Peter Hitchens thinks it’s okay that Gary Barlow has avoided paying tax because it’s a shame that tax exists at all. What?

Yeah, I suppose it would be easier if we all just pretended we were the only person alive and behaved accordingly.

He says that we’re not morally obliged to pay tax, that we only do it because it’s the law. So long as whatever you do is within the law, it’s okay.

Fucking idiot.

He doesn’t like how taxes are spent. It would be impossible to spend our taxes in a way that everyone was happy with, but on a general level, exceptional failures aside, our taxes provide us with an utterly incredible health service, an amazing world-class education, military sorts, rozzers, support for if we’re unable to work AND a pair of houses full of meat-faced-men and other Romulans that we’ve picked, paid to run things. It’s how a civilised society works. A society full of humans which we acknowledge are gregarious and codependent and have some inkling of self-awareness and compassion. So of course we have a moral, as well as legal imperative to pay our taxes.

I’d love to see Peter survive in the completely dog-eat-dog, wholly-individualistic horror show of a world that he wishes for us all (like if UKIP ever got in) where we’re all just roaming, indifferent to the needs of others and unconfined by shitty formalities like ‘any responsibility’ or ‘compromise’ or ‘sharing’. Imagine watching him try, it would be like when Joey Essex was on The Cube all over again.

Avoidance, evasion. Who cares? If something isn’t illegal that doesn’t make it okay. Most omissions aren’t criminal in English law so in theory you could pass a child drowning in a pond and it wouldn’t be illegal not to try and help it. I can just imagine Peter’s offaly wet smile as he walked on by. Probably humming Dione Warwick, singing ‘walk on by’. It’s not against the law, so it’s fine. It’s not against the law to cheat on your partner, it’s not against the law to lie, it’s not against the law to self-harm, IT’S NOT AGAINST THE LAW TO TRY AND GET OFF WITH A WASP, PETER. Are those things fine? Are they what Gary Barlow’s fans would have wanted?

The law tries to make sure we all pay a fair amount of tax according to what we earn, it’s just that people are sometimes selfish and greedy, so it’s always having to catch up. The word ‘loophole’ doesn’t suggest a glaringly benevolent choice does it? The very fact that it’s called a loophole hardly makes it stink of legitimacy.

Imagine that all together we live on a mountain. Say one path is covered in fragile houses, so there’s a giant, clear sign that says ‘Do Not Cross’. A loophole doesn’t make you think of a lovely bridge that’s appeared, made of rainbows, it makes you think of a tunnel. And you don’t, Peter, proudly bound through a tunnel – let alone defend anyone else who does. You scuttle through a tunnel, like a rat or maybe a small pig, because you know you’re doing something wrong. And the more people who tunnel through the mountain the more it will lose its structural integrity and eventually it’ll collapse.

Personally, I couldn’t give a shit whether Gary gives his OBE back, I’m just glad he’s having to cough up. I do think, as a person of influence, he should probably set a better example. I think he should apologise especially for using a fake scheme that purported to be doing something particularly worthy, that’s pretty low. But I’m not gutted that a ‘treasure’ has had his character smeared, nor will anyone else be who already knew he was a Tory party donor. What a surprise David Ham-Cheeks hasn’t seemed to care as much about this one. Nor is it surprising that Gary hasn’t seen fit to say anything valuable about it himself. Will he ever offer a meaningful or convincing apology or explanation? Probably not – but then that’s fine. As long as he’s just avoiding it. If he actually evades explaining himself, or aggressively avoids it – well then he’s bang out of order. Yeah?

And in the absence of any defense he’s left with Peter Hitchens to champion his corner. One of our nation’s proudest bigots. If YOU are ever in a position to help Mr Hitchens, remember, only do it, even if it’s open a door for him, please, only do it, if it would be illegal not to.

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There are local and european elections coming up and I don’t feel like enough people care.

I totally get it that government doesn’t feel like it works at the moment, this coalition are all power happy liars, but I still think we need to care, and that means we need to vote. The most interesting point that the anti-Europe lobby has is that it is some disembodied room of strangers, far away, dictating to us, who we don’t even know. Well that means whether you want to be in the EU or not, we need to get to know it and that means we need to vote.

