The week in satire Vol. #54

John Shafthauer

And what a week it was!

A week in which we got our ‘iconic‘ blue passports back! A week in which we realised the old blue passports were actually an entirely different shade of blue! And a week in which everyone under 45 said:

So we used to have blue passports?

But what else happened?

Let’s look back and see:

Jeremy Hunt to run for PM in a parallel dimension where he isn’t universally reviled

by John Shafthauer

When people hear the name Jeremy Hunt, they don’t immediately think ‘future Prime Minister’. Primarily because they think:

Treacherous, goblin-faced wanker.

Or:

Waste of a haircut.

Or:

Total fucking penis.

After they’ve finished thinking through such expletives, however, people still don’t tend to think ‘future Prime Minister’.

And why would they? How could it even come to pass?

This is a man whose lack of popularity is only eclipsed by his lack of any positive personality traits. And yet he still seems to be going for it, according to recent reports.

But all is not as it seems.

Out of this world

There are two types of people in this universe:

  1. People who think Jeremy Hunt should be shot into the sun.
  2. Jeremy Hunt himself.

There may be dimensions in which he’s less reviled, though. And ever since the DUP discovered the magic money tree, there’s been cash going spare to throw science at such nonsense.

PM material

Off The Perch was alerted to Hunt’s extra-planar bid for power by alternative-dimension Brian Blessed:

Things were going quite well in our dimension after Supreme Leader Miliband reversed climate change. The improvement to the planet’s environment made it more attractive to aliens, though, and we were promptly invaded by some real shits.

The aliens don’t like managing the day-to-day stuff, so they needed someone who was happy to lord it up over his fellow human beings – a real mendacious arsehole who was happy to oversee a cruel system that chewed people up and spat them back out again.

Turned out this Hunt fellow has some experience of that, and so he was hired.

Odds

You may think all this sounds a bit unrealistic.

Still, though, you’ve got to admit that it’s at least ten times more plausible than Jeremy Hunt becoming the PM of this reality.

‘A Brexmas Carol’

by Steve Topple

Ebetheresa May ScroogePart One: Ebetheresa Scrooge, a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, covetous old sinner!

Thatcher was dead: to begin with. There’s no doubt about that.

She was as dead as a dodo. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know what is overly dead about a dodo. I regard Priti Patel’s career as the deadest example of an extinct species there is.

Margaret Thatcher and Ebetheresa Scrooge were ideological bedfellows, once. The thinking was known as neoliberalism. Sometimes people called neoliberalism ‘capitalism’, and sometimes ‘corporatism’, but it answered to both names. It was all the same to the Tories.

Oh! But she was a tightfisted hand at Number 10, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, covetous old sinner!

One dark winter’s evening, Scrooge was sitting in her expenses-fiddling office. It was biting, air-polluted-due-to-lack-of-action-on-climate-change, weather. “A merry Christmas, aunty! Jeremy Corbyn save you!” cried a cheerful voice. It was Scrooge’s nephew.

“Bah!” said Scrooge. “Austerity!”

“Christmas and austerity?” uttered Scrooge’s nephew in disbelief. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”

“I do,” said Scrooge indignantly. “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas on his lips should be boiled in his own Pot Noodle! He should!”

“Aunty!” pleaded the nephew.

“Nephew!” returned the aunty sternly, “keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”

When Scrooge’s nephew left, two campaigners from the People’s Assembly came in to collect Bitcoins for the working poor.

“Bitcoins?” Scrooge asked sarcastically. “Are there no Jobcentres? No food banks? Go on! Get along with you!”

After G4S security threw the campaigners into the icy night, Scrooge turned to her newest aide, Toby “Toadmeister” Young.

“You want Christmas Day off, don’t you?” asked Scrooge.

“If that is okay, ma’am,” answered Young.

“No, it’s not,” said Scrooge. “After all, the damn EU makes me pay you for the day, although you don’t work. But we’ll fix that once we scrap the Working Time Directive. Come in early Boxing Day.”

Young promised he would, and the two went home. Scrooge lived in a £800,000 townhouse in Fitzrovia. As she approached her front door, she thought she saw Thatcher’s face in the knocker. But she concluded it must have been the swift Laphroaig she’d knocked back in the Strangers’ Bar earlier.

