Tag Archives: humour

Another rotten week under the Tories. Let’s make fun of them

Tory UK, 2020: life is hard, and likely to get worse as the Tory jackboot grinds Covid-19 into our faces while claiming to be doing the exact opposite.

These creeps demand our absolute obedience or they will bring in the armed forces to crush us.

So let’s have a laugh at their expense, eh?

On Monday, @RussinCheshire tweeted his #TheWeekInTory, which is always a good read:

On Monday, Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser, appeared on TV to explain why Covid-19 is running rampant through the UK despite everything we’ve been told to do to stop it. No member of the Johnson government was there…

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson announced his new Covid-19 related restrictions, which won’t actually halt the spread of the virus but at least make it seem he’s doing something, if you’re a brain-dead Tory sycophant.

Many of us aren’t. The image at the top is on response. Here are a few more:

Alternatively…

Wednesday was the day of Kexit – when it was announced that the UK would have an internal border after all – between the rest of us and Kent:

 

The UK’s new border: and the Tories can’t say it’s being imposed on us by anybody but them.

The end of the week got a bit serious, with the launch of the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app that doesn’t like NHS Covid-19 tests and won’t do any contact tracing.

Then again, after telling us he hadn’t been to Italy – and telling the nation we all have to batten down the hatches and put up with another six months (at least) of Covid misery – now with added job losses and poverty – we find that Boris Johnson’s significant other, Carrie Symonds, was photographed on holibobs in Italy after all. All right for some, eh?

Makes you wonder about BoJob’s Russian connections who live there, doesn’t it?

If you have any more fun stuff from the week, feel free to send it via the comments.

We need all the smiles we can get.

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Vladimir Putin is keen for us to get on with Brexit. Let’s laugh at him

Putin: He’s a big noise on the international stage but still hasn’t worked up the courage to go “full Godiva”.

Russian president Vladimir Putin thinks he’s a proper cheeky monkey, doesn’t he?

We all know there is evidence that suggests his government interfered with the European Union referendum in 2016, thanks to the efforts of campaigns like Arron Banks’s Leave.EU.

Part of that evidence includes a claim by current UK Chancellor Philip Hammond that Russia was the only country that would benefit from the UK leaving the EU – and now Mr Putin is demanding that the UK get on with it.

Trouble is, there are many people in the UK who say the decision to leave is based on false information and tainted by the (alleged) interference of Mr Putin and Russia.

So we need to be a little circumspect about the matter – and the last thing we want is to rush into anything just because the leader of some other country is antagonising us.

He’s probably worried about the increasing likelihood of a so-called “People’s Vote” mandating the government to keep us in the EU after all.

And in fact, his nagging tends to support the case against people lie Mr Banks, and undermines the validity of the decision of that 2016 plebiscite.

Furthermore, after he was accused of responsibility for the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings by Theresa May, British people are rightly wondering why he thinks Mrs May would want to do anything, just because he demanded it. The fact that she is desperately trying to get us out of the EU before the end of March is therefore a mystery to us – unless we conclude that she really does have friends who are tax evaders and is trying to protect them from a Euro law that comes into force in April.

So I tend to support the decision of those on the social media who have chosen to make a mockery of the Russian leader instead.

If you’ve seen a comment that you think should be included, feel free to send it in as a comment.

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After Theresa May’s ‘begging bowl’ tour of Europe, the world is laughing at her

We all said Theresa May would expose the UK and its people to ridicule from the outside world, and now we have proof.

It is particularly striking that one of the strongest examples of such ridicule comes from the United States, where Mrs May’s Conservative government has placed its hopes for any kind of economic future after we drop out of the European Union in either of the two diabolical ways she has lined up for us.

On December 15, top US sketch show Saturday Night Live ran the following satire on Mrs May, featuring none other than Matt Damon as David Cameron:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mtet4-dJy8

Back here in the UK, we learnt that Sue Perkins admires Mrs May “in the same way I admire shit on a shoe”. She went on to praise the PM’s ability to “cling on” as “the stuff of legend”:

And pro-Jeremy Corbyn movement Momentum compared Mrs May’s attempts to win concessions from the EU with other horrific and painful failures:

Meanwhile, on a wall in France…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn would be a great leader of the world.”

One supposes Mrs May is to be congratulated. She has made the rest of the world see what the UK’s electorate has yet to admit:

The best leader available to the UK right now – and the only one capable of solving the Brexit dilemma that Mrs May (and – thank you, SNL – David Cameron) created – is Jeremy Corbyn.

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No need for satirists – now the Tories are sending THEMSELVES up!