Democracy only works if the people we have the option of voting for don’t lie about what they will do if they get power. That’s why the lib dems are fucked. People talk about the danger that Farage represents, but at least he’s obviously and openly evil. Clegg has done more damage to our trust in any potential leaders, by choosing power over promises, than Farage could do even if one day, he actually got any votes. But then who needs votes if you’re going to get as much air time as Clare Balding even without any.

Clegg is like Littlefinger and Farage is a White Walker.A, no doubt, exclusively-White Walker. An exclusively straight, White Walker.

But despite the fact we can’t trust any of the centre-right politicians in the main parties I don’t think that means we shouldn’t vote. As long as there is ideology and discourse and a belief in democracy being the fairest type out of all the even more flawed alternatives (what does Russell Brand actually want? A bofftocracy?)… we have to vote. And there is still ideology and it’s not complicated. There are goodies and baddies. Greens and UKIP. The former will appeal to the hopeful, the optimistic, the diverse and the compassionate and the latter to the racist, elitist and most worryingly to the scared and hungry. Unfortunately there are a disproportionate number of scared, hungry people at the moment. SO… so that we don’t end up with a neo-nazi government whose party colour is purple in honour of all their gouty noses then all the people in the middle or who believe in anything other than big gay floods, or even people who can’t decide if they’re interested should get fucking interested and start piping up.

The word vote comes from the Latin for to vow or to wish. You have to wish. Imagine you’re a kid and your Dad brings out your cake with the candles on it, everyone’s singing and giving you the three cheers and it gets to you blowing out the candles and you don’t. Are you that lazy? Or you can’t think of anything that you want? Seriously? You already think everything that should be, is? I don’t believe you.

Or maybe you just don’t think you’ve got the time or the energy. You do though, because believe me, if anyone can’t be arsed it is me, and I bother voting. There are some ways in which I’m so lazy would frustrate a student, but I still vote.

I never quite close again, any cupboard that I open. But I do bother to vote.

I change my bedsheets once every month, or so. That’s right. Or so. But I vote.

Sometimes I wear the same pants two days  in a row just because I went to sleep in them and it’s quicker than changing them. But I still vote.

I haven’t brushed my hair since 1997. But I still vote.

Once, so that I could stay sat exactly where I was, I blew my nose in a tea-towel. Yep. Actually did that. As an adult. I wasn’t even on my own. But I still vote. YOU CAN DO IT BY POST.

So you can be arsed.

Register to vote any time until 6th May

God I hope my Mum doesn’t read this. Becuase she already votes. That and the bit about the tea-towel.

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It’s Siblings week, or day, or something. And soon it’s ‘Sandwich Week’. Sandwich Week.

Yep. I’ve thought about it and decided that Sandwich Week can probably get banged. Can’t it? Not that I don’t love a sandwich. Not only is it a delicious snack, but geographically it’s also the home of the incredible posh alcoholics on Googlebox who we all loved until they sympathised with Farage on the basis he ‘likes a drink’. But that’s not Sandwich’s fault. Go Sandwiches! I’m massively pro-Sandwich. But giving a basic foodstuff a week of celebration is just about getting people to spend money.

Siblings day, although fair enough, could also become a franchise where we feel obliged to buy cards and mugs and candles and flowers and shit, is in concept at least, less ridiculous. I don’t take such issue with the subtler, more emotionally manipulative capitalist constructs, such as ‘Sibling Day’ because I’m both a blinkered sop and oxymoronically self-confessed as gullible. That and I didn’t have any siblings until I was sixteen so I feel insanely grateful for mine, even though I’m more like a weird young corruptive aunt than a normal type of sister to them, because of the age gap. And my lifestyle. Anyway, it’s a lovely role to have in anyone’s life.

In the context of the last few hundred years though, we now have lives more devoid of routine and unity and consistency than ever before with regards to family, or I certainly do, and it’s as important, I think, to make time to think about them, as much as it is to actually see them and communicate with them. Relatives are the only people who will (almost) always have to forgive you when you’re a twerp. Apparently basil and peppermint are related. Who knew? Basil and shitting peppermint. It’s like finding out that Tim and Jeremy Vine are brothers, all over again. Almost impossible.

