All posts by Graham Lithgow

Perpetually befuddled miserabilist.

Donald Trump in the UK – The shit, the bad and the even worse.

Hear that? The sound of obsequious fuckwittery is in the air – and there’s no prizes for guessing as to the owner of the wretched orifice it’s spilling from:

viagra
Lucky old Nigel won’t be needing the Viagra tonight.

Yes, the world’s foremost dayglo shitgibbon has finally come to visit – and eternally perplexing cretins nationwide couldn’t be happier. The Donald has arrived, bringing with him such a dominant aura of undeniable leadership that we Brits are set to be rendered catatonic with awe – simply bowled over by his magnificence.

Or at least, that’s what you’d think if you were to buy into the absurdist narrative being spun by the jokers over at Leave.EU. In fairness, the general coverage the mainstream news have put out there seems somewhat balanced – at least to my cursory glance – but the ever befuddling bumblefuck does indeed have some rather prominent cheerleaders polluting the ranks of UK media.

Perhaps none quite as prominent as one Piers Morgan.

cunt
Fake news. He’s actually a cunt.

Regrettably, we all know who Piers Morgan is – eternally tedious, chronically unpleasant and perpetually resembling the most perplexed slab of mutton the world has ever seen. Basically, for the benefit of the somehow uninitiated, he’s a bit of a tit. Perhaps surprisingly however, he’s actually a tit with a rather sticky path awaiting him.

Owing to his inexplicable presence on a prominent morning show, Piers has to tread somewhat of a fine line. The inner thoughts of Donald J. Trump are such a cacophony of bile laced bullshit that something impossibly offensive is bound to eventually slip out and, given how Piers has rather tragically been attempting to sell himself as “Donald Trump’s British friend”, he finds himself trapped between two entirely incompatible desires. On one hand, he quite obviously doesn’t want to upset Trump – being a mindless lick-spittle to an idiot is clearly very important to him; but his level of fame (and indeed, infamy) is something he clearly relishes and his gig on Good Morning Britain is a key part of sustaining it. He can still be the impossibly obnoxious vat of rancid sputum we all know him to be but, when it becomes to toeing the Trump line which often strays beyond the pale, he’s left with no option but to be evasive and indirect – hence the infuriatingly constant misdirection he’s forced to employ here.

Still, a few cretinous ballbags aside, the prevailing mood towards Trump tends to be one of overwhelming negativity. This in of itself has led to a considerable headache for the British government. Severely weakened and alarmingly isolated having not yet kicked Brexit into the long grass, Theresa May and her cronies have a hell of a lot riding on being able to schmooze a vaguely respectable trade deal out of the United States and Trump’s pathetically fragile ego is understandably a cause for grave concern. Whether by way of self delusion or simply a nefarious yearning to irritate the fuck out of the entire planet, Donald effectively proclaims himself to be the single greatest human being to ever exist; a bubble of blissful ignorance which would run a significant risk of being resoundingly punctured by an especially irreverent stunt.

balloon
Somehow, this absurd creation manages to look more real than Donald actually does.

Naturally, both the British establishment and Mr Trump’s handlers will currently be largely preoccupied with shielding him from anything which lay external to his own brain, in turn exposing the delicious irony of an allegedly fearless leader requiring protection from a balloon.

What awaits us over the next few days is anyone’s guess. We’ve already been treated to a masterclass of evasion by way of incoherence prior to his arrival, who knows what soul eroding nuggets of witless bloviation are in store? Perhaps fortunately, the general public won’t really have to deal with the bilious buffoon too much – at least beyond the indignity of temporarily sharing a landmass with him – but there’s an extremely high likelihood that Theresa May’s entire political future hinges on somehow gaining a result from the Donald. Given that Trump is apparently a man whose whims oscillate with each and every Fox and Friends story, this is indeed a high risk strategy with little chance of ultimate success but alas, the Brexit rod currently fused to her spine has left her with little in the way of alternatives.

Still, in the event of seemingly inevitable failure, at least she won’t be the only one left unhappy.

cockblock
Prominent cock finds himself cockblocked.

As for my perspective, I’m afraid it’s one of confusion. Not with regards my personal feelings towards Trump – I regard him as an irredeemable cuntbadger who thinks nothing of curling out a faecal mound of misery at a moment’s notice – but rather my perplexion is a result of his many sycophants.

Despite my staunch opposition to Brexit, I at least “get it”. I can see how, if exposed enough to the right narrative, you could find yourself thinking that perhaps escaping those nasty old bureaucrats in Brussels is a recommended move – but with Trump there is nothing; not a single, solitary foothold of understanding as to how anyone could legitimately admire him.

I accept that there’s almost certainly an element of being at least partially blinded by my own bias at play here, but it isn’t as though I’ve not tried to understand the appeal in being led by a blathering ideologue who apparently lacks even the faintest understanding as to how reality even functions. It’s just that the cult of Trump has remained entirely impenetrable to myself thus far.

Sadly, this has left me in a rather uncomfortable spot. Usually I like to at least attempt to draw some sort of conclusion whenever I cobble together a ramble, but in this case I’m left almost entirely empty handed – I simply cannot make sense of it. When presented with a man so unfathomably reprehensible, any chance of a morsel of empathy perhaps awakening within my brain is immediately and resoundingly shut down by disgust. While I accept that (as with pretty much all analysis) both sides of the debate are partial to hyperbole and bias, even when viewed through the most objective lens I can rustle up the evidence towards Trump being a deranged ignoramus is impossible to ignore.