Sajid Javid: He’s the enemy of hope but the friend of humorists. This image was made in mockery of his wide-legged stance in publicity shots when he was first appointed as Home Secretary.

Day two of the Tory conference was a moment for people who make fun of politicians for a living – and we all enjoyed the results, didn’t we?

By day three, we didn’t even need their services – the Tories were providing all the humour themselves.

For example, here’s Sajid Javid, barely succeeding in preventing himself from saying his party is the enemy of hope:

How about Sir Edward Leigh MP, calling for incestuous civil partnerships to be legalised?

Meanwhile, attendance at the conference has been exactly as expected:

Well, what did they expect? The Tories were charging upwards of £500 per ticket!

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The satirists go to (town on) the Conservative Party Conference

Where’s the need for satire when shots like this show the shockingly-low attendance at this year’s Tory shindig?

We’re only two days into the Conservative Party Conference and the toffs have already given humorists enough material to last at least until Christmas.

What follows is only a little video entertainment I managed to pick up from Twitter, but I guarantee it’ll give you a giggle.

Let’s start with the speech by Michael Gove. He thought it would be a laugh to have a go at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but I think you’ll agree that the laugh’s on him after you’ve seen this…

… and this:

https://twitter.com/sketchaganda/status/1046820974728007681

Then again, maybe you’ll prefer Brexit secretary Dominic Raab’s discussion of the potential short-term disruption of Brexit.

Funny – that looked like the Walking Dead behind him, but Theresa May isn’t due to speak until Wednesday, is she?

Those of you who remember the work of comedy that was the Leaderene’s speech last year will spot a little nostalgia in the following snippet from Jeremy Hunt’s speech:

The above examples are all well and good – we all like a laugh now and then. But Philip Hammond brought us all back to Earth with his determination to cling on to austerity, no matter what (harm it does to the economy of the UK).

The satirical content here comes not from anything added in by a joker, but from the Conservatives’ own idiocy in sticking to a system that has not helped the UK’s economy but has actually made matters much, much worse. And they can’t say they haven’t been told. Even Tory-supporting Andrew Marr gave Mr Hammond a heads-up on live TV:

https://twitter.com/Corbynator2/status/1046721782839939073

I suppose it was up to Jeremy Corbyn – the man Michael Gove was trying to mock in the video at the top of this article – to point out the plain and simple facts of this matter. Be warned: If you’ve been affected by Tory austerity (and there aren’t many who haven’t) then there is nothing funny about what follows.

So that is the Conservative conference so far – a meeting which, to be honest, the people responsible for these videos could have left alone in the knowledge that all those concerned would satirise themselves.

But here’s a word of caution: If you’re thinking this bodes well for Mrs May’s speech, think again.

She made such a cock-up of it last year that her party will be pulling out all the stops to make it run smoothly now.

In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if, in line with all the jokes about her since she became PM, they actually replace her with a robot.

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Even Labour’s ‘page does not exist’ web notification scores a direct hit on the Tories


Is any further explanation necessary?

This is brutal – and brilliant.


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Sick of the Labour leadership/deputy campaigns? This candidate gets it

Congratulations to Stella Creasy for managing to keep her sense of humour, even at the end of a long and boring summer of Labour leadership in-fighting. This is probably the best video of the entire campaign:

Most Labour members/supporters have probably cast their votes already. If not, then although This Writer would prefer people to vote on candidates’ policies, voting for someone with a sense of humour does come a very close second.

And it’s a nice little something for the weekend (although one should probably not say that, considering some of the comments)!

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Britain’s worst idlers – the MPs who wrote Britannia Unchained

I have been saddened to learn of two events that will take place in the near future: The death of The Dandy, and the publication of Britannia Unchained.

The first needs little introduction to British readers; it’s the UK’s longest-running children’s humour comic, which will cease publication (in print form) towards the end of this year, on its 75th anniversary. The second appears to be an odious political tract scribbled by a cabal of ambitious right-wing Tory MPs, desperate to make a name for themselves by tarring British workers as “among the worst idlers in the world”.

The connection? Even at the end of its life, there is better and more useful information in The Dandy than there will be in Britannia Unchained.

The book’s authors, Priti Patel, Elizabeth Truss, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, and Kwasi Kwarteng, all members of the Free Enterprise Group of Tory MPs, argue that British workers are “among the worst idlers in the world”, that the UK “rewards laziness” and “too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work”.

They say the UK needs to reward a culture of “graft, risk and effort” and “stop bailing out the reckless, avoiding all risk and rewarding laziness”.

