Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Weekly Diary: 22nd - 26th June

Monday 22nd June
David Cameron has been a majority Prime Minister for almost seven weeks now, and the time has come for him to start coming clean on the £12bn of welfare cuts. Whilst he has always been honest about the figure, he has been somewhat evasive on the detail. When I say “somewhat evasive”, I actually mean “more evasive than Peter was when asked if he knew Jesus”.
Today he has said that he is going to end the “benefits merry-go-round”, which makes being on a low income and struggling to make ends meet sound more fun. He is referring to the taxing of low-earners, only to give them money back in tax credits, which is a bit of a u-turn from the man who introduced the Married Couple’s Allowance. Because we absolutely should be supporting people who have a degree of happiness and support. We’ve all seen 70s sitcoms, and we know married people’s lives are hell.

Tuesday 23rd June
Justice Secretary and apparent human Michael Gove has given his first speech in the role, and he has said that the justice system lets down the “poorest” in society. The Tories must be a bit miffed as to why this is, particularly as they cut the legal aid bill, meaning that it is now harder for the worse off to get legal representation. The problem really is baffling.
He’s calling for investment in technology and IT to speed up trial procedures. Brilliant. That’ll crack it. We’re all for updating our infrastructure in all ways, but it’s no silver bullet. All that will happen is that we will get to the crucial point of a trial and the court will have to restart so that Windows can install some updates.

Wednesday 24th June
A lot of news to pick from today. There is an extraordinary migrant crisis in Calais with apparently economic migrants attempting to pour into the backs of lorries which have been delayed by a strike. Meanwhile disabled people in wheelchairs, who were protesting the abolition of the Independent Living Fund, have taken police by surprise and very nearly stormed Prime Minister’s Questions.
However, the most extraordinary story of the day is the revelation that the United States has been spying on French Presidents all the way back to Chirac. The US Ambassador was summoned, upon which he explained as follows.
“Look Jake, Nick, and Franky, we’re sorry, but we couldn’t turn it off. You guys were way more entertaining than Days of our Lives. Jakey had a different girl every night, then Nick did this whole star-crossed romance thing with the hottie who was twice his height. We were going to stop with Franky, but then bam: he’s having an affair with an actress! I mean, can you blame us? You guys should write the script for Entourage 2.”

Thursday 25th June
Extraordinary revelations in this morning’s Guardian on the inner workings of the Lib Dems across five years of opposition, coalition, and, finally, oblivion. It transpires that there was a failed coup against Nick Clegg a year away from the General Election whilst, at the same time, in the face of dreadful local and European election results, Clegg was on the verge of quitting.
He told one Lib Dem that he felt that he was the “problem and not the solution”, to which the senior Lib Dem responded “You don’t have that luxury – this is your burden now, you have to carry it through to the election. Whether you believe that or not, it’s tough titty.”
Which roughly translated comes out as “I don’t care how many seats we lose – I want to watch you suffer, you feckless Cameron-poodle. I hope that by the end of this you envy Chris Huhne. I don't care how you feel. That's hard breast.”

Friday 26th June
Clearly Sepp Blatter has been taking some advice from Nigel Farage, because today he has unresigned. In Swiss newspaper Blick, he is quoted as saying "I did not resign, I put myself and my office in the hands of the Fifa congress."

It is true that he didn’t say the word “resign”, but he did say that the election he triggered would be for his successor. The signs are that Mr Blatter is going to anoint the only man who can continue his unique legacy of corruption and greed, namely himself.

Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Weekly Diary: 15th - 19th June

Turns out the United Kingdom Independence Party know bugger all about unity

Monday 15th June
What excitement there has been. Some people have lived to fight another day, whilst others have been cruelly cast aside, perhaps never to be seen again, and even I’m not sure whether I’m talking about the Season Finale of Game of Thrones, or the Labour Leadership Race.
Jeremy Corbyn has made it onto the ballot, having received sufficient nominations with but seconds remaining until the deadline, which drove the Westminster Press Corps batty with excitement. However, this was as nothing to the visit of Lionel Richie to Parliament. He looked a little lost, but no-one knows who he was looking for. (Boom! Boom! Thank you. I’m here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.)

Tuesday 16th June
American Presidential Election news, now, and the news, my friends, is joyous. By which I mean it’s terrifying, but the road to hell is paved with laughter.
There are more Republicans running for President than FIFA Officials running from the Feds. They include Rick Santorum (an anti-gay politician whose name has been made synonymous with a by-product of buggery), Rick Perry (the former Governor of Texas who crashed out of the last campaign by forgetting what he was saying and trying to cover-up with the masterly utterance of “Oops”), and now Donald Trump.
Yes, Donald Trump: the man who tried to trademark the phrase “You’re fired”. He also said “Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich” and of a recent President he remarked “He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!”
Now, you might think that he was referring to George W. Bush, who was the last President not to win the popular vote in 2000. But, no. He was talking about the last President who undoubtedly won the election. You know the one he means. The black one.
Of course, it’s unfair to infer that the President’s colour had any impact on Mr Trump’s views, even though he’s accepted that he probably once said “Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” and that “laziness is a trait in blacks”.
But, on the other hand, he has a big tower. And fabulous hair which I’m sure is as genuine as he was when he said "I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."