Perhaps it’s just not meant to be understood. The adulation Trump receives from certain quarters might not make any sense to me but hey, nor does life itself and, unfortunately, I suspect this is the only conclusion I’m likely to ever muster.

That and the increasingly prominent yearning for a lobotomy of course.

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Life, death and the tribulations of a total beginner.

Death is fortunately something I’ve not become particularly accustomed to over the years. For all my embittered grumblings, fate has at least smiled upon me to the extent where I’ve not had to cope with the sudden loss of a loved one – the sole exception to this being my grandmother passing when I was four years old.

As undoubtedly a traumatic time for the family as this was, having occurred entirely out of the blue as she was enjoying her mid fifties watching her young grandchildren grow, I myself was at such a tender age whereby somebody departing your life forever remained a concept my then infantile mind simply lacked the capacity to even consider, let alone grapple with. I could see the upset all around yet the gravity still eluded me. Some would perhaps say I was fortunate to have had my shield of childish ignorance but alas, twenty five years later it is with some regret that my memories of Grandma are painfully limited. All that remains are a few hazily recollections, a yearning for a family member I had little chance to know and a lingering memory of the moment I was informed her “batteries had run out”.

It’s fair to say this bubble of naivety remained intact for some time – just under two and a half decades in fact. Not to say heartache has entirely passed me by; I’ve had my fair share of angst, experiencing the many different flavours on offer, but I’d yet to consciously experience that most despairing of sensations – a much cherished loved one departing; suddenly and irrevocably.

That all changed this past weekend when my grandfather died.

I’ve since discovered the existence of a certain curiosity which occurs in the immediate aftermath of an elderly and frail relative finally succumbing to time. While the accompanying sadness is an obvious inevitability, you’d think the shock would be lessened by circumstance. Grandpa, already in hospital after a fall at home had left him with a broken hip, did regrettably bear the look of a man whose time here was drawing to a close. Severely hampered by the stroke he suffered nearly two decades ago and having soldiered on beyond the ninety mark, he’d been hanging on in there for a hell of a long time.  However my mental fortifications, with decades of preparation behind them for the eventuality of his death, were immediately and resoundingly breached the moment my mum uttered the words “Grandpa has passed away”. Irrespective of the objective likelihood indicating that such news was increasingly inevitable with each day that ticked by, the shock was none the less palpable – excruciatingly so.

Expected or otherwise, the reality of the situation had been set in stone – he was gone. Having awoken to an admittedly imperfect world, at least it was a world in which the people who meant the most to me were all present and correct; but now there’s a painfully notable absentee and, in the company of my parents, I was on the way to say my final goodbye to him.

It was a good forty minute drive to the hospital, though I find myself being unable to recall a single detail. To the passing observer I likely resembled a man struck dumb by catatonia yet my stupor, as outwardly tranquil as it may have appeared, wasn’t especially representative of the desperation in my mind; lurching from one suddenly bittersweet memory to the next, all the while attempting to scrape together a case for the current predicament somehow all being a figment of my own imagination.

Alas, it was in vain and the grave circumstances remained sadly unchanged; thus ensuring a fear I’d held for nearly twenty years had finally been realised.

It was perhaps unsurprising that I held such worries. His stroke way back in the year 2000 had somewhat fittingly coincided with my own cognitive realisation that, at eleven years old, life was more than just computer games and aimless bike rides. Seeing Grandpa suddenly struck down mid retirement grimly confirmed within my young mind that the onset of tragedy wasn’t just possible, but would inevitably befall people I know; people I cared about.

The change in him was stark and, ultimately, permanent. Gone were the days of him letting me win at cricket for hours on end, punctuating each session with an apparently inexhaustible supply of off the cuff tales detailing his days as England’s top spin bowler – every once in a while slipping in offhand remarks implying that he’d actually invented cricket during the war. This era had, sadly, come to an abrupt end.

As if as a thanks for the endless patience he had afforded myself, the sorest of sore losers, I was fortunately mature enough to adapt to Grandpa’s new needs. There was to be no pestering for him to indulge in the every ridiculous whim of my eternally distracted brain, though this perhaps more down to the lingering sense of heartache I felt whenever I bore witness to his condition than any wisdom beyond my years. Once the effortless raconteur, ready to unleash a hilarity inducing one liner at a moment’s notice, he now found himself confined largely to silence – with nearly all subsequent attempts at conversing tailing off after no more than a couple of strained words in a midst of tears and endless frustration. Severely restricted movement will have been a bitter enough pill to swallow for a man who loved nothing more than a long ramble in the countryside accompanied by his cherished dogs, but it was his inability to communicate that undoubtedly pained him the most. One of the sharpest minds I’d come across was now forever hindered, almost entirely hidden away with nothing but time to originate the most wonderful of zingers that he’d rarely be able to express.

It is this acknowledgement of suffering that mum immediately recognised and seized upon in a bid to soothe my grief:

“He’s at peace now. You know he’s not been happy for a long time, he wanted this.”

She was right, he did. As if the initial stroke hadn’t been crippling enough, a further one had followed – and age had only served to assist with the deterioration. While there was always happiness in his eyes whenever he saw family had come to visit, there was also a sadness present. Having once been the life and soul of each and every Christmas gathering, fate had consigned him to a role of increasing (and indeed, involuntary) passivity. It had gotten to the stage where even the yearly card game was beyond him. Granted he retired the champion, having sat proudly at the head of the table with a tea cosy on his head (a prize inexplicably awarded to the winner, as well as a garment I had little contact with), but as the years had rolled on it was yet another of his few remaining pleasures that time had regrettably taken away.

