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  1. Culture
1 June 2007

Slightly sexist?

Hazel Blears's height, the Zimmers and Tinky Winky's sexual orientation

By Marina Pepper

Dear Marina,

I was watching the deputy hustings on Newsnight the other day and thought that Cruddas was gorgeous. But why was Hazel Blears sitting on a chair all the way through. Do you know why?

Confused of the North East

At 4ft 10 inches Ms Blears punches well above her height in the Labour party. But she obviously lacks influence at the BBC where the Newsnight director could easily have arranged for candidates to be seated, thus allowing the cameras to track smoothly along the line up without skimming across the top of her head and on to the next candidate.

Or they could have given her a soap box to stand on. There’s not enough of that sort of business in politics these days. I call upon the chair of the Labour Party to carry her own in future. I may not agree with all she says (suggesting criminals be dressed orange boiler suits for community work – I ask you) but she’s a feisty female and I have to respect her ilk. As for you, confused of North East, I suspect you are slightly sexist and really, quite rude.

Dear Marina,

Pop music has sunk to a new low. I thought we’d seen it all with Mr Blobby but now fame – hungry pop artists are dressing up as pensioners just to get in the top ten. What next, people in terrorist bomb belts singing Auld Lang Syne?

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Angry of Peckham

Don’t be crass. The Zimmers, a band with a collective age of over 3000, has released a cover version of The Who’s My Generation to raise awareness of the plight of the elderly and cash for Age Concern.

The elderly are a much maligned and extremely lonely demographic mainly due to them living too long to be much use, not being able to resist voting Tory and hating young people.

But Age Concern does much good, for example electric blanket checking and podiatry sessions. So go out and buy the record. These people were active in the war, for which we must be grateful. And how have they been repaid? Their pensions don’t keep up with fuel price and council tax rises, they pass on still waiting for hearing aids, cataracts and hip operations on the NHS and get rewarded for their voting habits by continued council tax rises and cuts to essential adult social services.

Either they’ll learn, or die trying.

Dear Marina,

I am a bloke who likes to wear a purple babygrow with a coat hanger sticking out of my head, so imagine my shock when Ewa Sowinska who is influential in the Polish government took issue with my handbag saying it made me seem like a poofter. Has the world gone mad?

Tinky Winky

I think what Ewa Sowinska actually said is you and your purse could possibly promote homosexuality. Interesting, given the majority of those watching are babies – could their sexuality really be influenced by an actor in a purple jump suit carrying the kind of handbag made iconic by Maggie T?

I have only two concerns: firstly Teletubbies encourages students to smoke too much dope. Secondly, the programme inculcates TV viewing habits which is soooooo bad for young tots, stifling communication skills and setting them up for a life on the sofa watching crap.

Swing your handbag with pride, Tinky Winky. If Teletubbies gets banned in Poland we’ll have more communicative plumbers and bar staff and the skunk will go further in a drought.

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