He’s not the Prime Minister. He’s a very naughty boy!
In memoriam Terry Jones 1942-2020
Like a turd on the wire,
like a punk with his pants on fire
In my mind, all the time: only me.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a thief or an old fashioned crook
I have saved all my worst things for thee.
When I, when I have been unkind,
I hope that you really don’t mind.
When I, when I have been untrue
I hope that you still haven’t a clue.
Like a monster, deformed,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn all who don’t think like me.
But I swear by this song
and by all whom I have wronged
I will do it again, just you see.
I saw a poor man leaning on his wooden crutch,
I said to him, “You must not ask for so much.”
And a filthy rich man leaning on my opened door,
I cried to him, “Hey, why not ask for more?”
Oh like a turd on the wire,
like a punk with his pants on fire
In my mind, all the time: only me.
(with acknowledgements and apologies to the late, great Leonard Cohen)
A lot has happened since the last time we met the Mr Men!
The Big House still has twenty-eight rooms. But the people in the room across the little bridge, room Number Nine, are getting crosser and crosser. They shout at each other a lot and can’t agree about anything. Little Miss I-Know-Best had come to an agreement with the people in the other 27 rooms. But she needed the people who met in the voting corner of Number Nine to agree. Everyone had agreed that these people’s views were “sovereign”, which means they get to choose on behalf of everyone else and that’s it.
The trouble was, the people in the voting corner said “NO!” to her plan. And then they said “NO!” and then “NO!” a third time. So the Nasties agreed they needed a new leader. Bye-bye, Little Miss I-Know-Best! It seems you didn’t know best, after all!
The Nasties have a funny way of choosing a new leader. At first, everyone who wants to be leader throws their hat into the ring. Not a real ring. Just a pretend one. The hats aren’t real, either. But, anyway, ten people threw their not-real hats into the not-real ring. We have met two of these before: Mr Mad and Mr Look-At-Me. You may remember, Mr Mad stabbed Mr Look-At-Me in the back last time, saying Mr Look-At-Me was too naughty to run room Number Nine.
We shall be meeting four more Mr Men and Little Misses very soon: Mr Doormatt, Mr Jagged Savage, Little Miss Loathsome, and Mr Rabid. They also said they would like to lead the Nasties. Also in the race were Mr Harpic (who was round the bend), Mr Front-Bottom (of rhyming slang), Little Miss Runavay and Mr Roary-Lion. Mr Roary-Lion didn’t really roar like a lion. But his hair looked a little bit like a lion’s mane, and so his name suited him.
At first only the Nasties allowed in the voting corner have a say. Their job is to vote (or stab) until only two people are left. These were Mr Look-At-Me and Mr Front-Bottom. Then all the Nasties vote for the winner while everyone else looks on and cries helplessly.
Mr Look-At-Me won, chosen by the Nasties to lead the people in room Number Nine out of the Big House. Some of Little Miss I-Know-Best’s helpers said they would try to stop Mr Look-At-Me burning down the little bridge to the other rooms. Mr Hammond-Organ said he would play mournful tunes on his Hammond organ. That would do the trick.
“Do or die!” said Mr Look-At-Me. But he needed to choose his helpers, just as Little Miss I-Know-Best had done three years earlier. Only this time, Mr Look-At-Me did something different. He only chose people who were mad or just changed their minds to stay as a helper. Let’s meet the new helpers.
Mr Jagged Savage was put in charge of all the pennies in room Number Nine. This was a Top Job. Mr Jagged Savage is made up of two parts. His head is a balloon. His body is very sharp and jagged: the jagged edges had been made very sharp when he was told by Little Miss I-Know-Best to be Hostile to everyone.
Mr Jagged Savage knew that, if his head touched his body, it would go BANG on the sharp jagged edges. So he learned how to nod his head carefully. But he could not shake it, in case it burst. But Mr Jagged Savage was happy. He was still a helper and had all the head movement he needed for when he met Mr Look-At-Me!
The second Top Job went to Mr Rabid. This was to talk to all the leaders outside room Number Nine. Mr Look-At-Me once had this job, but he did it so badly that he left.