However, despite recognition that his torment was finally over, it did little to soften the blow of what I was about to witness. Having finally arrived at the hospital and rendezvoused with family already present in the adjoining Costa, it was now time to see Grandpa. For the last time. In any capacity.

I was pretty familiar with the hospital, both from having spent a week there myself some years back and the numerous visits to see my grandparents in recent weeks. You’ll note the plural and it’s not a typo, my grandmother had been in there at the same time with them both suffering separate falls within a day of each other. Accidents aside, her life had also become one of perpetual challenge in recent years, dementia reducing her memory capacity to little more than twenty seconds. Her perception as to where she actually was changed every few minutes, with the only constant line of questioning being to query the whereabouts of Grandpa. This inquiry was often answered with the news that she’d just been taken up to see him no more than ten minutes ago, prompting either dubious acknowledgement or further befuddlement before the scenario was triggered once more moments later. How she’d take the news of Grandpa’s death was beyond anyone, though there was a begrudging acceptance that any pain would be temporary – her memory banks being inadvertently wiped clean within minutes. Perhaps, in this case at least, ignorance would provide some small crumb of comfort.

However she wasn’t present at the hospital at this point. She’d since been moved onto a care home with the round the clock support our family, despite our best efforts, were unable to provide – and Grandpa had been all set to join her. In fact, I was anticipating my next encounter with him to be in somewhat homelier surroundings, albeit distinctly lacking in his favourite armchair. Bidding a final farewell to his lifeless remains wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind.

Yet there I was, stood with both my parents outside an open door desperately trying to maintain some degree of composure. The bed remained cloaked by a dark blue curtain, beyond which lay my grandfather – who I’d been assured was finally at peace. I’d never seen a dead body before and yet beyond that thin veil there was one waiting for me – and it was my Grandpa.

After what seemed like an eternity, a nurse stepped out and motioned for us to enter and say one last farewell.

My dad led the way – he was the son after all – and my mum followed. I was considerably more hesitant, finding myself almost dawdling by way of instinct as opposed to definite intent; though my stupor was immediately shattered by the sound of my father’s reaction. At that point it was now or never; time to say goodbye.

So in I walked, breaking down within seconds in an inevitable deluge of helpless blubbering. It was Grandpa alright, but at the same time it wasn’t. Oh so painfully thin and wrapped up tightly in an obligatory white sheet from the neck down, the brutal reality of what was now most definitely not a bad dream became acutely apparent. His face, while still instantly recognisable as the one which had brought so much joy to my formative years, was now lifeless and bore a complexion not dissimilar to that of a porcelain doll. For the longest time I couldn’t look, instead reduced to sitting in the chair beside his bed with my right hand clinging to his chillingly cold shoulder as the left was attempting in vain to plug the flood of tears.

The nurse had since returned:

“I know this is tough but you’ve got to remember – this isn’t your grandfather. He’s gone now, this is just an empty body. He’s gone to be at peace.”

Admirable intent certainly, but it didn’t especially help. I knew he was gone and that was exactly the problem – I wanted him back here. My dad meanwhile, was now sat in silence, hunched over his father and taking in every last possible moment.

At this moment mum said her goodbyes, thanking him for treating her like a daughter, and urged me to do the same – giving my dad a few moments of precious alone time with his old man.

So I did. Not that I especially knew what to say – anything at that point would have seemed insufficient. Regardless, I picked up whatever fragments of composure I could muster, planted a kiss atop his forehead and managed croaked out how much I’d miss him. All that was left at that juncture was to stumble out the room and slump onto the first chair I could find. That was it – goodbye forever.

The mood in Costa as we rejoined the rest of the family was unsurprisingly sombre. A few smiles were raised as we remembered the good times but these were quickly smothered by a reluctant acceptance of the days events. I don’t remember if I said much; I probably didn’t say anything. I just remained locked in a trance, almost entirely oblivious to the talk of funeral arrangements and how to break the news to my sister who was away with work. These concepts are relatively mundane and an inevitable part of life yet it still didn’t seem real. Perhaps I just didn’t want it to be.

In any event, we said our goodbyes and returned to our respective homes – albeit with one notable stop off along the way: a visit to my grandparents house.

It was only a brief visit. It was even suggested that I perhaps wait in the car for fear of inducing another breakdown, but no – there was one thing I absolutely had to get from that house.

Without word or pause, I made a beeline through the fully furnished yet now unpopulated home to my Grandpa’s study, immediately zeroing in on the object of my desire –  a simple photo of my infant self and Grandpa at my aunt’s wedding.

I knew where it was, it had been on that shelf for years and become somewhat faded by sunlight. There was no way I was going to allow it to become lost when the house is inevitably cleared out and sold off. Now it was safely within my possession, it seemed fitting to wait out the visit sat in the back garden, clutching the photo tightly as my gaze drifted across to the patch of grass upon which we’d played cricket all those years before.

My cousins are both considerably younger than me and, as a result, didn’t ever get chance to know Grandpa prior to his stroke. In fact, the oldest once inquired as to why Grandpa could only sit in his chair all day, physically unable to join in with his youthful shenanigans.