Wednesday 17th June
This evening saw the first Labour Leadership Hustings, where the four candidates all passed the initial test of being better on camera than Ed Miliband. As such, the focus rather surprisingly turned to policy. Jeremy Corbyn spoke for Old Labour, Liz Kendall spoke for New New Labour, Andy Burnham spoke for whatever seemed most opportune at the time, and Yvette Cooper spoke for none of the above. If you fancy a flutter, back the none of the above candidate.

Thursday 18th June
Suzanne Evans, who became prominent during the election as a Ukipper who seemed, well, normal, gave an interview to the BBC’s Daily Politics, in which she said of party leader Nigel Farage: “I think Nigel is a very divisive character in terms of the way he is perceived. He is not divisive as a person but the way he is perceived in having strong views that divide people.”
Mr Farage heard this and felt that the best way to prove that he was not divisive in this way was to sack the woman for having an even moderately dissenting view.
An e-mail was sent out to all Ukippers saying that no-one was to have any further contact with her, that she was not to be put out as a party “spokesman” (the “man” being a nice, Farage touch), and that she was not to be briefed or advised. The e-mail was forwarded to the BBC, presumably by a UKIP staffer committed to the sort of unity only UKIP can provide.

Friday 19th June
News filters through that Suzanne Evans has not been sacked. This means that UKIP have a leader who “unresigned”, an advisor in the form of Matthew Richardson who “unquit”, and now a senior figure who has been “unsacked”.
Those who have left the party remain bullish however, with former advisor Raheem Kassam having recently described the campaign to get Nigel Farage elected in South Thanet as thee “single best campaign ever, ever in British politics, bar maybe the Bradford spring”. Of course, the official UKIP description of that result was that it was a seat that they “unwon”.

Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense. Though every Donald Trump quote is verifiable.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Weekly Diary: 8th June - 12th June

Cameron Crosses the Rubicon, Quickly Rows Back Over It

Monday 8th June
7.00am
The Prime Minister summons a conference call of senior Tories.
“Right, look here you plebs! I have given you the majority you craved for across two decades and my message is clear: I am your Caesar!”
To which Boris started coughing heavily, before the Prime Minister continued: “The thing about Caesars is that if they are not obeyed, it is the masses who suffer. So, you will obey my commands on Europe, or it’s the Colosseum for you. Have I made myself clear?”
7.00pm
After a long day in politics, the Prime Minister reconvenes the conference call.
“I think what I said earlier might have been misconstrued. When I said “I am your Cesar”, I meant the puppy on the dog food.
“What do you mean you can hear me spelling it differently?”

Tuesday 9th June
The politicians, they keep on campaigning, and at present MPs are manoeuvring over the chairs of the Commons Select Committees, elections for which are due next week. The race for Chair of the Health Select Committee, where Conservative MP David Tredinnick is in the running, has attracted some attention. He said in January that he thinks that astrology should be used in medicine.
He believes that opposition to astrology is driven by “superstition, ignorance and prejudice”. Critics suggest that opposition is also driven by “facts”, but they ignore the fact that Mr Tredinnick is highly intelligent and applies his knowledge to practical matters. We know this because he is a Capricon.

Wednesday 10th June
David Miliband has spoken out over his sadness and pain over his brother’s electoral failure. He has done so very aware that any comment he makes on this particular subject might well be perceived as an act of schadenfreude. Fortunately, we have a translator on hand who is fluent in schadenfreude.
David Miliband said that the nature of Labour’s pitch to voters made him “very fearful of the consequences”. This translates as “my brother completely screwed up his election campaign”.
Miliband went on with: “I have to say that any sense of vindication is massively outweighed by a sense of frustration and anger about what's going to happen to the country.” Which translates as “I have a tremendous sense of vindication, and that makes me angry and frustrated because I could have beaten those bastards.”
Mr Miliband is returning to these shores in a speech in September, and is rumoured to be planning a sequel in a by-election near you any month now.

Thursday 11th June
George Osborne was at the swanky Mansion House dinner last night, where he announced the sell-off of government shares in RBS at a loss of £7 billion. This has raised some consternation, as the Tories seem to be so totally against deficits of any kind.
Mr Osborne was unable to answer questions on the issue this morning, presumably because he was recovering from the Mansion House dinner, but the rumour is that the move is actually a brilliant attempt to avoid capital gains tax. After all,  the Treasury doesn’t like spending money when it doesn’t need to. Not even to itself.

