Sunday April 21, 2019
Tom Winnifrith Postcard - an ode to my ancestral homelands in the Grim North
Photo Article from the Greek Hovel - good news and bad
Photo Article - walking around Stourhead with the Mrs and Joshua, the end of the Booker family memory lane

PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast - Steve Moore heads to Wolverhampton, the sex capital of Britain, for Stag weekend hell

71 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/40905/tom-winnifrith-bearcast-steve-moore-heads-to-wolverhampton-the-sex-capital-of-britain-for-stag-weekend-hell

Tom Winnifrith

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A new take on #MeToo – Hillary Clinton gives CEOs a green light to fuck the entire intern pool

188 days ago

Well it is either that or Crooked Hillary is lining up the biggest double standard in the history of the Democrat party and that takes some doing. I refer of course to her husband, the serial sexual predator Bill Clinton and the intern with whom he had sex in the Oval Office of the White House, Ms Monica Lewinsky.

Clearly Old Bill had a position of power and in today’s climate that would make his relationship with a then twenty two year old intern Monica Lewinsky a big deal. For those who cannot remember the sordid details, Mr Clinton stated “I did not have sex with that woman.”  Ms Lewinsky produced a blue dress with Clinton’s semen on it, the result of her blowing him off in the Oval Office.

But according to Mrs Clinton Lewinsky was a consenting adult and thus Bill had no reason to quit and there is no shame there. Hmmmmmmm so does every CEO in town now have the green light to fuck his company’s entire intern pool as long as they are consenting adults? Really? Is that how Hillary views #Metoo because I sense that many in the sisterhood don’t quite view it that way.

Or perhaps  the Democrat party continues to apply the most monstrous double standards on all counts when it comes to the actions of and apologists for the Clinton crime family.

Admin

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Love Island more popular than Oxbridge - Rod Liddle is a genius

317 days ago

You may not be aware of "Love island" but it is trash reality TV and oh, well just use your imagination. It is more about sex than love but "sex island" is not such a catchy name. You may also not be a Sun Reader. Nor am I normally but just now and then Rod Liddle tempts me in. In case you are not a Sun Reader I offer you a few words from his latest column which is the work of a genius.

THERE are grave worries about the state of our nation. Apparently, more people applied to be on Love Island than applied to get into Oxford and Cambrdige universities.

Hmmm. It’s a close call for me.

Spend a few weeks in the sunshine surrounded by people with the IQ of a shrubbery and suntans created out of Bisto gravy granules.

Or spend three years with braying public-school tossers being taught politically correct idiocies by grim liberals in corduroy jackets.

I think, on both counts, I’m out.

Tom Winnifrith

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Ciaran O'Brian of William Hill you really are speaking as an unacceptable face of capitalism - re FOBT

410 days ago

https://www.shareprophets.com/views/34741/ciaran-o-brian-of-william-hill-you-really-are-speaking-as-an-unacceptable-face-of-capitalism-re-fobt

Tom Winnifrith

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So if Labour is really serious about sexual harassment what about Fiona Jones MP?

536 days ago

Fiona Jones died a decade ago of alcohol related illness. She was a broken woman found dead lying among empty vodka bottles. Just a decade earlier she had been elected to Parliament as the MP for Newark, a Blair Babe with all to look forward to. But things all went horribly wrong for her. And a major factor in that was alleged sexual harassment by a very senior minister in the Blair and Brown governments and everyone at Westminster and in the media knows who.

Writing after her death the Daily Mail noted:

She used to laugh about the notion of the 'sisterhood' and said it was fiction." The situation was not helped, it seems, by rumours in Westminster that Fiona was enjoying an extramarital affair with an influential party figure.

"She confided in me that some of the female MPs were jealous of her profile and started suggesting she was being given a little assistance," the friend says. "It was laughable. "But Fiona was convinced there was a whispering campaign against her among certain sections of the Labour Party, who saw her as a liability after her conviction, even though she was subsequently cleared."

