We all recall where we were when x happened.

JFK, Lockerbie, 9-11,  7-7, whatever. It’s relentless, isn’t it?

But then – it’s not always about the bad; remember putting a man on the moon, or Nelson Mandela walking to freedom, the fall of the USSR, the fall of the Berlin Wall. Good stuff is also relentless.

And sometimes our jaws drop in wonder at the good as much as at the bad.

That’s life.

Good and bad.

The facts of life are not terribly difficult to understand – sh*t happens sometimes, but so does great stuff. Our greatest enemy is nature – we constantly fight it to keep dry, to keep warm, to keep fed.

Our greatest enemy is nature – we constantly fight it to keep dry, to keep warm, to keep fed. But it fights back and takes a massive toll in floods, landslides, sinkholes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes, and more besides.

Then there is the man-made stuff; bad stuff is not always “mother nature” or “the gods”; people can also wreak havoc: gunmen in schools, rapists, pillagers, suicide bombers, politicians, mentally unstable people and the angry and intolerant.

What happens is this – a natural disaster occurs and everyone goes on the media and social media to send thoughts and prayers. A fund may be set up. We come together, we rebuild. Life goes on.

Then when a bomb goes off, everyone goes on the media and social media to send thoughts and prayers. A fund may be set up. We come together, we stand defiant, we rebuild and life goes on.

The subtle difference between a natural event and a man-made event is that we feel we could somehow have prevented the man-made one happening.

But is that true?

Look, I have small children. I know they could get a virus, they could get injured, the could be attacked. We all know the possibilities, the risks. But I also know that they could have wonder, fun, and experience joy and happiness too and that I need to let them have their own life and stop being so over-protective. It’s the contrast between the lows and highs that adds the most drama.

What can y’do?

I totally understand people demanding that “something should be done” when bad things happen. I get the calls for change, for more checks and balances, for tighter security, for arming police – for a complete change in our way of life.

But I do not want that. Instead, I feel that it is not what happens as much as how one deals with what happens. How quickly things get back on course – back to “normal”. Of course, if something happened to my child, I would feel what any parent would – but I would not demand change. I would insist on the opposite.

Yes, I have come to terms with terrorism. I see it as a risk as much as any natural event.  I won’t take it personally. I accept the pain, the shame, the anguish, I feel for all survivors everywhere. I just think we all have to accept that sh*t happens and we cannot prevent it. It could be an earthquake, or it could be a terrorist. It doesn’t really matter which at the end of the day. It ought not to stop anyone living a life and making the best of it.

There is little point in calling for an eye for an eye or to fight fire with fire or to gnash teeth and wring hands. We have to push through the loss, the grief, the senselessness of life. That is all – nothing could have stopped it, no measures are air-tight, and who would wish to live in such an air-tight claustrophobic nanny state world (apart from terrorists, that is)?

Getting on with it is not an act of defiance or some show against terrorism, it is simply a fact of life. A knee-jerk reaction is never a good option. Why does anything have to change because of a weird event? Every base cannot be covered.

My call is to allow people to get on with dealing with life as best they can without undue and unhelpful interference or influence. Life’s hard enough.

Political Mashup

I was on facebook tonight, and despite all my filters, I saw some political posts. And this made me sad because people still buy politics and religion and I don’t. I like to think I have moved on/ evolved/ healed from all that.

It’s not that I am not political or spiritual, it is more that I think the set-in-stone groups and parties don’t work anymore and should be consigned to historical footnotery.

I understand greedy people as I see them the most, but I wonder most at people who are lefties. Not just Marxists or Communists, but Socialists. Those Card-Carrying Labour Party members, those Labour voters, people in Trades Unions. Even members of co-operatives.

These people intrigue me because they purport to be caring, chummy and folksy, but take pains to be awkward and weird. Seeking equality and fairness somehow defines them as elite and special and unusual/individual. Martyrs as well.

I am not a fan of fascists or totalitarians either. I dislike Capitalism as much as anything else.

If I lived in the 15th century, things would be different. But hey ho; I don’t.

I genuinely wonder at these political ideologies – why do they exist still – seriously – in this day and age?

As I have aged and mellowed, I realise that there has to be some grains of truth in all of these ideas for them to still have that traction. This gave me the idea for a thought experiment.

What if they could be blended? Would it be possible to find a solution that was a blend of political/ religious ideologies?

