Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Happy Haverings Christmas Present: Andrew Neil's Guide to Scotland

We've all heard of it.
We've all sampled the shortbread and the whiskey.
We've all laughed at the incomprehensible accent.
Some of the best people (no prizes for guessing who I mean, Ma'am) have estates there.
But what is Scotland really like?
Tonight on This Is Weak, I, the most famous and important son of Scotland ever to grace your television screen, offer the definitive guide to Scotland.

There, that's me on the right. Gorgeous, eh? But let me tell you, not every Scot is so beautiful. In fact the vast majority of them are downright hideous.

I had that Alex Salmond in the studio once and let me tell you he's a real bullfrog. And that's after hours of make up. As you can see I don't need any, but as Scotland's bard once said, 'Fair fae your honest, sonsie face'. Whatever that means.

But back to Scotland. It's a land of lochs and mountains. At least it used to be before the SNP got into power and turned the whole country into a raving socialist dystopia. Now all the mountains have to have unpronounceable Gaelic names and you can get arrested for calling a loch 'lake', the proper English word for it.

Unique among Scots, I own literally dozens of books.
But despite the majesty and grandeur of the landscape the vast majority of Scots remain poor and stubbornly ignorant. So ignorant enough of them will happily vote for the SNP, a party so ludicrously incompetent it refuses to tax them to the hilt despite the powers so graciously bestowed upon them by the Crown. (God Bless You, Ma'am!) It lets their kids go free to their useless universities - with the notable exception of Glasgow, my own alma mater - which means their traditional high quality education has been watered down by all that riff-raff turning up in their hoodies, shouting up in the Common room and smoking boobies instead of attending lectures, as in my day.

And it doesn't end there. SNP incompetence reaches into every aspect of everyday life in Scotland. Irrefutable statistics, just thrust into my hand by a researcher, prove conclusively that buses and trains are regularly late. Old ladies regularly forget where they left their glasses, even when they were on their heads all the time. Schools regularly collapse. Sheep often get out of fields onto roads. Bridges are regularly closed due to high winds or bits falling off them. And all the SNP can say in response to this is the feeble 'We'll build another one'. 

Despite Diane Abbot's cleavage trying to upstage me I'm still the
most gorgeous thing in this picture.
Instead of reacting sensibly to this appalling state of affairs Scots themselves have become insufferably bolshie. Despite being spoiled rotten at the expense of the rest of the UK, a fact they should be eternally grateful for, they point blank refuse to vote for real political parties and even criticise that bastion of truth and enlightenment, our beloved BBC. I myself receive the most hateful antagonism from Cybernats, despite being polite to a fault in exchanges with nobodies like them. In my day we knew how to treat a national treasure like myself with respect, but sadly those days are gone.

So, in conclusion, Scotland may be pretty on the postcards but it is rapidly going to hell in a hand basket.  Luckily those few of us who did manage to reach the pinnacle of academia in the days when it counted for something escaped to civilisation. If I were you I'd stay home, pour yourself a Scotch to go with your shortbread and watch me on the telly instead. It's better than Horlicks.

Friday, 2 December 2016

A Poser. Or A Couple of Posers.

Has anyone else noticed the remarkable similarity between wacky and zany media celebrity Chris Evans and wacky and zany Blairite Labour MP Ian Austin?


They could have been separated at birth.

And the resemblance doesn't end there. While one of them entertains us with his antics trying to revive the fortunes of once loved but now past its sell by date television show Top Gear, the other causes much merriment in the House of Commons trying to revive the reputation on once loved but now Chilcot discredited Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Could they possibly be one and the same person? After all, we never see them together.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Monday, 10 October 2016

Welcome to Theresa's Post Brexit Fascist Paradise!

Der Fuhrer May speaks: That conference speech in full.

When I came to Birmingham this week the biggest question on my mind was 'How can I make it look like I give a toss about Britain when all I want is to save the tory party from electoral oblivion?"

Do I have a plan? Yes, I do.

Am I willing to sacrifice my cabinet colleagues in the process? Yes, indeed.

Is Boris Johnson a useful distraction from the Brexit fiasco? Yes, that's why I appointed him.

But the big question is what is my vision for the tory party? My philosophy? My approach?

Today I will churn out some rehashed bullshit from old Ed Milliband speeches to answer that question as indirectly as possible.

Because it won't be easy. There is a rocky road ahead. There will be problems, but nothing we can't overcome by bluster and nationalist rhetoric. We've been on the ropes before, but we've always fought back, and won. Because we are a party of fighters. We fight each other like no other party. And we are a party of equality, even if some of us are more equal than others. Believe in that and great things can happen. Great changes can occur. Except in my cabinet, of course, which remains mainly millionaire middle aged old Etonians.

