Given the bewildering “Yay for us!” gang mentality at large in Britain in this just-into-its-teens century, I should be ashamed to admit that I’m not much of a joiner-inner. But no. To hell with belonging; a pox on movements, causes, your 872 Friends and your pithy hashtags.
While I wish good luck to whichever oppressed foreign multitude is currently using social media to agitate for change, I’ll be opting out of our asinine homespun equivalents, thanks very much. I’m absolutely not going to “Like” Enormo-Beenz and be part of its branded, mooing, million-strong herd, just to get a free can of spaghetti hoops.
However, even I occasionally get moved to join someone else’s parade. This week the Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was scolded for wearing a No More Page 3 shirt during a Westminster debate on media sexism. Jimmy Hood, the (to my shame, Scottish) Labour MP chairing the debate, claimed that such a message could offend people. Ms Lucas countered by asking if it was not more offensive that there are eight outlets within the Houses of Parliament where one can buy The Sun. (I would add to that the two million outlets nationwide where one can buy the Daily Mail, but I’ll leave that fetid dead horse unflogged.)
So I signed the No More Page 3 online petition and bought a t-shirt. And while it leaves my Don’t Get Involved mission statement in tatters, I have to think it’s worth it to do something to remove a stain from modern Britain which is as grotesquely embarrassing as it is grossly anachronistic.