Category Archives: Embittered political ramblings

Boris Johnson – The man, the myth and the mugwump

Cast your mind back to the 30th of June 2016. Sure it was hardly an idealistic time of promise and national unity, what with Brexit’s narrow victory the week prior setting into motion over two years of hapless political bumbling that we’re somehow yet to escape from, but there was one small crumb of comfort to be had – at least Boris Johnson wouldn’t be our Prime Minister.

Having just about thrown his considerable weight behind Leave, a move which by this point is now almost universally accepted as one motivated entirely by self interest, Boris’ master-plan was oh so spectacularly undone by a move straight out of his own playbook, with Michael Gove publicly plunging a knife into the spine of his longtime confidant. That’s just how friends treat each other in the Tory party apparently.

The naively optimistic amongst us may have thought such a spectacular capitulation would spell the end of Johnson’s leadership ambitions, finally vanquishing the lingering threat of our supposedly proud nation inexplicably opting to be lead by a man who seemingly revels in his carefully crafted persona of an odious clod.

However if you’ve spent the past two years existing in blissful exile underneath the most hospitable rock you could find, this morning’s headlines will most certainly have jolted you from your slumber and back into the increasingly disconcerting reality we now occupy.

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Happy Sunday everyone!

Yes, Boris is indeed back in the spotlight – though in actuality he never really went away. While it’s true that he maintained a comparatively low profile upon the demise of his pseudo Churchillian dreams, he remained a familiar face in Theresa May’s cabinet; lingering in remission while maintaining an altogether disquieting facade of dutiful obedience – save for the odd not so accidental slip from the party line.

Not that anyone with even the slightest morsel of insight into the mind of Boris Johnson was especially convinced however. Boris wants to be the nation’s head honcho with the same obsessive desperation a man lost in the desert would have for a glass of water. So when the painstakingly calculated moment came to eject himself from the cabinet, with it came a feeling of freedom that, while undoubtedly bringing a great amount of relief to Boris himself, regrettably brought about a dark sense of foreboding for those with sufficient vigilance to see where this is all heading.

Sadly for Boris, the human mind has the capability for remembering events that occurred prior to the previous ten minutes. He can no longer play the fool, swanning around with the same effervescent buffoonery as before – the stage managed Benny Hill tribute simply doesn’t wash anymore and Boris is acutely aware of this.

So he’s had to change tactics. A leopard may be unable to change its spots, but that’s not a problem when said spots were painted on in the first place – and, providing the artist in question whispers enough promises of personal glory into Bojo’s ear, he’s more than happy to rent out his repulsive hide as a canvas for the highest bidder to doodle upon.

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If at first you don’t succeed, sell your soul to the nearest far right propagandist.

For all his internal delusions of being the next Churchill, leading our country to victory through times of unimaginable strife, Boris is ultimately a moral blank. The surrounding pantomime brought about by his purportedly chucklesome antics has never been anything more than a vehicle by which to gain access to Number 10 – even if that means ram-raiding his way through the front door. He wants to be Prime Minister and if that means claiming the highest office in the land without a single scruple in his pocket, then so be it.

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If you’re one of the 17.4 million, you probably don’t want this man speaking for you.

It is subsequently of little wonder that Boris hasn’t shown the slightest resistance to becoming Leave.EU’s would be leader of choice – a propagandist group with so little regard for the very notion of integrity itself, they’ll happily sit in front of a parliamentary select committee and smugly confirm that they routinely lie to everyone. Ultimately it’s of mutual benefit to both parties – Boris gets the unwavering support of a prominent social influencer while Banks and chums get themselves a media puppet with access to the highest reaches of government and beyond.

Though it’s not with this symbiotic relationship where the real problem lies, however ghastly a tag team they may be. For reasons beyond the understanding of my relatively modest intellect, Boris remains inexplicably credible to a significantly large demographic of voters. While his absurdly jingoistic twaddle may attract scorn from many corners, there remains a substantial base who see the appeal in such belligerence – still resolute in their belief that Boris Johnson is the political maverick who speaks for them and it is only through incendiary rhetoric that they’ll get the fantastical Brexit they’ve always craved. Fanciful perhaps, but the frankly astonishing power of self persuasion that comes with deep seated faith is not to be underestimated.

