Category: Uncategorized

Theresa and the Magic Money Tree

So, today, people are voting for stuff. Britain’s electorate has the unenviable choice of a man who the Tories say used to love the IRA, and a woman who the Institute of Fiscal Studies says would bring an “unaknowledged risk to the quality of public services”.

Tricky. Very tricky.

If you’re in a hurry to get dahn the polling station and cross the hell out of that box, and don’t have time to read this fun-stuffed blog, here’s a quick digest of the entire election in 2 minutes 31 seconds (and did I mention? It’s musical…)

Click below to hear:

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A glance at the manifestos

The manifestos made, frankly, painful reading. Highlights included:

  • The Conservatives plan to “reconvene the Board of Trade”, which last met in 1970 – but still, it’s Corbyn who wants to drag the country back to the 1970s.
  • A pledge by one of the parties “to create a new Ministry of Labour” (guess which party pledged that).
  • The Tories reassure the nation that they will “retain the traditional way method of voting by pencil and paper with the franchise extending only to married men over 35.
  • The Lib Dems want to introduce “MP job-sharing arrangements”: because last time we had a Lib Dem Prime Minister-sharing arrangement it was such a success.
  • Labour promises to “protect the nomadic way of life”, because Jeremy Corbyn’s lifestyle in Islington will just not be complete until he has a yurt.
  • If elected in some weird parallel universe, Liberal Democrats will “provide local authorities with powers to improve transport” – whereas at the moment local authorities are positively banned from improving transport, and if they try they get slapped on the bottom.
  • Theresa May says she will “continue to invest in our security services” – she apparently doesn’t realise that every party would continue this, it’s not as if we’re just going to sell them off to Lehman Brothers or something.
  • Labour also promised to “set up a national review of local pubs (apparently the AA Guide is inadequate) and “enshrine the European Convention on the Rights of the Child in law”, which may be challenging as it doesn’t exist.
  • Tim Farron pledges “devolution on demand, which will annoy parents who tell their children to do stuff only to have devolution demanded of them.
  • Under the heading “A country that comes together”, the Tories have listed their first priority to be “controlling immigration”, ie not bringing the country together.

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Parties agree to suspend campaigning for slightly less time than the other parties are suspending campaigning for

Following the terrorist attack on Manchester/ London, leaders of all parties have agreed to pause election campaigning until just before the other parties start campaigning again.

One of them said, “In this time of national tragedy, it is absolutely right and proper that we are not seen to be the only party still campaigning when our competitors have stopped.”

One of their opponents told journalists: “This is not a moment for politics, which is why I am giving a press interview in the name of my party instead of addressing the public in the name of my party.”

The Blitz spirit

Following the Saturday attacks on London, Facebook activated its ‘mark yourself safe’ tool, which presented users of the mobile app with two options: “I’m safe”, or, slightly more sinisterly, “This does not apply to me.”

There was also a new feature being trialled: “Offer help” and “Find help”. This feature, unsurprisingly, allows the needy to find offers of help, and the self-righteous to offer help. Particularly objectionable, self-serving and smug offers of virtue-signalling help included:

Help being offered
Comment
Blood Strangely, the national blood donation system is not as precisely similar to Freecycle as a stupid person might suppose. If you want to donate blood, it’s not a private arrangement between two people who meet on Facebook; you have to register like a normal person. (And also, hospitals need blood all the time and if you’re only offering because of a sudden rush of patriotic feeling after a terrorist attack you might want to rethink that.)
Blood “for one person” Not how it works actually.
Blood “in the Southwark area” “Meet you on Blackfriars Bridge at 10, yeah, and you can transfuse it over? Cheers mate.”
“Dryed [sic] dog food” Uniquely helpful following a mass stabbing.
“I can put a hamper in the post for you” In the aftermath of a major emergency, the prospect of queuing at the sorting office to retrieve a stale pork pie must bring some comfort.
Accommodation I wasn’t aware that this incident actually hindered anybody’s access to accommodation?
Accommodation “in King’s Lynn” I very wasn’t aware that this incident hindered anybody’s access to accommodation in King’s Lynn.
Accommodation “in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy Absolute piss-take.
Accommodation “for one baby only” This isn’t an adoption agency (and are you seriously expecting a parent caught up in these terrible events to say, “Oh, sure, I’ll happily leave my baby overnight with a complete stranger while I try to find somewhere to stay in South Tyrol…”)
Accommodation “for a British citizen” Ain’t it wonderful how times of crisis bring the human race together.
Prayer I’m as strong a proponent of the power of prayer as the next proponent of the power of prayer, but if you believe in it, just do it, don’t post an advert on Facebook offering your services, that’s just weird.
“Reiki support” If only the ambulance crews had thought of this.
“Free counselling (via WhatsApp)” A therapeutic technique endorsed by the British Council of Psychotherapists
“Full support” “Hi there, I’m calling about your advert. I’d like to take you up on your offer. Can I have your full support please?”
“Help in finding the lowlifes who did this.” So Sherlock isn’t the world’s only consulting detective after all?
“Any useful information I get, I will tell the police about it.” This was posted by someone who lives in Bangalore. Just saying. (Also: again, don’t offer, just do it.)
“Anyone want to grab a cheeky Nando’s?” Yeah, I could do with a halloumi burger right now.
“Anything.” “Well, I’ve been looking for funding to do a Master’s degree…”