The truth, in fact - if Fiona is to be believed - is more sinister. Two years ago, she revealed to a tabloid newspaper that she had been on the receiving end of a persistent campaign of harassment from the same senior politician - now a Government minister - to whom she had been romantically linked. He had, she says, pestered her for sex and then cold-shouldered her both personally and professionally after she rejected his advances.

One friend in whom she confided told the Mail: "Fi had complained that this man had been leaving flirtatious messages on her answerphone at home and that he'd been very flirtatious with her in public. "She was very upset about it, particularly as on one occasion her husband had questioned her about it."

The flirtatious overtures culminated, Fiona claimed, in the politician propositioning her for sex during the Labour Party Conference of 1997. "I walked into the lift and he followed me," she revealed. "Then suddenly he gave me a kiss and added: 'Shall we go to your room?' It was obvious he wanted sex.

"He was close enough for me to tell he was aroused. I was shocked and turned him down, only to be told: 'Do you know what I can do for you?' It was clear what he meant - he had the power to make or break careers."

She had spurned his advances, she said, and the following morning been roundly cold-shouldered during a political photocall. Later, when she asked the same politician for a character reference as she fought her election expenses case, he robustly refused.

As one insider put it: "Everyone knows who she was accusing. It is not a secret by any stretch of the imagination."

Ends

The point here is that Jones made the accusation at the time and no-one in Labour lifted a finger to investigate it.. Everyone at Westminster and in the media knows who the very senior figure is but perhaps he was deemed so senior that he was above investigation then? This chap still appears regularly on your TV screen to bat for Labour  so will his party now conduct an enquiry even though poor Mrs Jones is dead to show that no-one is too powerful to get away with this sort of thing?

Or if the alleged harasser is still deemed important enough does the Labour Party just focus on Tory sinners, arguing I'm alright Jack and move on.

Tom Winnifrith

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Hey Crooked Hillary - about Harvey Weinstein's $250,000 and that $3 million wedding of your brat Chelsea

552 days ago

The Clinton Foundation has today said that it will not be returning a $250,000 donation from a loathsome man who used his position to get sex from young women and is an alleged rapist. No silly, I am not talking about Bill Clinton but his fellow progressive Democrat and erstwhile campaigner for women's rights, Mr Harvey Weinstein. Natch the mainstream liberal media sees nothing wrong in this arguing that all the money was spent on good causes. But that is a lie.

Harvey's donation was tax deductible so the US taxpayer was the first loser as he handed over his cash to the foundation run by his fellow rapist and Lady MacBeth. The Clinton Foundation paid vast salaries to its staffers including, of course, the spoiled brat Chelsea. Worse still, the leaked Wikileaks emails (nothing to do with Russia according to Wikileaks whatever the Crooked One says in her new godawful book) showed that the Foundation also helped pay for Chelsea's $3 million wedding.

So no... the cash from disgraced Harvey did not all go on good causes. Unless of course you consider that celebrating the wedding of the daughter of the Crooked One to be a good cause.

Tom Winnifrith

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Tom Winnifrith Postcard: say what you like about Tony Blair he can, like no other, unite the Nation - We all hate him

791 days ago

Tony Blair has weighed into the Brexit debate with a speech that has demonstrated why, with the possible exception of Mr Rolf Harris, he has an unrivalled ability to unite the nation. We all despise him and indeed his whole wretched family. In today's postcard look at into why this is and what the old war criminal actually said why that is just so utterly wrong and indeed nauseating, at every level. Warning: this audio contains mention of Mr Blair having sex with the Wicked Witch, a thought some listeners may find disturbing.

Tom Winnifrith

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Happy Birthday Peter Tatchell - enjoy your bus pass old man

816 days ago

I would be lying if I said that I agreed with everything that Peter Tatchell said or wrote. I do not, for instance, believe that cottaging is a basic human right which the State should allow. Have sex with whom you want but whether you are straight or gay you should, in my view, not engage in sex in public as that infringes on the rights of others. Having said all of that, freedom of speech is what makes living in Britain vaguely tolerable and over the past forty years Tatch has used that freedom to great effect campaigning not only on LGBT issues but on exposing the actions of Robert Mugabe and many other good causes.