So I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite of my sibling quotes of recent years:

James (aged 11 to my beautiful friend Howerska, who joined us on a day out in London): “Yeah, in a few years I’ll be getting my own place, I’ll probably drink coffee all the time and I’ll just swear whenever I want”

James (aged about 9)… I said “God your hair’s so much darker in the winter without the sun on it for a while, it’s like you’ve dyed it”. He replied “You should see how dark it is when its wet.”

Hatty (aged about 3) when I uncorked a bottle of wine, spontaneously exclaimed “Mummy’s Pop!”

Hatty (aged 14) “I love you so much, almost as much as I love Miranda” this, incidentally, isn’t a bad thing, if she loved me more than she loves Miranda it would genuinely too much love.

And Amy, aged about 8, after I took her round an historical tourist attraction where she held a medieval mannequin of a character’s (he’d been hung drawn and quartered) pretend entrails and I had held his pretend heart, made out of tights and paint and what not, later explained to her Mum: “Jess held the brains and I held the string of poos”

They’re all turning into great big, sweaty, brilliant teenagers now so these sorts of glorious nonsenses are likely to dry up as they become all self-conscious, mature and intellectual. Balls.

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Twice upon a time there was a soldier called Penny who lived in a disused oil tanker in an arid land.

The first time upon a time, jack all had happened to her really before a robo-crone got her.

It was a blustery day, a sand storm was cooking on the outside but Penny paid that no heed as she intended to spend that entire session of waking hours unwinding indoors. Not that her tanker had more than one door. Every single one of her two necklaces had got tangled up inside the small netted pocket of a massive rucksack, and they needed picking apart. She’d put the whole day aside. She sat back, still in her futuristically militaristic jim jams, in her lounging chair that she’d made out of a giant 1990s Sky dish, nestled into a bean bag which she’d made out of a some beans and a bag.

She scratched her smelly face and set about untangling her first necklace. She wasn’t even five tries into getting her nail edged under the heftiest silver-plated chain knot when there was a ring on her Skper Brick. She had her ring tone set to a recent cover by Susan Boyle of an ancient Chaka Demus and Pliers hit “She Don’t Let Nobody”.

‘How old must Susan be now?’ Penny mused ‘300?’. She preferred Sue’s version, the original had apparently been about sexual acts which Penny was above, so she preferred this modern version, which Susan insisted took its inspiration from a lady who refuses to rent any person or peoples out.

“Sergeant Penny’s Residence” she answered, formally. Up popped a grinning cartoon carton the tiny screen of her brick.

“Have you considered turning your bed into a kitchen and freeing up an extra room for even more milk?”

Crackle, snap, she cut it off.

She resolved then and there to refraggle her coding so that these spam calls couldn’t sniff her out. She set to it with some satisfyingly heavy keyboard tapping even though she could have just done it in her mind.

‘Agh’ she’d forgotten to put her necklace down. Now the twat was even more wound up in mega knots.

She patiently got stuck back into the task literally in hand (the necklace) but then out it rang again, those so beautifully cleansed lyrics

“All day I go on

I shuffle around the world…”

Ugh.

“Sergeant Penny’s Residence” she piped up, perhaps a touch brusque.

“Just responding to your twink babes”

It was a lonely man.

“I didn’t twink at you Rogan”

“I wish you had”

His real name was Josh but he asked everyone to call him Rogan. Said it all really.

“Why aren’t you at work today? We’ve got a barrier to secure at a riot and some magazines to load”

He was guessing at what she did everyday as a sergeant, he was only a weasel, the lowest rank of soldier. He mainly did actual soldering.

She just stared at him. He’d got about half of her goat. She kept her face expressionless, the injections helped, but inside she was an unheady casserole of hatred and pity.

“Come to work babes. You’ve got some files to shoot and some flood victims to wring out” he was witting off in such a shit way.

She just stared.

