Tag: Austin

Not Just a Whitty Face

Videos of “yobs” harassing England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, have gone viral. The gibberish chants of these “thugs” have set in motion a MET office enquiry into what our PM, Boris Johnson, described as a “despicable” act. Austin takes a sideways look at the impact of the incident and the broader trends in the British political landscape.

30th June 2021

By Austin

What Happened to Whitty?

If you haven’t come across the appalling clip of “yobs” harassing Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, you must be living under a rock. The clip shows two male aggressors swarming Whitty, bellowing unintelligibly in a symphony of masculine idiocy. Pushing him from side to side, it is hard to work out what the pair wanted from the distressed Whitty.

Source: The Guardian

In the footage, Whitty is just able to duck beneath the arm of one of the men. His accomplice yells from behind, “Just one photo, please”. It would be wrong to trivialise the incident. But, there is something deeply amusing about the “yobs” demanding a photo with Whitty, whilst capturing the whole thing on camera.

Opening social media yesterday morning to see this was deeply concerning. Firstly, no human being (regardless of what Noah says about politicians) should have to endure such abuse. But secondly, it is the perfect illustration of the lack of respect the public has in the institutions of this nation.

MPs have condemned the incident in their droves – and rightly so; newly appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the men “should be ashamed”. Priti Patel commented that she was “horrified” to see this “terrible” act, committed against a “remarkable public servant”.

Think what you like about Whitty. But, there are no logical grounds on which to support the acts of these men.

Is Whitty the First?

Sadly, this is not the first time such an attack has happened. It is not even the first time Whitty has experienced harassment. Just four months ago, a man followed Whitty around London branding him a “liar“, accusing him of making up Covid statistics.

Today’s footage coincided with the hearing of protestor Martin Hockeridge who, harassed journalist Nick Watt. Watt was forced to run the length of the Strand, wading through a sea of megaphone-wielding protesters chanting “that’s what you get for serving this filthy government” and “down with the monarchy”.

The alarming frequency of harassment cases against those in politics begs the question, why? What is driving people to hound individuals in this manner?

Why Whitty?

The footage of the “yobs” doesn’t reveal any political motive. But, this kind of action is a testament to the fact that the government isn’t being taken seriously. Given the government’s track record, this is hardly surprising!

In the space of the last few months, the Prime Minister used £60,000 in unmarked cash from Tory donors to pay for renovations of his flat at No.11 Downing Street. The £39 million ‘Track and Trace’ contract was handed out to Hancock’s Tory chums and proved completely inoperable. Patel has several counts of workplace abuse to her name and yet has not resigned. And most recently, Hancock was caught on camera conducting an affair with his aide.

The current Conservative government is lurching from scandal to scandal, plundering through the pandemic like a bull in a china shop. So, is it any wonder that the public has no faith in the government? The individuals who have prioritised lining their own pockets at the expense of millions of British lives?

I understand that the government makes it even harder to respect the British political system. However, the assault on Whitty illustrated a grave problem with the burgeoning “leftist” demagogy. The notion that harassing a journalist, or physically bullying England’s Chief Medical Officer is an acceptable course of action is utterly disappointing. And, in each of these cases, Whitty’s included, social media has greatly exacerbated the turn of events.

My Problem

Yes, it is important to hold the government to account. That is the basis of this country’s constitution. It is why Parliament exists, why the Queen installs an official opposition and why there has been an increased focus on e-petitions to allow more people’s views to be heard by the government. But, the increase in criminal acts against journalists and government officials is not “holding the government to account”. It is abuse.

Politically, we are trundling down a path towards a precarious tyranny of the majority. With crowds acting as they have been towards Whitty and other officials, there is no hope of positive change.

Instead, these acts give the government ammunition to clip the rights of protestors and non-conformists, reducing our capacity to actually hold the government to account. We have already seen this happen. Priti Patel’s proposed restrictions on protests as part of her policing bill earlier this year illustrate the intentions of this government to silence dissenters. So, what use is there is making the government’s desires easier to achieve?

It must be noted that I am by no means suggesting that the government is behaving in a corrupt way to invoke protests, with the ulterior motive of clipping protesting rights. To assert such an opinion would be to entirely misconstrue events and to descend into conspiracy theories. However, the violent minority is putting ever greater pressure on the government to legislate to reduce our right to protest.

