Margaret Thatcher Is Dead

The witch is dead

(This posting is re-blogged courtesty of Another Angry Voice)

It was announced on Monday 8th April that the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was dead. The sense of jubilation at her death is truly remarkable and obviously distressing to the many millions of right-wing people that describe her legacy in glowing terms, even going as far as claiming that she was the best Prime Minister ever, despite her massive unpopularity and her appalling legacy of failure.

The fact that so many people have taken to open celebration of her death is evidence of her legacy. The woman clung to power by dividing society and setting the factions against each other, instead of allowing them to unite against her. Even after her death British society is still clearly divided and the same divisive scapegoating tactics are being used again by the incumbent Tory led government.

Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979, the first ever adherent of neoliberal pseudo-economics to gain power at the ballot box rather than through violent US backed military coups. She remained a lifetime friend of her fellow neoliberal adherent, the murderous Chilean dictator General Pinochet, even going as far as direct intervention to assist Pinochet in evading justice after he was threatened with extradition to Spain to face trial for crimes against humanity.

Margaret Thatcher and her friend, the murderous  Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Margaret Thatcher and her friend, the murderous
Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Thatcher’s rise to power signaled the end of the post-war consensus mixed economy and the beginning of the neoliberal age. The old agreement between the parties that Britain should strive to balance regulated capitalism with state control over vital infrastructure was torn up in favour of Thatcher’s barmy post-industrial dream of a hyper-capitalist nation built around the financial services industry in London.

One of the core tenets of Thatcher’s neoliberal agenda was the firesale of state assets based on the absurdly fallacious reasoning that capitalists can always run things more efficiently than the state. Huge swathes of taxpayer funded industry and infrastructure were given away at bargain basement prices. In some cases such as the sale of British Telecom, the exponential improvements in technology give the impression that privatisation was a success, however the privatisation of utilities like gas, electric and water have severely damaged the UK economy by eroding the disposable income of the public with ever inflating prices, meaning that the public have less money to save or to invest in genuinely productive activity. Even after Thatcher’s demise, this mania for privatisation continued with all kinds of barmy privatisation scams from John Major’s botched privatisation of the railways to Gordon Brown’s massive expansion of PFI economic alchemy schemes. Some of the most barmy privatisations include the sale and leaseback of the HMRC property portfolio to a tax haven based company (seriously) and the privatisation of the UK independent nuclear deterrent into the hands of a consortium 66% owned by US based companies!

Another way in which the Thatcher government fueled the City of London post-industrial fantasy was through the abandonment of capital controls and the deregulation of the financial sector, which opened the floodgates to an unprecedented tax-dodging bonanza. In return for these changes, financial sector interests and major tax-dodgers poured cash into Tory party coffers allowing them to present their loopy free-market ideology as some kind of slick modernisation programme through expensive ad agencies such as Saachi and Saachi. The Thatcher government introduced the new brand of politics where style took precedence over substance and the real political agenda remained hidden behind impenetrable layers of presentation. Subsequent leaders such as Tony Blair and David Cameron have pushed this kind of spin even further, seeming at perfect ease as they outright lie to the public (Iraqi WMDs, David Cameron’s debt reduction lies).

Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch shared a marriage of convenience.  She allowed him to build up a vast anti-competitive press empire, and he  used that empire to back her policies.

Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch shared a marriage of convenience.
She allowed him to build up a vast anti-competitive press empire, and he
used that empire to back her policies.

Slick advertising wasn’t the only way in which the Thatcher government managed public perception. Thatcher allowed right wing interests to build up vast media empires. The most famous example being her intervention to ensure that Rupert Murdoch could buy up the Times newspaper. This marriage of convenience between the UK establishment and Rupert Murdoch has continued to the present day. Murdoch commands a huge audience and continues to be sucked up to by British political leaders despite the shocking revelations about the disgusting criminality and corruption at his newspapers.

