Far from Matthew Corbett, the new puppetmaster over at Labour Party HQ is Jeremy Corbyn. After Sweeping to victory after a Sooperbly-organised campaign of socialist drama, Jeremy won in the first-round of voting, the cunning little scamp(i).
According to The Independent, Jezza (the only one of the four leadership candidates who doesn’t follow me on Twitter, sour old sod) marked his victory by decamping to a local pub and singing The Red Flag.
According to Sussex Friends of Israel, the fact that he celebrated with a few drinkies rather than immediately, that second, wishing the Jewish community a happy new year was indicative of his deep-seated Nazioid tendencies (Tendencies apparently shared by you, Gabriel… -Ed.).
And according to Donald Trump, Corbyn is considering voting Republican this year.
The BBC, meanwhile, came up with this superb piece of investigative journalism on Monday morning:
Yes, he confounded expectations by choosing to populate his top team with supporters rather than with bitter enemies. Deeply shocking stuff.
Then there was the whole #Anthemgate thing. Jeremy Corbyn, a republican of deep integrity who admittedly swore an oath of loyalty to the Queen when he first became an MP but that was like decades ago, scandalised every one of Her Majesty’s subjects by refusing to sing the national anthem at a WW2 memorial service. (Every one of said subjects sings the national anthem to themselves daily, of course.)
He doesn’t, it seems, want violent revolution against the monarchy. He just wants them put to one side and gently ignored. So really he should have sung: “God, waive our gracious Queen…” (You’re fired. -Ed.)
The Tories aren’t doing much better than Labour at the moment. They’re in disarray as the furore over Adam ‘my barber’s a damn foreigner’ Hollway MP’s remarks continues. Readers will remember how he complained that he was unable to get a haircut last week because his barber had gone off on holiday to the country from which he’d been seeking asylum.
However, said barber has now come forward to tell the world that they actually weren’t on holiday in Iraq (funny, that) but instead, Great Yarmouth.
Jobs I’m not applying for, Episode #1
A new column documenting one sarcastic so-and-so’s hunt for full-time employment.
- Role: Cannabis farm clearer
- Employer: Avon & Somerset Police
- Salary: £18,000 “plus benefits” (hem hem)
- Advantages: opportunities to develop a career as a cannabis grower
- Disadvantages: hey, look at that blue unicorn!
A vexed question
The United Nations has voted to fly the flags of non-member Observer states – namely Palestine and the Vatican City – at its headquarters in New York. The decision was carried by a slender majority of 119-8.
It caused a little bit of well-considered, measured comment online:
Hear all about it in a new Tom Lehrer-esque song: The Vatican Flag
Katy Bourne gets fired
As if life wasn’t dreadful enough, the government has announced new plans to let Police and Crime Commissioners “take on responsibility” for the fire service, essentially merging fire and police into one structure headed by a Chief Constable. Sadly said fire service wouldn’t actually get a say in this process.
New legislation would enable PCCs to seize the reins of fire services
where it is in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness or public safety.
Note the “or”. Or public safety. If letting a load of half-witted overpoliticised Police Commissioners take control of the fire service would be in the interests of economy, public safety be damned.
The government has launched a ‘consultation’ on the proposals, which asks the public for their views with neutrally-worded questions such as:
What benefits do you think could be achieved from empowering Police and Crime Commissioners to create a single employer for police and fire and rescue personnel?
‘What benefits’? ‘Praise us, praise us, say you like our idea! Please!!’
Thank goodness these people aren’t choosing the EU referendum question. Oh wait; they are.
The proposal was welcomed – astonishingly enough – by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, and empire-builder, Katy Bourne (pictured left). She’s no doubt looking forward to getting her dance teacher’s teeth into another highly technical area in which she has no expertise or knowledge whatsoever.
Here’s the campaign song for her new initiative:
The other news, in briefs
- Parliament discussed the Assisted Dying Bill, which aims to support those too ill to change the colour of their hair on their own.
- Apple announces new products, thereby meaning that those people who own existing Apple products become obsolete.
- Facebook will be introducing a ‘dislike’ button following a petition by users who want to watch what the Conservatives are up to but are too embarassed to ‘like’ them.
I’m Surrey I haven’t a clue
Following last week’s blog coverage of Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley, he’s been a busy bee on Twitter. Despite his PA saying he would be unable to reply to my original request for a comment “due to his diary commitments”, he somehow found time to tweet at me on the day of publication at 1:29pm, 3:48pm, 3:52pm, 4:00pm, 4:23pm, 5:26pm, 5:33pm and 6:26pm. Clearly it’s a packed schedule he had.
One of his tweets accused me of playing “witch finder games” (‘Witch-hunt’, surely? -Ed.); another threatened libel proceedings even though he can’t legally bring any and I anyway didn’t write anything defamatory.
All rather strange behaviour from an elected office-holder, especially one who told the Committee on Standards in Public Life only this year how much they wished the public would scrutinise them more:
I am very concerned about the impact on democracy of the decline of local journalism. Local reporters have traditionally been the ‘armchair auditors’ to do the leg-work on behalf of the public to pick out the key headlines and the interesting stories – including ones relating to the ethical discharge of public duties – from public bodies’ data. That is the service they render to our community. Their numbers are falling.
Although interestingly, in a later tweet, Hurley denied ever having written this:
All very weird. As is the entry in his formal statutory Register of Gifts explaining why he accepted a BBC-branded umbrella:
- in relation to his plan to have asylum seekers set upon by Gurkhas, it’s OK because he “started the Gurkha Rights Campaign”; and
- in relation to him retaining a personal service company as his Assistant PCC rather than an actual person, this is because the individual who uses the company as their alter ego is a local councillor so cannot be directly employed by a Police Commissioner.
- Kevin seems not to have understood that my concern was more about his approach to refugees’ rights than to Gurkha rights; and
- Cllr Shiraz Mirza uses a personal service company as a front (“a practice which generates suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance and which fails to meet the standards expected of public officials”, in the words of the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee) in a scheme of dubious legality designed to circumvent statutory controls on the political activities of public sector employees.