Last June we saw a quiet revolution. I don't mean the noisy one that botched the EU referendum result or ended Boris's impertinent attempt to replace David Cameron. I mean the one that got me into Number 10 after pretending to support Remain but keeping so quiet about it I was not unacceptable to the Brexiteers. And since then the media have been invaluable in keeping quiet about My Little Coup, as I like to call it. That's the way we do things in the tory party. That's the sort of people we are.

And so my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be PM was grasped with both hands. Because tories are a party of opportunists, first and foremost. We never go off script when it's time to sell the party or buy an election. Like lying about bringing the deficit down, creating more slave wages jobs and creating more millionaires when the number of foodbanks continues to rise. We pretend to spend money on the NHS when it's clearly going down the pan, or abolishing crime when prisons are full to bursting. And one of the greatest Bullshitters in the last 25 years has been David Cameron, so let's hear it for him.

But now it's time for change again. Brexit provides us with great opportunity.  Not just for personal enrichment but the chance to consolidate tory power by removing those pesky regulations that have held us back in the area of workers and human rights. Knock on any door and you will see how discontented people are. But there's still work to do. They won't work for peanuts while they aren't actually starving. So Brexit gives us the chance to kick out all the foreign firms providing them with jobs. To kick out the foreign doctors who care for them and keep our NHS running. Only then can we sell it off to the American private healthcare companies amassed on the border and get a seat on the board.

Of course people won't vote for that unless we convince them we are their champions. So watch while I and the tame media convince them we are the party of workers. Let's rewrite history together so they forget who destroyed our manufacturing base, removed the power of trade unions and allowed zero hour contracts to become the norm. We'll pretend that allowing selection in new Grammar Schools will bring a brave new world of choice when only a tiny few will actually be chosen and the rest can rot in crumbling hell holes. We'll talk about fairness and equality while turning the usual blind eye to tax avoidance and our non-dom billionaire donors without whom the tory party would be nothing.

Because Brexit is about becoming Britain again. It's about controlling our borders and keeping out foreigners, and I won't allow divisive nationalists to spoil that.

We in the tory party can be more UKIP than UKIP. Not out of xenophobia, although that's a pretty good reason, but because by stealing their votes we consign the opposition to oblivion forever.

Because we are the Nasty Party, and let's never forget it.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Guest Post: Kezia Dugdale - a Clarification

Gordon i get up in the morning to fight for Labour values it's very simple Gordon the SNP is destroying Scotland crushing the poor under its nazi jackboot targeting the most vulnerable in our society that's why i will always fight for a Labour government at Westminster to give hope to all those struggling families all those young people struggling on zero hour contracts by raising taxes and renewing Trident it's what gets me out of bed in the morning Gordon and that's never going to change

it's not confusing i stand by what i said Gordon my position hasn't changed i'm determined to fight for a Labour government and to do that we must have unity and a leader who can unite us that's what all of us want Jeremy has been elected leader he has to be the leader that leads and unites us if we want to see a Labour government the party has made its choice now it's up to him to convince the voters i said i didn't think Jeremy could achieve that and i stand by that it's written down but now we have to unite and move forward to get a Labour government and i will support Jeremy yes i do think he can unite us and lead us to victory Gordon so we can fight for all the Labour values all of us so desperately want to see to help all the struggling young people on SNP zero hours contracts by raising taxes and renewing Trident but we can't do that in Opposition

of course i want to see a Labour government and we won't get that unless we unite behind Jeremy even if he isn't the man to unite us it's what we need to do to get out of bed in the morning Gordon i'm tired of all the misery the SNP is bringing to the people of Scotland banging on about indyref2 at a time like this and swingeing cuts and this horrible tory government we need to get behind Jeremy and take the fight to the SNP Gordon yes I do think Jeremy is the man for the job even though i supported Owen Smith it's what gets me out of bed in the morning

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Play Indyref2 Bingo!

Cut out and keep this handy bingo card so from now on you will be ready to play during First Minister's Questions (or any political debate including the SNP).

Indyref 2   
          Get on with 
          the day job

            Oil prices
GERS figures
          Indyref 2
             Get on with
              the day job

Get on with 
the day job

         GERS figures
             Get on with 
              the day job
Indyref 2
        Get on with 
         the day job
             GERS figures

Star prize - this delightful "Getting on with the Day Job" tee shirt. 

Runner up wins a night on the town with Professor Adam Tomkins.