Those who, in spite of his galling ideological transience, continue to back Boris to the ends of the Earth are unlikely to find many arguments that sufficiently resonate in order to puncture their bubble of subservience. It’s the ‘feelings over facts’ situation all over again. Nevertheless, irrespective of its almost inevitable futility, there is one tiny question I consider worth posing to them – once Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister, what then?

There’d likely be unbridled joy amongst his disciples at first, but this is likely to be swiftly extinguished by the practical implications of their triumph. After all, what can a man who is effectively a mouthpiece for hire really stand for?

And given that Steve Bannon is the one currently pulling his strings, we can only hope we’re never to find out.

 

 

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The return of Farage and why we simply must make plans for Nigel.

While it’s been a rather mundane time in the weeks just gone by, what with the majority of Parliament swanning off to the very same sunlit uplands we’re on course to be diametrically opposed to this time next year, you may recently have noticed a rather disconcerting shift in the relatively calm political winds – suddenly tugging at your hat with irksome insistence as the nostalgic yet foul stench of jingoistic twattery begins to seep once more into your nostrils. What could it possibly mean?

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The worst comeback since leprosy, that’s what.

Yes, the repugnant pong of duplicity could only herald the arrival of one man – Nigel Farage. His much teased return to “front line politics” has only increased in terms of inevitability as public mood gradually shifts against Brexit, though many would justifiably argue that a seven time electoral loser deemed too toxic to have any involvement in the official Vote Leave campaign (trust me, this fact only gets more hilarious with hindsight) was only really ever on the periphery of the Westminster bubble. However that’s always struck me as somewhat of an irrelevance. While his eternal failure to get his hands on a glossy parliamentary seat all of his own is undeniably hilarious, I can’t help but suspect that firing snide potshots into the perpetual chaos of Parliament from the relative safety of the sidelines is exactly how he likes it.

Let’s face it, why wouldn’t he? Obviously there’s been some degree of scepticism as to whether he’s still the potently iconoclastic political saboteur he once was, a viewpoint entirely at odds with the joyous celebration amongst his hardcore base – dancing with the unbridled delight usually associated with Captain Scarlet joining you in the ongoing war of ideals.

The former, more grounded perspective is perhaps the more rational – after all, the public are arguably becoming more savvy to the tricks employed by Farage and his cronies is pursuit of the ultimate Brexit deception. What possible sophistry is there left that would penetrate the public’s collective fortifications of mistrust? Promise a second, even more elaborately ostentatious unicorn?

The truth however, is somewhat less idealistic. From the standpoint of an tragically naive optimist, the public would be sufficiently incredulous to recognise that the fabled unicorn will be little more than the exact same shabbily behorned pony from before – only this time coming equipped with a hastily scribbled go-faster strip across its back and the discarded motor from a derelict Ford Focus jammed up its rectum.

However in practice past deception is unlikely to hinder Farage as much as his opponents may have hoped. Sure, Nigel won’t be bringing anything new to the table. It’ll be the exact same untruths he belched out before and he certainly won’t be bringing a viable Brexit masterplan to proceedings anytime soon; but the reality as to why is simple – he doesn’t need to.

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Brexit’s rather simple when you’ve got no accountability whatsoever.

The reasoning behind this is twofold – firstly, despite being a considerable catalyst for Brexit sneaking the referendum amidst David Cameron’s disgraceful complacency, it isn’t really his problem. While true that it’s a damning indictment on his moral responsibilities as an alleged human being, in practical terms he’s holds no tangible sway in Westminster beyond that of an agent provocateur – leaving him free to sit back, light up a fag and gallivant across the globe endorsing suspected paedophiles.

