Hair today, gone tomorrow

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 Don't think you can hide your bad haircut behind your hand, mate...

Don’t think you can hide your bad haircut behind your hand, mate…

Adam Hollway MP, eh. What a terrible week he’s had. Not only has he been roasted alive by the whole of the internet for being an ignorant racist scumbag, but he couldn’t even get a decent haircut.

Here’s what he told Parliament in a debate about refugees:

We have people in this country who have come here, have claimed asylum, and then they go back on holiday in the places they’ve claimed asylum from. I couldn’t have my hair cut the other day for that reason.

(Watch and listen to it here in full glorious technicolour.)

Yep, not only are refugees coming over here and taking all our bloody jobs, they’re then not doing them properly. Instead, they choose to swan off on holiday to sunny Syria, estimated death toll: 220,000. Bastards.

Spend your summer in Syria: sponsored by Adam Holloway MP

Spend your summer in Syria: sponsored by Adam Holloway MP

I reckon it’s all one big Muslim plot to make MPs’ hair look bad and thereby destabilise our unholy Western way of life.

This new trend of itinerant hairdressers popping back to their countries of origin for a quick hol could be an interesting reversal of that classically boring barber-shop conversation of, “You goin’ anywhere nice for your holidays?”

Or to put it another wayI’m a Refugee and I’m OK


Blues and two-timers

01VolvoPoliceCarPolice forces across the UK have been lending their civilian staff proper police cars, with blue lights and everything, as a tax dodge.

Last week, the BBC revealed that, for example, Merseyside Police’s Director of Finance has been happily driving round in a panda car, as has South Yorkshire Police’s Director of IT, and Humberside’s head of human resources.

Conveniently for all these senior accountants, by having an emergency vehicle instead of a civvy they avoid incurring car tax of around £2,200 per year. But that is, all the forces involved were quick to stress, just a coincidence.

The poor old Chief Financial Officer of West Midlands Police, though, must have been embarassed when his blue-lighted police car was stolen from outside his house in 2011.

Although this is all dangerously close to corruption, the upside is that having all these bureaucrats whizzing round in blues and twos heralds a brand new genre of TV police procedural


America’s trump card

Could YOU be Donald Trump's next apprentice?

Could YOU be Donald Trump’s next apprentice?

Donald Trump’s disastrous interview last week about foreign affairs has received plenty of coverage, especially when he said he didn’t know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah but would learn it “when it’s appropriate” and, “Believe me, it won’t take long.”

But his bizarre comments didn’t stop there. At one point he used the excellent phrase:

Then, most astonishingly, he took the fifth and refused to answer a question on the grounds that…

This stimulatingly novel understanding of democracy could herald a thrilling new age of Surprise Manifestos



Hopefully America will make the right choice…

Surrey for any inconvenience

when-the-hurly-burly's-doneAlthough Sussex’s Katy Bourne is my fave, Surrey also has a Police & Crime Commissioner and he has a very unique comment to make about the refugee crisis.

Kevin Hurley (pictured left), who likes to swear at his constituents, dress up in police uniform and – as this very press statement reminded us – is “an ex-Paratrooper and an expert on international security”, has a compassionate solution to the massive humanitarian crisis on the other side of the Channel:


More specifically:

I am increasingly frustrated by the huge numbers of illegal migrants […] The Gurkhas are a highly respected and competent force, and are just around the corner. They could help to ensure that our border is not breached.

(The fact that Gurkhas are all migrants anyway is, apparently, an irony lost on Kevin Hurley.)

This is such an appallingly xenophobic statement that it’s surprising Surrey’s Assistant PCC for Equality & Diversity didn’t prevent it. Except, on examination, Surrey’s Assistant PCC for Equality & Diversity is not actually a natural person at all. Said Assistant is a company called Surrey Partnership Ltd.

shiraz mirza

‘Smug’ – Cllr Shiraz Mirza

Although the company is itself, in fact, a single natural person, Councillor Shiraz Mirza (pictured right), 100% shareholder. The other Assistant PCC (for Victims) is a natural person; but Cllr Mirza has chosen to work through a corporate entity instead. In March, the PCC’s auditors questioned this somewhat odd arrangement:

Members asked who Surrey Partnership Ltd was. The Treasurer explained that they provided the services of Shiraz Mirza.