Aside from handing over valuable state assets for derisory prices and recklessly deregulating the financial sector, another way in which Thatcher coddled the wealthy was through huge tax cuts justified with the ludicrous trickle down fallacy. Allowing the wealthy to extract ever more wealth from society was never going to enrich the poor as the Thatcherites loved to claim, especially given the the way that the Thatcher regime facilitated offshore tax-dodging. Instead of investing the glut of North Sea oil wealth and the cash raised through privatisations into a sovereign wealth fund like Norway or reinvesting in British industry, Thatcher wasted it all on ludicrous tax breaks for the wealthy.

Another area in which Thatcher wreaked her havoc was in housing policy. Her loathing of anything social led to her direct attacks upon social housing. Her government arranged the firesale of social housing with the stipulation that the money raised could not be reinvested in building more social housing or renovating existing social housing stock. The construction of social housing was all but abandoned in the 1980s and has never resumed.  Othodox neoliberal theory tells us that a reduction in state intervention in the housing market should lead to a rise in private sector housebuilding, however, just like with most neoliberal theory, the reality was completely different and this rise in private sector housebuilding never happened. In fact, private sector housebuilding has declined since the 1980s. The housing shortage created by Thatcher’s assault on social housing led to unsustainable property price inflation, with investors preferring to get fat as ever rising demand pushed their property prices and profit margins upwards, rather than investing in anything productive like the actual construction of new housing.

Thatcher also oversaw the deregulation of the private rental sector and the abolition of security of tenure for private tenants. Countless greedy Thatcherites have sat back and raked in the cash as they allowed other people to pay off their buy-to-let mortgages. This idle rentier class is now a clearly defined Tory demographic. In a way, it is a return to the old days of idle landlords soaking up the wealth of entire communities by renting shit houses to transitory “peasants”. One of the very worst aspects of Thatcher’s housing reforms is that one third of all of the social housing that was sold off on the cheap has now found it’s way into the hands of the idle buy-to-let brigade. In fact, probably the largest former council house property portfolio in the entire country belongs to the son of the minister charged with selling off all those state owned properties in the first place!

In order to build the foundations of this ideologically driven neoliberalisation experiment, Thatcher needed to hobble all opposition and consolidate as much power as possible in her own hands. She castrated local government, closed down the Greater London Council and oversaw a centralisation of the education system (based on privately operated exam boards) that has churned out generation after generation of inadequately prepared an politically naive students.

Thatcher spent eleven consecutive new years eve celebrations with  Jimmy Savile. The idea that he would have been allowed such a close relationship with the Prime Minister without being thoroughly vetted by the security services is frankly laughable.

Thatcher spent eleven consecutive new years eve celebrations with
Jimmy Savile. The idea that he would have been allowed such a close
relationship with the Prime Minister without being thoroughly vetted by
the security services is frankly laughable.

Undoubtedly the most famous way in which she consolidated her own power was through her war on the trade unions. She famously derided the miners that had been the productive backbone of the nation for centuries as “the enemy within” then removed their union powers and crushed their industries, ruining countless communities throughout the industrial heartlands of the UK. The fact that these communities built around their mines, shipyards, and steel factories were predominantly Labour voting areas was absolutely no coincidence. Not only did she castrate their unions and steal their jobs, she had no plan at all for the regions she was destroying, other than to leave them in a permanent state of destitution and social degeneration. It took the outright defiance of Michael Heseltine to save cities like Liverpool from suffering even more from the brutal indifference of Thatcherism.

Such a centralisation of power runs entirely contrary to the libertarian and minarchist principles that supposedly underpin neoliberal theory, but the only way that such a barmy neoliberalisation process could ever have been enforced was through the ruthless revocation of power from anyone that stood in her way. The fact is that all of Thatchers successors have all enjoyed the dictatorial powers she carved out for herself, with very few central government powers being redistributed back to local government.

Another defining characteristic of the Thatcher regime was brazen economic mismanagement. From the massive inflation peaks in the early and late 1980s to the deliberate neglect of British manufacturing, the ever widening trade deficits; and the fact that her government ran constant budget deficits in all but two of the years for which she was Prime Minister (in fact the 1988 and 1989 budget surpluses are the only Tory budget surpluses recorded since 1973, so perhaps, with an 18% budget surplus rate as compared to 0% for all of her Tory party successors, she wasn’t actually that bad by the usual Tory standards).

