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.

Advertisements

“Strong, stable leadership”, confirms May

“For the avoidance of doubt, strong, stable leadership”, continued the prime minister. “And if you’re unsure what I mean by that, I mean strong, stable leadership.”

And so it continues. On and on and on. What about the NHS? Strong, stable leadership. Brexit? Strong, stable leadership. What are you having for lunch? Strong, stable leadership. Anything else to add – any policies or stuff like that? Strong, stable leadership.

It’s unclear whether May is following a grand strategy or has simply suffered a stroke, but even by political standards this is getting a bit much. Slogans and soundbites are part and parcel of elections, but there’s a point where ‘message discipline’ starts to look quite a lot like bullshitting. We’re yet to hear anything of substance about what this actually means, as May and her MPs are too busy deflecting questions with this inane, meaningless line.

More than that, it’s actively damaging for people trying to make an informed choice on who to vote for. It’s hard to form opinions on who’s better-placed to take the country forward when the incumbent leader has morphed into Hodor from Game of Thrones.

“Strong, stable leadership”

Labour aren’t exactly succinct in summing up their positions, but at least they have them and try to discuss them, the commie bastards. The Lib Dems are crystal clear on theirs, they just happen to also, fatally, be the Lib Dems. Even UKIP have ‘policies’, sort of, in a kind of ‘shouty drunk family member everyone avoids’ sort of way. But the Tories? Strong, stable leadership.

To combat this in my own increasingly tortured mind, I’ve taught myself a sort of Pavlovian response. Every time I hear ‘strong and stable leadership’, I immediately think ‘Hodor!’, which I figure is equally meaningful. Give it a go. It’s oddly calming.

 

Hodor!

Voters caught between rock, hard place, various pointy objects, and large turd

And that’s exactly where Theresa May wants them.

“Mock my red, white and blue Brexit will you? Fine, but don’t be upset when I CRUSH you”, the Prime Minister probably didn’t say.

But possibly did.

So here we are then. Who do you pick from this cornucopia of idols, this raft of gods made human? Which of the deities on offer shall we humble Brits choose to part the waves of the Channel and give that there Europe what for? In case you’re in any doubt about the runners and riders, here is a quick summary:

  1. Theresa ‘fuck you all’ May – Champion of Tory ‘Battle Royale’ 2016. Victorious through a combination of backstabbing and Andrea Leadsom. Would stab own mother in back for small piece of cheese.
  2. Jeremy ‘fuck all chance’ Corbyn – Principled man with number of well considered policies. Gives balanced answers. As a result, will get annihilated.
  3. Tim ‘who the fuck’ Farron – Your guess as good as mine
  4. Paul ‘fuck off’ Nuttall – Fuck off. Only included him to say fuck off. Fuck off.

However will we pick from such a bountiful harvest? Christ, it makes Sophie’s Choice look easy.

Right, that’s the sweary bit over. Let’s try and extract something useful out of this farce.

On the plus side, this is funny

The reaction to the snap election – presumably called because we don’t have anything more pressing that we ought to concentrate on – has been interesting. If May has achieved nothing else, she has at least succeeded in at last uniting the country, albeit only in a long, weary, apathetic collective groan.

 

One of the biggest dangers of this election could be apathy. It feels like people are tired of politics, of the bickering, the infighting, the lies, the bullshit. I certainly am. A lot of people won’t want to vote for May and her band of Brexiteers’ vision of a future Britain. At the same time, people aren’t exactly going to be rushing to the polls to vote Labour or Lib Dem. We’re sorely lacking in politicians to get behind, politicians to trust and follow. The sentiment of ‘what’s the point, nothing changes, they’re all the same’ feels increasingly commonplace, and is understandable.

That said, I think it’s misplaced. Things do change. Political parties aren’t the same. Votes matter, and who you vote for matters too.

Think back to 2010, when the Tories came to power. Ever heard of a food bank in 2010? Nobody had, because they barely existed. The Trussell Trust gave out 40,000 emergency food supplies that year. By last year, they were giving out in excess of 1,100,000 – an almost 30-fold increase in just 7 years.

