The Brexit Party Manifesto (sort of)

The Brexit party is leading the polls in the upcoming EU elections – but they don’t have a manifesto. So we’ve written one for them:

Brexit:

Leaving the EU is the easiest thing in the world. We simply leave and go on to WTO rules. Remoaning naysayers like Nick Clegg insist that a ‘great power’ like the UK can’t do that because we will wreck the economy, make ourselves an international pariah and be forced to live off tinned spam. To which we say “Yum!” And anyway – we won’t be eating spam. You will.

brexit spam
Yummy

WTO rules:

East Timor, Somalia and Western Sahara all trade solely under WTO rules and do absolutely fine. Nobody questions their ability to export sandalwood, hides and second hand AK47s into emerging markets. While Britain is obliged to engage with the EU, the biggest market in the world, on the most favourable terms of any country on Earth, Somalia is enjoying robust trade with Djibouti and parts of war torn Eritrea. Enough is enough frankly. We are leaving and we are going to take a slice of that trade with Djibouti whether Angela Merkel likes it or not.

Fishing:

The UK fishing industry contributes less GDP to our economy than Harrods and employs fewer people than Poundsaver so it is quite right that we sacrifice every other industry in the UK to ensure that a few fishermen can drive stocks to extinction. The reason is simple. Nigel likes fishing. It’s his hobby and moreover his favourite book as a child was ‘the ladybird book of fishermen’. Then there’s Jane Mummery, one of our prospective MEPs. Jane is managing director of Lowestoft fishing auctions and more fish means more business for her. Why should the UK have an automotive and aeronautical sector when Jane can’t make more money?

fisherman
Nigel’s favourite book

Sex education in schools:

A life sized inflatable of Ann Widdecombe, looking angry, to be placed in every classroom with a balloon coming out of her mouth saying “Stop that revolting nonsense right now!”

The NHS:

As our MEP candidate Annunziata Rees-Mogg puts it: “Nobody I know uses the NHS. If we can afford private healthcare on top of the school fees, servants’ wages, repairs on the roofs of our stately homes and all those skiing trips and safaris – then why can’t ordinary people who send their children to secondary moderns?”

5G network and superfast broadband:

Nigel doesn’t use the internet – he says: “Let’s shut this wasteful project down and return to the penny post instead.”

Immigration:

Immigration will be limited to the many foreign born girlfriends and wives of our leaders and financial backers. Evidence if ever it were needed that immigrants take on the very nastiest jobs that nobody else is prepared to do.

Defence:

The greatest risk facing this country comes not from Russia or an expansionist China – but the threat posed by the Belgian navy. They’ve been quiet far too long and as Richard Tice says: “those mussel guzzling ersatz Frenchmen are probably up to something”. For every ship the Belgian navy builds we intend to build two. The rest of it will be plagiarized from the letters page of Richard Tice’s favourite comic.

warlord
Defence policy

Homelessness:

Annunziata again: “Homelessness is a choice. If one has left university and can’t afford rents in Mayfair one should jolly well go home and slum it in one’s parents’ spare wing!”

Foreign Policy

Britain’s historic role has been to suck up to the United States of America. Why should we be leading the EU when we can be told what to do by Donald Trump? ‘The Donald’ as Nigel affectionately calls him – has promised us that we can have whatever trade deal America decides to give us, on terms dictated by them, at any time they so choose. If that’s not enough to get Nigel a job on the Fox Network then we really don’t know what is.

We want your suggestions:

Please add any further ideas in the comments below.

OBVIOUSLY SATIRE. No threatening emails please.

The Journey South with Captain Farage. Nigel’s diary of the great March to Leave – exclusive

We arrive in Sunderland. Just one night here before we crack on to London in the morning. I have chosen Tice, Hoey and Jenkyns as my team to make the final long march south. The world is watching. We rest up in our hotel. The restaurant is perfectly decent – a good wine list and the filet mignon isn’t too shabby.

I’ve always loved roughing it.

sunderland
The view of Sunderland from my bedroom window

6.50 a.m.

Dawn breaks over Sunderland but as we set out for the rendezvous point news reaches us that the Remoaners are also marching on London. It is now a race to the South.

The world’s press greet us.

“Good luck in this!” The nice man from Russia Today bids us politely “our President Vladimir Putin stand behind you as you bring about destruction of the EU and West – he give you our personal warm wish”.

Such a refreshing change from the ghastly BBC who clearly think this important and significant expedition is a joke! The MSM would like nothing more than for our voices to be ignored…… as I say every time they invite me on to one of their shows – or in my nightly broadcasts on LBC.

Soon we are marching along a well paved footpath – just next to the A19.

farage
A well earned drink after the gruelling first day

8.45 a.m.

The sky and surface merge into a great sea of paleness as Hoey witters on about her cats and Tice stares forlornly into the distance muttering “I thought more people would turn out” over and over again. We are joined for the first leg of the trip by a man who introduces himself as Chris819173 from Blackburn. He seems to think I should know who he is ‘from twitter’. Apparently I once liked one of his tweets. He seems harmless enough and offers me a sip from the large bottle of Strongbow he’s carrying.