Mr Rabid is a dog. A very fierce dog. He snarls all the time. Mr Look-At-Me thought that Mr Rabid might make his own time in this Top Job look not so bad. We shall see! To make himself more fierce, Mr Rabid sometimes adds extra letters “a” to his name, like “Raabid”. Once he got so carried away, he spelled it “Raaaaaaaaaabid!”
Mr Rabid is not bright. He spent months coming up with an agreement from the other 27 countries to help reduce the damage caused by smashing down the little bridge. He then voted against his own plan! Everybody knows that a Rabid dog is a mad dog! I don’t suppose the leaders in other countries will be keen to talk to Mr Rabid again.
Little Miss Pretty Petrifying has the third Top Job. The job is to ensure that all the people in room Number Nine behave and to keep foreigners from crossing the little bridge. She had only two jobs outside politics. Both were to make the companies look better, one in tobacco and the other in alcohol.
She helped to write a book called Britannia Unchained which said a lot of silly things, such as the workers in room Number Nine were “the worst idlers in the world”. Little Miss Pretty Petrifying is not looking to make new friends!
Mr Doormatt is another dog – a very submissive dog! He is in charge of making sick people better. He kept this job by letting everyone walk all over him. When he sees anyone with the name Big Pharma, he rolls over on his back and lets them take any part of him that they think will make them the most money.
Mr Doormatt should not be trusted to look after anyone – even himself!
Little Miss Don’t Trust also had a hand in the Britannia Unchained book. People have said the book is no good because the authors were too lazy to do any research before they wrote it. What a silly way to write a book!
She takes over her new job at International Trade from Mr Fox-Up, whom we’ve met before. Mr Fox-Up was very bad at his job, so Little Miss Don’t Trust doesn’t have to work very hard to do better!
Little Miss Loathsome has a job where she is supposed to look after business. Her new boss, Mr Look-At-Me, once famously said a very rude word about business. Now, Little Miss Loathsome is confused. What exactly is she supposed to do?
She has decided to do what she does best and just be loathsome. If she tries anything harder than this, her head will explode!
Little Miss Bilious has a bilious-looking face. She has a job looking after all the trees and the flowers and the rivers and to stop the world getting too hot. She plans to do this by being sick all over them.
She once had a job working for Mr Two-Face which she didn’t understand. The thought the “Good Friday Agreement” was just about which Easter eggs to buy. And she thought it would be good to burn down the little bridge connecting room Number Nine to the other 27 rooms. She didn’t care that most of the people she was supposed to be looking after didn’t agree.
Perhaps she will be better at being sick over things.
Mr Stupid-Boy-Pike once had a job selling fireplaces. When he was at school, he used to take his pet spider to school. He thought this would scare and impress the other children. Instead, they just kept away from him.
Little Miss I-Know-Best gave him a job standing in front of big toys like guns, warships and aeroplanes. He liked doing this. He also tried to sound frightening by showing people his spider and saying tough things like “shut up” and “go away”. Everyone thought he was a bit stupid.
This made him the obvious choice to be in charge of all the schools. When the teachers heard this, they all laughed and laughed. They thought it was a joke. Then they were told it was not a joke. So they all cried and started looking for new jobs. Who will teach the children in room Number Nine? Perhaps Mr Stupid-Boy-Pike can teach some spiders to do it!
Little Miss Rudderless used to be called Little Miss Traffic-Light. But now she has changed her mind about Mr Look-At-Me to keep her job. So she has a new name. Her job is to maintain the thumbscrews and manacles at the Department for Work and Pensions. Officially known as Sanctions, these and other instruments of torture are used under the “Hostile Inquisition” scheme. But only on people who are wicked enough to be poor or disabled.
Little Miss Rudderless is a Marxist and likes to quote from the great thinker. “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others” is her favourite.
After stabbing him in the back, Mr Mad is now once again best friends with Mr Look-At-Me. So Mr Look-At-Me has given him a new job in his team. His new job title is Chancer of the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side. This means he is free to do what he likes. What in practice will happen is this. Mr Mad will stab in the back anyone who disagrees with his new best friend and Great Leader. This includes stabbing himself or the Great Leader if that pesky little bridge isn’t burnt by Halloween.
