Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

WTF? the counter comment column by Tyler Chinnick

In T. Chinnick on October 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Autumn 2013


It’s one of the easiest (and most nauseating) rituals on any political campaign: the kissing of the baby. Not so for Tony Abbott, the leader of Australia’s conservative Liberal party who missed the baby altogether and kissed the back of the mother’s head.

This unfortunate photo opportunity has not, unfortunately harmed the campaign. Abbott who looks like the cartoon version of Adam West from The Simpsons and whose rampant homophobia is surpassed only by his misogyny ended up winning the election. pity the nation!

In other election news from down under the One Nation Party’s candidate for Rankin, Queensland – Stephanie Banister bewildered everyone by claiming in a television interview that Islam was a country, Jews followed Jesus and praising a government program that wasn’t due to start for another three years. She stepped down claiming her words had been taken out of context. They hadn’t.


But the ramblings of an inconsequential weirdo on the political fringes pales into insignificance when you consider news coming out of the Prime Minister’s office. The Prime Minister of Israel that is, Benjamin Netanyahu. According to Ha’aretz the Israeli govt. is offering students scholarships if they post pro-Israeli messages on internet fora.

The scheme is reminiscent of China’s ‘50 Cent Party’ where individuals are paid 5p for every pro-China message they write. How becoming more like China will affect Israel’s image abroad is yet to be seen.


Oprah Winfrey accused a Swiss shop assistant of racism for refusing to show her a $35,000 handbag. According to Winfrey the shop assistant tried to show her a different, cheaper bag instead – something which the woman in question denies. The owner of the store maintains that it was all a misunderstanding.

But what is more offensive: the alleged racism or the fact that Oprah Winfrey is willing to spend on a handbag what some people could only hope to earn in a whole year? In completely unrelated news Winfrey’s new film The Butler opened a week after the alleged incident.


Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who heroically/treacherously leaked the largest number of classified documents in modern history has been sentenced to 35 years behind bars.

But before being transferred to Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas where he is due to serve his sentence the 25 year old released a press statement requesting that he be referred to as ‘she’ and be permitted to start hormone therapy as soon as possible.

The statement read “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female . . . I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun . . . I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible”. Good luck in prison, that’s all I can say.


The press continues to unearth examples of UKIP lunacy. The latest numb-nut is a man called Hugh Williams who self-published a book called “From Ur to Us, Everything you Need to Know about History”.

The stuff we need to know about history includes that the second world war was due to “Polish aggression”, that Hitler offered peace to Britain but was refused and that child abuse in the Catholic Church was “negligible”. He referred to the book as being “unencumbered by the shackles of political correctness” – unencumbered by the shackles of sanity would seem more accurate.


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