Still, it didn’t seem to matter that interest rates on people’s mortgages went through the roof, that the long forgotten phenomena of mass unemployment was stalking the land again after a 50 year hiatus, that British industry was collapsing into terminal decline: The right wing press and the Tory propaganda machine spun an unrelentingly positive story of “modernisation” and the public lapped it up and carried on voting for her.

Returning to Thatcher’s war with the trade unions, the ongoing decline in British manufacturing can be traced back to this divisive class war against the working people of Britain. Thatcher’s ideological hatred of the trade unions was so rabid that she would rather the entire industry be destroyed than allow adequate trade union representation for the workforce. A good contrast can be made with Germany, where instead of playing class warfare, with the government and business interests on one side and the workers and trade unions on the other as Thatcher did, they built their industrial strategy on co-operation between the bosses and the unions, even allowing union representatives onto the boards of directors as a matter of course. Thatcher’s divide and rule strategy has resulted in decades of industrial decline, social fragmentation and vast trade deficits, whilst Germany have cemented their place as world leader in the production of high tech machinery, successfully reunified their divided nation and run enormous trade surpluses.

Any commentary on Thatcher would be incomplete without mention of the Falklands. It is quite clear from declassified documents that the conflict was deliberately provoked through the withdrawal of the South Atlantic naval defence. Thatcher was warned several times by military experts that such a withdrawal would be seen as an open invitation for the Argentine military dictatorship to invade. In the buildup to the invasion, Thatcher was languishing in the polls, the most unpopular Prime Minister in history. After the Falklands victory she rode the tide of jingoism to a landslide election victory and a whitewash investigation concluded that the war had been “unavoidable”.

Another incident that must not be forgotten is the Hillsborough disaster where 96 Liverpool FC fans were crushed to death due to police incompetence. It took 23 years for the evidence to be released, evidence which demonstrates beyond any doubt that the Thatcher government and South Yorkshire police colluded in a massive cover-up campaign, where blame was deliberately transferred to innocent Liverpool supporters with the willing assistance of the right-wing press. Especially the S*n, (belonging to Thatcher’s chum Rupert Murdoch) which is still boycotted in the city of Liverpool to this day as a result of the outright lies that were printed about the behavior of Liverpool fans on that tragic day.

The final factor that cannot possibly be excluded is the policy that eventually brought the Thatcher regime down. By the late 1980s Thatcher must have come to believe that she was invincible. She’d crushed the unions, castrated local government, sold off the national silver on the cheap, slashed taxes for her wealthy backers and done it all with three landslide victories at the polls. Her final folly was Poll Tax; a policy so unpopular that it provoked the largest wave of civil disobedience in living memory. Only a power crazed fool with a head full of neoliberal gibberish could possibly have thought that they could get away with imposing it. She was warned by her Tory party colleagues that it wouldn’t float but she persisted with it until she was driven out of office by her own MPs.

Only the blue tinted spectacles brigade would even try to pretend that Thatcher didn’t leave the UK countless toxic legacies such as over-centralised power, adherence to ideological neoliberal pseudo-economics, countless failed privatisations, the massive scale of tax-dodging, industrial decline, mass unemployment, housing policy neglect, rising debt (national, corporate and private), a hopelessly mismanaged education system, political reliance upon the Murdoch empire and the reckless gambling of the deregulated financial sector that eventually led to the global financial sector meltdown. Probably the single thing that stands out above all of these toxic legacies is the way that she ruthlessly destroyed the gains of the post war society, cynically setting sectors of society at each others throats whilst deliberately re-extending the wealth gap.