Once inside, Scrooge heard a noise from her wine cellar. It came nearer and Scrooge saw a ghost. Lo! It was Thatcher’s ghost, and her chains were long; made of credit cards, privatisation contracts and sold-off council houses.

“Who the fuck are you?” said Scrooge.

“In life, I was your ideological bedfellow, Margaret Thatcher”…

Scrooge May ThatcherPart Two: Thatcher’s ghost and the first spirit visit Ebetheresa…

We pick up, dear reader, where we left off: Ebetheresa Scrooge was mid-visitation from the ghost of Margaret Thatcher: in chains of credit cards, privatisation contracts and sold-off council houses…

“MIIILK!” howled the terrifying spectre, “CHILDREN’S MIIILLLK!”

“Oh, I know, dearest Maggie”, replied Scrooge. “That was your finest hour!”

“I’m not here to debate policy, Ebetheresa” replied Thatcher’s ghost, perturbed.

“Then why are you fettered thus?” asked a trembling Scrooge.

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied Thatcher. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will (with some help from the free markets), and of my own free will I wear it. I must now wander the Earth in death forever shackled by the burden of sin I meted out in life!”

“But… But…! Right to Buy? NHS reform? Your policies were revolutionary!” proclaimed a bemused Scrooge.

“I only cared about business. But not about the people around me,” mused Thatcher. “Now, I am here to warn you, Scrooge! You will be visited by three spirits!”

“I told Ken Clarke my only tipple is Laphroaig…”

“NO!” bellowed Thatcher. “Three ghosts! Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first tomorrow, when the bell tolls one.”

“Can’t I roll all the visits into one Maggie? A bit like Universal Credit?” whinged Scrooge.

“No! Don’t be ridiculous. That wouldn’t work at all. Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of twelve has ceased to vibrate. Look to see me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!”

With that, Thatcher vanished in a cloud of £50 notes. Confused but wary, Scrooge retired straight to bed and fell asleep upon the instant.

When she woke again, it was still foggy and bitterly cold. Remembering what Thatcher had warned her of, Scrooge lay awake, gazing at the ticking clock… Until, after what seemed like an age, it struck upon one.

Suddenly, the curtains, stained rusty gold by Scrooge’s JPS Superking smoke, flung back unaided and an apparition appeared. Scrooge yelped in terror, for it was a strange figure. Like a child; yet not so like a child as like an old woman. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; yet the face had not a wrinkle in it and the tenderest bloom was on the skin.

“Joan…?” proclaimed Scrooge. “Joan…Rivers…?”

Scrooge Main Three BrexmasPart Three: the past and the present catch up with Ebetheresa…

We left you, dear reader, observing a terrified Ebetheresa Scrooge. Having just been visited by the ghost of Margaret Thatcher, Scrooge now has Joan Rivers, the Ghost of Christmas Past, flying through her nets…

“Joan…?” proclaimed Scrooge. “Joan… Rivers…?”

“The very same,” Rivers drawled in her customary Brooklyn twang. “I told you – I told you all! When I died they did donate my body to Tupperware! Any-hoo…”

Rivers cleared her throat, and assumed the timbre of a colloquial English gentleman. “I am the Ghost of Christmas Past,” she said.

“Long Past?” inquired Scrooge.

Rivers looked down. “Well, these two puppies came with a forty-year guarantee, so I… ANYWAY!” Assuming the same, genteel resonance, she exclaimed “Your past, Ebetheresa! I am here for your welfare! Your reclamation! So take heed! Rise! And walk with me!”

Scrooge and Rivers passed through the wall and were suddenly traversing a snow-covered country road. Scrooge recognised every twist and turn of the lane, until a sight befell her eyes that brought tears to them.

“My wheat fields! Oh! My wheat fields!” exclaimed Scrooge, then also noticing the school she went to. She was her younger self, fox hunting with children who were in great spirits; shouting until the broad fields were so full of merry music, blood and guts that the crisp air laughed to hear it.

“These are but shadows of the things that have been,” said Rivers.

“Much like my parliamentary majority,” wept Scrooge. Rivers showed her more and more memories: her father’s vicarage; the Oxford University Conservative Club; her husband putting out the bins – until Scrooge could bear it no more.

“Remove me!” Scrooge exclaimed. “I cannot bear it!”

“My time grows short,” observed the Spirit. “Quick!”

