The General Election Player Ratings 2017

As I have literally nothing original to add to this squalid, tawdry election, and certainly nothing that will change any of our bitter, ingrained mindsets, I thought I’d waste some of your valuable time rating various politicians and entities for a few cheap laughs. You’re welcome.

Main leaders

Theresa May – 10/10

Could not have asked for better from the PM. Since calling this election, May has diligently set about the task of tearing down her own facade with surgical precision. A visionary who has elevated the humble gaffe from a misplaced word in a speech to an 8 week rolling barrage of ineptitude.

In all likelihood, will still win, but with reputation permanently damaged. Has displayed so little strong and stable leadership that the party have had to ditch that entirely and try to swing back to Brexit, even rolling out Boris for good measure.

Highlights: Trying to position as the person to defeat terror and reduce immigration, having spent 6 years doing that exact job and achieving precisely nothing. Threatening longer prison sentences for terror offences to deter suicide attacks. The thing with the police. The thing with the elderly. Most of it really.

Jeremy Corbyn – 8/10

Decent man with sensible policies and easy manner proves surprisingly popular. Seems to have startled many, including his own party, by not referring to everybody as ‘comrade’ and proposing collective farms in the manifesto. Has made several high profile errors, admittedly in the 1970s, and this is apparently relevant. Is against nuking people, which is a bad thing. Will not make a good leader because he makes his own jam, listens to others and doesn’t shout constantly.

Highlights: Inspiring the youth, none of whom will vote tomorrow.

Other notable toerags

Diane Abbott – 30,000/10

I based this entire piece around that gag. In hindsight it was not worth it.

Paul Natalie – 2/10

Worse than the above, if that were possible.

The Daily Mail – 10/10

Vintage Mail. 13 whole pages in a single issue dedicated to attacking Labour. Paul Dacre must be on the verge of a heart attack or an orgasm at almost all times, which an image you won’t be able to unsee. His 3 readers must lap it up.

The Guardian – 1/10

Organised a year long hatchet job against Corbyn and then backed him. Who needs enemies when you have friends like these?

The internet, and most of us, including me – 1/10

Rare indeed is the discussion that doesn’t descend into a slanging match. There’s a familiar narrative to most online comment threads about politics in this country. Pro-Labour? Well, you’re living in a fantasy world, your lot are going to crash the economy, and you’re a soft little snowflake. Pro-Tory? Well, you’re scum and you want to murder the poor. Pro-anyone else? Wasting your vote, get out.

Rinse. Repeat.

We need to do better than this really, otherwise the Duplo bricks are going away and you’ll be grounded for a week. Oh, and also all elections will be as interminably miserable as this one forever more as nobody can countenance the merest hint of an opposing view and we all just hide behind our confirmation bias, hurling insults and whatever facts support our blinkered arguments, because there really is no better way to convince somebody you’re right than to call them an arsehole.

All we need to remember is:

Left wing does not equal stupid.

Right wing does not equal evil.

Opposing views can both be right.

We’re still not America.

Happy days.

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Satire pointless

One of the unexpected downsides of the world going collectively insane is that it affords very little opportunity for comedy.

You’d have thought that the rise of the far right and the various knuckle-dragging goons who represent them would have offered ample scope for a bit of satirical blogging. Apparently not.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few decent gags to be had – you can make about eight solid jokes out of Nigel Farage’s grinning ascent into Trump’s golden tower alone – it’s just that no parody is any weirder than the actual reality.

trump

He’s very happy in the Donald’s shaft

Real events have spun out of control so quickly that lines like “May offers human sacrifices in exchange for Peru trade deal” don’t sound out there enough. “Brexit means cabbage” is probably one of our actual negotiating positions, while “Farage blasts EU gravy train whilst holding two other jobs, one of them in America” is actually true, so there’s no mileage in that.

Not only that, but the characters now ambling around centre stage are so thoroughly dislikeable that they’re almost piss-take-proof. They’re the sort of people you invite to a party but really hope don’t come. Imagine asking who’s coming for dinner and hearing “Theresa May, David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson”. You’d have to burn your house down on the spot, wouldn’t you?

That said, these miserable, boring, joyless bastards have a respectably tight line on discipline and sticking to the party line, so we can expect them to be sticking around for the foreseeable. The right have been peddling some impressive linguistic conjuring tricks of late – none better than the ‘liberal metropolitan elite’ line. Forget alternative facts and fake news, that one is an absolute belter, and it’s well ingrained. In reality the elite are as far from liberal as I am from winning World’s Strongest Man. Ditto with ‘liberal media’ – utter, demonstrable tosh, but effective tosh nonetheless. Hats off to the gits.

