Monday, 17 January 2011

Filthy assistant required: please help!

Please note: I have received over four hundred applications; I am working through them as fast as I can, and will get back to everyone by the end of this week. Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to apply. L.xx

Hello, people who haven't seen this blog before. I'm Laurie, I'm a 24-year-old freelance journalist, activist and feminist writer, and I am currently working on a longer journalistic project which at the moment is so impossibly, excitingly secret that if I told you I'd have to kill you. I've got a lot on right now, most of which I cannot practically or financially afford to give up, so I'm looking for a competent and tolerant researcher to help me with the project.

Please do get back to me ASAP by leaving a comment here and/or emailing, telling me who you are, why you'd be a good person for the job, and what special arrangements if any you'd need. Deadline is the 25th of January 2011.


  1. I read your piece on Edward Woollard in the Evening Standard. Surely, it should have occurred to you. He was not being punished for his actions per se. However, the subsequent attack on the Establishment...

    Dr. Iverson Taylor

  2. By the way love the post a comment intro

  3. "I'm probably looking for a female researcher, and if you have a background in feminism or activism, all the better. However, any males who wish to persuade me that they can do the job just as well, I'm open to all suggestions."

    On reflection, do you still think you should have written that paragraph?

  4. Hi,

    I like the sound of this. I will send you a CV when I quickly write one. I'm not primarily a feminist, but an activist liberal who's very committed to equality of opportunity. It's one of the principles that anarcho-capitalism's based on after all.

  5. A simple question, politely put and I would therefore appreciate an equally polite response and not the kind of sarcastic ad hominem comments you've been making to others on Twitter. Why is it acceptable for you to say you WISH you could give a living wage when you expect and demand the rest of society to give it? That would be like me saying "I wish I could afford a big plasma TV but I'm just gonna have to nick one for now".

  6. Dear Penny Red,

    I'd help you with your idea, but I'm an old partly-disabled Lancashire man, who also does not claim to know much about the issues that might interest you, excepting that I am a libertarian, and also that £500 (or less) won't really cover me for what intellectual input I think you would really feel was fair for your project.

    You got noticed by Guido Fawkes, for being a socialist and being cheerfully frank about it, which is always a bad idea.

    I merely suggest that, having been up at Wadham, you'd already know pretty-much all about which you'd like to write - you'd know what thesis you are pursuing and how it wants to be developed into a fairly long polemic essay. My sugestion is only that you could therefore more quickly and effectively do your own research for your project, than to farm it out to some poor clerk who feels that if £500 is top-whack, then you can't be requiring much intellectual input to aid you.

    Capitalism made poverty and sexual inequality hideous to those of us that came after it, because it showed the world what would be achieved instead. Quite unlike socialism - to which you have no choice but to agree.

  7. I have an enourmous experience of femminist sexism as I am a man. I am extremely intelligent drink coffee and could out write you any day I work at rates above the min wage about £20 per hour would be about right.

    As a general rule all the women I have ever worked for have very littele emotional intelligence, a complete disregard for the laws of the land and tend like you to be a bit dim. I look forward to your job offer!!

  8. I too have a book project that I would like someone to write for me on minimum wage. As the book is about white people, I'm probably looking for a white researcher, and if they have a background in white activism, all the better. However, any black people who wish to persuade me that they can do the job just as well, I'm open to all suggestions.

  9. Penny

    How long is a feminist book-length? I am only a man but I do have some experience of "parenting". Would my views not be of any help? Good to see you are going to educate the rest of us about something you've never done.

  10. Do you have any comment to make on the observations Guido Fawkes makes (i.e. that the payment you offer is below the living wage you advocate, and that your advert is plainly discriminatory in favouring activist women)?

    I hope this doesn't count as "abusive" or "trollish", I'm just genuinely curious.


  11. Love the way anyone disagreeing with you is now termed a 'troll'. You couldn't make it up. Pitiful.

  12. @ anonymous 'On reflection, do you still think you should have written that paragraph?'

    If you read the comments policy it does say 'If your comment isn't blatantly and horrendously misogynist, misandrist, racist, ablist, homophobic, transphobic or xenophobic, and you're not a spambot, it will appear on the site...' Oh... wait googled misandrist. Oh dear. I'm sure in the spirit of fairness the offending post will be duly dealt with. Right?