My answer to this was always the same and remains unchanged to this day. While he may have appeared quiet and distant through no fault of his own, it never changed what a wonderful grandfather he was to me. Whether it was time spent sat on his knee as I forced him to read me the same train book for the millionth time, or the impromptu tours of the house he’d treat me and my sister to (in which he’d try and pass off a tatty old vase as a priceless Chinese Ming), those memories with remain both forever unblemished and eternally cherished within my mind – and it is perhaps one of my most sincere regrets that neither of my cousins were granted to opportunity to create their own special memories with Grandpa.

I’m just glad I was so lucky.

Goodbye Grandpa, I’ll always miss you.

Capture

The People’s Vote, Brexit and two entire years of impotent fiddlefucking.

Remember the EU referendum? Sure you do, it was only two years ago. We all vividly recall the respective campaigns, it’s almost impossible not to given the vitriol and division it created. Remain had their tedious approval of the status quo, forever insistent that a failure to heed their message would be met with the most mundane torrent of doom imaginable – and we had Leave contingent, with their somewhat jingoistic proclamation that we should throw off the shackles of supposed EU tyranny and drive a suspiciously mendacious bus over the horizon, ever onward towards a previously untapped land of gumdrops and global prosperity.

As astonishing as it may seem, Remain’s cautionary screed detailing the perils and pitfalls of economic downturn didn’t quite have the same sex appeal as promises of previously unfathomable wealth and a magic unicorn on every driveway – perhaps signifying that Leave’s eventual triumph wasn’t quite the Earth shattering upset it was initially portrayed as.

Michael-Gove
If you consider this sex appeal, just wait until you get a load of Nigel.

Still, whether the apple cart was toppled over or not, Leave had won the PR war and victory was immediately seized upon as the inerrant “will of the people” – with anyone who dared express concern as to the feasibility of this master plan being simply dismissed off-hand as a sore loser, wallowing in their own sense of bitter incredulity.

With this in mind however, it does indeed beg the question as to why today, two years on from a supposedly infallible expression of unyielding intent, thousands of people are taking to the streets of London to decry that very notion, demanding they be afforded some semblance of control.

I’m far from infallible myself, but I suspect it may have something to do with this:

full
Boris can scoff all he wants, at least a bog roll Brexit will afford us the tools to clear up the shit it’ll inevitably leave in its wake.

Yes, that is a real headline; and not from the preposterously backward universe next door. Horrifyingly, it’s from our own.

You likely recall similarly tiresome platitudes polluting the discussion way back in the aftermath of Leave’s victory. While naturally concerning to see figures like Boris Johnson (who days prior had taken to the stage, beaten his chest and declared a national day of independence in the event of his triumph) seemingly at a loss as to what the fuck he was supposed to do, time at least remained just about on our side. Scepticism was obviously rife, not least from increasingly inquisitive Remainers, but joyous Brexiteers were insistent that it’d be figured out in due course.

Two years on however, Vote Leave figurehead Boris Johnson is still marooned in the ‘mindless platitudes’ stage:

bog roll boris
It seems fitting that such a prominent bullshitter would have an inexhaustible supply of toilet paper.

Oh Boris, you cretinous bumblefuck. You sure can craft a soundbite capable of warding off suspicion from the most suggestible of Brexit loyalists, but unfortunately empty rhetoric doesn’t have a morsel of economic value and, consequently, isn’t suitable fuel for what is undoubtedly Britain’s most drastic diplomatic move in decades. Jingoistic bluster may well have swung the referendum, but it’s of no use to the subsequent aftermath – a fact that has become increasingly apparent as the months drifted by without even an iota of tangible progress. Of course that doesn’t stop both leading parties from attempting to create the impression of success, conveniently ignoring that their respective flavours of Brexit have already been unceremoniously spat out by the EU, but they try nevertheless – though it’s little surprise that many haven’t been fooled.

It’s from that very sense of disenfranchisement that the People’s Vote was spawned.

proud

The merits of such a concept are something I’ve touched upon previously, so I’ll spare you an explanation. However, I would like to address the inevitable scorn that has already been doled out by the usual suspects of shitehawks.

shitehawk
Oh look, Julia’s got democracy confused with shopping again.

You can dismiss the marchers as nutters, you can disagree with their politics – but in no way can you claim that they’re enemies of democracy, fiendishly attempting to subvert the nation’s collective will. You may rightly point out that the EU referendum was democracy in action but, as inconvenient to your narrative as it may be, today’s march is too. If Brexit really was the golden ticket to utopia it was advertised as, then there’d be no need for this. People are pissed off and justifiably so. They were told Brexit would improve their lives, heralding a new dawn of democratic accountability and a properly funded NHS – yet after two fucking years we’ve received nothing more than a few risible slogans equating crashing our economy with the desire for a decent breakfast. Ludicrous doesn’t quite cover it.

Look – you can treat the People’s Vote march with as much derision as you please; that’s entirely your prerogative. Sure, the overwhelming majority of attendees likely did vote Remain, but they won’t be alone. A smaller yet no less significant demographic of regretful Leave voters, having borne witness to the rudderless shit-show that Brexit swiftly became, will also be joining the cause – and if “taking back control” really is important to you, I’d recommend you also join the party.

Unless that is, you’d rather listen to Boris Johnson bloviate endlessly about bog roll.

Your choice.

Nigel Farage and the Game of Blame

It’s not nice being lied to. Not only does it signal a distinct lack of respect, needling your self esteem with every word, it also creates a disconcerting sense of confusion – if that’s not the truth, then what is? Life’s already befuddling enough without a disingenuous dickcheese throwing deceit into the mix at the worst possible moment, why make things more difficult for everyone?