'Smugger' – Gabriel Webber

‘Smugger’ – Gabriel Webber

They (ie. Shiraz Mirza) ‘provide the services’ of Shiraz Mirza?! That’s jolly decent of them (ie. him)! I provide the services of Gabriel Webber (pictured right) but nobody pays me without deductions for national insurance, which is a common purpose of single-person ‘personal service companies’ such as Surrey Partnership Ltd.

As far back as 2012 a Parliamentary committee condemned such arrangements as “a practice which generates suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance and which fails to meet the standards expected of public officials”.

But no doubt Commissioner Kevin Hurley knows best. It’s a miracle he hasn’t been given a blue-light police car for personal use…

Commissioner Hurley and Cllr Mirza were asked for a comment. The PCC was not able to reply in time due to diary commitments; no response was received from Cllr Mirza.

The climate it is a-changing

“JC dot com” – someone’s a huge fan of Jeremy Corbyn…

But turns out it’s God’s will so that’s alright.

In an article in last week’s Jewish Chronicle, historian and political scientist (and, apparently, self-professed climatologist) Geoffrey Alderman criticised a Board of Deputies event about tackling global warming.

He started out by narrowly avoiding a reductio ad Hitlerum, describing the climate change lobby as a manifestation of “fascism”:


Because obviously a drinky do at an office in Camden is extremely undemocratic and illegal.

Then the article became, as if such a thing were possible, slightly more mad, and went straight to fourth reductio ad Hitlerum base:


So there we have it! Our benevolent and omnipotent God, in a cunning ruse to save Britain from the onslaught of the swastika, opted not for the obvious solution of simply not creating Nazism in the first place, and instead melted some ice caps 8,000 years earlier.

Hard to know how the entire scientific community has still failed to realise all this yet…

Also, as a note of advice to Professor Alderman: when you write, try to sound less like a nutter. As Jeffrey Goldberg pointed out in an excellent blog post last month:

Your goal should be to draw your targets in with sane-seeming prose, and only then bring down the hammer of insane ‘truth’ on their heads.

Five of the best

Closing the blog post and the year

Gabrielquotes would like to take this opportunity to wish all his readers a joyous Rosh Hashanah and a happy and sweet 5776. See you in the new year!


In tonight’s episode, Katy Bourne was disappointed not to have been gifted a panda car. Adam Holloway had a bad hair day. Donald Trump moves in mysterious ways, as – according to Geoffrey Alderman – does God. Surrey Partnership Ltd. was equal and diverse. This was an Gabrielquotes production!

While I was out…

Strangely, organising a month-long trip to Israel for thirty teenagers, followed by a two-week summer camp for 140 children, isn’t the best time of year to be blogging as well. But I’m out the other side of it now, so let’s take a quick look at what happened while I was out…

sorry you were out - royal mail

…not to mention the weather.

Just in case you’ve missed any of the developments of the summer, here’s a quick way for you to catch up:


So let that be a lesson to you.

Outrage as the National Trust fails to condemn Isis: a guest post by the Daily Mail

You wouldn't steal a castle

You wouldn’t steal a castle

Back in the early days, when all Isis did was behead, pillage, murder and force people to wear unsightly orange clothing, the National Trust’s lily-livered “we’re apolitical” cowardly refusal to condemn could more or less stand up.

This approach was sorely tested when Isis activity began actually ruining Britons’ holidays. But still, it was just about acceptable.

But now, we have to ask: WHAT IS THE NATIONAL TRUST THINKING? Put up with rape and murder, fine. But now that our historical buildings are under threat (and you might think that calling these Arabian buildings ‘ours’ is something of a stretch but try telling that to Lord Elgin!) how can any self-respecting heritage body sit by idly?

Also in today’s Daily Mail:

  • Lincoln Cathedral ‘built illegally by foreigners’ and should be demolished
  • How migrants cause cancer
  • Thatcher death ‘wasn’t tragedy’ says Corbyn in latest outrage
  • EU to blame for wet summer

Account and accountability

The only person with less public profile than a Police Commissioner

The only person with less public profile than a Police Commissioner

Police and Crime Commissioners have been back in the news after an independent report found – shock warning! – that they’re under-scrutinised and get away with a lot by the simple device of having zero public profile.

