Jude Collins

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Charles and Nigella: a lovely pair



I watch my share of TV football and sometimes I find myself wishing that both teams could lose. Something of the same emotions engulfed me when I read about Charles Saatchi grabbing his wife Nigella Lawson by the throat. Could they not be both found guilty of something and put in the slammer for six months ? Fines are pointless with these people - they have so much money they pay other people to count it.

Did Saatchi grab his wife by the throat? The pictures clearly indicate that he did.  This isn’t the first incident of anti-social behaviour by Saatchi. You’ll remember that his advertising firm was responsible for the famous ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ poster that cleared the way for Thatcher to assume power. 

Nigella Lawson is, of course, the daughter of Nigel Lawson, Thatcher’s one-time Chancellor of the Exchequer. You can’t choose your parents but you can choose about accepting offers to go on a TV cookery programme and suck your thumb suggestively while dribbling cream over a bowl of cherries, all the while rolling your eyes at the camera in a way that suggests all this cooking stuff is just a cover for some getting-down-and-dirty stuff, and can we not just go upstairs now? 


I have no doubt that poor Charles could well have been goaded into throat-gripping by Nigella’s highly-flexible tongue. But telling your husband what  you think of him and always have isn’t a crime, just like making ooh-big-plums-again cookery programmes isn’t against the law. Physically grabbing your wife by the throat is. I’m not for letting Charles off the hook, as apparently he has been with that ridiculous ‘police caution’. I’d be more in favour of widening the law to include a mandatory prison sentence for anyone who conducts or aids in conducting a TV programme where squeezing a lemon gets as near as dammit to a sexual act. 

29 comments:

  1. Keving8: I concede in the face of such a powerful argument. You win.

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  2. Very disturbing article Jude and possibly contributory factor as to why people think it is okay to physically abuse their partners due to stupid reasoning like this.

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  3. Well I'm glad you're disturbed, Anonymous 11:17. I'm disturbed too and as I say in the blog, old Charles shouldn't be let off the hook with a police caution. That said, I find the lovely Nigella's TV poutings offensive to public taste and intelligence. I hope you're not suggesting I shouldn't have mentioned that? I'd also add - which I didn't in the blog - that lots of less privileged women whose husbands subject them to physical abuse wouldn't recognise this brief encounter over a table in a highly-expensive London restaurant as physical abuse as they've known it.

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  4. Poor Charles could have been goaded? One in five women in Ireland is a victim of domestic abuse. The attitude of society is generally a contributory factor as people think it is acceptable to amongst other things grip your partner by the throat. It's okay she was asking for it. He didn't mean to do it, he was goaded into it. I wonder how many women tonight will be seriously injured or worse killed as a result of goading their partner into attacking them?
    If he is content to do this outside in full view I dread to think what he would do behind closed doors
    Most women suffer in silence. Reading your article it is easy to see why
    Until society stops blaming the victim and puts the blame fully at the perpetrators door, and stops excusing violence, then it will not only continue, it will increase.

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  5. Anon 11:44 - thanks for your thoughts. To respond: something must have prompted 'poor Charles' (that's a thing called irony) to grab her. My guess is it was something she said. That doesn't mean it was right and to suggest it does indicates a fairly weak grasp of logic. I think if you re-read you'll see at no point do I talk about her 'asking for it' - you made that one up. Ditto 'he didn't mean to do it'. I suggest you get things in perspective. Poor/very rich Charles was wrong to grab her throat but I'd imagine women who've known serious domestic abuse from their husbands would view a throat-grab across the table in a fashionable London restaurant as getting off lightly. Unlike victims, there is a hierarchy of violence.

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    1. Why on earth would you even suggest over all else that she probably goaded him into it? "something must have prompted" doesn't have to automatically mean it was something she said, and to write an article about it putting that idea forward, as well as demean the woman's own show which is absolutely unrelated to this incident, implies some very questionable things on your part.

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  6. Forgive me, but, for me, the whole incident is nothing more than a distraction from the real world.

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  7. And herein lies the point that you completely miss Jude. While there may be different levels of violence, none of it is whatsoever acceptable. One throat grab as you put it isnot acceptable. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors in that house. It is serious violation of relationship. You are down playing what is essentially a common assault. And I would suggest that all of those women who you refer to would not share your views, all domestic abuse starts somewhere and escalates, research world wide shows this. It also shows that domestic violence is more prevalent in those societies which are seen to tolerate it. Your article is dangerous, ill thought out and you are becoming sadly a human caricature of what you used to be. Sorry about that, you goaded me into it..