I politely decline and ask him if he’s met Hoey. But neither seems interested in speaking to the other.

Then he produces an enormous crusader helmet from a bag and pops it on his head.

Good chap!

chris
Chris819173 takes a well earned rest

10 a.m.

After a mile or so in the pelting rain Jenkyns starts to complain about a stone in her shoe and we are forced to seek shelter in a bus stop while she empties her boot.

“Come on Jenkyns! This is a race now!” I cry. “Can’t let the Remoaners win”. I also have a luncheon appointment at 12 and the reservation can’t be moved.

Chris819173 is further slowing our progress. As Jenkyns tries to get her boot back on, he starts banging his helmet against the shelter and shouting about Soros and Tim Farron. We can’t hear exactly what he is saying on account of the helmet.

Tice helps Chris pull it off while Hoey tells us about the time she went on holiday with Andy Wigmore.

“Such a gentleman” she says “always opens the door for you”.

“I’m just going into the bushes” Chris819173 interrupts, to the relief of all “I may be gone some time”.

It’s an extraordinarily noble gesture.

I quickly gather the rest of our party together and move on. Chris819173 has sacrificed himself for the greater good of my luncheon plans – much as millions of ordinary Brexiters have – and it is important that we honour his selflessness by getting away from him as quickly as possible. Jenkyns still hasn’t got her boot on and Hoey is trying to tell me about the time her cat Freddy “the cheeky one” fell through the roof of a shed and broke some pots.

By God! This is an awful place.

11 a.m.

“How much further is it?” I demand of Tice as we go up a slight incline.

“Just another 280 miles!” He shouts over the din of the rain and people shouting “fuck off you pointless twats” from their car windows.

“Not to London! To the rendezvous point where I am getting picked up by a bus”.

Tice stares at me incredulously, Hoey is now talking about “Arthur” and the funny things he does with string – she tries to show me photos on her phone despite the unrelenting torrent. And then – to my horror – I see Chris819173 emerging from the bushes 300 yards behind us. He’s lost his trousers and his pants and is shouting about the Rothschilds while swigging his cider.

“Run!” I order – and we pick up the pace – despite Jenkyns still not having put her boot on. Somehow Chris is gaining on us even as we wheeze along the path.

And then – just as all hope seems to be lost I spot the coach.

Thank God.

I climb aboard – and give a hearty wave to the rest of the team as I am driven away. Chris819173 has managed to climb onto the bumper but a couple of sharp turns later and he has ‘rejoined the march.’

They know I will be back and that my heart is with them as they go. In the meantime – God Speed – and onwards to lunch!

lunch
Don’t worry – I made it in time for lunch

To be continued……..

Satirical content – as told to Otto English

Insight: ‘I don’t think Brexit helped matters’. A Honda employee on the closure of the Swindon plant in his own words.

Further to news that Honda is to close its Swindon plant – an employee tells us in his own words why he thinks it happened and what it will mean for thousands of workers in Swindon.

I don’t think Brexit helped matters to be honest. It’s not the major factor, but probably one that swayed it for them. The factory is getting old. They’ve already pumped millions (if not billions) into it, and the equipment is ageing. They have a car plant that’s completely empty as we are nowhere near capacity and the car plant that is running, isn’t fit for purpose… it obviously works for the time being, but the costs to update it when electric cars start taking over would be astronomical. Do I think Honda would be doing this if Brexit wasn’t happening? Probably… The factory has been in decline for a while now. In the last 4 years, we had the civic, jazz and CRV models. We are now down to 1 model, 1 operating car plant and we build around 570 cars a day. The factory as a whole has the ability to build around 1,300 (rough guess). As for the mood, it’s obviously one of disbelief. I worked the late shift last night, so we were going in as the news broke that they were intending closing us. A lot of people were shocked, some still don’t believe it will happen! The worst thing for us was the silence. There was no official notice from anyone, nor did they acknowledge it. We were just reassured that any significant news would be told to staff first. That news never came and we all found out this morning watching the news… from what I could gauge last night, no one was anti anyone really. Everyone has always speculated the plant would close eventually. It’s not any of the managers within HUM’s fault so there’s no anger being directed at them regarding the decision, just that we wasn’t told before the press. A lot of people are obviously concerned, not so much losing their jobs, but what will come after. There’s going to be around 10,000 Swindonians all out of work at the same time and there just isn’t anything there to support that sort of unemployment.

honda
The Honda plant in Swindon – which opened in 1985

 

Ditherspoon News – Essex pub-chain owner solves everything ‘Brexit’

All this cliff-edge nonsense is – bollocks. All the stuff you buy from the EU can be bought in the UK and the 99% of the world that is not France or any of those other poncey countries where by law you have to be a Muslim.