Tatchell writes today of how he has survived oppression as a gay man, which he will have done in less enlightened times when he was much younger, the Aids pandemic which so thinned the ranks of his generation and having Robert Mugabe's thugs break most bones in his body. As he turns 65 today, there is no doubt that he has put his body on the line for what he believes in and is one of, if not the, bravest and most principled spokespeople for civil liberties in the UK. We would be a poorer and less free nation without him.

I have always thought Tatchell was far younger than he is. I wonder if he uses a less than up to date photo on twitter? Before anyone says anything, mine is just five years old and I really will update it this year. But I do not expect near pensioners to confront the security guards of Africa's Hitler but that is exactly what Tatchell did. While many folks stop fighting for what they believe in as they get older, Tatchell never seems to give up - the fire still burns within him.

That he is principled is beyond doubt. Unlike me he has been offered a gong several times. He has actually done what I would do, reject the honour because he is a Republican and because the honours system is utterly corrupt. Whether you agree with Peter Tatchell on some things or or nothing or on most things he is a man who you just have to admire.

I hope that he has a wonderful birthday and enjoys his bus pass, winter fuel allowance and free TV license to the full and keeps on speaking out, on matters where I agree with him and also where I disagree with him vehemently, for many years to come.

Tom Winnifrith

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Listening to Radio 4's Today & C4 News engage with fuckwit millennials can be like watching your parents have sex

950 days ago

I stress that I did not watch my father and mother in action but one imagines that even contemplating the idea of such a spectacle is the most toe curlingly embarrassing act one can consider. That is until you listen to middle aged and elderly TV and radio news presenters pandering to fuckwit millennials as they try to play Daddy Cool.

Over on Channel 4 News old Jon Snow and his portly pal Krishnan are always talking about the exciting "Grime" scene. For those of you who are not as cool as Jon & the Boyz of the C4 possy, that is a form of popular music noted for being utterly crap which will be consigned to the dustbin of history by the summer of 2018. One imagines that back home Mr Snow, who is aged 69, probably plays some Stones ( as in Rolling not Roses) or maybe sings along to some Dylan. Krishnan - who is roughly my age - is surely a man who appreciates Guns n Roses or perhaps Blur. The idea that either of these two intelligent, if crushingly earnest and left wing , men actually like Grime is ludicrous. Yet on an almost weekly basis they play homeage to this rubbish.

Over on Radio 4's Today programme the BBC tried last week to get down with the yoof by running a feature on the closure of Fabric. This is a night club where folks keep dying after taking drugs. Having lived in London's central night club zone when I was a bit younger I can only imagine the horrors local residents put up with as young folk who are off their head on drugs rush around the streets at 4 AM vomiting, shouting, having sex with each other and engaging in acts of petty crime. But all that does not seem to matter it is the drug deaths that has finally goaded Islington Council into revoking the license. Good news all round.

"Oh no it is not" say loads of young folk who have only just stopped wetting their knickers and demanding the restoration of democracy by shooting all old people and then voting again on Brexit, and so now are on social media outraged at this latest national tragedy. The BBC Radio 4 team are all Daddy Cool and so interviewed a fellow called DJ Yoda who described this nightclub as "such an important part of British culture"..."an integral part of British culture".

Really? A nightclub 99% of the population has never heard of and who 99.9% of the population have never visited is right up there with Shakespeare, Lords Cricket Ground, We shall Fight Them on the Beaches, The Domesday Book and Magna Carta, a Chicken Tikka, and a list of hundreds of other things which nearly all of us in Briton are somehow aware of in a very real way.