At that point I remembered hearing about a couple who exhibited communist behaviour in restaurants – that seemed perfectly authentic to me; been then done that so many times!

A couple go into a restaurant and order dinner. The female sees everything ordered as common property – and feels able to help herself to any and all of the dishes on the table – even the ones ordered by her date.  This is small scale Communism.

“I won’t order that if you are, then we can share two dishes”

This shows that Communism works – but can it be scaled up? That’s the rub – I just don’t think so.

It only works small scale on a family or close personal level, and it works in a capitalist context (the restaurant). So the problem with Communism is not the ideology itself; it’s the fact that it cannot scale up.

Equally, conservative capitalism is horrible at that scale – you order your meal competitively, trying to get the best deal, get the best value for money – beat your date, no sharing, just winning. Split the bill. Hmm. That doesn’t work well either.

Running a country is more complex than a dinner (I hear you scream), but I would suggest that it is the the essence and underlying principles that are what matter in real life.

In real life, things are actually complicated in that very way. For example, take the NHS in the UK (The National Health Service in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). This is a socialist enterprise in a capitalist country in a capitalist world. This is the interface of one ideology with another. Fact.

The socialist NHS principle meets the Big Pharma capitalist model head-on. The pharmaceutical companies have shareholders and supply the NHS with all the drugs it needs to function. These drugs (pills, injections, rubs, lotions, potions etc) cost money and are under the capitalist rules of a free market. It’s oranges meets apples.

This is two systems clashing, it’s how it is, it is the real world. These ideologies exist still, so they have to somehow co-exist. Ideologies are designed to work only when there is no opposition, they are founded on the principle of being the only system, and not a bit part. Not only is this a flaw in itself, but I am pretty sure that if there was only one political system in the world, regardless of what it is, it wouldn’t work.

There is only one conclusion from this thought experiment: it’s clear that we need to accommodate the facts of life, the truth as it actually is – even if we just don’t want to (because we want to win, and for our favoured political ideology to be the only one, pure and universal game being played, even knowing that this still wouldn’t work).

This is the problem.

But I say that they can work together. I would even go as far as to argue that “universal” is bad, and that completely different political systems actually need to work together – just like the above socialist dinner in a capitalist restaurant setting. (I could even argue the same about religion, but I’m sticking to politics for this article).

I tend to agree with Johanna “Hannah” Arendt – that politics needs a rethink, that it is outdated, that it suited circumstances in another time, and that it is all no longer fit for purpose. She knew that Socialism,  Capitalism, Liberalism, Republicanism, and all the rest, needed to be binned in favour of new things that actually worked in the modern world and would prevent totalitarianism and other ills as a result.

Look, if you were the “Dad” of a family, you wouldn’t ask for a vote; you would be expected to be the the “Dad”, to know what to do, what action to take. This is an example of a dictatorship that works (because the Dad is beneficent), but which cannot be scale up without problems. For biggest governance, other people need to be asked their opinion.

I could go on -with example after example of how each and every political ideology works in the real world at one scale or another, and it proves nothing more than that each has truth, but is not The Truth, not The Answer – and that – extraordinarily, and unexpectedly – ideologies can (and perhaps ought to) co-exist with others to produce a fairer society.

Arendt thought that the defining point of entry for politics was when you HAD to say: “Hey; that’s not fair!”, and than had a mechanism for fixing the problem. I would go along with that.

Fixing society should be free form the shackles of politics. The NHS ought not to be a “political football”.

It’s terrible that when you address issues that matter, you have a colour/ political affiliation or allegiance to explain/ address/ or be associated with. You ought to be free to solve the problem in whatever manner is appropriate without having to think about tribal labelling.

Don’t you think?



Ups & Downs of The Market

Right after Brexit’s result, the markets dived. Right after Trump’s win, the markets collapsed.

And everyone points to the drop in the markets as though these indices were in some way a reflection of how well a country is doing. But that is simply untrue.

The big fuss about the Dow Jones Industrial Average number is ridiculous – an arbitrary selection of 30 companies, not even the biggest or most well-known, record their share values and this rather silly and unrepresentative value is then divided by a weird number that someone came up with in the 1800s (which we over-egg by calling it an “algorithm” in today’s parlance).

