The EU is not the USSR. Jeremy Hunt’s deliberate stupidity simply demonstrates that Brexit Britain has jumped the shark.

Since the UK gave up being a major power and opted to be a live action sitcom instead it has faced many problems familiar to those who love the classic comedy format.

The term “Jumping the Shark” refers to the moment when great series go bad. That is when writers run out of ideas, or the material goes stale, or a key character leaves or dies or does something they wouldn’t normally do. Or when the whole cast up and move to a different location – like when Friends came to London and Joey met Fergie, or when the Tories decided to back Brexit and hold their conference in Birmingham.

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Joey meets Fergie

The Tory Conference Special started promisingly. The gang booked The ICC, a venue that had been built with £49.7 million of EU funds and whose foundation stone was laid by Jacques Delors. Then there was the app thing and the Festival of Brexit thing. All good material, but then – is it just me or does nobody’s heart seem to be in it anymore?

You get the feeling that most of the cast are just sitting it out and waiting for reruns on Dave and the occasional royalty cheque.

Most – but not all.

With break-out star Boris Johnson off pursuing solo projects, hitherto minor character “Jeremy Hunt” has been given the Foreign Secretary gig and seen his chance to shine. True, the Foreign Office under Jeremy Hunt has become much like The American Office after Steve Carrell, or Les Dennis post Dustin Gee but one time remainer Hunt sees an opportunity. So he’s switched sides and hired his own gagman and tried to insert some of his own lines into the script –

“The EU was set up to protect freedom. It was the Soviet Union that stopped people leaving. The lesson from history is clear!” Hunt told conference yesterday, “if you turn the EU club into a prison, the desire to get out won’t diminish – it will grow … and we won’t be the only prisoner that will want to escape.”

And splash. Headlines grabbed. Shark jumped. Series destined to be cancelled sooner or later but Jeremy has his eye on the sequel and Jeremy doesn’t care.

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Fonz jumps the shark in pre-Brexit era aka Happy Days

Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016 and for better or worse (currently) Britain is leaving the EU. Nobody is stopping the UK leaving the EU. How the UK leaves is a matter of negotiation and not a matter of intimidation. The EU is not the EUSSR. So when Hunt suggests otherwise he’s making himself a laughing stock to get some headlines – and as Foreign Secretary he’s pulling us all under with him.

The USSR killed millions of its own people, sent many millions more into labour camps, locked up dissenters and forcibly relocated millions of Kulaks to Siberia. The Soviet Union was a dictatorship. The Soviet Union crushed neighbouring countries, threatened to annihilate the West with nuclear weapons, interfered in the affairs of sovereign nations and murdered, tortured and bullied anyone who got in their way. There were no democratic elections in the USSR. Yes there were elections – but only approved members of the Communist Party could stand. There were no opposition parties. There was no UKIP or Five Star.

Nobody opted to join the Soviet Union. Nobody wanted to. Nobody could vote to leave. At times the people starved. Ordinary food and goods were in short supply. You waited a decade for a shit car – which probably didn’t work. Censorship banned anything and everything not approved by the State – from the pop music stylings of the Village People to Beatles mop tops. Unemployment was a crime. Independent thought got you locked up in the insane asylum. There was a Ministry of Jokes that censored humour.

The Soviet Union did not prosper. It stopped the free movement of people and in particular its people. If you tried to leave it or one of its satellite nations – they either locked you up – or shot you as you ran away.

Migrants fleeing wars didn’t want to go to the USSR because the USSR was the very opposite of the EU in every meaningful way.

Nobody perhaps knows this better than Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, who in the 1980s, while Mr Hunt was Head Boy at the exclusive Charterhouse public school, was a member of the anti-Communist student solidarity movement in Warsaw.

Jeremy Hunt is wholly out of order. Jeremy Hunt should apologise. He won’t. Because Jeremy Hunt knows what he’s doing – he’s reading from the script.

We’re in “After Mash” the M*A*S*H sequel. And if you’ve never heard of it – there’s a reason for that.

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Time to wake up Britain. The EU does not need us more than we need them.

Fresh from the disaster at Salzburg, with her back to the wall, the Chequers deal as dead as Gary Glitter’s career and the ERG circling, Theresa May has delivered a combative speech at Number 10. You can imagine the crisis meeting that led up to that one:

“What can we do now? Even Tusk is openly mocking us.”

“Nothing. We’re fucked.”

“I know, deliver a combative speech. Make yourself look their equal. Keep up the pretense that this is two equivalent sides negotiating a trade deal.”

“But everyone knows that’s bullshit.”

“No they don’t! That’s the beauty of all of this! Nobody has worked it out…….. Yet.”

And so Mrs May trots out in front of the press and puts on her best Maggie Thatcher face and says: “It is not acceptable to simply reject the other side’s proposal without a detailed explanation and counter proposal.”

That’s telling them Theresa.

That’ll show em….

It sounds perfectly reasonable as well. I mean perfectly reasonable if you haven’t read Article 50. Because Article 50 says that it is the Union that negotiates and concludes an agreement with the exiting state and it is the Union that sets out the arrangements for that withdrawal and that it is the Union that sets out the framework of the future relationship between the two. And this Union does not have to play ball if it doesn’t want to.

This is not, nor has it ever been – a negotiation.

