I’ve been racking my brains trying to think of a subject for this editorial, but absolutely nothing has engaged my interest sufficiently to rant about over the past few weeks. Sure, I’ve been confronted with a multitude of difficulties away from The Sleaze, but none that I’d want to discuss publicly. However, the other day I came across the child abuse story from the Pitcairn Islands, where the accused tried to use the defence that sex with underage girls was an accepted tradition in that community. I found this fascinating, as it is essentially the same argument advanced by the pro-hunting lobby in the UK to justify their activities – hunting foxes with hounds is a traditional part of country life. So, if what you are doing can be shown to be a ‘tradition’, then you have licence to break the law – this seems to me to be the logical conclusion of this argument. Hence, anyone found burning suspected witches in East Anglia shouldn’t be prosecuted for murder, as they have a long tradition of it there, (the argument would be even stronger if the witch burners could prove they were descendants of Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General). Taking the concept a stage further, it could be argued that if you come from a family of burglars, and have previous convictions yourself, you shouldn’t be arrested for breaking into people’s houses – you are simply engaging in a (for you and your family) traditional form of activity.

However, the pro-hunting lobby seem to want to take the argument a stage further: breaking the law is also OK if you are acting in defence of a traditional activity. Consequently, it is all right for them hold violent protests and assault the police, before storming Parliament. A convincing argument? Not really. The simple fact is that the pro-hunt lobby are just another bunch of arrogant bastards who – whilst banging on about the breakdown of law and order in modern society – think that certain laws aren’t meant to apply to people like them, just other people. They are no different from those irresponsible pricks (usually, but not exclusively, driving BMWs), who don’t think speed limits apply to them and that it is perfectly acceptable to endanger other road users by overtaking drivers who have the audacity to obey these limits, on blind bends (more often than not offering various obscene gestures and language as they carry out their idiotic manoeuvre) . But hey, those laws aren’t meant to apply to them, are they? They’re such good drivers they don’t need to worry about the dangers of speeding, do they? It’s those bastards travelling at 60 mph in a 60 mph zone who cause the accidents! Twats! What I really love is when one of these bastards gets a speeding ticket – they always claim that they never break the law (except on motorways when the road is clear – it doesn’t count then ,does it?). Complete and utter arseholes.

These pillocks typify a problem which seems to be rampant in this country – an inability to take responsibility for one’s own actions. Instead of just accepting that not only have they broken the law, but been caught doing it as well, it’s always this bollocks as to how ‘I wasn’t really breaking the law because…’, and then trot out some spurious crap about tradition, civil liberties, inalienable rights, etc. Their talk of rights always amuses me – these are usually the very people who spend their time decrying the fact that the law is too concerned with protecting the human rights of law breakers like burglars and rapists, (and traffic offenders, drink drivers, pro-hunt protesters and the like). Quite frankly, I was very glad to see the police abusing the ‘human rights’ of the pro -hunt demonstrators outside of Parliament recently. It really makes a change to see the police beating the shit out of someone other than the working classes – some of us still remember their shameful conduct during the miners’ strike. Maybe it will knock some sense into these idiots – don’t they grasp that the ‘great tradition’ they are seeking to defend is simply an empty ritual designed to validate an outmoded class system?

All this bollocks as to how the hunt is actually beneficial to the working classes because it provides rural employment – what utter shit! All it does is ensure that some poor schmuck is guaranteed a piss-poor paid job with no sick pay, paid leave or pension, and tied accommodation they’ll be kicked out of if they fall ill or retire, just so long as they keep tugging their forelocks. Wake up you stupid bastards! Can’t you see you are being exploited by the landed classes? For God’s sake rise up and revolt! Anyway, who cares if lots of rural working class people are made redundant? Certainly not the ‘gentry’. After all, they didn’t give a toss when all those nasty miners and steel workers lost their jobs, did they? The ex-hunt workers will just have to do what Norman Tebbit told the unemployed to do in the 1980s – get on their bikes and find work elsewhere.

Changing tack completely, I recently heard news which affected me deeply – namely the death of Radio One’s John Peel. It’s no exaggeration for me to say that the news of his passing was like losing my father all over again. I just couldn’t believe it when I first heard it – Peely was one of those things you expect to be around forever, a reassuring, yet iconoclastic, presence. I am so going to miss lying in the bath late at night listening to his show, or seeing him on Grumpy Old Men, railing at the vagaries of the modern world. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found his continued presence in popular culture heartening, proof that the popular stereotypes of age are wrong – you can still be at the cutting edge and continue to do the things you love in spite of the encroaching years. Of course, I had another reason to love John Peel, not only did he possess an eclectic taste in music and a quick wit, he was also a fellow American car enthusiast – he knew that there’s no beat more satisfying than the rumble of the V-8. So, here I am, being serious for once, paying my (and The Sleaze‘s) tribute to a great broadcaster – I fear we shall not see his like again. So, on that sobering thought – keep it sleazy ’til next time.

Doc Sleaze