22 Feb 2017

Rape and Sweden

Oh Farage, leading trumpet of disinformation, has told the nation via LBC that Sweden has the highest rate of rape cases in Europe. He's said this because President Idiot told the world that Sweden had suffered a terrorist atrocity...and it hadn't. There hasn't been a terrorist attack in Sweden since 2010, unless you count the attack on school children by young, white, male Nazi in 2015. But OBVIOUSLY, that doesn't count. THAT was the work of a lone gunman...

Sweden takes in a staggering amount of refugees, because Sweden's social model is based on fairness and generosity. And, Nazi terrorist attacks and other hate crimes aside, it works out fairly well. And that RANKLES. You see, it suits the right to have a common enemy and that common enemy at the moment is refugees. From David Cameron calling them 'swarms', to Teresa May stopping unaccompanied children coming here, to Donald Trump closing his borders to some Islamic countries apparently chosen by sticking a pin in a map of Africa and the Middle East. The rise of the right across Europe is a chilling reminder that all this has happened before, and can easily happen again. But that's not why I'm RANTING AWAY TODAY.

So, Sweden hasn't had a terrorist attack. Trump looks like even more of an addled idiot. How then to make Sweden look bad? Especially as it's one of the few genuinely left-wing countries in the world? I can picture the scene, Farage on the Trump Hotline promising he will sort it out on his widely watched TV show, shown every night on the single British channel. And that very night, on LBC with its listenership of 1.7% of the market share, Farage hold forth. THEY'RE ALL RAPISTS. THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

Now, in a sane world, Farage would be ignored and us lefties would have less ulcers. But for some reason, the media hangs on to his every word, waiting to either praise him or deride him. Like a little Enoch Powell, but without the Parlimentary seat or gravitas, his words have been repeated all over Twitter, to the disgust of Sweden. He cites this graph as proof:
So, it tells us that Sweden has a very high rape record rate, or at least it did in 2012. Remember that date, it becomes important in a minute. Now, the important question is "what does Sweden count as rape?"
The definition of rape is never simple - in UK law, for example, it has to be penetration with a penis or it's *just* sexual assault. They have just about got around to agreeing that unconscious people cannot consent. In contrast, this is the Swedish definition:

A person who by assault or other violence or by threat of a criminal act forces another person to have sexual intercourse or to undertake or endure another sexual act that, in view of the seriousness of the violation, is comparable to sexual intercourse [...] This also applies if a person engages with another person in sexual intercourse or in a sexual act which under the first paragraph is comparable to sexual intercourse by improperly exploiting that the person, due to unconsciousness, sleep, serious fear, intoxication or other drug influence, illness, physical injury or mental disturbance, or otherwise in view of the circumstances, is in a particularly vulnerable situation

This is a far broader definition than most countries. In Jamaica, where the second most rapes are reported, rape law broadly corresponds to the British tradition, but they don't recognise male-on-male rape because all sodomy is illegal. So, how come Sweden has such a high rape rate?
In Britain, between 5% and 25% of all rapes are actually reported. The rest are concealed, out of fear, out of shame, out of conviction that you will not be believed. Unless you are raped at knifepoint by a stranger on CCTV, there will always be an element of his word against yours, and your past sexual activity will be used against you. It is not easy to report a rape, whether you are male or female. It is not easy to be examined immediately after such a physical trauma. It is not easy to give a statement, to go to court, to defend your honour as well as your word, when you have done nothing wrong. About 85000 women are raped each year in Britain, and about 12000 men, out of a population of 64 million. The majority are not reported. Of those that are, the conviction rate is around 5.7%. About 2500 men were convicted of rape in 2014 in Britain.
Let us compare to Sweden. About 6700 rapes (in a population of 9.5 million) were reported in 2014, with around 190 convictions. But it's not the broad definition that makes Sweden appear more rapey - it's the culture. The culture of equality, the culture of believing victims and the culture of victims believing they will be helped. This is what is lacking in British policing culture - for all the claims that the raped will be believed, the trial of Ched Evans, to name just one, has demonstrated quite the fucking opposite.

But this isn't really about the rape statistics at all, let's be honest. It is the barefaced bloody cheek of Nigel Farage and Donald "pussy grabber" Trump pretending they give one solitary fuck about raped men and women. That graph is from 2012, before Syrian refugees had begun to come to Europe in anything like the number they do now. If Sweden has a rape 'problem', it long predates the refugee crisis. Rape is a serious crime, that tears the heart of its victims for years. It's a crime of power, used by men to subjugate and humiliate, to make sure their victims know that all they are for is sexual gratification. It's a crime committed by all races, by all faiths. It is not a refugee problem now any more than it was a Jewish problem in the 1930s. The threat of rape by invading forces as propaganda is hardly a new one:

Polish propaganda warning about the Russian army, and Italian propaganda warning about the French. Notice how the soldiers are both black, despite coming from predominantly white countries? The first one warns you to defend your women and girls, the second about your mother, your wife, your sister, your daughter. Coz fuck knows, men don't care about rape unless it's happening to someone they love. 

Rape has long been weaponised. It has long been used as an incentive to fight. But we are not at war, whatever Farage and Trump think. At least, not yet.