  13. Laurie

    OK..I'll be quite open about it..I'm a man..but I'm a long time admirer of yours, I'm desperate to break into the media as a radical new voice and I'm willing to work as long and hard as I need to get my foot on the first rung of the ladder. I'm absolutely horrified by the actions of this government and the possible repercussions on all sections of society and I like to think I have a strong track-record of rooting out hypocrisy and blatant self-interest.

    I'll admit, at this stage, that a part of this post's attraction is a chance to share some of the kudos which will no doubt accrue through association with a proven and respected progressive campaigner like yourself. I'm a committed socialist although my background is fairly privileged. Currently I'm living in a shared house in North London on a modest allowance from my parents and some of the money Granny left me in her will. I hope my lack of working-class credentials won't disbar me from consideration.

    I know you're a friend of the workers and my imagination recoils at the sort of privations you probably suffered as a child. Frankly, I'm in awe at the fortitude you displayed in dragging yourself from the gutter and the bare-knuckle grit you showed in battling society's latent misogyny and disdain for proletarian intellectuals such as yourself. I'd consider it honour to work alongside you in the forthcoming struggle.

    Anyway to sum up, I consider my major strengths to consist in:

    A proven academic track-record in presenting any old single-issue relativist guff as 'sparkling' polemic.

    The fact that you can keep the £500. I'll struggle by on my present stipend. Perhaps you can donate the money to a worthwhile cause.

    My abject desperation to break into the media bubble and look cool and informed by spouting radical platitudes and trying to sound angry. (unfortunately I've got a whining childish voice and come off as a big petulant kid.)

    Yours in anticipation

    Tarquin Tristram fforbes-Richlist

  14. However unpleasant the trolling messages might be, you have brought it on yourself.

    Guido has a point - it *IS* sexist, and you *ARE* trying to offer below the minimum wage.

    Time to raise your hands, say "Mea culpa", and move on.

  15. I am a feminist activist and I would love to work for you. I really could use five hundred pounds. However, because I am on benefits, can I please have your assurance that you will not grass me up to the DHSS, because I will be facing jail time if you do? If it is strictly cash in hand and no grassing, just drop a hint on your blog, and I will call you to work out when I can start.

  16. do you pay NI contributions and bus fares?

  17. Dear PR, have emailed you with regards to this post. Please get back to me if you require any further details. Anna

  18. My toy's not in your box, luv and never will be. But pleased to cause you the pain of yetanother sigh, at any rate.

    Your sexist job-ad has been reported to the equaliteeeeees people for consideration.

    But I expect daddy will stump up.

  19. I note that there very much was an exception from the various discrimination acts (now rolled up in the Equality Act 2010) for organisations like women's refuges and the like. In so far as you're an organisation "related to religion or belief", frex:

    (6)Sub-paragraphs (3) to (5) permit a restriction relating to religion or belief only if it is imposed—
    (a)because of the purpose of the organisation

    Pretty clearly the purpose of a book on feminism is feminism. However, there's an explicit exclusion for anything commercial, and I think you'd need to be more lawyer than I am to decide whether or not writing a book is commercial in that sense.

  20. Anonymous I do not get it maybe you should stay that way!

  21. well at least you've got 20 people who still read your blog unlike the 1000's who read guido's ,When it turned out Billy Bragg was a champagne socialsit ,no one reads his blog now.
    Not sayimng your a chanmpagne socialist, but turns out for all your i'm speaking for repressed working class studnets, your parents were mega rich

  22. Laurie.
    I'm much too busy to do what you need for your book. However I would like to offer my services as your sex slave during this trying period. You don't have to pay me anything as I'm loaded.

    Bye for now Mistress Laurie,

  23. You should be praised for trying to avoid the unpaid intern issue.

    Unfortunately your rewarded with high costs & hassle. Legally you can't simply give an employee cash in hand you are required to provide them with payslips, having deducted employees NI and tax, you also have to pay employers NI at..12.8%? (£64 on £500). You might be able to avoid NI if the weekly earnings are below the threshold - i.e. the work is spread out but then, arguably, your into tax *avoidance*. sigh.

  24. David Davis wrote, "Capitalism made poverty and sexual inequality hideous to those of us that came after it, because it showed the world what would be achieved instead. Quite unlike socialism - to which you have no choice but to agree. "

    What? What? That doesn't make sense. Capitalism was happily co-existing with poverty and inequality long before anyone thought of inventing socialism.

