness it appears) and why others are so quick to believe what they’re told. An episode I saw recently featured a woman who believed she was talking to Bow Wow (formerly Little Bow Wow) and had divulged many personal secrets to him, only for it to turn out to be a rather amoral and delusional young woman, but that’s beside the point.

Josie revealed that while she thought she was talking to and sleeping with Hull City player Curtis Davies, she was in fact involved with someone else entirely, who capitalized on a resemblance to the athlete.

Davies

Davies

As she often does, Josie took to Twitter where she spilled her guts out, revealing the truth and how she felt used and betrayed. It’s understandable and one can only imagine how distressing it must be to discover you’ve been conned in such a way.

Of course, part of you wonders how someone could be suckered in to such an extent, but Josie doesn’t seem overburdened with common sense (her entire time in the spotlight has been characterized by poor judgement) and perhaps the idea of bedding a professional footballer appealed to her desire to be “the next Jordan”. Or it could be that she really did develop feelings for this man, and felt close to him, and believed what she was told.

Davies isn’t exactly a household name, and if this bloke does look like him it might be easy for him to pretend. But why? Why lie to someone like that for so long (around 18 months)? It seems manipulative and nasty, and while I feel Josie could have exercised some common sense and caution in this scenario, I do feel bad for her.

Worse, having claimed that the father could be a Premier League player her public image is even worse now, making her look at best foolish and at worst a liar.

I don’t like much of what Josie has done, or how she’s handled certain situations, but I do feel that in this case she is the victim of a con artist and due some sympathy, though I suspect she won’t get much. Writing these blogs has led to conversations with people I know personally, and I’m surprised by the level of vitriol that is heaped upon her, by people who are otherwise pretty chilled out.

The birth of her baby may have helped cushion the blow a little, and deterred some from putting the boot in. But there are still enough hateful trolls out there, including one charmer who took to Twitter to tell Josie he “wished she’d died in childbirth”. That’s just vile and unnecessary, and you wonder what has to be wrong in someone’s life that they consider sending that to a stranger to be okay. You might not like someone or what they do, but wishing them dead? Seriously not cool.

I wish Josie and her new baby all the best, and pray that rumours that she will enter the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! jungle are false, because I firmly believe she needs less exposure to the public, not more.

It will only allow the public the chance to humiliate and torment her through the tasks, and put her in a situation where she could make her situation worse. Sometimes a good reality TV stint can turn public feeling around, but I don’t think that would happen for Josie, and while financially secure she may be exposed to even more hate which can’t help but negatively effect a person.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Loose Lips: Josie Cunningham Part 10

Click on the Josie Cunningham tag up top for the story so far.

The last time I wrote about Josie Cunningham, the notorious “NHS boob girl” she was getting a lot of hate online and she actually announced she would be taking a break from Twitter. This was a bit worrying as it came after a deluge of hate including some scumbag suggesting suicide as an option for the clearly troubled and upset young lady.

josie

Josie’s Twitter silence lasted about a week, at which point she roared back, addressing criticisms from other people, clearing up rumours about her entering the Big Brother house and then actually getting into a political debate (sort of) by arguing against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s argument that boob jobs should not be available on the NHS. She even stated that she was hoping to campaign to set up a NHS loans company to help fund these procedures.

Still dodging trolls Josie continued to tweet sporadically, pushing her dating site (still not sure that’s a good idea) and then on Monday she hit the headlines again as The Sun revealed that she receives £6k worth of taxis funded by the taxpayer to take her on the school run, due to anxiety caused by the fact that she often receives abuse when taking her kids on the bus.

Cue the inevitable backlash, with people decrying that this is a massive waste of taxpayer money and could be going on things like nurses, teachers, whatever. I agree, there are better uses for £6k, but it’s a drop in the ocean for stuff our government wastes money on and what is owed by individuals and businesses who duck out of paying their full taxes. Gary Barlow’s tax avoidance could probably cover it, so maybe next year Gary should just pay her fares? Or Starbucks could sponsor her trips?

There was a lot of abuse flying around, as the tabloid readers seized the precarious moral high ground and spewed their outrage.

taxpayer

Demetri Martin

Here’s the thing, I get why people are annoyed, but at the same time, I can see the reasoning behind the decision. I know Josie’s made some bad decisions over the year or so she’s been in the public eye, and there’s a lot of resentment and anger aimed towards her, but is this really her fault? Shouldn’t we really have more of an issue with the folks who are hassling her in public, in front of her kids?