Losers win two nights on the town with Professor Adam Tomkins.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Guest Post: Owen Smith

Look, I want to clear this up once and for all. Because there have been some pretty scurrilous accusations flying around about me on the interweb. Lies mostly. Can I just say here and now I am not nor ever have been a sexist. I'm just a normal 'wife and two kids' kind of bloke, and like all blokes I've a tendency to put my foot in my mouth where the ladies are concerned.  Let's face it, they take offence at practically anything, don't they? Even someone as sensitive as I am. The comment about Nicola Sturgeon stuffing her mouth with enormous gobstoppers was meant to be a bit of harmless banter. I mean, I don't even know the woman, but she seems alright in a mouthy kind of way. They seem to go for that in Scotland, don't they? But it was certainly not meant to imply she should shut up. I doubt if anything a bloke like me said would ever make her shut up, to be honest. But I am in no way shape or form a sexist. No way. I'm a radical feminist since way back.

Look, it's not that I don't like Jeremy. He's a decent sort of bloke and I respect that. He might not be the type I'd want to socialise with, I mainly hang out with Pfizer executives, but I can see his heart's in the right place. But this is politics and as Tony once said, if your heart's in the right place you should get a transplant. And there's a lot of sense in that.

My vision for Labour is a strong party of government. I didn't come into politics to be in opposition. Shame I couldn't get selected for the Tory party since they seem to be a shoo-in these days, despite all their awful policies. But as Labour leader I would make the party as good as the Tories.  Because there's no point in having principles if no one ever votes for you. Not that nobody votes for us, but the right of kind of people aren't voting for us and under Jeremy's leadership they never will.  So it's all well and good Jeremy standing by his principles, they're just the wrong principles. That should be obvious.

I resigned from Jeremy's cabinet because I could see he was unelectable. If a party wants to be electable it must have a leader who is electable. And Jeremy just isn't. It doesn't matter how many hundreds of thousands rally to his public meetings, that's just a fact and I've never been one to shirk an unpleasant truth.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Ed Balls and the Perilous State of British Politics

So Ed Balls was on Strictly last night.

I'd add a picture, but it's probably better if you try and imagine it.
Lots of unreal showbiz glitter and into the middle steps a podgy middle aged man with a bad hair cut and a suit he didn't choose for himself.  He bears the uneasy grin of one not accustomed to being the centre of such manufactured hype. You wonder what he can be thinking as his scantily clad partner guides him across the floor.  Is he thinking back to his days as a left wing firebrand Labour activist, knocking on doors and standing on street corners to bring hope to his party's working class voters? Or is he thinking how proud Tony would be now he has joined the ranks of the self serving political hasbeens in selling himself to the highest bidder?

And however pathetic it is to see someone like Balls, who still manages to pop up on the Andrew Marr show espousing serious political opinions the day after he has prostituted himself on a tacky celeb fest like Strictly, that's not the most depressing part of this story. It's the fact that no one seems to see any harm in this blurring of the line between serious and trivial.  Politics has crossed over into just another harmless branch of mind numbing entertainment, it would seem.

Not that this is new. Boris Johnson's been getting himself invited onto comedy shows since time immemorial. But go back far enough and it's hard to imagine our politicians conducting themselves like this. Would Harold Wilson have gone on 'What's My Line' or Harold McMillan on 'Juke Box Jury'? Maybe if the price had been right. And if the BBC is paying that much, maybe the license payers should be informed.

Personally I think it's all part of an overarching plot to dumb down politics. It's hard to take someone's opinion on monetary policy seriously when you've just watched them tango to the whooping appreciation of a studio audience. But with Balls, it's questionable how seriously anyone took him before this. The electorate did after all kick him out in last year's general election. And we all have to make a living, I suppose.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Whatever happened to...The BBC

Oo-er, I've got a man's genitals, you know.
I'm depressed this morning. No, it's not the weather, or the economy or even the Team GB self congratulatory wankfest going on in the meeja. It's the news that Mrs Brown's Boys has been voted the best sitcom ever in a Radio Times poll.

Les Dawson suffering from the shishkebabs.
Now, to be fair, I've never watched Mrs Browns Boys. The trailers are bad enough. I don't much go for studio audiences whooping at the sight of a fat middle aged drag act. I went through all that in the Seventies. Remember when the limited TV schedules offered nothing better than references to Mrs Slocombe's pussy, and all that Carry On seaside humour that defined British post war entertainment? I confess I even enjoyed some of it. Les Dawson got the character to a tee, and Lily Savage had the earthy one liners to carry it off.