Coroner insists that Labour Party’s ashes must not be scattered near Downing Street

A judge has directed that, when the tragic, tattered remains of the Labour Party are cremated tomorrow morning, their ashes must not be scattered near Downing Street.

Mr Justice Emmanuel Festo, coroner for Inner Westminster, told a courtroom packed with journalists reporting the death of the much-loathed entity, “I think it would be offensive for Labour’s ashes to be interred so close to the site of their infamous deeds. I want assurance that this will not happen.”

Diane Abbot was not available for comment because the inquest clashed with an Edexcel GCSE Maths exam.

Hello and welcome to: Sacking Senior Public Officials with…

“You spent this whole task trying to enforce the laws of the United States. You’re fired.”

This week, I’ll be taking a leaf out of Donald Trump’s book and Sacking Senior Public Officials with the leaders of all the main political parties, and also the Lib Dems.

I’ll be asking each of them which senior public official they would, if elected, like to fire.

Jeremy Corbyn, which senior public official would you sack? “Owen Smith.”

Tim Farron? “I’d have about nine referenda to let the public have the final say.”

Theresa May, which senior public official would you sack? What I recognise is that this country needs strong and stable leadership.” (Alternative joke: “Sorry, I don’t have time to answer, I’m too busy thinking about the Brexit negotiations.”)

Leanne Woods? Peter Nuttall from UKIP.”

Nicola Sturgeon? “55.3% of the Scottish electorate.”

Paul Nuttall, who would you like to sack? “Nigel Farage. Then I’d re-hire him, sack him and re-hire him again. A bit like he did to himself.”

For the Green Party, I asked each co-leader separately. Caroline Lucas, you would like to sack? “Jonathan Bartley.” And Jonathan Bartley? “Caroline Lucas.” (Predictable. -Ed.)

Corbyn criticised for “victim-blaming” speech

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn has been widely condemned for a “crass piece of victim blaming”, namely his speech suggesting that the assassination of Abraham Lincoln took place because Lincoln was President.

Security minister Ben Wallace (pictured right), who literally nobody has ever heard of, told Radio 4’s Today Programme: “It is absolutely appalling to suggest that there is any link between a person being President of the United States and that person being targeted by assassins.

“No amount of excuses or twisted reasoning can possibly lead to any suggestion that certain political activities increase a person’s vulnerability to acts of violence.”

In other news, historians have confirmed that:

  • Charlie Hebdo was selected as a target totally at random and its record of printing controversial Islam-related cartoons had nothing to do with it.
  • There was no link between the Treaty of Versailles and the events leading up to World War Two.
  • People are not more likely to fall victim to identity theft if their online banking password is ‘password’ and anyone who says they are is fake news.
  • There is no link between a bear’s need to defecate and their presence in woodland.
  • The Pope may or may not be Catholic but that is nothing to do with it.

Happy voting! And if you feel the need to pray at all, as the night wears on, don’t post on Facebook offering, just go for it.

Have you been offended by any of the issues raised in this blog post?

Oh dear.

We need strong and stable blog posts

The stuff of nightmares

Now, please appreciate that I speak as an Official Election Observer accredited by the Electoral Commission; as a long-time returning officer; as someone who reads Schofield’s Election Law for fun and who did their dissertation on electoral dispute resolution.

Nevertheless:

I am bloody bored of this election.

I’d barely got over 2015, and now we have to go through the whole, irritating, sorry business again, this time with one leader who let me down by calling the election when she said she wouldn’t; one who literally has fewer MPs in Parliament than there are pandas in America; and Jeremy Corbyn. Dire stuff.

One of the main stars so far has definitely been Gisela Allen of UKIP. Her proposal to bring back the guillotine got a lot of coverage, however even better was her bizarre outburst, “Kidney transplants, heart transplants – come off it.” Er – right. Sounds sensible to me.

The desperately dull general election follows hot on the heels of desperately duller local elections, in which Labour and UKIP were basically wiped out but nevertheless released defiant statements claiming not to have been wiped out (they’ve had months to plan for this, why couldn’t they think of something more convincing?)

