Channukah 5779: bringing sovereignty back home

Arron Banks speaking at a Maccabee rally (far right)

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a group of aggressive zealots waged a fierce campaign to free their nation from European influence. Eventually, after months of questionable tactics and undemocratic propaganda, they succeeded in liberating the country.

But, oh, at what cost!

For the campaigners, in all their fervour, had neglected to plan for the day when they would once again be in charge of a government – solely responsible for all their nation’s needs. They found that they did not have enough supplies. Despite all that they had stockpiled, their stores would barely last a single day.

Then, yea, a miracle happened.

Note from Gabriel: at this point I need to decide once and for all whether this is a recitation of the Channukah story parodying Brexit, or a recitation of the Brexit story parodying Channukah. If it’s the former, then a happy ending involving a miracle is possible. If it’s the latter, we’re all screwed.

But in the meantime, be sure to stockpile a few topical and seasonal gifts from this year’s catalogue. Yes, it’s GABRIEL FESTIVE INNOVATIONS!

We hope you feel able to make some purchases.

Other sovereign areas

The decision by ‘let your spare room’ giant AirBnB to stop advertising accommodation in illegal West Bank settlements has angered people who support illegal West Bank settlements but not really bothered anyone else.

Since Israel has basically been using the West Bank as its spare room since 1967, nobody can claim to be surprised. Nobody, that is, except Knesset member Michael Oren, who referred to the new policy as “the very definition of anti-Semitism” – though I thought that was the thing that had been belatedly adopted by the Labour Party – and called for a boycott of AirBnB, to, er, express the strength of his opposition to boycotts.

To mark the occasion, the editors and proprietors of this esteemed organ are delighted to present to you a new rentition of a well-known Beatles song, quite simply entitled, Let it AirBnB:


(Note to people who found this song controversial: I mainly did it for the puns and the strained rhymes and it’s only a song so probably not worth getting too concerned about.)

Reactionary right-wing middle-aged men demand vote of no confidence in female leader

No, it’s not Theresa May in whom they have no confidence, it’s Jodie Whittaker’s portrayal of The Doctor.

The ridiculous implausibility of having a fictional sci-fi character with thirteen lives turn into a woman has really upset readers of The Daily Mail, most of whom didn’t even know that women are allowed to become doctors. To add insult to injury, two of the Doctor’s three companions are “ethnic” and one is (according to an incredibly vague line in the script) “possibly bisexual”.

This is, of course, yet another totally unacceptable example of the BBC’s politically-correct agenda to perpetuate the myth that some people in Britain aren’t straight white men.

It gets worse.

Episode 3 of the new series – which was, incidentally, the first Doctor Who episode ever to have been written by a person of colour – saw Team TARDIS visit Rosa Parks in a racially-segregated 1950s USA. What did the viewers have to comment on this? “Who did the villain turn out to be… you guessed it, a white man.” Gosh! Who’d have imagined that an episode about Rosa Parks would portray a white person as in any way blameworthy.

Another gammon commented on this episode: “Goebells would have loved this.” Yes, the Nazi Party is fondly remembered for its love of civil rights for black people.

Hardly representative of modern Britain

Episode 6 was set during the partition of India, and even before it was aired, the discussion fora were buzzing: “This is presumably going to be another PC-BBC lesson in how it was all Britain’s fault.” And somehow the BBC did manage to make quite a convincing case that Britain was somewhat at fault. It’s a strange world.

Episode 7 was different. The villain in Episode 7 was a militant trade unionist who was using violent means to try to destroy a legitimate profitable business. Daily Mail readers were clearly struggling to find anything to criticise. But then, fortunately, one of them hit on it:

One thing I find particularly annoying, is the muted colour palete they insist on using. I had to leave the room at one point, because it irritated me so much

One moment they’re complaining about the presence of ethnic minorities; the next they’re complaining about a muted colour palete [sic]. Make your mind up, gammons.

Freud or foolishness?

Student rabbis studying at a different seminary to my own are required to take a psychometric test before being admitted. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is a very popular standard test, and consists of over 500 statements which the applicant has to declare either ‘true’ or ‘false’.