The leaders of the other 27 rooms in the Big House have a new name for room Number Nine. They call it the Mad House. I think, children, (oh, and, by the way, sorry about your future…) that you now know why. Sweet dreams!
I’ve taken a bit of a liking to the quirky comedy series What We Do in the Shadows. An inept group of zombies have taken over two streets in Staten Island, New York and seem a bit confused how to complete the zombie takeover of the whole of America. Or something like that.
To quote a former Tory Party leader: “Remind you of anyone?”
Well, yes, actually. And they look like this:
There’s one big difference, however. What We Do in the Shadows is played for laughs. What the second group of undead are playing is deadly serious.
Zombies taking control is bad enough. But the sheer helplessness of the majority of us who have no say in who will be our next prime Minister is far, far worse. I can do no better than quote this tweet from Tom Freeman: “I miss the days when Tory leadership elections were something I’d watch with half-amused anthropological curiosity rather than the horror of the abductee trapped in the back of the van.” Tom sounds like a man after my own heart.
There have been many political commentators who have analysed the field of candidates in some detail. So I shall not do that. Suffice it to say that all ten want the UK to leave the EU, in varying degrees of extremist catastophe. A couple seem prepared to accept a further delay if that would help negotiations and a smoother exit. The rest say variations on the theme “31st October, dead or alive”. A couple have a simple solution to the lack of Parliamentary majority for Leave: make sure MPs don’t get a chance to vote before the end of October. In other words, suspend democracy in the interests of “the people”, i.e. the 52% of voters who voted Leave 3 years ago.
We have until the end of next month for this horror show to play itself out.
The Conservative Party once saw itself as the party of business and the “natural Party of government”. It has turned into a real monster: one that thinks “fuck business” and has given up all pretence of responsible government. The trouble is, it keeps feeding the monster and the monster keeps growing and needs more feeding. With the Tory Party in thrall to Mr Slime and the risk of his disciples becoming minority-vote MPs thanks to FPTP voting, the House of Commons could become a House of Horrors.
At the risk of repetition: “Remind you of anyone?”
Maybe we’ll awake on 23rd July and find it was all a dream…
Or maybe it will end like this: he bears a frightening resemblance to Dominic Raab, don’t you think?
Scott Walker (1943-2019), a man with a heartbreakingly pure singing voice.
Theresa May (PM 2016-2019), architect of the “hostile environment”.
May’s successor (PM 2019-?), to be chosen by 100,000 of the most xenophobic bigots in the country outside the DUP, i.e. Tory Party activists.
TM: I know I’m leavin’, it’s too long overdue
For far too long I’ve had nothin’ new to show to you.
Goodbye dry eyes, you watched as I appeased the Brexit loons
And it serves me right to walk away alone.
Us: There’s no regrets
No tears goodbye
We don’t want you back
We’d only cry again
Say goodbye again
The months you wasted to avoid the splits
Amid the weak, the useless and the outright shits.
I woke last night and thought of you, and fearing what comes next
I felt so afraid that our country’s truly wrecked.
TM: I’ve no regrets
No tears goodbye
Us: We don’t want you back
We’d only cry again
Say goodbye again
Your Party’s squirming to turn its back on you
Your face is showing traces of your hostile brew.
We now face, unloved , our darkest hour; there was no outreaching hand
It now feels so sad to see our broken land.
There’s no regrets
No tears goodbye
We don’t want you back
We’d only cry again
Say goodbye again
You thought only of Party and ignored the rest
You were Maybot under pressure, Little I-Know-Best.
Europe always splits the Tories, that should now be understood
And we’re so afraid evil always drives out good.
News item: a German wholesaler which supplies major UK supermarkets is stockpiling 3.5 million rolls of toilet paper in UK warehouses, in preparation for a No Deal exit from the EU. The company is also chartering ships to carry rolls from Naples to Cardiff to avoid possible congestion (no pun intended) on the Dover-Calais route.
