A: He was on the pitch.
In what is being described as a canny PR move by the coalition government, the Tories and the Lib Dems have engaged in an argument so hysterical and ludicrous that the writers of the implausibly popular soap are said to be taking notes and are planning on weaving a similar story into a future plot line.
The kerfuffle started when chief education clown Michael Gove published a discreet notice in the Daily Mail indicating his intention to ‘take us back to the good old days’ by introducing a raft of sweeping reforms which he appears to have come up with by consulting the kind of bitter twisted old twazzock you find in a dingy pub at three in the afternoon telling anyone who’ll listen that “kids these days don’t know they’re born”.
Gove’s ‘reforms’, which promise to be as successful as the time Facebook floated on the stock market, chiefly comprise siphoning off children onto separate streams such as ‘this is what the inside of a factory looks like’ or ‘would you like fries with that?’ at the age of five if they have any of the following conditions:
1) An inability to have been born south of Hampstead Heath
2) Difficulty spelling the word ‘privilege’
3) A failure to recognise Margaret Thatcher as supreme overlord of creation
Gove has publicly shied away from phrases such as ‘proudly creating the underclass of tomorrow’ or ‘turning the inequality gap into the inequality chasm – get the grubby bastards away from us!’, but has privately had these and more tattooed upon his left buttock.
Other aspects of the changes include a return to sepia tone for all schools, increased pipe-smoking and child molestation for teachers, a marked decline in standards and the re-introduction of the term ‘Johnny Foreigner’, coupled with a healthy splash of racism, to truly bring back the golden age of British education.
Nick Clegg has reacted less than positively to the news. After releasing a statement which simply read “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”, the coalition’s best-used punching bag called a press conference in which he wept hysterically for over two hours, occasionally pausing to shriek that he was “going to slap that slag so hard”, before going on to defend spouse David Cameron in an impassioned and terrifying address:
“David doesn’t know anything about it. This Gove bitch has been sniffing around him for ages, trying to get at him, buying him little gifts and shit, and yeah they’ve been out for coffee and David kissed him WHEN HE WAS DRUNK which is obviously not cheating, but David didn’t know anything about the school thing. He told me. He promised. He said that he hadn’t even seen Michael in weeks and that the reason he didn’t come home last night and when he did he smelt like Michael’s perfume was because he’d been fishing all night and obviously fish smell just like Michael Gove’s perfume and it was a trout that gave him that lovebite. I believe him.
“David wouldn’t do that to me. HE LOVES ME. Tell the bitch that I will take him down and I don’t even care if I ruin my nails when I gouge his fucking eyes out.”
David Cameron has not at all suspiciously kept completely silent while Clegg has been going absolutely batshit, but Nick is starting to suspect something is up as David has become more ‘distant’ in lovemaking sessions.
Leading analysts, however, believe that the developments are all a stunt to win favour with the notoriously easily-pleased British public. Sarah Chalmers, of Djemba-Djemba Consulting, said: “The Tories are really winning voters over with this tacky display of nonsense. Support amongst people who would call their first child Wanker “because it’s funny” is up over 200%. All they need now is a dog that can walk on its hind legs and they’ll be unstoppable. Wait…dog on hind legs…Nick Clegg….SHIIIIIIIIIT.”
Gideon’s been doing writing! I’ve spruced it up a bit.
We are approaching a moment of truth for the eurozone. After more than two years of uncertainty, instability and slow growth, decisions taken over the next few months could determine the economic future of the whole European continent for the next decade and beyond.
Sweeping yet pleasingly vague intro: check.
Despite our huge budget deficit and massive banking system – I feel all gooey when I say massive banking system – , our economy is benefiting from safe-haven status because of this Government’s incredibly slapdash plan to deal with Britain’s debts – we have reduced the deficit by more than a quarter in just two years by selling literally everything we have, raiding small children’s pocket money and putting out Nick Clegg as a high class escort. Along with countries such as Germany and the US, investors are putting their money into the UK, driving down the interest rates on our government debt. Lower corporate tax rates and other reforms to make Britain open for business, like a greasy spoon, are also sharpening our competitive edge. But our recovery – already facing powerful headwinds from high oil prices and the debt burden left behind by the boom years – did I just use the phrase powerful headwinds? – is being killed off by the crisis on our doorstep.
This crisis, however, is providing a convenient smokescreen for our own fiscal ineptitude, so I’m going to skim over it a bit in the next couple of paragraphs and play down our involvement. Cool?