In the run up to the EU referendum one of the most popular tropes trotted out by the Leave camp was: ‘they need us more than we need them.’ Whenever a Remain voice started to explain the complexities of leaving the Single Market, or the issues surrounding security, trade, law, freedom of movement or how the many thousands of British citizens living in the EU would cope……. Farage or one of his mates would pop up and say:

“Ah but they need us more than we need them! German car manufacturers will still want to sell BMWs to Britain and they won’t let anything get in the way of that.”

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“If a democracy cannot change its mind….”

It chimed well with the public, largely because it was a simple concept that people could get their heads around. Why deal with challenging questions when you can grasp simplistic platitudes. Unfortunately, as with a lot of Brexit catchphrases – see also “take back control of our borders” “take back our sovereignty” and “take back control of our fish” it was a pile of dead pollocks. The UK needs the EU for the simple reason that they are our biggest trading partner. While the EU is responsible for around 43-50% of all of our exports just 8-18% of all EU 27 exports go to the UK . The EU is the second biggest economy in the world and there are nations lining up to do business with them. They do need us yes – but not more than we need them.

But if truth was the first casualty of Brexit, the second was our negotiating hand. For in her resolve to appear steely and Prime Ministerial and determined to carry out “the wishes of the British people” Theresa May rushed to invoke Article 50 – without apparently reading it first. By doing so she effectively triggered the mechanism on the time-bomb without thrashing out the terms for entering the bomb shelter first.

It was clear from the start that the EU would not be doing things on the UK’s terms – largely because this would be to allow Britain to have a better EU deal outside of the Union than anyone has inside it and secondly, because they don’t have to.

The UK thus currently finds itself in a position akin to a tub of ice cream, on the back seat of a car, on a very hot day, trying to work out its future relationship with the Sun. And why? Well in part – because 17 million people thought it easier to parrot Mr Farage’s old pollocks rather than read and digest a page of A4 and a booklet thoughtfully posted through their door. I mean that would have been like homework or something…….

Spoon of warm cream anyone?

The rise and fall of Katie Hopkins – a 21st Century morality tale – would be Apprentices take note

In late August 2018 Ezra Levant – owner of Canadian based “Rebel Media” – announced to a waiting world that he had organized a cruise. The boat trip would give fans from across the Globe a chance to rub shoulders “with some of our most interesting Rebel personalities” as they cruised along “the Danube River, sailing from Germany, through Austria, to Slovakia and ending in beautiful Budapest, Hungary.” But who were these ‘interesting Rebel personalities?’ Step forward one Stephen Yaxley Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) and former Apprentice star Katie Hopkins. There was also Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum but Dan was very much the “non Goss Bros member” in this jaunt and as such can be safely edited from the narrative.

The 68 places on the trip didn’t come cheap. A single standard berth on the Alt-right Love Boat started at a hefty $7,000 (US dollars) excluding transfer fees. With doubles at $3,590 per person and 68 cabins this was clearly going to be something of a money spinner for Mr Levant and his star attractions. If he could sell enough tickets. Because if you are asking yourself whether the average Tommy Robinson fan would be able to fork out eight or nine grand (with transfers and spending money) on a week-long boat trip through Central Europe just to spend time with their diminutive hero – well me too. I think of little else.

But perhaps it wasn’t about Tommy. Perhaps Lord Sugar’s former sparring partner Katie Hopkins would be the big draw – because fun, feisty Katie Hopkins is undoubtedly the most renowned former contestant (on this side of The Atlantic at least) of the long running show and a bit of a celeb.

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Hopkins posing with teenagers – who very wisely asked to be pixallated after the encounter

Hopkins famously didn’t win The Apprentice. She was smart enough to realise, in what were the early days of reality TV, that the real prize was not going off to work for Sir Alan, selling shitty telephones in some shitty warehouse in Loughton – but fame.

And so, after graduating from Series 3 she became a professional outrage machine. Her persona was much the same as the one she had honed on the show. Straight talking, no nonsense, prepared to call fat people fat and desperate people ‘cockroaches.’ For a decade she moved from Big Brother sofa to Morning TV sofa and the strategy worked. She got a column in the Sun and then one at the Mail Online and eventually landed her own show on LBC. Those last gigs would have been very lucrative work and much better paid than anything she would have gained from the ‘apprenticeship.’ Hopkins’ Celebrity Big Brother fee was a reported £400k plus – there were book deals and other assorted TV work.

By early 2017 she was probably one of the best paid freelance journalists in Britain. And she wasn’t even a journalist.

But there was a problem. As her notoriety grew Katie Hopkins’ increasingly outrageous pronouncements were obliged to grow with it. She flew ever closer to the Sun. She seemed increasingly chaotic and out of control and this was especially clear on Twitter, where she busied herself dog whistling to her herd of followers.

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Alan Sugar – ultimately responsible for the rise of Hopkins – in 2007

If you ride a tiger for money, you are obliged to ride it in ever more daring ways. But one day the thrill of the spectacle wears off – the crowds begin to drift away – and when you step down – you are eaten.

After the horrific suicide bombing in Manchester – that left that city shaking, this country mourning, twenty three mostly young lives lost and many dozens injured – she felt emboldened enough by the platform she had been given and the frenzy of her 800k followers to suggest that a ‘final solution’ was needed. This, finally, was the tipping point and she was dropped like a hot potato by both LBC and Mail Online.

At around the same time, Hopkins lost a costly libel case brought by food writer Jack Monroe.