Friday 12th June
As our relations with Europe come under scrutiny, it highlights the many differences between our island nation and our continental cousins. Differences which have been underlined today by yet another case concerning Dominique Strauss-Khan – formerly both head of the IMF and a French Presidential hopeful. Today he was cleared of charges of “aggravated pimping” – these were accusations of him having arranged for prostitutes to attend an orgy he was orgasming organising.
Now, we must be clear that Mr Strauss Khan was found innocent of these charges, and as far as we can legally allowed to be concerned, that’s that. However, it doesn’t quite get to the bottom of the fact that the French have a crime of “aggravated pimping”. Perhaps, I am na├»ve, but what on earth is “aggravated” pimping?
A convicted aggravated pimp explained what happened in his case:
“Well, I was pimping, as I normally did, and then I made a terrible mistake and aggravated my pimping. And my groin injury.”
But what’s the difference between pimping and aggravated pimiping? He explains: “If you’re running prostitutes around town, that’s pimping. If you’re running them around town in a Chevrolet, with the hood down and gold hubcaps, that’s aggravated pimping.”

Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Weekly Diary: 1st June - 5th June

Return of the Eddie
Monday 1st June
Credit has rightly been given to Ed Miliband, who has returned to the Commons, freshly tanned and raved out from a holiday in Ibiza. In doing so, he is now a third of the way to equalling his predecessor’s Commons attendance record.
Here he is, now on the Labour backbenchers and back in action, with the look of a man who is saying “I look weird, and I don’t care. I’m out, loud and proud. And weird! What do I want? Equal electoral opportunities for people who look weird! When do I want it? Four weeks ago!”

Meanwhile, Boris has spoken in the Commons, and he is worried about relics from a bygone era being threatened by ISIS in Syria. He asks not as the MP for Uxbridge, but as the Founder, Chair and Exemplar of the Relics from A Bygone Era Society

Tuesday 2nd June
It is a sad day as news breaks of the untimely death of former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy. Kennedy was hugely loved and admired across politics and the country.
He was a gifted, amiable and principled leader, and carries a lot of affection for my generation, particularly through his frequent appearances on shows such as Have I Got News For You. One favourite appearanceis linked here.
It was first broadcast on 3rd November 2000, and covered some recent heavy flooding.
Deayton: What is the Liberal Democrats’ position on Global Warming?
Kennedy (quick as a flash): We’re very concerned.
Deayton: What was John Prescott’s response?
Kennedy: Unintelligible?
RIP
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And with that, we thought Tuesday was all over. It is now, as Sepp Blatter announces that he will be standing down as President of FIFA. He says that he is doing this because he does not have a mandate from all of football, and also because it has transpired that the Pope is a Catholic.
The thing is that all of this was true on Friday, so what’s changed? Difficult to say, but it does seem that Mr Blatter is expecting a 5am alarm call any day now.

Wednesday 3rd June
The return of Prime Minister’s Questions brings back the sort of searing scrutiny you’d expect.
First a Conservative MP stands up with: “Would the Prime Minister agree that he’s marvellous and always right?”
To which the Prime Minister responds with “Well, I agree with my honourable friend that I am a rather flash man.”
Then a Labour MP responds with: “Actually, I have information that suggests the Prime Minister is dreadful and always wrong.”
To which Mr Cameron responds: “Well, I think the honourable member and the party opposite have learned nothing from the election, namely that our long-term economic plan is working in our northern powerhouse to prove that I am, in fact, rather flash, man.”
And on it goes for five years.

Thursday 4th June
Today sees the ballot for Private Members Bills – where individual backbenchers get to table their own bits of legislation for consideration by the House of Commons. Examples of successful PMBs from the last Parliament include The Control of Horses Act 2015, which is “An Act to make provision for the taking of action in relation to horses which are on land in England without lawful authority”. Yes, that’s right: Conservative MP Julian Sturdy took action on equine illegal immigrants.
Okay, the legislation was dealing with real issues. Niche issues, but real all the same. For instance, in the same Parliament, Dan Jarvis was unsuccessful with a Private Member’s Bill which tried to raise the minimum wage.
Still, not to worry: at least you can now evict an unwanted horse.

Friday 5th June
Bad news for Labour leadership hopeful Andy Burnham. Yesterday, more of Prince Charles’ Black-Spider memos were released, including one response from Burnham which he signs off with “I have the honour to remain, Sir, Your Royal Highness’s most humble and obedient servant.” This is the conventional response according to Debrett’s guide to etiquette, a tome well-respected by the Labour grassroots.
Some have suggested that this was an attempt to secure an invitation to tea, but this is unfair. If he’d wanted a tea invite, he would simply have written:
“Your Royal Highness, I am a humble man and yet I really like your Duchy Originals biscuits. I – who is humbler than all others and whose obedience knows no bounds – believe that I can only fully show you my appreciation for them in person. Please, please, please could we have tea together? I do not presume that you will permit it (look at me being humble), and I will follow whatever your commands are (see me be obedient). Yours grovelingly, YMHAOS.”

Events depicted may differ from actual events. In fact, this is a work of fiction, with some facts. But mostly, it's nonsense.