Saturday, 16 July 2011

When nether regions collide

What does a pensioned off ‘charity worker’ from the local branch of a right to life group do for amusement?
It is the kind of job someone only gets if unsuitable or already past their sell-by date for real employment anyway. And, unlike ‘proper’ clergy, it isn’t as if worn out para-parsons can go into a home run by the firm.
So there you would be, reduced to howling at the moon or arguing with your cats for want of anything else to lecture, or joining some lonely priest trying to finish off the communion wine after yet another single figure audience.
I ask because a spy tells me that someone we spotted last year regularly trying to plant false images of the Manx in the comments section of the UK blue-rinse press is back at her old tricks. Someone who, in addition to her former ‘day job’ remonstrating (on public funds) with parents who fail to live down to her employer’s standards for dysfunctional families also fell for Freedom to Fester hook, line and sinker. In fact, to the extent of trying to act like an ‘Island ambassador’ replying to UK media stories.
For those who don’t follow this blog regularly, I should explain that, some time back, when A.A. Gill and others were having fun at the expense of some of our slower thinking fellow citizens, an over-the-hill marketing guru saw job opportunities for his redundant chums. The result, a vacuous ‘public campaign’ named Freedom to Flourish, was presented to the local public as an attempt to’rebrand’ the island.
In fact what happened was a shady deal between the Manx government and some third division PR outfits whereby the latter helped the former with a spot of Manx social engineering. The ‘public’ being ‘re-educated’ was not the outer world about the Isle of Man, but the Manx about the absolute rightness of everything our glorious leaders do for ‘our’ benefit, and at our expense. If you check out the Spiked website entries on ‘nudging’ you will soon get the latest version of an old idea.
One of the scams was an FtF proposal, heavily publicised by a media partner, that ‘ordinary’ Manx people should act as ‘Manx ambassadors’ by replying to ‘negative’ UK press stories. In reality, what happens is that such replies are ghosted by PR hacks and attributed to local halfwits whose businesses are in terminal tailspin. I wouldn’t know if money changed hands for this, and if it was paid out to the hacks by government or private sector halfwits, but it fits an old, old pattern so this seems quite likely.
One of the gullible public who fell for this was the aforementioned right-to-lifer, whose ‘disgusted of Braddan’ diatribes in reply to Daily Mail regurgitation of items from other papers became a regular source of amusement to anyone who can trawl through the Mail’s website without being physically sick.
As this was happening during working hours, one assumes this was written off as ‘work’ – especially as there was little evidence of her doing more elsewhere (other than turning up for the odd government liaison committee to try and siphon off more public loot).
So, having been pensioned off when her former employers scaled their Manx operation down, it was a surprise to see the comments resurfacing again this year, most recently on an unlikely Daily Mail story about a Pippa Middleton likeness which prominently featured her buttocks, made out of 15,000 crumpets, jam & Marmite.
We know right-to-lifers are unbalanced, and we know Daily Mail readers are equally unhinged, but when the two meet…’s hilarious!

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