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  8. Anon 12:53 Ha ha - nice final sentence. I like it. As for the rest:

    1. I did not miss the point that Charles's level of violence is unacceptable - in fact I said it's a pity he couldn't be jailed for it. But I admire your imagination.
    2. You're right, I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, and neither do you. So why bring it up?
    3. I am not 'downplaying a common assault'. I refer you to 1 above.
    4. You may suggest that 'all those women' wouldn't share my views. You may also be wrong - they may very well share my views. I know if I were the victim of some domestic violence cases we hear and read about, I certainly would think the Charles assault pretty small beer. Not right (I add that yet again just in case you missed it the last few times) but comparatively small beer.
    5. I'd be amazed if domestic violence didn't start somewhere. Most things do. You might as well say heroin taking starts with smoking weed. In some cases it does, in some cases it doesn't. Some violence against women starts with relatively minor physical assault, like poor/rich Charles and goes on to brutal assaults that sometimes murder. And some doesn't.
    6. I agree completely - if a society tolerates something, there's a higher chance it'll happen.
    7. I think my article is based on reasonable logic (see points above).
    8. Name-calling really does strengthen your argument. You win again.

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  9. Peter Morris - I think you're right. I'm struck by viewing figures for this article and my previous ones on the G8, Obama's drone bombs, etc. Well over twice as many people seem interested in the doings of Charles and Nigella. There's a message there somewhere, I think.

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  10. Jude, final point because your article by focusing on what nigella does for a living somehow diminishes her as a victim of assault. It is akin to saying she wore a skirt so she deserved it. Had you written two articles, one completely condemning his actions and another dealing with your gripe about the way in which she presents tv, well then that would have been a different thing entirely. To link the two is by default to qualify her as not really a victim, or to say well yes she is a victim but then that's okay because I think her cookery programme is suggestive. How you fail to miss that point is beyond me. The reason you are getting more readers in terms of this Blog is because it is controversial and unacceptable.

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  11. Thank you Jude. It is a very sad fact but we both know that had you titled your piece, ‘What would Kim Kardashian think of Nigella’s throat grab?’ your viewing figures would have broken records.

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  12. Peter - it's doing pretty well, figure-viewing-wise (admittedly almost all hostile) as it is.

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  13. I enjoy your blogs Jude. Always a good read.

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  14. Anon 13:22 - thanks as always for contribution. I'm afraid I can't agree that I should have written one blog for the Charles throat-grab and another on Nigella's prog. I think people's background helps understanding of things or events. I look at Charles's background - famous Thatcher facilitator, ushering in unimaginable period of hardship and suffering (and death) for thousands of people - and Nigella's background - daughter of Thatcher Cabinet minister, presenter of incessantly, um, flirtatious TV cookery prog. That's the background. Then I look at the act itself - an incident of violence, albeit minor, against a woman, probably (but not necessarily) provoked by something Nigella said during their quarrel. But hey - like you, like Peter above, the attention given to this pair of multimillionaires is truly excessive. And yes, I've contributed to that. For that - and nothing else - mea culpa.

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  15. I see a Aussie DJ suggested a boycott of Nigella's cookery books until she makes a statement at her local police station against Saatchi. I think he got off lightly with a police caution. This incident took place in a crowded restaurant yet nobody lifted a finger to help this woman.Mr Saatchi said he wanted to make a point to Nigella by putting his hand round her throat. Does Mr Saatchi make point a point with any of his male friends? I very much doubt it.

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  16. The pattern in your blog is pretty unmistakable. The wife beater and child abuser Raoul Moat, the serial rapist Jimmy Savile and a priest who paid £12,000 to a girl who accused him of molesting her when she was eight have all had strong expressions of sympathy from you. It should not really be a surprise to note your hostility to Nigella Lawson after her husband was cautioned by police for what was plainly a domestic assault. The twist in this case is that you have moved from ignoring the victims to suggesting that a woman `probably (but not necessarily) provoked' an attempted choking by her husband.