Mrs Slocombe 
But that was then, and I'd hoped, in the years since Spaced and The Office, that British television sitcoms had finally grown up. Apparently not. The Beeb would rather look back to what was (barely) funny forty years ago than take a risk on breaking new ground. I find this depressing because it's not what the Corporation was created for and we deserve better.

And this was compounded by (another) new reality show.  The programme planning at Broadcasting House these days seems to consist of "Who can we follow around with a film crew for cheap entertainment? Police? Dunnit. Debt collectors? Dunnit. Benefit scroungers? Dunnit. I know, how about sweat shop workers?"

And that's pretty much what Britain's Hardest Workers is. This latest piece of nonsense tries to dignify its poverty porn by calling it a 'sociological experiment'. It's kind of a cross between Undercover Boss and British Bake Off - the elimination element giving the lie to its 'experiment' line right away. Time was when the BBC led the world in fearless expose journalism, lifting the lid on the unscrupulous practices that enable such exploitation of low wage employees. Today we get yet another glib reality show, sniggering at its contestants' inept attempts to do a job they have not been trained for.

Whatever happened to the BBC?

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Guest Post: John McTernan

I love the Labour Party. Whatever anybody says, Labour is my home and I'll be damned if I leave it.

Keir Hardie. What an absolute disgrace that man was. For a start he was a miner, and we all know what a bunch of lefty subversives they were. And as if that wasn't bad enough he was a Scottish miner, the worst, most bolshie kind of Trot on the block. Yet, despite that he did one good thing in his life which was to create the Labour Party. 

Speaking of miners, I'm looking forward to 'St Maggie's Day' being formally introduced by the new Theresa May-led government in recognition of Margaret Thatcher, the woman who saved this country from terminal decline. The way things are going the tories will be in power for the next generation, Thank God, so it's got to be a dead cert.

Why do we even allow unions at all? Back in the good old days subversives were sent in manacles to Botany Bay, and good riddance. Although I can't see the current Australian government being too happy to reinstate that arrangement. Maybe we could launch them into space where they could populate some distant planet and fill it with strikes and picket lines. Reminds me of a nightmare I have often.

Yes, I'm Scottish, but I prefer not to talk about it in polite society. It's a handicap but I've never let it hold me back.  The only thing that bothers me about it are other Scots. Especially the disgusting hordes of flag waving Cybernats. And the SNP, who should all be in jail for their appallingly treacherous disloyalty to the British flag.

And it's all Salmond's fault. That fool's got a lot to answer for. For a kick off politicians have no business holding referenda, they invariably end in tears. Elections are bad enough, God knows. But why a self respecting politician would voluntarily ask the public's opinion on anything is beyond reason. If a politician wants someone's opinion they should ask a special adviser, like Tony used to ask me. The public know fuck all about it and should keep their noses out.

And then having arranged a referendum Salmond starts going around telling people to vote for separation. I can't bring myself to use the word 'independence', the very thought of it makes me physically sick. How could Scotland ever survive outside the safety of the United Kingdom? It's not even funny.

Corbyn, don't get me started. How anyone can be stupid enough to see him as filling the shoes of a political colossus like Tony Blair is beyond me. Just proves how unreliable the public are. I can't watch PMQs any more because of him, reading out those pathetic messages from loser nobodies. He's an embarrassment. Worse than that, he's a danger to himself and others.  And more importantly, to my future as a Spin Doctor.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Don't Worry, Mr Torrance. There's Nothing To It.

Scotland's favourite political commentator and woolly tank top enthusiast, David Torrance, recently caused a bit of froth on Twitter after voicing his astonishing objections to a Scottish Six. I won't bore you with the whole story which you're probably sick of hearing about (if you're in blissful ignorance and dying to know more a quick Google search should help out). But the gist was he didn't think BBC Scotland could match the stellar quality of London's international news coverage.

He might have a point if it weren't for the fact TV News is about the easiest scam to pull off these days. It might look slick and hi-tec with those glass fronted news rooms a hub of feverish activity but the truth is the news hounds are more likely to be trawling social media for bits of gossip. The BBC doesn't actually have any correspondents any more. Any fool can stand outside a building clutching a mike and reading from a cue card.  And who wants to waste time and effort on investigative journalism when you can get away with parroting press releases?

The Scottish Six would only be an hour long programme, a piece of cake in journalistic terms. Remember, this is the same broadcaster who effortlessly fills its rolling news channel, so one hour is hardly likely to be a challenge. (Rolling news is an art in itself,  as seen here.)

So it would seem poor David's getting his wooly tank top in a twist for nothing.

