Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Titania McGrath is Brought to Life at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019


Titania McGrath was created by the satirist Andrew Doyle as a series of tweets, which then grew into a book and has now been brought to life on the stage by Alice Marshall. If you hurry you can see it as I did last night as it runs up to and including Sunday. Tickets cost just over a tenner, which as Titania says is only the price of a decent flat latte.

So who is Titania McGrath? Well, she is everything that normal people hate, but according to her, she is a typical Kensington girl, with a modest trust find and a burning desire for social justice. In other words, she is a parasite who wants to make the lives of the rest of as difficult as possible. The Titania's of the country have been riding the cultural wave for several decades now and as anyone who has ever read the Guardian will know, the Brexit vote has created terror in their ranks as they contemplate what the plebs who outnumber them could do if they set their minds to it. 

Andrew Doyle's creation is the start of the process that will hopefully end with the real-life woke warriors back in their boxes having learned the meaning of the word defeat. We have a long way to go yet, but the book and now the one-woman performance can be said to mark the start of that process.

How good is the play? Well, it is good, but it still needs a script that has been tightened up some more, since it tends to wander from one thing to another until it ended up as a mixture of stand up comedy with some vignettes added. I liked the running joke about Titania's plans to set up a new political party called Shame UK, and it might have been a good idea to make the whole 45-minute performance the introduction of the new party. 

That said, when you look at the way that the Federasts are behaving both inside and outside the Commons, you might argue that it is impossible to parody the parody of British life that they have already created. That is doubly so when you consider that some of them blame Dad's Army for Brexit and others hold that air-conditioning is inherently sexist. Only then can you consider just how difficult it is to parody people who are so lacking in self-awareness that they do not realise how risible they are to normal people.

I was also dubious about interspersing Titiana's execrable poetry into the play, but that might just be me: I tend to the view that poetry by its very nature is pretty bloody execrable.

The Edinburgh fringe is the place where new works get their first outing before the changes are made that lead to their successful transfer to the London stage and given what I saw last night, this one should be odds-on the make the transfer very soon. Especially if the producers keep Alice Marshall in the title role.


She really did bring the character to life, and everything about her performance reeked of the privilege that the metropolitan woke generation regard as their right to impose on the rest of us. Sadly, the audience lacked a few members of the pure at heart who can be expected to make a loud exit half-way through a performance such as this and provide easy laughs for the rest of us. I believe that on other nights there have been such disruptions and that Alice Marshall is now pretty adept at making sure that they exit the theatre with their tails between their legs which is the way it should be. Alas, none of them was in the almost full house yesterday.

At the end of the play, I asked her to sign my copy of Woke, which she did. She was also, I thought, pleased that I called her Miss Marshall and not Miss McGrath, which leads me to wonder if some people do not believe that the actress really is the character. If they do, then I think she should take that as a complement to her theatrical presence, as she really did allow Titania McGrath to shine, in all her loathsome splendour.  


Friday, 16 August 2019

My Family and Peterloo


Today is the 200th anniversary of Peterloo and in the 1880s a photograph was taken of a group of people which was published as The Failsworth Veterans of Peterloo, and the first time I saw it I damn near choked on my tea. Sitting at the front of the group the fat man on the left is Thomas Schofield, with Alice, his wife who is dressed all in black on the right. When I showed this photograph to my parents in the 1980s my dad remarked ruefully that you expect buggers like the Schofields to have been involved in events like that.

My mother's family rented 29 Old Road, Failsworth, Manchester, from the Schofield family from before the Great War to about 1960 when we moved into number 31 right next door. My mother told people that we had the gipsy in us, you see...

No matter which house it was the Schofield's owned the whole block and every time it rained the tenants had to put buckets in the bedrooms to catch the water. If we had a typical British summer then my dad got very little sleep as those buckets filled very quickly and needed regular emptying. In winter the back yard became a skating rink, which made a trip to the bog an interesting experience.

A descendant of the Peterloo couple was Redfern Schofield who was the head of the family when I was a very small boy. He became a conscientious objector in the Great War and was always called Old Conchie by my time. 



