Category Archives: Embittered political ramblings

Boris Johnson and the Degradation of Democracy

“You’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?”

It was this piercing, unabashed line of inquiry from Eddie Mair which lifted the lid on Boris Johnson’s character; offering a curious yet troubling insight into the darkest recesses of his psyche – at which point, back in 2013, weren’t especially well publicised.

Back then he was “Bojo”- a seemingly fitting moniker to describe a man more befitting to the role of stand in circus clown than serious politician. Mair’s damning condemnation of the then Mayor of London bore little resemblance to the carefully staged managed public persona of cuddly old Boris. Of course this darker side was no secret to the initiated, themselves being acutely aware of a career underpinned by brazen dishonesty and shameless cynicism – but to the passing observer such revelations slipped conveniently under the radar.

They didn’t see a conniving charlatan indulging in morally bankrupt political chicanery – they saw a bemusing, floppy haired tit getting stuck on a zip-wire.

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Oh Boris. What are you like?

Fast forward the clock from these comparatively halcyon times to the increasingly regrettable present day however and what do we find? Just what is that fuzzy haired embodiment of cartoonish buffoonery up to now, I wonder?

Turns out Boris has been a rather busy boy since being inexplicably rescued from the aforementioned zip-line escapade – and a very naughty one too. Following his stints as the figurehead of the notoriously mendacious Vote Leave campaign and as the most professionally despised Foreign Secretary of the modern era, Johnson has finally found himself where his supreme ego always insisted he belonged – Number 10 Downing Street.

And to say it’s not quite gone according to plan, would be an understatement on a par with describing the Hindenburg disaster as a “mild technical hiccup”.

A mere glance at a timeline of Boris Johnson’s first few weeks in office reveals what would be a sorry record of calamity were it attributed to a departing Prime Minister who had just finished a full term – yet Johnson has only just started.

Resounding defeat in his first six votes, his majority decimated – the tipping point being the moment it literally walked away from him as he was giving a speech – a conflict of interest scandal arising from back when he was London Mayor which he’s been unable to explain and, the final turd atop the shit sundae, was found by the Supreme Court to have acted unlawfully and providing misleading advice to the Queen.

And that’s without even mentioning the latest uproar with regards his deliberately inflammatory invective.

In truth, keeping up with the Johnson Travesty Train is a fruitless endeavour. Barely a day goes by without this shambling charlatan igniting another political dumpster fire with a cretinous utterance or hapless blunder. There was a school of thought, of which I aligned myself with, who considered a chaotic Johnson premiership to be a grim inevitability – but nobody, not even in the shadowy corners of their most nefarious nightmares, expected it to be quite this horrific.

While we live in a time of undoubted division, further dragged through the mud by a chillingly vituperative vernacular, I struggle to recall a more sinister administration than this one. Institutions and ideals which formed the bedrock of this country and its rise through history are now derided, besmirched and callously undermined. Parliamentary sovereignty? An overbearing inconvenience. The rule of law? A matter of opinion. The eleven most senior judges in the country? Inherently biased – and besides, what do they know about the constitution? The entirely unqualified Jacob Rees-Mogg clearly knows better.

And at the head of this grisly cabal, an absurdist caricature of Etonian privilege – utilising bemusing verbal flourishes and painfully rehearsed tomfoolery to cast a veil over his most insidious jaunts toward the murky depths of demagoguery. Each and every instance of cynically constructed whimsy serving as a deliberate distraction from a shameful back catalogue of conscious deception and attempts to drag the discourse right down to the gutter in order to galvanise the base he’s staked his political career upon.

It’s fair to say the charming clown act has suffering a timely yet jarring death. Befuddling japery, even with the joviality cranked up to eleven, simply doesn’t wash when it’s preceded by attempts to arbitrarily shut down our democratic institutions and crass dismissals of his parliamentary colleagues receiving death threats.

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Case in point – his speech at the UN went down about as well as a cup of cold sick mixed with gravel.

In some respects, I’m able to at least glean a small semblance of hope from the justifiable horror his recent actions have caused. This isn’t normal, nor should apathy allow it to become established as such. Though this poisonous deluge of relentless propaganda isn’t going to abate anytime soon – not with Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings prowling the corridors of Number 10.

Democracy and the rule of law in this country were built up over centuries, establishing a reliable base from which our society could thrive by enjoying a free and comparatively unhindered existence; nor can it be obliterated overnight, save for a military coup.