Protests are a part of this nation’s vibrant past. Without protests, Patel would not have a seat in the Commons, let alone a position in Cabinet. As a nation we must safeguard our right to express our opinions and hold the government to account by not allowing ourselves to be caught up in this political aggression.

What is to be done?

I’m sure our high-calibre Decablogs readers will appreciate the Lenin reference in the subheading. But, you must understand I am not advocating some sort of Decablogs Blanquism and a mass overthrowal of government. No, no.

Instead of resorting to violence and playing right into the hands of those sleazy government officials, we must show a reverence for the constitutional process. It is impossible for serious political and social change to occur if the “thug” persona can be pedalled by the media. We cannot give way to atavistic instincts. We cannot lose sight of what really matters – the burning social injustices of our society.

While MPs were quick to rally around Whitty to condemn the atrocious act of violence against him, they have as yet failed to recognise that such violence is the lived experience for women across the globe – over half of the world’s population. They have as yet failed to remedy the vast social inequality, that has only been perpetuated by Covid.

In Sumamry

The assault on Chris Whitty was disgusting to watch – a shameful act of half-baked barbarism. Sadly, though, such instances of harassment are now very much commonplace. And yet, spurred on by a dangerous brand of vaguely socialist Instagram “leftism”, the course of activism has been hijacked by a intense breed of far-fetched revolutionaries. Such action makes a mockery of real concerns like inequality and achieving social justice.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this blog. If you have found any of it interesting, I’d love to hear from you over on Instagram.

The Meal Deal: A New British Icon

The supermarket meal deal – a main, a drink and a snack. Conveniently packaged, and more to the point, competitively priced, the importance of the meal deal in today’s society cannot be overstated. N.B. Decablogs is not in receipt of monetary endorsement for this post. But, if Tesco would like to pay me to gobble down some pasta pots, I’m ready to talk.

26th June 2021

By Austin

When the urge strikes

It’s a Tuesday afternoon. And you’ve been sitting now for roughly forty minutes in your lounge, avidly tracing the motion of the wall-mounted clock with your eyes. As the second hand races towards the top, and the hour hand plants itself above the “1”, you are thinking of one thing and one thing alone – lunch. 

Your brain kicks into gear and as you pace into the kitchen, visions of mediterranean banquets flicker before your eyes. This imaginary mise-en-scene of Italian hams, tomato based sundries and delicious cheeses is shattered when you prise open the fridge to see some low fat margarine, a single spring onion and the cold blue light blinking back at you. There is only one course of action – meal deal.

Snatching your coat from the hook, scooping up your phone, keys and wallet in a perfectly rehearsed pirouette, you swing back the door and stroll down to your local supermarket.

The Meal Deal – a British Icon

What I have just detailed is a vignette of modern british life that rivals even Turgenev in the romance of its realism. The meal deal is a perennial icon. A symphony of thrift and choice that has come to embody a generation of Brits. As the sun reaches its highest point each day, millions of Brits pour out of houses, offices and brothels, with a burning desire for a delicious lunch that won’t break the bank. So, the appeal of the meal deal is undeniable. 

But, the reason for my post is to lay down a few ground rules. It’s fair to say, I have had quite a few meal deals in my time and so I like to think I have a pretty good grasp of what separates a banging meal deal from an out-and-out stinker. 

Where to get your Meal Deal:

The first decision you are faced with (bad news if you are an indecisive Libra) when on the hunt for a meal deal is where to cop it from. To my mind there is only one viable option – Tesco. No one does meal deals like Tesco. For the humble price of £3, you can pick up a quality meal deal from one of 13 million meal deal combinations

Historically, my second choice meal deal would have been Sainsbury’s. However, recently they have upped the price of their meal deal to £3.50. So it is no longer the case that the low price compensates for the lack of options. 

Many would argue that Co-op offers a good meal deal option. And to those people I would say, are you high? Co-op is overpriced, limited in choice and generally not a nice place to be. And, in many of the stores I have been in, meal deal items are not clearly signposted, leaving hungry shop-goers to traipse all over to track down a – let’s be honest – astonishingly mediocre lunch.