Again Scrooge saw herself. She was older now. She was not alone, but sitting by a pretty young man: in his eyes there were tears. “It matters little to you,” a young David Cameron said, softly. “Another idol has taken my place. It is the love of Brexit. Goodbye. May you be happy in the life you have chosen!”

“Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!” cried Scrooge. And as quickly as Rivers appeared, she was gone. And Scrooge was back in her bed, weary – falling into another deep sleep…

Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore, Scrooge saw a light coming from the next room as the clock again struck one. A strange voice called her by her name, and bade her enter. She obeyed and saw her own room – but not as she remembered it. Holly and mistletoe hung in every direction and a roaring blaze bellowed up the chimney. And sitting by the hearth was a grand figure of a man:

“Come IN,” bellowed the gent, “and know me better!”

“Ken…?” exclaimed Scrooge. “Ken… Clarke…?”

Scrooge Four BrexmasPart Four: Ebetheresa is delivered a terrifying vision of the future…

As, dear reader, we previously presented to you, Ebetheresa Scrooge has just been tormented by visions of her younger life, at the hands of the Ghost of Christmas Past. And now, a second spectre has visited her… 

“Ken…?” exclaimed Scrooge. “Ken… Clarke…?”

“Good evening, Ebetheresa! ‘Tis I! The Ghost of Christmas Present! Now then. Let’s get proceedings underway with a glass of that Laphroaig I know you’ve got hidden under your bedpan!”

Clarke physically looked just as he always had to Scrooge: a scarlet face like a balloon fit to burst; several beads of sweat permanently on his upper lip and the distinct, sweet odour of alcohol past its best. She was pondering where his overly dry cleaned, dull-as-ditchwater suit had gone when Clarke suddenly bellowed “Touch ME! Touch my glistening robe down nether!”

“Look, Ken” admonished Scrooge, “We’ve had all this, already, with the sex-pest sca…”

“Touch it, NOW!” bellowed an interrupting Clarke, and Scrooge dutifully obliged, trembling at the thought of her hand near Ken’s groin. What would dear, bin-emptying Philip think?

Suddenly, the pair were transported to Scrooge’s aide, Toby “Toadmeister” Young’s modest home. In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Peering through the Laura Ashley curtains, Scrooge immediately felt racked with guilt at the obvious upper-middle class, impoverished nature of Young’s existence. Mrs Young was carving a Waitrose-bought Chateaubriand of beef, while Mr Young decanted a 2016 Bourgogne Rouge, Charles Van Canneyt.

And hiding in the corner of Young’s meagre drawing room was the figure of Tiny Tarquin. A tear came to Scrooge’s eye, for she knew the boy was sick with gluten intolerance.

Clarke suddenly bellowed “Who said this, Scrooge? ‘If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.’”

Scrooge hung her head to hear her own words quoted by the Spirit and was overcome with penitence and grief. But little time had she to ponder on his words, as he was suddenly back in her bedroom. “Ken…? Ken…? Where art thou? I wanted to see more!”

But suddenly, she noticed the clock tick over to midnight. And she felt an icy blast shoot up her back as if Iain Duncan Smith had entered the room.

It WAS Iain Duncan Smith.

“Iain…?” quaked Scrooge. The spirit, cloaked in black like the harbinger of death itself, did not reply.

“Iain…? IAIN???”

Brexmas ScroogePart Five: will Ebetheresa learn the error of her ways…?

We arrive, dear reader, where we left off. Ebetheresa Scrooge had been taken from her bedroom by the Ghost of Christmas Present, Ken Clarke, and shown the cold brutality of life for upper middle class families like Toby “Toadmeister” Young’s. And now, she faced the final spectre: the demonic figure of Iain Duncan Smith…

“Iain…?” quaked Scrooge. The spirit, cloaked in black like the harbinger of death itself, did not reply.

“Iain…? IAIN???”

Still the spectre remained mute.

“I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come?” asked Scrooge.

The spirit answered not, but pointed onward with its hand.

They scarcely seemed to enter the city; for the city rather seemed to spring up about them.

Amongst the Pret A Mangers, the Monsoons and the vegan, ethically sourced, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-free coffee shops, Scrooge heard hipsters talking about a woman who had died. They then moved into the City of London; prying on bankers frantically selling off shares in Royal Mail, G4S and VirginCare.