But that’s not to say it isn’t fragile or that vigilance is unnecessary. The cracks are already beginning to show – growing in size with every government lackey who pushes the notion that independent judges are swayed by political bias and establishment loyalty; edging ever closer to the point of collapse as Boris suggests that the very institution of Parliament is somehow betraying its own people.

Boris Johnson plans to run an election characterised by a mantra of  “The people vs Parliament”.

Say no more.

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Boris Johnson and the Inevitability of Failure

Well, it happened.

While an incredibly unedifying state of affairs, nobody can genuinely claim to be surprised. For years such a scenario was viewed as a grim inevitability, the direction of travel long being apparent as we bore witness to the perpetual circus of the Tory Party sliding from mere dysfunction into outright ideological insanity.

Many refused to believe it would happen, desperately clinging onto whatever disparate morsels of reason came along in the hope that, somehow, rationality would win the day. After all, the very idea in of itself was frankly ludicrous. We’re a sensible and highly respected nation – indulging in such self defeating buffoonery simply shouldn’t be on the agenda.

Yet, somehow, Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minster – so apparently it is.

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I’d like to say that this is going to end well but – it won’t.

Yes, in a regrettable turn of events which piss squarely in the face of an old adage insisting that cheats never prosper, Boris has got his wish. Having managed to mould a political career, a vocation which was ostensibly designed to serve the public interest, into a relentless, self aggrandising quest to gain supreme power through whatever unscrupulous means were necessary, his years of skulduggery have finally bore fruit. It matters little that it’s a harvest only an infinitesimal fraction of the country actually asked for – we’ve all got to swallow it down, no matter how bitter the taste.

So now what? Just what can we expect from an administration headed by this eternal political cipher, forever a hostage to his own desire for personal advancement rather than any sincerely held principle?

Nothing of value could really be gleaned from his leadership campaign because, let’s face it, what insight can really be gained from a shambling buffoon bellowing out shallow proclamations about the continued production of Mars bars while waving a kipper around? Granted it may have tantalised a hypothetical demographic which consider confectionery to be a hot button issue, but it’s not exactly an inspiring pitch from a man hoping to lead a country in which scores still live in poverty.

His maiden speech as Prime Minister unsurprisingly followed a similar theme. Boisterous optimism was the predictable order of the day, with Boris breathlessly promising that all manner of wondrous advancements will be ours to seize. There was no detail of course but then again, did there really need to be? Sure there are many of us who are suckers for apparently outmoded concepts such as substance and detail, but what use does Boris have for us? We didn’t vote him in, nor will our legitimate concerns hold any sway on the new Prime Minister when he can callously swat away the doubters with baseless defiance.

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Satire isn’t dead, it became real life.

There’s simply no place in Boris Johnson’s world for those pesky doubters, always out to puncture his grandiose bluster with scrutiny and expertise. The mass exodus of relative sanity from the cabinet both before and after his appointment is testament to this, making way for only his most obsequious and deluded acolytes to lavish him with the adoration he’s always craved. Boris cares not if his desires are unattainable, he just wants his fantasy to continue.

However as seductive a sensation as self delusion can be, being especially pervasive in the minds of the wilfully credulous, its credibility crumbles to dust when faced with the impassible obstacle of reality.

The Brexit conundrum facing Boris Johnson is as daunting as it is gargantuan, being underlined by the delicious irony that the most unobtainable desires he needs to somehow fulfil were entirely of his own creation.

While today is his day of triumph, tomorrow will be his day of reckoning – precipitating a turbulent journey of strife and frustration that no amount of reality denialism will be able to overcome; irrespective of how jovial it may be.

One by one his promises will fall, each being accompanied with a resounding thud as they crash to the ground. The faithful will keep their fingers firmly lodged in their ears of course, but that won’t change the uncomfortable truth of his failure. He won’t get the Withdrawal Agreement re-opened, he doesn’t have any solution to the backstop, GATT 24 isn’t the magic solution he’s claimed it to be and we sure as shit won’t be seeing £350m a week for the NHS.

I’ve got no doubt that his supporters (and there are many) will greet my cynicism with instinctive scorn, offering up the superficially reasonable objection that I’ve not given him a chance.

In truth, the ever dying optimist within me would love to subscribe to visions of a prosperous and fulfilling future under the reign of Boris Johnson. I’d love to throw negativity to one side and look past a career ridden with deceit, startling incompetence and enough bullshit to fertilise an entire continent.

But alas, I’m unable to do such a thing. Probably because he didn’t promise me a job in the cabinet.

Hunt vs Johnson – and how it finished Britain as a serious nation

Here’s a question for you.

