Hat Crime! A new subsection is added to existing Hate Crime legislation. The paragraph reads as follows – ‘In the event that a showbiz celebrity pertaining to seriousness Viz. attaching him or herself to a political party and/or a politically-correct protest movement seeking constitutional reform, it is beholden to officers of the law that said celebrity should receive protection from any person or persons of non-celebrity status seeking to remove any headgear attached to the cranium of said celebrity during a public appearance. Any such offence must be punished severely by officers present, preferably numbering upwards of half-a-dozen.’
It’s just as well this had been added to the Hate Crime law in time for yesterday’s gathering of sad bad losers demanding the democratic EU Referendum result be reversed; if not, how would Eddie Izzard have got his fetching pink beret back? Like his fellow social crusader Bono, a hat to Eddie is more than mere icing on the costumed cake; it is an aesthetic challenge to the uniformed homogeny of corrupt corporate capitalism, subverting the elitist establishment symbolism of Frank Spencer. Mr Izzard (54) was dressed in an eye-catching ebony ensemble consisting of matching black jacket and trousers, a figure-hugging black top with plunging neckline giving a tantalising glimpse of moob cleavage, chic Anne Robinson spectacles, and stylish stilettos exclusively manufactured to order by Maurice of Paris – all topped-off with that iconic pink beret demonstrating Mr Izzard’s solidarity with non-binary LGBT Islamic Corbynistas; and what’s betting pink berets are set to become this autumn’s must-have cranial accessory?
Yes, it was pretty pathetic, though not especially surprising in the current climate. We shouldn’t really expect anything less from a Police Force that has downgraded one of the most emotionally upsetting of crimes – burglary – but can devote endless amounts of manpower to investigating the deluded abuse fantasies of serial fraudsters, not to mention unjustifiable illegal snooping around the private past of law-abiding citizens as an off-the-record favour to a friend (regulars will know to what I’m referring there). The sight of Eddie Izzard’s silly hat being whipped off by a bystander at a loser’s pride parade and then the hat thief being swamped by a swarm of coppers on the pavement would be laughable were it not such an appalling demonstration of police priorities in 2016. Mind you, I saw a gang of skinheads whip off the hat of an elderly Indian man in Leeds city centre when I was a kid and there wasn’t a Bobby in sight, though this was long before Hat Crime was a recognisable offence in law, of course.
Eddie Izzard, one-time comedian (allegedly) and actor has reinvented himself in the public eye over the past four or five years. Back in the 90s, his transvestism initially bracketed him with previous outré comics in terms of visual presentation such as Julian Clary; however, unlike Clary, Izzard always strove to be regarded as an intellectual cut above seaside postcard innuendo, peppering his act with surreal, rambling monologues not necessarily guaranteed to induce laughter. He also made it clear he wasn’t gay, and I believe his high profile genuinely helped to dispel the lingering myth that any form of male flirtation with female clothing automatically equated with homosexuality. This was a good few years before artist Grayson Perry could appear on ‘Question Time’ dressed as Alice in Wonderland, so he probably did make a degree of difference.
Where to go, though, Eddie? Good Causes was a good start, and with charadee naturally being beyond reproach, it was the ideal vehicle for the Izzard rebirth. David Walliams swam the dirty old Thames in 2006, so Eddie embarked upon a mental marathon project which saw him run 43 of them in 51 days in the name of Sport Relief. A celebrity running a staggering amount of marathons to raise money for charity? Amazing that no celebrity had ever thought of that before, isn’t it, guys ‘n’ gals? Anyway, all of this is a fairly routine process when a once-cult figure seeks wider public acceptance, I suppose; it was Eddie’s next move which has served to transform him into the man he is today – politics.
I’ll be honest; whenever someone I either previously admired or didn’t especially dislike acts as a cheerleader for a particular political party or politician my heart sinks. Kenny Everett appearing at the Conservative Party conference in 1983 made me wince; the collection of Showbiz Luvvies propping-up Neil Kinnock’s ill-advised Sheffield Arena rally in 1992 made me wonder who was using who; and despite his presence at several Labour Party conferences in recent years, it was Eddie Izzard’s pre-Referendum appearance alongside Nigel Farage on ‘Question Time’ that altered my opinion of him forever. Rather than allowing the UKIP leader to dig yet another Farage-shaped hole, Izzard grabbed the shovel from his hands and proceeded to dig a veritable trench big enough to house the evident Izzard ego.
Anyone who has seen a sample of the way in which Gore Vidal rose above Norman Mailer’s provocation on an early 70s edition of US TV’s ‘Dick Cavett Show’ by calmly rebuffing his literary rival’s aggressive verbal punches will know there are clever ways and means of highlighting an opponent’s ignorance. Izzard clearly isn’t as clever as he likes to think he is, for the incessant squawking hectoring of Farage every time Nige attempted to make a point was a master-class by Izzard of counter-productive foot-stamping petulance that turned the studio (and television) audience against the celebrity panellist and could well have made a small difference to the eventual result. The Remain argument was utterly lost by a performer whose me-me-me ego made him incapable of sharing a stage and incapable of being exposed to another viewpoint without drowning it out with incoherent screeching. It was embarrassing.
Now Eddie Izzard has attached himself to the Second Referendum brigade and is apparently trying to get himself a seat on Labour’s NEC; selection as a Labour Party candidate for a safe seat is surely the next move. Message to Eddie: You’re not Glenda Jackson. You’re not even Russell Brand.
© The Editor