Another of Thatcher’s toxic legacies was Tony Blair. Many Tories try to deny the link between Thatcher and Blair, however the similarity is absolutely obvious to most people. Tony Blair was quite clearly a Tory in a red tie. Instead of undoing the damage that Thatcher had wrought, he intensified it with more privatisations, more dodgy outsourcing contracts, more Murdoch love-ins, more bank deregulations, more tax-dodging scams and more deliberate neglect of British industry. Even the most rabid Tory would hesitate to contradict Thatcher herself ,and when asked what her greatest achievement in politics was, her reply was “Tony Blair and New Labour”. The affection between the two was mutual, with Blair providing a grotesquely uncritical eulogy to the sworn enemy of anyone remotely left-wing or liberal minded:

Margaret Thatcher was a towering political figure. Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader. Her global impact was vast. And some of the changes she made in Britain were, in certain respects at least, retained by the 1997 Labour Government… As a person she was kind and generous spirited and was always immensely supportive to me as Prime Minister …  you could not disrespect her character or her contribution to Britain’s national life. She will be sadly missed.”

Tony Blair was obviously saddened to hear of the death of his ideological mentor. I thought that I’d be much happier on the day that Thatcher finally died, however, it is absolutely clear from the shape of the UK political landscape that she is actually still alive. All three of the establishment parties are now wedded to her brand of ideologically driven orthodox neoliberalism; the scars of her economic blundering can be seen carved across the landscape and across countless communities; the gap between rich and poor is wider than ever and still growing; the post war welfare system is under ruthless attack from both sides of Parliament; crony capitalism and industrial scale tax-dodging are rife and the tactic of playing elements of society off against each other in order to distract attention away from the villainy of the establishment powers is as prevalent today as it was at the height of Thatcherism.

It doesn’t matter that the woman is so reviled that her grave will have to be kept behind a security cordon to prevent it from becoming an extremely popular open air toilet. It doesn’t matter that she is dead and that people are satisfied that she is gone. Her toxic legacy has not gone, in fact, the current government are busy with schemes that Thatcher herself would never have dared dream of, such as privatising the NHS and simply giving away half of the secondary schools in England, £billions worth of taxpayer funded property and all, for free, to unaccountable private sector interests.

It is 34 years since Thatcher introduced neoliberal pseudo-economics to the UK and we’re still paying the price now. Hell, we’ll still be paying the price in another 34 years given that the entire political establishment is utterly riddled with this rotten ideology. The economic and social destruction she inflicted can never be fully repaired. Too many industries destroyed, too many taxes dodged, too many communities divided and too many generations brought up on the right-wing mantra of “greed good; social conscience bad”.

Reblogged courtesy of: Another Angry Voice

There’s Something About Madonna

Madonna Inn #2

Madonna was in the news [again] recently at the centre of controversy [again] for [another] lewd and raunchy stage performance. To be honest, this isn’t at all surprising as Madonna’s whole career has centred around sexual controversy in a series of masterfully, orchestrated, attention grabbing, performances.

Madonna has been the dominatrix of the media for years. For three decades she has controlled her own controversy like it was a muted, masked, gimp at the end of a leash; and in doing so she has become a multi-millionaire and achieved legendary pop status. Her most recent media hype came during her MDNA Tour in Los Angeles where she performed a ‘striptease’ on stage in support of the young girl who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for promoting women’s rights to education. Well why not? Any rational person would find Madonna’s actions perfectly appropriate to the cause wouldn’t they? Only just last week I considered uploading a sex tape on YouTube of myself with a prostitute and three grey squirrels to draw attention to my blog… oh, and highlight the plight of… of… erm… yeah, the plight of the Syrian freedom fighters – yaay!

I’ve never been a huge fan of Madonna’s music, although I have nothing against the woman herself. As 50-odd year old women go – aside from her vampire-white, tissue paper skin – Madonna is looking good; and I’m sure the dirty old mare still knows a trick or two in the bedroom (I certainly wouldn’t kick her out of bed for menopausal sweating). I’ve always had a soft spot for  women who are unfairly labelled as ‘slutty’. I find women who are open about their sexual proclivities tend to be open and honest about everything else. And they are great fun. It’s just that Madonna’s pseudo-erotic publicity seeking routines are getting a little bit predictable and tired. Times have moved on and Madonna isn’t ahead of them anymore. Not only that – elderly feminine rights aside – she’s old and it just looks so desperate, sad, and glaringly cheap.

