Blog : Posts from July 2008

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For when you have something to say

In which FP gets hot and sticky


Was I saying how nice summer is? I’m regretting it. It’s hot, sticky, damp and humid, with a constant light drizzle which isn’t at all refreshing. Every so often there’s a flash of summer lightning in the sky, so far away the thunder can’t even be heard. The world is quiet, and I have the desire to do something creative but not the energy to do it. I can picture any number of opening scenes in my head, but lack the power to describe. Time for the third cold shower of the day. I can picture a closing scene, but don’t know how to reach it.

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Quietude

In which we relax


Yes, things have been a little quiet recently. This is because things are happening. Not necessarily good things, not necessarily bad things, not necessarily either. For that matter, not everything is by any means one or the other.

Besides: the other evening, when the day had cooled off a little, we sat on a park bench on Brandon Hill and watched. Hot air balloons drifting across in front of us, kites either side of us, and smoke wafting up from barbecues dotted around the park. Why would I want to spend my evenings sitting at a writing-desk when we could laze in the summer sunshine instead? It’s time to stop worrying so much about the day-to-day, to relax against whatever we’re faced with, and turn the other cheek to anything bad that might happen.

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Private life

In which we spare a thought for Mrs Max Mosley


In the news today: the Max Mosley trial continues. Note for readers from the future: he enjoyed a BDSM session with a group of women, who have been described widely as “prostitutes” by the media. He had these regularly, and so wasn’t expecting that one day in spring, one of them would pop a video camera down her cleavage and sell the footage to the News Of The World. Oops. So he’s suing for exemplary damages – in other words, he doesn’t just want recompense, he wants retribution.

I have to say, though, that I don’t think he deserved much sympathy. Not because he’s rich and powerful. Not because of who his father was, or because he has his own murky right-wing past. I don’t think his sex life deserves to be exposed because he has a prominent job: what he gets up to in the bedroom should have no effect on how well he can carry out his job. What does give me a moral twinge, though, is that he’s apparently been hiding his sex life from his wife for almost their entire marriage. According to his statements in court: he’s been involved in the BDSM scene, safely and without exposure, for 45 years – in other words, since his early 20s, when he was a law student active in far-right politics. However, at the same time, he said, his wife had no idea of his kinky inclination until the NotW revealed all. Mosley married in 1960, around the age of 20; from what he’s said, he must have been getting his kicks from the BDSM scene since the early years of his marriage, going behind his wife’s back for decades.

Mrs Mosley is, apparently, devastated by Max’s exposure in the press. I can imagine. It’s a lot to take in. I can’t think to imagine how she feels.

Everyone’s entitled to keep their life private from the general public – but I’m not so sure that they’re entitled to keep it private from their partner quite to that extent. It’s common, though – especially online – for men to approach the BDSM scene with an “I have these urges but I can’t tell my wife” attitude. In the general scene – what you might call the non-professional side – they usually get advised not to go behind their partner’s back; but I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the money in the pro-dominatrix market comes from this sort of chap.* Mosley is, on the one hand, a sign that such men can get along happily for years** so long as the press isn’t likely to be interested in them. The BDSM community might frown on you if you want to go behind your wife’s back, but they will generally consider it to be your own business if you do. On the other hand: he’s also a sign that you can’t necessarily keep something quiet forever. When your partner does find out, you only have yourself to blame.

* For one thing: although the pro-dominatrix market is saturated, prices are still rather high, partly because although there are endless swarms of pro-dominatrixes around very few of them are very good at what they do, and partly because being a good pro-dominatrix can be pricy, just to stay stocked up with all the silly PVC clothes that the customers are paying to drool over. It’s only the well-off men who can afford to hire one regularly, and they’re more likely than average to be settled with a partner.

** assuming they can afford it. A Mosley-ish session would probably have cost him somewhere between one and two thousand quid a time, at a rough guess.

Update, July 9th: my rough guess there was somewhat on the low side. According to the report in today’s Guardian, Mosley was paying £500 to each participant. That’s about £100 per hour, or £2500 for the whole session. He also paid the rent on the flat where it took place.

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Legal matters

In which we talk about a Grimsby court case


Last autumn, a friend-of-a-friend back in Grimsby was having a quiet evening at home, when he saw some teenagers messing around in the street outside. They were attacking a neighbour’s fence. “Someone ought to say something about that,” he thought. He’s a fit, healthy, well-built chap, someone who can stand up for himself, so he didn’t see why it shouldn’t be him. He works in a security-type job; just in case something happened, he put on his stab jacket before going outside.

Just in case.

He was stabbed, several times, and beaten with planks of wood, fracturing his skull. He survived by backing into a corner, and because of the jacket.

There were several witnesses, and arrests quickly followed. The trial date was set to: July 2nd, this year. The witnesses agreed to testify, on the proviso that they would be granted anonymity.

You know what’s coming now. On June 18th, the House of Lords ruled that convictions should not be decisively based on anonymous witnesses. The government plans to change this within the month; but, nevertheless, the CPS did not want to try delaying the above trial. Yesterday morning, the trial opened, and the prosecution witnesses suddenly all found that the promised anonymity was no longer on offer. None of them would stand, so the magistrates threw out the trial.

So, nothing is happening. The alleged attackers have been released. Whether or not they can or ever will be charged again is a mystery to the victim. The local paper, the Grimsby Telegraph,* which loves to be tough on crime, tough on the reporting of crime, has apparently not reported it, although they normally love filling up odd column inches with reports from the magistrates. I suspect this is because they’re just as unsure about the legal status of things as everybody else involved.** I said to the people involved: “go to the national papers, they’ll be interested”. Whether they will do remains to be seen.

* regular readers will remember how much this blog loves the Grimsby Telegraph and vice-versa. Some day I do still plan to get hold of a copy and count what proportion of its content is actually reporter-written, and how much of it is wire reports, reader’s letters and photos, events listings and so on, so I can justify my previous description of it as “rather news-thin”.

** unless it’s a deadline thing, but I’d have thought a court report from Wednesday morning could have made it into Thursday’s (lunchtime-published) paper. When the attack happened it was, I think, a front-page story, complete with a big “injured victim” picture.

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