Well, here we are at last, the ‘new’ Sleaze. I know it must all seem a bit confusing to regulars – all of a sudden everything has changed, The Sleaze doesn’t look like The Sleaze anymore. But don’t worry, everything you liked from the old site is still here, (not to mention the bits you didn’t like), it’s just in a new format. It’s a bit like Doctor Who when he regenerates – suddenly the Doctor looks, sounds and behaves differently, the old Doctor you’d grown to love so much is nowhere to be seen and you aren’t sure if you like this ‘imposter’. However, the fact is that if you stick with it, you’ll find that – despite appearances – he’s really still the same character and most of the familiar things that make Doctor Who, Doctor Who, are still there: he still travels time and space in his TARDIS, he still fights Daleks and Cybermen and knocks about with attractive young women, (in purely platonic relationships). So, if it helps, just think of the ‘new’ Sleaze as being Matt Smith – looks a bit weird and awkward, acts unpredictably and eccentrically – and try to get over David Tennant. No, really, get over him, he’s not coming back. I liked him as much as anyone else, but Doctor Who didn’t begin and end with his Doctor – there were nine others before him, for God’s sake! It’s the same with The Sleaze – there were other page templates before the previous version.

Enough of these Doctor Who analogies – The Sleaze has changed, for the better in my opinion, so get used to it! Incidentally, if anyone is wondering as to the motivations underlying the changes, don’t worry, we haven’t suffered a corporate takeover or any other change of ownership. It’s all about bringing the technology behind the site up to date and presenting visitors with the kind of web experience they’ve come to expect in recent years. It’s also about making the site easier to administer, so the focus can switch back to producing material, rather than site admin. Oh, if you are looking for the link to Sleaze Diary, try the ‘Features’ tab in the main menu above this editorial – it’s on the drop-down menu. Failing that, you can find it in the ‘Features’ section of the sidebar to the right of this text.

What won’t change around here is the kind of stories we publish. Indeed, when it comes to satire stories this abomination of a government we’re saddled with has gotten me so fired up that I can guarantee the stories are going to get even angrier and savage than before. As far as I’m concerned, the bastards are all legitimate targets now and their response to the August riots means that from now on it will be no holds barred. Talking of those riots, didn’t I say they were inevitable in an editorial last year? And you know what? I’m glad I was right! Without wishing to condone general lawlessness and criminality, I’m bloody ecstatic that finally something has happened to shake people out of their middle class complacency over the direction things are taking in this country. The UK’s descent to the level of a banana republic has been disturbingly swift, (coinciding with the ‘election’ of this carpet-bagging government, in fact). I mean, we’ve had mass political demonstrations against the government’s higher education policies, the revelations that both police and politicians are apparently in the pay of News International and, most recently, massive civil unrest has erupted across England. Now, if we’re to believe the government propaganda machine, none of this has anything to do with them and their policies – it’s all down to gangs, gangsta rap and spontaneous outbreaks of criminality. Bollocks, what we’re seeing are the first skirmishes in the new Class War this government has declared.

Make no mistake, the Tory-led coalition effectively represents a coup d’état on the part of a cabal of wealthy bankers and financiers. People like David Cameron and his cronies, in fact. Having caused the global economic downturn through their recklessness, they’ve now seized power with only one objective: to preserve their positions of wealth and privilege in the face of the recession. To do this, they’re slashing government spending, undermining our health and social services, education system, even law and order, secure in the knowledge that they won’t suffer from such cuts – they can afford private health care and education and can live in secure gated communities or, if law and order really breaks down, overseas in tax havens. No, it’s people at the bottom who will suffer. But they don’t care, because the poor don’t vote. So far, they’ve relied on the fact that the middle classes don’t give a toss about the poor either, but those riots have got the middle classes worried at last.

So people, wake up and understand that the ruling classes are trying to put the clock back to the 1930s, when we’re dependent upon the charitable whims of the rich to finance things like hospitals and schools. That’s the reality of the ‘Big Society’ – if you can’t afford health insurance or private education, you are going to find yourself dependent upon charity. Sod employing trained professionals, we’ll just rely upon the whim of some do-gooder who fancies salving their conscience with a bit of unpaid voluntary work for a charity. With paths to higher education being shut off for more and more working class people, the traditional alternatives to ‘self-improvement’, through public libraries is also being cut off. We can’t have educated peons now, can we? They might revolt. It isn’t just healthcare and education which are being pushed back to pre-war levels of provision, it’s social attitudes across the board.

Right now, the bastards are trying to set back abortion laws with their insistence that women seeking a termination should be counselled by religious loonies instead of healthcare professionals. It’s the same with justice – just look at Dave’s Bloody Assizes in the wake of the riots. Here we’re not just going back to the 1930s, but rather to pre-Victorian times, when you could be hanged for stealing a sheep, or six months for stealing a bottle of water. But what can we do? When I was younger and more patient, not to mention politically naïve, I would have recommended lobbying of MPs, political campaigns and using democratic channels. However, the older I get, and the more rotten our entire system is revealed to be, it seems that the only way is tear down the whole system and start again. Just like I have with The Sleaze, I suppose. Believe me, throwing away all of the old structures and concepts you once relied on is a surprisingly liberating, not to mention constructive, experience. You soon find that you can actually achieve more with the new ways and rules. That’s enough ranting for now! Until next time, keep it sleazy!

Doc Sleaze