16 Feb 2017

Peppa Pig: A Dystopian Horror

It is Monday morning, and Daddy Pig has gone to visit Dr Brown Bear for his check up.
"Ah!" says Dr Brown Bear "Daddy Pig! How have you been?"
"Well" replies the overweight, voluble swine "I keep having headaches Dr Brown Bear and strange flashes"
"Flashes? What kind of flashes?"
"Oh ha ha ha ha" says Daddy Pig "Flashes where I think I'm not a pig" Ha ha ha ha"
Dr Brown Bear opens a drawer. He takes the pre-prepared syringe. He turns, slaps Daddy Pig on the shoulder and slips the needle into his porky shoulder. "Sounds like you're working too hard"
Daddy Pig's eyes go blank, his mirthful face empty for a moment. "Yes. Too hard. Goodbye" He walks out, mechanically.

Madame Gazelle also visit Dr Brown Bear. Her purpose is somewhat different. She is hoarse, angry, agitated.
"Madame Gazelle! What ever is the matter?"
"The children, Dr Brown Bear, their incessant chattering! The Bing Bong Song! I smell their blood pulsing through them and I yearn for a taste. One taste, Dr Brown Bear, one taste. Freddy Fox, he would never know, he wouldn't know".
Dr Brown Bear nods. They have been here before. He goes to the fridge and passes her a bag of blood. She drinks it in one gulp. The shakes subside, her voice becomes normal.
"Thank you, Dr Brown Bear"
He smiles and waves her out. She will be back in a month.

Miss Rabbit remembers. She doesn't tell the others, but she remembers. She was a career woman, the opposite of her sister, the fecund Mrs Rabbit. She could do anything and she did and that memory is what drives her through this charade. She was a person once. Her name was Rosa. She was going to marry Bert...Mr Bull...but they changed. They went to sleep people and they woke up animals.

Dr Hamster has been known to help Dr Brown Bear with keeping the others subdued in this bizarre experiment. She was a vet before and she's a vet now, and nobody notices the paradox of a pig owning a fish, a bird. She is paid well for her compliance, by whoever They are. She never sees them. She knows they are there, watching, thousands of them glued to their screens seeing what happens when different species share a common language and habitat. The experiment only really succeeds because of her, and Dr Brown Bear and sometimes the guilt drives her mad. And when it does, she goes to the mountain beauty spot, and she stares out and makes her peace. It is better in here than out there. It is safe.

9 Feb 2017

Another Epic Sandwich

When you have small children, you go one of two ways. The way of virtue - batch cooking everything organically and lovingly from scratch, pulling it from the freezer at the drop of a hat, remembering the use of a slow cooker, always being prepared. Alternatively, there is the the way of fuck this shit - cooking the same six meals on rotation all month because fuck this shit. This is slightly complicated when you have an autistic child who will literally vomit if you try and make them eat something new that they distrust. So we eat pie, and we eat pasta with sauce, and we eat a roast and then a curry made of leftovers, and we eat pulled pork, and we eat egg and chips, and we eat pizza and mini-kievs. And there's nothing WRONG with any of this, but my god it gets DULL.

So here is my treat tea, which I make only for me, and only rarely coz it's FAT, but it breaks up the monotony and the kids have had their egg and chips, and Tom is cooking pasta and I am replete.It's a sandwich type meal, because there's nothing better for a one-person feast. It's just a sandwich! Who can begrudge a sandwich?

Soph's Delicious Fucking Sandwich

You will need:
Two fresh eggs. You can tell how fresh an egg is by reading the use by date and subtracting 21 days. This will give you the day it was packaged. Much easier than fucking about with glasses of water.
Two bread rolls. Not ciabatta, something a bit more sturdy. A standard burger bun will do.
Some smoked salmon. Cheap offcuts are fine.
Hollandaise sauce. Don't make it yourself, but do buy Maille brand because it tastes nice.
Ketchup, if you're a pleb. I am a pleb.

Slice your buns in half. Layer some salad and salmon on the lower half of each.

Now, poach your eggs. I have never had the slightest bit of difficulty poaching eggs, but some people treat it like it's neurosurgery. Make sure your eggs are reasonably fresh. Break them into water that's fucking hot but not quite boiling. Don't touch or stir them. Don't let the water boil. They will set into a little cloud. Skim off the white crap that comes sprouting up - I have a skimmer that I use solely for this, although I'm sure it has some mysterious purpose in stock making. You can use a spoon if you lack a skimmer. Poached eggs don't take long, but will sit for ages in warmish water. I can't tell you when your eggs will be sufficiently poached - for that you must use your eyes. If this is really too difficult, separate your eggs and poach the yolk only. It's much easier to see when the yolk is set. If EVEN THIS is too much, fry the fucking things.

Drain your poached eggs on kitchen paper. This stops everything getting soggy because poached eggs are a bugger for hiding water in their fat, white folds.

Heat your hollandaise. You want a fat spoonful per bun. Maybe two. Don't let it boil, it just wants warming up.

Put a drained egg on each salad-and-salmon bun. Put the warmed hollandaise on top of the egg. Put the top of the bun on top of all this.

Serve with some salad on the side, because the yolk bursts and goes everywhere and you don't want to waste it. And some ketchup, if you're plebby. Eat it. Revel in it. You will need to wash your face and hands afterwards, so you probably don't want an audience.

I would show you a picture, but I ate it too quick.