I proved this point last year by running an experiment at “The Knackered Whippet” my pub in Essex. We took some of our biggest selling products, replaced them with alternatives – and guess what – nobody noticed.

knackered whippet
The Knackered Whippet today POA

Stella Artois might be very popular among lefty establishment figures, drinking it in their Mayfair clubs but every sip is a betrayal of British workers. Stella Artois is a Belgian beer made by foreigners and I’m not having that muck in my pub no more. So we got some good quality British urine put it in a soda stream, called it ‘Harlow Stars’ and sold it back to them. Customers bought pints of the stuff. Better still I managed to sell it to them for 10p less than that Belgian muck. By passing the reduction on to the customers I saved them money and me the trouble of learning Europish or whatever it is they speak in Belgium. So win, win Mr Barnier – you muppet.

pint
A pint of Harlow Stars – to go

What could be more British than a Hamburger? Almost anything! For decades I’ve been selling them in my establishments not realizing that they come from a little town called Frankfurt in – you guessed it – Nazi Germany. Soon changed that. Now the customers in The Knackered Whippet enjoy “Chelmsfords.” There’s a choice of topping – with a bun or without. The beef in those burgers comes from trusted suppliers parked up behind the big cash and carry outside Jaywick. They’ve got a great sense of humour those lads – when I ask them where they source it they give me this big wink and say “‘horse’ but you keep it to yourself big man or you wake up next to head of one”. Just love those guys. Real British entrepreneurs.

hamburger.jpg
Bunless Chelmsford

We took our 2nd best-selling spirit ‘vodka’ and replaced it with a locally distilled ‘craft ethanol’ made by a man I met lying on the street. He runs what he calls an ‘artisan’ shed in the toilet of his home. Normally the lefty luvvies would be all over this product – but guess what – because it’s made by a working class white guy called Derek they start banging on about ‘health and safety’ and all that nonsense. They’d rather have foreign made muck like champagne than the stuff Derek sells in plastic bags out of his garage because they hate this country, plain and simple.

We call it ‘Snogcar’ because the first punter who tried it ended up trying to get off with the exhaust of a vehicle parked up outside. It’s true that most of the regulars are now blind but that’s got ‘f’ all to do with Snogcar. It’s the EU and I can prove it. I just don’t want to.

Our success at Ditherspoons was such that I tried to tell Mrs May about it. But guess what – they turned me away at the gates of Downing Street saying: “Go home mate, it’s three a.m. and you’re pissed”. Even the coppers are bent in this country nowadays. And Dime bars aren’t called Dime bars any more either.

Here are some other ideas:

Insulin:

A lot of rubbish talked about insulin running out post Brexit. Load of garbage. Put newspapers down in your loft instead and invest one of those log burning stoves. Climate change is a lie anyway. Big con.

Backstop:

There’s an easy way to solve the Backstop. Tell the Irish to fuck off. Easy. Easiest thing in the world. Couldn’t be easier.

Jean Claude Juncker and the other lot:

The foreigners as I like to call them are all playing it cool at the moment. They’re all like: “Oh La! La!” and that as they drink brandy and eat croissants – but they won’t be laughing once they’ve sampled some of my “Harlow Stars” let me tell you. No mate. They won’t be laughing at all.

Satirical content.

The majority of British people don’t know who their MP is – so how can they be expected to understand Brexit.

In the run up to the EU referendum I was out and about campaigning for Remain in the streets of Lewisham. It was a fairly brutal experience.

Lewisham is a diverse borough. The Remain vote was supposedly strong here and yet, as a novice campaigner, I became increasingly concerned at how little anyone knew about what membership of the EU actually meant.

Standing outside Brockley station one Saturday a group of young lads approached me and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was campaigning for the UK to Remain in the EU to which one of them responded:

“Fuck that – I’m voting for Boris. We’re all voting Boris.”

On another occasion on Loampit Vale a woman in her twenties rounded on me and in words to the effect went off on one:

“No. No way am I voting to stay in!” She said, “the EU restricts our freedom – anyone can come here from anywhere and get benefits and a job and live here. We need to take back control of our borders – and it costs us billions and it’s undemocratic – they’re telling us what to do and we can’t do anything about it. It’s a joke.”

I asked her if she had voted in the EU elections. She said there were no EU elections. I took out my phone and showed her there had been EU elections. She said that we weren’t allowed to vote in them. I asked her what evidence she had for that and what she thought an MEP was. She didn’t know. I asked her as politely as I could if she knew what the Schengen area was – she didn’t care – she was voting out.

On another occasion a woman in her sixties told me: “I don’t want us to join the EU.”

When I explained that we already were in the EU she refused to believe me and as I impatiently set about proving otherwise – I realized that our cause was fucked. It was probably fucked anyway. Stronger IN ran a terrible, arrogant, metropolitan campaign. Having David Cameron backing it didn’t help either. The flyers were patronizing and seemed to be obsessed with mobile phone roaming tariffs in Europe. Nobody put the emotional case for staying in or even for the EU itself. Nobody combated the lies, the propaganda and the deceit. The BIG LIE that Leave would mean ‘taking back control’ was as we now know – deliberately obtuse. It could mean anything.

And ‘anything’ resonates.

See also ‘project fear’ which continues to be deployed with aplomb whenever rational thinking is introduced into the Brexit debate.