But there is always the possibility that the dopes at BBC Scotland didn't get the memo about how to churn out an hour's worth of BS, so here are some helpful tips to keep them straight:

To make TV news you will need:

1. A brightly lit set with brashly coloured backdrop.

2. Pompous urgent theme music to emphasise something of Earth shattering importance is going on.

3. An anchor, or preferably two; one male one female.  This allows the mandatory banter between them and stops the audience getting bored with the same face all the time. Distraction from the meagre content is paramount, so it helps if the female is hot. That way at least half the audience could doze through the entire show in a sexual fantasy.

4. At least one Correspondent. You can have as many or few of these as you like, but too few might look a bit cheap. They don't need any specialist knowledge beyond the ability to talk intelligently.

Now to the actual news.

In the Old Days a crusty old bloke in a worn jacket read dusty copy from a page of text. This is no use today because it only fills a maximum of ten minutes. Some creative filling is called for.

1 Anchor reads the headline in melodramatic fashion, backed by loud strains of music. This sums up the news item. After the music stops the other anchor repeats it with a bit more detail. In fact, this is all the news they have
But they can't just leave it at that.

2. Cut to the correspondent, apparently 'on the scene'.  He says pretty much the same thing using a few different words so it's not too obvious. For more dramatic effect he/she may interview a 'witness' or someone closely connected to events. The witness doesn't know any more information but can speculate endlessly to fill in time.

3. Back in the studio the Anchor sums it all up again. If there's still time to fill he/she may turn to an Expert for more pointless speculation. It pays to keep a few genuine 'experts' on retainer, such as Professor John Curtice, to be wheeled out on such occasions. But anyone will do and most ennobled former ministers will jump at the chance to spout their half baked opinions on live TV.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Live Coverage From the Oust Corbyn Championships

An improbably slick and over lit studio:

Impossibly Glamorous Anchor: And now sporting news, and we cross to the Oust Corbyn Championships where Gormless Reporter has been getting up to speed on all today's action...

(Cut to wet Gormless Reporter clutching a mike in the rain)

IGA: Hello, Gormless. You look a little damp...

GR: Hello, and welcome to sunny somewhere too dull to remember. Yes, it's been chucking down all day here, but luckily all the action's been indoors.

IGA: A bit more playful banter, sharply curtailed to get on with the report.

GR: (Fake laughter) Yes, indeed.

IGA: Tell us a bit about this year's contender. Is he going to be the one to finally Oust Corbyn?

GR: Well, he's a bit of an outsider, Owen Smith. He seems to have come from nowhere and claims to have not done any training for this competition, although I've heard rumours he's been training on the fly for about a year. He talks a good talk, but it remains to be seen whether he can walk the walk.

IGA: Can he walk?

GR: Yes, indeed he can. On the face of it he has a strong hand and as a former shadow cabinet minister he already has a foot in the door. On the podium he can punch out a lot of media friendly sound bites and fake sincerity, there seems to be no limit to his meaningless platitudes. But I have to say Corbyn seems completely unfazed and even after hours of Smith's droning on looks the more relaxed of the pair.

IGA: And I hear there's been a bit of argument over the rules.

GR: That's right. The sport's governing body had ruled that only they could decide who could decide on who was the winner, but it now seems they can't decide on who can decide, only a High Court judge can decide.

IGA: Sounds like a decisive moment.

GR: It has certainly raised a few eyebrows.

IGA: And what do you predict will be the decision?

GR: Ah, as Mystic Meg once said, I'm not in the prediction business. But it's bound to be one or other of them.

Cut to studio. 

IGA turns to a screen where we see a bespectacled Expert sitting in a studio in front of a backdrop of somewhere interesting.

IGA: Joining us from Somewhere Interesting University is Ron Expert, a professor of This Sort of Stuff. Professor Expert, listening to that report, why do you think it's so hard for these newcomers to Oust Corbyn?

Professor Expert: Good evening. Well, as you know, I chaired a committee last year investigating the ramifications of a post-Corbyn scenario, taking into account all the stakeholder options and worst case outcomes. We met for six months and have only recently published our findings, and we found conclusively that the long term effect of deindustrialization and under investment in the neglected areas of the North, West, parts of the East and most especially in the Midlands would lead eventually to a devastating fiscal shortfall in real terms.

IGA: I see. That's just bollocks, isn't it?

PE: Pretty much, yes. 

IGA: Thank you, Professor Expert. (To camera) So, there we have it. Another exciting day's sport at the Oust Corbyn Championship, but only time will tell. Now over to ZZZZ with the weather....

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Boris's Guide To Johnny Foreigner

It was never about my career. The whole reason I supported Brexit was to make England great again. Because England is the greatest country on God's Green Earth, bar none.

