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Monday 25 June 2012

Guido Fawked – Cartoon Bang Out Of Order

[Update at end of post]

Over the past week, a Twitter-like product called Menshn has been launched, first in the USA and now in the UK. To no surprise at all, this is partly the work of self-publicising Tory MP Louise Mensch, who scored a momentous own goal when she attributed comments to the appalling Piers “Morgan” Moron under Parliamentary privilege which he most certainly did not make.

Yep, she's been on there as well

Menshn is part of a joint effort between Ms Mensch and Luke Bozier, former technical analyst for the Labour Party. It allows users to chat in “rooms”, and is claimed to offera permanent water cooler for people who want to talk live”. The strapline is “Talk On Topic”, although exactly how that is to be enforced, or even merely encouraged, is not told.

And that’s that. But not at the Guido Fawkes blog, where the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, wanting to show their ability to show a little laddish swagger and demonstrate that they’re not in hock to the politically correct brigade, have distilled their sheer obnoxiousness into one image as their Monday morning cartoon has gone well over the top.

Laugh? I thought I'd never start

Whoever “Rich and Mark” are I know not and care less: this exhibition of sexism verging on misogyny, published by Staines as the controlling interest in Global and General Nominees, isn’t even slightly funny. It does, however, give outsiders an insight into the world inhabited by the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, where women are still referred to as “totty”.

Staines and Cole like to sneer at those who decline to share their antediluvian attitude to women, calling them “right-on”, and in my case suggesting that, underneath all suggestions otherwise, I’m just like they are, to which I call bullshit. Some of us are capable of conducting a respectful and grown-up debate, however forthrightly expressed. Staines and Cole are not.

I doubt that the less than dynamic duo will even consider doing something so alien to them as apologising: that would be too much like giving a damn about what others think, and that would never do for two buffoons who think that the size of their readership insulates them from playing by the rules that the more civilised part of the blogosphere adheres to without any problem.

You’re bang out of order, guys. Now say sorry to Ms Mensch and take it down. Another fine mess, once again.

[UPDATE 1620 hours: Louise Mensch is not the only one on the receiving end of the less than dynamic duo and their casual misogyny, as Laurie Penny found out earlier. After Staines kicked off the sneerfest in an exchange with his tame gofer, the Twitter exchange began in earnest.
"Is that about her stripping days?" he Tweeted, the kind of remark that has no relevance other than to goad Ms Penny.
Then Staines mounts one of his favourite hobby horses, as he tries to smear Ms Penny for allegedly having money, yet holding views some way to the left of his. The "champagne socialist" jibe is alive and well for the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere.
And then he signs off with a welter of name calling, once again referring to Ms Penny as a "girl". Maybe Staines has had the ability to use words like "woman" or "person" surgically removed.

In any case, Laurie Penny is 25, so hardly a "girl", whatever crotchety David Starkey says. Another fine mess, once again]


Unknown said...

editorial note: the image reads "Rich and Mark" but your text reads "Rich and Bob"

Tim Fenton said...

You are, of course, absolutely right.

I've amended the post, and thanks for stopping by and correcting me!

Rich Johnston said...

The cartoon is about the inability of mensch, or otherwise, to control social media and its excesses, especially given the public nature of its founders. Rather than being sexist, it is about sexism.