One of the things that I’ve been most surprised about during my enforced hiatus is the number of people who got in touch not just to wish me well (thank you!), but to tell me that they missed my occasional rants on here.
I was surprised not because I expected that the Friday Night Music Club would be the most missed series I write here (heaven forbid), but more because I figured my rants were largely preaching to the converted, telling you nothing you didn’t already know.
I checked back to see when I last wrote one: July 16th 2022. This was post-Boris, but in the middle of the jousting to become his successor, which means I didn’t have chance to write a single thing about Liz Truss and her remarkably succesful and long-lived occupancy of No.10 (sense the tone).
This disappointed me, because here was some rich comic/ranty pickings and I bloody missed it.
But fear not because – what’s that coming over the hill? Why, it’s Liz Truss on the comeback trail. Hoorah! Welcome back Liz!
A close ally (of hers, not mine), who, suprisingly, chose to remain anonymous, said: “Liz has taken a few months to gather her thoughts [That’s thoughts. Not thought. Thoughts. Plural!] and is now ready to speak about her time in office and the current state of play.”
Which she did: apparently, she was never given a “realistic chance” to implement her tax-cutting agenda, and was brought down by the combination of a “powerful economic establishment” and a lack of support from within the Conservative party.
A reminder: her radical tax-cutting budget riled financial markets, sank the pound, took British pension plans to the brink of collapse and led to a revolt within her own Conservative Party.
No: this was nothing to do with her economy-crashing ideas which, as they spectacularly unravelled in record time, led to her to throw Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng under the nearest bus in a desperate attempt to save her own skin:
Actually, that comparison is a little unfair; Scooby and Co only ever looked to blame those interfering kids, not the (notoriously!) left-wing economic establishment, who barely got a mention.
Truss is right of course: hop on rush-hour public transport in London on a week day morning, and after all the red braces and filofax brigade have alighted, all that’s left is not used/read/soiled copies of the Metro, as you would expect, but instead train and bus cabs are literally littered with discarded copies of Das Kapital, pertinent paragraphs furiously circled in biro or highlighted with marker pen.
In an unintended display of just how poor her maths skills are, Truss said: “I have lost track of how many people have written to me or approached me since leaving Downing Street to say that they believe my diagnosis of the problems causing our country’s economic lethargy was correct and that they shared my enthusiasm for the solutions I was proposing.”
Er…how many fingers do you have on each hand, Liz? Now take away four. You have lost track no longer. You’re welcome.
This probably, inadvertently, explains her economic policy, because if she can’t measure that on the fingers on one hand, then her plans for the country’s economy was not exactly in safe hands. David “Safe Hands” Seaman would have been a better bet, and he was last seen advertising “…affordable, high quality, energy efficient and secure windows and doors.” And he’s cut his shit ponytail off in an attempt to gain some authenticity and gravitas.
Which, inevitably, leads me to this:
Safe and reliable, right? Just as nobody wanted to shake hands with Seaman that night, you need to face it Liz: nobody wants to associate with you. You are, to quote Britney:
The prospect of Liz Truss making any kind of succesful comeback would be laughable, were it not for another former PM trying to do exactly the same thing. You know the chap: serial liar, shit hair cut, can’t keep his old chap zipped in. Sound familiar?
See, because there has been that Truss buffer, between his inept Premiership and now, the danger is that many will forget what a self-serving, lying, law-breaking stain on our democracy Boris Johnson was, and will fall for his frankly unfathomable charms once again.
Before we go any further, a quick reminder that Todger Johnson is currently contesting the Partygate allegations against him, and, assuming that you’re a fine and upstanding UK tax-paying member of society like me, that challenge is being funded by you and I:
The Wonder Stuff – It’s Yer Money I’m After Baby
At the same time, it was recently reported that Johnson was understood to have agreed to buy a £4m nine-bedroom, Grade II-listed home in Oxfordshire. With a moat, presumably to keep the oiks out.
