See EU later

rect2985That was all so much fun, wasn’t it! The mark of a successful event is that people are asking, “When’s the next one?”

So, it came as no surprise that, no sooner had the referendum finished than people were clamouring for a second one!

homo floresiensis - large copyOn Friday morning, pro-Brexit voters were already ruing their decision – how unfortunate that nobody mentioned, beforehand, that a Leave vote might result in massive currency fluctuations. One such creature, Adam (pictured soft right), told the Daily Mail:

I’m a bit shocked to be honest. I didn’t think that was going to happen. I didn’t think my vote was going to matter too much because I thought we were just going to remain.

It’s that sort of thinking which resulted in Hartlepool electing a monkey as mayor.

Meanwhile, a vastly popular petition (Gabrielquotes passim) called for a re-vote. (A second, slightly cheekier petition added that the England v Iceland game should be re-played if we lose because that would be like well unfair.) The EU petition was signed by a curious number of people from outside the UK, including 39,000 from the Vatican City, which has a population of 800. Odd. Ironically, it was initiated before Thursday’s vote, by a pro-Brexit campaigner who was worried about a narrow Remain victory. Bet he’s not too happy now.

A song to mark the end of this process:

If you enjoyed this satire on the disadvantages of petitions, you might also enjoy this rant about the disadvantages of petitions.

A pizza the action

slice_PT_margheritaI blush to refer to our European partners in this post, but I do have to report that the Italian senate has called for pizza-making to be regulated and subject to formal qualifications.

According to the BBC:

Aspiring pizzaioli would have to pass a theoretical and practical exam after undertaking training.

The practical exam will last around 40 minutes and is said to include:

  • The candidate demonstrating their skill at emergency topping
  • 10 minutes of independent tossing
  • At least one of the following manoeuvres:
    • Successfully putting an egg on a Fiorentina
    • Using one of those long wooden things in an oven
    • Not falling asleep at the pizza wheel
  • Selecting an appropriate bay parking space leaf
  • Applying up to 15 minor toppings and no more than one major topping

One senator who opposes the plans, Pam O’doro, told reporters: “This is not necessary. Selecting meats, vegetables and salad leaves as pizza toppings is easy. It’s not rocket science.”

She added: “The whole system will cost a lot of dough.”

Police, camera, regulation

Author of the guidance
Author of the guidance

The College of Policing has unveiled new guidelines for undercover police officers, which specify that they may only engage in sexual activity with a suspect if “proportionate” and “to mitigate an immediate threat”. They should also only have sex “to the minimum extent necessary” and “must record it”. Sounds eminently reasonable.

The guidance also goes into detail on the process of “legend building” (aka. ‘telling porkie pies’) and helpfully warns:

All undercover staff should be aware of the dangers posed by exposure of their true identity on social media.

Time to delete those Snapchats then… (Yes Tom Watson that means you.)

Officers are also cautioned not to do anything which “could have a negative impact on the reputation of undercover policing” – though it’s hard to think of anything which could tarnish the reputation of undercover policing any further.

Jewish human rights klutz

The Fruitcake & Loony Association, trading as Jewish Human Rights Watch, has been slapped down by the High Court for appointing itself as a representative of the Jewish community and trying to stifle free speech within local councils.

jonathan neumann jhrwJHRW and its director Jonathan Neumann (pictured far right) took Leicester, Swansea and Gwynedd councils to court in a bid to prevent them from passing resolutions boycotting illegal settlements in the West Bank. It never occurred to them that, er, dialogue and education might be more productive than a summons.

According to Neumann, a council boycott of West Bank settlements “amounts to a get-out-of-town order for Leicester’s Jews”.

He and his crazy friends are appealing Tuesday’s decision to the Court of Appeal, claiming that “councils can now call for a ban on homosexuals and for black people to have to leave town”.

Lucky there’s no hideous exaggeration or overstatement going on then.

JHRW, which has literally never issued a press release without some arbitrary reference to the Nazis, has previously threatened legal action against pubs for allowing pro-Palestinian activists to enter, and against the University of Cambridge for allowing its students to protest against Israel.