These idiots are upset, sure, but they are approaching a young woman and her children and giving her grief. There is no way to view that as anything other than a dick move. Why go out of your way to make a stranger’s life a misery and possibly scare and upset her children?

At the same time, Josie handled it abominably, tweeting a selfie from the back of the cab with this troll baiting caption:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but tax payers will always fund me 🙂

It was a spectacularly misjudged tweet and detracted from the line she took in the article, where she addressed the hate she received and the fact that the blame should be given to those who give her abuse on buses.

Josie then announced that she was due to appear on Loose Women, and I groaned over my phone.

For the lucky ones- Loose Women is a daytime TV show where a gaggle of female presenters discuss and debate the issues of the day, interview guests and gossip away. Even the presence of some MILF crushes isn’t enough to detract from the irritation this show provokes in me.

Even Carol Vorderman can't convince me to watch it

Even Carol Vorderman can’t convince me to watch it

I groaned because I thought it was a mistake for Josie to appear on the show. In a brief interview she wouldn’t get the chance to fully put her case across and might face a potentially hostile interview. In fact all it might serve to do is bring her to the attention of those who had thus far avoided her online or in the papers.

So, I fired up ITV’s online service and sat down to watch the show. It did not go well.

The interview wasn’t too bad, but they clearly weren’t onside from the off and Myleene Klass was rather patronizing in the way she handled Josie. Two of the others, Linda Robson and some brunette woman who seemed alright, suggested counselling- Robson as an alternative to the boob job, and the other lady (couldn’t find her on the LW website) put forward cognitive behaviour therapy as a potential aid to the anxiety.

At least these were constructive, and personally I think Josie might have benefited from counselling before and after the initial operation to address her insecurities and to help her realize that the new boobs were not some magic gift that would make her instantly happy and turn her life around.

But the main problem was that Josie didn’t put herself over that well. It’s unlikely that a single television appearance is going to turn the tide, but perhaps a longer, more in depth interview would have been better, because a short segment wasn’t going to get the job done, as evidenced by the response on Twitter:

What a deluded state of a woman!

why would @loosewomen put that vile creature josie cunningham on their show?!?! Don’t they see they’re feeding her antics!

Acting all innocent on loose women but laughing how the tax payers are cleaning up your mess

And possibly summing up the whole situation, if rather cruelly-

Nope @JosieCOnline appearing on tv did nothing for her at all! Haha still a stupid disgusting vile pathetic excuse for a human being #muppet (@BeckyBooEvans)

And that was the problem, I don’t see why Josie was doing this. She seemed out of her depth and her arguments weren’t constructed properly. She stated that anger over funding her boob job shouldn’t be aimed at her but the people making the decisions, which is maybe fair, but she has to realize that she sought that boob job and is the public face of these kind of decisions.

I agree that she shouldn’t get hate, and I think that if she is suffering abuse and anxiety that the taxis are probably needed. It’s just sad there’s not a school bus that runs which she could put the kids on and which would cut down on school run traffic. That’d be the best solution, in my opinion.

Controversy and notoriety can be useful tools in the fame game, but it’s starting to look like Josie or her people, are pursuing notoriety for it’s own sake. There doesn’t seem to be a clear strategy, she’s not parlaying this infamy into anything- there’s no book, or TV show, or DVD coming. So far all she’s done is the awful dating website.

She stumbles from controversy to controversy, with the trolls lining up to put the boots in at every turn. The tabloids use her as fodder to fire up their readers and distract them from being annoyed or concerned about larger issues, and for her part Josie seems to be getting very little out of the deal aside from public vilification and distress.

I continue to hope that Josie can achieve some success or happiness, to fade from the public consciousness and not have to endure the abuse and hatred from idiots.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


What Josie did next

Okay, this is the fifth time I’m writing about Josie Cunningham, so here’s a quick recap for the uninitiated-

Josie was a young lady who was bullied and felt terrible about herself as a result of being flat chested. The NHS granted her a free boob job to fix this, which did not go over well with the British tabloid press, who attacked it as a waste of tax payer cash, but I kind of saw it as helping with someone’s emotional health and well being, which is also what the NHS works towards in its holistic approach (1).

Josie playing up to the controversy, which actually makes sense for her career

Josie playing up to the controversy, which actually makes sense for her career

Josie’s plan was to use the new boobs to kick start a glamour modelling career. However, this failed to materialize and Josie felt that the new boobs were ruining her life and getting her negative attention (2) and might get them removed, later on she even planned to sue the NHS for negligence (3). Throughout this I tried to remain sympathetic and to understand what might have caused this series of events, believing that much of it stemmed from insecurity and that people were unduly harsh in their treatment of her.