There may well be a case that the public perception of Farage, already teetering on an incredibly dubious footing, could sour irrevocably, but that seems distinctly unlikely any time soon – at least in terms of him becoming a persona non grata for the entire universe. Ultimately, he’s not the one pulling the strings that yield significant consequence and there’s no reason for him to stick around as the shit inevitably torpedoes into the fan – with Nigel largely shielded from the ensuing splatter as cabinet ministers bear the overwhelming brunt of the proverbial faecal bullet. There’ll be damage, but Farage is used to playing the villain; a few newly formed patches of brown upon but one of his innumerable tweed jackets won’t cause him to lose much sleep. He’ll happily slither off in search of another previously tranquil pond to piss in, a preposterous cackle accompanying every splash of racid urine.

The second reason is considerably less obvious, though has unquestionably played a crucial role in maintaining Farage’s efficacy as a cultural antagonist – the mainstream media being unforgivably toothless.

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As hard as it might be to believe, finding a picture of Nigel Farage appearing on Question Time proved remarkably easy.

Despite proudly establishing himself as a man who holds the mainstream media with the same disdainful contempt you would a genital wart, they’re surprisingly keen to have him on. The word on the street is that he’s “box office” – chortle worthy perhaps, but they’ve definitely got a point. Farage does have a certain expertise when it comes to drawing your attention – much in the way you’d sit up and take notice if he suddenly sauntered into your house whistling a tune from the Hitler Youth back catalogue, before proceeding to burn down your living room and throw your dog out the window. He creates outrage – and there’s nothing that quite draws the crowds like a chance to add our voice to a screaming cacophony of collective disgust.

While never shy to champion their own sense of morality, the ratings game will take precedence every time – hence why television studios across the land continue to roll out their comfiest chairs and (seemingly) least inquisitive interrogators to lob soft-balls in perpetuity for Nigel to wallop towards a swarm of Romanian immigrants that only he can see; basking in their staggering hospitality like the anti-establishment folk hero he so obviously isn’t.

With the quest for viewers established firmly in your mind, it’s of little surprise to see Farage receive the kid glove treatment. He’s fully aware of the leverage he holds, it’s entirely within their mutual best interests to keep him relatively sweet – even if it’s an experience akin to chomping down on a vinegar soaked lemon.

As contemptuous as his apparent omnipresence is however, I’m not especially opposed to him being involved in the discussion – providing said discussion includes a thorough cross examination of Nigel’s spurious claims and distasteful rhetoric via the intellect of a well informed and incisive mind.

Yet that’s where our media fails us most of all.

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Honestly, watch the whole thing. It always cheers me up.

Have a listen to this. Or this. Or even this chucklesome number. Now compare and contrast Nigel’s lamentable performance with that of pretty much any one of his 68.7 billion Question Time appearances for the BBC. Quite the difference, isn’t there? Gone is the self assured smarm, drowning out all attempts at scrutiny with the odd toot of his trusty dog-whistle and allowing him to filibuster his way to a different question. Instead we see an anxious man, his ignorance and deceit laid bare by the smarts of a keen mind and a steely determination to prevent any desperate attempt at derailment. He stammers, he misdirects, he ends the call or requires his press officer to come in to bat for him – and it’s fucking hilarious.

So why don’t see more of this particular Nigel – his leathery hide shimmering with an anxious sweat as his poisonous artifice is ruthlessly castrated by a factually based argument?

Simple. It’d be of no benefit to the players involved – whether it be Nigel or the media. If Farage is torn a superfluous rectal cavity upon the second his original arse-chute comes into contact with the Sky News sofa, he wouldn’t show up. Nor would the many viewers his divisive presence brings. Sneers or cheers, the TV executive doesn’t much care – as long as you’re watching.

It’s often said that the best way to expose a charlatan is to let him speak and subsequently dig his own grave. There is indeed an element of truth in this but, without a vociferous and robust counterpoint to deliver the coup de grace and ultimately bury them, we’ll still end up duped – collectively standing in front of an empty grave wondering how the hell he got away with it.

Boris Johnson – A man of many faces, none of them Churchill

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson –  a man of the people if you ever did see one. Or at least, that’s the characterisation he’s long since been desperate to convey. Sure, he may on the face of it come across as an especially ostentatious clod from a mercifully undiscovered Dickensian novel but don’t be fooled – “Bozza” is most definitely one of you.