All the while the left are doing what we always do – tweeting furiously and fracturing like Ryvita. Labour are involved in an infight to the death, the Lib Dems continue to be the Lib Dems, the Guardian is mainly worried that the polenta you’re eating could be misogynist. None of the above seem to have cottoned on to the fact that there might be bigger issues to worry about right now, and that perhaps a spot of joiny joiny forcey forcey might not be a terrible idea.

All in all it’s been a rather depressing few months, and will probably continue in that fashion for some time.

On the plus side, Netflix is putting out some great shows right now. So we’ve always got that until Trump blows up the internet.

“This all appears to be in order Mr Murdoch,…

…you can have the BBC for an extra few quid?”

Some people own an orchard. The orchard is bursting with all kinds of fruit. There are apples, pears, some plums, and look! Aunty Mims has planted a lovely peach tree in the sunny corner by the stream. Isn’t the orchard lovely!

One day, some new people come in to run the orchard, but they aren’t happy with what they see. Too many leaves here, too much fertiliser there. They chop quite a lot down, but something is still missing. “A-ha!” They think, “That man at the apple tree is really rather good at growing lots and lots of apples. Why not let’s sell him the rest of the orchard, then he can grow all the lovely fruit and there’ll be food for all!”

So they sell him the fruit trees, and come back a year later to see how the orchard is coming along. But they don’t see the pears. They don’t see some plums. They don’t see the peach tree that Aunty Mims so lovingly grew in the sunny corner. They see apples. Lots and lots of apples. As far as the eye can see. And from then on it’s apples for breakfast, apples for lunch, apples for dinner; apple everywhere, apples up to our ears, we’re drowning in the apples, MY GOD WHAT HAVE WE DONE!

The edible harbinger of doom

 

 

And so crushing inevitability is brought to bear on possibly the longest car crash in British media history. Our supposedly world-renowned media has effectively been swallowed up by one man and his empire, largely in part to a culture secretary who has shown all the characteristics of a love-struck puppy in his handling of the situation.

Even before the BSkyB debacle kicked off Jeremy Hunt was a self-professed Murdoch-lover:

“Rather than worry about Rupert Murdoch owning another TV channel, what we should recognise is that he has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV than any other single person because of his huge investment in setting up Sky TV which, at one point, was losing several million pounds a day.”

Ah yes. Good old variety and choice. With the Sun, the Times and Sky News, you can choose whether you want your strictly-right-wing-news in less than two syllables, more than five or spoken to you, with flashy graphics and Kay Burley. And you only need to look to other countries where News Corp have a few media outlets to see how much variety, choice and absolute impartiality Rupert insists on from his channels.

Unfortunately, Hunt et al. are, as is to be expected, running down the classic Tory line, undoubtedly with their theme song playing in the background. Ever since Vince Cable stupidly said he was ‘going to war’ with News Corp, allowing the Conservative front bench to remove the last line of resistance from the situation, there has been no doubt that a Murdoch takeover would happen, and that the media regulators wouldn’t get a chance to, erm, regulate.

Did we vote for this shit?

Murdoch is held up on the right for several reasons. First and foremost, he generally provides a free advertising service for moderate right wing parties, which must be just dandy if you’re a moderate right wing party looking for some free advertising. Second, and probably equally important to the current administration, Mr Murdoch has proved himself to be very, very good at making lots and lots of money on the free market. Given that the government is hell-bent on turning the UK into a horrible cross between Ebeneezer Scrooge and a prostitute, simultaneously squeezing every penny whilst trying to sell everything we have to the highest bidder, it’s not entirely surprising the Dave and pals are cosying up to the Aussie tycoon. Whispering sweet nothings in his ear.

I wonder if Hunt calls him ‘Daddy’ and makes sure to swish his hips just that little bit more when they’re together. I say ‘wonder’, I more mean I’m going to have nightmares where that happens. Is there such thing as economic dirty talk?

“I want you to stick your bell curve right up my pre-tax profits; I’m sure you’ll get some great returns;my interest rates have shot right up…”

That was unnecessary. Sorry.

Back on the main point, what the worshipping servants of Guru Murdoch have failed to realise is that the antipodean news machine makes his money by ending competition. A market with Murdoch so dominant, and with government regulation evidently so impotent, only serves to create a climate where it is impossible to compete or for new outlets to enter the market, so the realm effectively becomes his. This then paves the way for the government to make even more concessions to the dominant force, which lowers media standards, eradicates plurality of news sources, and is proven to lead to nuclear holocaust.

On the plus side, the man from down under has offered to sell off Sky News. Plurality lives! But only for ten years-ish. And with a heavy, heavy ‘subsidy’ from News Corp. RIP plurality! Potentially the biggest cop-out since the end of Lost.

So, as ever here at rantraverelax, the concluding message is simple:


Unless you really love apples.

 

P.S. Finest resignation letter ever.