DJ Yoda was talking obvious crap. But for the BBC to point this out would have been a) perceived by the BBC as being uncool in the eyes of the millennials to whom it panders daily and b) almost certainly a hate crime of some sort and c) an insult to all those hard working students who have just delivered another year of record A*s at A level.

There are some days when after a few minutes of listening to Radio 4 or watching Channel 4 you start to think about your parents as it is just that little bit less toe curlingly embarrassing.

Tom Winnifrith

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The Jury said not guilty but the Police can now get a man labelled as a sex offender anyway

1006 days ago

Truly life in Airstrip One gets more terrifying each day. Moving on from the Orwellian antics of PC Plod in Nottinghamshire described earlier, we now discover how the filth in North Yorkshire are dealing with those found innocent by juries who they don't like. Meet the man who needs Police permission, 24 hours in advance, to have sex.

45 year old John O'Neil was cleared by a jury in a re-tried rape trial last year. He was found not guilty. Mr Neil is single, a father and has admitted that he has an interest in sado-masochism and used to visit a fetish club. So far so good, he sounds like the sort of family man Andrea Leadsom was trying to reach out to in her Tory leadership bid. He had kids FFS he must be a good chap. He clearly has a great career as a Tory MP ahead of him.

I have no interest in sado-masochism myself despite my public school background but if two consenting adults want to play such games that is their choice. I'm not a shirt lifter either, despite my public school background, but again if folks want to engage in such activities that is their call. It is not up to me or to the Old Bill to make moral judgements whatever our personal views. We have thankfully moved on from the days when the State decided with which adults and how one should have sex.

But the filth in North Yorkshire seem rather less 2016 and rather more 1214. After being cleared by a Jury, PC Plod made O'Neil, 45, the subject of an interim sexual risk order (SRO). That means that Mr O'Neil needs permission from the Plod to have sex and must get notice 24 hours in advance. The filth has gone one step further and have now secured the lifting of an order prohibiting his identity from being made public.
If mr O'Neil gets lucky and is propositioned by a good looking bird and breaches the terms of his order he faces five years in jail.

Jury trials are not perfect. Juries can make mistakes but the right to trial by twelve of our peers is one of the bedrocks of our liberty. The Police have, in this case, ensured that a man who was cleared of any crime is now publicly outed as a perv and could now face five years in prison simply for having utterly legal consensual sex.

Tom Winnifrith

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Nudity - it it because I am not French or am I just of an older generation that Im shocked

1008 days ago

I was sitting on the train the other day and on the other side of the carriage a couple of seats away and facing me was a rather foxy woman of perhaps 45 years. She sat next to a lad who was perhaps 25 and looked sufficiently like the woman that I am confident that he was her son, rather than her young lover. They spoke in French and she was reading a booklet in English with a title something like "50 ways to look better naked". I could see enough to notice that it contained pictures although I am too short sighted to see what the pictures were.

The woman showed the odd picture to her son and chatted to him about it in French. I know enough French to know that they were not discussing the weather, Brexit or the forthcoming test series. I find it hard to think that I would read such a book at all, and certainly not in public, and impossible to think that I would read it while sitting next to my daughter and to discuss it with her.

Is this because I am British and we Brits have historically not discussed matters such as nudity or sex in public, well certainly not in polite circles? Or is it because having been brought up by a man who regards the 1870s as the good old days, i am just an old fart? Do younger folks in Britain today, or those who are in tune with younger folk, have such conversations?

I do not know but am happy to take guidance from you dear readers.

Tom Winnifrith

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An American asks an agony aunt for advice

1025 days ago

The following explains itself. Dear Dorothy,
 
My husband is a liar and a cheat.  He has cheated on me from the beginning and when I confront him, he denies everything.   What's worse, everyone knows he cheats on me. It's so humiliating.

Also, since he lost his job 14 years ago, he hasn't even looked for a new one.   All he does all day is smoke cigars, play golf, cruise around and shoot pool with his buddies and has sex with hookers, while I work so hard to pay our bills.

