Getting the band back together

Overheard in a pub last week:
“Mate, how’s it going? It’s been years!  You remember the old days, you old rocker?”
“Great days!”
“Great days! But we need you, man; it’s been all gone wrong since you left the band”
“Hey, that was another life – things move on, you know? My rocking days are behind me – I’ve got a sweet house in the Cotswolds.  I can feel what freedom is like – not bundled up in a hot, sweaty room waiting to go on against hostile crowds. It’s better here, with a wife and the children…”
“Yeah – how’s Sam these days?”
“Keeping well. Her sister often comes by to see if she can pick up any hot gossip”
“Is she with the NME?”
“Something like that, yeah.”
“D’you remember when we were first bursting on the scene? There was that time I saw you off your head in the flat singing ‘Gordon is a Moron‘…”
“He was – and you’re copying all his moves!”
“Great days”
“Great days”
“We’re getting the band back together, Dave – one last tour, and it’ll be epic!  We need you as our front man. You’re the face they want to see. On the international ours, you’re the one they know and they want you, Dave.”
“Great days! But I had to go when the rest of you didn’t want me, after that last international your, when, you know…”
“What? You walked out on us!  You said you’d stay on however the results went, but then you whistled a little tune and were gone!”
“You got that clown in the replace me. What happened to him? And those two girls – I don’t remember their names.”
“Me neither. Yeah, we got the joker in and the fans loved him – we got our best returns ever. Then he turned out to be just another waster: wild when we needed him to be serious and sombre when we needed him wild, and he never kept the roadies in check so the roadies ended up running us, and running us into the ground.”
“I told you – didn’t I tell you? To keep it going you need the press to love you.”
“They stopped loving the joker soon enough. One of his discarded wives has become a scribbler herself.”
“With the NME?”
“With the enemy, yeah. Don’t you miss it though, Dave?  The lights, the tours, the wildness? Just one more tour, one more and we’re all done. Even if the home fans are gone, the foreign fans love you  – for them you are the face of the band and you’re the one they want to see up front.  Come on, Dave – one more, and this time next year we’ll have gone out in a blaze and no one will hear from us again.”
“OK, Rishi:  do I get the use of Chevening?”


Trump in asylum

The official letter comes from the Foreign Office:

“Dear Mr Trump, your current troubles are a cause of concern, and so the British Government will offer you political asylum in the United Kingdom. I asked the Permanent Secretary where we would hope to see  you: he replied “asylum”, so we will offer just that.

Being guilty as hell has never been a bar to the grant of refuge here. And if sacking the American Capitol were considered a shocking act, we would have to tear down a number of stautes to our heroes of 1814.

Your forthcoming trip to London, ostensibly to attend the High Court, is a good cover.

(I should warn you about what to expect in the High Court. A dispute between two Americans over an American contract for an event in Moscow is not unusual, but may raise eyebrows. It is understood though that the world brings its disputes to London as its courts insist on impartial justice and will not allow the lawyers to behave as if they were overacting in a low-grade Hollywood movie.  You will find that quite a contrast with the courts you have been spending all your time in.)

You are entitled to take up British citizenship when you arrive, as your late mother was a British subject. There is, I understand, a small cottage where she was born, and you would be welcome to take up residence there, in the Outer Hebrides – indeed we would be glad if you do.

According to the polls, you are likely to be beat Sleepy Joe easily and be elected as President of the United States next year. At that time you will still be  a wanted criminal in several states and so will need to stay in Britain. You need not worry – the American Embassy to Battersea  was  completely fitted out to function as a replacement White House for when a president is displaced by foreign or domestic enemies.  All we would ask is that you do not use this to imply British support for anything you do, and that you do not check too carefully in the flowerpots by your desk or behind the covfefe machine.

You may still speak to your supporters from Cyberia – until we get a Labour government, in which case expect frequent power cuts.

On your arrival I will personally ensure your safe conduct to the asylum system.

Boris Bounced

What’s that Skippy? A judgment from the House of Commons Privileges Committee?