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  17. Anon 20:56 - Pattern, eh? 'Strong expressions of sympathy'. Mmm. Methinks three blogs doth not a pattern make, but you're entitled to your opinion. As to my 'hostility' to the multimillionaire Nigella - I'm not hostile to her. I just can't stand her daft coquettishness. I do have hostility to her hubby, who appears to be a boor and a bully, but even more so because his 'Labour's not working' poster helped put Thatcher over the line and consequently thousands of working class people and communities suffered terribly. I also suggested I'd quite like to see him get jail, not a daft caution, for his throat-grabbing at the restaurant. And I don't doubt that Nigella can hold her own verbally with him. It seemed to me a reasonable assumption that a verbal barb triggered his throat-grab (and nose tweak). I didn't say it justified it and only a fool would think it was. Maybe she didn't even deliver a verbal barb. But something must have triggered the assault. Anyway, they're two multimillionaires. I think there are other objects of our compassion or indignation in the world more deserving of attention, so I really hope I don't have to come back AGAIN to this him-her bust-up between two hugely rich people at a fashionable London restaurant.

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  18. "I have no doubt that poor Charles could well have been goaded into throat-gripping by Nigella’s highly-flexible tongue." This statement clearly suggests that Nigella was responsible for Charles' actions. Blatant and shameful victim blaming.

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  19. Anon 23:57 - Oh dear - must I go through this again? Let's take it in small understandable bits. 'poor Charles' about a man who is a multimillionaire and who's grabbed his wife by the throat - or at least put his hand on her throat (and tweaked her nose) is a an example of something we say the Yanks don't get but it clearly goes beyond then: irony. 'May well have" = 'It could well have happened" =" I don't know for sure but I'll make an educated guess'. "Goaded" = provoked or annoyed in my dictionary. Something certainly provoked or annoyed him into this bullying act and my guess it's something she said. I could be wrong, I could be right; but if I had to bet my money would be on her having said something. 'Highly-flexible tongue': having watched a few of her TV shows, she never struck me as a woman who was stuck for words and could respond to any situation or comment. I tried to catch that sense of sure-footedness with highly-flexible.

    I do hope that's explained it for you, Anon 23:47. Now for God's sake stop trying to change the mean ing of the word 'goad' into 'responsible for', OK? Poor - OK, OK - very rich Charles is responsible for his actions and as I said, a police caution is totally inadequate.

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  20. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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  21. Jude.Are you sorry now that you started a blog on this subject?!I understand that you featured on the Nolan show this morning on the same topic.

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  22. Your attempt at wit is truly pathetic. Oh yes, I will make misogynistic, blatantly attention-seeking and controversial posts and then use my superior wit to respond to the remarks I so hope to achieve. Yes, you've achieved the remarks, but the attempts at a witty blog post and subsequent comments have truly failed.

    I do believe we need loathsome characters such as yourself to allow us to shudder and give thanks that we don't know you personally....

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  23. Anon 9:58 - Sometimes I am (ashamed of myself) but not on this one.

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  24. Anon11:49 - No, I'm not even slightly sorry I wrote it. Same as most of my blogs - I say what I believe/seems to me to be the case.

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  25. Anon 13: 46 - Well, the quality of my wit would probably depend on what your standards are. Are yours very high? Maybe you'd give us an example of your own so we can judge?
    As for the 'Oh yes I will make' etc etc: show me where I make misogynistic statement in my article. 'Blatantly attention-seeking and controversial' : I promise you, hand on heart, the rush of invective that I've prompted (goaded?) has taken me totally by surprise. At the same time, if I wanted to be invisible and agreeable, I;d hardly keep a blog, would I?
    You tell me you shudder at the thought of my existence. I'm sorry it offends you but there you are. Takes all sorts. Including anonymous critics. But if you feel I'm meeting some need in you, that's reward enough for me. Meanwhile, try not to be so angry - life's too short.

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  26. Jude
    There is a difference between trying to understand the context of why a wrong was done and making a justification for it.
    I don't think you were trying in any way to blame the victim here. Maybe the choice of words,such as 'goad' was not so good.
    To me explaining something is not the same as excusing it.

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  27. If a DUP representative responded to a loyalist petrol bomb attack on the Short Strand by saying "Protestant residents living at this interface have been incessantly goaded by Short Strand republicans for months now", you would, correctly, see that as justifying it, excusing it with both-sides-as-bad-as-each-other misdirection.

    Don't you think you just got it wrong this time?

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