Since our daughter went away to college and then got married; he doesn't even pretend to like me, and hints that I may be a lesbian.  What should I do?

Signed:
Confused

Dear Confused: 
Grow up and dump him. 
You don't need him any more
Good grief woman, you're running for President of the United States!
Tom Winnifrith

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It is one of those times when I actually want a cigarette

1050 days ago

I've been nicotine clean now for three months and three weeks exactly and the urge to have "just one" cigarette is now really pretty rare. But I must admit to having such an urge just now.

I do not feel the desire to smoke when drunk or when stressed. Indeed quite the opposite. Just now I have completed more than 90 minutes of hard manual labour, that is to say olive tree pruning on some of the rockier, wildlife friendly and TW unfriendly terrain at the Greek Hovel. Returning covered in sweat and with sun tan lotion dripping into my eyes I turned on the shower, that is to say hosepipe, and ...well... gosh it was brilliant.

The sea yesterday was an inviting and sparkling blue. I plunged in because I was very smelly not because it was enjoyable. It was cold. Not Whitby or Margate cold but too cold for my liking. My shower, on the other hand, has its water heated in the metal pipe that climbs the mountain, linking the Hovel to civilization. The shower was, as ever, better than sex - to quote my guest of two years ago. It was blissful.

And so I sit here after a hard afternoon's work and the best shower a man can ask for with most of my work done for the day and what could be better than to enjoy just one cigarette, sitting on the steps leading up to the snake veranda watching the world go by? Or, given where I am, watching it not go by.

The desire is passing already. There are no fags stashed at the hovel and Kambos with its 4.5 Euro packs of twenty is two miles away. I know that one fag will lead to two and to twenty and I really don't want that to happen. I may have put on the odd pound but as I labour in the fields I am conscious that I am fitter than I have been for ages. There's no going back.

Tom Winnifrith

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The better than sex water is flowing, the internet and coffee machines work – what more do I need?

1442 days ago

Slightly gingerly I got on my new bike and rode back to the Greek Hovel tonight. I encountered no wildlife diversity on the way home and, even better, none inside the hovel.  Things are actually working quite well here.  For starters the electricity has not been cut off despite there being an outstanding bill of 900 Euro. We think this is a bit of a misunderstanding and George the architect has played a blinder in keeping us in power. I sense we are not the only household in Greece not paying the bills. But we will do once the little misunderstanding is cleared up.

The water is also flowing. My guest last summer described the hosepipe shower as better than sex. That of course depends on who you are having sex with and, from a personal perspective, I would not be making such claims. But the water is great. It comes up the hill in a metal pipe and so by the time it gets here it is warm, shower-perfect. It is seriously the best shower you will ever enjoy. And so I flushed through the last winter water and pretty quickly I had warm water flowing strongly.

I have also managed to rig up by internet device and the coffee maker and so am online and now sipping my first mug of coffee. If the wildlife diversity gets too noisy at least I now have music to keep me company.

Already I can see moths gathering outside the glass of the front door. Okay the only door. They are drawn by the light. Pretty soon that door will become a killing field as the lizards start to feast. Occasionally you hear the lunge of a lizard as it thrashes its head gripping a soon to be ex-moth. If that is the only wildlife I hear tonight I shall count myself blessed.

For now Jon Bon Jovi is keeping me company and scaring off the wildlife diversity.


Tom Winnifrith

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Seeing my guest at the Greek Hovel Naked – what does a Gentleman do?

1568 days ago

The normal routine at the Greek Hovel this summer was that I would go for a short run first. Not being the fittest of fellows the run would indeed be short. At best I would make it to the bottom of snake hill, have a brief rest staring at the pond at the bottom of the valley and then walk back up snake hill – bitterly regretting having gone down the steep slope in the first place as I looked our carefully for wildlife diversity. I would then jog back along the olive groves and arrive back at the hovel a sweaty and topless wreck.