What’s an hour long, completely devoid of reason, aimed towards a target demographic smaller than the average amoeba and features more impotent dick swinging than a bargain basement remake of The Full Monty?

Why it’s the ITV Tory Leadership Debate of course. A prime time extravaganza of toe curling misery in which we learn our future lies in the hands of one of two men – both incredibly wealthy, both with a track record of cataclysmic incompetence and both proposing ever so slight variations on the same unworkable plan.

It was a nice future we had once, wasn’t it?

Billed as a titanic clash between two fiercely competitive men, each convinced they had the magic solution to three years of unbridled woe, proceedings quickly descended into an unedifying pissing contest. Julie Etchingham valiantly attempted to regain control and wrestle some form of coherence out of the exercise, but this ultimately was in vain as important issues became clouded by farce and the onlooking nation left bemused and soaked in figurative piss.

Basically, it was dreadful.

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British politics – it’s somehow come to this.

Despite both plans, when viewed in direct contrast, being largely indistinct exercises in boneheaded futility, the two men did at least have opposing personalities giving the watching public at least some chance of distinguishing between them.

On one hand we had Jeremy Hunt. Current Foreign Secretary, scourge of junior doctors nationwide and an entrepreneur. How do I know he’s an entrepreneur? Because he’s told us he’s an entrepreneur, with the phrase “I’m an entrepreneur” achieving such mantra like status in Jeremy’s vernacular you can’t help but feel that he’s mentioning it through fear of his very sense of identity evaporating away if it doesn’t spill from his lips once every 17.8 seconds.

He wants to turbo charge the economy – whatever that means, though he assures us that, as an entrepreneur, he’s the man to do this. He’s also prepared to fashion a no deal exit if that’s what leaving the EU comes down to despite, as an entrepreneur who’s spoken with other entrepreneurs set to go out of business in such a scenario, being fully aware of just what a disastrous move this would be.

Confused? You should be – though you’re likely not viewing proceedings through the murky prism of Tory Party self interest. When you’re attempting to kowtow to a demographic of which 54% think the serially mendacious, botched satsuma spawn known as Donald Trump would make a good Prime Minister of Great Britain, you can leave reason and rational thinking at the door. It’s simply not welcome.

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Jeremy Hunt -Entrepreneur

Then we have the clear front-runner, Boris Johnson – a ghastly embodiment of self serving political chicanery. Lacking even a single scruple and holding the truth in the same withering regard as you’d possess for an outbreak of genital warts, this amoral societal tumour’s crowning achievement is somehow creating the charade of palatable legitimacy – largely on account of a carefully stage managed public image in which charming buffoonery has effectively acted as a Trojan horse to smuggle the malignant aspects of his nature through largely unnoticed.

For his litany of failings, Boris Johnson has always been adept at playing a crowd, and it was on full display last night – littering his pitch with grandiose declarations while making sure to throw in enough quips to divert the audience’s attention away from their painful lack of substance.

It seemingly mattered not one jot that what he was saying was either fundamentally wrong or vacuous to the point of being utterly worthless – the watching crowd lapped it up. Only a day before the Director General of the WTO had dismissed Boris Johnson’s Brexit masterplan as unworkable fiction, but did any of the whooping spectators really care? Of course not, he was making them laugh.

Easy answers, no matter how diametrically opposed to reality, are always gratefully received by the faithful when delivered with sufficient charisma – and so it came to pass.

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Presumably Tim’s second choice for Tory leader was Dr Seuss.

Given today’s frankly insane political climate, the metric for determining who actually won the night has shifted. Gone are the days where being triumphant in the battle of ideas will grant you victory – it’s simply not enough anymore.

Even in a debate as fruitless as this one, in which both propositions hinge entirely on a bullshit premise that the Withdrawal Agreement is open for change, the fact that Jeremy Hunt, while still delusional, won by virtue of having one toe tentatively within the realms of sanity is of no consequence.

In a post-truth world in which narrative reigns supreme, it’s a de facto irrelevance. Jeremy Hunt may have won the debate, but Boris Johnson won the crowd.

Regrettably, such superficial victories really are the bottom line these days. A calm, collected dissemination of the brutal reality we’re facing simply won’t tantalise this zeitgeist. It was of no surprise that Boris Johnson’s boisterous demand for optimism raised the biggest cheer of the evening. With a population lost in a state of tempestuous confusion, an uproarious declaration of self assured certainty is an enticing branch to cling onto. It’s solace that wins the day – the how and why is of minimal concern.