Outback in Westminster a strange court assembles, attended by hopping marsupials. Stern they are on the bench, carefully chosen impartially from across a spectrum of political opinion – Tories who hate Boris, Socialists who hate Boris and a Snoopy, who hate everyone but themselves.

‘Bonzer turn-out, guys. Now, let’s get on with what we’re fer – to chuck Boris out o’ the House. Now, before we get on with sentencing the politically deceased, I mean the accused, how to do we this?  Eh, Bernard, didn’t your mate write a trial scene for the telly we could copy for all due and proper procedure?  If it’s good enough for General Melchett, it’ll do for me.

I tweeted the result a month ago, so we just have to fill in the bumph to make it look as if we thought about it.

I must remind you of the seriousness of our proceedings: that this is not a court of law – that would require boring evidence. No, this is a court of politics, and we know our duty, to whack a smug bastard the way the public demands for what they imagine he’s done.

Let’s face it the facts wouldn’t convict Boris of so much as farting in a bar.

So, first up, who here on the blue team expects to get re-elected next year? Carter, Costa, Walker – you’re all out, so you  you’ve no need to worry about being deselected, and need something to your names to make a mark on an otherwise pointless career. What’s that in your hand, Walker?  A note from Boris by the look – καὶ σύ, τέκνον: dunno what it means, but stick another month on the ban as a result.

Here comes Skippy with the Report in her pouch. I took the lib’ of writing it for you, so just add your names.

Strewth Jenkin – put yer didgeridoo away, mate! We know yer career’s over so knife the boss good ‘n proper will yer? While yer here though, tell us what would have happened in Number 10, from your experience of lockdown parties. That wild, eh?

Boris wants to put in a defence?  It’s a bit late, mate. It’s all irrelevant anyway:  we are not interested in what happened – just in what the news headlines said had happened.

So, while he’s talking, let’s vote on the ban.  I’ll start the bidding at 10 days – do I hear 20? I have 20, do I hear 40?…

Khan attacks opposition to ‘Firstborn’ plan

Sadiq Khan has hit out at growing opposition to his plan to slay the firstborn of London. He has vowed to press ahead, insisting that slaying all first-born children and adults is vital to protect the environment, and ensure a safe future.

‘Those who oppose this plan are lining up with far-right extremists,’ he told journalists ‘and we must not let the voices of hate nor climate-change denial stop up from delivering a solution to what all younger brothers know to be the cause of that holds them back in like, namely their big brother.’

The plan, set out by the Mayor in a 91 page policy document ‘Tackling the climate emergency and reducing the big brother problem’, which he flew to the Summit for Climate Action Missions to announce, would be the most ambitious programme of its type in the world, involving identifying major polluters and eldest children across the capital, not just in the  inner boroughs, and eliminating them.

The Mayor said that he is frustrated that medical staff have refused to take part in the prototokothanasia programme, which he put down to dissatisfaction over inadequate levels of pay in the NHS. Instead he is looking to recruit an army of volunteers across London.

Addressing initial doubts about the efficacy of the First-Born Plan, Sadiq Khan repeated the importance of the steps he intends to take. He reminded the audience that climate change is an immediate threat to the welfare of everyone in the world, and maybe even everyone in London, impacting the quality of life and electoral prospects of all levels of society. ‘Something must be done urgently: this is something; therefore it must be done.’

See also

A review of 2023, in advance

There are not terabytes enough on the web to review 2022, so I must look at 2023, in advance.

January:  This month’s prime minister is still Rishi Sunak; a remarkably long tenure. He has already become the longest serving Prime Minister since Boris Johnson. If he can hold out, he may exceed even the premiership of George Canning.

The slopes are white in the Alps, but the hospitals of Switzerland and France are in crisis, so skiing is inadvisable (and the Valais police still have a warrant out after what happened in Verbier).

Rishi starts getting the band together again for a COVID revival, but somehow the magic has gone.

February:  Having failed to destroy the Ukrainian Army when the first of Russia’s most famous generals was unleashed last month, Vladimir Vladimorich Putin sends the second. These are the two who throughout history have proved victorious for Russia: however this time neither General Janvier nor General Fevrier has the desired effect. Russian media reports that both have tragically fallen out of a window.