You can’t really knock Madonna’s achievements. She is pop-royalty, for sure. I was a kid when she first broke onto the scene in 1982 and for me that style she had made her look accessible. She was like the older, precocious, teenage chick at the school disco, who would take you by the hand to the toilets, pull you into a cubicle, remove her chewing gum, unzip your pants and give you a blow job with a smile. She was energetic, rude and playful, but instead of being considered as slutty, she was just a liberated, horny, 80’s chick. A throwback to the hippy-chick of the sixties, but with brighter colours, more makeup, more hair dye and more cleavage. Her music wasn’t really any good, but she was shagging John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez, one of the most successful producers of the time, so she was onto a winner. With MTV pumping out of TV screens 24hrs a day, pimping out pop-music for all it’s worth with flesh, neon, flashing lights and trashy fashion, this horny Italian-American chick in raunchy outfits, thrusting and gyrating and bouncing around like she just wants to party, singing stupid songs with catchy beats and lyrics about material girls living in material worlds getting touched for the very first time – this was the dawn of the age of decadence and excess – Madonna had arrived whilst the rest of the world had come.

Sex sells, and for the remainder of her long and successful musical career, Madonna sold sex like nobody else could (Madonna also did some acting and film stuff, but she wasn’t very good). She milked the tit of sex marketing for every last drop – hetero sex, homo sex, group sex, dirty sex, sleazy sex, kinky sex, inter-racial-religious sex – stage shows, videos, risqué clothes, even a book – Madonna used anything that was left to the imagination to sell herself and she did it very, very, well.

After all the sex and erotica Madonna did on and off stage in the 80’s and 90’s she decided to become a mum. But for all intent and purposes, her public image was more like a nun. Despite a past of promoting decadence and debauchery, she named her first daughter after the one the world’s most famous religious shrines, Lourdes. She then married British film director Guy Ritchie, gave birth to son Rocco and moved to England where she attempted to adopt the mantle of landed gentry, even going as far as buying her own little in-house African – a baby boy she ‘adopted’ in Malawi and named David. But it seems the Noughties were a confusing period for Madonna. This was a period where she attempted to be an English wife, an orphan rescuer and a Kabala spiritualist, but still found time to give Britney Spears a tongues-in kiss on stage to grab some attention. But what is it all about? What is Madonna’s message? Does Madonna really have a message? And if she does have a message is it simply, “Buy my records, come to my shows and look at me, damn you”?

videos

I really don’t know what Madonna’s message has been over the years. After all that slutting about on and off stage, the whole English Ma’am period seemed like some sort of penance. A last snatch (no pun intended) at respectability before entering middle age. But clearly she’s fallen off the wagon. The publicity lure of the lewd and lurid is too much of a draw for the world’s greatest exhibitionist, and even at the age of 54 she still feels the need to strip off and gyrate around the stage in front of thousands of people. Why she still does it I can only guess. She certainly doesn’t need the money or the fame, so perhaps she just needs to be seen. I just can’t figure out what the deep message is that she’s promoting. Sting was a muso-eco-warrior, Bono has his politics, 50 Cent has his street cred and Noel Gallagher has Man City. Madonna has conical bra’s and extravagant outfits, spiritualism and muscular body image, extravagant outfits and gay friends, concerns for poverty in Africa and sexual liberation, lots of hairdo’s, lots of sex and lots of publicity – but where has she been going with it all?