Although not a charity itself (and therefore under no obligation to disclose where it gets its vast budget from), JHRW has also reported anti-Israel charity War on Want to government regulators. The government will not accept such complaints unless the complainant has first “given the charity a chance to address the issue” – so Neumann duly recorded the nature of his dialogue and respectful engagement with the charity:

Demonstrations outside their offices and their Annual General Meeting. They were not interested in our concerns.

What a loopy bunch of thugs. How fortunate that Mr Justice Simon noted in his judgment:

The assertion that JHRW consulted widely among the Jewish community before bringing the claim was not supported by any evidence.

Those Tory leadership candidates in full

david-cameron[1]On the subject of loonies, with Cameron gone, the ol’ Conservvies will need to select a new leader. As Ladbrokes is taking thousands of pounds on the outcome of the contest, Gabrielquotes takes you through some of the runners and riders.

  • Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – Evens – as with Donald Trump, best known for his hair. Seems unwilling to make cuts.
  • Theresa Icequeen – 11/4 – widely seen as a threat to civil liberties due to her tendency to turn her opponents to ice by giving them one of her trademark stony stares. Obsessed with power; can she Let It Go?
  • Picky Morgan – 25/1 – as an Equalities Minister who opposes same-sex marraige, Morgan has a reputation for achieving the unachievable. Could she bring back the party’s glory days?
  • Jacob Rees-Oligarch – 33/1 – appeals to the paternalistic, fox-hunting, ultra-rich, ‘we’ve been here since Anglo-Saxon times, haven’t you?’ wing of the party.
  • Justine Greening – 50/1 – her revelation last weekend that she’s lesbian was hailed by George Osborne as “best news of the last 48 hours”. Could that slightly odd comment be a veiled endorsement?
  • Katy Bourne-Conspiracy – 74/1 – politics has been called ‘the deadliest dance’ and who better to take it on than Sussex’s Police & Crime Commissioner née ballet teacher?
  • Donald Tusk – 300/1 – the man to bring down the system from within?
  • Jeremy Corbyn – 350/1 – he’s going to be looking for another job soon, and unlike any of the other contenders, he already has party leadership experience.

Jezza and out

Corbyn: fallen in action
Corbyn: fallen in action

On the subject of Jeremy – the London Corbital – I must be just about the only member of the Labour Party who has neither resigned from nor been appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in the last week.

Despite an unprecedented rebellion and vote of no confidence far in advance of the referendum’s ‘people has spoken’ 52%, Corbyn is staying on in office because it would be “a betrayal” to resign. Meanwhile, the party has (at time of writing) failed to challenge him for the leadership because the two most obvious contenders have been “unable to agree which of them should be the unity candidate”.

And there I was thinking that the hallmark of a unity candidate was that there didn’t have to be an almighty row to establish who it should be.

Not only have Shadow Cabinet ministers been resigning, but, according to various news sources, various “junior shadows” have also resigned, to spend more time with the Vashta Nerada.

Euro 2016

(Put a joke here about how we’ve just done a second Brexit from the Euros. Bet no-one else will think of doing that. -Ed.)

Credit: Andrew Rae
Credit: Andrew Rae

Talkin’ ’bout a referendum

1412056274974_wps_62_Flag_of_the_European_Unio[1]It’s referendum day. But while there are reasons to dread whatever will happen this evening (when the results of the Brexit polls are announced), at least we know that, either way, from 24 June onwards there’s a slim, outside chance that we might get through a news bulletin without having to listen to any more drivel about the bloody EU!

The whole thing has been so annoying, I’d almost be willing to compromise. Perhaps, for instance, we could come to a deal whereby Britain is a member of the EU for most of the year, but is entitled to 20 days (plus public holidays) of leave. Or even we could promise to be EU members for no more than 48 hours a week.

If you’ve not voted yet and want to read about why Jewish values militate in favour of a Remain vote then click here ASAP.

