The list of candidates keen to captain the RMS Titanic is growing. Such is the struggle for the wheel of this famous empty vessel that observers are concerned there may be no one in place in time to take the blame. In the meantime, the ship is swinging wildly, always to port.
Candidates for the peaked cap include:
Rebecca Long-Bailey: not afraid to confront icebergs head-on, insiders hail her as Corbyn without the personal charm. Unlike Captain Corbyn though, she has had a proper job. Of the double-barrelled Labour aristocracy, Long-Bailey brings a whole new take on the workers’ movement. She is ready to take command of the Titanic and will ensure she takes the economy to the bottom with the many, not the few.
Keir Starmer: escaped charges in Operation Casement, a former Director Public Prosecutions appointed by Teflon Tony as his clone. Looking over his shoulder for that file of dodgy decisions waiting to emerge. Named after the Labour hero Keir Hardie, he has surpassed his namesake as even Hardie never sailed to Germany to sell British interests to the Kaiser. Starmer is a man who has brought unity, because as a Blairite Euro-fanatic he is hated equally by Momentum, the moderates and the working man. The front-runner, naturally.
That other one, who told Corbyn she’d “stab him in the front”: the Nice One we all suspect is a shy Tory. Doesn’t hate enough to sustain Momentum.
Lisa Nandy. No, no idea either.
Clive Lewis. Nor him.
Lady Nugee: serves below decks under the pseudonym ‘Emily Thornberry’. Jeremy Corbyn’s neighbour. Lady Nugee is familiar as the bossy headmistress. Her achievements are legendary: she has championed every policy which made Captain Corbyn loathed, but is still despised by Momentum as right-wing. Will be sure to embrace the iceberg’s offer to join it.
The next steps take place in the spring. The voting follows a complex procedure, which concludes with where Momentum adding up the number of people, classes, cultures and races each candidate hates, and the top score wins.
2019: I couldn’t have written it better myself. The art of satire is dying not through a PC world, but by life exceeding art. In 2019, Patisserie Valerie collapsed, the Woke Lords tightened their grip, oh, and there was some politics too.
Celebrate the New Year, and do not mourn it!
In the meantime, if all serious journalists have written a review of the year, it behoves the rest of us to do so too.
January: ScotRail whacked up its prices: the biggest thing to hit local pockets since the last time the SNP did anything. Greggs used the boost in its sales from the Christmas Number 1 to launch vegetarian sausage rolls, which got their names in the press and boosted sales of the real thing. (Clever, lads, clever.)
Then in Parliament (the real one, not the playtime parliament in Edinburgh) a Grievous soul started a new rebellion, that ended in 230 against the government, in which all the anti-Brexit MPs voted for a no-deal Brexit. No, I don’t know either. (Howsoever smug that soul may have been in January, he was exorcised from Beaconsfield in December.)
The Patisserie Valerie went down, alas for us all! Where the money went I might say, but for libel lawyers. It took months for the viennoiserie to be saved, by which time, hadn’t the mille feuilles in the window gone off?
A retired cop from Yorkshire was questioned by the police for noting that men are indeed men. No one found an actual crime, but expecting the police to limit themselves to crimes is old-fashioned thinking.
Alex Salmond was arrested for multiple attempted rape allegations, presumably by women with broken ribs – it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving chap, Alex, and Fiona Onasanya was sent down for being an idiot, although how the rest of the House of Commons survive on that criterion is incomprehensible.
February: The month started with heavy snows, ice, closed schools and roads and what the Met Office called exceptional weather conditions – and what we call “winter” in the north.
There came another defeat for Theresa May, who thus became officially entitled to the title “The Hapless”. It happened again later in the month.
On 18 February 7 Labour MPs left to form “the Independent Group” as assort of “sane Labour”. Then two days later they killed their own group by admitting three Tories.
March: More defeats for The Hapless Theresa May, leading up to 29 March 2019: the day Brexit should have happened, for which preparation had been made for two years but which still seemed to come as a surprise. This was officially “the day where it all went wrong for Theresa May“. Conservative poll ratings crashed to below 20% – quite an achievement: you go girl! (Actually, do go.)
A tax consultant was dismissed for saying that a man is a man and a woman is a woman. Usually when you hear someone say that he is making a pass. No one thought of sacking the complainant for harassing a fellow employee. Later in the year a tribunal judge agreed that there is no justice in the world, as if there were then there would be no need for tribunal judges. A diversity officer was seen sharpening a blade behind the arras.
L K Bennett collapsed too, in embarrassment after wearing the wrong heels.
April: Edinburgh Waverley finally stopped charging to use its loos. Surely that is the most significant event of the year?
I expect there were more defeats for The Hapless Theresa May, but there were so many I lose track. There was a breach in security too, concerning discussions about the Huawei, which forced Gavin W and his venomous spider out of office. Be fair to the leakers though: they had to get the news out before it reached the Chinese government that afternoon.
In Australia, where men are men, Barry Humphries had his name stripped form an award for suggesting just that. Presumably the judges think that Dame Edna Everage is actually a woman.