Look. He plays football and everything:

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The Brexiteer approach to international diplomacy in five seconds.

As preposterous a scheme as it may indeed be, you can’t really blame Boris for indulging. The political class have always had an image problem amongst the great unwashed, with perceptions ranging from mere distrust to full blown disgust. Cut adrift in the impenetrable Westminster bubble, they couldn’t possibly understand the endless tribulations of the average Joe. I mean how could they? Joe’s life has been defined by endless toil and back breaking graft – a existence complete with worry, financial strife and a disconcerting sense of isolation; as if the prosperous spectrum of society isn’t just a world away, but an exclusive club he’s irrevocably cut adrift from.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s formative years however, looked somewhat like this:

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If you look really closely, you can just about make out the knife Boris used to stab Cameron right in the fucking back tucked away up his right sleeve.

With this in mind, the strategy for Boris was fairly simple – if he wished to elevate his standing with the British electorate beyond that of the average cynical careerist, the only recourse was to sell the fabrication that, despite his astonishing privilege, he’s really just your average salt of the Earth bloke. Unfortunately, convincing the plebs that a man born with a silver ladle lodged down his gullet is actually an easily relatable bundle of effervescent empathy is quite the challenge, which is perhaps why Bojo has always seen fit to ramp up the absurdity at every possible opportunity. Zip-wiring, clowning, writing a heartfelt sonnet about the Turkish Prime Minister penetrating a goat – you name it. If it plays with the shit munchers, then dignity is superfluous. Anything to maintain the image that Boris Johnson is a jovial figurehead for the proletariat, bursting with patriotic pride and a heartfelt desire to put a smile back on the faces of his subjects.

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Look at Boris. He’s just as stupid as the rest of us.

The trouble is, that’s not true is it? Not even fucking close. Of course, highlighting Boris’ duplicity now isn’t quite the newsflash it would have been pre-referendum. As he bumbled out of his residence the morning after the night before, he was met with a reception more befitting of a reviled criminal than the nation’s favourite buffoon – perhaps aptly. The mask of endearing chucklefuckery had been definitively ripped away and with the subsequent sight of Johnson delivering his “victory” speech with all the burgeoning triumph of a catatonic potato, many wondered what the future held for old Bozza.

To the surprise of nobody, it contained copious amounts of surreptitious skulduggery.

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Do the phrase “pyrrhic victory” mean anything to you?

It is indeed true that, in the wake of calling a close to his own leadership bid, Boris was rather conspicuously off the grid. Having fallen victim to an appropriately undignified ‘Boris-ing’ courtesy of alleged chum Michael Gove (who in turn managed to suitably ‘Gove’ up his own prime ministerial ambitions by failing miserably), whenever he did emerge from his lair into the public gaze, he cut a considerably castrated figure – the proverbial sad clown if you will.

Sadly, this self imposed media exile was not to be permanent and, with post-referendum disgruntlement having widened its reach across the entire, ever expanding swamp of deceit Brexit was fast becoming, Boris saw explicit opportunity in May’s failings to instil himself as a de facto figurehead of opposition within the minds of the Brexiteer horde – all the while being able to exploit Theresa’s hierarchical superiority to form an especially convenient shield as he fired potshots from the relative safety of the Foreign Office.

Boris was indeed back. Regrettable certainly, not least because it signalled the distressing rebirth of an especially sickly string to Boris’ bow – pseudo Churchillian wankery.

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Boris Johnson arranged a photo-shoot to commemorate the signing of his resignation letter. No really, he did.

Look at him. It’s like a little boy playing dress up, isn’t it? One expects him to have rehearsed that very pose throughout many long and lonely nights in the Foreign Office, as if in preparation to fulfil a self imposed sense of destiny.  The lofty reverence in which Boris regards Winston is clear as day – and his apparent desire to leech off the Churchill mythos to bolster his very own cult of personality is as laughable as it is cynical.