  25. Don't know about the "trollish fuckwits" to which you refer but hopefully, in fairness, the following polite criticism will be given an airing. I have no objection to your offering this -- or any -- sum of money for this kind of work. Many would love to get involved with political journalism and I dare say ten years' ago I'd have done work like this for free (indeed when I left university, this was precisely what I did). The idea of getting 500 quid thrown into the bargain is a bonus for anyone with serious ambition wanting to follow in your footsteps.

    The mental leap you seem unable to make is that the same considerations apply for all kinds of work at all times. We all enjoy different environments and activities, and for one person sitting in a bookshop is a peaceful and pleasant way to avoid the rat race. For someone else it's a boring waste of time. I know a Chartered Accountant who did the odd bit of accountancy throughout his entire career and lived the rest of his life in penury as an artist. His choice. The more real world examples you think about, the more meddlesome and problematic are the practical effects of imposing a minimum wage.

    Your hypocrisy of action, like Polly Toynbee or Diane Abbott sending their kids to private schools, doesn't offend me. It's your words that are so cruel, insisting that rules apply to others which don't apply to yourself. The effect of your remarks contributes to a public debate, whose effect is to prevent the free choice of others like yourself, and deny opportunities to those who would benefit in gainful employment from this freedom.

  26. As much as I can see why there is abuse for the post of filthy assistant, PR makes it quite clear that it is not a job but an internship, and as a recent graduate, I completely agree with her that unpaid internships are a sham.

    For someone who is recently out of uni, and struggling to find any meaningful career starting job, it's opportunities like this that help people like me.

    So you can bitch and moan all you want, but at least she is open and honest about the work and the pay, which is a lot more than most 'internship/graduate' jobs about.

  27. It can be very hard at times to hire people. The sad part is that they don't stick with us as employers, either they get tired or they don't like their job. That is sad.

  28. Wow! Everyone's a critic! I imagine you've hired one of the 400 applicants by now, but I'd have jumped at the chance if I'd seen this sooner. Anyone combining social commentary, Sci-Fi and amandapalmer-love can ONLY be good for this country's media establishment.

    Ciao Bella, and enjoy the critique while it lasts ;)

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  31. Girl you simply DO NOT practice what you preach. 500 quid for 80+ hours work is LeSS than the minimum wage!

    You come from a privileged background, have never had to wake up wondering where you will find a few quid to buy food for the day. You have never had to work in a shi* job dragging dirty, filled with nails planks of wood from one spot to another, 10 hours every day six days a week. Have you any idea how fuc*** soul destroying such a job is???. You have never packed fish during the winter in a freezing cold fish house. You have never worked day in day out for years on minimum wage with nothing to look forward to but more of the same. You know you will never get up the ladder because all your deemed fit for is manual labour. But still, in your world you think Im alright because I have a roof over my head and a TV, and after all Im just one of the simple people who dont feel and understand things as your privately educated mind can. And btw, talking of education that wonderful comprehensive system you love failed me from teh age of 11 and a half where it was deemed I would be sent to remedial classes for the rest of my school days. I literally left school at the age of just turning 15. The last year of school I was never there, and very thankful they were to.

    The problem with you is you do nothing for people like me. Yes, the people like my docker grandfather who along with many other working class people helped start the labour party. A party which has been totally hijacked by champagne guzzling, self interested, career and money driven people like your self. Tell me what you or anyone else you know have done for me and my kind? Your constantly wringing your hands about Africans, but why is it you completely ignore the millions of genuine working class people like me.

    You dont speak for me girl. You havent got a clue what I and the people like me are all about because quite simply you have never lived in the real world and you dont associate with people who have. You and your kind simply make things worse in every aspect of life for people like me. I live slap bang in the centre of what feels like a North African slum. And you think Im supposed to applaud this, and want more of it. More of people who dont like me, hate what I stand for and Im to live with them? Come where I live and Ill put you up for a month. See how you feel after that. My life is not fantasy land like yours, its real, and its pretty crap I can assure you of that.

    Wake up girl and take a good look around because what you see is not reality. And please! enough of your rabid feminism. Asking for females only for your underpaid hypocritical pay grade is illegal.

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