That said, despite inhabiting a world ridden with unbridled dishonesty, there is occasional respite. Some lies are easy to spot – lies like this one:

liar
Oh good. We can now add “Brexit dividend” to the list of promises that are never going to happen.

Yeah, that’s our Prime Minister lying to the entire country again. No biggie, right? It’s not as though it doesn’t happen every fucking week or anything. So why make the point of picking out this one in particular?

Well the answer to that one lies not such much in the deception itself, but the reaction to it – specifically what came from the myopic mind of Wormtongue Farage:

nigel
I’m not sure what voters had in mind when voters opted to make Nigel an MEP, but it likely wasn’t to have his own radio show.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; the supposed “Brexit dividend” really is so ludicrous that even arch Brexiteer and Tsar of Bullshit Nigel Farage will call it out. But why? He’s never had any issue with smearing the discourse with disinformation previously, so why now? Just what is that slippery rascal up to?

It’s fair to say that Nigel’s behaviour has been somewhat curious of late. Previously the foremost proponent of the idea that Brexit would lead us to a glorious future of diplomatic dominance and a robot butler assigned to every home, it was perhaps then surprising to see Nigel shuffle onto a considerably more pessimistic tune.

youfuckinglyingshitrag
What is it they say about liars and being unable to maintain eye contact?

Quite the shift, huh? Certainly not quite the iron clad proclamation that we’d be better off no matter what flavour of Brexit we opt to choke down upon.

youutterliar

See?

But of course, as with every utterance that spills from Nigel’s face rectum, it has to be taken with a lethal dosage of salt. You know he doesn’t believe it, so you’re left with little choice but to look upon proceedings using the same lens as Nigel himself – one of total self interest.

Though, rather than reap the rewards of a utopia he promised, Nigel seems strangely preoccupied with getting himself as far away from Brexit as humanly possible.

farage4

Ah yes, starting the classics. “It’s not Brexit as an idea that’s the problem, they’re just doing it wrong” has been a staple strategy amongst the most cowardly of Brexiteers wishing to avoid accountability. Hell, preposterous chucklefuck Daniel Hannan has been at it for ages. Brexit is dying on its arse and everyone who had previously championed the presently rotting carcass is wasting no time in getting the fuck out of there before the flies swarm in. Gutless – but expected.

However, this yellow bellied act of revisionist trickery rather urgently shines a spotlight upon a considerable failing of today’s news media – a flaw entirely characterised by infuriating impotence.

Brexit is falling apart with each passing day. While yet to be halted dead in its tracks, the already laughable potential for it to be in any way a success is ever dwindling. You’d think that this would be a pressing concern for the nation’s journalists, not normally shy in ramming their fingers into whatever rancid pie they stumble across – yet this indigestion inducing dessert remains oddly untouched, apparently without even the slightest curiosity as to who served up the rather sorry soufflé.

The rationale behind this is both baffling and alarming in equal measure, though as a collective we don’t seem especially perturbed by this – and we really should be.

Nigel lied. Daniel lied. They all lied. Not just to you, but to everyone – without shame or concern. They saw a chance to further their political aspirations and ruthlessly seized upon it; the naive electorate they hoodwinked in order to achieve their aims are of little concern – you voted Leave and that’s all they needed. So what if the Rolls Royce you opted for back in 2016 doesn’t have an engine? Or wheels? Or even seats? Do you really think Nigel Farage is going to be waiting at used car dealership, clutching a cheque for reimbursement?

leave
Say no more.

There you have it, clear as fucking day. Not only is Nigel’s deception indisputable, it’s staggeringly brazen – further underlying a withering contempt for those he ushers down the garden path.

That’s not to say you were stupid for believing him; who wouldn’t sit up and listen when a supposed upgrade is offered up, complete with promises to propel us to global prosperity and beyond? But that’s no excuse to abandon all sense of inquisitive scepticism – especially as there’s precious little time to take the likes of Farage to task before he slithers off into the night.

Whether you agree with my own assessment of Brexit is ultimately an irrelevance here. I’m not asking for your political agreement; just that you at least call into question why the Brexit Rolls Royce you were sold is notably lacking in any sort of warranty before it’s too late.

Because let’s face it – Nigel’s not going to be around to help when you break down on the outskirts of Plymouth.

 

 

David Davis – International Man of Mystery

David Michael Davis MP – now there’s a curious fellow. You’ve likely seen him, though given he’s somewhat of the retiring type you perhaps couldn’t spot him in a parade – he’s far more likely to be lurking in the confines of his office, taking occasional bites from a ham sandwich somebody else made, than jet setting around the world, being a relentless antagonist to the EU and pushing the case for a “Global Britain” he so obviously entirely understands.

Reclusive as he may be however, he does come bearing a rather unmistakable presence – wide eyed and befuddled, stumbling around the European Council with an alarming passivity more befitting of a competition winner being given a tour than the British Brexit Secretary.

You know, this bloke?

BRITAIN-EU-POLITICS-BREXIT
He doesn’t just look like a competition winner, he’s also done the same amount of prep work.