Strong words – undermined completely by the authors’ own record of attendance at their place of work.

Chris Skidmore’s Parliamentary attendance record is just 88.1 per cent – and he’s the most diligent of the five. Kwasi Kwarteng weighs in at 87.6 per cent; Elizabeth Truss at 85.3 per cent; and Priti Patel at 81.8 per cent. Dominic Raab is the laziest of the lot, with Parliamentary attendance of just 79.1 per cent.

To put that in perspective, if I took more than a week’s sick leave per year from my last workplace, I would have been hauled up before the boss and serious questions asked about my future at the company. That’s a 97.9 per cent minimum requirement. Who are these slackers to tell me, or anyone else who does real work, that we are lazy?

Some have already suggested that these evil-minded hypocrites are just taking cheap shots at others, to make themselves look good for promotion in an autumn reshuffle. Maybe this is true, although David Cameron would be very unwise to do anything but distance himself from them and their dangerous ideas.

I think this is an attempt to deflect attention away from the way the Tory-led government has mismanaged the economy, and from its murderous treatment of the sick and disabled. As one commentator put it: “They get a token Asian, a token African, a token Jew, mix in the middle class/grammar school rubbish propaganda, and suddenly they are just ordinary people? No they are not; they are stooges for the ruling elite.”

Britain doesn’t reward laziness among its working class. What it rewards is failure by managers, directors of industry, financiers. These people continually increase their salaries and other remuneration while their share prices fall, their dividend payments are lacklustre and shareholder value is destroyed. What have they given shareholders over the past 10 years? How many industrial or commercial leaders have walked off with millions, leaving behind companies that were struggling, if not collapsing? Does the criticism in Britannia Unchained apply to senior executives and bankers?

Our MPs are as much to blame as big business. They vote themselves generous pay, pensions and extended vacations (five months per year). They never start work before 11am, never work weekends (or most Fridays, when they are supposed to be in their constituencies, if I recall correctly). They enjoy fringe benefits including subsidised bars, restaurants and gyms. They take part-time directorships in large companies which take up time they should be using to serve the public. Only a few years ago we discovered that large numbers of them were cheating on their expense claims. They take more than £32,000 in “Resettlement Grant” if we kick them out after one term – which, in my opinion, means all five authors of Britannia Unchained should be applying for it in 2015.

These are the people who most strongly represent the ‘something-for-nothing’ sense of entitlement the book decries.

Have any of them ever worked in a factory or carried out manual labour? I’ll answer that for you: With the exception of Elizabeth Truss, who did a few years as a management accountant at Shell/Cable and Wireless, none of them have ever done anything that could be called real work.

In fact, the people they accuse work very long hours – especially the self-employed. When I ran my own news website, I was busy for 12-14 hours a day (much to the distress of my girlfriend). Employees also work long hours, get less annual leave, earn less and pay more – in prices for consumer goods, taxes and hidden taxes – than most of Europe. Average monthly pay rates have now dropped so low that they are failing to cover workers’ costs, leading to borrowing and debt.

Are British workers really among the laziest in the world? Accurate information is hard to find but it seems likely we’re around 24th on the world league table. On a planet with more than 200 sovereign nations (204 attended the London Olympics), that’s not too shabby at all.

Interestingly, the European workers clocking on for the fewest hours are German. Those lazy Teutons! How dare they work so little and still have the powerhouse economy of the continent?

If so many are reluctant to get up in the morning, why are the morning commuter trains standing room only? Or have the Britannia Unchained crowd never used this form of travel?

It seems to me that Britannia Unchained is just another attempt by the Tory right to make us work harder for less pay. The Coalition is currently cutting the public sector and benefits to the bone, while failing to introduce policies that create useful employment, and trying to boost private sector jobs. The private sector has cut wages and pensions. The result is higher unemployment and benefits that cannot sustain living costs, creating a working-age population desperate for any kind of employment at all (even at the too-low wages already discussed).

And let’s remember that Conservatives want to remove employment laws to make it easier to dismiss employees. In other words, they want a workforce that will toil for a pittance, under threat of swift dismissal and the loss of what little they have.

Why do they think this will improve the UK’s performance?

We already work longer hours and have less protective legislation than in Europe (such as the European Time Directive). But we are less productive in terms of GDP than their French and German counterparts, who work fewer hours and are protected by the likes of the ETD.

France is more unionised than we are, yet its production per employee is higher.

The problem is poor management and bad leadership. Poor productivity is almost always due to poor investment and poor training. Workers are abused when they should be treated as an investment. They lose motivation and when managers get their decisions wrong, they blame the workers.