“Penny, I want a go on you”

Crackle, snap, she cut him off.

‘How many times?’ she thought ‘I hate sex as much as I hate specs’

Specs was a slang term for a group of cyber dissidents who filmed through their secret glasses and were always going round with illegally captured footage, telling on people, for stuff. That was her real job, most recently, wheedling out those turds, for the King. Or turning them into King’s slaves.

Where had the necklace gone? She must have flung it somewhere while she was passive aggressing lonely Rogan.

“Shithouse” she bleated. Crawling on the floor. That one had been her favourite necklace, her most precious. Not because of its monetary value but because her Mum had given it to her, just before she last got frozen, which was just after she was born.

“Oh shitty shit nuggets” she crowed to the no-one there. She felt a sob brewing. “I need that” she bubbled “it’s lucky” and her flabby brain started stressing through all the ways and times she believed that necklace to have saved her life. Eight times. Once a dart had pinged off it during a pub fight and another seven times that were way less plausible but she should have definitely died at least once in an air traffic accident by now. She was nearly 96.

Suddenly the brick blared up again, singing

“Other guys try

To hold her hand

Other guys want

A one night stand…”

“AGH! WHAT NOW?!” She screamed! Silence. Then it came, a glorious, heart-thawing chuckle.

“Oh my God” she turned and her worst fears came true. It couldn’t be! A direct call from the King of the Universe? To her? It was! The greatest leader of all time, so far. A man so wise and so authoritative that he’d kept himself extremely young and handsome so that everyone would want to be him, love him, envy him and want to eat him. There he was, on the screen! It had to be him! He wore the official rocking horse emblem of the Royal House and kept some breakfast on to prove he was the real King because only the real King could start the day with a yogurt no less.

Holy Moles. There he was.

“How dare I have been so rude? I’m so sorry your honour” she squeaked.

“Please” he chuckled “Call me Hdraayyyzzzhjs”

But she didn’t know how. So she leant forward and pecked the air, as if kissing his tiny virtual hand, like the confused loser she had become.

“Subject” he was terrible with names “Listen carefully”

She did.

“You have won!” his voice did sound a bit of robot, but she didn’t notice.

There was an awkward silence. Penny didn’t know what she had won. He said it again.

“You’ve won!”

Weakly she responded “Yay.”

“Well done”

Even more feeble “Yipee.”

Nothing happened for what felt like ages (ages).

“Thank you”

“You’re welcome” and he crackled and snapped himself off.

Penny looked down and there was her necklace, bundled up under her knee all along. ‘Finding that, is that what I’ve won? But how could he? He’s not magic, he’s just…’

Her thoughts trailed off like a real life ellipses, until eventually her mind was blank. Empty as a sausage. Cavernous. Devoid to the point that you can almost hear the nothing sitting there, waiting. Only in that utter darkness of calm, when she was essentially reset, did she realize what had just happened to her. It was so many lifetimes ago that she entered the competition she’d forget the sequence, the solution. She was going to be defrosted again.

The Middle.

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An angry yoga teacher. Her class was full of people who hadn’t booked in but that’s by the by, she’s always annoyed, always sighing and snapping. She stresses me out. Her career’s adviser was rubbish.

Then because I there was no room in yoga I went to the gym but with no shoes on because I hadn’t brought any. Luckily no-one noticed because a) there was a man with tattoos on his face to see b) there was a man who was sweating more than anyone I’d ever been before, risking flooding his treadmill and c) it was in Lewisham.

Then there was a swimming instructor who smiled at me then completely unsmiled, she must have thought I was someone else to have smiled in the first place. I like her because she’s an odd body and brilliantly for a swimming instructor, she’s almost always carrying some crisps.

Then an old lady with freckly arms loads of green eye shadow stared at me for ages but it was because I was having to dry my hair and self with sweaty gym clothes because I’d forgotten a towel. What?

Then on a train to the north I sat opposite a glamorous lady who was technically in my seat and wondered if perhaps I was her from another Universe. A Universe where I cared about my hair. Then she revealed her copies of the Daily Mail and Closer magazine and I stopped wondering anything of the sort.