The Foostie, the S&P 500, the Hang Seng and the rest are indices of the stock market. That is all they are.

This is about the rich people.

When an index rises, this simply means the rich people are getting richer.

When an index falls, then rich people are losing money – and if the drop is significant enough and for a long enough time, then there is a chance that it might actually affect real, everyday people like you and me because companies may shed employees, or close down altogether.

This means that in a recession, everyone loses.

But at all other times, it is mainly about rich people and their value on paper.

Trump wins the election in the USA and the markets drop in value. OK, Boo hoo – rich people have less dough for a few hours because Trump then makes his acceptance speech and the markets rise to previous levels and above. So the rich people don’t lose a penny after all.

I just don’t get why the news media keep reporting the ups and downs of the markets when it is mainly only of interest to the rich – to people who own shares, to stockholders – do you know any?

It seems to be used as evidence of the foolishness of the masses to vote the way they did. The flavour is: Look what you did! See what has happened?

The markets are not a true reflection of the state of economic or political heath of a nation – these indices do not account for the common man – there is no consideration of inflation, currency exchanges, GDP, interest rates or anything other than the gambling value of company shares being traded by computers at break-neck speed over fibre optic cables.

Whenever I hear a news bulletin report the Footsie 100 or the Dow Jones, I grind my teeth and wish I were rich enough to give a damn.


Touching design

As a design student, it was impressed upon me the importance of how users intimately interact with a product design. I have never forgotten the handshake, the contact points, and I still use it to decide which things to buy. It’s how I evaluate everything, a benchmark.

I remember how BMW made the interior light fade instead of just switching on or off, and how that made me feel it was somehow of superior quality. How my CD player grabbed my disc solidly and drew it into the slot – how the lid of my cassette player slowly slid open – the sound of a Jaguar car door shutting.

Similarly, I remember so many things that felt lightweight, plasticky and cheap.

I was chatting with a colleague at work about vinyl making a comeback. He said “Why? the sound is terrible, and you get scratches and hiss.” He was genuinely puzzled.

That was when I realised how much tactility we’ve lost – and how that might be something we feel lacking today.

A digital file might sound better, and be conjured up easily on a phone or laptop – but with vinyl there is handling. The design handshake. You get artwork, a card sleeve, the disc itself and the ritual of taking it out, putting it on, and turning it over when the side was played through.

This is common to all audio formats – cassette, CD or 8-Track. You got a “thing”.

Reading a Kindle book is great – cheap and very convenient. But it also lacks that handshake. A book feels, smells and looks better – and an expensive book – a hardback with a dust cover – is a prized possession to be cared for.

I worry about the future in this respect; driverless cars, voice activated audio and video and more besides. If you are not driving the car, how can it thrill?

At one time, people bought a daily newspaper – it  was used as a tablecloth, a napkin, to wrap chips, scrunched up to clean stainless steel and windows, rolled-up to swat flies, stuffed into damp shoes, cut into party decorations, used to draw a coal fire… it was read, the crossword was done, articles clipped out, ads circled, moustaches doodled onto the photographed luminaries. It was laid under carpets and used to fill gaps in window frames.

Today, we read our news online, listen to the radio or watch TV.

I’m no different; I stopped wearing a wristwatch in favour of the smartphone. I put away my cassettes, videos, CDs, DVDs, LPs, 45s, reels, books, magazines… I will ask Google before looking up a dictionary or pull a book from my shelves. I threw out my maps and atlases years ago in favour of my sat nav and google maps.

My TV is too thin to have a decent speaker, and I have lost all concept of quality, accepting whatever my phone or TV gives me. I put up with slow browsers, buffering, Freeview digital “Max Headroom” glitches. This is what I have become.

My pens have dried up, my watches stopped. Nothing ticks, nothing takes time to dry, nothing needs a tactility skill, fingers swipe screens and click mice.

I have playing cards, chess sets, wind-up toys and board games in a sealed box in the cellar. My children play with tech, and buy apps. Will they grow up with no understanding of what a new book feels and smells like? What it’s like to be given a designed product as a gift? Will they know or miss knowing that feeling you get  when you clean the capstan and recording heads, when a tape desk has been demagnetised, when a record has been brushed, when a guitar has been restrung and tuned, when a car was driven with joy and appreciation?

Will they care about design? Will they grow fond of a thing? Will they relate to the ghost in the machine?