Then earlier this month I found out that Josie was now working as an escort, with a view of paying off the boob job (4). I don’t know Miss Cunningham, but I felt a bit worried that she might be getting herself into some murky waters and risked being exploited or hurt further.

Having written about her a few times and receiving a tweet from her, I’m kinda invested in what happens to Josie. God that sounded stalkery, didn’t it? Anyway, what I mean is, I’ve been keeping an eye on how she’s doing and hoping that stuff works out for her. She’s recently revealed she’s pregnant with her third child, and I was pleased for her and felt congratulations were in order.

However, I then found out that she doesn’t know the identity of the father and it may be one of her clients. This is hardly ideal and sadly by running the story in Closer it’s put Josie back in the public eye and the firing line.

Frankly, some of the comments I’ve seen thrown her way are disgusting, vile and cruel missives which I can’t fully understand. I get that some people disagree with the NHS footing the bill for her boob job or some of her choices, I’m not on board with some of them, but she’s still a person and there’s no need to send her such hurtful, cruel things. How empty does your life have to be to single out someone you don’t know for such abuse? Come on, guys. don’t be a dick.

In an article I read about the story Josie revealed that she wasn’t entirely sure and had been shocked by the revelation. The two potential fathers are this client, and a friend with benefits. I’m hoping it’s the friends with benefits, just because at least that’s slightly easier to explain to the kid.

There’s gonna have to be a DNA test, which I hope will be performed behind closed doors and kept quiet, but I fear will just become the next installment in Josie’s press story.

I at least hope it’s not done on The Jeremy Kyle Show, because I honestly think Josie would get mauled by Jezza’s juggernaut of self righteousness and just get her even more attention, and she doesn’t need that or the resulting backlash.

The most punchable man in Britain?

Anyway, I hope that Josie’s pregnancy isn’t too hard on her and that she and the baby have a happy future. Again, I have to hope that Josie can slip out of the public eye and thus be away from the scrutiny and criticism she gets online. It can’t be helpful to someone who’s had problems with confidence in the past to be constantly besieged by dickheads throwing insults at you.

Anyway, that’s my two cents.

Here for more.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Tabloid trainwreck: The continuing saga of Josie Cunningham

This is the fourth time that I’m going to write about Josie Cunningham, who has sadly kept popping back onto my radar. I don’t know Cunningham, so all my views are based on the impression I get from her interviews.

Cunningham was the young lady who in March of last year got a breast enhancement on the NHS, after describing how her flat chest had “ruined her life” and announced plans to become a glamour model, hoping to be “the new Katie Price” which is a depressing dream for anyone to have. Then in July she was back saying that she wasn’t happy with her new boobs and wanted them reduced, stating “They’re making my working life difficult. They’re so big I find them embarrassing and I don’t feel I can do any modelling because they’ve attracted so much negative attention.”

Then there was her third appearance when she was preparing to sue the NHS over the operation and what she felt was negligence which caused her emotional distress.

I’ve always tried to remain sympathetic towards Josie, because she strikes me as someone who is clearly insecure and troubled. She had the initial operation because she felt badly about her body and clearly felt that her flat chest was to blame and that the new boobs would give her the chance to build a better life for herself.

However, things didn’t work out this way and I’d imagine that the problems that she had continued to plague her. So she wanted the implants gone, the suing the NHS part I can’t really defend and was the point where I started to lose patience with her.

Her most recent appearance is slightly worrying, with Cunningham selling a story to Closer revealing that she is planning to pay for her own breast reduction by earning money as an escort. Cunningham states that she makes £450 for dinner with a client and a grand for a full night, which includes sex.

That seems pretty expensive to me.

Anyway, Cunningham says that she doesn’t care if others judge her and that she enjoys the job and that “it’s like getting paid to date”. She even states that the only challenge the job poses is:

The only hard part is not falling for the client because some are really attractive. I enjoy sex so it’s not like it’s a chore and the free dinners are great

To me this seems a case of the lady protesting too much.

I’m not sure someone who appears as vulnerable and insecure as Cunningham should be getting involved in such an exploitative industry and I worry for how this is going to pan out for her. Cunningham’s twitter reveals she has a manager and does interviews (as well as Closer she’s also featured in the Sunday Sport this week) but it seems that she spends the majority of her time engaging in spats with people who send her abuse.