In the last two years new catchphrases have been added to the Brexit lexicon. My favourite of these is: “Are you saying I didn’t know what I was voting for?” To which the unapologetic and most truthful response is quite probably “yes.” For here’s a horribly inconvenient fact – most people don’t understand the slightest thing about British politics and a lot of British politicians are happy to keep things that way.

On the available evidence – most people don’t even know who their MP is – let alone what they do in parliament. Few have any idea of how FPTP works, or how laws are passed, or how our ‘unwritten constitution’ functions.

Asking the British public to vote on our relationship with the EU was like inviting a 9 year old to perform delicate brain surgery with a broken crayon. And that applies to both sides. Most Remainers voted emotionally.

In the past the UK sensibly avoided referendums because they were viewed as the tools of dictators and demagogues. They allow a largely ill-informed public to be manipulated – often against their own interests – by giving the impression of democratic choice not democracy itself. The turnout of the EU referendum was 70% – meaning that the 52% who voted Leave constitute just 37% of the voting age population in 2016. And yet nobody ever mentions the “37%” – it is the sacred ‘52%’ instead who are daily invoked – like some Messianic chorus.

The Leave leaders know how deeply dishonest this is – but they frankly don’t care. It’s effective. And the general ignorance of the populace and the willingness of many to latch on to meaningless slogans suits them down to the ground. Dare to call this bullshit out and those renowned anti-elitists led by the likes of the Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg (Eton, Oxford) shoot you down as an ‘enemy of the people.’

It’s dirty and it works.

If the UK is to climb out of this insufferable mire, we need to stop treating the British public like nine year olds. Square number one on that journey is to tell them the truth. Namely, that most of them on both sides of the referendum no more understood the complexities of it than they understand Heraclitus in the original Greek.

Someone tell them.

Tell you what.

You go first.

Brexit: our part in your downfall – key referendum figures talk exclusively to The Prick.

David Cameron

People often come up to me and say: “Come on Dave, why don’t you go back into politics and sort everything out because it really is a bit of a mess since you retired. Now where am I driving you to today sir?” And I am obliged to tell them that the truth – is – simply that I have never been happier and much as I might be needed I have far too much to do. Whether tending to my lawn or giving the occasional after dinner speech or pottering about in the kitchen while I listen to the latest Mumford and Sons EP I am just too busy. The vote that took place on June 23rd 2016 is a very insignificant part of my time in office. In 50 or 60 years I doubt people will be looking back and talking about that very short bit of my premiership. I will be remembered as the PM who jogged, the one who reduced the deficit, who left the country a better place than when I came to power and who wanted us all to reach out to young men in hoods – and hug them. Tight.

jayda
Jayda at home

Jayda Fransen

It’s disgusting right because the Police have had it in for me and I was saying to Maurice that’s my Nan’s third husband that I can’t even walk down the road because I got the Police on my back and them people at Number 12 look through the curtains and I’m convinced they’re laughing at me because of that time I got off with Robert the guy at the whasisname the Burger King in Brent Cross and he dropped his chips and the ketchup gone all down my front and then that Sheena who worked at the Post Office before she had the twins laughed at me in Gossips Disco in St Albans and said I looked like I didn’t wash. *Breathes* And Brexit yeah they told us we would get all the immigrants out and that but they’re still coming across the sea and if you say that or shout at the Pakistanis down the kebab shop and call them all rapsists and child whatsisnames the Old Bill come round and they arrest you because its illegal now to be a racist. We should definitely not join the European Onion. Give the money to vets and other people what looks after animals.

Dominic Cummings

First we needed to get hold of Stronger In’s machine – but that was the simple part. Encrypting their message made it so fiendishly hard to fathom that nobody could understand it at all – including the Remainers on their own side. So along with Matthew Elliott and young Darren Grimes I built a machine – a decoding device that I named: “Take back Control” after a child with whom I had had a sensitive friendship at school. If you fed literally anything into this machine it came out with the same message: “Take back control!” It said. And that is how we won the war.

vote leave team
Cummings and the Vote Leave team in 2016 – Darren Grimes in jumper on the right

Jeremy Corbyn

It is quite wrong to say that I did nothing for the Remain campaign. I fought passionately for the country to stay in a Reformed European Union. On the 12th of June – on my way to a conference on solidarity with the persecuted leaders of Socialist Republics in Latin America – I appeared (much against my better judgement) at a house in Darlington and had a conversation with a woman on the doorstep of her home. During a lull in the photo op she asked me if she should vote in or out. I told her that it was her decision but that on the balance of probability, despite the EU being controlled by the vested interests of billionaire bankers who probably wanted to eat her, she should vote to stay in – because that was Labour policy. Although not one I necessarily agreed with. But she should do that. If she wanted. Free country. Wouldn’t have been my choice.

