SLR Diary: Taking a mischievous gander at gender

CAPE TOWN — Nothing escapes Simon Lincoln Reader’s razor-sharp eye and acerbic wit – and his latest column is no exception. He’s connected and moves in well- informed, politically-sussed circles, all of which add valence. Here he has a crack at the madness that typifies Brexit while simultaneously glorying in a recent knock the EU’s self-importance took. He loves nothing better than an old-fashioned rhetorical fish fight, sorry fist-fight – though slippery is what he’d call the guy who joined a Cape Town women’s rights march to pick up women – or downright mischievously innovative. He wrestles and hugs with the best of them. No Queensbury rules or political correctness here – and he doesn’t particularly care what people may think of his opinions, though he’ll defend to the death their right – and his – to contrariness. Some might call it refreshing. Take a gander, don’t pick a gender. Have fun. – Chris Bateman

By Simon Lincoln Reader*


Simon Lincoln Reader
Simon Lincoln Reader

Taking nothing away from its status as a bloc of sorts, the EU isn’t a sovereign nation state, doesn’t have a dish – or a bird – and just because many Brussels bureaucrats would consider frequenting clothing-optional beaches along the coastlines of the North Sea or collecting small model windmills as a form of “identity”, doesn’t mean Washington has to. And happily, they don’t: last week, it was revealed that the EU’s diplomatic standing there had been downgraded from “member state” to “international organisation” – without the EU even being told. This explains why the EU’s mxn/womxn in Washington did not receive an invitation to the funeral of President George H Bush, and instead had to wait until after all the other heads of state had completed official death protocol. Basically like a peasant.

I have some strong suspicions as to where these instructions originated from. Sometimes I still cannot believe Donald Trump is President of the United States.


In 2016, Theresa May voted to remain. Were there another referendum tomorrow, she would likely do the same, so I’m a bit puzzled as to i) the gushing sympathy in the wake of her defeat tonight – the largest defeat ever in the House of Commons and ii) the idea that she can sommer jump on a plane to Brussels to extract concessions from European negotiators who have always – always – held the upper hand, a hand I might add that May herself obsequiously strengthened.

It’s funny now to think that at its height, the British Empire controlled over a quarter of the world’s lands.


At the beginning of the year, I started a list of things which I am convinced are making people more stupid. My first entry was “Twitter”, followed by “Dragon’s Den” and then, “listening to any advise issued from the panel of Dragon’s Den”. Now, I have a fourth: “Owen Jones”, otherwise known as squealer.

Squealer is a LGBTI writer for the Guardian who has published two books, neither of which were very good. Anyways, Squealer adores attention, and has been spectacularly successful at hyping something called Britain’s ‘far-right’ – meaning a small group of itinerant Northerners – as a legitimate threat to Britain’s security and minority groups.

On the weekend Squealer appeared on This Week hosted by Andrew Neil (BBC). He’s really got it in for Andrew, who is the Chairman of The Spectator magazine. Squealer’s participation accelerated, predictably, into an ugly confrontation, and he accused The Spectator and by default Andrew of publishing an article that supported Greek neo Nazis, Golden Dawn.

Clearly Squealer didn’t even read the article. I have, and it doesn’t do anything of the kind. It was written by one of my best men at my wedding.

Sadiq Khan


Last year I wrote about the anti-Trump march, about how Squealer got up in front of the microphone and squealed his way through a laundry list of virtue signals.

The article prompted the distinguished Sea Point journalist Herman Lategan to accuse me of losing my mind. He took particular exception to me jeering at squealer, as squealer, in his view, had written two books.

Squealer believes that newspapers like The Sun are encouraging the far-right, poking them like dogs. But when he was promoting one of his books, which newspaper did he write for and earn money from? That’s right – The Sun.


Gillette’s odd promotion of International Men’s Day – advancing the fashionable yet highly continuous theory that all men are creeps – wasn’t worth the overreaction it received, but it made me remember something.

I know of a man in Johannesburg who did something really quite mischievous last year. This man is single, so he thought it would be a cunning idea – on the sly – to fly down to Cape Town for the women’s march to Parliament, join in, castigate his fellow men and wear a pink pussycat hat-thing that I presume he knitted himself (weirdo) – all with the quiet objective of meeting birds and procuring their telephone numbers. How slippery is that?

So, nice one – benefitting commercially – or sexually – by bashing easy targets unlikely to respond, all the while being praised as “progressive” – difficult to remember that there was once a time when Gillette just made razors and actors just acted.

  • Simon Lincoln Reader lives in London.