So, these are the big three on the meal deal scene. However, there is a list of shops from which I would actively discourage getting a meal deal.

  1. WHSmiths – Overpriced, wraps that taste like cardboard
  2. M&S – Great food but be prepared to remortgage your house to finance it 
  3. Morrison’s – I’m sure they’re great but my nearest Morrison’s is 32 miles away (no thank you!)
  4. Pret – not actually a meal deal, grow up!
  5. Boots – As far as meal deals go, they were the first and now they’re the worst

The Nitty Gritty of the Meal Deal

Right, so you’ve made the right call and demonstrated to the world that you have a fully-functioning brain by walking into a Tesco. From the entrance you are able to make out the clearly labelled section “Food To Go” and so you walk over and set about making your selection.

As far as I am concerned, there is only one correct choice with the Tesco Meal Deal. 

  1. Main – Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Wrap
  2. Side – Cadbury’s Boost Duo
  3. Drink – Naked Blue Machine Blueberry Smoothie

The undisputed king of meal deals. It marries taste, vegetarianism, flavour and value in a small form-factor meal that is easy to carry in one hand without a bag. While this is the only logical option, there are a few other approaches that can work.

Value Junkie

Many meal dealers opt for the most expensive items in the meals deal to maximise value, often at the expense of taste. The most expensive meal deal item is the smoothie, double sushi combo.

  1. Main – Vegetable Sushi – £2.75
  2. Snack – Vegetable Sushi – £1.00
  3. Drink – Naked Smoothie – £2.36

= £6.11 for the price of £3.00

While value junkies would be the first to admit that this isn’t the best tasting meal deal, they can justify such a purchase given the immense dopamine rush at seeing the £6.11 total on the self-checkout drop to £3.00.

Themed Meal Deals

Some like to unite their purchases with a common theme. These can include a focus on Indian cuisine (Main: Samosa, Snack: Samosa and Drink: Ginger and turmeric smoothie shot) or a pasta heavy meal deal (Main: Cheese and Tomato pasta pot, Snack: Cheese and Tomato pasta snack pot, Drink: Water – to cleanse the palate between the wildly different main and snack flavours). While I can respect the themed meal dealer, its not a way I can live my life.

There are, however, some lines over which one cannot cross. What follows is a list of cardinal sins, the sort of things that if I saw someone swiping throught the checkout would make me put my head in my hands and wail audibly.

Avoid at all costs

Mains:

  • The Spicy Bean Wrap – If you are consistently beaning, you must really hate yourself
  • Prawn Layered Salad – Stomach churning – who are you trying to be?

Snack:

  • Egg Protein Pot – If you’re choosing this, you are the worst type of person
  • Tortilla Chip Pot – These are always stale. Get doritos like a normal person
  • Tyrrells Vegetable Crisps – Just No.

Drink:

  • Coconut Water – This is what happens when you start choosing meal deals for instagram photos rather than taste

That’s a wrap! (I hate myself too). If you think I’ve missed out any sinful meal deal items, let me know via instagram: https://www.instagram.com/decablogs/ or via email decablogs10@gmail.com. Thanks for reading! If you liked this or want to have more of this style of blog, leave a comment, like and share – it costs you nothing and makes writing these blogs worthwhile 🙂

David and Goliath

8th May 2021

By Austin

In the biblical fashion of David and Goliath, Austin declares war on “Award Winning Social Media Blogger” Mike Allton. After some seriously aggressive tweets, the only thing that can save the Decablogs mothership is full-blown out-and-out cyber conflict. The thick, oozing beef is enough to make a vegetarian like Austin squirm.

Decablogs! The very word is an anagram of ‘sobcdealg’. The Headquarters of Blogging. The dozen or so pages of velvet prose nestling in the warm folds of the ‘.com’ universe. The blog (itself an anagram of ‘glob’) that is girlfriend, mistress, mother, casual boyfriend, sergeant major, nurse-maid, father-confessor and one-night stand all rolled into one. Decablogs means so much to so many.

