Anders Breivik: Metro-Psycho

When I first saw the images of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, the ones he had so helpfully included in his press pack that accompanied his ‘manifesto’, two thoughts immediately popped into my net-addled head: a) They look photoshopped. Especially the soft-focus glamour one in the Lacoste jumper with the collar turned up b) The ‘action man’ dressy-uppy photos look like they’ve been pulled from a gay fetish dating website. Look at all my sexy accessories! When I compared them with the pictures of the inanely […]

Army Dreamers: A Backwards Salute to Recruitment Films

by Mark Simpson, The Guardian As a boy growing up in the 1960s and 70s I was raised to fight The Second World War all over again. Airfix models. Commando comics. Air tattoos in June. Watching The Battle of Britain and The Longest Day on telly with my dad, just so I’d know what to do if I ever found myself pinned down on a Normandy beach or with an Me 109E on my tail. All of which made me easy prey to an RAF recruiting […]

I Agree With Alex

By Mark Simpson So the Scots Nationalist Party has failed in its court action to force the BBC to include their leader Alex Salmond in the final TV leaders’ debate. Everyone south of the border working in politics and the media seems to be very much agreed that this was the ‘right’ outcome. Except for this Englishman. Not least because of the breathtaking, downright imperious hypocrisy of the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. Clegg couldn’t wait for the court decision. He claimed a few days […]

Crims Ain’t Wot They Used To Be

Mark Simpson on the way public information films about policing and justice throw an arresting light on our recent past The London Times Some trace the demise of the British way of life to the day when RAC patrolmen stopped saluting. In fact, as Police and Thieves, a marvellous two-DVD collection of historical documentaries on policing and the justice system from the vaults of the Central Office of Information, shows, the rot set in when bobbies stopped wearing skin-tight white gloves. The reassuring paraphernalia of […]

Trysexuality – It’s Just For Girls

Last Sunday’s News of The World carried a ‘JORDAN’S LOVER BOMBSHELL’ expose on Jordan’s ‘hunky cage fighter boyfriend’ Alex Reid.  What was the bombshell?  He’s sexually open-minded. ‘”I’M TRY-SEXUAL: JORDAN’S MAN SAYS “I’LL TRY ANYTHING ONCE!’”’ was the shocking headline for the two page spread. The piece, cobbled together from interviews with ex-friends, and some snaps of him in drag with his mates – obviously for a lad’s night out – did its best to keep the (now old) tranny story going, further undermine his masculinity and suggest […]

Let’s Be Civil: Gay Marriage Isn’t The End of the Rainbow

by Mark Simpson (A shorter version originally appeared on Guardian CIF November 2, 2008) “It’s better to marry than burn with passion,” declared St Paul. But now marriage itself seems to have become a burning issue – or at least, gay marriage. The re-banning of gay marriage in California earlier this month with the passage of Proposition 8 has been presented by gay marriage advocates as a vicious body-blow for gay rights. Angry gay people and their allies have protested across the US, some reportedly […]

Beijing Beckham

I’m still in shock after watching the handover to the London Olympics in Beijing. Please tell me it was a bad dream and that on your goggle-box you saw something much less horrifying. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson looked like he’d put on his worst suit – sorry, someone else’s worst suit – and slept in it all the way to China.  Adding to his impact, he generally behaved like someone from a Home for the Terminally Bewildered on a rare day out. As […]