Also on the train was a girl with eyes so shiny and brown I could see my reflection in them. Three young ladies who all looked fresh out of a festival but weren’t and they were talking very loudly about all the drugs they’d tried but it only made me certain they hadn’t ever tried any really good ones and wondered if they’d been on the same train as Sam Bain and Jesse Armstron a few years ago. And there was a couple of men with shaved heads except for a bleached, forward combed tufts, with green puffy jackets and punk’s things dangling off their jeans and cans of Carling to guzzle. They didn’t look complete without a scary dog.

Then when I got where I am and sat in a bar all afternoon I stopped noticing anyone until a man in a suit came in the door and shouted “hadkas ajkasksdk asasasas MAN SHITTY anmamnjkdskj”.

Tut.

People today.

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My new years resolutions this year are all massive and etherial, the love children of the Michelin Man and Galadriel. I’m going to try and deal better with situations of powerlessness, to define myself by my successes, to be more patient without being any less ambitious and to stop drinking pints of beer.

There’s no mysterious philosophy behind the pints one. It’s just because of the lard. The lard because of the sheer mass of the liquid. And I do love on wine as well, so I’m just really focussing on my relationship with that for a year. I’m totally fine with it. I’m not. I miss it already, bubbly, chilly, golden yum yum.

On the other things: a train-bastard bullied me to tears a very little while ago. Unbeknownst to me my oyster hadn’t beeped me ‘in’ and I’ll keep it brief but he’d raged off at me “YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF EVER PAYING YOU THIEF”. There was six times the required fair on my card, I had every intention of paying. He then loudly pretended I was refusing to pay his fine or sign his form, both of which I was up for. Mental. He then read me my rights as if arresting me and promised me, after I’d given him my address, that apparently he would “have me followed”.

Lets not beat about the bush, he was a power-happy psychoprick. A sadly common creature in positions of some small authority across the whole world, let our beloved rail network. Nevertheless it shook me, it was a crazy and humiliating scenario when essentially technology failing me meant for a very public verbal-pounding full of odd threats.

It is the powerlessness of the situation that rankled most, though. I let the rage pass and made a formal complaint. I was sadly assured I’d have no recourse to find out the result of the complaint, another steel boot cap to the control-of-my-own-destiny-stores.

But I persisted. I applied for CCTV footage, but it only proved I ‘tapped something’, not necessarily an oyster card, because of the poor picture quality. Again, technology showing me it’s apparently ever strengthening middle finger.

And I waited. Luckily, no-one came round to imprison or murder me. Over a month later I got a letter asking for £55. By this point I quite liked the idea of £55 not to have to keep one suspicious claw near the baseball bat anymore. We haven’t really got a baseball bat, regular readers will be pleased to know it is in fact a large torch.

But I’d already paid double the fair (when I’d tapped out at the end of that journey that day, without having tapped in) and it still stung that this crap man in a uniform had openly ruded and wronged me.

I decided not to be a sloth and collected up my ‘evidence’, the oyster reports and CCTV requests and wrote an appeal explaining that I’d already paid a fine effectively and that their inspector would perhaps be better suited to a job in boxing, butchery, or the City.

And I won.

I know. I’m as shocked as you. Some fights are worth fighting, it seems.

All my resolutions combined in that one incident and conclusion. How lovely it would be to celebrate with cold, golden, delicious, full-sized drink.

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Miliband says he’s going to build 200,000 more homes a year by reclaiming land from developers if they’re not house-building.

No doubt those lazy developers were going to waste everyone’s time building another Aldi or theme park. Or an ‘Aldi theme park’ where you’d get to ride a giant bratwurst, candy floss is presented on temptingly cheap litter pickers and where you lose all your money on a stall where you have to out-pack the cashier’s fastest beeping you’ve ever seen to the point where they’re so much faster at beeping than you are at packing that they run out of space and just start throwing the things you’ve just bought on the floor. Fun! But, not as fun as houses. I agree Ed.

I do love a supermarket and I do love a theme park but I need, a house.

And Ed, I’ve got an idea of how to help: make everyone be builders.