Homelessness? Doubled since 2010. Homelessness funding? Halved since 2010.

Can’t get a doctor’s appointment? This government has strangled spending increases in the NHS at an unprecedented rate.

Everywhere you look, public services have been cut for the most vulnerable. People we should value in society – teachers, doctors – are constantly asked to perform the impossible and consistently improve provision on less and less money. Who gets the blame when they can’t pull that rabbit from the non-existent hat? Certainly ain’t the government.

Have the Tories managed to cut the deficit as they promised? Have they fuck. It’s accelerated at a prodigious rate.

People have never felt poorer. More families are in poverty than ever. We’re a meaner, pettier, more hateful society than I can ever recall. We are big on rights and small on responsibilities. We rely on charity to do what the state ought to.

We kiss the arses of the worst men in the world because they might buy some guns off us. Our PM holds hands with the World’s Greatest Dickhead in the hope they’ll trade with us. British values? Please.

But don’t worry, the economy is in good shape. Record numbers of people can’t feed their kids, but hey ho, that’s just the market for you.

All the while, we’ve been merrily letting the richest off their taxes, and letting the most powerful corporations pay barely any tax at all. Given that tax is where the money for those doctors, teachers and other non-essentials comes from, this seems like an oversight at best.

And let’s not even get started on Brexit. What started as an attempt to quell an entirely Tory argument has led the country into a hilarious shitstorm the likes of which may of us have never known. No Tories, no Brexit. Simples.

So it’s wrong to think that votes don’t matter. It’s wrong to think that nothing changes whoever you vote for. Things change, massively – they just don’t change overnight. Now I’m not suggesting that a vote the other way would lead to a glorious Utopia whre we all hold hands and sing songs – but there is a lot in the above that simply would not have happened with a Lib/Lab government. Sure, there would have been other problems, undoubtedly – but I can’t see how we would be in quite such a mess with any other party.

The Labour/Lib Dem options are hardly appealing. But they’re better than what we’ve got at the moment, they could hardly be more damaging. So much as I would like to sit this election out, eating tiramisu with a long spoon, I’m going to vote for one of them. I don’t even mind which – just whoever is stronger in my own constituency. And it will be a wholly joyless experience.

Yay, democracy!

Seven a day ‘is not an April Fool’s joke’, say scientists

The clearly laughable call from health professionals for Britons to eat at least seven portions of fruit and veg a day is not a hilarious April Fool’s joke, it has been revealed.

The new advice, building on the optimistic ‘five a day’ guidelines which have been widely circulated and widely ignored for a number of years, comes after scientists discovered a link between good health and the consumption of things that grow in the ground and aren’t necessarily fried in sugar.

“No, we are serious”, stressed a scientist at the Centre for Research into Well-Timed Press Releases, “It has to be seven. We found that people who ate seven bits of fruit or veg in a day lived longer, and they probably had very similar lifestyles to our hard-drinking, sedentary, pizza-loving control group. It can only be the fruit and veg. So we’re rolling this advice out nationwide.

“No, I don’t think this is a strange day to release this report.”

"All you have to do is eat all of this. Every day."

“All you have to do is eat all of this. Every day.”

The response from the public has alternated between chortling and confusion:

Chortling – “Good joke”

Confusion – “What do you mean it isn’t a joke, it’ April Fool’s Day and this is ridiculous”

Chortling – “I average three vegetables a week, three of which are potato-based”

Confusion – “Can I even name seven?”

Chortling – “Fuck it, I’ll just drink wine instead”

Confusion – “Does wine count? Surely it does? It’s grapes no?”

Chortling – “Seven wines! Ace”

Quite how well people will respond to these new guidelines is yet to be seen, although given that roughly 100% of us get nowhere near five a day it seems unlikely that the push to seven will unleash a tidal wave of vegetable consumption in which rabid shoppers attack market stalls, gorging themselves on marrows and various legumes, the fleshy pulp dripping from their gaping maws.

It might, obviously, but it does seem unlikely.

What’s more likely is that maybe, occasionally, a very small slice of the population might allow an extra carrot to invade their dinner.