I wonder if vinyl’s return reveals an innate need…


Old Bits’n’Bobs

2016 was a bit of a drag year for me. I’m hoping it will be much more fun next year.Last year’s Older Bits’n’Bobs are listed here, but this year’s Old Bits’n’Bobs are listed and linked below for your delight and delectation.

Older Bits’n’Bobs

Looking back at my output for 2015 brings me to the admission that it can all be filed neatly under Older Bits’n’Bobs. I’m sure you will agree that you don’t find stuff like this anywhere else on the tinternets. Enjoy all 54 for the knock-down price of none.

Democracy Solved

What started out as being declared “a good thing” that “people are again engaging in politics”, has turned pretty sour; Trump, Brexit and the Scottish independence referendum have upset a lot of people on social media, and even in real life.  These are just three recent examples, there are far more. Democracy is in crisis, but I think this year might have found a real solution.

There are so many flavours of democracy for it to mean anything, yet people fight and die to give whatever-it-is to foreign countries. It seems that if it is labelled “democracy” then it is better than a dictatorship or anything else. I’m not entirely sure that this is true.

When people argue with me, especially when I say I do not vote, they usually make the mistake of fighting for the grand democratic concept instead of the system that is actually set up and running my country. The one I am against.

Basically, I argue, we are trying to use a 17th century system in the 21st century, but if we could invent such a system in the first place, surely we could come up with a new and better one if we put our minds to it.

The response I get to that simple idea amazes me – people seem so attached to the status quo, to party politics, to labels like “Labour” or “Tory” – even while being upset that Brexit or Trump can happen against their wishes.

While more people may now agree with me that it is a bit of a mess, ideas on solving the problem are thin on the ground, so I have decided to stop pointing out the corruption, the inefficiency, and the undemocraticness (to coin a new word), and instead try to be a bit more positive.

Dr Benjamin Barber has a cool way of getting democracy to work again by thinking in terms of cities instead of countries.

Listen to his TED talk from 2013.

If you don’t have time for the full talk, there is a really good short interview on TED Radio hour from NPR on youtube. Go to 9.06 for the start of his segment.

Alternatively, you can scan the written transcript here.

They have to get things done, they have to put ideology and religion and ethnicity aside and draw their cities together. We saw this a couple of decades ago when Teddy Kollek, the great mayor of Jerusalem in the ’80s and the ’90s, was besieged one day in his office by religious leaders from all of the backgrounds, Christian prelates, rabbis, imams. They were arguing with one another about access to the holy sites. And the squabble went on and on, and Kollek listened and listened, and he finally said, “Gentlemen, spare me your sermons, and I will fix your sewers.”

I like this very much; I do think people belong to cities – even when they live in the suburbs or countryside, they pick the nearest city to say that is where they are from.

Cities have identities and universities. Football teams, festivals, trams or subways, restaurants and parks. They are a manageable size for belonging – far better than a whole country. I feel more Glaswegian than Scottish, and I am sure that this is typical.

We already have Mayors and councils in place. So the future could be built from something we already have – we would only then need to adjust and refine, perhaps using technology, perhaps revising the party system, and also by transfer of powers and by getting local authority finance sorted better.

It seems to be the case that every city everywhere has similar working structures – and they all learn from each other because the problems are the same – sewers, potholes, public transport etc. This is not a weird pipe-dream set up. It’s not too radical for people to get behind. And that’s a plus point I think.

This year, 2016, was the first Global Parliament of Mayors., meaning that change has started already. Mayors and council heads from all around the planet met up in the Netherlands to get this going. This, to me, is a really positive step, and seems to me to be the solution for democracy.

Trusting Forward

Times they are a changin’ – so sang Bob Dylan back in 1964, and he’s just won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year (2016), so he’s still valid, and what he sang is still valid too.

The times are indeed still changing. It’s a big change in itself that Bob can win a literature prize when he’s not working in that field.

I suspect that the biggest change is in regard to trust.

When you think about it, trust underpins the majority of changes we all hear about these days.

Labour Party supporters lost trust in their own party and voted in Corbyn. The public lost trust in the Labour Party and voted for other parties instead. The majority of Brits lost trust in membership of the European Union.

People have lost trust in Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Banks. They have also lost trust in politics, religion, economics, sport, climate change, and the media.