There’s a sense of grim predictability about all of this. Boris’ irrepressible desire to lead was universally confirmed the moment he shafted Etonian ally Cameron, effectively placing himself in direct opposition by leading the fight to leave. In practical terms, it’s proved entirely inconsequential that the man who drafted an essay in support of Remain the day before proclaiming himself a fervent Brexiteer is operating completely within his own self interest. The cynicism attached to his every move is, remarkably, met with begrudging acceptance rather than justified outrage; though perhaps the shock factor is significantly lessened when his infuriating solipsism is considered an open secret – just “one of those things”.

It is, of course, no surprise to bear witness to Boris’ latest not at all transparent attempts to slither into the Number 10. It’s merely part of the Boris Johnson cycle – and absolutely everyone knows exactly what’s going on. Though there is a troublesome irony to seeing him warble out his best Winston during a resignation speech to the House of Commons, the watching masses being acutely aware that the entire farce was overwhelmingly inspired by deep-seated instincts of profound cowardice; ever lingering in the murky depths of Boris’ lamentable being.

In truth, there’s only one phrase that adequately sums up Johnson’s game plan – chaos exploitation. Ever waiting in the wings, leering over a the carnage (which, quite likely, was of his own creation), eternally on the lookout for an opportune moment to swoop in and be heralded as a savoir – increasing his favour with the masses, edging a few more inches up that disgustingly greasy pole before fleeing into the shadows relatively unscathed, moments prior to the dysfunction levels reaching critical mass.

It’s often been said by an assortment of unpardonable cretins that “it would be a RIGHT laugh if Bozza was in charge!” and that may indeed be so – at least on the most superficial level imaginable. Laughter is widely considered to be a vaguely effective treatment to unrelenting misery and there’s most certainly a fairly receptive market to pompous buffoonery somewhere out there. But, as with laughter only serving to distract from considerably more tangible personal struggles, the inevitable Boris Cavalcade of Clownery will be nothing more than a mere sideshow to the clusterfuck originated by a man who most probably left the notion of integrity back in his mother’s womb.

Guffaw all you want the next time Boris becomes marooned on a zip-line or tumbles down a well. After all, Boris would most certainly approve. As every shyster knows, the sound of uproarious laughter is the perfect cover under which to hurriedly exit stage left. Boris won’t want anything to do with the mangled corpse of our nation once his master-plan of chaos exploitation has reached its natural conclusion.

Nor will you once the laughter dies down.

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Capture

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.

no
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.

 

 

Impotent shrieking, spoiled ballot papers and the eternal quandary of the politically homeless

The local elections took place the other day. You may have noticed – they’re like a general election only even more effective at creating a malaise of voter apathy.

Momentum activists will likely claim that the tide is turning with regards a general political disinterest amongst the populace – and it is indeed true that, in London especially, punters were sufficiently jazzed to vote for Labour; but alas, the turnout in my local constituency barely scraped past 20%. Nobody gives a shit round here it seems, the sad fact of the matter being that the jenky local gala which insists on blocking up the main access road every fucking year garners more enthusiasm from my fellow town dwellers.

Reasons for this likely exist beyond the realms of my rather limited understanding but, for anyone who gives a shit, here’s how it ultimately panned out across the nation:

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Somewhere, in an all but deserted UKIP headquarters, the world’s smallest violin plays a pitiful tune.

As you can see, a fairly standard outcome in which the apple cart merely wobbles rather than capitulates completely. Labour made some pretty nifty gains though perhaps not the sort they were hoping for, the Tories are merely glad that their eternal buffoonery wasn’t quite capitalised on in the way perhaps it should have been, the Lib Dems finally had reason to smile and UKIP’s vote share fell short of Enoch Powell’s electoral reach and he’s been dead for twenty years.

Still, the results being very much open to interpretation didn’t stop the odd malevolent shitrag or two from declaring victory from within the midst of a befuddling stalemate.

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At least Meghan found a nice dress.

But what of the fate of Graham’s vote I hear absolutely nobody ask; what became of my solitary ballot? Well, it’s ultimately rather hard to say for I, like many, found myself treading the desperately isolated path of the politically homeless.