Perhaps it was all just an unfortunate inevitability. The circus of British politics has long been on an apparently irreversible slide into outright absurdity and the bombshell of Brexit only excavated further depths to which we could plunge. Not only does nobody know where we’re headed, the resultant debris has created a path too treacherous to even acknowledge.

As shallow and specious it may be, of course people are going to reach for the comfort blanket of easy answers.

After all, that’s why we have Nigel Farage. That’s why we have the Brexit Party.

And that’s why Boris Johnson will be our next Prime Minister.

Boris, Nigel and the Politics of Deceit

For the longest time Boris Johnson, the inexplicable nailed on favourite to become the next Prime Minister of Britain, had kept a disconcertingly low profile. Weeks came and went, many a proxy blustered and faltered, yet the would be emperor remained in hiding – festering away in a pool of his own risible cowardice wearing majestic robes only his most sycophantic of acolytes could see.

Yet what was the reasoning behind this uncharacteristically reclusive turn? Was it down to a genuine desire to provide a credible pitch, spending each retiring day meticulously working out the angles in order to craft a proposal which wasn’t only inspiring, but actually feasible? Or was it merely a timely moment of uncharacteristic introspection, realising that the race could be won purely through damage limitation and keeping the abominable omnishambles of human wreckage known as Boris Johnson as far away from the piercing scrutiny of public interest as possible?

I’ll let you decide – but it’s the latter.

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Feel free to enjoy the last few remaining days in which Boris Johnson isn’t our Prime Minister. I intend to.

Having finally slithered from his lair into view, Boris Johnson’s campaign to be the leader of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was now in full flow – the torrent in question being one of unrefined bullshit.

High in waffle, low on detail and tangential to the point where you could be easily mistaken into believing you were listening to the hazy mutterings of a volatile acid casualty rather than a Prime Minister in waiting; which in turn begged the question – given that Boris Johnson has been preparing for this moment all his life, how was it possible for his pitch to be this dreadful?

Through the deluge of vacuous drivel however, there was one relatively consistent feature – specifically the notion that the naive mantra of “No deal? No problem!” will be made an improbable reality by the magic of GATT 24. A much cited technicality which has found its mentions rising in tandem with the general sense of desperation as a no deal Brexit creeps ever closer.

Regrettably, there’s one tiny problem – it’s bullshit.

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When even the disgraced Liam Fox is calling out your bullshit, chances are your plan is on very shaky ground.

This particular red herring has blighted the discourse for months, in spite of it being debunked time and time again. It’s been decimated so comprehensively it’s frankly staggering that, not only is it allowed to be pontificated as a credible point, it remains a disconcertingly pervasive deception.

Almost as if the truth stopped mattering a long time ago.

The sad reality is the GATT 24 swindle isn’t an isolated act of chicanery. We’ve become so hopelessly beaten down by a barrage of selective half truths and outright deceit that trying to firefight the onslaught has almost become an exercise in futility. Not only are you overwhelmed by the sheer volume of fallacious claims, each having long since spread through the populace like an especially contagious virus, you’re also up against arguably the most formidable element of the con – exploitation of personal bias.

To illustrate this point, there’s only one man you need to look to:

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Let’s be honest – who else was it going to be?

Yes, just when you thought it was safe to open your eyes and tentatively peer out at the world around you, the monstrous visage of Nigel Farage takes an unceremonious dump upon your visual cortex. If there’s ever been a greater beneficiary of cultivating paranoia and nurturing an initial sapling of prejudice into a vast forest of proactive bigotry, then I’d rather not be witness to them for the sake of my ever dwindling faith in mankind.

Nigel’s often painted as the political equivalent of a used car salesman, schmoozing his marks with a combination of machine gun rhetoric and a meticulously crafted ‘proper bloke’ persona – but neither element would be successful without the devious selection process which identifies his targets.

The base upon which he preys can somewhat neatly divided into three categories – the disenfranchised, the misguided and the outright bigoted. This unfortunate trinity not only has its potency amplified by considerable and regular overlap at certain points, all three are underpinned by an element which sends its impact into the stratosphere – anger.

There’s nothing that fuels a desire for action more than a deep seated sense of persecution, whether it’s actually justified or simply spawned as a result of your own delusions – and Farage has long since known which buttons to press for maximum effect.

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“And if you look to my right, you’ll see the root cause of your lifelong sense of unhappiness.”