Cunningham seems to want some sort of fame, and has even seized on her notoriety a bit, but from where I sit she seems like someone who really isn’t suited to the limelight. Her constant return fire to tweeted slights shows that they clearly needle her and it’s clear she is someone who struggles with feeling inadequate and uncomfortable with her body. Being thrust into the spotlight and under more scrutiny can hardly be good for her.

I hope that Cunningham saves the money for her breast reduction and afterwards can find a way to make peace with her insecurities and feel better about herself, and that she doesn’t get used too badly in her new career and lives a happy life. Preferably away from the public eye.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


You make it really hard to have your back, Josie

This is the third time I’m going to be writing about a young lady called Josie Cunningham.

Back in March I wrote about the fact that she had received a £4,800 breast enhancement operation on the NHS, and I defended her by stating that while there are more vital operations it was still helping improve the quality of life of a young woman who was clearly troubled and depressed by her lack of breasts. I even suggested that in the long term, and with astute career moves, Cunningham might have been able to pay more into the tax pot from her earnings as a glamour model and D-list celebrity.

However, earlier this month it appeared that it had not panned out for Miss Cunningham and she was planning to have the implants removed. Again, I tried to be sympathetic and discussed how this highlighted Cunningham’s insecurities, and how clearly she’d felt that her flat chest was the cause of her insecurities and lack of confidence, but that it appeared that these were underlying issues that had to do with more than her breasts.

But, with her third appearance in the news, Josie is starting to test my patience.

It appears, that not only she does want the implants to be removed, which I kinda get, but that she plans to sue the NHS for “emotional distress” and “clinical negligence”.

She’s declared that she feels that the operation was rushed through  and that she never asked for her new 36DD bust;

I never asked for 36DD- I would have been happier with a B cup.

Hmm. Now, this seems to go against her earlier enthusiasm for the new boobs and expressions of a desire to be “the next Katie Price” which is a depressing ambition for anyone to have. Also, she’s previously thanked the NHS for it’s support and helping her gain confidence.

Her credibility takes even more of a kicking when you factor in that her own website makes reference to her having spent “5 years visiting doctors and psychologists”. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could argue that half a decade is rushing a process.

With all these statements in the public domain, it’s hard to imagine she’ll win her case, although you never know, but regardless of how the case goes, her recent statements have soured me on a young lady I had previously given the benefit of the doubt.

But with all my sympathy and attempts to understand her body image problems, her statement of “I’m going to take them for every penny” made me want to break something. “Them” is the NHS, the same organisation that is funded by all of our taxes and also helped Cunningham have her two kids, but yeah, feel free to fleece them.

She also states:

I want in excess of £10,000. Anything I can get over that is a bonus

Now let’s gloss over the fact she’s messed up on that statement (I assume she means at least 10k, or else that “bonus” comment makes no sense) that’s a ridiculous amount of money. That’s more than twice what the operation cost, and I find it hard to believe that much distress has been caused by the fault of the NHS.

I get that Cunningham isn’t happy with how the boob job panned out- her glamour model career appears to have stalled and she’s come under fire from the public and the media for the decision. Although, you could argue that she probably shouldn’t have taken the story to the Sun, because she clearly wasn’t going to get public support.

I don’t want to be nasty, but I’m not surprised that her glamour modelling career didn’t pan out. It takes more than just a set of boobs and the most successful tend to be extremely pretty (Lucy Pinder, Michelle Marsh, Lucy Vixen) or else trade on their own notoriety or larger than life personality (Jordan, Jodie Marsh). Josie was always coming in from a bad position, and would’ve needed to be pretty smart to overcome the negative publicity.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have played her hand well at all and the offers don’t appear to have been flying in.  It’s understandable that she feels uncomfortable with the new boobs, and as previously discussed I believe that Cunningham has some kind of body image problem, but this new lawsuit seems to highlight another aspect of her personality which appears to come through frequently in her interviews- a lack of consideration for the reaction of others bordering on selfishness.

It’s clear she’s attempting to have some kind of “F**k the haters!” attitude, common among celebrities, but you can’t help but feel that some of the negative feedback she’s getting is justified. Her statements constantly seem devoid of any self-awareness and it’s not hard to see why people are becoming incensed. Sure, I don’t agree with the cruel comments the trolls are sending her, but she doesn’t seem to have realized that she’d be better off keeping her head down and adopting a more humble attitude in her interviews.