Now, for the likes of you and I to get legal aid – that is, help with paying the legal costs in whatever legal dispute we may be involved in – we would have to show that (and this, from the government’s own website): a) the problem is serious (which sounds disconcertingly vague), and b) you cannot afford to pay for legal costs.
Call me old fashioned or out of touch, but someone who can afford to buy a £4m property does not sound to me like someone who cannot also afford to cover their own legal costs (although we can’t rule out a generous benefactor helping him out. Maybe someone with aspirations to be…oh, I don’t know…the chairman of the BBC).
But no: apparently, on top of all the extra shit we’re having to pay for right now – which cannot be contested, challenged or legislated against, for fear of upsetting the non-Russian contributors to the Tory pot – we also have to chip in for Johnson and his legal defence. Seems fair, right?
Anyway, I digress. Much as I loathe him (too), current PM (at the time of writing) Rishi Sunak, with his Windsor Agreement, seems to have sorted out the mess that is the Withdrawal Agreement which Johnson signed off on, which, from the sudden escalation in violence in Northern Ireland, is perhaps not quite the “oven-ready deal” that was pitched to us in the last election. Johnson lied to us, who’d have thunk it?
We already knew this, of course, for when he was still in power, Johnson performed one of the least convincing volte-faces in the history of, well, everything when, having promised that there wouldn’t be an Irish backstop (effectively an insurance policy in UK-EU Brexit negotiations, meant to make sure that the Irish border remained open, whatever the outcome of the UK and the EU’s negotiations about their future relationship after Brexit) or any checks at or near the border in Northern Ireland, or in the Irish Sea between the UK mainland and Ireland, when the latter inevtiably happened following agreement by Johnson, in contravention of the Good Friday Agreement, he claimed that the Withdrawal Agreement (which, just to emphasise, he signed off – “oven ready” and all that), was useless and needed to be renegotiated.
To summarise that: he knew what he agreed was rubbish, and now, having achieved what he wanted (election, big majority, power, etc.), he thought he could just change the deal. You know, like you can with deals you’ve already agreed.
And now he’s stood on the sidelines – just as he was when Theresa May was trying to negotiate the terms of Brexit – lobbing hand grenades and claiming they’re getting it all wrong. He’s like Alan Partridge telling the Bond-fest contributers that they were “…getting Bond wrong…”, that he could do so much better (clip posted before, always worth a watch, and the comparison stands). I can’t resist (Part 1):
…and then how Johnson views himself (I can’t resist (Part 2):
Dennis Waterman – I Could Be So Good For You
Don’t fall for it twice folks: he’s not interested in what’s best for the people of the UK, or Northern Ireland (part of the UK, I know, I’m making a point): all he is interested in is himself, what power and influence he can attain, and where his next extra-marital fuck can come from (I bet he’s gutted that both Sturgeon and Merkel are off the menu, he must have tried at least once each).
But credit where credit’s due: Sunak has struck a deal with the EU which gives Northern Ireland access to both the EU and the UK markets, without the need for any of this trifling border talk. And here he is bigging it up:
Hoorah for Rishi! He’s got Northern Ireland access to both the EU and the UK markets and this is the best thing…ever!
Oh hang on. Isn’t that what we had in the UK before Brexit?
Yup. Pretty sure we did.
But apparently the comparison between what has been agreed in this wonderful deal for Northern Ireland – which is clearly THE! BEST! THING! EVER! – and what us in the rest of the UK is lumbered with cannot be made.
Which leads me here: the apparent absence of fresh vegetables – specifically tomatoes – in our supermarkets.
Me? I just want to buy some tomatoes.
Remainers say that it’s because of Brexit, the breakdown in food supply chains, additional paperwork, etc.
Brexit supporters, on the other hand, pull their heads out of the sand long enough to point to adverse weather conditions in the countries growing the crops as being the reason for the failure (I cannot, in all conscience, continue to call supporters of Brexit ‘Brexiteers’, since it imbues them with some sort of glamour, glory or flair, a natural talent which, as far as I can see, they do not deserve. Despite what they say, they’re not fighting for the good of us all, they’re either a) protecting they’re off-shore investments and the non-tax-paying arrangements they have in place, b) are not yet ready to accept the over-whelming evidence that Brexit was a shit idea, or c) are just fucking idiots).