Corruption, Fake News, Drugged athletes, VW’s rigged emissions… it’s difficult to find anything we can still trust in.

This idea intrigues me, so I’m thinking it through here on this blog in front of your very eyes.

I was once told that marriage is a relationship based on trust. That it requires a buy-in from both parties, and is based on continuance-without-question. This is close to the work ethic in that you get up and go to work each morning without thinking – it’s automatic, it’s what you do. You do not have to stop and decide to choose to go to work each day. Same thing with marriage – you decided to marry, and don’t need to make that choice every day. Until that trust is broken.

Can trust in work or marriage, once broken, ever be regained? I have heard it said that once trust in a relationship is broken, then a decision is continually made – that there is a choice every morning. You do not automatically assume subconsciously to continue. Broken trust is when that comes to the fore and is considered however fleetingly. Maybe this fades over time? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Yes, we all know relationships can continue – but the point is that the trust is not there; something has changed. Perhaps more often than not, continuance is because there is no clear alternative, and the choice is forced rather than freely made.

OK. I know what you’re thinking – that relationships have different areas of trust, and my description is too narrow.  You’re right but only to a certain extent; some people don’t trust their partners to drive their car, others don’t trust their significant other with handling the money or children.So we can have working relationships containing distrust, but it seems to me that it works only when the distrust is known to both, and actively managed (not ignored or avoided). That’s the important difference I think.

What can be done when trust is broken?

Well we can vote for change. We can vote against the establishment. We can revolt. We can fight back.

I know that Air B’n’B is all about trust; people are in your home – your private and personal space.  Uber is another new business that is very trusting too.

This is the new trust way.

We always had a social contract, a trust that the taxi driver would take us to our destination. We maybe didn’t have a great level of trust that the fare would be correct or that the taxi would not break the speed limit. But with Uber and Air B’n’B it’s a two-way street in that you can review your experience, and they can review you as a customer.

The result is that service provider and customer behave better, and trust is currency.

Reputation becomes the biggest and most important commodity.

Councils provide housing for people who do not take care of the property. Perhaps if there was a system like the Uber/ Air B’n’B model, reputation would make councils repair and maintain properties better, and tenants would keep their homes better?

Banking and investing have always been about customer reputation – credit scores and ratings – but that is one-sided. We need the banks and financial institutions to care about their own reputations, we need this to be a two-way street to rebuilt trust.

Politics is too far gone. The old party politics system is no longer fit for purpose. Council members, MPs, MEPs and MSPs have never been rated and reviewed on their performance, their delivery of manifesto promises nor even on their attendance/ involvement. There have never been Key Performance Indicators nor targets against which they may be measured. It’s deliberately complicated and opaque.

I can’t think of anything that can’t be improved by changing to a reputation model – including work. I hope this is the future.


Petty Crime for the 21st Century

The way we shop has changed – along with the way we steal.

My mother shopped every day, sometimes more than once. She would take her shopping bag and buy just what she needed for the meal or recipe – a couple of slices of this, a few scoops of that. This type of shopping made it difficult to steal because you were served by a counter assistant on a one-to-one basis.

Stealing relied on sleight of hand skills and misdirection. You could ask for something on a high shelf, for example, and while the assistant wasn’t looking, items could be pocketed. You could use an accomplice too – this helps with misdirection, and while there were no CCTV cameras or smart tags, the risk was direct and personal.

I know of people who are nostalgic for such days; they miss the thrill, the adrenaline rush, the risk of shame and humiliation. Even when there was no criminal intent, this was present; the shop assistant knew exactly what you were buying – pornographic material, condoms or ointments for thrush.

Perhaps because of the personal interaction element, the embarrassment factor or the need for privacy, shopping changed, and along with it, the crime.

Supermarkets introduced baskets, trolleys and check-outs. The thief only had to put items in a pocket or otherwise avoid the check-out till. Shopping was much faster and less embarrassing, but so was shop-lifting.

It is possible that the losses, at least to some extent, would be offset by the savings in reduced staffing levels and relying on technology like CCTV.

But people are inventive, and with each new innovation in shopping comes an innovation in crime.

Today, we have the Self-Service-Checkout.

Thieves must be delighted with this – it makes everything so much easier and less risky. If caught, one can simply say it was an innocent error.