I hope the case comes to nothing and that Cunningham manages to get some good advice or sort herself out a bit. She’s clearly an insecure person and perhaps would do better out of the public eye, as I doubt any of this coverage is doing wonders for her self esteem, which doesn’t seem to be in the best shape.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


News Grab Bag: Old Friends, Old People and Old Stereotypes Confirmed

The fall and fall of Gavin Henson

When I was at uni Wales ended their Grand Slam drought and the boys in red became national heroes. One of the big heroes was Gavin Henson, who’s kicking had won us valuable points and he’d been impressive throughout.

Henson in happier times as a 2005 Grand Slam winner

Henson in happier times as a 2005 Grand Slam winner

 

The world, or at least Wales, appeared to be his oyster. He was a good looking sporting hero and shortly after he got together with Charlotte Church, becoming the Welsh equivalent of Posh & Becks.

But over the years Henson’s star has waned. Many came to regard him as arrogant and a bit of a tool, and he actually stopped playing rugby. He went on sabbatical and the wheels really started to come off for him, his relationship with Church ended and he appeared in a string of high profile TV shows which did nothing to improve his public persona- 71 Degrees North, Strictly Come Dancing and worst of all, The Bachelor.

Come on, Gav! You're better than this trash.

Come on, mankind, we’re better than this!

 

Despite being a two time Grand Slam winner, and a former Lions player, Henson’s reputation is in tatters and he appears to be his own worst enemy. He’s wasted time on side ventures and taken extended periods away from the game which has stopped him from capitalizing on the opportunities and potential he might have had back in 2005. Since 2010 he’s been with 5 different clubs, but only made 21 appearances.

Things appear to have got off to a rocky start at his current club Bath, with footage emerging of an altercation with a teammate, who proceeds to deck him. Here’s a gif someone made of it:

henson punch

Bath are investigating, but it doesn’t look good for Henson, who seems doomed to go down in rugby folklore as a bit of a tool who squandered his chance of being an international great.

Japan: No Country for Old Men

Sometimes you see a headline that just stops you in your tracks. The Huffington Post through me such a title earlier today when I saw this:

Adult Nappies Will Outsell Baby Nappies in Japan by 2020

Like several other countries around the world, Japan has an ageing population with almost a quarter of the population being over 65. As a result of this the adult nappies prediction has been made. But what really blew my mind is that apparently adult nappies are already on the rise in Godzilla’s stomping grounds and are a billion dollars a year industry.

This does little to change my impression of Japan as being a bit of a messed up country.

All this is adding into my “Hope I die before I get old” ethos, because it just sounds like a terrible way to go out of this world. I mean, it’s just not very dignified is it. Yeah, if it ever gets that bad for me I’m heading for Switzerland.

No picture for this story, because I’m quite frankly too scared to type “adult nappies” into a Google image search.

Story here.

A right tit of herself

Regular readers may remember that I discussed a story about a young lady, Josie Cunningham, who had a breast enhancement funded by the NHS and hoped to become a glamour model.

So today, as I scanned the magazines at my local shop I spotted a familiar, um, face on one of those godawful celebrity magazines where Kerry Katona or Jordan is bleating on about something in their life or there’s almost malicious glee in the fact some reality star has put on a little bit of weight. The headline that caught my eye was in the top corner featuring Miss Cunningham, described as a “shameless glamour model”-

I had my £4,800 boobs on the NHS, now I want them out…for free!

Now, clearly, this trashy magazine was trying to stir up some anger towards the lass, so I came home and Googled to find out more. It’s true that Josie does want a breast reduction, and is quoted as saying:

They’re making my working life difficult. They’re so big I find them embarrassing and I don’t feel I can do any modelling because they’ve attracted so much negative attention.

Hmm. Now, I don’t really see many glamour models in my day-to-day so I can’t say whether they have hindered her career move, but I’d have thought that she’d have got a few just because of her notoriety. And also, I don’t think this is going to lessen the negative attention, in fact, it appears to have just hauled her back into the firing line.

I was sympathetic with Josie when she got the op initially, as she described how insecure her formerly small chest had made her, and I think the op could have helped improve her well being and made her some cash, which would have gone back into the tax pot. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to have happened and she still has some problems with her body.

Rather than attacking her I think we should all be asking about the larger things at work here. Clearly this is a young lady who is riddled with insecurity and feelings of inadequacy, clearly unhappy with her appearance and striving for a perfect look she may never achieve. Instead of anger we should feel pity and offer some support. This is a girl who needs to work through her issues and not just go under the knife to fix whatever problems she feels she has.