See? Instantly recognisable. Bet you never thought such an expression of smug bewilderment was even possible but there you go, apparently. It’s fair to say that Mr Davies has become somewhat a figure of ridicule in the past two years. While unsurprisingly reluctant to position himself as the de facto figurehead of Brexit negotiations – most likely down to his desire to not leave too many fingerprints upon this most sorry of car crashes – when he has dared to stick his head above the parapet, he’s immediately the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights. Eternally equivocal and preposterously hesitant, with each increasingly unwelcome query of his rhetoric being met with ever more pronounced involuntary tics – the most notable of which being the near constant removal and immediate reseating of his glasses, the irritation growing as the questions continue to search for answers he simply doesn’t have.

Still, his allies are quick to remind us that chronic incompetence and expertise in the placement of spectacles aren’t the only strings to his bow:

insanity
So he’s just like James Bond, basically. Only entirely different.

Basically, if you thought he was merely a jobsworth you’re mistaken – he’s a jobsworth who is apparently trained to take people out; presumably with a machine gun crafted out of a discarded fag packet.

The how and why as to the apparent need for David Davis to take someone out remains unfortunately confined to the limitations of Nadine Dorries’ fevered mind – not to mention being entirely irrelevant to the real reason his mug is currently being plastered all over the news: he’s threatened to resign. Again.

sacked
You’ll be reassured to know that the headline hasn’t been doctored – it is indeed real. Have a nice day.

Curiously enough, despite it being the apex of good sense to offer your resignation should a work colleague be sacked for throttling the old fun stick on company time, David didn’t fall on his sword following Green’s rather enforced departure. This presented somewhat of a problem for what was, at the time, the prevailing narrative – it being that Davis was simply looking for the best way to abandon ship before it careers off the face of the Earth. It just didn’t seem to fit, so what else could our erudite man of mystery be up to?

DXpeBoYW4AABLAV
Oh look, it’s the broken clock’s time to shine.

For your answer to that poser, you need to strip away the polish and other assorted artifice to look at Mr Davis in the simplest possible terms – does he want Brexit and what would he stand to gain from it?

As if his support for the Brexit cause pre-referendum didn’t provide a resounding enough answer to the first question, the fact that he does indeed have a considerable vested interest in Britain crashing out of the EU only strengthens the case.

It’s with that in mind the pieces all suddenly start falling into place; as with all Leavers standing to personally profit from Brexit and are faced with debate they lack the coherent argumentation for, he resorts to his last remaining card – distraction.

Given there’s growing unrest amongst British citizens that this Brexit malarkey isn’t quite what they had in mind back when they lent their support to it, it’s understandable that the Jacob Rees-Moggs of this world are getting a bit antsy. With dissatisfaction comes the need for debate and it’s a debate the Brexiteers simply don’t have the ammunition for. Even nauseatingly slick operators like Jacob have been reduced to gibbering simpletons when the perennial party pooper of reality decides to show up at the worst possible time.

Their only remaining tactic is simple – if the debate can’t be won then it must never be held in the first place. There’s no room for pride; the moment the gaze of scrutiny goes all Sauron on you there’s little choice – jettison what little of your dignity remains and pray your inquisitors take the bait, irrespective of how non-sequitur it may seem. Don’t believe me? Simply look at the intense scrutiny the current Brexit proposals are being subjected to. Or at least, were – before the silver fox decided to unleash another circus by pondering his resignation once more only for nothing to happen. Just like the last time, right? On a superficial level, it all seems somewhat pointless – until you’re hit by the sudden realisation that the most ridiculous version of Brexit possible has edged ever closer to the finish line while you were busy talking about something else.

So don’t be fooled by the blunderings of David Davis. He’ll lie, he’ll misdirect, he’ll even fall flat on his fucking face if he has to – all to keep us laughing as he surreptitiously delivers a burning bag of dog faeces through our letterbox.

And trust me, you won’t be laughing when it’s your turn to scrape up the shit.

 

Open letter to Jeremy Corbyn – The People’s Vote is perfectly compatible with your ideals

Dear Mr Corbyn,

How are things? Bet this recent sunshine has done wonders for that allotment of yours, though hopefully you haven’t dwindled away too many hours there – not least because a considerably more publicised letter than this one has made its way through your letterbox in the past few days.

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Give the people a say on their own future? What a novel idea.

Yes, it appears that those latte slurping, metropolitan elites are at it again – keeping the feeble proletariat down in the disenfranchised dirt by way of a diamond encrusted shoe. Except that they’re not – a fact which will become remarkably apparent if you listen to what they’re actually saying, rather than tuning into the witless bloviations of Nigel Farage.

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See? Seems reasonable enough now, doesn’t it? Which is precisely the reason why it’s a source of endless puzzlement that you, as yet at least, don’t seem particularly keen on the idea.

You see, I rather like you Jeremy. While I haven’t yet taken a gulp of the Corbyn kool-aid, I’m most certainly not amongst the unpardonable cretins who consider you the love child of Stalin and Fidel Castro. You seem a perfectly nice bloke – amiable, considerate and, above all, possessing a genuine desire to improve the quality of life for your fellow travellers. All that lovely shit of which I’m entirely onboard with.

However it is with some sense of regret that, despite the aforementioned superlatives, I find myself unable to lend you my vote. Sure, it’s only the one vote lost amidst a vast ocean of ballots up for grabs; but given that you’re a man who utilises sincerity as a key staple of his brand, positioning it neatly alongside your apparent quest to aid the forgotten in their bid to finally be heard, it’s a vote you should care about. Also, if one were to further extrapolate, the notion of a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal should be perfectly compatible with your aims – not to mention being a wonderfully effective means of wrenching power from the political elite you so despise and handing it to the people you dearly wish to represent.