David Davis

I was delighted when the British people voted overwhelmingly to leave the rotten old EU. Unfortunately since then we’ve been let down by politicians. People say to me: “But David – you’re a politician and you were even Brexit Secretary for two years – so don’t you bear some responsibility?” To which the answer is “No” followed by a big hearty disdainful laugh. “But seriously!” These annoyingly persistent people continue: “You were quite literally the Brexit Secretary! You had forty years to come up with a plan……. Yack … yack … yack.” The key to a good negotiation strategy is: ‘knowing what you want.’ Failing that use distraction. Never fails – hold on ….. what’s that? Behind you!

protest
Sue left – at a major pro-Leave demo

Suzanne Evans

I never really wanted to go into politics. But I think I speak for most people around the world, when I say that I am very glad that I did. The UKIP manifesto of 2015 – which I wrote – is now considered a classic of the genre and the turning point in modern political history. The very model of what a great manifesto should be. My policy, which I came up with, of removing the Great Britain of United Kingdom from the European Union went on to make history. It was clear to me from a caravanning holiday in Normandy in 2003 that our relationship with the EU would never work out. Nobody could speak English properly and on one occasion – after I had momentarily forgotten to ‘drive on the right’ a Spanish man shouted “Cuidado!” at me very rudely, bringing back painful memories of the Falklands war which I had watched on the news in the early 1980s. Hundreds of countries are not in Europe. Japan does perfectly well. And Australia. And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that in both cases – they drive on the left and don’t speak Spanish. When the British people voted to leave the horrid European project in 2016 I like to think that a lot of them were teaching that nasty little Spanish man a much needed lesson. “Cuidado!” indeed. To me!

NOTE: Satirical content – as told to Otto English

Brexit Spam: As the Un-civil War rumbles on the only growth industry is terrible Brexit analogies.

I was accused last week of coming up with too many shitty Brexit analogies and so on that basis and in keeping with my mission statement – here are a few more.

Brexit Britain increasingly resembles that Monty Python sketch where a couple go into a café and are offered spam with everything. People don’t want to hear about it. Many seek actively to avoid it – but short of sealing yourself in a bunker on Rockall and stuffing your ears with cement there’s no escaping it.

Brexit’s so ubiquitous, that you half expect to see it on the weather.

“Brexit will sweep in from the East this morning. A few backstops elsewhere but into the West mostly hard, while there’ll be a cold front of manufacturing heading out from the North and into the Continent.”

In the two years since the UK voted to quit the EU, the ‘B’ word has come to infuse everything – like a rancid cheese in your fridge or dog shit that you can’t get out of the treading of your shoes.

Brexit is like graffiti. It hangs around in bus shelters, it sullies up the place. It lurks in stairwells and commuter trains threatening to rob you of your sanity. It rubs off on your coat. It’s ugly and costly. Look up from your phone and it is there and with Theresa May’s deal set to fail there is no sight of escape any time soon.

For two and half years, the topic has dominated our politics, our friendships, our social interactions. I have Remain voting acquaintances who have blocked their own parents on Facebook because of it. I’ve fallen out with old mates. We long ago stopped talking to Grandad about it. Brexit has become less and less about politics and the pros and cons of membership of a trade bloc and more and more like a civil war.

naseby
Brexit – Naseby with tweets

Say that of course and you get accused of over-stating the current divisions and pushing your Brexit analogies too far – but I’m sorry that’s what it is. It is a civil war. If these events had unfolded in the 17th century, we would have spent the last two years firing musket shot at each other, shoving pikes up one another’s arses and hanging people from trees rather than tweeting angrily at Newsnight. It’s brother against brother, daughter against mother, neighbour against neighbour, region against region. It’s toxic, it’s acrimonious and at times it has spilled into actual violence.

In 2016, even the most die-hard Brexiter or Remainer couldn’t have predicted that we would be fighting this mêlée of madness two and a half years later. Yes, nobody ever promised that it would ‘all be over by Christmas’ but few could have guessed that the lines for the most part wouldn’t have broken. Far from it. If anything, as the ‘war’ has progressed the fronts have become far more entrenched. Both sides have dug in. Pyrrhic victories have been claimed as major breakthroughs that will end deadlock once and for all – but nothing really has changed….. apart from this one thing – most people in the country are sick to fucking death of it all and long for peace.

In war the biggest victims tend to be the civilian populations. In most conflicts they are the ones who are killed by rampaging armies shortly after their homes have been burnt to the ground. In this war they risk being bored to death.  As Westminster continues to wage its internecine battle aided and abetted by the news and commentariat there is a whole nation out there that is being ignored even as it is bombarded with raining tins of Brexit Spam. The all-encompassing fog of the battle has suffocated engagement on all the other stuff. Education, NHS funding, climate change, social mobility, the division between rich and poor.

Occasionally Jeremy Corbyn sticks his wizened old head out like a soporific tortoise and tries to talk about Venezuela – but that’s about it in terms of variety.

The Conservatives have now been in power for seven and a half years – half of which has been spent on Brexit. And here’s the rub – the topic itself is a wholly unnecessary project – of no benefit to woman, man or beast. It is a folly. A hunt for the Snark, a waste of time, of energy and money that could have been better expended on things of actual benefit to the people of Great Britain.