So what deep areas of the human psyche are explored? Well, the very first, and without a doubt most important and revealing, statement is:

Later on, we have:

…which is immediately (and quite logically) followed with:

Some seem to have obviously correct answers, such as:

Others create epistimological nightmares: how is it possible to respond to…

…with anything other than ‘true’? Yet others are clearly designed to disclose the prophets among us:

There are a whole range of career-based questions that seem totally aimless and are randomly dispersed throughout the hundreds of lines of statements:

I was so baffled by these that I looked up the manual which explains what each question indicates about the mind of its respondent. And it turns out, according to the official commentary accompanying the test, that the question, “If I were a reporter I would very much like to report sporting news” is included because it indicates whether or not the subject would very much like to report sporting news if s/he was a reporter.

Well that explains it! (And by the way, ‘false’.)

Corbyn outrage latest

The news that Jeremy Corbyn wore a coat (pictured right) to the Remembrance Sunday event at the Cenotaph caused predictable outrage.

However, he fended off criticism, telling the nation that “a second coat is not an option any more”. He insisted that the choice of coat had taken place, and that he “didn’t know” whether he’d wear a different coat if given the chance to choose again.

Dear oh dear.

That’s all, folks

We hope to see more of you in 2019 (as the Remoaner said to Europe! -Ed.)

Credits (no injunctions here)

So, as the TARDIS of time [travel] materialises on the alien planet of destiny, and as the script editor of fate cuts out the politically-incorrect scenes of eternity, it appears to be the end of the blog post.
In this week’s episode, the seasonal gifts were provided by Gabriel Festive Innovations, and the wreath was brandished by Jeremy ‘Red’ Corbyn. Psychiatric assessments were conducted by the University of Minnesota and the West Bank was boycotted by AirBnB. This was an Gabrielquotes production.

I’m getting married (subject to Acts of God)

I’ve been away for quite a while (because it turns out that the student rabbinate continues to be busy – although I have been building up a collection of Jewish resources that may interest some of youz). But it’s the summer now. So: previously in my life…

Traditional Jewish marriage contracts are rather nice and often look something like this:

Formal legal contracts with wedding suppliers are more ‘tedious’ than ‘nice’ and often look something like this:

Fortunately, they often contain some entertaining snippets.

One venue we looked around offered two packages: one called “Absolute Elegance”, and one, slightly more [over]expensive, called “Absolute Indulgence”. This led to a real dilemma about whether we wanted our wedding to be elegant or indulgent – because it couldn’t possibly be both.

The smallprint is neither elegant nor indulgent. Within it are buried unacceptable conditions such as one banning us from inviting “terrorists and narcotics traffickers” to our big day, and another totally unreasonable rule that we have to “comply with the law”.

There are also a lot of get-out clauses in which the venue gets to cancel the event and keep the money – for instance “declared war in the country in which the venue is located”, which, since we’re looking at a post-Brexit wedding, is not quite as implausible as it sounds.

There’s also a general exclusion of liability in respect of “Acts of God”. Now, given that the Jewish view says that marriage itself is an Act of God, who knows where that leaves us…

Wedding insurance, meanwhile, is something that I’d never even realised existed until this whole expedition started. One provider offered to throw in, for just £40, “ceremonial sword cover”, which I’m kind of imagining looks like this:

And there are quite a few exclusions here too – for instance “radioactive contamination” isn’t covered, so I’d better not visit Zizzi in Salisbury any time soon. And, “This insurance does not cover anything which happens gradually. So if the venue burns down really slowly, or if the aforementioned “declared war” only materialises as the result of a lengthy series of developments in international politics, we’re totally screwed.

Let them eat confit

It may not be a total surprise that St Paul’s Girls’ School churns out a lot of MPs and Cabinet ministers, because their “Austerity Day” at the end of June  clearly prepared its pupils for a life firmly in-touch with the common Briton.

“Do you want chips with that?”

Austerity Day at St Paul’s involved a change to their menu. Instead of their normal fare of “duck leg confit” and “slow-baked Moroccan lamb with broad beans, prunes and preserved lemon”, the girls were served the sort of thing what poor people (apparently) eat, viz baked potatoes with coleslaw, and fruit for dessert. The aim of the project was to help them “learn about less fortunate people”.

Other special days coming up at St Paul’s this autumn, to help them get an even greater insight into the lives of less fortunate people, include Refugee Day (in which the Geography and Chemistry departments will have to swap classrooms against their will), Homelessness Day (the Lower-School Stradivarius Band will go busking in Hampstead) and Grenfell Tower Day (where the Sixth Form common-room will have a log-effect fire installed in the corner).

