This week, Gail eschews the obvious target of the BBC and turns her attention to dope-smoking Labour cabinet ministers. There is little to say about this, except to draw attention to Gail’s hilarious stoner dialogue. Do us a favour, love, next time you want to cover drugs, either watch Up in Smoke first or don’t do the stoner thing at all.
Gail also covers Harry Potter. I have no interest in Harry Potter, being an adult, so I don’t know if the books are the “garbage” Gail claims, but I tend to think that anything that gets kids reading can’t be all bad. Gail responds to this by pouring scorn on the idea that kids will automatically move from Harry Potter to classic literature. Well, duh. There isn’t anything automatic about it. I don’t for a second imagine that young men reading Andy McNab novels will spontaneously exclaim, “Ooh, I enjoyed that. Now I think I’ll try some Kazuo Ishiguro.” What depresses me a little is that Gail’s idea of classic literature is The Great Gatsby and fucking Catcher in the Rye, which I assume is what Gail read for A-Level English. I think that if kids are going to study the American novel, we should give them Philip Roth. God knows, Portnoy’s Complaint should have some appeal to teenagers.
Finally, Gail addresses self-publicising loyalist Willie Frazer’s plan for another Love Ulster march in Dublin, and urges the punters to stay away, although she does this in her usual aren’tchasickofit onelot’sasbadastheother style. I note also that Gail repeats the canard that the last Love Ulster march was ambushed by “dissident republicans”. Well, I know that RSF called for a mobilisation, but I’ve seen RSF in action and I don’t recall zimmers being used as offensive weapons at Love Ulster. Nor does looting the Nike store sound like republican behaviour. Besides, I distinctly remember the gardaí arresting two Lithuanians and a Georgian – were they recruited to dissidence at a Wolfe Tones gig in Minsk? Actually, the debacle of Love Ulster in Dublin proves very little about the strength of dissident republicans, but it does prove two points. One is that loyalism isn’t very popular in Dublin, as Harney (of all people) was savvy enough to pick up on. The other is that Dublin is full of young people who would jump at the opportunity to have a pop at the cops. But then, if you accept that you can’t very well take the even-handed “mad loyalists versus mad republicans” line. Hence the Libertyvalancisation of Love Ulster.