Alas, this was not a route I willingly set foot upon, instead being entirely a matter of circumstance. Being one of those unreconciled Remoaners who consider Brexit the worst idea since Piers Morgan, there was only going to be one issue that fully captivated my mind. Not to say that I’m a single issue voter of course, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Brexit limits its influence to a single sub-category of politics – it has an oily tentacle plunged into every facet of our nation; its venom ever seeping in and leaving our future locked in a state of uncomfortable paralysis.

Which is precisely why our de facto two party system ultimately holds nothing for me at this current moment – the only distinction on offer being a delusional Brexit and a “Who gives a fuck?” Brexit. Hardly inspiring and leaving representation for the 48% entirely in the hands of the smaller parties. But just what voice would my constituency afford me?

No voice at all, put simply.

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Oh look, a horse. I’m sure this will have no relevance to anything, ever.

Ah, the Democrats and Veterans Party. If you detected the whiff of a faint, Brexity stench in the air then your suspicions are bang on the money. Not dissimilar to the equally pitiful For Britain. the DVP were born out of a failed bid for the UKIP leadership – only this one was more interesting because it involved gay donkey rape.

No, really. It did.

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You don’t say.

DVP supremo John Rees-Evans might have fond memories of this unauthorised tryst that he saw fit to commemorate with the party’s official logo but alas, such charming tales of horse violation were never likely to win my vote.

So what else? Well, not much for there was only one further party standing – The Yorkshire Party; whose entire policy on Brexit hinges on the promise that, whatever happens with the EU negotiations, the good people of Yorkshire will still be able to drink copious amounts of tea. In any event, their aim to increase Yorkshire’s political standing on a national (and indeed European) level, while admirable in its own right, isn’t a matter that is especially close to my heart and, subsequently, my pencil passed right over their box too.

So what was I to do? An embittered, alleged metropolitan elitist, with a mind hopelessly trapped in a debate I’m rather unreliably informed ended two years ago and nobody standing to represent me.

Well, the only thing left to do – spoil my ballot paper.

For all the inevitable (and, in many cases, perfectly understandable) howls of consternation this will invoke, I stand by it. Voting may well be perceived as a given right as opposed to a privilege of the fortunate few these days (though many EU nationals currently residing upon our shores will almost certainly beg to differ) and that’s a right I indeed respect, hence why I still felt it necessary to actually show up at the polling station – even if it was only to effectively piss scorn upon my constituency’s efforts at representation.

But why? Why bother to show up? And why not lend your vote to a legitimate party if you’re going to make the effort? Besides, these are local council elections, right? It’s not even about Brexit, you pissed your britches based on nothing more than an unfortunate misconception.

Well, sodden as my undergarments may be and as compelling as many counterpoints indeed are, I remain unmoved – if a tad pissy. I may not have backed a legitimate party but I backed what I consider a legitimate cause. While ostensibly an election based on matters of the local council, implications are eagerly seized upon in today’s political climate. Remember all that bilge regarding 85% of people supposedly showing their support for Brexit by backing pro-Brexit parties in the 2017 General Election? So desperate were the Brexiteers to snatch even the faintest of victories from the jaws of reality, they were more than happy to kick nuance square in the testicles to add fuel to their ever spluttering narrative.

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Brought to you by Daniel Hannan, a man with so little integrity he’s currently claiming that Brexit’s failings are down to the very people who didn’t vote for it.

The contrast between direct and tacit support becomes a distinction without a difference in the eyes of the narrative and, for that reason, I simply couldn’t shift the ever pulsating tumour of Brexit from my thoughts. If you believe in Brexit then I don’t believe in you. Sorry, but I’ll lend my admittedly infinitesimal amount of political influence to a notion I can support and, if that means hastily scrawling “STOP BREXIT” on my ballot paper in what could very well end up being an act of laughably impotent futility, then so be it.

A fart in the wind it may very well be, but at least it came out of my arse.

