It's back! British Conservative politicians' habitual "go ahead, kick me in the balls, I can take it" pose


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/01/right-inna-fork.html


#2

Thanks for the background @doctorow. Saw a Twitter thread about it and wondered where the concept could have come from. My favorite image from the thread:


#3

It’s traditional.


#4

It’s for when they inevitably get caught cruising public restrooms, they can say there’s a precedent of a ‘wide stance’ :wink:


#5

Did he show up at Pennsic one year in a bear suit by any chance?


#6

I once kicked an iron groin-practicing Shaolin monk in the nuts, at his invitation. It’s a very impressive skill. Also, I recommend such a kick as a regular event for all politicians. It would do wonders for gender balance among our elected representatives.


#7

I’ve the very shoes for the occasion.

Dr%20Martens%20Mens%202221%20Dr%20martens%20Online%20Store%20-%20Dr%20Martens_LRG


#8

This is an exaggeration*. The truth is horrible enough that it doesn’t need exaggerating. I haven’t seen the story covered elsewhere on Boing Boing, so here’s a potted summary:

Historically, people from what are now Commonwealth countries had the same right to live and work in Britain as British nationals, originally because they were British nationals (British subjects, and later “citizens of the United Kingdoms and colonies”) and later, as the various parts of the Empire gained independence, under the concept of a common Commonwealth citizenship (not too dissimilar to modern European Union citizenship).

This right got scaled further and further back; but it remains the case that if you are a national of a Commonwealth country who arrived in Britain as a child before 1973 and have lived here ever since, you have an unconditional right to remain.

Under the “hostile environment” dreamed up by the Home Secretary before Rudd, the Home Office began to aggressively question the right of the “Windrush generation” (named after the ship that brought the first wave of immigrants from the Caribbean in 1948) to be here. People who’d lived, worked and paid taxes in the UK for 45 years or more, and who much of the time assumed they were British, were suddenly faced with a loss of benefits, loss of employment, loss of their homes, and the threat of deportation to countries they could barely remember, unless they could provide four pieces of documentary evidence of their residence for every year they’d been here.

Four pieces of evidence. Per year. For forty. Fucking. Years.

Naturally, income tax and national insurance records didn’t count.

Where the Government erred, however, was in assuming that the British public wouldn’t give a shit about black pensioners being thrown out of their jobs, their homes and the country (and in one case being denied treatment for his cancer unless he could come up with £54,000). There was an outcry, spearheaded in no small part by the Guardian’s laudable efforts in exposing the whole sordid affair. But it still took six months for the Government to acknowledge that it had gone a teensy bit too far, and even then it tried to blame it on over-zealous officials going off piste.

Even that wasn’t enough to bring down Rudd, though. She was finally done for by telling Parliament that as far as she knew the Home Office had no targets for deporting people, when documentary evidence showed that either she was fibbing or, if she really didn’t know, she damn well should have done.

General consensus is that she could only hold on for as long as she did because she was acting as a human shield for her predecessor, the one who was really responsible for the shit show: the Right Honorable Theresa May, First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister.

* ETA: wrong word (see @L0ki’s comment down thread).


Hostile Environment outcomes/Windrush
Hostile Environment outcomes/Windrush
#9

What seems extraordinary to me is that anybody paused at Rudd. This is a career ending offence for May. In a seemingly endless list of awfulness, and in an environment where “brexit” is purported to imply a preference for Commonwealth immigration, one of the most extraordinary claims is that May, as Home Secretary, ordered Windrush records destroyed. The Tory party defy really are like panto villains…


#10

She’s already tried to blame Alan Johnson, the last Labour Home Secretary, for that one. The truth seems unclear – there’s a suggestion two separate decisions were taken for two batches of records – but it’s also been asserted that if it was done under Labour, it was simply because the records were taking up space and no one at the time ever dreamed that the people they referred to would ever need to prove their right to be here.


#11

One of the chief weapons the racist right in England use to deflect criticism of their racism is that they want more immigration from the “commonwealth” rather than the EU. Obviously, that’s bollocks but it’s their bollocks. The funny thing is that their masks slip relentlessly. Well, it’s not funny at all. I mean the Brexit types (in NI) can’t even stop themselves saying shit like this http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43956383 and those kinds of people (aggressively racist people, violently anti-gay, and misogynistic) are holding the whip hand over the English government. And they [UK gov] don’t seem to need any encouragement…


#12

Isn’t that slightly… unhealthy?


#13

Ok, That’s edging out of ‘stance’ territory and into ‘musculoskeletal disorder’.

Have we given due consideration to the possibility that, like many reptiles, reptilians probably have legs that join the body at a substantially different angle than in mammals(often almost parallel to the ground); and that these specimens are standing with their legs as close together, in imitation of the meat-voters, as they can reasonably manage?

Because I’m pretty sure that ‘reptilians’ is a more plausible account of this than ‘an actual human actually doing that’ is.


#14

I’m close to being an Anglophile. I love Mike Leigh films and film dramas about the Royals (NOT THE CURRENT ONES), but I never knew that the spread leg pose was… a thing.


#15

“…Dr. Martins on your feet,
for credibility on street…” (Pete Townshend)


#16

I clicked on that link thinking “Oh, come on this is just people making a mountain out of a molehill like they always do, I bet it is ju—holy hell did they catch him during his morning exercise routine?”


#17

Not if you wear proper safety boots, and goggles.


#18

Only if you haven’t got the highly trained martial artist’s permission first.


#19

Here’s a demonstration from India, with British comedian Paul Merton doing the kicking:


#20

Just to be clear for those not already familiar with the background. There isn’t much exaggeration. I think really only two points were exaggerated.

The people in question may or may not have been British citizens. They were certainly all entitled to become British citizens and they all had a right to live and work here indefinitely.

I don’t think any one was actually deported but lots were told they had to leave.

Several people including at least one elderly grandmother were dragged off to our excitingly charming deportation detention centres but I think all of them did manage to get released before being deported thanks as @SheiffFatman says to the efforts of The Guardian and the poor sods MPs.

Several people who left the country voluntarily (to go to family events like funerals, or on holiday, etc.) were told they couldn’t come back.

This is the bit that really gets me going about this whole thing. The government have somehow managed (so far at least) to successfully persuade lots of people that this is a bureaucratic cock-up rather than the inherent end result of the policies that they put in place.

I think they have been able to do this because most people don’t need much persuading.

After all, a significant majority voted for the parties advocating these policies (or even harsher ones) and they generally support the idea that “illegal immigrants” shouldn’t be allowed to have anything.

If they then have to live with the idea that the inevitable result of those policies is that any one who can’t prove their entitlement gets nothing, including their own dear old gran who hasn’t got the thirty seven thousand official documents needed, well that’s a problem.

Much easier cognitively to accept that this is a problem unique to the Windrush generation who gained their right to reside so long ago and in such nowadays obscure a fashion (I mean imagine not requiring a new immigrant to have a photometric proof of their entitlement to be here as if they were real people like you or me. Crazy right? /s).

Add in the argument that this is due to officious civil servants and you’ve got a winner.