Whether he’s blathering about “betrayal” or concocting a narrative that an insidious wave of migrants are arriving from overseas to steal your job in particular and flog it for £5.99 on eBay, the message always has the desired effect. Not only planting the seeds of unbridled fury in the mind of his quarry, but inspiring the notion that their personal dissatisfaction, far from being within the realms of their own responsibility, is actually the fault of a simplistic (yet conveniently too far away to verify) boogeyman.

And it is at this point whereby the small matter of whether there’s actually any truth to this or not effectively becomes an irrelevance. They don’t just want it to be true – they need it to be true. It matters little whether their initial resentment came from a place of ill founded intolerance or a set of unfortunate circumstances entirely beyond their control – the entire spectrum is now ensnared within Nigel’s trap, unwitting pawns to whichever whims work towards his own personal advancement.

The prevailing trend of narrative superseding truth may work on the campaign trail, allowing the likes of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage to prosper in their respective aims by spinning whatever tall tale works best within the current zeitgeist, its continued and increasing success does give rise to a criminally overlooked societal tragedy brewing underneath.

As unedifying as it is to see a fringe lunatic spewing out spurious nonsense to a select few, the threat it poses to the collective is ultimately minimal. In the case of these two men it’s different. Their reality warping trickery has granted them a lot of influence – so much so that one of them is about to become our next Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson’s rise to power has been as cynical as they come, callously tailoring his policies to whichever crowd he happens to be in front of at the time. The fact that his entire political persona stands atop a pungent mound of duplicity won’t matter to him, but it’ll matter to all those who back him in the mistaken believe he’s about to make their lives better.

And when it all falls apart it won’t be Boris who’s left scraping through the debris to salvage some sense of hope.

It’ll be them.

Open letter to the Tory Party – Please don’t elect Boris Johnson

Dear Conservative Party members,

How are things? Life treating you well? I can only hope that it’s being considerably kinder to your good selves than your party has been to the country. I appreciate internal disputes happen within any sizeable group, but it was a tad rude to drag the rest of us down with them. For instance I can tolerate hearing my neighbours screeching at each other through the walls every other day, but I’d be rather more peeved if they tried to resolve the tension by burning the entire street to the ground.

But not to worry, right? After all, there is a chance for redemption on the horizon – at least ostensibly.

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“Hopeful” isn’t a word I’d personally choose.

Yes, the excruciating and protracted agony of a Tory leadership contest is reaching its inevitable conclusion – abject misery. However, there is at least a choice as to which flavour of misery to poison our nation’s future with. Ranging from the familiar to the delusional, all the way down to the plain demented; it’s less a choice as to who can lead us to a prosperous future, rather who can crash the bus in such a way that fewer passengers perish as it careens off the cliff.

However, who will become the next Prime Minister of Great Britain isn’t up to the British public – what a preposterous notion that would be. No, in fact the choice lies with you – the Tory Party membership.

Now I may have my quibbles about how approximately 130,000 potential voters isn’t especially representative of a country comprised of 65 million people but alas, that’s the hand we’ve been dealt and no amount of grumbling will change it.

That’s not to say there’s my arsenal is completely empty. Innocuous and ultimately impotent it may be, I still have the option of an impassioned plea.

And that plea is simple – for the love of all that is remotely sacred, do not elect this man:

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Hold onto your hats guys, it’s going to be a bumpy one.

Inevitably, we’re talking about Boris Johnson. Amongst a group of candidates that send  debilitating shivers right down to the very base of my spine, Boris stands apart as the most wretched alternative of all.

After all, why wouldn’t he? A man who spent £43 million of public money to not build a bridge. A man who happily aided and abetted the potential assault of a journalist. A man who has been repeatedly sacked for dishonesty. A man who is not only reviled by those who have had the misfortune of working alongside him, but whose grasp on diplomacy is beneath that of malignant tumour.

A man who could very well be our next Prime Minister.

Despite being somewhat of a pessimist, cynicism hasn’t entirely overridden my brain. I’d love nothing more than to place my trust in the collective sanity of your membership, to be reassured that this veritable car crash of a politician will be rejected by voters and finally bring this overlong cavalcade of risible ineptitude to an inglorious yet fitting end.

I wish this were the case – it’s just a shame that it isn’t.

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Now if there were a poll as to who you’d rather fire into the Sun, fair enough. But it isn’t.

Pretty horrific, right? Well, if you thought that was bleak, take a look at the results of the second round:

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Absolutely terrifying.

A grim inevitability if ever I saw one, with the elimination of MP for The Uncanny Valley Dominic Raab only bolstering Boris’ position on account of there being nobody else for the lunatic wing to vote for.