However, between May 5th and May 7th 2021, a burning injustice was committed. Fellow Decablogger Gavriel set about some perfectly harmless, perfectly legal blog promotion on Twitter and was chewed up and spat out by a bigger boy, by the name of Mike Allton. I don’t want to call Mike a bully, a scoundrel, a good-for-nothing motionless fart because what would that achieve? But, what he said to Gavriel left the poor man in tears, trembling at the very thought of ever having to go on the internet ever again.

While deliberating over whether or not to write this post, I was in my shed. As I was sweating away with chisels and 6ft plywood planks, trying to recall the rudiments of year 7 woodworks, a friend called me and asked what the hell I thought I was doing. ‘I have a record player and nowhere to put it,’ I said, ‘and there comes a time when you need to make a stand.’ So a stand I intend to make.

The Events:

On the 5th of May, Mike Allton (or Big Mike as he shall henceforth be referred to) set about a little bit of – your friend and mine – online promotion. Unfortunately for him, he made the woeful miscalculation of thinking anyone was actually interested in his “Blogging Bootcamp”. His tweet ran as follows:

By all accounts, this is an entirely innocent tweet. Little was Gavriel, of this parish, to know that the moniker “Blogging Brute” plastered at the bottom of his promotion revealed such a core element of Big Mike’s character. At this point, though, we just felt sorry for him. Although we cannot claim to be an “Award Winning Social Media Blogger” like he does in his Twitter bio, we are perfectly acquainted with how it feels not to get any replies to a tweet (yes I am trying to guilt-trip you into following us on Twitter and by Timothy I think it’s working). So out of the goodness of his heart, Gavriel deigned it to reply, thusly:

Gavriel‘s reply above was in perfectly good humour, simply alerting Big Mike that he was not alone in the wilderness of the ‘.com’ universe and that we were there for him. From his reply, it was clear the sort of character we were dealing with. The bullish “Oh Man” says it all. This man is a Blogging Brute. The troll under the bridge spinning riddles so that small bloggers cannot pass. Well, Big Mike, I’d like to take you on a few points (if I may).

Firstly, your query “What do you actually write about?” would be quite easily answered by a quick click on the link that Gavriel was so kind to furnish you with below. Secondly, for someone who rather embarrassingly claims to be “Fluent in Star Wars”, perhaps you should get to grips with English first. Has it occurred to you that “[driving]” and “traffic” are virtually incompatible with one another? I’m not going to sit here and point out all the problems with your Twitter presence without offering a solution. I think you would benefit from writing into Agony Aunt, which by the way will be making a comeback if we hit our Instagram milestone – so go follow us NOW!

Gavriel‘s response below was perfectly poised to help out a clearly disgruntled Big Mike. In a manner we have all come to expect from Gavriel, he replied to Big Mike’s sarky retort with an arm around the shoulder. Gavriel‘s suggestion to “write about current events” was a great one, which I’m sure would help Big Mike drive the traffic of his dreams. If you haven’t already, read the blog Gavriel tagged below about the 2021 London Mayoral Election here.

Big Mike’s last reply says it all really. Before anything else, let it be known that Big Mike Himself, an “Award Winning Social Media Blogger”, thinks that Decablogs will last “years from now”. (Also, FYI, award-winning should be hyphenated. Pretty embarrassing for someone who claims to be an author your Twitter bio). However, the thing that angered us most, that ground our gears, that chafed our crack was what he said next.

“Damn, I was so out of line”.

“I was so out of line”.

“I”.

Mike, Mike, Mike.

I think there has been some sort of misunderstanding. There is no “I” in Decablogs. This is not some egotistical, sycophantic vanity project. No. Decablogs is a collective. More than that, we are principled. We stand up for the little guy, championing the plight of the common man. We seek to right the injustices that poison this hallowed internet, which we all hold so dear. But above all, we do not let brutes go unchecked.

For you, it would seem, blogging is about driving traffic and converting sales. Chasing profit and using others to further your own personal gain. But we Decabloggers see so much more in blogging. A platform for expression, to get voices heard, we are Decablogs. No amount of glibly uttered “Dude”s or “Damn”s can change that.

Those final words of Big Mike’s reply – “Good Luck” – were severely tinged. Any semblance of well-meaning sentiment was disgraced by the smug grin of his profile picture. I have only one more thing to say to Big Mike.