(to the tune of O Sole Mio!)
Oh sorry me-o!
Must wipe my arse
But if No Deal-o
Should come to pass
Tomorrow would be too late
I need it now; I just can’t wait.
And if I try now
Just to pass a motion,
Well then, my 2-ply now
Has to ply an ocean.
To Cardiff Bay-o
Is a long, long way-o
From Napoli. Oh, pity me: too late!
Oh sorry me-o!
My supply chain
Oh can’t you see-o?
Flushed down the drain.
I’m feeling broken, just like the state
I once was happy, now full of hate.
I never thought why,
When I use the toilet,
Voting Leave would spoil it.
Please revoke Cinquanta
Or I’ll mess my pant – agh!
Who’d ever guess I’m in a mess, irate.
Oh sorry me-o!
I should have known
I still can pee-o
All on my own.
But if I need a number two
I just can’t go, oh no, no, no, without EU!
What keeps you awake at night? I could say Theresa May’s mishandling of the EU negotiations and her attitude to the UK parliament. I could say the uselessness of our MPs, particularly the cowardice of the Tory members who vote for the government’s crap proposals out of a sense of fear and for party unity. What dreadful times we live in. Who knows how this week’s votes in Parliament will turn out – even if they all take place, according to some rumours.
Never have we been so badly served by our government and politicians, at least in my lifetime. Which is why I found the poster below, published, I think, by the @ByDonkeys twitter account, so appealing. Incompetents? Undoubtedly. Zombies, more like.
The truth, however, is that I’m currently sleeping well at night (in part thanks to my current medication).
I speculated recently that Theresa May has actually gone mad under the pressure of trying to appease both the insane and sane wings of her party and – nominally at least – to be Prime Minister. Perhaps so – but she really has turned into some kind of zombie. And, just look at the others in the picture above! “Invasion of the Zombies” would be an entirely appropriate title for a future movie based upon these troubled times.
A crash test dummy could play Theresa May. Fill in your own names for others shown in the poster above.
I guess that the thought which could really disturb my sleep is this. Whatever happens this week, May will stand down (or be pushed out) as PM in a matter of months, if not weeks. Absolutely every likely successor for her in the Tory Party would give me nightmares! When do we start screaming? And why has Michael Gove been so deafeningly silent these past few weeks!
In a parallel universe, not so far away…
I hope you have been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Well, make the most of it, because we won’t be seeing the likes of it again.
My newspaper described the high temperatures as the result of the country basking “in a continental air flow”. In the event that the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, all free movement of air to and from other EU states will be banned. Without new Trade Wind agreements, we will all be breathing pure British air. An immediate advantage is that we shall be free to abandon all EU air quality standards. As the country which has consistently failed to meet those standards, the possible downside will be that the figure of 40,000 premature deaths each year from air pollution will rise. But, hey, there’ll be no pesky EU officials to point this out to us, so we are free to die happy and in ignorance!
Tory Party constituency chair Gerard Hayter, age 94 (known to his friends as “Gerry”) commented: “During the war, we thought nothing of walking the streets of London without a gas mask, breathing in smog and the brick and cement dust from recent bomb explosions. I’m not afraid of a few diesel particulates!”. At this point, Mr Hayter wheezed, coughed and promptly expired. (Another Leave voter bites the dust.)
In the event of no deal, over 40% of the air freely traded between the UK and our continental neighbours will cease flowing. But don’t worry, because Trade Wind Secretary Liam Fox has successfully negotiated deals with more than four other non-EU countries, together accounting for nearly 1% of our air.
First to be signed was with the Faroe Islands. Great news! Average temperatures on the Faroes range from 3 degrees in winter to a balmy 13 degrees in summertime.Throw away those summer clothes now! They won’t be needed again – unless you are one of those unpatriotic types thinking of taking a summer holiday abroad, somewhere hot and sunny.
Fox continued: “With our historic Free Trade Wind Agreement with the Faroes, our island paradise will have wet and windy weather all year round, and not just most of the time. With air flowing freely between our two great island nations, the Conservative Party will have delivered one of our key election promises: a strong and stable climate. Strong winds and predictably cool temperatures every day. At a stroke, we will have also abolished climate change, for the UK anyway.”
