Sunday, 29 June 2014

Comedy Gold!

Tanya Gold, that is…
A few months ago I met a woman selling the Big Issue outside a supermarket in north London. Her name is Anna; she is from Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. She was wearing a headscarf and sitting on a crate.
Straight from Central Casting!
I bought a copy of the magazine. She looked at my baby son in his buggy, and said she has a son of three months and a two-year-old boy as well. Their father has gone, she told me, and she is now a single mother. The children are with a friend while she sells the magazine to buy nappies and food. The Big Issue, I know, retails at £2.50, and the vendors pay £1.25 a copy. Sometimes, she told me, she makes £30 a day. Do I know, she asked me, where she can get a buggy? She cannot take both children out at the same time because it is dangerous without a buggy for two; the older one may run into the road, or she might hurt her back from carrying the baby for long distances.
Because that’s just the sort of thing you ask random strangers, I guess.
She also asked: do I have any baby clothes?
Or maybe just gullible looking Westerners…
Over the following weeks, Anna and I spoke on the telephone about a buggy. I was anxious to provide one. She did not want a twin buggy, she said, where the children sit side by side, or in tandem front and behind; they would be too big to get on public transport. (Women with buggies on public transport are despised.) Anna wanted a buggy where one child sits above and one below, as if they are stacked on shelves.
And if you are suddenly thinking of that old adage ‘beggars can’t be choosers’, congratulations! So is everyone else.
I found one online: a brand new tandem buggy, on sale. I somehow forgot – or rather ignored – Anna's instructions on the shape of the buggy, even though they were precise. I decided it would be unpleasant, even unsafe, for the baby to sleep under his brother and ordered an enormous, stately buggy with two equally sized seats in tandem, one of which could go flat for the baby: less shelving, perhaps, than a small portion of an aircraft. I obviously thought I knew better than Anna what she needed – isn't a gift always on the giver's terms? And who could doubt my generosity when my gift was so large?
Oh, it’s not your generosity we are doubting. It’s your sanity
I presented the buggy to Anna as she sat on her crate outside the supermarket. And although she thanked me kindly, she said: "It is too big. I cannot get it on and off public transport. It is too heavy." She was right, of course. I felt only anger and shame: anger because she was not grateful for my gift, as I wished her to be. Shame because – why should she be? I left her and the absurd buggy on the street, gracelessly.
There. Are. No. Words!
But Anna's small sons should not be dependent on the whims of a flaky stranger. A civilised society does not leave single mothers sitting in the streets, begging for basic items to ensure the health of their children.
A civilised society like England? Or Moldova?


Anonymous said...


I didn't know that the economy was so good we could afford to import big issue sellers. Anna, how about shame that you are a gullible cretin?

Twenty_Rothmans said...

I know that The Spectator has form on selecting utter fruitcakes to write for them. But this takes the - er - cake.

She even managed to mention Jews (twice) yet again in this week's restaurant review. It's meant to be a restaurant review, not a Holocaust documentary! I know she's Jewish, she cannot be Presbyterian because they don't have to remind you every three fucking minutes.

In the same way that I buried my subs to Private Eye and the Telegraph, the Spectator will have to go. I am not going to pay to read anything by idiotic, hand-wringing, oestrogen-fuelled, angst-laden imbeciles like Tanya Gold.

I am not responsible for feeding this feckless twunt (the Moldovan, not Tanya, although when I think about it...). I don't want this piece of shit in my country (the Moldovan - oh hang on).

What goes through the simple brain of someone who wants me to feed their pet parasites? She is as much a parasite as single Modolan mother.

And while this stupid bitch agonises over SMM, she will never reflect that some decent families cannot afford children that they want to have. The selfish, narcissistic woman's wants are far too important.

She's special, you see.

Bucko said...

Fuck me! Is this for real?

I can't help wonder if she bought the buggy for altruistic reasons, or just so she could write an article about it. Or if it's pure bullshit.

Aren't Big Issue sellers supposed to be homeless? Where is she going to put the damn thing anyway? She could sell it to buy nappies. Or live in it, by the sounds of things.

I really think it's time we started to deport foreiners whose only contribution is to beg the charity of others.

