When The Weather Gets Cold … Occupy The Stock Exchange campaigners get indoors

We have heard a lot about the protests against the banking and finance industry going on around the developed world. Occupy Wall Street is the best known and has received most media coverage. Shots of yuppie media professionals wearing tastefully ripped £500 designer jeans and waving their £1000 iPad Pros with 3G as they protested against poverty. Occupy the London Stock Exchange is quite frankly disappointing from a nation that spawned so much great literature but whle Occupy Threadneedle Street has quite a poetic ring, the street name is not so widely recognised.

One cannot expect too much by way of creatvity and originality from public sector workers and trustafarians who work in “the arts” one supposes but we should be able to hope for a little understanding of the nature of their cause.

It turns out that the protesters are not as determined as they would have us believe to get down with the poor folk. Having set up their canvas village in the churchyard of St. Paul’s Cathedral and forced that great tourist attraction to close for the first time since World War 2, these affluent anti – poverty campaigners are effing off to their warm, cosy houses or apartments as the late October nights get colder. Thermal imaging cameras have shown most of the tents are empty overnight.

Now nobody would blame the protesters for preferring a night in a nice warm bed after a hot meal prepared for them by their Dear Old Mum to a night sleeping on cold paving slabs. But leaving aside the questions raise by the fact that authorities are leaving these unattended packages standing overnight in a city where terrorist induced paranoia has meant for decades an perfectly innocent backpack, sleeping bag or platic carrier from Harroids or Marks and Spencer will be whiked away by the anti terror squad and blown up by a controlled explosion within minutes, we must ask how much credibility these protests have?

Memorial to the occupy protestors

Labour activist dresses as poo.

Labour activist and anti-poverty campaigner Steve Cockburn makes a powerful case against the Tories’ manifesto pledge to “speak up for freedom and human rights” in his latest blog post for Progress today. In a stunt aimed at highlighting Britain’s failure to recognize access to sanitation as a human right he took to the streets dressed as a piece of shit. ( Labour Activist Dresses As Poo)

We always thought that old election maxim “Round here they’d vote for a dog turd if it was wearing a labour rosette” was a joke.

Obviously we were wrong

Labour and the Private School Povs?

So Gordon Brown’s stage managers wheel out these three tearful povs, a girl and her Dear Old Mum and Grandma. Mum and Gran talk of how they have to work two million hours a week for fourpence an hour as cleaners in a government office and still can’t make ends meet. They cannot afford a laptop for the girl to do her homework on.

One week, they tell us, they had to eat lentils all week so they could buy the girl’s school uniform. Wow, they are that poor yet they can still afford to send the kid to private school (vouchers fo uniform costs are available to parents of state school pupils – unless Labour have abolished them while in power).

Are there no depths to which lying hypocritical Labour politicians will not stoop in trying to hold on to power?

Poverty Amazes Researchers

No week would be complete without news about an expensive research project discovering something so blindingly obvious only an academic could possibly think it worth researching.

It nice to see for a change a press release that uses the word “researchers” instead of trying to gain a veneer of mystery by saying “scientists” when describing the kind of people who make a very nice living for themselves by blagging research grants that pay them for doing nothing slowly.

The people who describe projects like why some people prefer milk chocolate and some plain or studying the effects on chavs of reading Shakespeare usually work in fields like cognitive behavioural science of evolutionary psychology.

Our first pointless research story for this week concerns researchers studying the effects of the recession on working class communities. The most stunning revelation they offer us is that as the crisis deepens poor people are eating less often.

Boggart Blog has a so far untested theory about why this might be so. We think it is happening because poor people can’t afford enough food to have three meals a day, seven days a week.

This is pure speculation at the moment, so far we have gathered no evidence to support it. Even so we think we are onto something. Our next step is to blag £££s a few million from well meaning but terminally naïve managers of QUANGOs, buy bread, soup, porridge oats, bacon, potatoes etc. and offer these items to poor people to discover if they will eat more frequently or if the credit crunch has triggered some evolutionary impulse to eat less and evolve into pygmies over a few hundred generations.

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Dropped Crotch Fashion Disaster

Not long ago on an American blog I contribute to occasionally I referred to that bizarre fashion among young American males for wearing trousers five sizes too big so that when these young guys walk down the street their bum cleaveage shows and the arse piece of their pants drags on the ground.