Yet you continue to oppose such an idea, affording the proposal such disdain that you sacked Owen Smith the moment he publicly uttered his sympathies for such a cause.

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Being “for the many, not the few” is a key tenet of Labour party policy. Except when it isn’t.

Of course, there was semblance of logic in your decision – you can’t sell your manifesto without a united front standing behind it – but that’s somewhat of a red herring in this case. Under your stewardship, Labour have (for perhaps the first time in years) been able to create a clear distinction between themselves and those curmudgeonly old Tories – at least when it comes to the prevailing narrative. You’re not merely content to just be the party for the people, you yearn to be the party of the people – hence why your steadfast reluctance to even entertain the idea of a final Brexit vote isn’t just befuddling, it’s entirely antithetical to your aspirations.

Now you could very find yourself retreating to the confines of the politicians playbook at this point, trotting out the groan inducing mantra of “the people have already spoken – they voted to leave” and yes, that is indeed true – they did vote to leave. However, failing to acknowledge the vast wealth of nuance that goes along with such a proclamation is the undoing of many a man’s credibility and it would sadden me to see yourself, a man of obvious good character, fall victim to the horrendously binary trappings of the Farage school of thought.

Not least because the man’s clearly an idiot:

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You might not get another vote on Brexit, but Nigel is happy for you to dump dead fish in a river.

That said, there was a brief glitch in the matrix when Nigel rather bizarrely called for a second referendum himself – before quickly changing his tune once more, going as far as to claim he never actually said the words that millions saw him utter on live television. As I said, Nigel’s a man who indulges in idiocy with apparent impunity – though there is a certain, rather disheartening irony to the fact that, if only for a brief flicker of time, Nigel Farage was more for giving people a voice than you are.

Not that I’m putting you anywhere near Farage on the Disingenuous Pissweasels leader board; please don’t think that of me – though I do implore you to listen to what those voices are actually saying. Despite what your Eurosceptic comrades may tell you, they’re not all clamouring for a Viagra charged Brexit while erecting picket fences across the entire coastline – there are many disquieted murmurs out there if you’re willing to seek them out.

While this letter may have come across as adversarial at times, it remains addressed to yourself in perfectly good faith – and, for the record, I do consider you a man of integrity and honest intentions. Yet I simply can’t clamber on board your bandwagon given the stance you currently subscribe to – even if it is heading to the most happening music festival of all time.

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I hope John McDonnell plays the album version of ‘Let’s lynch Esther McVey’. The single cut was rubbish.

Honestly Jeremy, there really is no reason to oppose a people’s vote – especially if using your own ideals as a baseline. The naysayers might be insistent but they’re not infallible. This isn’t about blocking Brexit, nor is it about undermining the “will of the people” – it’s simply a chance for those very same people to make a final, informed decision on a question they were posed two years prior with minimal information. That’s all there is to it at its very core.

When all’s said and done, you perhaps said it best yourself: leadership isn’t just about talking, it’s about listening too – and what sense does it make to listen to a previously uninformed electorate as if their word were gospel if you’re just going to close off your ears the moment they start putting the pieces together?

So come on Jeremy. Clamber out of that allotment, dust yourself down and get to work putting power back in the hands of the citizens you value so highly; by backing a people’s vote for the many, not just the few.

 

Open letter to Tommy Robinson. All of them.

Dear Tommy,

How you doing? We probably haven’t met before so best clear up any misconceptions right off the bat; I’m not Tommy – I’m Graham. I realise this may be a tad confusing given all the Tommys; I do bear a passing resemblance to Brown Haired Tommy as well as being somewhat of a doppelganger for both White Tommy #4 and White Tommy #843. Hopefully you haven’t mixed me up with Racist Tommy #38 – that’d be awkward.

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I Googled “Tommy Robinson” and it came back with some bloke called Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. I have no idea why, I guess Google is broken.

Anyway Tommy, pleased to make your acquaintance. Though regrettably I’m informed that this correspondence finds you struggling amidst troubled times. Word on the street is that Tommy is currently banged up in prison? At least one of you is. Either way, it doesn’t sound good and, with the latest word amongst the Tommys being murmurs of a press blackout, my interest has sufficiently piqued in order for me to delve further into this proverbial shitheap of Tommy’s – and I’m happy to share my findings with you.

The faeces had barely encrusted my fingernails before the first informative nugget of dung was uncovered:

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I’d say the applicable Tommy should thank his lucky stars to escape the big house.

My my, whatever is this? Sounds like you’ve been up to some typical tom boy tomfoolery, Tommy – in your down time from being a serious journalist. Well, if the Tommy in question is one of the journalist Tommys. There’s probably a few of them.

In any event I was very disappointed in Tommy (yes – that means you, Tommy), though remained curiously undecided on the nature of your punishment. You’d think I’d have been happy for you to maintain your freedom, it being a commodity that is rightfully cherished – but I couldn’t help but fear that this wouldn’t be the last the court system would see of Tommy Robinson.

Still, as you left court a free man, there was one explicit warning left ever ringing in your ears:

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Huh, I guess they got Tommy mixed up with that Yaxley-Lennon character again. Maybe he’s a Tommy too?

Seems straight forward enough; they’ll let you off this time, but should Tommy Yaxley-McCartney decide to piss pejoratives all over judicial proceedings once more – it’s the slammer for you. Or Tommy. Maybe both.

Despite this apparent clarity as we jump forward to the here and now, not only have the Tommys swelled in number (as if spawned into life by the re-lit flame of apparent persecution) but they’re also mad. Pissing pejoratives mad.