Imagine if just for a few days, every single one of us was a builder.

Some of you have panicked.

There’s no reason anyone would suffer from a lack of any basic need fulfillment. There’s nothing to say builders couldn’t also do surgery, fight crime and tell jokes.

We’d all have a respectable and defined profession where there was a tangable end product for our work. How lovely. We’d get a helmet each and a bright vest. And there’d be no snobbery about it, because we’d all be builders, there would only be that one profession.

It would make some phrases confusing though, wouldn’t it?

After a long drive in the sun, it wouldn’t quite make sense to say “ugh, I’ve given myself builder’s arm”.

People would expect it to be just like your other arm, all strong.

You’d have bachelors in nightclubs saying to their baffled mates things like “don’t bother trying to get off with Ethel tonight, she’s got the builders in”.

What? Her undercecks are made of scaffolding?

You’d never be able to chant to your mate Dave “Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave… you’ve got a builder’s bum”

If anything, Dave would say ‘thank you’, relieved that he didn’t have some sort of singularly lone freak’s buttocks.

It would be infuriating wouldn’t it, actually?

‘I’d like a builder’s dozen please?’

‘What, 12?’

‘No, 13’

‘What are you on about then?!’

‘Oh God, sorry’

So, thinking about it, it means we wouldn’t be able to use other jobs’ names in our language thereby rendering language slightly more boring.

Actually, I’ve decided it’s a terrible idea. Sorry Ed. Carry on.

P.s. Also, as well as houses, please may we have an Aldi Theme Park? I’d live in it. Cheers.

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Literally. I am a stand up comedian with a recurring anxiety-dream which I don’t think I’ll have again, because on Saturday it came true.

If I’m fretting about something proper, like hospital results or if I’ll ever see Sarah Lund again, I sometimes have this nightmare, I get it a couple of times a year.

It’s been set in various places over my life, depending on where I’m up to, the playground; University; the dole queue. These days it’s always at a gig. It’s big and lovely and all going well. I’ll be mid-joke and someone will shout out, clearly and pointedly “you’re fat”. “ You are too fat”. Often they will keep shouting it. And I won’t know what to do about it. They’re not drunk. They’re not trying to be funny. They are just saying it, because it’s what they think. And it breaks my heart.

I’m a size 14. I drink too many pints but I eat healthily, I do loads of exercise and I’m genuinely happy in my shell. I’ve grown out of wishing I was a waif and I’m no supermodel but I’d totally still do me.

The nightmare comes from the fact that in my late teens I was massive, then I lost five stone in a year. Also, my Dad brought me up by obsessively encouraging snacks and seconds, whilst simultaneously making it very clear that he found fat people repulsive. So this dream comes out when I’m scared because for me personally, it’s the most humiliating thing that could ever happen.

On Saturday night it happened.

I’m MCing a lovely gig to a few hundred people. We’re getting on really well but one lady is strange. When I’d asked them anything, collectively or individually like “are we up for a fun night?” or “what’s your favourite piece of stationary?” this lady keeps shouting “NO.”

I said she sounded a bit negative, so I did some jokes just for her (not about her, not cruel in any way, just one-liners) to cheer her up, she was clearly keen for some attention. She said she didn’t like jokes. I checked she knew where she was. She seemed to laugh then.

We moved on. The first act did great.

I came back on for the second section and a few minutes into a fun conversation with a chap called Paul about melting ice she, Sonia was her name, out of nowhere, clearly shouted “you’re too fat.”

I caught my breath. I must have misheard it. But from the audience gasps, I knew I hadn’t.

“What did you say?”

“You’re too fat”

“What? What. Why would you say that?”

“Because you’re fat”

Oh. God. I felt my eyes burning. It kicked me in the stomach and up between my ribs, and right there left a mango sized ball of pain. The sort you get when you’re unexpectedly dumped by someone you’re in love with. The sort that makes you wretch. The sort you know is going to be really hard to gets the knots out of and it’s going to sit there, a lump of hatred, hurting, for much longer than that moment.