Former John Lewis managing director Andy Street is the new Mayor the West Midlands; and let’s face it, if anybody can give us stable leadership, it’s a mare. In his victory speech, Mr Street revealed that his first new policy will be to redesignate the entire population of Coventry as “partners” rather than mere citizens.

But above all, my heart really goes out to David Dimbleby. The poor guy has fronted almost every election night since the 1980s, staying up long past his bedtime to interview Patricia Hewitt. He had planned to step down after the 2015 election and pass on the 2020 baton to Huw Edwards. But this unexpected early ballot has called him out of retirement – and I suspect he’s not happy about it. Here’s his song, entitled quite simply, Let Me Go:


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Hamas introduce new customer charter

Suicide bombs with a smile

Everyone’s favourite terrorist organisation, Hamas (motto: Never knowingly underground), is hoping to improve its image by introducing a new charter.

New, more conciliatory clauses include a condemnation of “anti-human Zionist aggressors”, and a timely reminder that terrorist violence “remains a legitimate right, duty and honour” for its members. Nice.

Alongside introducing cutesey one-eyed mascots, the latest charter also guarantees consumers a “more responsive service”, greater punctuality of knife attacks, and speedy resolution of customer complaints.

Holders of the myJihad card will also be entitled to a free coffee and copy of Protocols of the Elders of Zion every time they spend more than £10.

Another plan to increase Hamas’s popularity has involved senior operatives being loaned to the BBC as extras on hit crime drama Line of Duty.

The first syllable of its name is still a meat forbidden in both Judaism and Islam, though, so until they change it they won’t get my vote.

Banksy on Brexit

Banksy’s latest artwork features a workman removing one of the stars from the EU flag, marking Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Residents of Dover, where the painting can be found, are not terribly impressed, one commenting:

When are the ‘remainer camp’ going to realise the stars don’t represent member states?

It’s almost as if they don’t understand what art is.

Another Brexit-supporting reader of the Kent Online website (ie the other half of its readership) wondered:

Has Brussels paid him to do this?

But I thought Brussels only paid people for doing nothing?

Nous avons besoin d’un leadership solide et stable

I know who I favoured for President of France

It’s not just Britain that’s suffered an election. In France, a nail-biting contest was cancelled in order not to distract from the presidential election, in which one candidate who wishes she’d been born fifty years earlier so as not to miss the golden era of fascism faced off against another who thinks he should have got paid royalties when the film Notes on a Scandal was released.

The election got nasty in the final few days, with Marine Le Pen claiming that Monsieur Macron had an “offshore bank account in the Bahamas” – which she found objectionable because she needs the Bahamas as a slave colony to deport unwanted minorities to.

Election day itself was not without moments of crisis. According to the BBC:

…although that was nothing to the five even greater tits who were outside canvassing on behalf of the Front National. (The BBC also added that “a lot of French media are tweeting about the birds” but that’s just silly.)

Macron had the backing of senior clergy from France’s Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, who issued an unpresidented joint statement condemning Le Pen. This led one disgruntled commenter on the Jewish News Facebook page to say:

Suicidal rabbi voting for Vichy Nazi EU Islam axis?!

I think some of his verbs got lost in cyberspace.

Whither Silver?

Something went wrong with the hotel booking on the last Royal visit to Norway

With the retirement of Philip ‘this looks like it was done by an Indian’ Duke of Edinburgh, there is a vacancy available for someone to have the popular outdoor activity awards named after them.

Here at Gabrielquotes Towers we look at the runners and hikers:

  • At odds of 5/3, Prince George, who will be introducing a special new award for escaping a baby-leash while sporting a snazzy dressing gown
  • 4/3: Evan Millet, owner of the popular tent, sleeping bag and middle-class grain empire
  • Evens: Camilla. Smash the patriarchy.
  • At 3/8 it’s Nigel Farage: he knows he could win it but probably won’t run just to prove how confident he is about his chances
  • At 2/17: Bear Grylls. If he can grill a bear he can run an award scheme.
  • 25/1: all the people who Prince Philip has insulted, abused and racially degraded during his ninety years of public service. Because we like to think that reparation is a thing.
  • 50/1: erm…
  • 55/1: that’s it.

Jews

Just a note that those of you professing the Jewish religion may wish to see my growing collection of Jewish educational resources by clicking on the word ‘here’: here.

I do recognise that what we need is strong and stable credits

Well, as the terrorist organisation of time amends the charter of destiny, and as the Prime Minister of fate circumvents the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of eternity, it seems to be the end of the blog post.
In tonight’s episode, the political parties were all really annoying and Hamas wasn’t much good either. The Duke of Edinburgh was played by Prince Philip and Banksy by some anonymous bloke with a can o’ paint. David Dimbleby has confirmed that he will be staying up all night, and it won’t even by Shavuot. Macron has a dodgy relationship with his wife but at least he’s not openly racist. This was an Gabrielquotes production!