Laura Amherst, who often prances about naked for the Extinction Rebellion, has now gone on hunger strike.
That seems to be the only rational response to Boris Johnson’s failure to respond to her letter. My suggestion would be for her not to write but to insist on a face-to-face meeting. Our PM is known to respond to female charms, especially if they can be assessed unclad.
‘Climate Tits’, as she calls herself, states her intentions succinctly, as befits a politics student from Brighton: “Basically I have made the decision to not eat any more food until Boris Johnson actually addresses this letter and XR’s demands… This is going to sound so dramatic but I’m prepared to die for this.”
Such a tragic outcome may be a long time coming. By the looks of her, Miss Amherst has sufficient reserves of subcutaneous fat to last at least a month, perhaps longer.
Meanwhile, our football fans, widely known for their sensitivity, can begin to compose a song starting with the words: “Would you like a chicken supper, Climate Tits? Would you like a chicken supper, you filthy climate…” I’ll leave it for them to supply the noun here replaced with an ellipsis. Traditionally, the tune is borrowed from She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain.
(For those of you who are either too young, too foreign or too highbrow to understand the reference, a similar song was sung by football lovers in 1981, after the IRA terrorist Bobby Sands starved himself to death in prison.)
Far be it from me to accuse Miss Amhurst of lowly motives, but her manner of protest isn’t only impassioned but also lucrative. She has started a web page, which earned her £18,000 last month.
Even if she keeps her promise to donate 75 per cent of it to her beloved cause, she’ll still have a bit left over. That’ll do nicely, especially considering that she doesn’t have to spend much on clothes. (A note to myself: ask Penelope to choose a worthy cause to support.)
One wonders about a cause that can be championed so remuneratively in such a manner. By way of comparison, a few years ago many of my friends went on a Countryside Alliance march to support hunting. All the marchers, however, covered their nudity, mostly with tweeds and Barbours.
That conferred dignity on the procession, which nonetheless failed to overturn the ban on riding to hounds. Perhaps I may suggest that next time they swap dignity for efficacy by dropping their kit… No, scratch that idea. I mean, have you seen my friends?
Britain is in the grip of two epidemics. One, Covid, is abating; the other, casual exhibitionism, is not. That reverses a rather long tradition of decency that goes back to the first trend setters, Adam and Eve, who started a fad for fig leaves.
Since then, civilised people have shunned walking starkers through the streets. Those who didn’t used to be arrested for public indecency, but that’s no longer a possibility. For indecency to exist, there must be decency – and that condition is no longer met.
That’s why public nudity, immortalised in publicity shots, has become a widespread form of political self-expression for causes worthy or, typically, otherwise.
It has been on display in protests against furs, various wars, culling of animals, LGBT+ rights, women’s and prostitutes’ rights and so on. I wonder why they bother.
Naked women no longer have any shock value, what with the abundance of such images in every medium known to man. If in the old days newsagents coyly wrapped girlie mags in cellophane and kept them on the top shelves, today naked female flesh attacks – or perhaps tickles – our senses at every corner.
One has to believe that all those nudists with a political dimension are there to prove that Marshall McLuhan was right: the medium is the message. They disrobe not because they genuinely think that’ll advance their cause, but because they are attention-seeking sluts with a keen commercial sense.
Miss Amherst has a body to die for, but I doubt she will. In fact. I’m willing to bet she won’t. She’ll simply catch the moment when enough capital has been made out of her stunt and move on to other things. Anti-capitalism perhaps?
And Laura: no cheating by smuggling in bacon sarnies in the middle of the night. Just pretend you’re a naked Bobby Sands.