Working class people are sick of grafting for low pay and in poor working conditions, to be exploited by the types of people represented by the authors of Britannia Unchained.

Is it any wonder we feel de-motivated?

I started this article by linking The Dandy to Britannia Unchained, noting that one was coming to the end of its life in print while the other was about to be published for the first time. I’ll end by pointing out a quality they have in common.

The Dandy is closing because it represents ideas that are now tired and out-of-date. Britannia Unchained should never see publication – for the same reason.

My part in the war on drugs

I found a suspicious looking plastic bag, filled with a finely-ground herbal substance, on the worktop in the kitchen just now.

“Here,” I called out to Mrs Mike. “What’s this?”

“Smell it,” was the answer.

So I did. Interesting aroma; kind of sweet. Nice. Mellowing. I recognised it.

But I said: “What d’you think would happen if the police came knocking and found this?”

This is not as far from the possible as it may seem. We used to have a bush growing by the front door that smelt suspiciously like a certain Grade B narcotic substance, that caused many a raised eyebrow among visitors until we eventually dug it up.

So picture the scene if you can: In come the coppers – Sergeant and Constable.

Sergeant: ‘Allo, ‘allo, ‘allo, wot’s all this then?

Constable: It’s a dodgy-lookin’ baggie, is wot it is, sir!

Sergeant: Well spotted, Constable! Now then, you: Wot’s in it?

Mrs Mike: Lavendar!

Sergeant: Oi’ve never ‘eard it called that before. Right, Constable! Take it to the lab for examination! And don’t you open that bag before I get there!

Next thing, they’d be after evidence from local contacts. As this bag was intended for a friend down the road, she’d be the first to be interviewed:

Friend: Yeah, I remember ‘ow it ‘appened. She turned up on my doorstep with the bag in her hand. ‘Smell this,’ she said. So I did. It smelt goooOOOOoood. So I said I’d ‘ave some. Next day she turned up with some more and before you knew it I had a floral monkey on my back!

We could even end up seeing reports about it on the TV news.

Newscaster: A new strain of narcotic drug is sweeping across Mid Wales, according to police. ‘Lavendar’ is the street name for the substance – a name derived from its sweet smell, which is believed to be the reason the drug is snorted, rather than smoked. It is believed to induce feelings of mellowness, serenity, and an urge to make potpourri.

This is Mike Sivier, your correspondent in the war on drugs, signing off – for now.

But is it art?

‘Herr Gunter Ground [not his real name], aged 41, mislaid the keys to his house and attempted to crawl in through the catflap. Unfortunately he got stuck halfway, and couldn’t get out again. A passing group of students then spotted him and decided to take advantage of the poor man. So they removed his trousers, painted his buttocks bright blue and stuck a daffodil in his bum, and erected a sign saying, “Germany resurgent, an essay in street art – please give generously.”

‘Passers-by were assured that Herr Ground’s screams were all part of the act and he remained stuck there for two days. He was only freed when an old woman called the police. “I kept shouting for help,” said Herr Ground, “but people kept saying, ‘very good, very clever’ and throwing coins at me.”‘

Hasn’t art become a cynical business? The example above is a bit extreme, but it does show how people are prepared to pay for all sorts of things if they show – not necessarily any kind of aesthetic beauty that is otherwise useless (all art is useless, according to Oscar Wilde) but that the artist is clever.

Look at Damien Hirst’s ‘Cow in Formaldehyde’. Lots of people have asked whether that is really art.

However, I’m not one to miss a bandwagon if I can get on it. Noting that Barry Humphries (otherwise known as Dame Edna Everage) has stolen a huge head start on me with his painting of yellow liquid in a pair of Wellingtons – ‘Pus in Boots’ – I have set about creating some artworks of my own.

I’m very proud of one image – an enormous, panoramic view of the starscape above a darkened British horizon, showing a night sky full of colourful nebulae, shooting stars, and other astronomical phenomena, over the shadowy silhouettes of a circle of vehicles, gathered around a couple in the act of physical affection. I call it ‘Dog Star’.

The idea doesn’t have to be saucy, though. Another one I had was of a warrant officer or petty officer in charge of a ship’s rigging, anchors, cables, and deck crew, directing them during a storm, so that only his nametag was visible. I’d call that one ‘Higgs the Bos’n’.

And just recently I thought of a very postmodern idea, of a British policeman accosting the late actor whose real name was Marion Morrison: ‘Constable’s Hey, Wayne’.

There’s only one thing stopping me from putting these ideas onto canvas – the fear that some credulous ‘art connoisseurs’ might actually buy them!

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