2 Jeremy 1:13 (a Purim special)

Three years ago, this blog’s Purim special featured the little-known Book of Jeremy, a witty parody of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Unfortunately, times haven’t changed as much as they should of, so this year’s Purim special is also a witty parody of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party (but perhaps a wittier one). It comes from the Second Book of Jeremy. Ready? Then grab your phylacteries and let’s get started.

1 It happened in the days of Corbyn. 2 King Corbyn, who reigned over the many constituencies of Labour, from BAME to Fabia, held a banquet for all his MPs: Shadow Cabinet and backbench alike. The banquet was a lavish banquet, with meat and drink in abundance, and vegetables from the king’s own royal allotment.

3 When the banquet entered its third year, King Corbyn sent for Queen Luciashti, and demanded, “Display your loyalty to your king, before the kingly court and all my MPs.”

4 But Queen Luciashti refused to show loyalty at the king’s command, and the king was greatly incensed. 5 He turned to his closest advisors, who were called Aboth, Mekdonal, Mekluski and four other amusing foreign-sounding names like what you might expect of people with a darkish tinge, and sought their guidance.

6 “What,” he asked, “shall be done according to the Rule Book for Queen Luciashti, who has refused to show loyalty to me?” 7 Thereupon the advisors replied, “Queen Luciashti has committed an offence not only against you, sire, but against all the hard-working people of the land. For they voted for an MP who would show unthinking obedience to her king. 8 You must banish her; it is the only fitting punishment.”

9 So King Corbyn returned to the banqueting hall, where the merrymaking and eating and drinking was still in full swing, and ordered Queen Luciashti, “You must leave this party.” (Do you see what I did there? -God.)

10 Queen Luciashti went forth from the palace and joined the Independent Group, and the king’s most loyal courtiers published parchments mocking her and jeering at her treachery and Zionism and material wealth and stereotypical hook nose, 11 but they’re not anti-Semitic because she’s just a bad MP and that’s the only reason they’re attacking her they’re allowed to criticise anyone they want she’s not immune just because she’s Jewish what are you going to do set the Mossad on them???!

12 And dispatches were sent to every province and constituency in the land, decreeing that MPs should show unquestioning obedience to their king, and that there had been no perceptible rise in the number of complaints submitted against Haman since King Corbyn’s reign began. 13 To be continued…

There are some special minhagim to be followed during public readings of the Second Book of Jeremy:

  • The event must not, repeat not, be referred to as a megillah reading, for fear of confusion with Meg Hillier MP.
  • Members of Momentum should cheer whenever they hear the name “Corbyn” and boo whenever they hear the name “Luciashti”. Members of the Independent Group should do the opposite.
  • Verses 1-13 should be leyned in Eichah trop.
  • Anonymous trolls on Twitter should use noisemakers to drown out any mention of anti-Semitism.
  • Erm…
  • That’s it.

Shamima Jenga

Haven’t you already tried the new game that’s taken the world by storm? It’s Shamima Jenga!

The rules are simple: each country, in its turn, carefully removes one nation’s citizenship from a 19-year-old victim of grooming and her newborn baby. The important thing is to go first: once you’ve removed your citizenship, it’s Bangladesh’s (or whoever’s turn), and the tower becomes their problem. Whichever country happens to be last to remove its citizenship has international law fall down on top of it!

What fun.

Labour investigated

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has announced that it is going to be looking into Labour, following complaints that the party is riddled with anti-Semitism.

The press and social media reaction to this announcement has been particularly patchy due to confusion about who or what the Equality and Human Rights Commission actually is, and how it differs from other things with similar initials. As a public service, therefore, Gabrielquotes hereby presents:

  • EHRC – a public authority that promotes equality and human rights
  • EHIC – some ghastly thing that gives British people free healthcare abroad; we’ll be well shot of that after Brexit
  • ECHR – a human rights treaty that means we can’t deport foreign criminals with pet cats; people who don’t understand the difference between the EU and the CoE think we’ll be well shot of this after Brexit
  • EHPA – a European organisation that promotes public health; we’ll be well shot of that after Brexit
  • EHEH – a Dutch airport; we’ll be well shot of that after Brexit
  • EHJE – an equation that reformulates general relativity in such a way that it resembles quantum theory within a semiclassical approximation, named after three foreign-sounding people of whom we’ll be well shot after Brexit
  • EERM…
  • That’s it.