That said, they’re right. Up to a point. The weather is a factor in the supply chain problems.
Let’s take tomatoes as a case in point, since it is the lack of availability of our not-vegetable friends (it’s a fruit! Deal with it!) which is causing the most outrage.
See, during winter-times (i.e. now), we mostly import our tomatoes from Morocco.
But Morocco also has a trade agreement with the EU.
They cannot supply to both. So, faced with the choice of pissing off one of their biggest and most lucrative customers (the EU), or one of their smallest and least profitable, (the UK) they have taken the entirety sensible business step of keeping their biggest, most powerful contact as well stocked as can be managed, and pushed us, lowly little non-EU UK, to our rightful place in the queue.
So yes, the shortage may be down to adverse weather conditions, but supply to the UK is not.
But fear not! Environment Secretary Therese Coffey had ridden over the hill on her silver steed and proclaimed that people complaining about the tomato shortage should consider eating turnips instead. “[It’s] important we cherish the specialisms we have in this country,” she said. “A lot of people would be eating turnips right now.”
Don’t you just love the whole “coping with the economic crisis” advice we keep getting from the goverment, which saves them from actually doing something about it?
There’s a government funded advert on TV at the moment which helpfully suggests that we can save energy by turning down the radiators in rooms we don’t use. Who’s heating empty rooms?? Only idiots who need this kind of advice, that’s who.
The specialisms Coffey refers to seems to include having fucking idiots in charge.
Anyway, apparently, turnips are the same as tomatoes. I mean, who doesn’t love a delicious cheese and turnip sandwich? Or a salad, beautifully embellished by a juicy turnip? Or perhaps a splurge of turnip ketchup with our Friday night chips?
Ah, those sunlit Brexit uplands we were promised are now reduced to “let them eat turnips.”
The French revolted for less – but they’re in the EU, so best pretend they don’t exist, whilst we argue about where they can fish.
It seems Therese Coffey is the latest incarnation of Baldrick, where the answer to every problem is: a turnip.
Elsewhere in the (as I write this) current cabinet is Suella Braverman. A little background history: Braverman was appointed Home Secretary when Truss became Prime Minister. She then resigned as Home Secretary after she breached the Ministerial Code by sending sensitive information using her personal email address. Despite this. she was then reinstated as Home Secretary six days later by Rishi Sunak.
A big part of her job is dealing with immigration, and she has gone on record as saying: “I would love to have a front page of The Telegraph [where else?] with a plane taking off to Rwanda, that’s my dream, it’s my obsession.”
Anyway, I mention her now because of a song which her name reminds me of, but unfortunately you have to suspend disbelief for a moment for it to work. See, before I had heard it, when i had only seen her name written down, I had assumed it was pronounced Bray-ver-man as opposed to the correct enunciation of Brah-ver-man. But in that short window of mispronunciation, this tune lodged in my brain whenever I saw or read anything about her, the title of the song being replaced by her name; a tune which, given her love of immigrants (her own family excluded), I’m sure she’d appreciate:
A reminder: whilst Braverman was born in Harrow and raised in Wembley, her parents were immigrants, arriving from in Britain Indian in the 1960s from Mauritius and Kenya. Hmmm. Without immigration, Braverman wouldn’t be here, and I literally would not be writing this, so in some respects I do sort of see her point.
David Bowie – Loving The Alien
That’s all I have to say, and I wish I could put it more eloquently than this: don’t believe a word the Tories say, they’re all self-serving duplicitous twats.
This seems appropriate to round things off:
The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
And I haven’t even started on the leaking of Matt Hancock’s Whats App messages (is it leaking if you’ve voluntarily handed all of the ‘leaked’ info over to a journalist?) or the demonising of Sue Gray from the right because her report doesn’t say what they wanted it to?