Tag Archives: uk politics

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 an 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.