Apart from sex, erotica and publicity, I can’t really see a common thread in Madonna’s ethical causes, which is what makes me wonder if there really is any. Sure she has inspired millions across the globe and will legitimately lay her claim as one of the 20th centuries greatest female icons and exponent of sexual liberation, but I just find no ethical cohesion in it all. The positive stuff seems simply to be a bi-product of the marketing of Madonna and her pathological need for celebrity attention. If she had have retired and opened a legal whorehouse in Nevada and campaigned for reform in the laws governing the sex industry and greater efforts to combat sex trafficking around the world, I would have felt like I understood the woman better and had a greater respect for her. But all I see is someone who is pushing an envelope that was opened and had its contents exposed years ago. Someone who is in denial of an intractable fact of the female aesthetic – youth is beauty. This is something that is embedded in the biological gene pool of the human species and not even Madonna can change that – but then again maybe she isn’t, I just don’t know. I just wish she would stop. Just go away and leave me with the images of the 80’s and 90’s. Continually being reminded that Madonna is still performing the same sex routine messes with my sense of chronological equilibrium. Go and sit by a piano and do acapella covers to old classics, just stop thrusting your gusset out at us all for chrissakes.

* I have deliberately refrained from including pictures of Madge in this post, you know what she looks like.

Partner, Friend, Lover, or Just a Contracted Call Girl?

‘Partner’; it’s a modern expression that is commonly used to describe your misses/fella/girlfriend/boyfriend. I think it’s an expression that’s been partly introduced to accommodate the gender-diverse relationships in contemporary society, but also it’s used as a marker of the degree of respect that men must now have for the aspiring, independent modern woman. Let’s face it, I don’t think the men in the lives of women like Katherine Bigelow, Angela Merkel, Christina Fernandez, Kate Blanchett or Fatima Whitbread would get away with referring to their other halves as ‘Er indoors’ or ‘Mi bird’ for too long. And I guess if you’re all hip and bi-sexual like Jessie J, or just weird and try-sexual like Alex Reid, the old traditional terms would be a bit limiting as a reference for the other person that you are… well, whatever it is you now call the monogamous ‘thing’ that you’re having with another person. Personally though, I hate it. It’s so… dare I say – unromantic. It’s devoid of any passion or emotive sentiment. It’s a term that conjures up images of practical, organised, convenience rather than hot, sexual abandon, or deep passionate, desire, or the warm, fuzzy, heart fluttering of lurve. Put it this way, I don’t want to be in a partnership with someone who I also want to sit on my face. I don’t want to be in a partnership with someone who I cuddle up to in the morning, or divulge my innermost fears and desires with, or dribble uncharacteristic sentiments to when we both see a beautiful sunset. I suspect in business that most partners tolerate each other for mutual benefit, like Clegg and Cameron, or the business beggars and those sharks on Dragons Den – someone is getting a better deal than the other but, ah well, at least it’s something. That doesn’t really sound like the stuff that loving dreams are made of. But perhaps that’s as good as it gets in a modern relationship.

I had an ex-girlfriend who I thought I loved. She was in her mid-twenties. We shagged each others’ brains out at every opportunity. We went partying and got drunk and high and danced the night away. We went for days out in the countryside when it was sunny and picnicked on the grass. It was great – for a time. I love the ‘honeymoon period’ and confess to having trouble moving beyond that period. But this went beyond the honeymoon period and when the bitch dumped me I was pretty broken up about it. I just couldn’t get those good times out of my mind. However, when I stopped floundering pathetically in the lovesick headfuck that being dumped causes and started to think rationally about what our relationship actually was, I eventually got over her. You see, the truth of the matter was, aside from the sex and the fun, she didn’t really contribute much. I couldn’t tell you what her opinion was on anything, because in-between shagging and partying she was a catatonic spectator on the sofa. I couldn’t tell you about an instance she comforted me in a time of need, because whenever I had a time of need she didn’t want to see me because I was being miserable. All I can tell you is how much she could drink and how much fun we had when we went out; ironically it was the rest that was a blur.

Culture killer, passion killer!