In my stunned silence, with no prompting from me the audience began to chant at her “out out” and worse, much worse. In hindsight, I think that’s what she’d wanted. She was sober, calm and not trying to be funny. No-one who liked themselves could be that randomly cruel, unprovoked. And hundreds of people chanting abuse at her, me, to my shame, eventually included, was no doubt the masochistic affirmation she’d craved. Who knows.

Now, unlike the dream, I did deal with it. Not perfectly. But I didn’t walk off. I didn’t give up. Instead I admitted it was the most unpleasant thing I’d ever heard. This bits a blur but I swore at her too, horribly, I lost it, I asked her to leave. She didn’t. Realising she was about to be thrown out, she began apologising, but still incredulous. I’m a human before I’m a comedian. I still feel sick.

Then I appeared to get myself together, it was all very quick. I reassured her that the next two acts were quite thin. Later I came back on carrying a giant billboard I’d found backstage, so that “Sonia can concentrate on what I’m saying”. But in those first moments after she said it, I certainly could have been more nuanced but it was my specific nightmare, coming true, verbatim. And I doesn’t make me ‘not strong enough to be a comedian’, I’m a human, and it really, really hurt.

The rest of the audience, the staff and the booker were shocked and very kind to me.

Here’s the thing, should I have been so surprised? I’m far from thin, I know that. And I know that I do a job where I’m asking to be looked at, if not as much as listened to. And I know that some audiences still think that shouting abuse at comedians is helpful, as thankfully rare as they’re becoming. Should I have had a bit of material ready for exactly this occasion? No. Even if I was still massive, no. Even if I was the actual elephant in the room, no.

Short of having grown a carrot out of your forehead or looking so much like a celebrity that people might be confusing you with that actual celebrity, it is boring to hear comedians addressing their appearance. Especially in a self-deprecating way. It’s done and it’s dull and it only encourages audiences to care more about your figure or your face than your jokes.

I’m not a comedian to abuse people, or to get laid, I want to make people laugh. I’m there to be judged on my jokes. I work in clubs full of stags and hens that are notoriously riotous, I’ve everything shouted at me from “my tits are better than yours” to “whens the raffle?” but it’s never been meant to hurt me. This was a freak occurrence of genuine cruelty from an obviously damaged woman and comedically preparing for it to happen again would be a rookie waste of my time, and more broadly, would only incite it.

The day a size 14 woman needs to have material about how grotesque she is, before she’s heckled about it, that’s the day I will give up. And I don’t believe that is this day.

Unless this is the start of a pattern, and it turns out that all of my recurring nightmares are going to come true now. In which case you best start getting tooled up, because there’s also a zombie apocalypse coming too.

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I’ve only got a fortnight of my twenties left, the worst thing about which is (with any landmark birthday) you can’t help but assess where you’re up to in life and it transpires I’ve still got some pair-growing to do.

I did a panel recently with a comedian, one I like very much who is, perhaps incidentally, about to become a household name, but who attempted to make a distinctive and almost cute feature of how ambivalent he is, of how he never takes a line and just wants everyone to love him just for being so scrummy wummy and lubbely. Each to their own, but it got me thinking. And it mainly got me thinking: fuck that.

So I’m cerebrally celebrating the looming of my big ‘three, oh’ by freeing my mind of these perhaps unpopular thoughts, for a start:

You aren’t necessarily a monster if you fall in love with a fifteen year old.  Fine, don’t run away, don’t be a teacher, fine, that is wrong. But the press, even our seemingly head over heart driven press are going to get this man murdered, probably up the bum, in prison by unquestioningly painting him as pure evil. When I was fifteen I had a twenty one year old boyfriend and we had a full-on, grown-up, serious (bonking) relationship. He was certainly no deviant, he’s happily married now (elsewhere, he wanted to settle down, I didn’t) and I have no regrets. He was and is a dear chap. He was the son of one of my teachers and we met on a school trip. At fifteen I was physically and psychologically an adult, without doubt. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. I’m not saying the circumstances are the same in this Forrest debacle – in fact I’m sure they’re not, but I’m shocked that there’s been no really honest debate about it. Every single news outlet and talking head has considered it axiomatic that Forrest is a paedophile.  No teacher should run off with a pupil, what he’s done is obviously wrong, but was it definitely the machinations of a fully fledged evil nonce? I think there is a chance, even if it’s small, that he isn’t 100%, completely and utterly Yew Tree.