As we – and yes I include humble me in this – blab on and on about Brext – the silent majority are increasingly war-weary and tired of the very mention of the word. As MPs hold yet another debate and the whole omnishambolic cavalcade of shit rumbles into another year – most Britons just wish it would stop.

Still – at least the Brexit analogy sector is a growth industry huh.

shut up

Theresa May’s Brexit Christmas Carol

Brexit Britain was dead. There was no doubt about that. Doctor Fox had believed it would recover – but belief was not enough. Old May had signed Article 50.

As she trudged through the snow back to her lodgings, Mrs May passed men carrying gammons and others who were managing to walk by themselves. The rest of the Cabinet and parliament may have gone on holiday for two weeks at the height of the greatest political crisis in history – but there was no rest for Old May.

The fog and frost so hung about the old gateway that it seemed as if the genius of Brexit himself was haunting the door. But it was nearly midnight and David Davis would still be eating lunch. Gove – lurched out of the shadows – clutching at a bag of straws.

“A Merry Brexit Christmas Mrs May!” Young Michael yelled.

“What do you want?” May growled as she approached, “probably hoping for a day off tomorrow on account of it being……”

“Why yes Mrs May ….it’s just Tiny Tim Martin and some of the boys from the ERG are having a lunch in Wetherspoons – no brussels and chlorinated chicken – I was rather hoping I might go.”

“Bah Strasbourg!” Old May hated Christmas, “go but you won’t be getting any OBEs however much you smarm up to me. Anyway – we’ve run out of metal.”

The Old House at Number 10 was cold and dark and May had no appetite for gruel that evening. She climbed the winding stairway past the portraits of old Prime Ministers – glaring down at her. As she passed each by it seemed to come alive.

“Boooooo!” Atlee jeered.

“Where’s your Dunkirk spirit!” Churchill added.

“Don’t look at me for support – you’ve made a right pig’s ear of things!” Thatcher chipped in. “I’ll be confiscating your Christmas milk.”

Old May climbed into her nightgown and blew out the candle. But just then a cellar door burst open and there were creaking footsteps on the stairs. The bedroom door was pushed aside and into the room stepped John Major – dressed from head to toe in a suit of the purest grey.

May had often heard it said that Major had no balls – but now he was surrounded by them – clanking at the length of a long chain.

“You’ve been ignoring my many appearances on the Andrew Marr television programme and other similar news and current affairs outlets.” Major began – smelling distinctly of curry.

“Dreadful vision!” Old May screamed – falling to her knees.

“Well a bit unfair – I mean Marr does do his best!”

“No youuuuu. Yoooouuuu. Why do you haunt me so? And why are you fettered to that heap of balls?”

marley
Major’s ghost and his Terry Major Balls

“I wear the chain I forged in office.” Major replied. “That pink one is Portillo fresh from another one of his train journeys, that lightweight one is Peter Lilley and the others are all Michael Howard. Beware the IDS of March the 29th……..”

“But isn’t that something else altogether….”

“Silence woman! In the course of this evening you will be visited by three ghosts – and now I must away…..”

May followed him to the window – desperate in her curiosity – but Major was gone – seeping seamlessly into a paving stone.

Presently she felt a cold wind behind her and turned. Standing alone in the midst of her bedroom was an odd figure – like a child yet not so like a child as an old man. Jacob Rees-Mogg looked about himself and muttered:

“A pity it is a terrace. Still I suppose it will do for Nanny.”

“Oh spirit of the night – what do you want of me?”

“I am the ghost of Christmas past!” Jacob intoned. “Come to show you how wonderful everything was before it was ruined by progress.”

He swept her in his top hat and soon they alighted by a Victorian workhouse. Inside children – some as young as five – worked away shoeless at metal lathes.

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Christmas past – happy urchins working hard

“Can you see what socialized welfare, health and safety and education for ‘ordinary people’ has done?” Jacob implored softly as another child’s pals gathered round in a spirit of goodwill to carry his dismembered arm out of the workhouse and throw him out after it. “These children had purpose and jobs as chimney sweeps until such time as they died of diphtheria or bullet holes – but now their descendants sit about the place getting fat on hamburgers and not knowing one end of a rifle from another.”

“OH what happiness there is!” May agreed – taking in the scene.

She turned – but Rees Mogg had gone – spirited away in a Bentley and in his place was a hideous ogre of a man – so revolting that Old May let out a scream.

“Oh what monster is this?”

“My name is Rupert Murdoch.” The festering apparition managed – extending a withered hand. “Here to show you the Hard Brexit Christmas yet to come.”

“But I was promised three ghosts!” May yelled. “Where are the three ghosts I was promised?”

“It’s the Brexit dividend!” Murdoch shot back “we lied.”

Soon they were riding high above the clouds – until in the distance they saw white cliffs and blue birds and green hills and a ring of unicorns dancing in a circle while Boris Johnson sang Walking in the Air from the peak of a giant tin of Spam.

There were no queues at Dover – the roads were full – yes – but traffic was moving swiftly towards brightly coloured steam ships. And beneath them happy, smiling people – all driving Morris Oxfords waved gaily up at Mrs May while a formation of Spitfires flew overhead.