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Hopkins world – an increasingly desolate planet

With options shrinking and the mortgage payments racking up, she slinked off to Rebel Media and whatever they offered her it wasn’t close to what she was getting before. Hopkins was obliged to sell her family home and was brought close to bankruptcy. But still – she didn’t stop. It only seemed to encourage her. Worse – by throwing her lot in with the far right fringes rather than taking a step back and indulging in a little mea culpa – she toxified her brand even further and it seems unlikely that she will be able to crawl back into the mainstream any time soon.

With her options dwindling and bank balance shrinking the cruise must have seemed like a financial lifeline. But all of that now is a matter of speculation because earlier this week Levant announced that it was off.

“Regrettably the cruise has been cancelled” potential passengers were informed, “the company panicked and claimed there was a security risk…… We hope to come up with another platform that cannot be sabotaged by the leftist strategy of “de-platforming” conservatives including through the Antifa tactic of violence.”

This leaves Katie Hopkins with a problem – she has burned a lot of bridges and now she is stuck on a tiny platform with Ezra Levant which I for one would not wish on anybody.

It would be very easy at this point to laugh. Heartily. But I find myself feeling well if not sorry then almost sorry for her and most certainly for her children. Hopkins – like Trump – is a product of the false reality of so called reality TV. She has been obliged to play the part so long that she has become the Monster the Series 3 producers obviously set her up to be. Her downfall is her fault – and hers alone but there is perhaps a lesson to be learned in this very 21st century morality tale of greed, hubris and not knowing when to shut up.

Series 14 contestants take note.

Chief suspect in murder of the traitor Leon Trotsky comes forward to clear his name

In an exclusive interview with Pravda, Canadian national Tony Babach* chief suspect in the failing capitalist world for the murder of the traitor Leon Trotsky today denied any part in the execution of the cowardly turncoat.

“It is actually crazy!” Mr Babach tells us “can’t a guy take an ice pick on holiday to an obscure Mexican village without getting accused of murder!”

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The traitor Trotsky, who nobody had even heard of before this

Babach undertook the six week passage from the Soviet Union to Mexico ‘spontaneously’ after hearing about the ‘world famous Casa Municipal’ in the village of Coyoacán near Mexico City.

“People are saying I went under a false passport simply because I am a Canadian national with a Spanish accent who was living in Moscow!” Tony Babach adds incredulously as he sits in the Pravda office: “but all of this can be easily explained. I was visiting The USSR as a member of the Canadian lumberjack team, when I fell into conversation with a man in a bar who started raving about this incredible house in this small village in Mexico. I am an impulsive guy so I decided to go there. That evening! I had to see that Casa.”

Wearing traditional Canadian clothes and pouring maple syrup over his paella Mr Babach looks and sounds every bit the Canadian national that he says he is.

“I am very grateful to Comrade Stalin and the team at Pravda for giving me the opportunity to clear my name,” Babach continues adding spontaneously: “La Casa de Cortés is a building located on the north side of the Plaza Hidalgo. At twenty eight metres, it has served as an administrative and governmental building since it was constructed in the 18th century.”

Pressed on what else he had done during his visit and whether he had known that the collaborator Leon Trotsky, whose name will go down in infamy as a betrayer of the revolution and the people of the Soviet republics, lived there Mr Babach added: “Not at all. In fact I had never heard of him until people started blaming me for his death.”

As to the photographs that have emerged in recent days of a blood soaked Mr Babach running from Trotsky’s house with a large ice axe protruding from his pocket there is a simple explanation:

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Mexico City in October – temperatures can plummet to just 27 Celsius

“Anyone who has ever been to Mexico City can tell you about the risk of heavy snowfall in October. With temperatures plummeting to around 29 Celsius there is an ever present threat of avalanches and I wasn’t going to take chances. It is perfectly normal there. Everyone walks around with ice picks in their pockets. As for the so called ‘blood’ – well I had been eating a sausage and there was too much ketchup on it and some just went all over my shirt and shoes and face and trousers. And hands. That stuff gets everywhere! I love chorizo like any normal Canadian guy! Canada is best!”

After listening to his version of events Comrade Stalin sympathised with the wrongly accused tourist and awarded Babach an Order of Lenin adding – “if you do not believe this perfectly reasonable explanation of events, you will be considered enemies of the people and betrayers of the revolution and all be carted off to a labour camp before being shot in the head. So let’s hear no more about it.”

We are convinced. Up the reds!

* It later transpired that Mr Barbach was really Jaime Ramón Mercader del Río a Spanish national. However despite him confessing to the murder, being held at the murder scene, being found guilty of it and imprisoned for 30 years there is no firm evidence that he was responsible.

Imagine – Bungle – beat poet, icon, bear.

CREDITS: IMAGINE …… WITH ALAN YENTOB –

BUNGLE

Shot of Bungle with a couple of plastic bags smoking a fag outside The Coach and Horses in Greek Street. He’s got a large whisky. He tries to open a bag of nuts but they fly everywhere.

Bungle V/O: People say Soho isn’t the place it was. That’s true. In the Colony Rooms back in the 1960s right through to the 1980s there was a scene and you never knew who’d pop in. On any given night you might see Bacon and Freud arguing with Lisa Stansfield about art while Michael Aspel bashed out Lynard Skynyard hits on a clarinet. Or perhaps you’d catch Denis Norden chatting about civil rights with Shakin’ Stevens over a pint while Warhol or Pinter tried to butt in. The Krays, Peter Cook, Biggins, they were all there. All dead now of course. Apart from Biggins. And Norden. And Aspel. And Stansfield. She never rings. None of them do. So dead to me.