One consequence of the the banning of the free movement of air will be the effect on the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. All passenger and vehicle movement will be limited to a maximum of 2mph (the Irish insisted on 3km/h but we told them to fuck off). The speed limit is seen as necessary to ensure no undue air disturbance at the border. Prime Minister Theresa May gleefully reported that she had, at last, solved the Irish border question. People and goods will continue to flow freely between the two countries, only from now on, very, very slowly. The DUP were delighted with the result. Leader Arlene Foster commented: “Average vehicle speeds across the border will return to levels last seen in the 1680s, thereby achieving another of my Party’s objectives. It will only be a matter of time before we return the whole of the UK to the 17th century.”
Speaking of a matter of time, May’s government is considering two further measures. The first is the abolition of British Summer Time. Under pressure from the ERG, the proposal would ensure that all-year-round GMT leaves the UK 2 hours behind its neighbours in summer, instead of just one hour at present. And, of course, with the UK as the potential 51st state of the USA, the ERG are keen to reduce time zone differences with America. Spokesperson Rees-Mogg stated he was confident that the time zone gesture might mean that the Americans could be persuaded to allow us to continue driving on the left. Otherwise,we would have to agree to every US demand that a UK-USA Trade Wind Agreement would impose under Donald Trump.
A more controversial proposal concerning time is a consequence of our newly-signed Trade Wind Agreement with Singapore. The city state sits on the equator, resulting in 12 hours of daylight throughout the year. With the free movement of air between the UK and Singapore, the more intelligent members of May’s cabinet have reached a startling conclusion. Dark, night-time air particles will be arriving on our shores for 12 hours each night, with the bright, daytime particles arriving freely for 12 hours each day. Parliament’s agreed solution would be to find “alternative arrangements” for UK clocks to even out daylight throughout the year. The government has appointed a team of unicorns working for Capita to work out the practicalities.
A copy of a document from Leave extremists in the Tory Party has been leaked to Human Eyes. As part of a wider plan to privatise everything, secret plans to privatise air have been exposed. This would appear to be the true motive for ensuring free movement of air is banned in the event we leave the EU. The leaked document reveals a plan to create a series of local monopolies along similar lines to the rail and water companies – because these have “worked so well” in consumers’ interests.
Final plans are yet to emerge. The document lists 3 leading alternative proposals:
Who is more to blame, Humpty Dumpty or Theresa May? I will leave you to decide, after reading through the words which follow. Students of English as an Additional Language are welcome to join in the game – in other words, “foreigners are welcome”. To my website, I mean: to many of my compatriots, perhaps as many as 52% of them, this phrase is an alien concept when applied “to my country”.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” Humpty Dumpty, of course, is a fictional, fairy tale character who, by the time Lewis Carrol wrote those words in the 19th century, was drawn to look like an egg.
The original fairy tale has its origins in the First to Third English Civil Wars (with the Fourth now coming soon!) The real Humpty Dumpty was a cannon used by the Royalists to defend Colchester Castle during a siege by Parliamentarians. (You may remember the Parliamentarians, aka Roundheads: they were the first to die in their thousands in the cause to establish the concept that Parliament, rather than the King, is sovereign.) Parliamentarian forces successfully knocked the Cannon from the castle battlements and it fell into swampy ground outside the castle walls. As the story goes, “All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again”.
One of the most vacuous (unless you have mental age of eight) neologisms is May’s phrase “Brex*t means Brex*t”. To this, Leave extremists have given us “Leave Means Leave”. These tautologies, together with a commonsense knowledge of how language works, might lead you to the conclusion “X means X”, where X is any word. You would be wrong. There is at least one exception to the general rule. The assertion “Indefinite means indefinite” is false, when followed by the phrase “to remain” and stamped into a passport.