“God bless you Theresa May!” They cried as one. “Thank you for this wonderful hard Brexit and our blue passports and tins of racist jam!”

And there dotted about the countryside happy Grenadier Guardsmen sat drinking cups of piping hot tea and eating spoonfuls of marmalade – while girls in bright dresses danced about Maypoles.

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Hard Brexit heaven

“You see!” Murdoch whispered in her ear. “It’s a kind of heaven.”

And the music played on and cartoon penguins were dancing and May danced among them. It was all so lovely – so marvelous so –

May awoke and blinked. She was lying in a bus shelter on the Catford gyratory being poked with a stick by a man in a yellow vest.

At the ERG luncheon Tiny Tim Martin and his chums agreed it had been the best Christmas lunch ever at that particular Wetherspoons on that day of that year.

“But next year!” Michael Gove piped up, “someone else can put acid in Theresa May’s tea.”

How “Project Fear” weaponises stupidity.

Wednesday brought a slough of doom and economic gloom to the scant Brexit smorgasbord. Treasury impact analysis was released that indicated that in a ‘worst case scenario’ withdrawal could cut the UK’s GDP by 3.9% over the next 15 years and Chancellor Philip Hammond set off on an eeyorish tour of TV and radio studios reiterating again and again that in every outcome quitting the EU would leave the UK economy poorer.

That’s the Chancellor of the Exchequer telling you that he and his government are actively pursuing a policy which they believe will be detrimental to the economic well-being of our nation.

To lighten the mood – Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, chipped in warning that Brexit and in particular a ‘worst case’ (those words again) no deal Brexit – would cause unemployment to rise, house prices to fall and quite possibly plunge the UK into the worst economic crisis in modern history.

“Fun, fun, fun!” as the Beach Boys so memorably sang.

The news went down in Brexit circles like an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis on a luxury cruise. Lacking the arguments to counter the report findings, the Brexiteers deployed ‘old faithful’ or ‘project fear’ as it is better known. Sensing perhaps that “PF” had grown a little stale, the trope was upgraded to ‘project hysteria’ and Rees-Mogg and chums spluttered their way around Westminster casting aspersions on Mr Carney, his CV, Canada, people called Mark and the use of numbers in general.

Those with long memories will recall that ‘Project Fear’ was first deployed in the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, but it only really came into its own during the EU campaign of 2016. It is (and it pains me to say it) in many ways a brilliant campaigning strategy because it weaponises ignorance. Anyone can deploy ‘Project Fear’ for the simple reason that you don’t need to know or understand anything if you have ‘project fear’ in your arsenal.

“But this detailed expert analysis shows….”

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Now THAT is Project Fear

“Look!!!! He’s using PROJECT FEAR!!!!”

“But WTO rules will mean hard borders and leave food rotting in containers on both sides of the Channel.”

“Project Fear!!!! Project Fear!!!”

“Look do you really have any idea of what this will do to the pound, your ability to travel, the food on your plate, the value of your home…?”

“Listen to him! What does he know? Did he predict 2008? The ERM? The euro??? I don’t think so. We are sick of experts! Project Fear!”

Far easier to shout ‘Project Fear!’ than to dig into some boring article that lays out the fairly credible economic risks of May’s proposals or the very obvious folly of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. And so you hear it used as near constant background noise. “Is this all just Project Fear Mark 2?” LBC’s Iain Dale and his ilk ask listeners who phone in to tell him that yes it is.

But it is the depressing regularity with which ‘Project Fear’ is deployed by politicians that should perhaps worry us the most. It’s lazy enough when used by journalists but when trotted out by the ERG rump it becomes a smoke screen and a decoy. Far too often they get away with it because broadcast journalists give it a wink, a nudge and a free pass. That is very dangerous indeed. As the UK drives, foot on accelerator, headlong into the brick wall of March 29th – all the shouts of ‘Project Fear’ in the world won’t make up for our collective lack of a seatbelt.

Clucking madness – how Brexit may pluck the UK poultry industry and put chlorinated chicken on your plate.

We eat a lot of chicken in this country. 95% of us have it at least twice a week. That’s nearly 900 million chickens bred and slaughtered, another 400 million imported (mostly from the EU) and a grand total of 6.3 billion portions served in British homes and restaurants every year. Between April and July 2017 nearly half of the population ate a take-away chicken meal and in 2011 Chicken Tikka Masala was famously judged to be the nation’s favourite dish.

We’re clucking mad for it and while that is unlikely to change any time soon Brexit will affect chicken consumption as surely as it will affect anything else.

An awful lot of energy has gone into talking up the benefits Brexit will visit on our fishing industry but you won’t see Mr Farage near a poultry abattoir any time soon. And there’s a reason for that. Chickens aren’t sexy and slaughtering them even less so. As an island nation, the mythos of the noble weather-beaten fisherman in his yellow mac, steering his trawler into brooding seas to bring a little fishy, for a little dishy looms large. Nobody ever made a children’s book about the brutal process of bringing a drumstick to your plate. The mass rearing and mass slaughter of poultry lacks the essential romance of man pitched against herring.