Yentob: A star of TV from the seventies until early nineties Bungle the Bear is perhaps best known for daytime children’s show Rainbow. But in the early 1960’s Bungle was a revered Beat Poet with a cult following in New York and a series of avant-garde spoken word records to his name.

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Bungle’s experimental 1993 Acid Jazz album failed to chart

Shot of Bungle in black and white footage doing Beat poetry in a New York club. Ginsberg. Dylan. They’re all there.

Bungle: People say I was a good poet. Wrong. I was a great poet. But then the acting jobs came along and eclipsed all that.

Bungle walks through Soho – people point. He doesn’t seem to notice.

Bungle: I don’t like talking about Rainbow because sure it’s what I’m remembered for but it doesn’t define me. Type casting doesn’t happen in America. Look at De Niro. Or The Kardashians. Or High Tower in the later Police Academy Series as the character developed. I remember talking to Martin Shaw about just that when I was filming an episode of The Professionals where they went to a Zoo. I played a bear.

Yentob: It was a performance as THE Bear in a National Theatre production of The Winter’s Tale that led to a call from Hollywood and a brief move there with his young family.

Bungle looking in bins

Bungle staring into the Thames

Bungle on a park bench smoking a cigarette

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Original screen test for Star Wars

Bungle: Guinness rang me one day and said there was a part for me in this thing called Star Wars and would I audition. He sounded kind of desperate. I did it more as a favour really and yes of course George Lucas loved me. Begged me to play the role of Chewbacca. It was pathetic really. I thought it was shit. People flying around in space planes… when you’ve just put something as good as Series One of Rainbow in the can you know what quality is. Also – in those days you didn’t mess with Thames TV Children – they had enforcers and Geoff Hayes would have you against a fucking wall if you just looked at him. He had a reputation if you get my drift. So I agreed to another series and then another – I’d scat – I’d throw in a lot of my beat poetry. They’d let me do conceptual art sometimes. Never actually watched it. Then one day I’m in a branch of Radio Rentals in St Albans and the show comes on and – for the first time I realise I’ve been dubbed. The fucking suits have dubbed me. That was it. I was 40 years old and I suddenly discovered that all my best work had been dubbed. A bitter blow. I sounded like a woman. And they made me do the whole thing naked. It was kind of weird. (BEAT) Hold this – I need to go and talk to someone.

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You didn’t mess with Hayes – or he’d have you against a wall

Shot of Bungle standing on top Broadcasting House shouting at passers by

Yentob: What’s he doing?

Voice: I don’t know.

Bungle is still on the roof. He’s drinking. A man dressed as a giant apple appears and starts arguing with him. A woman in a comedy waitress outfit and outsized glasses climbs onto the roof and they all start fighting. Suddenly they lose their balance and fall. Screams.

Yentob: What are we going to do we’ve only got three minutes in the can…?

Jump cut to ducks on a pond. A small boy is feeding the ducks. he looks up and sees the camera. Starts shouting: “Perverts! Perverts!”

ENDS

Death Stars, fish questionnaires and a thriving lightsabre sector: ERG unveils alternative Chequer’s plan.

Jacob Rees-Mogg and his 80 strong European Research Group have deemed Theresa May’s Chequer’s Plan “unworkable.” Here is the leaked draft of their more feasible alternative.

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A British Death Star for a British future

Death Star

Anyone who has seen the documentary series ‘Star Wars’ will be aware of the challenges facing well-intentioned ‘Empires’ wishing to reassert themselves in difficult times. As such, the ERG advocates investing the money we would otherwise send to Brussels in an enormous ‘Death Star.’ This grand project will need skilled workers, IT consultants and – crucially – give a much needed boost to innovative new ray gun and light sabre sectors. The fully costed “Death Star” policy forms a central plank of the ERG proposals. Why should the United Kingdom be tied to the failing “Planet Earth” project when there is a whole galaxy out there to trade with?

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland existed before the European Union and Northern Ireland will continue to exist after we leave – whatever the carnage that might follow. People who are worried about Northern Ireland are whimpering ‘Remoaners’ and that is all that needs to be said about that.

Fishing

In future – all fish caught in the waters of seas bordering the British Isles will be given a short interview in French, Icelandic, Norwegian and Spanish. If they can answer all 50 questions faultlessly, then they will be handed to the trawlermen of those respective nations. If not – they will be assumed to be British and taken forthwith to Grimsby or one of those other ghastly places.

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Fish who successfully pass the ‘fishing test’ will be allowed to end up in British stomachs

The Falkland Islands

No single issue preoccupies the Great British People more than the inherent wickedness of the wretched Argies and the security of the Falkland Islands. Once we have left the failing European Union there will be plenty of money to invest. While we await completion of the Death Star that will eventually eviscerate South America, the ERG recommends pumping £18 trillion into the archipelago – teaching Johnny Argie a much needed lesson. Our shipwrights will build a vast armada of dreadnoughts which will circle the islands around the clock until such time as an enormous and impenetrable steel dome can be placed on top of the South Atlantic.