On my wall today I have the above photo of my mother's maternal uncle, Fred Burden, his wife Maggie and their daughter. When my maternal grandmother died in 1920 her three brothers met up, in a pub of course, and decided what to do with her three children. Fred Burden got Rose, my mother, and she joined his family as one of Old Conchie's tenants. The photo was taken in about 1916 and shows Fred Burden proudly wearing his army uniform as one of Kitchener's Volunteers. He died in 1926 at the age of 40...

Fast forward to 1939 and Dick Schofield, Redfern's son, was also a conchie, and he was known as Young Conchie to differentiate him from his dad. My father, who married my mother just after the war ended, served in the Royal Artillery and helped lug a 25-pounder around Europe. My mother worked six 12-hour shifts a week at the Avro-Roe factory that built the Lancaster bombers that did so much to dehouse the population of Germany during the 1940s.


This photo shows the whole block that was owned by the Schofield family. On the far left you can just see the Schofield's shoe shop at number 27 Old Road and across the street and opposite was their furniture warehouse, since demolished. One night in the 1950s some blokes were hard at work breaking into the warehouse and my mum woke dad up to tell him. He told her to go back to sleep and ignore it, which she did.

The Schofield family was made up of Nonconformist, Liberal, teetotal, sanctimonious, anally-retentive, self-righteous gits. My father was a labourer, my mother a dressmaker and they were both low-Anglicans who voted Tory because you don't vote for the landlord's party, do you?

Just over a decade after Peterloo the Great Reform Act was passed which enfranchised the Schofield men and their ilk. They became the local petty capitalists which was the sum total of their desires. I suspect they were like Thatcher's family and people like that are always loathed by the bulk of the local population who would make a point of adopting a political view contrary to theirs because their interests are invariably not ours. It is probably why when the bulk of working men got the vote in the 1880s many voted Tory; my family certainly did and the first time my parents ever voted Labour was in 1983. They recognised in Thatcher a creature so loathsomely typical of the petty capitalist class that she forced them to break the habits of a lifetime.

So, when looking at Peterloo, you need to remember that many of the demonstrators were not proto-Leninists who battled to overthrow the existing order. They were aspirational arsewipes who wanted to enjoy their place within that order and pretty soon after 1819 that is exactly what they did.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Why Did The Brexit Party Lose Peterborough?

Why did The Brexit Party lose the Peterborough by-election? There may be lots of reasons, but the main one seems to be the old problem that all insurgent parties have in that they rely on enthusiasm rather than organisation to achieve victory and it seldom works.

Labour's victory was down to good organisation. The constituency was canvassed several times so the party knew where its supporters were. That information was put into a databank so that on election day tellers could be put at every single polling station to collect voter numbers. Those were fed into the database so that in the evening, the party knew more or less which of its supporters had failed to vote. Then cars were sent out to collect the non-voters and ferry them to their polling stations.

This system was invented in Reading and first used in the 1945 election. It helped get Ian Micardo elected and was quickly copied by the rest of the Labour Party before all the other parties copied the Reading system themselves. 

The old Liberal Party excelled at it. Since they lacked much in the way of constituency organisation, the Liberals set up a nationally organised group of activists where were expert in the Reading system and when a by-election was called they were sent out to the constituency to run the local campaign. The local activists were dragooned into acting as foot soldiers by those national organisers and the Liberals quickly acquired a reputation as ferocious by-election campaigners with a string of victories.


The Brexit Party has become an expert at social media, at photo-ops that show Nigel Farage with a man of the people pint in his hand and at getting the mass media to follow its lines. What it failed to do in Peterborough is what it has always failed to do ever since Farage was in UKIP. It cannot organise its election campaigns efficiently and it leaves too much to local enthusiasm and blind luck.

Today, any political party can buy in canvassing tools, so there is no excuse for this cack-handedness. The most popular one is called Nation Builder and the company which sells the software even throws in a free, online set of tutorials that are aimed specifically at first-time candidates and their staffs.

The Brexit Party had a good candidate in Mike Greene who is well-known in Peterborough, a positive message and lots of enthusiasm. It lost against Labour's poor candidate, confusing message over Brexit, but ruthlessly efficient by-election machine.

The Brexiteers need to copy that winning strategy as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Siobhan Prigent, a Federast Who Enjoys Watching the Elderly Being Attacked


Meet Siobhan Charlotte Prigent, a graduate of the intellectual powerhouse that is the "University" of Glamorgan and one of the mouthy Federasts who enjoyed demonstrating against Donald Trump yesterday in London. If you can't tell the difference between the two images, Siobhan is the fat ball of lard and the other is the big orange balloon filled with air.