War, Syria and the Pitfalls of the Perpetually Complicated

It’s the weekend once more and we all know what that means. Five entire days of having your already miserable soul trampled under the steel toe capped boots of customer dissatisfaction and wildly unrealistic performance targets are at an end, giving way to a two day lull which, while promising much at its opening, will likely descend into 48 hours spent entirely in bed binge watching old episodes of Happy Days.

Or at least, that was my expectation. Because instead of the wholesome antics of Potsie Webber and Ralph Malph opening up my Saturday, I was instead greeted with this:

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I don’t remember this episode.

Oh shit. That doesn’t sound good. This is even more depressing than the episode where Fonzie went blind and, for those who possess a memory that spans beyond the last decade, there’s also a familiar sense of dread lingering in the air.

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Live scenes from Westminster – maybe.

Ah, war. Now there’s a dose of nostalgia that nobody is happy to see – save perhaps for Robert DuVall’s surfing CO from Apocalypse Now. To go along with all the death, destruction and diplomatic unrest that is par for the course when it comes to such shenanigans, there’s also the inevitable divide of public opinion. There’s those who, being well aware that we have a very capable military at our disposal, consider it our duty to intervene when a crazed fascist in a far away land sees fit to dispassionately kill scores of his own citizens in the most inhumane way imaginable – they themselves doing little more than desperately trying to survive with a war zone right outside their door. On the other side of the fence there’s those of a more pacifistic disposition, steadfast in their belief that further bloodshed can never be the antidote to a violent conflict – rather hoping that a pushing a diplomatic solution can finally bring about peace after decades of instability and brutality. The anti-war crowd also find their ranks significantly bolstered by a third demographic, people that feel we should stay the fuck out of squabbles halfway across the world – instead keeping our heads down and negating the risk of having ourselves dragged into a fight we could easily stay out of. After all, it didn’t work out so well last time, did it?

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War – It’s actually a lot more complicated than this.

So where do I, a perpetually befuddled burn out, stand on all of this? Do I think military intervention is the way to go? Or would I rather we push for a peaceful solution, sending Assad all the fruit hampers our budget will allow in the hope he can eventually be brought to the table for productive talks?

Well, in actuality it’s not so much about where I stand but rather where I sit – and that’s firmly upon the fence, watching the debate unfold with increasing unease as carbuncles begin to form upon my rapidly deteriorating posterior region.

Don’t take this as ambivalence on my part however. My staunch entrenchment to the middle ground doesn’t stem from any sense of disinterest, rather a weary acknowledgement that I just don’t fucking know. As with most divisive issues, there’s sound arguments on both sides though, sticking to form, the mutual recognition that all participants have somewhat of a point becomes lost amongst the tribalistic bickering. In what has sadly become true of most 21st century disagreements, it becomes less about the moral responsibilities and implications of the matter than a frantic bid to discredit the opposition – the distant horror all the while continuing unhindered.

So what to do? Well, as a layman in both global politics and military strategy who isn’t sufficiently decisive to throw his weight behind either cause, all I can really do is to take stock of everything (in as objective a fashion as my inherently biased mind can allow) and attempt to make sense of it.

So let’s try that, shall we?

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Many of us have been here before, Jeremy more than most.

Our first stop is at the door of those opposed to military intervention and the thoughts of arguably their de facto spokesman, Jeremy Corbyn – a man who achieved such idealistic prominence by way of routinely voting against every proposed military solution he came across during his 35 years in Parliament. Irrespective of whether you consider yourself part of his congregation, it’s rather difficult to argue against his dedication to peaceful resolutions and his portrayal as a dangerous, terrorist supporting communist is demonstrably ludicrous – but what of the validity of his counsel?

The main thrust of his contention with tactical strikes is what they will leave in their wake. Syrian refugees scrambling upon our shores are often noted by the mainstream media but considerably less focus is afforded to what they’re actually running from – quite possibly because it makes them much harder to demonise. Take a moment to look outside your window right now. See any buildings burning to the ground? Any dead bodies lingering awkwardly around the outskirts or your vision? Is your daily soundtrack punctuated by agonised screams and hails of gunfire? No? Then you’re lucky – very lucky. But if you were to be in such a position then chances are more missiles arriving on the scene courtesy of a distant third party wouldn’t be atop your wish list. Granted, the targets are described as military installations and chemical weapons plants but, as footage has shown, civilisation is never too far away.

damascus
Before being allowed to watch this video of missiles on their way to wreak destruction, I was greeted by an inanely cheery Workplace by Facebook ad.

