Female quotas and a nectarine.

No blank page syndrome today as I almost feel overwhelmed with thinking about what I can write about, so much in the paper that tickles my favourite memes. Why can’t Duncan just write in plain English, like wot they do in the sun and add a few tits; well I for one am somewhat tired of trying to read stuff on my computer and having an almost constant stream of scantily clad young women popping up vainly trying to flog me stuff, it’s wot the internet’s all about hey rupert?

Anyway after my watercoloured adventures yesterday (and I’ll stick a picture of my nectarine in Julie, not in Julie but in this blog) I felt very tired last night and a little uncomfortable: had a sort of ‘pins and needles’ feeling mainly in my fingers but also toes. Have reported how I feel the cold more than in pre-crabby days so wonder if the treatment has affected my circulation, another question for my next check up. Felt a little disconcerted going to bed and worried I’d have some sort of attack (panic or heart), but not to panic I slept OK and nothing untoward.

First up the ‘monstering’ of poor Natalie Green, as Zoe Williams writes she is now ‘discredited’ by the right wing twats as what she is trying to say does not ‘credit’ their narrow view of the world. Zoe quotes a philosopher called Roberto Unger (new to me, will have to check him out): “We have lost faith in any of the large available understandings of how structural change takes place in history,” the philosopher Roberto Unger said in a recent lecture in London, “and as a result we fall back on a bastardised conception of political realism, namely that a proposal is realistic to the extent that it approaches what already exists.” In other words anything that doesn’t fit with the neoliberal narrative is discredited. So, as Ms Williams goes on to write the lining of private landlords pockets with billions from housing benefit is OK but suggesting we spend far less on building social housing is anathema.

Although not mentioned but there’s a whiff of misogyny about Natalie Bennett’s treatment by the media, no coincidence that her three main interlocutors were men (Neil, Ferrari and a Toady man) and running through today’s Grauniad are female and feminist related pieces. Owen Jones writes about the dilemma of ‘modern man’ being a ‘macho feminist’. After a rather depressing listing of statistics outlining how ill treated women are in the world he writes about the deep irony of ‘powerful’ men then writing about what women have been banging on about for millenia. He quotes one leftwing feminist, a description I think he should have not used, maybe just written her name? Anyway, she said she can work out a man’s attitude in 5 minutes by: “Do they interrupt you? Do they listen to you? Do they presume they know more than you?”

Makes me think and try and reflect, do I? Anyway I think there’s a simple answer and that is quotas: 50% female in parliament, on all company boards, in the judiciary, on all public bodies. There’ll be lots of male squealing (and some unreconstructed female squealing) banging on about merit and such like but that’s simply met by pointing out what’s happened, and is happening, all around us with merited men: step forward rifkind, straw, gulliver, saville (oh, he’s dead|), reverend green, branson, bono, thatcher, ids, pistorius, isis, blatter, et al.

Another is a story from China about how men have stitched up women over housing deeds and land rights, despite “laws protecting the rights of women – the problem is customs and traditions”. Just like here, there might well be some laws of equality but it’s just the way things are and always have been that men have the power and women do the work and get abused, (although not always one way).

Good comment Martin, compulsory purchase of land at a reasonable rate and hey presto lots of social housing for the common weal and no money going to the kleptos. Do you all know what a stitch up land ownership is in this country?

Although lots more topics just want to extol one and that’s Ian Martin’s essay in G2 today about the really scary privatisation of London. He writes with angry passion, which I love, but also so powerfully about how the almost absolute domination of a neoliberal, ‘free market’, privatising cultish dogma has taken over this once great city. “Everything we owned was being flogged off by pinstriped bastards reeking of lunch”. He writes of how language was commandeered by these fuckers “private good, public bad” and look what we’re ending up with in London? What’s going to happen when the really big crash comes? London will turn into a feral Ballardian dystopia. Read Martin’s piece and weep if you have any feelings for London.

And then I read those dread headlines “London stock market hits an all-time high”, I wonder what will come next?

Anyway here’s my watercolour nectarine:


Remember it is my first effort ever.

Manifesto 88: (another easy one)

  • 50% female make up of all institutions.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


2 thoughts on “Female quotas and a nectarine.

  1. Go Duncan, thankyou for thinking of us – can you get published in the sports section? That might create some effect.

    Like the peche-prune, although I have to admit I thought it was a fly agaric without the spots. Tempted to insert a smiley face here, but notice i am using these face icons rather a lot. Is this because I have forgotten or cannot find relevant vocabulary, or because the way we interact with each other these days requires more EMPHasis and emoti(c)on on display? Subtlety obviously gone the way of Great London and British Rail – programme last night on history of railways, BR has never been given credit for, at point of privatisation (1994-7), running the second most efficient rail network in Europe after Sweden, in both passenger experience and finances. And then what happened? And why did anyone let them?

    Hope the cramps have gone – magnesium spray good for that. Keep on keeping on your mettle.


  2. I for one am well impressed with the nectarine – the skin looks a little bumpy and wrinkled but that’s how they go when they are left ‘to ripen at home’ out of season
    Also at the risk of sounding flippant I have been humming the ‘Love Actually’ theme since reading today’s blog. So I mega hope that you do not have a circulation problem in your fingers and toes or otherwise I will look like a total prat for for mentioning something so superficial and banal – but of course I want you to have ‘love all around you’ as you get better!!!!


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