At least then we wouldn't be hip deep in 'poor' folk who thought it a good idea to have a couple of kids and emigrate, with no plan whatsoever. Might make them think twice.

Mr Chips said...

When did we start calling prams "buggies" anyway?

Bucko said...

And your comment has been removed from the article. I'm dying to know what it was.

Anonymous said...

Words fail me other than ' what an utter cunt'!

Squires said...

As an American I can't count the number of times I've heard stories from (typically middle-aged or older) second-generation citizens whose parents drilled it into their heads to work their asses off to avoid ever having to ask for charity, and at the same time would have slapped them six ways to Sunday if they ever showed as much as an iota of ungratefulness when someone did help them out. They would have, of course, also been expected to either pay it back, or pay it forward, according to whichever the giver would accept.

MTG said...

Unlike Tanya, I never wanted to dissect the complex underlying motives, but there was a time when I was content to give money to beggars.

A heavy influx of 'new arrivals' extirpated a habit which I suspect, had never helped those in real need. And I suppose I never got over my "Sorry, I only have paper money" being checkmated with "I got plenty change."

blueknight said...

Ah yes. The secret of being a big issue seller (or a hand car washer)is that it makes you self employed, so no need for a work permit. And with that comes a Nat. Ins no and access to benefits.
The cynic in me thinks that 'Mr Moldova' is similarly employed and making the same begging requests..

Mr. Morden said...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. With or without a buggy.

Anonymous said...

Sadly comments are now closed for this - we shall read no more of the angst of fellow Islingtonites who have been bitten by an exhibit in their imaginary petting zoo.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

I disremembered that Gold's last review was of Fera.

It's in Claridge's, and I hope to see you all there soon. I'll be wearing a red carnation and carrying a Moldovan Big Issue.

Earlier, I ranted without the benefit - and that's like saying that blood on your toilet paper is a benefit - of seeing her ovoid head. Her portrait in the Speccie is a little androgynous, a bit sexy if you are into edgy, mental women (I don't mean you, Julia).

Under the Trades Description Act, however, I've been sold a dud. The Guardian's portrait of her must have been made by someone who hated her guts - absolutely understandable, and she seems to have plenty after all that restaurant reviewing. She looks like an egg that a child has decorated.

I look forward to the Moldovan brat turning over Tanya's pride and joy in sixteen years' time. Because "Gimme the fuckin' money" is what she is saying to us, through the agency of 'charity'.

andy5759 said...

After we stopped calling them perambulators. It makes it simpler for immigrants to communicate their needs with one syllable. We just can't resist simplifying our language.

Anonymous said...

"Mr Chips said...

When did we start calling prams "buggies" anyway?"

It's not a pram, it's a pushchair.

Ed P said...

To paraphrase the old adage, "If it glisters, it ain't Tanya!"

Kevin said...

Someone got Tanya Gold pregnant!!!

There are still brave people in this world.

Anonymous said...

Didn't his guide dog growl?

Anonymous said...

I've only read her stuff when I've been trying to avoid reading something worse, like the wibblings of Seamus Milne. I'm wasn't that familiar with what she looked like so I googled her and I must say she does have some nice curves and is definitely not a minger, but I must ask, does her politics come with an 'off' switch? It's not on when you find an attractive woman whose views would be more suited to Stalin's Kremlin or one who hankers after a bloke with a toothbrush moustache.

I never buy the Big Issue now even though I agreed with the original premise when it was set up. There are now so many foreign pisstakers involved in selling the big issue that I feel that although I would like to support it, I find that in all honesty I cannot.

JuliaM said...

"I know she's Jewish, she cannot be Presbyterian because they don't have to remind you every three fucking minutes."


"I can't help wonder if she bought the buggy for altruistic reasons, or just so she could write an article about it. Or if it's pure bullshit."

It's a dilemma, to be sure.

"And your comment has been removed from the article. I'm dying to know what it was."

Probably something I've used here.. ;)

"They would have, of course, also been expected to either pay it back, or pay it forward, according to whichever the giver would accept."

Sound reasoning. The TRUE meaning of charity, not the bastardised version we have now.