May: The end of May at the end of May. Before then, the birth of a new Prince. Oh and a vanity election, won by the Nigel Farage Party.
The political and philosophical worlds were shaken in May, when the thomashobbes blog was founded.
July: Bored with politics now. Have been since about mid-January. Still, a stand-up comedian got into the news this month as he was seen walking into Downing Street unchallenged. It later turned out that he was the Prime Minister.
At the same time Jo Swinson was chosen as brief leader of the Lib Dems. No, I’m not interested either. Even Milngavie wasn’t interested.
James Brokenshire finally crawled in humble apology to the world’s greatest living philosopher (no, not Adrian Hilton – Sir Roger Scruton). Having removed Sir Roger, whom he had somehow never heard of, in a Twitterstorm last year, Brokenshire made this one last repentance before he was promptly thrown out of his office.
Elsewhere, the police informant ‘Nick’ was banged up for perverting the course of justice while being perverted himself. The Met took advice on breaking him out, as he remains the only source of information they really trust. Later they considered exhuming Titus Oates to testify.
August: By this time the year had been going on far too long.
The Met Office said that temperatures were high. It’s what we call “Summer”.
September: Parliament was prorogued and all opposition parties, the Leader of the Opposition now being Dominc Grieve, it seems, proclaimed that a coup was taking place. Foreign observers excitedly waited for tanks to roll into Parliament Square and for dissidents to be shot en masse, but had to be disappointed. Turkish army officers mocked Boris Johnson for not understanding how to do a coup properly.
October: Six years after the Clutha helicopter crash, finally the Sheriff Principal made a finding. Oh, and there was more politicking. And Parliament was prorogued, again, and this time Jolyon and Gina did not try to stop it.
Jeremy Corbyn had to tell an audience that his preferred pronoun is “he”. Aye pal: the beard and barely concealed aggression are a bit of a clue.
The Met Office reported to a shocked world that leaves were falling from trees across the length and breadth of the country. Extinction Rebellion came out onto the streets again to protest.
November: Are we not there yet? Finally, a dissolution of Parliament! The nation speaks, and says “Just get on with it”.
Even Brenda from Bristol was begging for an election.
December: Oh thank goodness – an election. A stonking majority and a proud Johnson up front.
The voice of Scotland in the election spoke strongly, to say ‘Where is Ruth when we need her?’
The Met Office declared a crisis of global cooling after measurements showed the whole Northern Hemisphere to be suffering much lower temperatures than when measurements were taken in August.
And sausage rolls again reached number one.
Now can we have Christmas?
A New Year wish: a quiet year please, and Brexit at last.
The five stages of Grieve have been identified by psychologists:
3. Bargaining (with foreign enemies)
4. Believing your own wildest rhetoric
5. Standing as a vanity candidate out of spite in a General Election
Many former MPs recently defenestrated may be feeling the signs of Grieve as the nights lengthen and the season of ill-will approaches. Once outgoing characters in an established rut, now thrown into the real world and feeling Gaukey, we should not be cruel – they are in need of help and counselling.
With happy abandon, many MPs are abandoning the Commons, before they are kicked out on their backsides by a relieved, vengeful electorate. Those confident smiles: have they even thought about what they will do when they emerge into the real world with the rest of us? Do they think they have a future? Bless!
Here’s part one of 101 uses for a dumped MP I wrote down on an old envelope at lunchtime:
Reality TV show. Just don’t ask for a £million: you’re not worth it, and if you are, you won’t want to be seen in that trash, even with a strong medicament.
(Top slots by the way are I’m a Has Been, Get me a Camera, and Strictly Come Off It: talk to my agent; she’s good.)
Start a think-tank: but first find a wealthy donor who is prepared to pay you a salary out of pity. You don’t have to produce anything of value; just collect the cheque at the end of the month.
After-dinner speaking. If you were a Prime Minister or Speaker, you may earn five figures for a slot or six for a conference; four figures for a senior cabinet minister. Anyone else, well, you can always do children’s parties.
Bag a pundit slot on a politics programme: but there are very few going and only to those with wisdom and charisma, so that’s most ex-MPs out already.
Sue a journalist who pretended you wanted to be on a reality TV show – that is really, really defamatory.
Chair a quango. There are plenty out there, usually created to give jobs to otherwise unemployable Blairites, but maybe they will expand to let you in if you mouth Common Purpose platitudes? They may employ you as a condolence for your powerlessness. You will still be powerless.
Start a charity. Two versions: the genuine, voluntary charity if you actually hope to go back into politics, and you can still think that if you like, or the better route is a grant-farm, where you can be paid your old salary out of taxpayers’ money without actually doing any good; just like the old days.
A regular slot on Classic FM: just leave it long enough so they forget about, well, you know.
That thing that Ben Shapiro does, with an on-line politics / interviews show? Shapiro makes a mint, but then he is an intellectual giant and you are not.
Beg on the streets. It’s practically what you have been doing for the last few years anyway.