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Spitting Image’s correctly rendered map of the world

The NHS/Housing

A quick poll of ERG MPs reveals that not only do none of us use the NHS but neither do our nannies. It is outrageous therefore that billions of pounds are wasted every year on this white elephant for people who are too lazy (or poor) to buy private medical insurance. Post Brexit the ERG recommends issuing every adult in the United Kingdom with a “doctor’s certificate” spontaneously making some 40 million people “doctors.” These highly qualified individuals will then be able to treat themselves and their loved ones – allowing most of the hospitals in the UK to be demolished and rebuilt as private homes – thus solving the housing crisis.

Global trade

While the UK has been enjoying hundreds of billions of pounds of failing tariff free trade with the dwindling EU we have been overlooking potentially enormous deals with Pitcairn island and parts of East Timor. In future the ERG hopes that all of our commerce will be done with these mighty nations and their burgeoning economies. We will buy their stamps and bread fruit and they will buy our light sabres. Then Mr Barnier will be sorry!

A Time Machine

The past was a simpler era, where people knew their place. The rich man lived in his castle while the poor man dwelled with dozens of horrid children, a wife who was too afraid to speak and tuberculosis. There was little need for contraceptives or labour exchanges as ‘mortality’ kept the population under control! Having perfected the Death Star technology the ERG proposes to spend whatever is left on a vast “time machine” that will take us all back to 1910. It was a golden age of cream teas, vicars and a healthy hatred of the HUN when the only black people one saw existed in prints in beautifully bound encyclopaedias and delightful ‘golliwog’ nursery tales. The summers will be endless, the great estates will flourish – and critically our young men will have the chance once more to have their horribly mutilated corpses buried in neat rows before their 21st birthdays.

God Save the King!

Boris: Why I am leaving the failing Johnson Family Project to explore global opportunities

When I was at school there was a boy called Rupert Vander-Likker who excelled at setting fire to things. ‘Likkers’ was always busy with the petrol can. First he burned down some local woodland, then he set fire to Matron’s car – (while she was in it) and finally, having achieved a little notoriety went on to his magnus opus, torching a very ugly council estate that blighted the edges of Windsor. I’m sorry to report that rather than congratulating him on his splendid efforts at regeneration, the local constabulary took rather a dim view of all this, as did the residents of Mandela drive (or whatever the ghastly place was called). Likkers was summoned before the Headmaster and given a stern warning that if he did it again he would have to pay for it all out of his own pocket money. No real harm was done of course as it was kept out of papers but Rupert, I am sorry to say, never set fire to anything again, causing all of us to lose interest in him.

Some years later news filtered through to The Beefsteak Club that Likkers had settled down with a lesbian who didn’t shave her armpits – and was making a living for himself saving starving little picaninnies in Africa. I have lived ever since by the motto: Noli esse vir Rupert. Never be like Rupert! Never settle for anything less than the magnificent chap you were at 18!

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It was not me Guv! It was that other chap.

I was reminded of Likkers earlier this year when my wife caught me with my lucky pants on my head romping with a pretty young girl, whose name escapes me – somewhere in the Cotswolds. I had really worked up quite a bit of steam and was about to yell my signature release howl of “tally ho for the Bullers!” when the door flung open to reveal the old battle axe standing there with tears streaming down her face – wholly ruining the magic of the moment. My first thought, as ever, was for myself and my second was for what this might mean for my chances of getting into Number 10.

Having extracted myself from my companion and pulled on my jogging plimsols, I found Mrs. Johnson out in the corridor making a terrible fuss about nothing.

“I can’t take this anymore!” The old harridan was wailing: “you’ve cheated on me again and again and I just can’t take it – all the lies – all the f*cking of everyone all the time!”

“Well now you know how the British people feel!” I quipped – ever with one eye on edition two of the ‘Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson.’ Indeed it was so good that I thought I ought to write it down and went off in search of a pencil and pad. Famously impatient, by the time I returned the old trouble and strife had gone and some weeks later the chaps at Mischon de Reya sent me a letter telling me she was filing for divorce – thus making an absolute pig’s trotter of my ambitions.

It was Tacitus who said: “In pessima republica plurimae leges”

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My lucky pants

It was Tacitus who said: “In pessima republica plurimae legis” and while the quote itself is wholly meaningless in this context, I have found that chucking Latin into my articles does make the ordinary fellow assume that I am an intellectual leviathan.

Now you might be thinking: “poor you being treated like that by the old girl just when you’ve got a proper crack at the leadership. What a shoddy woman.” Well, nothing actually could be further from the truth. You see for years I have had my doubts about the failing and unwieldy Johnson family project. It is a never ending money pit into which I have been obliged to throw a lot of cash for very little return indeed. While in its origins the marriage may have had noble intentions, frankly I signed up for a jolly good shagathon and someone to go and do the shopping. I had no idea at all that it would involve all of those babies and responsibilities and school fees and worst of all that the old todger would be put out for retirement in just a few short years.

Mrs. Johnson may now have joined the Singles Market, but I have my sights set on greater challenges. It is time to explore global opportunities and global partners. I am taking back control of my meat and two veg (wonky or not) and am going to make a jolly good fist of it. Divorce may be painful at first but I shall be able to put all the money I have wasted weekly on my marriage and invest it instead in things that really matter to the British people – my campaign to become Prime Minister.