Humanitarian concerns aren’t the only argument present at the table either – some concerns rest much closer to home. Assad may be a despot with an unsettling lack of regard for the value of human life but, somehow, he’s managed to obtain himself a few allies – one of which being the seemingly perennial menace that is Vladimir Putin.

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With friends like these…

It’s arguable that we’re already embroiled amidst the opening days of a second Cold War, many fearing that one too many rushes of blood to the head could lead to this one heating up pretty quickly. Prior to the strikes, Russia had already stated their intent to both intercept any missiles that dared cross into Syria – along with a promise to retaliate against participating nations in kind. As to whether this is just bullish posturing or a genuine threat often depends on your own perspective but, with the perceived bluff having now been called, we’re all set to find out for sure – and there’s a dangerously fine line between petty bickering and walloping someone in the the face.

With more than a slight nod towards Corbyn’s historical opposition to war, the ‘take heed of the mistakes of the past’ argument also comes into play. His opposition to action in Iraq and Afghanistan wasn’t exactly popular at the time but has since been vindicated by hindsight and, given how blundering fists first into the fray proved a colossal mistake last time, Theresa May’s decision to disregard Jeremy’s calls for further investigation might not have an entirely happy ending.

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“Sorry to bother you ladies and gentlemen but can we interest you in a war?”

So if we don’t strike against Assad and his monstrous regime, what do we do? Well, diplomatic sanctions and a vigorous attempt at a peaceful solution of course. Such avenues have had their success in the past in remedying conflicts of varying size but such proposals aren’t without legitimate concerns. After all, we’re dealing with a tyrant who thinks nothing of indiscriminately gassing his own nation’s children – it might take more than a few harsh words and shoving a flower down the barrel of a gun to talk him down.

Speaking after Theresa May and her cabinet took their decision to take part in military action (completely without the approval of Parliament I might add), it’s fair to say that the debate on what we as a nation should do has ended before it really began – but did we make the right choice?

If you find yourself in the camp favouring giving that Assad character what for, chances are that the parliamentary decision to reject proposals for missile strikes on Syrian targets back in 2013 plays heavily on your mind. We stood idly by back then in the hopes that a solution not involving blowing shit up would arise only to find ourselves disappointed five years later. Nothing unveils the truth quite like the passage of time and Assad remaining at large to this day leads to a rather unsettling quandary. As to whether military action back then would have been the right thing to do is something that will remain unknown, but those that saw their wish denied back in 2013 are getting understandably antsy. For what they ultimately see in Assad is a vicious bully acting without restraint – and bullies need to be stood up to.

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It’s fair to say that Assad’s mates aren’t an especially delightful bunch either.

It may be an unpleasant and morally dubious path to take, even for those who ultimately are in favour, but there’s certainly an argument that the ends will justify the means – however brutal the repercussions may be. While the protests and alternatives brought forth by those in opposition may well be idealistically sound, many consider them at odds with the harsh realities of our increasingly dysfunctional world. Pacifists are quick to remind us that love is a universal language, but the sad truth is that violence also falls into such a category – and many suspect that violence is perhaps the only language Assad and his ilk understand.

SYRIA-CONFLICT

Whichever way you look at it, neither side of the fence is especially comfortable. Nor is, for that matter, the line of cautious neutrality that I’m attempting to straddle. It’s a miserable situation with a sense of futility accompanying our every move. Whatever we do innocent lives are set to be extinguished and it’s those lives that should be ultimately at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now – regardless of your political leanings. If you think this shit is nasty to read about, just try living it. Because they do. Every single day.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to demonise these people, blaming them for our woes while turning a blind eye to theirs but remember – going home isn’t especially easy when you don’t have a home to go back to.