Some of you have reacted less than enthusiastically to my elevation to Foreign Secretary which I must say is entirely unfair. I'm a cosmopolitan renaissance man from way back. Just because I'm a staunch lover of all things English doesn't mean I can't enjoy all the attractions of the wider world, as I'm frequently telling my Thai masseuse.  I drink Italian coffee, happily munch my way through Chinese and Indian takeaways, and always have a French letter in my breast pocket.

But of course, being Foreign Sec means having to deal with Johnny Foreigner himself. And that's a whole other kettle of ballgames. Because your Foreigner isn't like an Englishman. There are profound differences that need to be overcome if meaningful dialogue can occur. And it's not just the fact that some of them are too lazy to learn English. They have odd habits, and can be bloody minded to the point of rudeness.  Honestly, I've met some of them so I know what I'm talking about.

Luckily, I'm just the man to know how to handle them which is probably why our latest hot totty PM couldn't wait to get on the blower and get me on board. Here's my guide to Johnny Foreigner:

Barely foreign, in fact apart from the duskier hued and hispanics, they could almost be English except for their stubborn refusal to spell words like colour and aluminium correctly.

Lazy, duplicitous cowards. Also appallingly ungrateful for the fact England baled them out of two world wars. If it wasn't for the cheese and wine I'd avoid them entirely.

Best avoided as they have a lot of gibberish languages and chips on their shoulders and make an awful fuss about running mumbo jumbo land when everyone knows England ran it miles better.

Damn cheek, the arrogance of the Germans knows no bounds. They even think they are entitled to run Europe which is the main reason I supported Brexit. Who won the bloody war?!

Even lazier and more cowardly than the French, if that's at all possible.

Say what you like about the towel heads, they do know how to keep order. We could do with a bit more amputation in our criminal justice system.

Ungrateful drunkards, constantly whining despite England's overly indulgent generosity. And hardly ever sober enough to stand up straight.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Guest Post: Tony Blair

Look, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet. Although, let’s face it, I was without a doubt the most successful Prime Minister Britain ever had. I won three successive elections, almost singlehandedly. During my time as the greatest Labour leader I reformed my party beyond recognition. And as the cleverest, most dynamic Prime Minister ever I reformed the United Kingdom beyond recognition. But I’d never boast about any of that because that’s the kind of guy I am.

Look, I’m always asked how I did it. ‘How did you singlehandedly reform the Western World beyond recognition, Tony?’ people always ask. And it’s not an easy question to answer. Hell, it wasn’t easy to do. There are always plenty of reasons not to do things.  ‘Don’t invade Iraq, Tony’ practically everyone said. ‘It’ll be a complete catastrophe.’ But you can’t listen to the naysayers. In this job, you have to trust your instincts. You have to do what you know is right, even when you know it’s probably wrong. And where are all those naysayers now?

Look, I took a lot of stick for going into Iraq. That Chilcot’s a pretty decent bloke, and that Inquiry he did was a pretty good effort. I’d have struggled to do a better job myself. But he wasn’t there. He wasn’t sitting where I was sitting. It’s hard to do the right thing even when everyone else knows it's wrong, let me tell you. Sure, I made mistakes. If anyone can name one I'll be the first to be sorry for it.  But nobody ever got it right without being wrong.  

Look, I didn’t have to tell parliament about the WMD, but I did because it was the right thing to do, and that’s the kind of guy I am.  Sure, I probably should have listened to all the experts who said there weren't any, but hindsight is twenty twenty.  I knew they were there, and I had to make that decision. Being the boss isn't easy, you know. It's a burden I bore with pride, the pride of being the greatest leader the world has ever seen. But no one should think it's easy, 'cos let me tell you it ain't.

Look, the trouble is, it doesn’t matter how bloody great you are, you’ll always be judged on your mistakes. That’s the truth. Even if you don’t make any. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Boris's Post Brexit Utopia In Full


Yes. Well. Who’d have thought? Really.

Our great nation has spoken. And this is indeed a historic moment in its history. 

All the evils of being shackled by an unelected elite will now end. 