The snows have finally arrived in Aviemore, so at least there is somewhere to go skiing that has a working, private hospital near the foot of the slope and has a Tesla Supercharger. Unless Nicola is still trying to have me arrested.

March:  Jeremy Hunt permits the new Prime Minister to announce that the Budget will take place on 15 March.  To prove that the Tories are the low-tax party, Mr Hunt announces a series of generous tax increases across the board. Suddenly, while consumer prices are rising, nevertheless shares are a lot cheaper to buy.

April:  In the traditional 1st April tradition, there come into force all those Acts of Parliament passed in the previous year to repeal those which came into force on 1st April 2022.

Also on that day, the feast day of St Boris, Mr Johnson goes to the King to be appointed Prime Minister; the fourth or fifth of his reign.

Later in the month, the Meteorological Office makes a grave announcement that temperatures are rising severely, and that instead of a potential 2 degree increase over 80 years, the temperature in April has already risen by 15° C in the last four months.

May:  God Save the King – the Coronation. Nothing else matters this month. The crowds go wild with enthusiasm and click-baiters go madder still.

Nicola Sturgeon finally realises that common decency and respect are important in a serious politician at these times, and tries to pretend to have one or other of them.

June:  The nation is just waking up from a long hangover to find that the recession has just woken up too. Worse still, all the foreigners who flew in  for the Coronation, to see how to do things properly, have abandoned their own shops and workplaces, plunging Britain’s main trading partners into a steep economic dive. Still, at least they kept the pub open for a few months longer.

Boris receives a hushed telephone call from Leo, the Wet Taoiseach, asking for Ireland to be let back into the United Kingdom, and they will promise to be very sorry for all the trouble.

Last posting day before Christmas.

July:  Vladimir Putin orders a massive new offensive against several targets in the Ukraine, in the east and the west and from the Crimea, with a major offensive south from Byelorussia to Kiev itself. He does not realise that he has been replaced behind his back, and cannot understand why the officials around him have taken to wearing white coats.

The Tsaritsa, fresh from her coronation, appoints a new Prime Minister of Russia, choosing a man with a solid Russian name who has just found himself unemployed – Aleksander Boris Shtanleyovich Ivanov. Boris may be unreliable, but he is Godunov.

August:  I’ll be in Provence, so I’m not really bothered. Good luck to the new Prime Minister – nice to see a Scot in charge again.

September:  After thirty years in power,  Alexander Lukashenko finally ends his term as President of Belarus.  The Tsaritsa appoints him instead as governor of a new Russian province, Byelorussia.

At a peace summit in Lemberg, the political leaders of Russia and the Ukraine finally meet and shake hands. The world may wonder how a comedian journalist who got famous for playing outrageous bawdy comedy on the telly ever came to be leader of a major country – but as we watch Boris and Volodymyr, shaking hands again in very changed circumstances, we realise that for both of them the fact is more outrageous than fiction would dare to be.

October: Scientists at the ‘University’ of East Anglia report with alarm a massive dieback amongst trees of many species, as a result of man-made climate change:  whole forests of trees are seeing their leaves discolour and fall off.

Jeremy Hunt announces the Autumn Statement. Few people are listening by now.  Matt Hancock is told by the Chief Whip that he might be allowed back into the Party but, no, he cannot be this month’s Prime Minister.

November: Activists declare that fireworks are a sign of white supremacy and inherently racist, on the basis that this will get them a few inches in the Grauniad. Immediately several local authorities cancel their displays. Others invest in rockets which, they are assured, burst with black sparkles.

COP28 begins in Dubai. Suddenly the comedy in a Boris Johnson premiership looks tame.  A scientist attending announces his grave concern for the climate, for while he expected an Autumn drop, he measured the temperature on his balcony and found it much higher than it was a few weeks ago when he was back in Norfolk.

December:  Boris is sacked as Prime Minister of Russia as he has failed to have anyone murdered in the whole time he has been in office.  He returns to London and is accidentally appointed a Prime Minister here. The King orders a revolving door to be installed in Downing Street, ready for Micheál Martin when he is appointed in the New Year.