So that’s it. Barring a typically Boris Johnson style implosion (which, to be fair, Boris Johnson is known for) it looks like he’s already booked his place on your final ballot – and it will be then down to you.

Though if you are to dismiss my concerns and are set on casting your vote for the bequiffed bullshitter, then I have one question to ask you – what does Boris Johnson actually stand for?

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The lights are on, but Steve Bannon hasn’t arrived home yet.

The obvious inclination would be that he stands for Brexit – at least if your only exposure to Boris Johnson is the narrative his handlers are desperate to maintain. What Boris himself actually thinks is in significant dispute; along with the question as to whether he holds any opinion of substance at all.

Keeping track of Boris Johnson’s shifting politics is as futile an endeavour as chasing a mosquito in a tsunami, shamelessly riding whatever populist wave roars over the horizon with a brazen disregard for logical consistency; forever safe in the knowledge that a deluge of loquacious waffle will create a flimsy yet effective enough veneer of plausible deniability should his capricious nature ever be called out.

When Johnson makes a declaration, a quick Google search unearths a moment when he said the opposite. If he denies he made a claim, a slight scratch beneath the surface will reveal that he actually did. An ever shifting phantasm – impossible to define and whose entire political identity is as a servant to fashionable whims and unaccountable entities who offer a leg up on the proverbial greasy pole of power.

As much as it physically pains me to admit, there is a sense of grudging admiration to be had as to the effectiveness of Team Boris’ strategy – however inexplicable its success may be. To have elevated such a dismally unremarkable chancer of no virtuous qualities to the cusp of becoming the Prime Minister of Britain is no mean feat. Deviously exploiting the paranoia of the desperate and creating a pervasive narrative of credibility in the void left behind by a failing media, who allowed box office to supersede the quest for the truth a long time ago.

In truth, this plea is somewhat redundant. The Johnson Juggernaut hasn’t been deterred by demonstrable reality, let alone the futile protestations of just one man. Hell, even his laughable cowardice in evading scrutiny as though it were the black death hasn’t caused mass realisation that the emperor has his bollocks hanging out.

He wasn’t just hidden away for fear he’d self immolate, a PR campaign simply wasn’t required. The mythos of Boris has long since been ingrained in the faithful. Built up over years of stage managed buffoonery and ruthlessly calculated cynicism, all to create an identikit politician – vacuous and malleable yet perfectly crafted to game the system.

And now he’s all set to become your leader. Our leader. The last step in a meticulously mapped out long game, finally wielding ultimate power without a single principle to work with – an entire country at the behest of a charlatan.

That is, if you don’t stop it.

But that’s down to you.

The Tory Leadership Race – A Tale of How We’re Utterly Screwed

Well, she’s gone.

It’s hardly a surprise. Theresa May’s eventual demise had been as inevitable as Piers Morgan feigning indignation – yet somehow more excruciating. Observing the sorry sight of Theresa May limping through these past few months, her power ever dwindling and the already dubious proclamations becoming increasingly laughable, was like having a front row seat at the world’s most soul destroying pantomime.

On and on she went, lurching from disaster to outright calamity with each parliamentary speech being underpinned by a cacophony of derisive laughter. Every single time she wandered in front of the lectern, half of you would be expecting a resignation while the remaining half would be hoping for one.

Until it finally came. The end of Theresa May’s miserable reign, signed off with an actual whimper.

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I’d say “missing you already”, but that would be a massive lie.

While it’s true that May will be missed by approximately nobody, her farewell monologue providing a timely reminder of the self delusion that plagued her leadership as she rattled off a list of achievements which presumably belonged to a different Prime Minister, it would be the apex of folly to say we’re over the worst.

Far from it.

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Please pass on my deepest sympathies to your tentative hopes for a bright future.

Yes, that’s right. That unrelenting wave of optimism eroding misery which has suddenly engulfed you is another Tory leadership contest – and, if that wasn’t a cause for despair in of itself, the spectre of Brexit is still looming large, insidiously seeping into the minds of prospective candidates and raising the insanity level by a factor of sixteen.

Not to say that sanity is ever with the Tories in abundance. Indeed, the roll call of aspirants reads like a ‘Who’s who’ of the most duplicitous, incompetent and ideologically demented politicians of the past three years. It speaks cacophonous volumes that, when scanning the list of hopefuls, you’re left concluding Jeremy Hunt is one of the more palatable options. Sure, he left the NHS on life support and can’t remember the nationality of his own wife, but at least he can probably count to ten.

