Saturday 30 January 2016

Jim-jams, Jess Phillips and ‘bunch’

It’s been a while since I did school gates, but no-one much turned up in PJs back then. A glimpse of the odd granny in slippers might have caused amusement.

Schools in socially diverse areas like ours serve a rich mix. Middle-class kids of, say, school teachers mingle with the smelly ones who walk to school disheveled, wearing no socks.  Their mums and dads might have been up half the night smoking dope or whatever, but if they did manage to get up and get out they’d pull on a shell suit first.

I think the PJ thing that irked headmistress Kate Chisholm is quite recent. These days pyjamas are a fashion statement; nicer than your manky old jogging outfit. I do like a nice pair of baggy PJ bottoms. Tartan or brushed cotton in red with stars on, for example. Slippers are indistinguishable from Ugg boots. 

I would.

Is this the Bugaboo mums with the 4x4s, too posh to get dressed? I don’t think so, guessing at the demographic around the school in question, which is not in your actual Islington but some godforsaken place in the North East. Let’s be snobs and assume the PJ mums in question were more slummy mummy than yummy mummy, and if so there was probably a lot more to the head’s request (that’s all it was) than meets the eye.  

Rachel Johnson came on the Today Programme the other day to dispense her opinion on this matter. She disapproved of PJs  but admitted pulling on the odd pair of jogging bottoms when pushed for time. She observed sorrowfully  “No-one dresses up any more. Not even for the opera or the theatre.”

Just imagine. Not even bothering to put on evening dress for the opera! Kate Chisholm was right to be worried.


The Jess Phillips thing has caused quite a stir. QT still has the power to enrage. The trouble is, what she said was ambiguous. 
Did she actually mean to it was racist to point out the ethnicity of the men in the Cologne fiasco? Or was she making a purely feminist point, that men are going to take liberties given half a chance, wherever and whoever they are? 

It’s dangerous to point out that drunken half dressed women are giving out mixed signals as that’s the slippery slope towards blaming the victim. But having seen the state of some of the people thronging city centres late of an evening, I can’t help pointing it out. 

I wonder if the feminists would like to make leering illegal. I’m telling ‘im indoors that it is.


I do wish people would stop wingeing on about “Bunch”. Let it lie. I don’t suppose Giles Coren read my ‘Bunch’ piece, but he seems to agree with me. 


  1. On Jess Phillips, I believe it was a primarily feminist point she was making, which on it's own is a legitimate one, about harassment of women which occurs in the UK.

    However to bring this up as a response to a point about Cologne is ill-advised - by doing so, it fails to acknowledge that this was a "new" type of sexual assault witnessed in Europe, and therefore side-steps the need to discuss the impacts of such an issue.

    Instead the discussion gets watered down into a generalised conversation about everyday sexism, which doesn't really address the issue, although on the plus side, allows those participating in the discussion to remain politically correct.

    By the way, I've noticed recently that the left, and Labour in particular, seem genuinely bamboozled about this perception of them as "out of touch" on immigration. In Margaret Beckett's case, ample time and effort has been devoted to researching the subject. I'd suggest that when Labour politicians show over-the-top outrage at Cameron's "bunch of migrants" phrase, yet are unwilling to engage in more substantive topics on migration, this would go a long way to explaining why

  2. Sadly, when it comes to Islam, demographics are key.

    It seems that followers of Islam in the UK now number at least 3 million - doubled since 2001. If this rate of increase continues, then we will see a doubling every 15 years, which would mean the Muslim population in the UK will be 24 million in 2060.

    That figure might or might not be reached. But equally when the figure gets over 20% of the population we might well see a flight of non-Muslims: Jews, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, atheists, gays and so on. At that point the Muslim population will increase as a proportion of the total population by default.

    It's time for some rationality - not the faux nationalism of Cameron.

    For a start no one - be they refugee, migrant, or temporary worker, should enter this country without subscribing fully to its values. Moreover, new migrants should not impose any burden on the UK in terms of housing benefit, child benefit and so on. If they are of economic benefit to this country, then companies, NHS and so on will pay for all that.

    On the subject of Islam and demographics, what do you make of this story on the BBC website? The headline does not mention Islam. The photo shows only stereotypical blonde Swedes. It's only when you read into it you realise of course it's really all about Muslim immigration. But of course they maintain the fiction that those claiming to be 16 and 17 really are that age.

    1. Sorry missed off the link for the BBC article referenced in that last para:

  3. No, sorry-Jess Phillips should have had her head removed by now, and her gobby bonce left up on a New Street pike.
    All metaphorical of course, but this soft left rentaquote lefty needs to know that words have consequences.
    People like Bob Marshall Andrews and Stephen Pound have long taken up the lefts "house trained licensed poodle that thinks itself a terrier" berth for Jon Snow and Newsnight.
    Any right wing Tory Scum movement ought to have got her fired by now-much as the Left serially try to do with Mitchell, Letwin and Lord Hunt types.
    What she said was appaling in that half her constituents are those Brummie blokes she thinks are no better than Colognes finest on New Years Eve.
    She therefore will lose her seat-and Momentum surely would join in getting her removed.
    It`s a matter of tactics-the Twitter twats, the 76 Degrees types on the right-UKIP true believers and real Tories need to flex their muscles-and Phillips needs to be dead head walking for what she said.
    It`d be so easy to confect outrage and whisk up a synthetic storm over her losing business for B`ham...and it would cheer up Pegida before Saturdays meeting.
    No doubt though that Tommy Robinson will stay banned on a pretext from the march-and Jess Phillips will still have her salary and seat too.
    If the right want to win, they will need to scare the left off in its trolling and abuse of opposing voices-so far, it looks like they want it more than we do...which bothers me.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.