Monthly archives: July 2014

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class

chavsauthor: Owen Jones

book published: 2011

This is a book to make you angry, and wonder why you weren’t at one of the street parties celebrating Maggie Thatcher’s passing.

Jones’ argument is that successive governments have- consciously or stupidly- marginalised the power of the working class and put all their effort into making sure that those who already have the money can make ever more at the expense of the rest of us. Along the way, they’ve destroyed whole communities and managed to convince most people that the country’s ills are the somehow the fault of the powerless and poor.

The destruction started with the Thatcher government, though she was just acting out a long-held Tory dislike of the “lower orders”. Blair and Brown continued her work rebranding “New” Labour so that it appealed to the middle classes whilst abandoning its core supporters, and now Cameron is taking advantage of our powerlessness to dismantle the NHS and welfare state.

Jones’ logic is impeccable, and made me see links between facts I already knew but hadn’t figured out myself. The only problem is that he can’t offer much of a solution. You’re left with a feeling of impotent rage- something should be done to stop the theft of our country out from under us, but the odds are so stacked against us we don’t know where to start.

Source: Ian Pattinson Goodreads reviews

The Brig Diomede of Salem

Brig Diomede of Salem, by Roy Cross

On Monday, I went to an auction in town specifically to buy this. It’s a signed print of a painting by Roy Cross, and I bought it because of the artist, rather than the subject matter.

Don’t worry if you don’t know who Ry Cross is. I didn’t either until a couple of years ago, but he played an important part in my youth. Roy Cross painted much of the box art for classic Airfix kits- action packed shots of planes, tanks and ships in battle. Every so often some of his original art comes up for sale on eBay, and my long term plan is to have one of those original paintings on the wall. If it can be from something I’ve built, that’ll be even better.

I got the print for £10 (plus fees), a total bargain. The I foolishly went and bid on another lot, thinking it was a few prints of old Manchester and some bits and pieces. Now I have two dozen framed pictures, of various sizes and subjects, that I don’t know what to do with.

Perfectly modern sex toys

Just over a decade ago, I polled the Spinneyhead extended family and we came up with a list of features to build into the perfect sex toy. I never got around to creating said toy (or toys, some of the features were mutually exclusive), but a surprising number of the suggestions have been incorporated into toys which are now available, such as this high-tech selection that Wired has had a look at.