On Tuesday the nation was gripped by the story of former cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who gave sometimes tearful evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Culture and Sport about the blatant and unchecked racism which he had experienced while playing for Yorkshire. Rafiq described how he was frequently called “a Paki” and subjected to other humiliations by his teammates. The club’s management did not stop it. Worse, when Rafiq returned to work after his son was stillborn, he was treated with harshness on the training ground in sharp contrast to the sympathetic treatment afforded to white players after personal tragedies. Rafiq left the game and now runs a fish and chip shop in Barnsley. Yorkshire finally investigated his allegations only to conclude that the word “Paki” had just been “banter”. Banter is always the word trotted out by bullies, racists, sexists and homophobes to excuse the abuse they mete out to colleagues, sportsmen, foreigners or anyone else they don’t like. Meanwhile cricket’s governing body, in common with every other sports governing body, proved to be utterly useless and failed to act on Rafiq’s pleas for help.
Rafiq was hailed as a hero, a shy man who took on the big boys and lifted the covers on the intolerance and unkindness that permeated not only Yorkshire cricket but society as a whole. Boris Johnson praised Rafiq and condemned the treatment he had suffered, the same Boris Johnson who had compared women in niqabs to “letter boxes” and ‘bank robbers” and who, as a journalist, had written an article a describing “flag waving piccaninnies with their watermelon smiles’. And just as it did when three black footballers were abused on social media after they missed their penalty kicks where England lost to Italy, the Nation had a collective fit of the vapours at the concept that some minority ethnic people are treated very badly and very often. Why didn’t they know that already?
Depressingly, things took an unexpected turn on Thursday when The Times published some Facebook exchanges Rafiq had had ten years earlier with a friend, in which he made antisemitic remarks about Jews being tight fisted, the same lazy, stereotypical bullshit that Rafiq himself had to face from his colleagues and which had driven him almost to suicide. To his credit Rafiq immediately apologised and admitted that what he had said was indefensible. This was in sharp contrast to his new-found admirer Boris Johnson, from whom the word “sorry” has to be extracted with pliers. But it has tarnished him and it will of course give succour to those who have spent the week complaining that “you just can’t have a laugh anymore” or “it’s political correctness gone mad” or “that lot are always playing the victim” or “he’s only whinging because he wasn’t good enough to cut it at the highest levels” or “he should just man up”. The irony being those who will now queue up to administer Rafiq a kicking on the grounds of his perceived hypocrisy will continue to be blind to their own.
We start our review of the week’s fashion fiascos with tennis mega-champ Serena Williams at the premiere of King Richard, a film about her dad. She is wearing David Koma.
Regular Readers will know that WTF hates a one-armed garment on a dual-armed person almost above all things, but not nearly as much as she hates a one-legged garment on a two-legged person. What did David Koma do with the other boot? Is there another outfit like this one but with a right leg and a left boot? WTF can only refer to the epic Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch about a uni-dexter auditioning to play Tarzan, which Peter Cook points out “is a role traditionally played by a two-legged artiste”.
Next to the In-Style Awards 2021 in Los Angeles where we find actor January Jones wearing Sandra Mansour.
Well at least there is no Minge Moment, thanks to the visible black panties, but there are horrible white boots which have nothing to do with the price of fish and a lime green tit-pelmet. #wot?
Here is Bart Nickeron, writer of the new TV series Yellowjackets at the premiere in Los Angeles.
Bart looks a lot cheerier than he should be, having done a Fräulein Maria from The Sound of Music and cut up the bedspread to make a suit for the occasion.
Still in LA, we are at heiress Paris Hilton’s wedding in California which seems to have gone on longer than the entire series of Game of Thrones. Here is designer Stacey Bendet in California, presumably wearing herself.
Stacey looks like a dishevelled wood nymph with two black eyes.
And now to the MTV European Music Awards in Budapest, where we find singer Ed Sheeran wearing something very colourful.
Just like the ads for cleaning products that guarantee to kill 99% of all known germs, Ed guarantees to kill virtually any outfit he puts on, whether it is Top Man or Versace. Although in fairness to him, anyone would struggle in a sky-scape velveteen suit with its too-short jacket and scruffy schoolboy shirt and tie combo.
Meet German singer Kim Petras, wearing Jean Paul Gaultier.
This is basically a tartan loincloth complete with imminent Minge Moment, worn with a leather jacket and stormtrooper boots. One can but hope that it was not a windy night in the Hungarian capital.
Meet German entertainer Riccardo Simonetti wearing who knows what?
Riccardo, who seems to have modelled himself on Roy Wood from Wizard, is showing us his hairy chest under his leather bustier and is wearing an army-style thing on his head resembling what WTF’s late dad used to call a c**t hat.
Victoria looks rather good, despite flashing her bra, but David (who is straight) seems to have come as Liza Minelli in Cabaret with a jewelled jockstrap. Kill me now….
This week’s It’s Got To Go comes from WTF aficionado Dan from Stevenage who did a double take, and then another one, at the sight of Tory MP Michael Fabricant’s hair. Which, Fabricant assures us, is NOT a wig, although he admits to having had his own hair “enhanced”. With what, WTF cannot say.
Daniel at first thought that Fabricant was a contestant in a Boris Johnson lookalikey competition but later realised that his tresses were more reminiscent of Homer Simpson in that episode when his hair grew back. But whatever he was trying to look like, he looks ridiculous. It’s Got To Go.
OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. Send in your suggestions coming in for It’s Got To Go, not to mention your very top comments, which have been on the sparse side of sparse of late. Let us meet again next Friday. Be good x.