Also I’ve had to endure some five star bell-endery this week in the comedy world which I’m not going to repress with either. The following things were actually said, out loud, by comedians:

Pre-gig: “I’ve got a corporate tomorrow so this is like a little warm up for me. I’m going to be on fire tonight, I’m going to absolutely smash it.”

The gig we were about to do was in the conference room of a hotel, just off a motorway.

Different gig, different comedian, to an if anything overly lovely audience (in Essex) he starts (out of nowhere) mentioning Cornwall then says “give me six”. Seconds later on a woman being so kind as to laugh he says “I like it when you laugh madam, you’ve got lovely, big bouncy breasts and I’m going to enjoy watching them” …only more seconds later, in response to absolutely no-one heckling “this isn’t telly, we can see you too.”

All the seconds I mentioned in the above description were really seconds, but they felt much longer.

Much like Viv Groskop in her glorious Guardian article last week about having been molested by a promoter…  I’ll let you take your own educated punts at who these weapons were.  The first represents the scariest, the potential ghost of comedy’s future and the second the ghost of its past. Hopefully.

There you go. I hardly doubt Frankie Boyle is dusting off his steel capped boots for fear of me coming a’ treading.  But I’m hoping to keep my out-pourings, much like my belly button, a bit less fluffy.

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Thatch dying is like a leech or a late-night-Edinburgh-festival bar: it’s bringing out the worst in everyone. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some proper funny, original jokes, and rightly so but they’re drowning on public forums in floods of bandwagon-flavoured shit. Oafs, everywhere, who might as well just scream “I’M JOINING IN TOO” and leave it there.

In terms of tidying up before I mess all over this blog, conceptually – you ought know that I loathed her politics, her behaviour and her entire belief system jars with everything I stand for and think I know about fairness, goodness and rightness. I’m still not glad she’s dead. I’m not upset, but I’m not cheerful, and I think anyone who is needs help (is a dick).

I’m not even spouting the ‘be respectful for the sake of her children’ because her children are racists and arms dealers. I’m disrespectful enough to post this on the day of her funeral FFS. I don’t care about upsetting people who thought she was incredible, I think they’re wrong. Also it’s not because she’s old or was weak, that’s the sort of patronising yack that comically, she would have hated. But ultimately I don’t understand why anyone would jump up and down, or even smile, when someone dies. It’s not about respect, it’s about not being a psychopath.

Even if someone still perpetuating their particular brand of evil is killed in their tracks – there’s something sickening in the idea of that actually warming someone’s cockles. I don’t care who they were. The way some Americans celebrated when Bin Laden was smithereened was unpleasant, I think. Singing and dancing and waving your scantily clad toddlers in the air is a really weird way to react to anyone’s death. Not being even slightly upset is as big a two-fingers up as it’s healthy to give, surely. And Bin Laden was perceived as a live and current threat. Thatch hadn’t been for decades.

The night she hoofed it, someone invited me to a disco in Brixton, saying they wouldn’t miss it for the world because it’s like being part of history happening. The person said anyone unwilling to share an opinion or a reaction to Thatcher’s death was somehow wrong, somehow not involved enough with the world around them. For not going to a disco?

I couldn’t agree less. Why force yourself to pipe up if you don’t want to? Does everyone have to be an athiest or a person of faith with nothing inbetween? It’s not an acceptable way of looking at life, post-puberty. When someone, anyone, dies, is the perfect example of when to just not feel glee, but perhaps consider your thoughts and feelings a bit more carefully.

There should be jokes, there should always be jokes. There should be big noisy voices. There should be indifference. There should be renewed interest in party-politics. There should be arguments. There should be history lessons. There should be some tears (from people who believe in inequality). There should still be some anger too, if that’s what people feel. There shouldn’t be discos.

Actually, let’s be honest, there should never be discos.

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