The fashion troubles me to be honest. Are we breeding a race of morons, has exposure to Beavis and Butthead at an early age triggered some terrible psychological disorder? Has the GM bit in GM food sold in America caused these lads to mutate, driving evolution into reverse and creating a new breed of Neanderthals? Have the dorks that wear these stupid pans cooked their brains by having mobile phones clamped permanently to their ears while wearing those silly little woollen retard hats, thus stopping heat escaping through the top of their skull?

Apparently not. The trousers are designed to look like that and people are paying an arm and a leg for them. One stroppy little fascionista haughtily informed me that the look is a protest against poverty (hence the enormous cost of course: “Mum, Dad, I have to make a statement against poverty, buy me some ridiculously expensive silly trousers NOW!) and also the marginalisation of the young from mainstream society.

Yeah Right.

My advisor on all things pants also informed me that the style is correctly referred to as “dropped crotch trousers” and to write of “five-sizes-too-big-pants-for-knobheads” is insulting. Unfortunately he go no bonus marks because he failed to spot the insulting sarcasm was intentional.

Well I can take criticism and welcome diverse opinions but if Mr. My-Clothes-Are-My-Primary-Method-Of-Communication would like to come round my house I’ll be glad to kick him in the bollocks so he may appreciate what a dropped crotch truly means.

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Hugging An African Does Not Help

It has been the big thing for fading celebrities who have an album, film or book to promote, they know it will make them look cool and right – on global champions of politically correct thinking and it is so easy and costs very little. They just get a charity or television company to send them to Africa as a “Goodwill Ambassador”, have their press agents inform the media and then, having made sure plenty of paparazzi are watching they grab the nearest African and hug them.

Hugging an African and talking about poverty, disease, hunger and how your new album / movie / book was inspired by the plight of so many Africans guarantees front page and headline stories all around the world. All the usual suspects are doing it, Bono, Madonna, Sting, Brangelina, Kylie Minogue, Gerri Halliwell, Joanna Lumley, Robbie Williams, Annie Lennox, Billy Conolly and the list goes on. It will not be long until you next see one of them grinning desperately for the cameras of the global media as they hug a bewildered and embarrassed African.

The western guilt trip demands celebrities make these gestures of course, but are they universally welcomed in Africa?

It is bad enough the west exploited the continent and its resources and people during the colonial era without western governments and charities pouring in financial aid while politicians and pop stars pour in and offer advice to Africans on how to run their nations and lives and less well known western guilt tourists just turn up and start hugging unsuspecting Africans oblivious of the fact that in many African societies hugging strangers is a total no-no. Not that telling the average fading celeb. or determined tourist something is not acceptable will ever stop them. They are being paid or have paid good money to hug Africans and they are damn well gonna, OK? There is nothing short of a panga through the skull that will stop them.

Bono of course knows beyond doubt that being patronised by him is the greatest blessing life can bestow on a person from the third world and if he just keeps on patronising bewildered third would peasants they will come to understand how fortunate they are. It is rumoured that Madonna has bought several small African countries and passed laws compelling inhabitants to be available for hugs whenever she wants a photo-op. What is certainly true is that Madge has threatened African governments that she will play gigs there if they try to stop her hugging the locals.

Hugging Africans is not the only problem westerners cause it seems. According to a new book, Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo, western aid and the “scientific advice” that is a condition of getting the money are counter productive. Dambisa, a Nigerian polymath whose qualifications include BSc (chemistry), M.A. PhD (economics) , MBA and being a premier league hottie claims aid and the conditions attached have stifled development and progress throughout much of Africa. If you are not convinced yet to buy the book (and for guys it is worth the price just for the picture of Dambisa on the dust jacket) read the article Everyone Knows It Doesn’t Work and learn more of Ms. Moyo’s ideas for solving Africa’s problems.

Perhaps if we started listening to Africans about how Africa’s problems could be solved rather than European politicians seeking votes and academics seeking grants and American Preacher – Politicians whose skewed view of African history is more fantastical than Lord Of The Rings we might start seeing social and economic progress in that continent.

Everyone Knows It Doesn’t Work A link to Dambasi’s interview with the G2 magazine.

Dead Aid: ‘Aid has not been able to increase growth and reduce poverty’ An analysis of the effects of Aid in this article.

Dead Aid – Dambisa Moyo (Penguin Books) Learn more about Dead Aid or buy the book.

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