My guest would make no comment on the brevity of my run in distance terms. For I had been away a good while and so she naturally assumed that I had managed a reasonable distance. She would then trot off spending about the same time away but managing to make it to the village of Kambos and back. That means climbing two steep hills and covering twice the distance. By the time she returned I would have had time for a restorative cigarette or three and for a naked shower. I would then hide inside the hovel while she showered.

You will remember that my shower at the Greek Hovel is a hosepipe draped over the vine. The water has come up the hill in metal pipes and so is just the right temperature. It is the best shower in the world in summer. My guest said that the shower is “better than sex”. Well it is good but not that good. I suppose that it depends with whom you are having sex with.

But one day my guest went running first. As she arrived back I trotted off but on snake hill on the descent I felt a muscle pull. I tried to limp on but could not. And so – feeling quite relieved that I had only a bit of snake hill to reclimb - I jogged slowly back to the house.  As I approached the entrance to the drive I distinctly saw a pink shape underneath the shower. What is a gentleman to do?

As luck would have it my glasses which had cracked earlier that year were still cracked. Indeed they remain cracked to this day as I never seem to find the time to go into an optician. They are also usually dirty and on this occasion were tinged with sweat. As such the pink object was sufficiently blurred that I have no graphic details to relay. But there was no doubt about it, my guest was enjoying the best naked shower one can ever enjoy which she was thinking was better than sex.

Should I call out “Cooeeee, I’m back and I can see you are starkers” which might for a reticent well brought up Englishman be a bit embarrassing? Or should I hide round the corner and wait. Naturally it was the latter. After a few minutes I popped my head around but boy was she enjoying the shower. It was clearly going to be an endless shower. And so I waited another ten minutes and the pink blurry shape had disappeared and I wandered in, not mentioning that my run had been a little truncated.

Being too much of a bumbling shy Englishman I have not mentioned this little incident until now. But I guess with the passage of time it is better to fess up.

Tom Winnifrith

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Weekly Video Postcard #56: Ukraine, blowback, UKIP and the Euros

1876 days ago

Tom Winnifrith returns with a video postcard which inevitably starts with Ukraine and the concept of blowback.

Tom refers to his strong sympathy for President Putin & Russia which he explains in detail HERE

But he goes on to discuss the wider idea of blowback – a Ron Paul concept – and how it marks the failed foreign policy of the West and has to stop.

Tom also covers the UKIP Spring conference – it lamentable failings in policy areas but Tom ends with a concession that he will probably vote UKIP anyway on May 22nd. He explains why.

Tom’s financial postcard covers Ukraine and the probably market sell off Monday. Is this a buying opportunity? No! Tom also covers lunacy in tech valuations and Warren Buffett and sex. It can be viewed HERE

Tom Winnifrith

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The Number 10 Downing Street Sex Scandal...back to basics

2149 days ago

It appears that two middle aged senior political figures (both married) have been shagging each other. The affair has now ended. The Daily Mail has the story and knows the names but cannot print them for “legal reasons.”  Call Me Dave is said to be shit scared as this is explosive and will apparently blow him off course. Er …what course?

Given that the political class contains a good few closet homosexuals we should not assume that this affair involves any women. A few of the Cabinet, like Sir George Young, are too old to be runners and riders in the great Downing Street sex scandal. But elsewhere who knows?  

Cash for questions, back to basics sex scandals it is right back to 1995…all we need now is a new single from Oasis and a battle with the next release from Blur.

Footnote: Apparently there are some heterosexuals in the Westminster village. Iain Dale ( not one of them) assures us that it is a man and a woman involved.

Tom Winnifrith

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Guest Post: Robert Sutherland Smith on National Grid

2287 days ago

http://tradingresearchpoint.co.uk/2013/01/15/national-grid-buy-for-yield-at-687p/

Tom Winnifrith

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Silvio Berlusconi, sex and the politics of the absurd

2299 days ago

Two political stories from yesterday (hat tip The Commentator) that made me smile. Both concern sex. I start with Silvio Berlusconi who is apparently still hoping for a political comeback. I wonder if even he is vaguely embarrassed by reports that he called Germany’s leader Angela Merkel an “unfuckable lard-arse.” I suspect he would simply plead that it was fair comment. Am I alone in saying that Silvio’s buffoonery is quite entertaining? Sure he is a corrupt old sleazebag but he is an Italian politician so what else do you expect?