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At first glance I mistook that for a rolled up copy of the Daily Mail in Tommy’s back pocket – ready to beat down the establishment with the words of media moguls who run the establishment.

In a sense I can’t really blame Tommy (or Tommy) for becoming enraged – there’s nothing to stoke the fires of purpose quite like a perceived injustice and it’s actually unsurprising that Tommy feels that way. After all, there’s been a press blackout regarding your recent arrest, Tommy – at least initially. Whether this is simply standard practice for a case like this, I don’t know. I’m perhaps not as educated as some of the Tommys out there so my opinion on this matter is close to worthless but, with this lack of knowledge in mind, it does seem a tad odd.

Nevertheless, good fortune awaited. For, despite the efforts of those opium smoking, ivory tower dwellers who love nothing more than to keep an honest Tommy down, many a citizen journalist took up the reporting mantle and were right on hand to document a miscarriage of justice in action – Tommy’s miscarriage of justice, affecting Tommys across the globe.

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Selfie of the year, bitchaz. Or whatever the cool kids say these days. I’m old.

Now you know me Tommy, I’m always willing to give you a fair shake of the dice, nor am I one to spread wild aspersions with joyful abandon – but that very much looks to me that you’ve been hanging around a courthouse as evidence was being given; for over an hour. Now call me crazy (or Tommy), Tommy, but this sounds very much like what you were given a suspended sentence for back in 2017 – a suspended sentence that included the condition that if you didn’t refrain from causing similar scenes at courthouses you’d find the suspension lifted and spend a year in jail.

Now Tommy may very well protest, saying “Hang on, press blackout and a lightening quick conviction? This all seems very odd indeed” in his cheery Lutonian chirp. Indeed that presents a quandary of sort. Short of actually being there or having an informant on the inside, there’s no way of really knowing what went down as you were bundled into the back of a police van.

Well, apart from the livestream you transmitted to the world. That probably helped in the decision to put you away.

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So that’s about the face of it Tommy, looks like you inadvertently triggered the shit sandwich coupon you were granted last year. However the shit sandwich isn’t really the problem here. It is perhaps best to approach you from a purely ideological standpoint and narrowing it down to the specifics of the matter at hand – the spate of historical child grooming cases. Now in many ways I’d find myself with you, albeit with a copious helpings of asterisks and disclaimers – but yes, these tales of child grooming gangs that are coming to the fore after remaining undetected for a staggering amount of time are fucking horrific. As with all folk with the capacity for empathy, I have nothing but sympathy for the victims and unremitting contempt for the perpetrators. I’d also agree that serious questions must be asked as to how this was allowed to go unnoticed for so long; apathy at this point would be despicable.

I do however, have one very serious problem – the approach you took.

The fallout from your Friday skirmish with the police can be defined by two particular facets. The first being your part which, oddly enough, is arguably the least damaging. No need to go over old ground, basically if a judge tells you not to cause a scene outside a courthouse then don’t cause a scene outside a courthouse. Judges are proud, fiercely intelligent people – they’re not to be fucked with.

However it’s a potential consequence of your actions that lead into nicely into the next, somewhat heftier piece of debris – the hijacking of the narrative and, more pertinently, the potential it has to throw the very case you were “reporting” on into disrepute.

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No it hasn’t.

As noted prior, it didn’t take long for a dominant narrative to prevail. Aided perhaps by the press blackout and nothing official to counter them, the Tommys quickly established a bleak, authorisation image of a totalitarian dystopia scooped right out of Orwell’s own brain. “Tommy is a political prisoner!” shouted Tommy, prompting another Tommy to tweet similar sentiments for the next Tommy to retweet. All it took was a few, ever so devious tweets from the odd well known bullshit dispenser and boom – the narrative is now contaminated before the truth has even got his trousers on; perhaps fatally so.

Though once again, this is far from the most pressing concern to spawn from this clusterfuck – that accolade belongs to the effect it could potentially have on the case. While we’re perhaps worlds apart in terms of politics and values Tommy, there are odd instances where our mindsets somewhat align. I’m sure you want justice to be served as much as I do, the same almost certainly being the case with your many namesakes. But that is precisely why causing a disruption outside a courthouse in the midst of a trial is a really stupid idea should you have any interest in a fair hearing, especially if you’ve already been told not to less than a year ago. A similar plea goes out to your identically named supporters; whether intentionally or otherwise, the narrative has become about Tommy as opposed to the cause he claimed to represent – and, as with everything involving Tommy Robinson, an excruciatingly tiresome circus is set to follow. A circus precisely of the sort this trial could well do without.

It’s understandable that emotions run high at times like this. The crimes we’re dealing with here are unfathomable in their horror and too fucking right I want justice to be served. But, as flawed a system as the British criminal justice system can sometimes be, for it to have any chance of granting a fair trial to all concerned then a certain amount of trust has to be offered – begrudgingly or otherwise.

After the verdict has been reached and the dust has settled, if you still feel that a miscarriage of justice has taken place then knock yourself out. Make your voice heard and use all method of protest available to you within the limits of the law – it’s your right after all. But don’t litter an ongoing trial with pejoratives and conjecture; not only is it in nobody’s interest, it also gives the distinct impression that you’re more in this for a stab at an ideological victory rather than the pursuit of justice.

Besides, the last thing you’d want to do is to derail the trial completely. That wouldn’t put you in the good books amongst the other Tommys.

Especially you, Tommy.