There are some who question whether a man of dubious moral standards, who has cheated on both his wives, sired a child by another women, displayed not a jot of actual talent, offered to get a chum’s sworn enemies beaten up and been sacked for lies and incompetence should be Prime Minister. To those people I say “remember that time I was on a zipwire!” And to the little people I say: “Non est ad astra mollis e terris via.” They have no idea what it means of course, but it should placate the thick little yahoos long enough to get me what I want.

(as told to Otto English – satirical content)

Why James Delingpole, chronic lyme disease victim, is deserving of our sympathy

“I have discovered that I have a horrible degenerative disease!” journalist, pundit, executive editor of Breitbart UK and author James Delingpole announces to his brother in his latest podcast adding: “it’s the one you get when you have a tick bite.”

James goes on to explain that he has ‘chronic lyme disease’ and is one of the many victims of a silent epidemic that infects 300,000 people in the US every year and is ‘massive in Germany’ – much like David Hasselhoff in the late 1980s. The problem with lyme disease, as Delingpole explains it, is that it is very difficult to detect because the ‘tests they have at the moment are very ineffective’ and worse the NHS and indeed the entire global medical establishment are refusing to accept it even exists because if they did it would ‘open a can of worms.’

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James doesn’t like the NHS. He also doesn’t know how he got CLD – but the nature of the illness is that it can be spread through the air (via air born chlamydia) and as he spends a lot of time around horses and in the countryside he assumes he contracted it there, possibly years ago. James only managed to get his diagnosis after a visit to a lab in Germany which charged him £1,200 for the test and while he is very grateful to finally know what has been plaguing him all these years, it is only now that the real journey starts. The cost of treatment could be tens of thousands of pounds and clearly Breitbart doesn’t have the medical insurance to cover it (or more likely the medical insurers won’t pay out.) Delingpole has started a “Go Fund Me” page and since it was launched, kindly benefactors have sent him almost six thousand pounds of the £40k he hopes to get. In that post he also adds that if there’s ‘anything left over’ he will sort out his teeth and give his wife a ‘proper holiday.’

Delingpole’s CLD symptoms include: “brain fog, migraines, panic attacks, arthritis, crippling fatigue, insomnia, depression, shooting pains” and will be familiar to anyone who has watched the excellent Netflix series Afflicted which follows the experiences of a half dozen individuals whose lives have been turned upside down by chronic illnesses. Indeed, many of those patients end up with a ‘chronic lyme disease’ diagnosis.

Awareness of the illness has grown considerably in recent years, with celebrities including Shania Twain, Mark Ruffalo, Sharon Osborne and Matt Dawson, the rugby international, all claiming to have had it. In the UK there is an established community of sufferers, Facebook groups and even the obligatory website ‘Lyme Disease UK’

But here’s the thing. The general medical and expert consensus is that “chronic lyme disease” does not exist. It is a fake illness. Lyme disease, caused by a bacterial infection carried by some ticks does and if quickly identified can be treated with antibiotics but this is where the confusion sets in because many ‘CLD truthers’ and others call their illness ‘lyme disease’ which muddies the waters considerably. Treatment for this fake illness can be dished out at fake clinics, treated by fake Doctors who claim they can cure it with fake ‘experimental’ techniques and it can be very expensive indeed. In some cases it might even cost the patient their life since many of the symptoms of ‘CLD’ are the same as those associated with severe depression. Misdiagnosed as ‘Chronic Lyme’ some patients have tragically go on to take their own lives.

Fake science preys not only on the gullible – but on the desperate.

James Delingpole belongs to that group of right-wing pundits and writers that include the likes of Toby Young, Isabel Oakeshott and Rod Liddle and via Breitbart he bridges the gap between them and the broader hard right community including Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson).  He claims to have smoked weed with David Cameron at university and is a climate change sceptic and self-defined ‘libertarian.’ He is a familiar figure on twitter and in the UK media and in his columns and podcasts he has denounced the NHS, the poor and ‘the fake disabled.’ It would be very easy for me to launch (as I confess I did on twitter) into a lengthy denunciation of his hypocrisy, his gullibility and the nature of crank magnetism.

But I am not going to do that. Because having listened to him talking to his brother, having watched Afflicted and having read up around this fake illness it strikes me that James Delingpole may well need some help but not the help he is seeking. He may hate to have the sympathy of a ‘liberal’ but he has mine. Delingpole (and those kindly donating money to his fund) is a victim of an essentially wicked industry which has conned thousands of people into believing they have an illness which matches their symptoms, while their real problems go undiagnosed. That this pernicious and malignant quackery is allowed to persist in the 21st century frankly beggars belief – but then in a world where experts and evidence are so maligned perhaps it is only to be expected.

My advice to James is this – put your faith in the experts – get a proper diagnosis – and save the money for that holiday and dentistry.

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Wise words

 

Tommy Robinson’s prison diary – part three – the torture of Tommy

June 30th 2018

9 a.m.

I been moved to Onley Open Prison. No idea  why they call it ‘open’ because freedom of speech is dead here.

It’s clear that their way of breaking me is through ‘mental torture’ just like what the Nazis done to Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. The pillows on my bed are foam and I can’t sleep with foam pillows. There’s a bottle of water on the side and it isn’t fizzy. There’s a TV in the room but a quick inspection shows that it’s not got SKY or even Virgin on it. It’s one of them “Freeview” sets and we all know what that means. No Sky movies, no Sky sports and no “Cops in Choppers in the Outback” because there’s no Discovery Channel. I know they’re trying to break me down but I’m strong and tell them to take it away.

