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4 August, 2008  
London Calling

Rule of the drunken lads and ladettes … Police dog allergies … Max Mosley’s High Court ruling sends the media into a tizz – democracy imperilled, not to mention circulation

imageTheodore Dalrymple, who has the audacity to write under a pseudonym, remarked recently in The Spectator that elocution lessons should be brought back to replace sex education.

“They would”, he said “certainly reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy far more than classes with bananas and condoms ever will”.

The observation, which came a few weeks ago, was made as the result of his flight to an Aegean resort in the company of a familiar sight these days, the great British holidaymaker. He described his fellow passengers thus:

“The pudgy tattooed women on route to paradise had diamonds in their navels; the shaven-headed men, lager made flesh, had skimpy vests stretched painfully over their beer bellies, gold chains and an earring to prove their indelible individuality.”

The Brits, he said, are the only nation whose vacationers need warnings on aircraft that drunken violence will not be tolerated.

Theo’s comments were prescient. Last Monday (July 28), The Daily Express reported- that two delightful Merseyside lasses, on the way home from the Greek island of Kos, had tried to open the cabin door at 30,000 feet simply because they wanted some fresh air.

The trouble started when one of the ladies was caught smoking in the loo and removed a vodka bottle from a trolley. Families who complained about their language were rudely told to shut up.

imageThe princesses were wrestled to the floor, handcuffed and the plane made an emergency landing in Frankfurt.

The particular species of female is well-known to anyone who lives in a large British city. They arrive at midday on Saturdays in groups of ten or so wearing hot pink shirts with spangled lettering and cowboy hats.

The girls take a Cook’s tour of the clothes shops to work up a thirst, then hit pub after pub downing brightly-coloured shooters and bottles of this summer’s drink sensation: Aussie rosé.

This gaggle, known as a hen’s party, usually sports a staggering bride to be (you can pick her by the veil), and one or two women in their forties with “Nanna” on their shirts, but in truth they are great grandmothers.

imageBy about 6pm, the ladettes, as the press likes to call them, are singing loudly in the fashion of Christine Aguilera:

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring me down
Oh no, so don’t you bring me down today.

The songbirds soon attract the attention of plucky local lads or unspeakable visiting yobs on pre-wedding trips themselves.

imageFor our doughty stags and hens, the night often climaxes in a kebab, a fight or, if they are lucky, a knee trembler.

Members of the Old Bill hide meekly in their vans or watch it all on CCTV and complete their paperwork.

* * *

Now even police dogs are under threat.

I’ve previously mentioned the requirement for sniffer dogs to wear booties so as not to offend Muslims.

Now, according to new plans, handlers will have to check if the suspect has allergies before a dog is set upon them.

As The Daily Telegraph of July 21 reports, the traditional shout of “Stand still or I’ll set the dog on you” will become, “Excuse me, my police dog is quite hairy and might cause alarm as he sinks his fangs into your right thigh. Is that all right with you?”

* * *

On the August 29, 1940 a beautiful young lady, who had been separated from her children, wrote to her sister from Holloway Prison, N7.

The poor woman had been banged up for keeping the wrong company.

A Home Office official described her as extremely dangerous and sinister. Well, she and her husband did get hitched at the home of Joe Goebbels and Herr A. Hitler was a guest.

In the prison letter, the young Mum asked for wool and a pattern to knit anything – for instance knickers to go over her four-month old son Max’s nappies.

imageNearly 68 years after that letter, the wee bairn appeared on DVD in the High Court in London without any knickers at all. Mr Justice Eady noted that Max Mosley:

“Enjoyed having his bottom shaved – apparently for its own sake rather than because of any Nazi connotation. He explained to me that this was being performed when he was (no doubt unwisely) ‘shaking with laughter’. I could not check from the DVD, as it was not his face on display.”

Mosley (seen here with Dad Sir Oswald) was awarded £60,000 in damages by Sir David Eady, who was described by The Daily Telegraph as arguably the most influential judge sitting on the High Court.

The News of the Screws faces estimated legal costs of £850,000 for publishing the story about Max’s lengthy sado-masochistic and role-playing session, which the newspaper had arranged to be secretly filmed.

The judge found no evidence of a Nazi theme to the party despite Mosley taking orders from a German woman in a Luftwaffe jacket.

imageSpeaking of bananas, the press has gone it. It’s the thin end of the wedge. Freedom and democracy are in peril. Public figures may now commit adultery without fear of being exposed. Newspaper sales will plummet. Shaggers will make it to the top and stay there.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, writing in the News of the World, deplored Max’s view that what goes on between consenting adults in private is harmless.

The Daily Mail played the man. In a long and searching article the Mail’s reporter Quentin Letts said Mr Justice Eady sat throughout the trial as cold as a frozen haddock.

imageThe judge (pic) only allowed himself a wintry smile when the NOTW editor described his busy office: “You have to have a lot of balls in the air.”

To Letts, His Lordship is clearly not good copy. He is not a club man, though at the bar he was known to bowl a rolled up sock in a jolly game of corridor cricket at One Brick Court.

However, at the end of a long day, if not staying at his mundane flat, Eady J hastens home to his roses in Tenterden rather than having a good old gossip with his colleagues. What a great disappointment this fellow is.

Still Max, for whom most people I have spoken to have a sneaking regard, is lucky his case wasn’t heard in Singapore.

He wouldn’t have drawn a frozen haddock for a judge but he might just have copped the rattan.

* * *

The High (Priority) Court made another momentous decision last week when it ruled that a well-fed 14-year old Welsh schoolgirl had been the victim of religious discrimination.

Sarika Watkins-Singh had persistently broken her school’s “no-jewellery” rule by wearing a slim steel bracelet known in the Sikh religion as a Kara.

imageSome teachers played the “health and safety” card but the main argument from the school was that uniform means uniform.

Anyway, young Sarika (pic) made a splendid victory statement on the steps of the court wearing the Kara, a couple of rings, a bracelet of some sort, painted black nails and a few more bangles in her ears.

In my day, the Sisters of St Joseph would have cut up a tad rough.

Back in 1980, Max’s Mum wrote to another of her sisters recalling how Max and his brothers had been expelled from school.

“Schools are so feeble the way when anyone is the least bit difficult they make no attempt at reform they just expel. How I hate them ALL.”

* * *

After an exciting week in Blighty, journalists are licking their wounds. Some people are feeling sympathy for them. But like Max’s buttocks, the future will all depend on circulation.