In her New Year message to the nation, May has added yet another empty, meaningless phrase to the lexicon: the country can, apparently, unite so long as we “turn the corner” together. Where exactly this corner is, and why it has such magical properties to unite us, are both unclear. But fear not, good people, the corner that will do the trick is out there somewhere. I assume that we all have to meet somewhere round the corner from the corner in question and turn the corner together to make it work. I await further information! See you there!
The ever-hostile Home Office last week launched an online registration scheme for EU nationals resident in the UK. This is to enable them to continue to receive their existing rights to move freely into and out of the UK. The fee is £76 (with exemptions for some). Without such registration, under the “hostile environment” policy created by Theresa May, such EU nationals would be liable to harassment by UK Border Force, denied benefits, free NHS treatment and fearful of unlawful deportation, just like the Windrush generation has suffered.
Reaction has been hostile. In a Guardian report, one long-term resident who is a Danish national wrote: “You absolute s****! I’ve lived here 35 years, got a stamp in my passport for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in 1985 and now you want me to apply to stay in my own home.” Max Fras, a visiting fellow at the LSE, sarcastically expressed his “deep gratitude” at the opportunity to pay £65 “for the possibility of letting an app as reliable as Southern Rail on a snowy day to decide the future of my existence”. Even the Sun criticized government policy in a leading article headed “EU are welcome”. It’s a pretty pass when the government’s main tabloid cheerleader has turned against the May Government’s inhumanity.
One elderly holocaust survivor even compared this government to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews:
The accompanying text says “The last time my family qualified for registration and ‘settled status’”. There’s nothing more I can add.
According to our Home Secretary, we’re facing a “crisis” because, since mid-November, an average of nearly 4 people a day have been landing illegally on our shores. (At the peak 3 years ago, an average of 2000 people a day were crossing the Mediterranean to enter Greece. From which I conclude the Government’s panic is propaganda, not proportionate.) I, for one, will be sleeping more easily now that I know Sajid Javid cancelled his holiday to return home to save us all. Better still, he’s getting 2 UK Border Patrol boats to sail back to UK waters to deter Johnny foreigner. According to Wikipedia, the length of the UK coastline is 12,429 km or, if you include the larger islands, 31,368km.
I’ve got a better idea, adapted from Trump’s Wall: why don’t we just build a higher sea around our island? That’ll keep ‘em out! Their flimsy little boats will never be able to climb over that: a quick capsize, problem solved! And all we have to do is just keep on pumping out the CO2. Sorry, East Anglia, it’s been nice knowing you. Seaside holidays in Norwich, anyone?
The far right, particularly in the USA and increasingly here in the UK, clearly welcome any development which obscures the truth and confuses people. Russia under Putin would agree. So come along, all you people. Learn the New English where all words are stripped of any meaning and we call all march forward into 2019 united and happy.
A thought: why didn’t May take her Cabinet to The Corner instead of Chequers to teach them the New English? Then they could have all turned the corner together, united and happy!
Come friendly bombs and fall on us!
Those numbers lied upon the bus:
It really wasn’t worth the fuss.
It wasn’t fair.
Come friendly bombs and drop on May
She shouldn’t last another day.
Yet staggers on still, come what may,
Till we despair.
Come friendly bombs and fall on Boz
A lazy, lying louse, because
His only aim: to be the boss
Must think we’re nuts.
Come friendly bombs and drop on Mogg
And throw his top hat down the bog,
Attack him with a rabid dog,
Tear out his guts.
Come friendly bombs and fall on Fox
Free trade? Just put him in a box
And take him to the nearest docks.
Dump him at sea.
Come bombs and smash up dour Arlene
Who thinks she’s higher than the Queen.
Her bigotry is quite obscene.
Set Ireland free.
While Putin smiles and rubs his hands
And Trump and all his right-wing friends
Make mischief in these weakened lands.
The little shits.
We’ve now become a laughing-stock.
The other leaders laugh and mock
At Britain, which was once a rock,
Now broke to bits.
We’ve pissed off all our dearest friends,
It’s too late now to make amends
And no one knows where all this ends
As pennies drop.
Come, friendly bombs and fall on UK
The country has run out of luck.
And who now really gives a fuck?
Just make it stop.