Particular criticisms raised were:

  • PCCs are not subject to any mandatory code of conduct, those in six areas including Sussex having actually written their own for themselves (O how I wish I could write and enforce my own code of conduct).
  • PCCs have the power to sack, with immediate effect, the Monitoring Officer whose job it is to investigate complaints against the them and ensure that their spending follows the law.
  • PCCs can appoint a mate as their deputy at will, with no proper scrutiny. (If only someone had made this point years ago… -Ed.)
  • There is no way of holding a PCC to account in between elections other than informally criticising them.

Of course, the report was only written after exhaustive consultation with the good old Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. (Readers may remember their astonishing submission to the last PCC pay review: they thought PCCs should be paid more.)

In their evidence this time, they found:


Sorry, what? “Most PCCs think” (that’s a lie for a start) that this most basic requirement of transparency, that applies to virtually every elected politician in the Western world, to disclose publicly how many chauffeurs they employ at public expense, is a bad thing because like ceebs innit? Give me strength…

Katy Bourne is 4.

Katy Bourne is 4.

My old friend Katy ‘Twinkletoes’ Bourne submitted her own evidence to the inquiry, focussing on the role of the Police & Crime Panel (a group of local councillors who have the misfortune of having to scrutinise PCCs’ activities without the power to do anything about any of them).

Katy and the Sussex Police & Crime Panel had a run-in a couple of years ago when she wanted to appoint a crony as her £85,000-a-year deputy and the Panel disagreed because they thought the candidate, Tory councillor Steve Waight, had too many other commitments to take the role seriously.

But she went ahead and appointed him regardless, because the Panel’s disagreement meant as much to her as the word ‘integrity’… then he resigned six months later because he had too many other commitments to take the role seriously.

Anyway, her evidence to the inquiry said this:

Mrs Bourne does not think that Police & Crime Panels should have the power to veto PCC appointments where they believe the criteria for suitability is inappropriate or not satisfied [sic]. The Commissioner re-emphasises that the power of the Panel lies in the effective scrutiny of the PCC decision-making process.

The power of the Panel lies in… sorry, you’ll have to run that by me again, Katy.



Political leaders deny stuffing Lords with cronies

Woolsack[1]Senior politicians have been quick to reject claims that they are stuffing the House of Lords with their supporters, after publication of the Dissolution Honours list revealed new peers to include David Cameron’s parents, Lord Sewell’s bra and Nick Clegg’s political supporter.

Moves are now afoot to reform the upper chamber of Parliament. Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham is proposing its replacement by an elected body so as to reduce the number of vanilla, boring politicians sitting on the red benches.


Camp humour

auschwitz reviewsSome coincidental online research by a friend (Who thinks my name’s Ed. -Ed.) revealed the somewhat startling fact that Google users have reviewed Auschwitz concentration camp and given it 4.5 stars out of five – naturally, the search engine renders these as yellow stars.

One of the one-star reviews (of the current memorial museum) reads:

Truly horrendous experience. I was treated terribly by the staff, who confiscated my handbag. So I had no bottled water, no money to buy a quick snack in the break. No camera. The world has gone mad, not changed much since World War 2.

Yes, it’s so terrible when you’re in Auschwitz and aren’t able to buy snacks.

Goodness me…


In, out, shake it all about

This week saw one of those unusual/ rare/ unique moments when Electoral Commission was trending on Twitter.

Said Commission had just released its report on the EU referendum question, recommending that instead of boring old options reading


there should be the much snazzier


But I reckon we can do better even than this. Here’s the official Gabrielquotes shortlist of proposed referendum options:


In tonight’s episode, the song was recorded by Nigel Ratburn and arranged by Stephen Willis. David Cameron told the House of Lords to get stuffed with new members, and Stephen Pollard edited the Jewish Chronicle. Katy Bourne became the very model of a modern Police Commissioner. The EU referendum question was fixed by Philip Hammond. This was an Gabrielquotes production!