I’ve given this week’s blog post the title of ‘supporting the Conservative Party’ because I’m going to do what I can, in the next few paragraphs, to undermine and vilify the Conservative Party. This is a technique I borrowed from their decision to announce plans to strip away human rights protections in the UK in a document entitled Protecting Human Rights in the UK.
The Tories, in turn, borrowed the misleading-title technique from North Korea (“The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea”) and North Korea borrowed it from a small furniture shop in Romford purporting to be a ‘World of Leather’.
Essentially, the Tories’ new policy is a way of ministers whining, “It’s so unfair!” while still looking a bit grown-up. Schoolchildren want to abolish the school rules, rich people want to eliminate the tax system, and ministers want to exterminate human rights.
To start with, they’re proposing a “minimum threshold of seriousness” before people can complain of a human rights violation. Now hold on a minute: the government says it is going to refuse to let people take legal action against it if it, the government, doesn’t deem the case to be serious enough.”
“You’ve only lost one finger!” they might say. “I don’t think we need to waste a judge’s time with that!”
Or, “We might have threatened to shoot your entire family unless you dropped your legal case, but that’s just horseplay. Hardly serious.”
Their second proposal is to stop judges deciding on what the European Convention on Human Rights means: it’s almost as if they feel entitled to interpret the law or something!
In case it’s not clear, these proposals are disastrous, repugnant to anyone who believes in democracy and – if implemented – would lead to Britain having to withdraw from the Council of Europe and join Europe’s last remaining dictatorship, Belarus, as pariah states.
The Conservatives suffered a serious setback last weekend, fortunately, when Mark Reckless MP (pictured far-right) resigned his seat and defected to UKIP, telling reporters that he wanted to spend less time with immigrants.
The former Tory politician shot to fame last December when he questioned Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger in perilous detail about the handling of information leaked by Edward Snowden:
Mr Reckless: Isn’t it true that you entrusted all that confidential data to FedEx when they transported it to the USA?
Alan Rusbridger: Yes.
Mr Reckless: I’ve used FedEx before! (I’m a man of the people you see.) When you send things by FedEx they’re not under your control. You lost control, didn’t you!
Alan Rusbridger: No, Mr Reckless, I did not lose control.
[light tittering from committee staff]
Mr Reckless: You behaved completely irresponsibly and with no regard to the consequences of your actions, didn’t you!
Alan Rusbridger: No, I did not behave completely irresponsibly and with no regard to the consequences of my actions, Mr Reckless.
[committee suspended while everyone gets the laughter out of their systems]
But Tory MPs resigning from Parliament are like skunks boarding Noah’s ark: they come in twos. Step up Brooks Newmark MP (pictured left), who resigned as Minister for Civil Society last week, partly because he has no idea what that means, and partly because he was found to have ‘sexted’ an explicit image of himself to a charming lady he barely knew, who – completely unpredictably – turned out to be an undercover journalist.
Rumour has it that he also sent nude selfies to the Queen, who replied by snarling and hissing at him.
Going, going, gone, stuffed, sold online
During a slow period in the office last week, a colleague and I searched eBay for items of taxidermy, ie. stuffed animals. (There was a specific reason for this, although admittedly not a very good one.)
We found it surprisingly disturbing. Or, if we’d have thought about it in advance, unsurprisingly disturbing. Take, for example, the tasteful piece pictured on the right: “mounted mouse on a skeletal hand”. Bids start at £50, no doubt so cheap because the article is “used”.
Now that’s really worrying. What does ‘used’ mean in the context of a stuffed animal? Was it marked ‘used’ because it had previously been, erm, a mouse, or had the taxidermed incarnation itself been used for some Satanic ritual?
Other bargains available for the wily nature-lover included a rat in an Aladdin costume (complete with Persian rug) for £39.50, marketed by a company called My Pest Friends.
Or, for those who aren’t into the weird stuff, how about a “quirky funny adult sexy” tableu of two rats, one reclining in bed lasciviously and the other holding a copy of The Times? (Fortunately this one was marked ‘brand new’.) “PLEASE make sure you like the faces before you buy!” says the item description, “But this is a great gift! You think they have everything? Bet they haven’t got one of these!”
The University College London Conservative Society has been reprimanded by student leaders after it was found to be pursuing a campaign of stereotyped anti-Semitic and Islamophobic intimidation against members.
“The Conservative Party should be focusing on humiliating the poor and needy,” admitted shamed TorySoc president Albert Catheter-Furnace, “rather than groups like the Jews who are wealthy and want to take over the world (so who are really just like us).”
Tory party approval ratings have plummeted in recent days as the public reacted with anger to what some described as a “p***poor attack on the poor”.
“What we needed to hear from David Cameron,” said one of the public, “was a clear message that poverty will not be tolerated and that the poor will lose their citizenship and freedom of speech.”
The chair of the Jewish Leadership Council joined in the clamour of criticism of UCL’s TorySoc. “Any more of these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” he warned, “and well see to it that the Conservatives lose the next ‘election’.”
Five of the bestest
- Twitter: Twitmericks – superb daily limericks featuring contemporary news stories, eg. “The cast and the crew of Top Gear/ Have fled Argentina in fear/ A Falklands-themed plate/ Made locals irate/ So Clarkson was out on his ear.”
- Derek Low: What it’s like to fly in a $23,000 suite – how many drop-down ‘title’ menus give you the option of ‘king’?
- The Telegraph: Nosy pregnant cow gets stuck in pillbox – perhaps she was looking for some udder location.
- The Metro: Weird 999 calls revealed – there’s a certain irony in someone dressed as Sherlock Holmes leaving a bar without paying.
- Ha’aretz: Israeli air pollution drops 70-99% on car-free Yom Kippur – imagine that.