Here's another image from her Twitter page. God knows what the text is supposed to say as I can only read English and Spanish;  Gibberish has never been my strong point.


Here she is screaming "Nazi scum" over and over again at an old man who had to misfortune to find himself surrounded by Siobhan and her unwashed cronies.


Then when someone threw a milkshake over him, she stopped screaming and started to laugh. What a brave fighter for the Progressive ethos she is to be sure.

Or not as the case may be. You see the internet decided that this naughty little girl needed a virtual spanking so set out to administer one to her.

First, she was named as Siobhan Charlotte Prigent by any number of Twitter feeds and websites.

Then her company, an off-the-shelf outfit based in Manchester called Vlek Ltd received an enormous amount of unwanted comments which will do wonders for its future profitability I am sure. Not that she will care, I suspect, since she only set it up last September, and still spends most of her time in London doing various short-term clerical non-jobs in the public sector.

Faced with this, Siobhan did what the middle class always do when things go wrong, she went into full arse-crawling apology mode:


When that was not enough, because by then the whole internet was in full payback mode, she deleted her Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts and went to ground.
 


Normally, I would not bother about such a lump of lard, except to note that Siobhan is about half my age and twice as fat. However, this illustrates the important truth that the middle class are either snarling at our throats or crawling at our feet. Siobhan, like all of her tribe, is only brave when she thinks that her actions do not have any consequences.

When they learn that they do, especially when it relates to their desire to arsecrawl up the bureaucratic or corporate ladder, then they run like kicked curs. 

Since all we do is regard bastard fucking work as the price we pay for our money, we are pretty much invulnerable in that area and can do as we please in our own time.

As Siobhan found out just recently, that does not apply to her and her kind. That makes them vulnerable and that is another factor that will help ensure the final victory for the Brexiteers.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Have You Voted for the Brexit Party Yet?


Have you voted yet? If you have half a mind to vote for anyone other than The Brexit Party, don't worry, that's all you need. If you don't believe me, just look what happened to 82-year-old, ex-soldier Don McNaughton who was telling for The Brexit Party outside a polling station in Aldershot:


Don reported that a poncy millennial type gave him the middle finger and then went away to return with a milkshake which he threw all over him. As far as I know, Don has refused to go home to get changed, instead, he is manning his polling station and letting everyone see just what the Federasts are like.

The Neo-Quislings are doing this because they are scared. Actually, they are more than scared, they are shitting their loads at the thought of the stuffing that they are going to get in these elections.

Your duty if you have not already voted is to go and cast your ballot against these tossers. Vote Brexit Party to put them firmly back in their boxes with the raucous, contemptuous cries of the British people ringing in their ears.

Vote Brexit Party Today


Today the British people have a duty to stand up for their democracy by voting for The Brexit Party. This is not about sending men and women to ride the Brussels' gravy train; quite simply it is about telling Westminster that we voted to leave the European Union in 2016 and we damn well expect them to carry out our wishes and get us out.

All we know is that The Brexit Party is ahead in the opinion polls, but we cannot be sure how far in front the party is. That is why it is vital that every man and woman who is entitled to vote drags themselves along to their polling station and votes.

The message has to go out that we are sick and tired of the delay. We no longer care who is responsible for that delay as we now hold the whole House of Commons collectively responsible for it.

Vote Brexit Party to tell them again that leave means leave!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Tommy Robinson Looks Likely to Win a Seat in the Euro Elections


Political activist Tommy Robinson is standing as an independent candidate for the North West region in the Euro elections. I have to be honest and say that I didn't take his candidacy all that seriously until fairly recently when word reached me that there was a reasonable chance that he might be elected.

Digging a bit deeper you can start to see why. Just have a look at this very entertaining video and see the people who are demonstrating against him:



Have you ever seen such a bunch of freaks, weirdoes and general soap dodgers in your life? Such creatures only serve to discredit socialism by claiming that they are socialists. 

If Tommy Robinson is elected on Thursday you can be sure that his electorate were just as much negatively voting against the freakshow as they were voting positively for him.
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