What’s even more likely, so likely in fact that it is probably already happening, is that everyone will laugh, actively pretend it was all an April Fool’s joke, and continue refusing to eat healthily until the government relent and allows crisps, chocolate and cheese to count towards the total.

Then we’ll smash seven a day.

Russians definitely not invading Crimea, say Russians

The bit where all those Russians with guns have invaded another country definitely isn’t an invasion, according to Russia.

The entirely trustworthy, non-warmongering, not at all slightly unhinged former superpower has reacted with what can only been described as a fuckload of indignation to reports that it has taken ‘de facto control’ of the bit of Ukraine that looks like testicles.

It has been confirmed that the level of outrage from the Russians at the notion of them making a grab for Ukraine’s balls, also known as Crimea, is directly proportional to the number of Russian soldiers swarming over the territory.

A Kremlin spokesman offered a brief statement from Moscow, which comprised entirely of shrieking ‘How dare you!’ at the top of his voice before slamming the door and flouncing dramatically up the stairs.

Some sources claim that the Russians are being incredibly cunning, and have posited that they are actually saying one thing whilst doing the exact opposite. The basis for these claims is yet to be verified, but seems to be based on absolutely every available shred of evidence. Western governments still appear confused and have responded to the crisis by strongly threatening to hold a meeting, perhaps resulting in a stern letter.

"These aren't the troops you're looking for"

“These aren’t the troops you’re looking for”

The main source of confusion seems to be the fact that although the troops are Russian men in Russian military uniform, holding Russian guns and coming from Russia or Russian military bases, they are not wearing badges.

An American spokesman said: “We’re stumped. We just can’t tell without the badges. We think it’s probably all legit.

“If Putin’s lying to us, he’s a goddamned genius.”

It is believed that Vladimir Putin’s new found ability to perform amazing feats of duplicity on the rest of the world has stemmed from a recent obsession with Star Wars. A clue lies in a recent memoir from the president, ‘How to Ride Bears Topless in a Totally Heterosexual Fashion’, in which he wrote (translated into English with Russian accent):

“I see man in car. He have droids who other men are looking for. Men who look for droids come to car. They say, ‘hey man, are those droids we’re looking for?’ and he say ‘These aren’t the droids you’re looking for’ and then they go away. One day I do same.”

And as a final coup de grace, the Kremlin have now begun to warn NATO that criticising any action it may or may not be taking in Crimea “will not help stabilise the situation in Ukraine”, before muttering something about protecting Russian citizens abroad. Bullshitters around the world have been heard to break into spontaneous applause at the sheer brass neck on the bastards.

It is still unclear how the hell they’re getting away with this, although it is perfectly possible that NATO, the UN and most other international organisations designed to stop this kind of tomfoolery might be run be incompetent morons. So perhaps a simplified version might help these people understand the basic gist of this scenario:

The policeman and the gangster

[Gangster enters, holding gun]

Policeman: Put that gun down Gangster.

Gangster: I’m not holding a gun.

Policeman: Are you sure?

Gangster: Yes.

Policeman: Ok.

Policeman: Oh I have been shot.

Gangster: I cannot believe that worked.

 

 

P.S. Is there a river in Crimea? I hope there is. I hope it’s called the Crimea River. That’d be ace.

London hyperbole levels return to normal

Hyperbole, exaggeration and ridiculously self-important statements have finally receded in London following last week’s tube strikes.

Following 48 hours of having to endure a slightly shitter tube network than normal, incidences of phrases like ‘Blitz spirit’, ‘Dunkirk mentality’ and ‘travel hell’ have dropped down to normal London levels, roughly five times the national average. An actual judge used the words ‘Dunkirk spirit’ to describe a jury managing to make it to court and nobody batted an eyelid, as though reaching a central London location using a still acceptable level of public transport were in any way akin to floating into a warzone across miles of open sea in a bathtub. Similarly, literally all of the people who described an exchange of pleasantries on a bus as ‘Blitz spirit’ were subsequently at a loss to explain how this event was in any way comparable to having high explosive dropped on your house for several years.