I've hated unelected elites since way back.
Everybody’s doorstepping me about what I plan to do. And quite right. That’s what we’re all wondering now. But whatever it is I plan to do will be better for our great nation, you can be sure of that. I’m a committed Europhile from way back. So that’s not going to change. Having defeated the shackles of the EU unelected elite we are free to do whatever we like, including staying in the EU with all its economic and cultural benefits. It’s a win/win situation. 
That bloke Junker, what is he like? Trying to tell us to fuck off and as fast as possible. Doesn’t he know how important we are? Doesn’t he know the EU needs us more that we need it? These people, really. He clearly did not have a contingency plan for this eventuality. 
Oh, that poster. Well, yes, I did approve it, yes. But what you have to understand is it was an election. Things get said. I’m not responsible for that.
What needs to happen now is we keep cool heads. There’s no point in all this argy bargy. Our great nation has spoken and now we must take our time about getting on with it. No sense in rushing. There’s a test match on for one thing.

I’d like to pay especial tribute to David Cameron. I may have given the impression somewhere along the line that I disagreed with him on this issue, but it now seems we were in perfect agreement all the time. We both love the United Kingdom, we both love the European Union, and we both want to be Prime Minister.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Why Would Anyone Want To Join Muirfield?

In case you've never heard of it Muirfield is a golf club on the coast a little to the right of Edinburgh. It's not just any golf club, though. It has on occasion hosted the Open Championship so it's just possible you have heard of it. And this week it's been in the news, not for its golf but  because its all male membership have voted to continue as an all male membership.

While I can see why an angry PC mob is storming the Starter's Box with cudgels in response to this outrageous sexism, perhaps it would be wiser to reflect a moment.

There's a prevalent notion that everyone should have everything. Any obstacle to that ideal must be demolished in the name of justice and equality. Society thrives on this notion. It's what makes us 'aspire' to better things, a wanky term for greed and envy. It makes us work harder, pay more tax and buy more stuff. But the older I get the more I know that everything isn't for everyone, nor should it be.

Now, don't me wrong, I have nothing against golf clubs. Well, actually I do. I don't much like the way they ring-fence huge swathes of beautiful countryside for the exclusive use of a few pampered and overly competitive show offs. I don't mind the sport itself. If anyone wants to hit a ball with an iron bar around a few miles of coast I suppose it stops them being a burden on society. But there's no excuse for the silly trousers or those milk float Noddy cars they chug along in. Surely the point of a sport is exercise?

But above all is their attitude. While they strut the greens in daft attire with their little clique of fellow club members these modern day squires regard the rest of humanity as nothing better than local peasantry. I speak as a neighbour of a golf club, not one as grand as the lofty Muirfield you understand, but golfers regard themselves as visiting royalty even in the humblest clubhouse. This gives them license to be as rude and overbearing as they wish. They can shout, swear, bark bad tempered orders at any poor sod who inadvertently wanders into their line of vision. They can clamber into gardens to retrieve their ball from the cold frame or green house it smashed without so much as a murmured apology. They think shouting "Fore" allows them to fire homicidal strokes at picnickers within a five mile radius.

And all of this brings me to the point of this post. Much as I dislike them I can see that golf clubs serve a useful function in society. They keep these petty minded little Napoleons away from the rest of us, in much the same way a prison protects us from criminals. They can all gather there and annoy each other with their nit picking rule obsessed anally retentive anecdotes. They can compare their Pringle socks and fluffy club covers. They can swagger around the clubhouse bar in ludicrous knitwear trying to be the biggest wanker. We, thankfully, don't have to see them.

Why would anyone think golfers are sexist?
And what goes for most clubs goes double for a place like Muirfield, where you need six signed affadavits, a declaration from your Bank Manager and an introductory letter from a member of the royal family to even get considered for membership. These bastions of snobbery are nothing to do with a jolly game of golf so much as impressing clients and getting one up on the neighbours. Who in their right mind would want to spend a Sunday afternoon dressed like Terry-Thomas and surrounded by Hooray Henries unless it was in the name of social climbing or the chance of getting within grovelling distance of Tiger Woods at some future Open Championship?

So, if that sounds like your idea of heaven, by all means get the PC army up in arms in pursuit of your membership to Muirfield. Although, personally, you might be better off taking a long hard look at yourself.  You can play golf anywhere. It was originally played over sand dunes with sticks and rocks,  not a Tony Jacklin golf cart or Titleist ball in sight.