“But won’t you get bored?” A screw asks.

“No you fucking Dhimmi.” I tell him, “because I am British and I have something up here called the power of my imagination.”

 

10 a.m.

I ask for the TV back but they won’t bring it – on account of my having sworn at the screw.

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Months away from the tanning salon have taken their toll

June 31st 2018

11 a.m.

My representative Caolan (it’s pronounced Kay-lin) contacts me to let me know that I have not been forgotten by the outside world.

“They are saying you are like a modern Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela!” He whispers down the phone in that little voice of his. I’m not happy about that on account of one of them fellas being black.

“Tell them I want to be compared to Churchill!” I shout down the phone. “When he done time in South Africa for trying to stop white genocide.”

“I’ll try!” Caolan (it’s pronounced Kay-lin) manages before descending into a sobbing fit.

Lunchtime on my third day here and things are getting fucking desperate. It’s meant to be chicken, I ordered chicken but some comedian has put it in a wrap, parked what looks like a bit of shit on the side of it and covered the rest of the plate with salad.

“What’s this?” I demand of the screw who’s brought it in.

“Mexican chicken!” The fella shoots back – “with refried beans and a regional salad.”

I’m not having that. What region? Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? You don’t know who’s touched it.

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The food Tommy was forced to eat while inside

“I asked for chicken.” I say “And in England mate chicken comes in one of two ways. Either with spuds and carrots and that or as KFC bucket with coleslaw – because that is the traditional way what chicken has been served here for thousands of years and you are explicit in the destruction of our culture through ….this..”

But before I can finish he cuts me off: “You mean implicit not explicit.” He says and shuts the door. Actual scum.

So they want it like that do they? I will go on hunger strike until I get my own food that I know has not been mucked about with.  I ask for a complaint form:

“If there’s a Nandos I am happy to have that, but failing that I will have McDonalds or Burger King.” I write. “And could I have my TV back because not having one is now doing my head in.”

That will show them.

8 p.m.

I’ve called off my hunger strike and ask for some fish and chips. But they say I can’t have that because dinner is finished. What has happened to this country?

July 15th

I’ve now run out of teeth whitener and hand held tanning spray and this is constituting a serious breach of me human rights. I demand to see the Governor and in the meantime fill in another complaint form.

During rec I meet a fella called Stan Lee. He’s inside for fraud and being a confidence trickster and like but he tells me he is innocent and he sounds very convincing to me. This bloke goes on to tell me that on the other side of the cell opposite mine, though a secret door, which only Muslims can see, there’s a full blown mosque with minarets and all the bells and whistles and mats and Korans and that. And in this enormous mosque thousands of Muslam prisoners are praying five times a day, in between slaughtering all the food in the prison in the halal way and….. get this… they’re converting other  prisoners and even the guards to Muslam.

It’s terrifying to be honest and completely believable. The dark state has been trying for thirty years to turn Britain into an Islamic caliphate and impose Sharia law because – well – it’s something they want to do and I have now come across evidence that proves it beyond any doubt. I realise that Stan Lee is risking his life by telling me this so when he explains that if I can get him £2,000 and a few cartons of cigarettes he might be able to save me I’m all in.

August 2018

Stan Lee has been moved to another prison – and I am still in the same cell at risk of being converted to Muslam at any moment. But worse than all that, I have now been without a telly for more than 30 days. This is in clear contradiction of the Genevieve convention on the treatment of prisoners of war and make no mistake – I AM A PRISONER OF WAR. I demand to see the Governor.

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Caolan – it’s pronounced “Kay-Lin” after mistaking Buckingham Palace for my Prison

“Oh hello Mr Yaxley Lennon – I have some good news for you. It seems you are going to be released. You’ve grown your hair I see – would you like to get it cut before you depart?”

I know what he’s up to: “And fall victim to one of your grooming gangs? No I don’t think so. I may be walking out of here but this is not the last you will hear of me.” I say. “I’m going to tell the world about the treatment I have had in here and in particular the lack of a TV what I have suffered.”

Caolan (it’s pronounced Kay-lin) and the press are outside to meet me. He takes hold of my hand and we get in a car and drive away. An hour later I realise – he still hasn’t let go.

People are disgusted by my treatment. Many say I look worse than a concentration camp victim but the comparison is stupid. It has been so very much worse than that.

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Tommy stresses that the guy on the right is over 7 foot tall

Franz’s Failure: the man who fell out of the sky – (a Brexit parable.)

One of the darker aspects of humanity’s otherwise gallant and dogged aspiration to fly was just how many early innovators met sticky ends. The first recorded aviation fatality is that of the great Islamic scholar Ismail ibn Hammad Al-jawhari who demonstrated the certainties of gravity and the frailty of man by fitting crude wings to his arms and jumping off a mosque in 1008 A.D. He died. Over the centuries that followed dozens of brave and sometimes foolhardy people met similar ends until, in 1903 the Wright Brothers managed to actually get up in the air and really get the ‘death by flight’ ball rolling. The fate of many early aviators is grimly repetitive. American Sam Cody, the first person to fly in Britain – died in a plane crash. Charles Royce (of Rolls Royce fame) died in a plane crash. John Alcock – the first man to fly across the Atlantic – died in a plane crash. Oskar Bider – the first man to fly across the Alps – died in a plane crash. Artur de Sacadura Cabral – the first man to fly across the South Atlantic – died in a plane crash. Raymonde de Laroche the first woman to get a pilot’s licence – died in a plane crash.