The level of blatant egocentrism sweeping the Big Smoke threatened to exceed tolerable levels and leave Londoners weeping uncontrollably into their soy lattes, bleating about enduring terrible hardship. Examples of these travails include waiting 10 minutes for a tube, unplanned use of own legs and talking to other Londoners in a semi-civil manner.

However did we survive?

However did we survive?

Indeed, the infectious wave of camaraderie threatened to engulf the entire capital – reports suggest an outbreak of singing on one bus and strangers helping a fainting woman on another. Many Londoners found themselves unable to intentionally elbow strangers or block people from getting off trains despite a strong urge to do so. They found themselves speaking in tongues, uttering alien phrases like ‘no, you first’. Many have subsequently described the experience as ‘hellish’.

Thankfully, the episode has passed and a healthy level of fear and hatred of one’s fellow human has been re-instilled across the capital.

The rest of the UK, predictably, have failed to see what the problem is with waiting 10 minutes for a bus or train and have quietly pointed out that while it must be quite tough to have to walk to work, it’s probably almost as tough to have your house flooded, have your transport network washed away and your entire county re-classified as a large lake. They have also suggested that Londoners who still think they’ve got any kind of issues at all might like to swap lives for a week, or kindly shut up.

New Year celebrations ‘somewhat premature’

As 2014 rumbles into its third consecutive day of being unfathomably awful, the wild celebrations and raised hopes of the nation are starting to look slightly misplaced.

Expectant Britons awoke bleary-eyed and possibly next to a stranger or farm animal sometime around tea-time on the 1st of January, certain that the financial worries, scandal and general dampness of 2013 were a thing of the past. Many were devastated to find that 2014 was possibly more shit than its predecessor; elation turned to embarrassment as roughly 99% of the population remembered sincerely believing that 2014 was going to be great, and telling this loudly and repeatedly to friends, loved ones and people they met on bridges just hours beforehand.

Probably caused by immigrants.

Probably caused by immigrants.

If the first three days of the new year are a good barometer of the rest of the year, and they almost definitely are, the UK is in for a metaphorical and in all likelihood literal shitstorm over the coming 362 days.

The first concern is the weather, which has cranked up a notch since midnight two days ago from ‘Biblical’ to ‘how does one construct an Ark?’ on the Beaufort scale. Dorset has gone from ‘quite waterlogged’ to ‘pretty much an extension of the sea’ on the Guardian’s how-flooded-is-my-county infographic, while in other parts of the UK the flood warnings have gone off the traditional Yellow-Amber-Red scale and into the little used ‘black’ warning, which is simply the word ‘REPENT’ written in blood on a wall.

In society, everyone is now even more skint than last year, ironically due to overspending on New Year celebrations. Hearteningly, BNP aubergine-in-chief Nick Griffin has been declared bankrupt in possibly the only positive news story of the year so far. He has also added some ironic cheer by announcing that he is writing a booklet on how to deal with debt – likely to be as useful as Accrington Stanley’s guide to winning the Champion’s League.

Back on the downside, every celebrity from the seventies is still a paedophile, your job is just as tedious as it was last year and if the Daily Mail is to be believed there are Romanians and Bulgarians stealing that job, as well as your car, home and spouse, as you read this.

In sport, the England cricket team continue to push the very limits of sporting ineptitude and poor decision-making, culminating in electing to send Michael Carberry out to bat with a potato masher, putting a blancmange in at number eight, and then bowling underarm to Brad Haddin.

Time will tell whether 2014 will carry out its threat to be a complete bastard of a year. If it is, there are already plans afoot to alter the traditional New Year’s celebrations across the country from a joyful, welcoming occasion to a sinister, threatening one. Fireworks and champagne will be replaced by hard looking bastards with clubs, muttering threats. Auld Lang Syne and ill-advised kisses will make way for battle speeches, manly fist bumps and three minutes to ‘get tooled up’. 2015 will of course be welcomed in a civil enough fashion, but it will know that the second it tries to dick us about we’re going to smash it’s fucking teeth in.