To say that the pool of talent amongst the front runners is meagre doesn’t really do justice to the cold dread that immediately overwhelms your senses as the image of them bumbling through the doors of Number 10 flashes through your mind. We’re not simply talking your garden variety of hapless jobsworth here – we’re talking Esther McVey.

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Potentially your future Prime Minister there, having absolutely no issue with parents picking which parts of the curriculum their children should undertake based on nothing but their own bigotry.

Chances are your mind will immediately revert to what, on the face of it, is a rational defence mechanism. “But that’s just Esther McVey.” you’ll protest. “As if that terminal dimwit will ever garner enough support to be Prime Minister!”

In a less asinine period, this would be a credible safety net. Esther McVey couldn’t be trusted to babysit a shoe, let alone run a nation that’s fractured right down the middle and about to topple into the abyss (which incidentally, is an outcome Esther is inexplicably pushing for). Yet, as improbable as a McVey premiership may indeed be, all bets are off when you catch a glimpse of the preposterously bequiffed new potato leading the pack:

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There is no God.

Ah yes – Boris Johnson. I remember him. A man so unremittingly focused on his self imposed destiny of becoming our Prime Minister, he forgot to pick up a few things along the way. You know – integrity, moral fibre, the respect of anyone who has had the misfortune of working with him? All the basics that make up a functional member of the human race really. A man so lacking in sincerity that even Grima Wormtongue is a more trustworthy source on matters of reality, the very fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could even be a distant possibility, let alone a probable inevitability is the sign of a country that has lost it’s collective mind.

Speaking of a total loss of critical faculties, the entire leadership race has fast turned into a painfully unhinged race to the bottom. Granted we already knew the likes of Dominic Raab (a man so notably inept that he only recently noticed Britain is an island) were ideologically entrenched beyond repair – but Brexit has poisoned the well to such an alarming degree that comparatively credible candidates are left scrambling in the haze, desperately grasping at whatever half baked solution comes within touching distance of their fingers.

People like the curiously affable Rory Stewart are reasonable enough to know that Brexit is going to leave us a few million light years from utopia and, in a less ludicrous time, would likely make a someway decent Prime Minister. But alas, unbridled insanity with a side order of blind faith is the order of the day and the rest of the menu neglects to cater for anyone with an allergy to self immolation – so poor old Rory is forced to tentatively set foot into the rabbit hole should he wish to have any chance of winning.

Even more troubling, for many of the Tory membership Stewart’s desperate pragmatism doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Cutting off just one foot simply won’t do if you wish to ingratiate yourself with the disconcertingly sizeable manic wing of the party. If you want to win favour upon this key battlefield, you’ll need to really believe in Brexit and amputate every extremity below the torso; lest you be accused of talking our great nation down.

In terms of likely winners, this realistically leaves us with anybody who tows the line of “No deal is better than no Brexit” – sincerely or otherwise. So what we’re left with is a split between people credulous enough to believe completely cutting ties with the largest trading bloc on the planet is somehow a good idea, and cynical careerists who put personal advancement in front of the prosperity of a nation they claim to serve.

All in all, it’s paints a rather murky picture in terms of a hopeful future. While Britain has always had its problems, many of which are still prevalent to this day, the unceremonious dump Brexit curled out upon the canvas has served to deepen these woes further – cementing us in an especially putrid stasis, each individual citizen stranded waist deep in the mire.

Tossing rationality to one side, part of me finds itself almost yearning for Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister. After all, he was the figurehead of Leave. He was the one who stood on a message of “hope” and that Brexit was the key for a glorious future. A cry which has long since echoed around the hard line echo chambers is that, if a Brexiteer had been at the helm, everything would have been fine – so why not just let them have what they want, while the rest of us sit back and watch the bullshit fuelled prosperity train fail to leave the first station?

In many respects, it would be somewhat satisfying to watch the charlatans flounder at every turn as their previous bluster recedes to a perplexed murmur. At least until the rational part of my brain suddenly taps me on the shoulder and offers the timely reminder that I still have to live here.

Did Brexit really win the EU Elections?

So the predictable happened.

With both the Tories and the Labour Party left floundering on account of their internal divisions preventing them from offering something even vaguely coherent, the Brexit Party came out on top.

Naturally this outcome precipitated Nigel Farage and his gaggle of disingenuous chancers indulging in the most nauseating victory march imaginable – claiming it as a victory for the “WTO Brexit” they’re unable to explain beyond the name, justification for a seat at the EU negotiations they don’t want to happen and taking the curious decision to allow Ann Widdecombe free reign in front of the media, as she inexplicably decided to punctuate each bizarre utterance with an unhinged gurn right down the lens.

