Victoria Atkins is a junior Minister at the Home Office, and it is my profoundly expressed preference that she should never be made senior in any capacity beyond tea lady. I would be slightly concerned even in that metier in case her beverages might be frequently too weak, too strong, too sweet or too bitter; but chiefly, I’d worry that within days the only teabags on offer would be camomile and nettle with Hornet Honey.
Ms Atkins wants economic abuse in the home to be a criminal offence. Having quite rightly put a line through hitting, threatening, rape and sex with the kids, she is now determined that pointing out how one’s partner overspends the budget every bloody week without fail (and wants a gardener as well as the au pair, cleaning lady, mindfulness coach and personal trainer) should earn the “abuser” some time at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
Ms Atkins is clearly of the opinion that the Home Office is so-called because it’s mission is to be interfering in 100% of UK homes by 2025. I have never attacked or hit a woman; I thwacked my first wife with a cushion once, after she told me that, for the last year, she’d been shagging a bloke I detested and everyone knew but me. Women who hit men and vice versa should (in my very simple world of Gilbert & Sullivan justice) have ‘COWARD’ tattooed on their foreheads, always assuming there’s any room left after the existing body art has been taken into account.
Ms Atkins says that “all homes should be places of love, devotion and warmth” and I’m with her all the way on that. The problem is that ‘should be’ will never be ‘are’: but it was clear from her patient, patronising, whiney, cut-glass, empathetic and altogether violence-inducing Tory pc tone of delivery that Ms Atkins will not rest until every spat, crossed word, profanity and bit of thrown crockery is related to already swamped magistrates on a weekly basis as evidence of brutal slavery.
We live in economic times where (putting exaggeration to make a point behind me for the rest of this post) there are going to be resentments, frustrations, tiredness and downright anger about shortages of money and/or one partner’s perceived inability to take responsibility for his or her thoughtless expenditure. But only a Tory could ignore her Party’s strong implication in that state of affairs, and then compound the crime by wanting the resultant verbals to be criminalised. Fine: hitting anyone, beating the kids, kicking the pets – in fact any form of persistent bullying – and I would be first in the queue for the branding iron to forehead application.
But for fuck’s sake Victoria Atkins you self-obsessed nitwit, most of this is not the State’s business and will only encourage the totalitarians among us.
I apologise for calling Atkins a nitwit. That was unfair. She spent the rest of the interview proving me quite wrong. She is in fact a badly-wired android. For the Sky anchor was foolhardy enough to ask our Vicky what her opinion was on Brexit. She didn’t have one, but she got 99.3% on saying “Mrs May is taking this step by step, and after we’ve taken those steps things will become clearer”. Far from being discouraged by such a mindless response from an elected representative, the anchorette persevered and asked what Atkins felt about dumping the Irish backstop. We’d have to wait and see, she said, her dopily inclined head nodding as she spoke a dialect of Bromide we know all too well.
Listen, if it walks, talks, thinks and nods like an android, chances are it’s an android. Victoria Atkins is perhaps the world’s first example of artificial imbecility.
And so the day meanders on its less than merry way (today is after all officially Blue Monday) as the lumbering giant Sky switched anchors to the lumbering form of Adam Boulton – a man turning himself into a political heavyweight via the medium of scoff.
I worry about Adam. His eyes are disappearing, and it’s becoming difficult to spot the point at which chin becomes neck. Unlike Boris (whose new love has coaxed him into shedding a couple of stone) Adam seems to be piling it on with abandon. He is rather posh (or sounds that way at times) and I am sometimes left wondering if he might be better presented as Adam Bolting-Itton. Either way, he interviewed three more MP deadheads before handing over briefly to Robert Powell aged fourteen and a quarter outside Downing Street.
While Mr Boulton seems on the one hand to be engaged in trying to win the World Fathead Challenge, young Powell has an upper lip suggesting he’s trying to grow something through the little skin he’s got. The last thing Robert should ever do is put on weight, for were he to do so, his attempt to pass puberty would be doomed to failure. I imagine Adam, on the other hand, hasn’t shaved since 2004: the facial flesh is expanding at a faster rate than even the darkest beard could match.
Onwards, upwards and in Boulton’s case, outwards. More later.