Dude. Years from now you’re going to think back on this thread and realise, “Damn, I really should have looked at my border policy to stop all my hair migrating to my chin.”

Good Luck Big Mike

Decablogs

All the best,

Austin

Mwah.

If you enjoyed this blog, stick it to the man and join the Decablogs movement. Follow our socials and share this post with anyone who will read it. Heck, send it to your nan if you feel like it. Don’t let Big Mike win. Feel free to weigh in on the matter in the comment section below!

Agony Aunt

27th April 2021

By Austin

In his restless pursuit of copper-bottomed baboonery, Austin has become Agony Aunt for a week. Below are his responses to emails as far-ranging as subjects about one thing and other subjects about other things:

Howdy! It is well known that in this life one should try everything once, save gnocchi and incest. This week I’m having a bash at being an Agony Aunt. My inbox was flooded this week so unfortunately some of your emails got slightly damp. Nonetheless, I was able to salvage some of your predicaments. But this experiment only lasts for this week, so for Pete’s sake don’t bother me with your problems!!! Okay? Great! Thanks! Much appreciated. Mm!

Dear Aunt Austin, what’s happening to my body? I’m just knocking on the door of fourteen and I am becoming aware of certain changes in me and in my feelings towards others. What does it mean? Yours, ‘Mildly Perplexed’

Dear Mildly Perplexed, pull the other one – it’s got bells on it. You’re fully aware of what’s happening inside you, you just want me to write a reply that includes the word ‘genitals’ so you can have a rotten giggle over it. I only deal with genuine problems here; if you want filth try your local train station car park.

Dear Aunt Austin, my girlfriend, whom I love dearly, is unable to satisfy my appetites, and I have started going to restaurants behind her back. I am terrified that if she sees me eating in a peculiar place she’ll sever the relationship. Should I tell her before she finds out? Yours, ‘Hungry’

Dear ‘Hungry’, There’s more to a relationship than just plain eating you know. Of course, for the first few weeks, food and mealtimes will be the most important thing you have between you, and you’ll spend all day at the table together, exploring each other’s tastes and range of cooking styles. But if a relationship is to last, it’s important you learn to find interests outside of the kitchen. If she can’t satisfy you at the moment, perhaps it’s because you aren’t telling her what it is that you want and need. Buy a cookery book, there are plenty available, showing a variety of cuisines that may be more to your taste. Happy gorging!

Dear Aunt Austin, Mr Graham – our headmaster – is forcing me to do double maths every Monday afternoon. I hate maths and it clashes with Neighbours, the Australian Soap on Daytime TV. Could you come round and shoot him so I can get out of it? Lots of love, Peter

Dear Peter, as much as I would love to help, you have a duty to go to school. I know you teachers don’t get paid enough but there are hundreds of students relying on you to guide them through exams – so buck up and get teaching!

Dear Aunt Austin, I think my wife is cheating on me. She keeps answering calls and secretly texting with her phone angled away from me. I have had suspicions for quite some time now. But recently she has been going out a lot more in the evenings with “the girls” who she knows “from work” and whom I have “never met”. Finally, I had had enough. Last Tuesday I tried to follow her. I tailed her very discreetly in my car and parked outside the restaurant the taxi dropped her off at. As she entered, I crouched down behind my BMW 1 Series M Sport and saw the stuff of nightmares. My exhaust pipe was leaking oil. Is this something that can be easily remedied? Yours, ‘Highly Flammable’

Dear ‘Highly Flammable’, I know of somebody else who is also having car troubles at the moment. Last Tuesday, I met a delightful woman for dinner at a very nice little restaurant. I could tell it was a good one because there were a number of expensive cars outside, including a BMW much like yours. Anyway, I got talking to this woman and she mentioned how her husband was having trouble with leaky pipes – you’re clearly not the only one. My prescription would be to visit your local Kwik Fit, kick the tyres and say “she’s got four good feet on her” to seem like you know what you’re talking about. 

That’s all for this week. Next week I’ll be interviewing the world’s worst escapologist Alexei Navalny on how he is faring in lockdown. Who knows, the week after that I might be on the moon! Look out!!!

All my love, 

Aunt Austin

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