Westminster hots up

Exciting news from Parliament as the MPs are faced with the first ever vote of no competence in both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. If the House of Commons decides that neither senior politican has any competence, they will probably actually do very little of substance but maybe a few of them will drift into a vague centrist grouping that isn’t really planning to stand for election or do anything worthwhile.

One of the reasons for this new use of Parliamentary time is that Speaker Bercow has refused to allow the government’s proposed timetable:

Meanwhile, Labour Party Headquarters, which has been busily calling for MPs defecting from the party to resign and trigger by-elections on the basis that they misled their constituents, has denied that the same reasoning should apply to Jeremy Corbyn. A spokesperson said: “At no time prior to his election as Leader did Mr Corbyn claim to be qualified for the job.”

In other news, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who has called for a “mammoth listening exercise”, has been forced to admit that this will be impossible because the last mammoth actually died out like hundreds of years ago.

One small schlep for man

Everyone’s been wildly excited at the launch of Israel’s first mission to the moon. With the motto For a Crater Israel, it’s unclear where the rocket landed but surely no Israeli craft would be allowed to park in the Sea of Tranquility.

On which topic, a rather interesting letter appeared in the Jewish Chronicle last week…

Have a nice Purim

Credits (ie a documentary hypothesis)

So, as the graggor of time is waved by the overexcited child of destiny, and as the hamantaschen of fate turns into the sugar high of eternity, it appears to be the end of the blog post.
In this week’s episode, the Book of Jeremy was handed down at Mount Sinai. The Israeli moon mission was recorded in the Book of Numbers (Parashat Nasa). Theresa May was played by almost everyone, and it’s hard to have any sympathy for her. And Shamima Begum became a pawn to Sajid Javid’s leadership bid. This was an Gabrielquotes production.

Leave means kerfuffle

Does anyone remember that time – I think it was around the first half of 2016 – when the Leave campaign professed a belief in democracy?

They said things like, “Bringing sovereignty back home,” “Freeing ourselves from the undemocratic EU,” and, “Empowering our supreme British Parliament.”

Admittedly they slightly spoilt this ‘democracy’ line of argument when they cheated in the referendum, but it was only when they seized on the idea of asking the Queen to block anti-Brexit legislation that had been passed by Parliament (you know, that democratic sovereign British Parliament to which they wanted to restore power) that they suffered a serious loss of credibility.

These are very uncertain times, but fortunately Gabrielquotes dot org dot uk Limited has got hold of a list of future tactics planned by Brexiteers to ensure that we leave the EU. In the exact words of the Leave campaign, the playbook is:

  • Send death threats to MPs who disagree with Brexit
  • Scream “Nazi!” in people’s faces
  • Send the military to Dominic Grieve’s constituency office
  • Deport Sadiq Khan to Belgium
  • Smuggle Donald Tusk’s family to London in a diplomatic bag and hold them until he agrees to no backstop
  • Learn what ‘backstop’ actually means because although we know we don’t like it we don’t really know what it is
  • Start building a wall to separate Northern Ireland from the other bit of Ireland so that people become used to the idea of a hard border
  • Pretend that we’ve secured trade agreements with Australia, Canada and India; nobody will imagine we’re just making it up

These give me some hope that, in the hands of Jacob Rees-Mogg et al, democracy is safe for a few more months.

In any event, since Article 50 has very much been the Parashat haShavua for many weeks now, I thought I might abuse the sacred craft I’ve been taught and set it to Torah trop:

.

My week: Tulip Siddiq Jr*

Following the outrage of Tulip Siddiq MP having to delay giving birth in order to vote on the Brexit deal – because Parliament doesn’t allow expectant mothers to vote by proxy – I’ve obtained a confidential copy of the diary written by the new baby (pictured right) during that crucial few days.

MONDAY
In about 15 years, when I’m a teenager, I’m sure I’ll really enjoy spending ages by myself in my room. But right now, I’m spending ages by myself in my womb and it sucks. Still, guess it’s better than growing up in a country with no food and no drugs. Apparently food and drugs are two more things I’ll enjoy when I’m a teenager. And cycling. And something called Stock Piling?

TUESDAY
Seriously peeved today. I’m supposed to be born this evening but mum has to go into something called a Nose Lobby first. It seems terribly crowded. I wonder why she doesn’t find another lobby, but the snatches of conversation I overhear suggest that this other lobby (the Eyes Lobby apparently) has hardly anybody in it so she’d probably be very lonely. I wouldn’t want her to be in a room on her own any more than I want to be in a womb on my own.