Sounds more fun to me, frankly.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Political Diary Guest Post: Jess Phillips MP

So, how it all started was, me and my mate Denise - that's Denise over there in the purple boob tube - Hi Denise! Been to Top Shop? Really suits you, luv! - anyway, where was I? There was me and Denise and these blokes from Exeter - well, they said they was from Exeter but they didn't sound like it to me - anyway we're all up the Dog an' Duck and it was Happy Hour an' we're all gettin' merry, as you do, an' my mate Denise says how about doin' somethin' for a laff. An' I said wot. An' she said put your bra on back to front. But I can't really do that cos I get terrible back ache without a bra on so one of the blokes from Exeter - Trevor, I think he said his name was - or was it Kevin? He reminded me of my sister's boyfriend Kevin. Not her current boyfriend, her last but one boyfriend. Dead ringer, he was. Anyway this bloke Kevin says Hey I got a great idea why not put your name down for the election? An' I said wot election? An' e' said the General Election. An' at first I have to say I was not at all keen cos I don't really like politics, an' I said it's dead boring you must be jokin'. An' he said, no you'll have a great time, it's all mouthin' off and you don't need no qualifications nor nothin'. An' Happy Hour was just endin' and we had half hour before Donnegans opened so we went round and done it. I'm mad, I am.

So, it's a mad place this Westminster. It's got all these like weird customs and stuff. There's this bloke in a long gown called a Speaker, an you have to watch he don't tell you off cos he can send you out of the chamber if you like piss him off too much. And there's all these really petty rules. Like you're apparently not supposed to phone your mates during debates or put your feet on the bench in front which I didn't realise so that was dead embarrassing. It's kind of like being back at school, but you are allowed to shout and make animal noises, which I quite like. Just like bein' in the home stand on cup final day. So that's helped me feel at home. An' I thought it was gonna be all stuffy and lots of posh old blokes, and it's true there are a lot of them but there's lots of cool people an' all an' we have a good laugh sometimes.

The best thing about being an MP is doin' interviews on the telly. You get all your make up done for you and sometimes they even have this thing called Hospitality an' that means free booze in this place called the Green Room an' there's loads of dead interesting stars and celebrities there an all. It's like Happy Hour at the Dog an Duck, but with important people.  I love it, me.  Sometimes by the time I get on I've forgotten what it was I was gonna say.

Anyhow there's this one time in the week that's not dead boring and that's Prime Minister's Questions. It's when David Cameron has to get up and answer all these questions, which sounds dead boring, but it's not because he's really clever and doesn't bother answering the questions he just says something funny about Jeremy Corbyn or the SNP. We all get a good laugh at that, except it does get a bit boring when Jeremy Corbyn gets up cos he keeps losing the place and forgetting his lines and people heckle him a lot which isn't nice to see. Me mate, Yvette, she says I really shouldn't join in with the heckling and I suppose she's right but I just want him to sit down and let David Cameron get up an say somethin funny again. I like a good laugh, me.

So last week I got the chance to get up and ask David Cameron a question. Yeah. Me! You'da been dead proud if you'd seen me. I stood up and everybody went really quiet and I was dead nervous and wanted to sit down again but my mate Yvette had wrote the question for me on the back of one of her old Benson & Hedges packets so I just let rip. It was about keeping womens refuges open. I'm not really much interested in politics as such, but that is one subject close to me heart cos most of me mates would have nowhere to live if they closed the refuges. So I remembered what Yvette said about 'once more with feeling', and I put a dead emotional "Please, please, pleeeease" on the end of me question. It was dead moving and everybody seemed to really love it.
Course it won't make any difference but I might get asked back to do Question Time off the back of it.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

All Hail Tory McToryface, Scotland's new Leader*.

Thank you, Friends.

Today is truly an historic moment. And I don't just throw that word around the way the vile nationalists do when they sweep the board and take more votes than anyone ever has in Scotland.  No, I use it in the good, British way. The way that stands for the Union.

Union. That's a great word isn't it? (Unless of course it refers to gangs of uppity subversives trying to undermine our democracy.) No, I see Union in the good, British sense of taking your taxes and resources in return for wise rule. For centuries Scotland has seen the glorious benefits of being managed by another country. Benefits such as the Highland Clearances, the Poll Tax and Margaret Thatcher. These are the glory days I want to restore as Leader*.

Because this moment is truly historic. Not historic in the sense of having anything to do with national pride, but the good British sense of knowing one's place in the Empire and sticking to it. The Nationalists will have you believe that to be Scottish you have to love Scotland. But I say, No. To be a true lover of Scotland you have to love Westminster. Only then can you see how weak and fragile is this precious thing called Scotland, how poor and useless and needy. Scotland needs my strength, and I will not let the vile Nationalists poison it with any more of their positivity. Scotland cannot survive without the generosity of our imperial masters in Westminster, and as Leader* I will do all in my power to see that never ends.

Scotland is a wonderful country. And not just for holidays or shooting parties or even investment opportunities. No, I mean in the good British way of being the northernmost bit nobody every mentions or thinks about until an election is looming. That's a tradition to be proud of and on this historic day I vow to keep it alive.

*Leader of the Opposition