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Poor Huw Edwards won’t sleep for a week.

Of course the media were only too happy to lap this up without question. Not to say that the Brexit Party, as vacuous and ill thought out as their narrative may be, didn’t do well. They won the most seats so therefore won the night, right? Superficially yes, but it’s far from the resounding victory they hoped for – nor is it in any way a thumbs up from the people for the deranged strain of Brexit they’re eager to push yet reticent to dissect.

First of all while their success as a new party is, on the face of it, undeniably impressive, its grandeur recedes with each scratch inflicted upon its glossy surface.

Farage, then the de facto face of UKIP, managed 24 seats back in 2014. Whatever you think of the man and his litany of deception, he is an unequivocally effective campaigner. He knows his base, his knows which talking points resonate and, most importantly, the country and his dog know exactly who he is. This stark familiarity is gold dust when it comes to political capital and the minute he walked out the door at UKIP, an act which occurred in perfect tandem to their fetishisation of the far right heralding their utter implosion, the voters were always odds on to go with him – meaning 24 seats were pretty much in the bag to begin with.

As it happened, they came out with 29. A gain of five is not to be sniffed at by any means but, with the big two parties barely maintaining a pulse as they struggle along on life support, it was hardly “the country demands hard Brexit now” message that they were hoping to receive – especially when the key beneficiaries of this monumental collapse of the status quo were Remain parties in terms of actual votes.

results

Though it’s not just the Brexit Party who have been keen to seize the narrative. The other side of the divide have been equally eager to spin the results in their favour – most notably the Lib Dems who point out that, going by votes rather than seats gained by the definitive Remain parties, it is actually Farage and his cronies who came up short.

However, while there is an argument to be made here, narrative wise it’s easily clouded. Do Labour votes count for Remain? Their MEPs are overwhelmingly pro-EU but the leadership are still rigidly facing both ways – so it’s a resounding shrug of the shoulders on that front. Then you look at the Tories – a Leave party manifesto wise but, in order to utilise this to bolster a pro-Brexit position, you have to get bogged down in the excruciating minutiae of whether it actually constitutes a “true Brexit” or not. Nigel certainly doesn’t think so, but do the 17.4 million?

And there you have the ultimate problem. Just as with the regrettably binary nature of the 2016 referendum in which simplicity was over utilised at the cost of our collective sanity, last night’s results simply offer no definitive answer as to what the electorate are asking for. No deal may have beaten what the Tories were offering but it didn’t beat Remain, who in turn are hamstrung by whatever the hell Labour were supposedly offering being thrown into the mix. Basically, the intolerable impasse that has plagued the country for three entire years is alive as it ever was, eating away at civil discourse at both ends of the spectrum and plunging the wedge of division so deep it’s nearly at the Earth’s core.

So where now? With Theresa May counting the days to her resignation and the Tory leadership yet to arrive at the ‘eating each other alive’ stage, what happens next is anyone’s guess. A second, confirmatory referendum seems the most logical answer, certainly being a more sensible option than attempting to massage a false equivalence from last night’s polls which are far too open to interpretation to glean anything conclusive, but with the Tories being likely to plump for a hapless ideologue as leader and Labour still failing to take any clear stance either way the chances of it getting through parliament seem slim. As for a general election, the current political climate is far too febrile for it to be looked upon as a reliable solution – with there being a significant risk that a whole new Pandora’s box of unrelenting despair is ripped open.

In any event, as easy as it is to dismiss Nigel Farage as a gruesome sideshow to the established political theatre, one thing last night did prove that there is a substantial demographic out there who aren’t interested in policy, details or indeed any of the things you need to successfully run a country. The Brexit Party have no manifesto, no policies beyond ‘leave and we’ll figure things out later, maybe’ and are so lacking in transparency that they don’t only refuse to answer substantive questions, but outright ban actually inquisitive media outlets from their events – yet they still ended the night with the most seats by far.

As with Trump and indeed the 2016 referendum, reducing political campaigning to catchy simplicity and exploitation of paranoia is disconcertingly successful. It’s snake oil salesmanship in its most stripped down form yet, rather than flogging genital enhancement cream, it’s deciding the fate of nations around the globe.

And that’s something everyone should be afraid of –  especially when that lack of detail becomes the difference between somebody you love being treated for cancer or not.