WEDNESDAY
Oh my goodness. I thought that today was finally going to be The Day. The big thing mum wanted to wait for was over, she won it, and now she can go to hospital and let me out. But no, it turns out that by winning the thing yesterday, there’s an even bigger thing today, a Boat of No Conference. I don’t know what that is, but I wouldn’t want to get into a boat unless I had confidence in it (like, for all I know, this boat might not even exist… no, that’s silly, who’d pay money for a boat that doesn’t exist?)

THURSDAY
Born. Gosh, this real world is a nightmare! Cold, noisy and I actually have to eat rather than just gently absorbing through a tube. Still, at least I get something called a Blue Passport. But I’ve probably got that wrong. Who’d get excited about a Blue Passport?

*as told to Gabriel Webber

A rolling stone gathers no mosque

The saga of the Golders Green mosque rumbles on, with the news that a lovely interfaith initiative – an exhibition, hosted at the mosque, about Muslims who saved Jews’ lives during the Holocaust – was cancelled following joint pressure from Islamic extremists (who suggested it was “Zionist infiltration”) and Jewish extremists (who suggested it was an attempt at “Holocaust revisionism” because an honest exhibition would focus on Muslims who killed Jews during the Holocaust and not mention the righteous Muslims at all).

Of course, this joint pressure was itself a rather touching interfaith project. Muslims and Jews working, hand-in-hand, to a common end.

However, they wouldn’t want to admit this. And for that reason, I am happy to publish a statement on behalf of the Golders Green Mosque Martyrs, who wish to distance themselves from the other people who were advocating for exactly the same outcome as them:


.

It’s so unfair!

Diane Abbott (far left) is very upset that she didn’t look brilliant during her last appearance on BBC Question Time, hosted by Fiona Bruce. And, of course, whenever a politician looks less than stellar on TV, that must mean that there’s been some unfairness. It can’t possibly be the politician’s fault.

There was even an amazing conspiracy theory alleging that her microphone was deliberately quietened beyond those of her opponents so as to put her at a disadvantage.

Poor Diane Abbott. What else might have been unfair? A whoopee cushion on her chair? The other panellists pulled her hair and refused to sit next to her at breaktime?

Her full list of complaints has now been published… in poetic form:

Please, Miss Fiona,
This programme Question Time
Made my microphone quiet, Miss…
Surely that’s a crime?

Just try and speak louder, dear,
Elevate your voice.
If you want people to hear, my love,
That seems the obvious choice.

Please, Miss Fiona,
This programme Question Time
Asked me awkward questions, Miss…
Surely that’s a crime?

Well, make your best attempt, my flower,
Then you won’t disappoint.
You have to say some interesting things:
That’s the entire point.

Please, Miss Fiona,
This programme Question Time
Made me look quite silly, Miss…
Surely that’s a crime?

Then blame it all on bias, dear,
Whip up your left-wing fringe.
Make a formal complaint if you want,
Just don’t come to me and whinge!

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Queen’s latest partner

To get a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, you have to go on a 4-day expedition.

To get the next level up, you have to overturn a vehicle that you’re driving, injure two members of the public and retain your driving licence.

To get the next level yet, you have to continue driving after the above incident without feeling the need to wear a seatblet. (To be fair, it was probably a foreign seatbelt so I completely understand why Prince Philip didn’t feel like wearing it.)

The US government standby

…has turned into a US government shutdown. Fortunately, even when the federal government has to close, essential services are allowed to remain open. Gabrielquotes has obtained a list of departments which are continuing their operations by order of the President:

  • The Press Office
  • The Catering Office
  • The Uber-summoning Agency
  • The Golf Office
  • The Twitter Helpline Liaison Administration
  • The Architecture Office (Walls and Barriers Division)
  • The Homophobia Office
  • The Directorate of Pussy-Grabbing

The Book of Webber

So, as the Plan B of time is voted down by the Parliament of destiny, and as the Prime Minister of fate conjures up the eerily identical Plan C of eternity, it appears to be the end of the blog post.
In this week’s episode, the Golders Green Mosque Martyrs were played by Sharon Shitpael and Karen Klapp. Diane Abbott was played by a politician who believes she has a human right to look good on telly. Donald Trump was played by a politician who clearly has no interest in whether or not they look good. Prince Phillip was played by someone who should have been banned from driving a long time ago. This was an Gabrielquotes production.