And this isn’t an isolated case, Cunningham is just the tip of the iceberg of a growing problem of this kind of negative body image which we really need to address.

It’s just a rather sad story, especially given the obvious outpouring of anger and misguided hate sent her way (of all the bad things our taxes go on £4,800 on a pair of tits is small potatoes).

Story here.

Who’s surprised?

A recent survey to find the rudest cabbies in Europe has yielded unsurprising results. The winners were Rome and Paris, which must have shocked absolutely no one.

I’ve visited both cities and while I didn’t use taxis, I did have to negotiate them on foot and public transport, and the average drivers there are rude and bad tempered, so it probably crosses over to cabbies. Seriously, it might be a bit more sane than Marrakesh or Colombo, but compared to British drivers, the French and Italians are like someone playing Mario Kart while having a heated argument and shouting at girls on the pavement.

It should also be noted that the poll was done of British people returning from their holidays, so it might be a “lost in translation” thing or a biased survey, as we quite often find the French in particular to be rude, and quite a few of them don’t particularly like their neighbours across the Channel.

Interestingly, the best were found to be in Turkey and the Greek island of Rhodes, although it should be noted that these are touristy destinations, whereas the capital city drivers probably have a mix of locals and tourists to deal with. Also, the streets of Rome (filled with crazy Italian drivers) and Paris (chock-a-block with rude, impatient French drivers) are probably a tad more stressful than cruising around on a Grek island.

That being said, I probably would avoid a taxi in Paris and Rome.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


News Grab Bag: Immigrants, Deportation and Corruption. Even boobs become a contentious issue in this post

Warning! Bit of a long one today, so you might want to make sure you have a cup of tea at the ready so you can stay hydrated throughout.

…And then a step to the right

Recently the Prime Minister David Cameron came out with brand new, harder policies on immigration. The headline grabber was his pledge that immigrants must live in the UK for 5 years before they can be added to public housing lists.

Now, I’m no fan of the Conservatives anyway, but this statement made me dislike them even more. What Cameron was essentially doing was attacking a small section of our society, who are already poorly treated and disliked and using it to score cheap political points.

What made it worse is the fact that it was a blatant ploy by the PM to try and appeal to the section of his party which is further to the right. It has nothing to do with what these immigrants do to the public housing situation, and more about Dave trying to ensure that Tories to the right of him don’t jump ship to UKIP (UK Independence Party) a bunch of xenophobic eejits formerly associated with talk show host and grade-A douche Robert Kilroy-Silk.

The whole thing strikes me as being irresponsible from the PM because he’s joining in on this disgusting bashing of immigrants. I suppose though, it’s an easy target- many aren’t registered voters and you can guarantee there’s any number of Daily M**l reading idiots out there who’ll swallow it whole and think “Yeah, Dave, show those Johnny Foreigners what for!”

Here’s the thing, as some Romanian group recently pointed out- the reason that a lot of these folks came across here is to work to send money home. They’re not looking for handouts. I’m sure some do live off benefits, but let’s face it, they probably represent a drop in the ocean of the people on benefits in this country (in fact immigrants made up less than 10% of social lettings in 2011-12).

To penalize against them because they’ve only just got off the boat seems unfair, especially as they’re arriving with nothing and, given the housing market, you’re making them essentially homeless or vulnerable to unscrupulous land lords. Also, it seems a tad unfair that Victor from Poland comes over and has to work for 5 years before he can apply when there’s any number of Brits who don’t contribute to society at all who can get one right away. If Dave wanted to make it completely fair, he’d state that to get on the housing list you have to have worked for five years.

I mean, think about it. You’ve got some family from Eastern Europe or wherever, who come over and where they instantly start working crummy jobs, and they have to sit around for five years despite having taken nothing out of the system, while at the same time, folks like me can get on the list after spending 16 years in full time education and a lifetime of free health care. Which one of us is a bigger drain on the tax payer?

The whole thing is disgusting, especially given the fact that last year Cameron was more than happy to use an immigrant to this country for photo opportunities.

So the rule seems to be- immigrants are okay, so long as they can run fast.

So the rule seems to be- immigrants are okay, so long as they can run fast.

Cameron’s motives were transparent enough, and even though he’s a Tory, you feel might not be his own, which makes them worse. As much as I loathe UKIP and co. at least they’re upfront and honest about it, here you get the feeling that Cameron is merely saying whatever he thinks will get him votes. I know that’s how politics work, but it’s still disheartening.

