Julie Burchill writes:
After years of being yelled at by female comrades whenever they inquired about the likelihood of a hot beverage being imminent, imagine how excited they must get watching big bad men in balaclavas selling ‘slave girls’ in a sweltering marketplace. It’s like T.E Lawrence getting his dish-dosh in a twist over all those Arab boys you could buy for the price of a melon, and boys called Barnaby fetishising the most woman-hating type of rap music in the pop press, and middle-class man-boys who’ve never been in a fight telling rape jokes — only far, far worse.
Ever since the Black Panther Stokely Carmichael said in 1966 that ‘the only position for women in the struggle is prone’, it would have to be a very silly leftie lass indeed who has not cottoned on that sexism can beat in the most apparently comradely brother’s breast. The first sign that the metropolitan left (which had spent the previous 30 years telling white working-class people how stupid and backward they were for being sexist, homophobic and insular) could have a chronic crush on a belief which specialised in being sexist, homophobic and insular came when Ken Livingstone cosied up to the odious Yusuf al-Qaradawi in 2004. Livingstone is a man not averse to the idea of a man having several wives, one feels, having had five children by three women.
Then there’s Gorgeous George Galloway, whose revolutionary spirit seems quite able to contain the contradictions of both sucking up to an ultra-conservative religion and saying, in 2012, of the Julian Assange affair, ‘Not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion.’ And they said romance was dead.