No horseplay

I was recently in the lovely Yorkshire town of Thirsk, where I spotted a solicitors’ office declaring itself to provide “Rural & Equine Lawyers”. So apart from representing horses, what does an equine lawyer spend their time doing?

Well, some of his mane work includes:

  • Race relations
  • Disputes between neighhhbours
  • Jockeying for business
  • Generally having a good old mews about the law

You’ll never find an equine lawyer doing shoddy work or offering up their two centaurs unless requested. No doubt they face a number of hurdles in their work, but then I guess they should just be grateful to have stable employment.

On the other hand, a lawyer who represents themselves has a foal for a client (Thank you, I think we get the gist of this section. -Ed)

Our NEwest railway operator

When the government seized the East Cost liNE back from Richard Branson’s shiny hands (shiny with all the extra-Virgin olive oil of course), they renationalised it under the name “London North East Railway”.

This hastily-cobbled-together fresh-off-the-shelf entirely-made-up gluten-free company began operating last month, and recently published the branding guideliNEs for its shiny NEw logo (see left) and style. As you’ll observe, they’re particularly proud of their idea to embolden the letters NE to represent the North East.

But then they took this idea too far, by suggesting that they should embolden the letters NE in any word in which those letters happen to come NExt to each other. For example:

There are also some other suggested words which might conveniently have their NE bolded, including: WinNEr, GeNEtic, CaffeiNE, PioNEer, FortuNE and ToNE of voice. GoodNEss knows how often a rail company is likely to NEed to use those words (geNEtic? seriously?) but it’s good to know that the option’s there. It’s such a fantastic idea after all.

The document they published also reveals:

“LNER is not: recessive, plodding, boring, flippant, distant, bland, awkward.” – though it sounds a bit flippant if they’re seriously presenting this as a worthwhile document. It goes on:

“LNER is: confident, innovative, serious, playful (Yes: serious and playful. -Ed.) friendly, stylish, proud.”

No mention of it being a train operating company. But hey ho. At least it’s not “distant”. Except its shed in InverNEss. That’s distant.

Alex Rider’s latest adventure

Following the revelation in a minor Parliamentary committee that the government does, in fact, use children as spies when it considers it NEcessary and proportionate” to do so – and that it wants to liberalise the (few) restrictions on doing so – it seems that Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series is based on true events.

The law only currently allows these child spies to be deployed for up to a month at a time, perhaps because their attention span is so short and because otherwise MI6 will have to pay lots of fiNEs to angry headteachers. We’re reliably informed that they’re given codenames such as “Double-O Seven-to-NiNE years old” and prefer their Ribena shaken but not stirred.

They’ve already doNE our country sterling service. ONE brought in vital intelligence exposing the fact that Maisie in Year 6 was stealing sweets from her friends’ bags, and another top-secret source finally revealed who was behind that graffiti on the table in the art room. Agents currently in the field include oNE in deep cover in the 3rd Wandsworth Scout Troop, gathering evidence which, it is hoped, will lead to the conviction of a sinister figure known only as “Alfie” who is believed to be the brain behind a series of major breaches of the Scout Promise.

Anyway, details of the NExt Alex Rider book has just been released…


A barrage of balloons

Donald Trump, pictured, is to be parodied by an ugly balloon

As was observed earlier this month, the group of people outraged at arch-racist Tommy Robinson’s imprisonment ‘just for doing free speech’ [by delibeately jeopardising a criminal trial] is almost exactly the same as the group of people who, deeply committed to free speech as they are, feel that a large hot air balloon parodying Donald Trump as an “angry baby” shouldn’t be allowed because it might hurt his feelings.

The Trump blimp is currently flying over Parliament Square, which seems to be becoming a flashpoint for disputes over whether or not people are allowed to say things we disagree with.

Other political parodies likely to appear around the UK in the coming months include a Boris Johnson-themed macaroni penguin. Boris Johnson, meanwhile, will be heading to the Antarctic to hang around like a penguin doing nothing useful, a skill on which he’s been working lo these many years.

World Cupdate

Some football thing happeNEd.


So, as the balloon of time flies over the plaza of destiny, and as the branding manual of fate gets misused by the intern of eternity, it appears to be the end of the blog post.
In this week’s episode, the World Cup was played by a lot of men in shorts while Donald Trump was played for a fool. St Paul’s took the proverbial out of the poor, and John Lewis decided not to insure this blog post because it was written gradually. Transport services were provided by LNER. This was an Gabrielquotes production.