The next time there’s some anti-immigrant violence Cameron would have a lot of nerve coming out and condemning it given that this kind of outburst adds to the ill feeling and ignorance surrounding the whole situation.

V for Vendetta

Another Tory who should have thought before they spoke was Theresa May, the Home Secretary. A while back fundamentalist cleric Abu Qatada was threatened with deportation to Jordan, where he would face trial, however, due to the fact that he would be unlikely to receive a fair trial and may well be tortured, the deportation was blocked under Human Rights rulings.

At which point May waded in saying that this was just a set back and that Qatada would soon be on his way out. May’s appeal to have him deported failed this week, with the judges stating that he would be at risk of a “flagrant denial of justice”. Now, I may not agree at all with Qatada’s beliefs and find his brand of rhetoric sickening, but at the same time, I’m not entirely comfortable with sending people off to be tortured and imprisoned without trial.

So, let him stay. And treat the guy well. This is a chance for us to be the bigger people, and to combat his claims of the evil of Western culture by showing respect and compassion towards somebody who would do us harm.

And if he continues to bash us, well, everytime he does maybe someone should (politely) point out that he can’t have it both ways- he can’t very well slam Western culture and our country when he’s cowering under our protection like a little b***h. It’d like David Haye stopping me from getting a kick-in and then me standing behind him slagging him off.

Haye a metaphor for Britain

I mean, we could also throw in that if he was truly dedicated to his cause then he’d have no problem suffering and dying for it like a true martyr, by going back to Lebanon, maybe just imply that he might be all mouth. Highlight his hypocrisy and lack of commitment, undermine his standing and posturing. That’s how I’d play it anyway.

But, most importantly, let him stay. The war on terror, was a classic example of a situation where we’d be best to remember the words of Friedrich Nietzsche:

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster

And while that ship may have sailed, we should still retain some morality and respect for human rights, whatever they say or do. If we deport Qatada to face human rights abuses we are responsible for those abuses.

The worst thing about the story is May’s behaviour. She may very well be doing her job, but her obsession with getting shot of Quatada is starting to look more and more like some kind of personal vendetta.

I'm not sure whether May-Qatada reminds me more of a wrestling feud or when two characters claim to hate each other but eventually wind up together in a soap

I’m not sure whether May-Qatada reminds me more of a wrestling feud or when two characters claim to hate each other but eventually wind up together in a soap

It’s probably because of her statements about not letting the courts stop her, and the fact that the longer he stays the worse she looks, but it’s all looking rather pathetic. And in fact, her repeated attempts make it worse, with several papers reporting about her failure to win the appeal, laying the blame at her feet. She shouldn’t have made such a song and dance about it, because it’s all making her look very bad.

Hope you have a pleasant stay!

After all the corruption and connections between the press and the police were revealed last year, there’s been an effort to clean up the whole thing and an investigation has recently resulted in a few imprisonments. Some of the most high profile are a copper who sold details about the family of English footballer John Terry and a prison officer who sold information regarding Jon Venables, one of the killers in the James Bulger case.

Now, first of all, I’m glad they’re going away for it. It’s a massive ethical breach and they deserve to be punished. Secondly, what a pair of idiots. The prison officer got £3,500 for his info, and you’ve got to wonder if that amount was worth it, because if I’ve learnt anything watching prison movies and crime shows (and I think I have), it’s that ex-cops and former screws don’t exactly have an easy time of it inside.

One imagines that MacKay would've had a hard time if he'd been Fletcher's new cellmate

One imagines that MacKay would’ve had a hard time if he’d been Fletcher’s new cellmate

You’d have thought being familiar with what life in prison is like, you’d be extra-careful to avoid winding up in there. It’d be like having a daily reminder of what you have to lose if you break the law. I hope they’re both alright during their time behind bars, and can reflect on what they’ve done wrong and rebuild some kind of life at the other end.

An argument for the continuation of Page 3?

Page 3, where the daily newspaper The Sun posts pictures of topless young ladies is the centre of a bit of debate at the moment, with many sections of society calling for it to be banned. But, I think The Sun could now make a case for it being preserved to ensure that tax payers get value for money and paid back for their expenses.

This is down to the case of Josie Cunningham, a 22 year old who received a breast enlargement on the NHS. Cunningham, or Josie, 22 from Leeds as Page 3 would introduce her, has plans to become a glamour model thanks to her brand new 36DD assets. The operation is said to have cost the tax payer £4,800.

