George needs a bowl of Cornflakes! Colloquially speaking that is!

In 1723, a rather bizarre book was published in London (and then reprinted in Boston a year later) called Onania; or, The Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, And All its Frightful Consequences, in both Sexes, Considered: With Spiritual and Physical Advice to those, who have already injured themselves by this abominable Practice.. The author was an anonymous Puritan minister who equated “masturbation, homosexuality and bestialy”. It was “addressed predominantly to adolescent males” but was applied to all ages. The book is full of metaphor – and exhorted a “hope in God” to “awaken … the Guilty” who are “Daily, and often-times Dangerously wounded by this foul Practice” and to stop the “Innocent and Unwary from falling into it”. It represented part of a conservative literature that was intent on pursuing its moral agenda by scaring people into believing that certain activities would be injurious to their health and life-threatening. The agenda exploited ignorance among the general population and traded on this ignorance to advance an agenda based on myth. With George Osborne’s Mansion House Speech last week, not a lot has changed. But I have a cure for him!

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