I know from watching the Apprenctice that our country is bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and exciting investment plans that are being held back because of uncertainty about the future. That’s why a resolution of the eurozone crisis would do more than anything else to give our economy a boost, and then we could turn the UK into a fucking massive call centre. Glorious.
The latest bout of uncertainty has been focused on the future of the Spanish banking system. Bloody Spaniards. Can’t trust them. There are already signs that a solution will be found, probably involving Germany buying another country. We should acknowledge that as each wave of the crisis has reached its peak, the countries of the eurozone have taken some very difficult decisions to defuse the pressure. But the lesson of the last two years is that treating the latest symptom does not cure the underlying condition. Cunningly, I’m not really going to explain what that condition is.
I have argued for a year now that the eurozone needs to follow the “remorseless logic” of monetary union towards much greater fiscal integration. These political implications were the main reason why I and many others, including The Sunday Telegraph, campaigned against UK membership of the euro. In countries such as the UK and the US we are familiar with the features of a stable single currency area. The solution in the eurozone doesn’t have to be a full-blown United States of the Eurozone, but if it is to be successful it is likely to include most of the mechanisms that make other currencies work: more support from stronger economies to help weaker economies adjust; more pooling of resources, whether through common eurobonds or Germany buying another country; a shared backstop for the banking system through a banking union; and as a consequence much closer collective oversight of fiscal and financial policy.
These are all decisions for the eurozone. The question for us in Britain is what approach we should take to these developments. I have spent the last few paragraphs preaching unity, and am now going to make one of the u-turns my government is so famous for.
The Government is clear that it is strongly in Britain’s interests for our biggest export market to succeed; the risks for us of a disorderly outcome are huge. We will also not stand in the way of further political integration among the eurozone countries that any successful solution will require, including a banking union. At the same time it’s entirely reasonable for us to seek safeguards that protect British taxpayers and preserve the single market for all EU members. Far from seeking opt-outs as some claim, we want to deepen and enhance the single market. An integrated single market, including in financial services, is strongly in Britain’s national interest, and indeed in Europe’s too. But the rules that govern it must continue to be determined by all 27 members of the EU.
Equally, further pooling of sovereignty – for example over fiscal policy and financial supervision – must be limited to the countries in the eurozone. If countries in the eurozone cannot meet their liabilities, for example to protect bank depositors, then it is natural for the other eurozone nations to stand behind them, as long as those countries don’t include us. In return, it is understandable that those countries would want a say in how banks across the eurozone are supervised and dealt with in a crisis. That is why a banking union is a natural extension of a single currency. If other non-eurozone countries in the EU, who unlike the UK have a legal obligation to join the euro, want to opt in to a banking union then that is up to them. But we are clear that Britain will not take part, because it is entirely reasonable to demand all the benefits of the Eurozone without taking on any responsibility. Solidarity brothers! British taxpayers will not stand behind eurozone banks, and British voters want their government to be in charge of supervising our own banks, especially in a crisis. I assume.
Who am I kidding, we’ll definitely help them out. Merkel will hit me if we don’t.
I know that the British people have been let down in the past by governments that promised them a say before more power was transferred to Brussels. I can’t give specific examples of course, but this is the Telegraph so it needed saying. Thanks to this Government that cannot happen again. One of our first and most important acts was to pass into a law a referendum lock, so that any politician proposing to give up more power over our own affairs in any new treaty will have to put that choice to the people. Whatever may lie ahead I find that extremely reassuring, and will continue to do so even when I’m eating my own knees after the food runs out.
Previously best known as mythical creatures providing a stringent tax service for the owners of the world’s bridges, the grotesque lumpen beasts are proving surprisingly adept at lurking on the interweb waiting to unleash words like ‘wankspaz’ on the unsuspecting public.
A troll, who identified herself only as ‘Jemima’, explains the renaissance: “It was a fairly standard Friday, we were just hanging around under bridges waiting to tax people, when Gary turns up with this shiny new MacBook he found. At first we were a bit confused as to what it was; I must admit I tried to have sex with it, but then we worked out that it was basically a machine for calling people pricks and after that we never looked back.
“Frankly, the tax business wasn’t working out. We’d actually eat the money we got, lord knows we never spent any of it on clothes or hygiene products. And it turned out we were really good at internet trolling, so much so they named it after us.
“I told Sylvester Stallone I was going to go to his house and shit on his nan, that was my highlight.”