This has caused quite a lot of complaining and angry comments about what a waste of money it all is. I agree, the money could have been put to use elsewhere, but Cunningham’s previous bra size of 32A, appears to have been effecting her quality of life, with her stating in an interview that she felt that they were ruining her life and she felt insecure about herself.

Cunningham before the op

Cunningham before the op

Now, I can sympathize and think the NHS should help out on issues like this, but maybe on a payback basis, where for example non-essential operations and procedures like breast enhancements, gastric bands and IVF are funded by the government, but the patient’s wages are then garnished until the cost is covered. The NHS could improve the quality of life and happiness of people like Miss Cunningham, and the money would work it’s way back into the hospitals, maybe with interest added.

Or, they could have called me up and figured out some way of taking my mannaries and donating them to Cunningham, thus aiding both of us in feeling better about ourselves.

At the same time, I appreciate that the news would infuriate many, although it’s ironic that The Sun has laid into her as she’s probably just the type of person they’d use on Page 3.

The thing is, Cunningham was previously on £9k a year and I’d imagine that if she plays her cards right as a glamour model she can earn way more than that, so she may end up paying more tax into the pot as a result of the op. She needs to strike while the iron is hot and cash in on her notoriety as the girl with the tax payer’s tits.

So, at the end of the day I think the NHS did the right thing- they helped a girl feel better about herself, they’ve probably enabled her to earn more money and thus pay more taxes.

 

And let’s face it our taxes have been spent on a lot worse in the past.

Oh, and in related news I found out today that the association that governs aesthetic cosmetic surgery here in the UK is called the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons or to give it’s acronym- BAAPS which is kinda funny.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Kim & Ko should feel insulted

I have a guilty affection for the Kardashians. Yes, I know that they’re ridiculously over exposed in the press and largely talentless, but having been unwillingly subjected to their many TV shows (I don’t get much of a say over what’s on TV at work) I must admit I kind of have an odd liking for them.

Too many Ks!- Kourtney, Kim and Khloe.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still baffled at how they’ve become quite so famous, but I find their show amusing in a mindless kind of way and I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Khloe, who I think is quite foxy and endearingly gobby on their show.

Khloe Kardashian- Endearingly gobby.

But I felt a little insulted on their behalf when I read an article about a family who have been dubbed the “Kardashians of the East Midlands”, the family in question are the Marshalls who hold the dubious honour of being “Britain’s most cosmetically enhanced family”. Next to them, the Kardashians look like the Windsors.

The matriarch of the family, Chantal, has undergone 4 boob jobs, and her four eldest daughters- Emma, Tara, Terri and Ripley- have had 10 between them, which have made them looking like a series of illustrations demonstrating how Barbie would age.

The Marshalls

I have nothing against people who have cosmetic surgery, its a personal choice and I know that for some women a boob job is something that helps them feel more confident in themselves, which is definitely a good thing.

And, unlike a lot of the guys they poll on Snog Marry Avoid, I’m not going to lie, and I don’t have a massive problem with the “fake” look. I mean, its not the look I find most attractive, but I don’t feel as strongly about it as some people do.

But the Marshall family completely baffle me. They’ve spent £50,000 on boob jobs and between them have almost 3 litres of silicon inside them.

However, the point that I really lost patience with Chantal is already pushing for her youngest daughter, Britney, to get a boob job. The thing is that Britney is 14.

Chantal stated:

we’ve already starting talking about her getting a boob job. At the moment she doesn’t really have what I would say are boobs — but I’d like her to follow in her sisters’ footsteps.

Well done, lady, way to make your teenage daughter feel insecure about her body. Girls face enough pressure as it is, without their own mother commenting on the fact they don’t have any breasts.

Now, Britney is quite a pretty girl (I can say that, right? Its okay to say that a 14 year old is pretty, I’m not going to get lynched by an angry mob for putting that here, am I? I want to point out there’s a difference between saying that a girl is pretty and being sexually attracted to them) and I find it horrifying to think that she might be pushed to follow this bizarre family tradition and go down the route of painful, needless operations.

Chantal may have chosen to have an operation for personal reasons, but there’s something a little bit disturbing about the way she wants all her daughters to join her in this and go out as a busty, blonde gang together. Its almost like she’s not letting her daughters become individuals and is just interested in making a series of clones of herself, kind of like Dr Evil did with Mini-Me.

The Marshall women with Britney in the front.

You can read the article that inspired this blog here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.