Hate is a nasty, base emotion, but perfectly natural when you’re confronted by the worst of humankind. Years ago I used to play a version of what’s now called Football Manager on the computer, and whatever team I managed I’d buy Teddy Sheringham, put him in the reserves and fine him a week’s wages every single week. No football for Teddy, no money for Teddy, and never-ending meetings of hilarious moaning from an imaginary version of the man who I hated more than any other at the time.
We move on from childish things, though Sheringham’s still a bastard (I saw him in person a couple of years ago going into a bar in Chingford, dressed all in white like a stoat-faced Elvis). New targets of hate are lined up and knocked down, either in real life or in glorious dreams of fury and revenge for whatever crimes these fiends have committed. And nowadays I have one target who I hate far more than any other, for whom most of my rage is saved.
I keep my hate for this person contained quite well and it generally manifests itself only in shouting obscenities at the TV. Not for me the type of grim trolling becoming all too common in the 21st century, whereby rape threats are issued to anyone who speaks out against rape, and it does always seem to be rape. Who’d have thought internet trolls would learn to enjoy a heady mix of sexual brutality and anonymity? The majority of people online are such outgoing, bubbly people; none of us saw that one coming.
I debated writing this piece, as vitriolic abuse of an individual is not something I tend to go in for, but wrongs must be righted and exceptions must be made. This person has committed an offence of the type that affects me more and more as each day goes by, and a growing pain inside me can be directly attributed to her.
Yes, at this point I admit that the target of my hate is a woman, but that’s quite irrelevant. This is not some disgraceful misogynistic attack on a woman in the public eye for something related to her being a woman; this is about something anyone, male or female, could have done.
It’s a politician, but it’s not a Tory as you might assume. She belongs to the party the realistic part of me hopes wins the next election.
Her name is Caroline Flint.
Just typing the letters enrages me. I see her smug mug leering at me out of the TV and I want to throw tea cups, CDs, my laptop, this little dumbbell I have here to tire out my pigeon-like arms, anything I can find, at the screen to stop her talking, because if we let her talk she’ll wreck all our lives.
Ask Ed Miliband. In the last couple of weeks there have been stories about his dodgy leadership and there she is on the news, giving him the type of lukewarm support that will allow her to say she’d always backed him but now he’s gone she’s contemplating throwing her clown hat into the ring. I was in Cyprus for a week, rarely watched the TV, but somehow she managed to find me there to shriek something along the lines of “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha you’re all fucked and I love it!”
You may by now be wondering what exactly this ghastly harridan has done to make me this furious. I give you this, from her Wikipedia page:
During her tenure at the Home Office, Flint embarked upon a campaign to prohibit all sales of magic mushrooms in the UK and reclassify them as a Class A drug. Flint pushed through the bill despite a lack of calls for reclassification on the part of the public, challenges to the scientific material used to justify tighter regulation and objections from Peers and MPs such as Dr Brian Iddon, plus disputed use of a scientific study by Swiss academic Dr Felix Hasler.
To some people it may seem odd that just a decade ago you could get magic mushrooms sent to you in the post, eat them and get high as a monkey, all within the well-marked boundaries of glorious United Kingdom law. I started doing just that in around 2002. My first experience changed me, broadened my view of life and relaxed me more than anything else had ever done. The after-effects lasted for weeks, and there were absolutely no down sides other than a realisation that ambition is a waste of time. I found a batch every few months to be just the tonic for an increasingly inquisitive mind, and given how often and how foolhardily I drink, it provided me with a form of extraordinary equilibrium.
And then came Caroline Flint.
I mentioned ambition, and this fucker had it in spades. Finding herself in the Home Office, faced with overly strict drug laws which allowed little scope for the type of Draconian whip-cracking she needed to make a name for herself, the Wicked Witch of Westminster’s gaze came to rest on the humble magic mushroom. A handy story emerged of a man high on shrooms jumping out of a hotel room in Manchester and, ignoring how many drunk idiots break their necks falling down stairs every week, she declared mushrooms were the new Satan, and banned them.
Drug laws are insane, any brain in a jar knows that. How things that grow naturally in a forest can be illegal is unfathomable, but when one of those things is causing no harm and a hateful politician with eyes on the prize decides to ban it for the headlines, well, the people who enjoy it can be forgiven for directing hate towards that politician, and praying for vengeance.
Hate is a terrible emotion and needs to be boxed up, stored safely for when no other emotions remain. To find that Wikipedia paragraph I had to put her name into Google, which presented me too suddenly with images of the woman and now I need a new monitor.
My poor, aching brain is getting to the point where life’s complications, its futility and finality, are weighing me down like an anvil dangling from the testicles of a man who will do anything to get on TV. As my mind deteriorates I can point to one single piece of government legislation as the only thing stopping me reversing the slide.
Dreams of what might have been. If only we could find a way to ban Caroline Flint, it would be flowers and rainbows for everyone.