Chicken farming is big business and an important contributor to the UK economy. Poultry supports £3.3bn of Gross Value to the UK economy (GVA) while fishing adds just £1.4bn. The industry employs 35,000 compared to the 12,000 who work dredging the sea.

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Liam Fox – keen to see chlorinated washed chicken in the UK – he won’t be eating it

The poultry industry already struggling with tight margins to meet the demand for cheap and available meat is dreading the coming of Brexit and lobbying hard against. The situation is compounded because many employees are EU nationals and that means disaster if they all go home. 60% of the entire industry’s workforce comes from the EU and in some cases 90% of workers in factories are from Europe.

“It’s a brutal and hard job,” one former owner tells me “and British people simply won’t do it. All of our workers come from Poland or other EU countries and a lot of them will just go elsewhere.”

With the government suggesting that only high skilled workers will be welcome post-Brexit the poultry industry is facing a very uncertain future indeed. Rearing chickens, killing chickens, plucking chickens, gutting chickens, chopping chickens up and packaging them is not ‘skilled labour.’ Once the migrant workers have gone it is very unlikely indeed that British workers will step up to take their place. Brexit could make even basic chicken prodcuts harder to get – and considerably more expensive.

But if you’re worried that your KFC is going to suddenly cost a lot more then don’t panic just yet – because help (of sorts) is on its way. The poultry farmers of America are coming. Or rather – they’d like to. US farmers have long objected to all that horrid EU legislation because it means they are unable to export their birds into the large and hungry European market. You see, in order to export into the single market you have to abide by the laws of the single market – and those laws are tough.

You up for some chicken regulations? Well good – strap yourselves in and let’s go.

EU council directive 2007/43/CE sets out the minimum conditions for raising broilers. Barns used for raising chickens must have adequate light, food, water, ventilation and space. Workers have to have adequate training and a certificate attesting they have attended an approved training course. Holding areas must be thoroughly inspected twice a day. Barns must have hard floors with adequate clean bedding and have to be thoroughly cleaned, sterilised and inspected on a regular basis. There are rules on handling chickens. Rules on what they can eat. Rules on what you can do before during and after a batch has been raised. Stocking density must not exceed 33kg/mg ……. etc. etc. etc…….. boring isn’t it. A lot of EU legislation is. That’s kind of the point. The EU is brilliant at the dull end of things – that’s why Boris Johnson made up all that guff about bananas up.

Like I said – chicken production is not sexy. There are no boats. No stiff breezes. No salty seamen.

But that dull old Directive 2007/43/CE ensures that the meat which reaches your plate has been reared to standards higher than anywhere on Earth – that the animals in their brief lives have been shown some dignity (and yes it could be better) and that you and your family are unlikely to die or be hospitalised as a result of contaminated meat.

In the US by contrast there are no animal welfare laws surrounding the rearing of poultry. Yes. That’s right. None. Zero. Farmers can shove as many birds as they like into the sheds and provide as little light and ventilation as they deem necessary. Chickens in the US live their short existence shitting and pecking in confined spaces on earth floors, packed as tightly as is feasible and when they are carted off for the chop there’s no incentive or law insisting that the crap is cleaned up properly. New straw is put down over the shit and dirt and the process renews. It’s filthy, it’s unhygienic and it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and disease.

Rather than bothering with all that pesky animal welfare stuff the Americans pack em high and then to ensure that the customers don’t all die, they sterilise the meat by washing the dead bird carcasses with chlorine.

Mmmmmm. Chicken bucket anyone?

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Dan Hannan MEP is the son of a Peruvian chicken farmer and he doesn’t see a problem with chlorinated chicken. He’s not alone. Lots of Brexit voices from the guys at Guido Fawkes to Jacob Rees-Mogg have ‘no problem’ with it. And do you know why that is? Well it’s because they won’t be eating it. Because if America manages to import this stuff into the UK it will go to the bottom end of the market and end up in fast food restaurants and frozen meals. I doubt Jacob Rees-Mogg steps out at the KFC much. You rarely see Dan Hannan down the Ladywell kebab house. Good news for young ‘Octopus’ and the other kids because while everyone insists that chlorinated chicken is perfectly safe, the statistics tell a different story.

Take salmonella. In the US there are 1.2 million cases every year, 23,000 hospitalisations and 450 deaths. In the EU as a whole (and bear in mind there are 150 million more EU citizens than Americans) there were 1,766 hospitalisations in 2016 and just ten deaths.

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Guido Fawkes intern Tom presents irrefutable evidence

So in essence something as mundane as your chicken nuggets, or your Balti, or that nice lunch time chicken wrap is affected by Brexit. If the EU migrants quit and the domestic industry suffers that’s not just a hole in the economy but a massive hole in your bank balance if – of course – you want a roast on Sunday or an M and S chicken sandwich. It will cost more. Probably a lot more. If the USA gets in on the action you’ll be eating an inferior product raised in unsavoury and unsanitary conditions. But hey – at least you’ll be able to cuddle up to your precious fucking sovereignty huh.

At least you’ll have that.