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Charles Rolls – in the plane he flew across the Channel

Exceptionally brave people and without them the development of heavier than air flight would have been grounded but it quickly became apparent that what was really needed was for someone to invent the parachute. Actually, parachutes already existed and had done so since the late 18th century but design limitations meant that they were only effective at high altitude. As most early aircraft could not get much above 500 feet the race was on to find a design that would deploy effectively at lower elevation and save lives – before the world ran out of pilots. And so, in November 1911, a mysterious benefactor by the name of Monsieur Lalance wrote to the Aero Club of France – offering a prize of 10,000 francs (about £45,000 today) to anyone who could invent a safety parachute weighing no more than 25kg that could practically be used by pilots of aircraft.

Enter stage left a tailor called M. Reichelt. ‘Franz’ Reichelt was an Austrian émigré who, having obtained French nationality in 1909, had changed his name to Francois, grown a magnificent Gallic moustache and in between making garments for wealthy customers, become fascinated with the possibilities of powered flight. The deaths of early aeronauts had inspired him to conduct his own experiments with parachute design and he had had some early success throwing dummies out of fifth storey windows – but he had been hampered somewhat by a lack of proper investment and a really good test site.

Francois was a man imbued with a surfeit of self-belief and confidence and he became fixated on the idea of winning the prize. He would become known as the man who invented ‘foldable silk wings.’ After all, it played to his strengths. He was a master of cloth. He liked planes – despite never having been in one. He knew all about stitching and texture and style. He didn’t know much about air resistance, or terminal velocity or even gravity – but these were trivial matters and the young tailor set to work on perfecting his design.

While Reichelt had every belief in his abilities, those experts who came into contact with him were less persuaded. The leading aeronautic organisation of the time, La Ligue Aérienne quickly dismissed his invention on the grounds that it wouldn’t work. The canopy was ‘too weak’ and the society endeavoured to convince him to try and do something more useful with his time – but Reichelt was having none of it. As the winter of 1911 progressed – he carried out multiple experiments, gaily chucking mannequins wearing his invention from the roof of his premises and then watching them plummet onto the cobbles below.

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The magnificent Francois in his silk wings

Most inventors might anticipate a ‘fail rate’ in the testing of new technology of course – but his was an impressive 100%. His ‘flying suit’ floated with all the grace of a freight train, tied to lead balloon. But it didn’t matter, because Francois Reichelt ‘believed’ in it and anyway he had set himself a deadline. In February 1912, just three months after Lalance had offered the prize – Reichelt declared that he was ready. Having gained the necessary permission, on the morning of Sunday 4th of February the flamboyant tailor arrived, wearing his suit and brimming with confidence in the Champs de Mars – at the base of the Eiffel Tower.

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Monsieur Reichelt – prepares for his demonstration

It was a bitterly cold day and film footage shows vapour exhaling in ever larger quantities off Reichelt’s breath. The tailor had promised the authorities and his friends that he would use a dummy for the test, but he had failed to mention that the dummy would be him. As his real intentions became clear, his increasingly desperate companions prevailed upon him and the police to put a stop to the madness but it fell on deaf ears. Reichelt believed it would work. Against all the evidence of experts and his own multiple tests – which demonstrated clearly that in every instance he would fail – the tailor believed his invention would lead him to glide gently to the ground. After a brief impasse, Francois ascended to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. There he posed for the cameras, before unfurling his Heath Robinsonesque wings. He climbed onto a table and then onto a chair that sat on the table – paused for a moment on the edge of the barrier – and jumped.

The hole Francois left in the ground has long since been filled in – but in a sense he did achieve the fame and celebrity he so clearly craved. Poor Franz Reichelt is remembered now as a magnificent failure, the first person whose death was caught on film. Watching the footage while knowing the outcome is almost unbearably poignant.

But what can we learn today from this act of suicidal futility?

Reichelt’s demise differs significantly from that of the pilots of his era in that their experiments and daring do were based on an evidence based approach to flight. His was based on the very opposite principle – from the very beginning it was clear his invention would not work. He was told as much by experts. He saw it for his own eyes. There was nothing at any point in the development of his flying suit to suggest that it would deploy properly. And yet – he prevailed – ultimately at the cost of his own life. Was he naïve? Was he foolhardy? Was he stupid? Yes – he was all of those things and more – and perhaps it’s time there was a word for it so I propose in his honour that we call it – a reichelt.

Reichelt (n): A person or entity hell bent on doing something suicidally stupid when all of the evidence demonstrates clearly that it will end catastrophically.

Example: “You moronic reichelt….. why the hell are you juggling cobras naked? Don’t you know what will happen?”

Adjective: reicheltic – “The British government took a reicheltic approach to the Brexit negotiations, eager as they were not to lose face in front of 17.4 million people who had voted for it to happen.”

Reicheltism is all about us today. As the world tumbles into further chaos and disarray and we are all forced to eat spam and cuddle together for warmth in nuclear bunkers, we might at least comfort ourselves that there is now a word to describe it.

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French police inspect M. Reichelt’s parachute