From one sceptered isle to another

Do you seriously want your country to become like THIS?
Do you seriously want your country to become like THIS?

French finance Emmanuel Macron (his surname is an abbreviation for ‘macroeconomics’ I think) has stuck his oar in with the intriguing suggestion that:

Leaving the EU would make Britain like Guernsey.

So it would result in crime falling, tax falling, high employment rates, a booming financial sector, the strength of character to resist fascist occupation, and two loving children called Alderney and Sark?

Do you know, I think Mr Macron might have won me over to Brexit.

Lol jk.

Thanks Macron.

Direct democracy

testimonials[1]A somewhat last-minute petition has been launched on Parliament’s website calling for the referendum to be cancelled and Britain to remain in the EU by default. At time of writing, 42,000 people have signed it (or maybe its initiator, Christopher McGinty, has 42,000 email addresses and a lot of energy).

The rules say that once a petition receives 10,000 signatures it receives a written response from the government saying, “No,” and once it reaches the 100k level a minister will make a speech in the House of Commons saying, “No.”

All petitions have six months to gather support, so by December we should know for certain whether or not the referendum will be cancelled.

Interestingly the rules also forbid any petition which is “extreme in its views” (because it’s not as if Parliament is there to consider radical changes to society or anything). Examples of petitions which have been rejected by the authorities include:

  • “Let students watch the England v Wales football match”
  • “Urgent inquest into why Harry Kane is taking corners for England (something that would boost moral [sic] for the whole of the UK)”
  • “Change the Facebook emojis back into the original ones”
  • “Provide elderly residents of care homes with access to Mario Kart game consoles”
  • “Make Southern Rail trains free to all members of the public”
  • “Have a Bring Your Dog to Work Day”
  • “Help Tara get a dog”

And back to the referendum…

  • “The Conservative Party should be split into two parties, pro- and anti-EU”
  • “Give Nigel Farage a knighthood”

Thanks, citizens.

Football’s coming home

Andy Murray in action against Ivan DodigDavid Beckham (pictured) stepped up to the crease on Tuesday with the revelation that we should remain in the EU.

He told journalists that, although he had played with a lot of “great British players like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, they had been a better team because of a Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel”.

So that’s that settled then.

His contribution came as a great boon to the Remain campaign, which has spent the last few weeks insisting that we should pay more attention to the words of experts than those of ignorant populist demagogues with no knowledge of economic and social integration policy.

But as so often, Beckham faced some competition. Boris Johnson was not prepared to surrender this vitally important high ground so easily, and hastily reminded the public that “the Brexit side, too, had backing from former England stars”.

So hopefully today, people will be out voting in droves based on, er, what footballers they support most.

Thanks David.

How politics works

Crosby_3517285bSir Lynton Crosby of Patronage-down-Under (pictured) has taken to The Telegraph to share his unique insights into the referendum, in the process coining the highly unpleasant phrase “soft Remainers”.

He’s made the following radical claim:

As I pointed out in my original column, the side that is most effective in motivating their voters to turn out on the 23rd will be the side that emerges victorious.

NO WAY. I had no idea that the political views of the people who vote affects the outcome – I’d thought it was a largely random process with little popular input.

Thanks Lynton.

Watching DC


…But Gabrielquotes asks: how come the words “deep sh*t” were omitted from this mug?

Cameron also told reporters: “You can’t jump out of the aeroplane then climb back in through the cockpit hatch.” Seems clear to me.

Thanks, Prime Minister.

Nobody’s business but the Turks

640px-Turkey_flag[1]I bet Turkey never thought it would end up playing such a pivotal role in a British referendum.

Pivotal but stupid. The big scare claim is, ‘If we stay in then we’ll be overrun by Turks when they join the EU’. It’s bollocks because Britain has an absolute veto  over new member states.

But this is one of those unusual cases where the ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ argument can be subverted into ‘Christians voting for Turkey’.

Thanks Boris.

The best of Twitter

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.21.28 Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.20.17 Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.17.02 Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.16.38

Thanks Tina.

Vote Remain.