George Charles of VoucherCodesPro.co.uk carried out a survey of 2,634 people aged 18 and over about their shopping habits and use of self service checkouts.

About 19 per cent said they stole from Self -Service-Checkouts – and the majority said they stole regularly.

Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “Theft from stores pushed the direct cost of retail crime up to £511m last year, 166 per cent higher than five years ago.”

Of course, this generates more vigilance – usually in CCTV at this area, but what if there was a way to go undetected by CCTV?

Well, it seems that there is a way. I was recently told of a popular method to rob a store blind while appearing to do everything properly and honestly.

Here’s how it works:

You do not scan your expensive steak, instead you turn the barcode from the scanner, and weigh it on the scales instead. You select a cheaper item – so instead of paying for steak, you pay for apples or a potato or something about the right weight. This allows you to put the item into the scaled bagging area, where it will be expected.

Nothing looks amiss; on the CCTV, you have scanned everything, and no alarms have been sounded. You pass through the door scanners too – you have a receipt, so you can even return items later. Everything appears above board.

So what can the shops do?

The answer to that might just be from Amazon – the new Amazon Go shops.

This idea seems a way to stop stealing – but on the other hand, it removes ALL the people – these stores do not need the same numbers of CCTV and store security personnel – and no till operators. Even if they are not foolproof (remember with each innovation comes innovation in crime), the saving in not paying staff might make it worth it.

I saw this with Uber recently too – they are having problems with trades unions and worker rights to the extent that they are heading down the driver-less car route.

The summary upshot and bottom line is that – as a result of petty crime over the years, the drive has been away from employees toward technology. The removal of people is what is going on. Less jobs, less face-to-face interaction, less embarrassment, less risk, and fewer thrills. Online shopping, cashless, credit cards and mobile smartphones, have heralded a new future where people are diminished in favour of technology.

I’m not sure I can make sense of this future – fewer jobs for people usually means fewer employed earners that are shoppers. We are being sold a future where we can shop without a queue and get a driver-less taxi, but can that be true? Will this only be for those few with jobs?

And what of those people with no jobs? Will they create an alt-society? Or will they innovate new criminal ways as before?

Only time will tell.

Sexism and Politics

The Trump sexism thing has really blown up.

Recently, the Washington Post found and shared a secretly recorded conversation (from 11 years ago) between Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush and Donald Trump. They were both lewd and Trump boasted that he can do anything he wants to women because he’s a television star – including “grabbing them by the pussy.”

Since then Trump has become the US Republican Presidential Nominee, so it’s a big deal – right? Sexism loses votes – doesn’t it?

I am not sure because of what happened in Australia with Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, and the famous “Misogyny Speech” given by Julia Gillard on 9th October 2012.

At that time Julia Gillard was Australia’s first female Prime Minister (from 2010-2013), and she suffered a lot of lewd comments every single day as leader of the Labor Party and as PM. She was very often openly called a bitch and a witch, and widely mocked in the media. Her hair and clothes were always being commented upon, and all of it was about her gender – not her results, leadership, effective governance, debating style, intellect or politics. And she put up with it every day until she snapped and made the speech that went viral on the internet.

In this famous speech in parliament, she directly faced Tony Abbott – the Leader of the Opposition sitting across the forum – and let loose. She did not miss. She listed all the things he had said and done to her right to his face. It was a roast.

“I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man; I will not.”
– PM Julia Gillard about Tony Abbott

Gillard described comments by François Hollande and Helle Thorning-Schmidt: “The president of France congratulated me on the speech, as did the Prime Minister of Denmark, and some other leaders, just casually as I’ve moved around, have also mentioned it to me.” US President Barack Obama reportedly complimented Gillard on the speech in a private conversation following his re-election, and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, praised the speech as “very striking” with Gillard going “chapter and verse.”

Some dictionaries updated their definition of “misogyny”  from “hatred of women” to the broader “entrenched prejudices of women.”

This was a Big Deal – Global leaders’ support, viral video, dictionary redefinitions, massive support and encouragement… so what happened next?

Well, Tony Abbott got over his roast, everyone forgave him for the sexist comments he made and his world-famous misogyny… and he became Prime Minister of Australia from 2013 -2015.

So, hey, it’s just the way men talk, it’s Locker Room Banter; all bravado and silliness. Boys will be boys, eh?

And clearly perfectly natural, totally forgivable and totally forgettable.