What to do about trolls? There is some truly vile crap out there which can make people’s lives a misery. Take this for example. The law is only just starting to get a grip, but it’s a complete minefield. The big question is where to draw the line. It’s clear that threats, harassment and downright abuse, see link, are matters for the courts.
A good first step would be to acknowledge that internet anonymity is really a myth. The Facebook ruling this week might go some way towards that. Unless you’re extremely dedicated to not being found, the web is the most traceable medium on the planet. Your surfing behaviour is probably being tracked as we speak by a host of different companies, as the video below highlights. It’s a real cracker actually, well worth a watch:
With that in mind, it’s impossible to think we’re anonymous online. Maybe a better understanding of that might prevent folk from coming out with clever, useful lines like ‘lol gonna kill u bitch’ and such.
Not all trolling is bad, by the way. It’s just like any other form of speech, in that it’s a wide spectrum. On occasion a well thought out trolling is a hilarious thing. David Thorne, aka 27b/6 (you can lose entire days reading his stuff) is an absolute master of the online prank, and he’s not alone.
I think potentially the best way to deal with the nasty kind of troll is simply to laugh, or play along, or remember that the person doing it is probably a pimply 16-year old whose prospects of ever getting laid have pretty much been diminishing solidly since birth.
Or, possibly the best response to trolls is to make a video about them.
This is the greatest thing I have ever seen.
When you tell a three year old he’s going to see the Queen, it’s likely that he’ll take it that literally.
Well that was all rather fun wasn’t it! Four whole days of cheering and bunting and Pimm’s and, importantly, no work.
I think my opinion of the monarchy might have actually changed a bit after this. Being a liberal type, I’m uneasy with people having inherent advantages due to the blind luck of birth, what with it being morally indefensible and all. There’s always been a big question of what purpose the Queen actually serves, and until this weekend I think I’ve been unfairly harsh by categorizing it as ‘sweet FA’.
The Diamond Jubilee, however, has to my mind provided examples of the four invaluable services the monarchy gives us:
- Shared ideals, sense of community, other stuff us left-wingers tend to fail to achieve constantly
- Public holidays. Not to be sniffed at.
- Perhaps most importantly, COMEDY GOLD!
- Prince Phillip (see 3.)
Let’s treat these all separately. Taking number 1, it’s actually been great to see the vast majority of the country rally around a common cause for once. In the UK we’re exceptionally good at creating reasons to be afraid of each other, we’ve got entire media agencies who make a living out of peddling fear, but stood out on the banks of the Thames on Sunday with a million other people from all walks of life cheering on a floating octogenarian did wonders for my own faith in humanity, and was a nice middle finger to the Daily Mail and its ilk. I had verbal contact with at least 10 different strangers, and I was not once raped or stabbed or shot or robbed. I also had a three year old nephew in tow, and I can happily confirm that he did not once get paedophiled.
Three year old nephew was one of the other highlights of the weekend actually. As adults, we tend to get cynical and bitter and indifferent to life (see every other post I have ever written), but small nephew #1 was the epitome of excitement all weekend.
Sunday was also nephew in question’s first trip to London, and after some mild screaming on the tube (“IT’S DARK!”), he was happily waving his flag at every single person he spotted. As well as shouting for the Queen aaaalllll day.
We managed to get him waving at the rich folk on the waterfront balconies at Chelsea in the hope that they’d let us in. This did not pay off.
A kindly elderly couple got him up on a stepladder for part of the flotilla, so he got to see Claire Balding in Gloriana at the head of the procession and he was chuffed with that. Incidentally, a good friend of mine also saw Claire Balding in Gloriana at the head of the procession, assumed it was the Queen and left. He waited at Battersea for three hours to see the Queen, and all he got was Claire Balding. Heartbreaking.
Public holidays. Free days off. Enough said.
Comedy value. There have been some top jokes doing the rounds. My two personal favourites are as follows:
1) I hope the Queen has had a vajazzle done recently so that she can call it her Diamond Foobilee. (This made the top two because I made it up)
2) I hope the Queen has gone for a poo today so she can call it her Diamond Jubilee flotilla.
Just a couple there, if you’ve got some crackers then stick them in the comments.
Prince Phillip. Having a whale of a time on Sunday, decided he couldn’t be arsed with the rest of it. Bang, bladder infection. He’ll be in hospital just long enough for the festivities to end and the commoners to bugger off, then he’ll magically be right as rain.
What a hero.
Anyway, sorry if you were coming into this expecting me to slate the whole event, I just think it’s all been rather excellent.
I’m going to have to start reading the Mail from now on, aren’t I?