Closer to home I see that a Worcester disability campaigner Chris Fulton is demanding that the British Government pay for him to have sex with prostitutes, something that the Dutch Government already does. In Amsterdam, the disabled can have Government funded sex with a hooker up to 12 times a year and Mr Fulton (who has cerebral palsy and motor neurone disease) reckons that this would give him more freedom and allow him to break down barriers. ““The idea is to give disabled people more of a choice. There’s still a lot of stigma attached [to disabled people having relationships] from research I’ve done and experiences I’ve had.”

Hell’s teeth. Government’s across Europe are going bust so why not go out (economically speaking) with a bang? I am sure that in denying Mr Fulton his State funded shagging we are breaching his human rights. Can’t he get legal aid to hire the oh so charitable wicked witch CBE to take his case to the European Court? Perhaps Mrs. Blair could get him huge compensation for the stress caused by having to fund his “research” on this matter.

I wonder what Berlusconi’s take on Mr Fulton’s case would be? Or if he has any views on the Wicked Witch?

Tom Winnifrith

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Do you need sex scenes in movies? Anna Karenina, Downton and Dallas

2379 days ago

It is less than one hour to Downton Abbey. Obviously the clock is ticking on what is the highlight of the week. Will the IRA man stay in England and stand by his wife for feel compelled to go back to fight for Independence? Will Bates get hope that he might be found innocent and released from prison? Will Thomas finally come a cropper downstairs as a result of his predatory sexual antics? Will Lady Edith become a high profile political agitator as a substitute for love? And will someone explain the point of the dull prig Matthew Crawley & annoying Lady Mary now that he has handed over the dosh? Surely they can have another whip round and encourage them to emigrate? 52 minutes and counting… I cannot wait.

Meanwhile, in my BBC free existence, I have this weekend got up to date with Dallas and am finding it compelling viewing. This is odd for a sequel. I suppose having Bobby and JR still dominating the show helps but John Ross Junior and whatever Bobby’s son is called, plus the succession of mad and criminal women they seem to shag adds to the spice. And we have a new series of DCI Banks as well. Being a quality programme it is naturally not on the BBC either and this series looks to be as gripping as the last.

Speaking of Lady Mary, I saw her cropping up in Anna Karenina today as I made a rare visit to the cinema. I had forgotten just how relaxing it can be to spend an afternoon slumped in a cinema seat and given that The Sweeney was not showing I plumped for Anna Karenina. And I really enjoyed it. I find Keira Knightley utterly vacuous, airheaded and annoying and so she was superb playing the utterly vacuous, airheaded and annoying Anna. I guess she had to start acting when Anna starts to go mad. Jude Law, as her husband, was superb.

The sub-text of an utterly foppish, out-of-touch and pointless ruling aristocracy was played out well. I am not normally one for communist revolutions but if ever an aristocratic elite deserved to be lined up against a wall and shot it was the Russian elite. That came over very powerfully as did the well meaning but rather hopeless attempts at reform by some of the more enlightened aristos.

My one quibble was the numerous sex scenes. They are not in the book. There are no passages involving lingering tongue-wrestling of a pretty explicit nature. They actually made me wince. I cannot say that they added anything at all to the storyline. Were they really needed? Do modern movies have to include a requisite number of sex scenes? I am no prude. If folks getting their kit off and getting it on adds to the storyline or is a key element go for it. But that was not the case here. The staging of the film, centred on a stage in a theatre, was excellent, the costumes wonderful and the acting (even Keira) was wonderful. But I could have done without the tongues.

Tom Winnifrith

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