In recent news a headmistress at a girls boarding school condemned Kim Kardashian as “almost everything that is wrong with Western society”. When reading the feature and looking at the two women, a cruel, shallow part of me couldn’t help but think that the lady who looked like David Rappaport’s identical twin sister was just jealous of the lady who looked like the woman you close your eyes and visualise when you’re having sex with your ‘partner’. Kim Kardashian is what you would call ‘hot’, there’s no doubt. And although I don’t know the woman, my male instinct says “Yes, I would like to pound the living daylights out of that ‘bootay’ and everything that is attached”. But no matter how great she is to look at, if she was shallow, characterless and intellectually vapid, she would not last beyond a dozen good sessions before I’d get bored and start looking at her sisters – maybe even her mum. Beauty is more than skin deep – you have to have a great body under that skin too, and Kim definitely has – but just being a sexy bitch doesn’t cut it. So although Kim Kardashian isn’t the first sex kitten to be built up by the media as a female icon of sexual perfection, I’m inclined to agree to a degree with David Rappaport’s sister.

Sex sells and contemporary young women do often demean themselves by reducing their worth to the sum of that part between their legs. They (and the media) know that most men think with their dicks, and provided she is accommodating in bed a modern women thinks that she has control over her man. But what many women fail to understand is that a penis is a fickle beast. That old saying about men wanting a womanto be ‘a chef in the kitchen, a lady in the living room and a whore in the bedroom’ isn’t far from the truth. But a man also wants a best mate who he can have great sex with without being gay, and in my own personal experience of the modern woman, they seem to think that it’s just the ‘whore in the bedroom’ bit that counts. Not so. When I think back over my relationship with my Ex – indeed, many of the relationships I’ve had – it was me breaking the sweat in the bedroom, it was me who served up the best culinary delights at tea time, it was me who drove us to the countryside and bought the meals and the drinks. In retrospect it seemed to me that they just hung around waiting to get laid and entertained. Which, to be fair, is pretty enjoyable if you like entertaining; but only to a point.

“Nice vajazzel love, but I’m bloody starvin’!”

It has been suggested to me that I’ve been going out with the wrong kind of women, but I’ve been out with all kinds of women. It’s been suggested that I’m too fussy, but with only one life to live fussy doesn’t come into it. It’s been suggested to me that I’m just a twat – that may be true. All I’m saying here  – and this isn’t directed at all women – is if modern young women were to take their head out of those bullshit magazines and concentrate more on what their own man wants rather than what the fictional Cosmo / Marie Claire / Elle magazine man wants, she might be surprised at just how easy it is. The women who edit those magazines have the luxury of status and a great pay package to keep them warm and happy at night. The men they’re talking about are fabricated from other men based of polls from other magazines made up from opinions expressed by other contrived opinions created by magazine and media editors – in short, they don’t exist in real life. Neither does Kim Kardashian – even if she is in a reality TV show; a show that shows a reality that isn’t real.

I’m aware that the traditional role of a man is that of the arrogant, ‘two pumps and a squirt’, unreliable, philandering, twat; but I’m not that man, and I know a lot of guys who aren’t that bad either (but if you are one of those other guys, you need to up your game Brother!) But by taking her cue from the media, the modern young woman seems to think that the key to independence is all about being sexy and having fun and all she has to do is ensure that she looks good, sucks good and fucks good, and she is fulfilling her end of a relationship. Well to be brutally honest, a regular hooker can do that too, she’d probably work out a lot cheaper in the long run, and you wouldn’t have to put up with her shit.

I know those of you with ovaries who are reading this will be cursing me as a chauvinistic prick, but flattery will get you nowhere. And besides, I’m not the one who’s selling you the false dreams, just take a look at some of your modern icons – from Madonna to Ga Ga, Beyonce to Minaj – all they promote is booty, breasts, fake tan, clothes and surgery. None of that shit makes me love you any longer than my erection lasts, but during that erect period I promise to promise you the world. However, if you bring something more lasting to the party then I might give you something more lasting back in return.

Just some of the contents of a weekend bag.

Despite what I said at the start, relationships are a partnership of sorts, so if your man isn’t keeping his end up [so to speak], tell him. That’s where the independence comes in; you can now demand your respect and make the choice of walking away. Equality isn’t about having the freedom to do all the bad things men are traditionally known to do, it’s more about freedom of choice. So choose to do what you want to do, not what a magazine has advised you to do. Men are very complex creatures with very simple needs for the most part, and I assure you that no matter how good you look, suck, or fuck, he will eventually just prefer you could cook.