Scrooge heard one of them laugh, saying “If she wanted to keep ’em after she was dead, a wicked old screw, why wasn’t she natural in her lifetime? If she had been, she’d have had somebody to look after her when she was struck with death, instead of lying gasping out her last breath, alone by herself!”

“Spirit!” said Scrooge, shuddering from head to foot. “I see, I see. The case of this unhappy woman might be my own. My life tends that way, now. Merciful Heaven, what is this!”.

The spirit and Scrooge’s journey suddenly gathered pace. They flitted back to Toby “Toadmeister” Young’s humble, four-story town house. The family was weeping, for Tiny Tarquin was no longer for this earth, struck down by his gluten intolerance.

Then suddenly a graveyard appeared and the spirit’s clawed, mangled hand pointed to one headstone. Scrooge read the inscription. It was hers.

“No, Spirit! Oh no, no!”

The spirit continued to point.

“I can change,” exclaimed Scrooge, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year! I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me!”

Suddenly, the spirit was gone, and Scrooge was back in her bedroom. ‘Twas Christmas morn, and she was thankful. Flinging open her curtains and windows, she looked down on the streets of London.

She could see men and women, with nothing more than sleeping bags for shelter, queuing up at Trussell Trust food banks. Across the way, she could see a family of four in a damp-riddled bedsit. And directly below her window, a disabled person in a wheelchair was begging for change.

“I will live in the past, the present, and the future!” Scrooge repeated, “The spirits of all three shall strive within me. And I will forever remember poor Tiny Tarquin! Oh Margaret Thatcher! Heaven and the Christmas time be praised for this!”

Scrooge shouted down, her voice ringing across the City:

“Tax cuts for the rich! A private NHS! State welfare for corporations! No more public services! Free porn for all government ministers!”

Ebetheresa Scrooge had learned nothing. And this, dear reader, is the moral of this sad tale. A leopard never changes its spots.

Especially not a Tory one.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Jeremy Hunt the NHS’ ‘big problem’ is about 6ft2in tall OTPJeremy Hunt further clarifies that the NHS’s ‘big problem’ is about 6ft2in tall

by John Shafthauer

Preaching to the choir, Jeremy Hunt has spoken of a ‘very big problem’ within the NHS. He’s now further expanded on what this ‘very big problem’ is.

In his own words

Speaking to some Mail journalists (who had time off in between ‘doorstepping’ random citizens who disagree with them), Hunt said:

This very big problem is about 6ft2in tall.

This very big problem has all the compassion of a rabid tarantula on meth.

This very big problem has the job suitability of a scarecrow made of Quavers.

This very big problem looks like the human equivalent of a microwaved cheese string.

This very big problem spews more shit than a busted Wetherspoon’s toilet.

This very big problem is the wrecking ball that the Tories are using to bludgeon the UK’s most beloved institution.

Although obviously, its IQ is lower than that of an actual wrecking ball. Significantly lower too.

After several more confusing minutes of this, one of the ever-sharp Mail journalists asked:

Sorry – are you talking about yourself?

To which Hunt replied:

I was talking about the SARS virus actually. Although we are often mistaken for one another.

Legacy

Eventually, the Tories will be kicked out, and the NHS will be restored to its former glory. Hunt, meanwhile, will be a footnote of bad things to have happened to the service – falling somewhere in between Harold Shipman and microwave dinners.

‘Misleading statements’ made by Damian Green may actually have just been ‘lies’

by John Shafthauer

When Theresa May ‘asked Damian Green to resign’ for ‘making misleading statements’, many were impressed. There had been some worry that the First Secretary might be ‘shit-canned’ for ‘telling brazen and remorseless lies’ to the public, but obviously this was not the case:

It has since transpired, though, that these ‘misleading statements’ were a misleading statement in themselves.

Bullshit

A journalist who saw through this façade asked Green if he was straight up talking out of his arse. They also asked if the PR-speak was an attempt to soft-soap the public into thinking the prominent Tory hadn’t really done anything wrong.

Green appeared to mishear the questions, though, and responded:

Look, that soft-soap was on my desk for purely sanitary reasons. The insinuations that it was some sort of lubrication gel are entirely unfounded.

The journalist asked if this was another hard denial. Green once more misheard, though:

It isn’t hard, it’s just the cut of these trousers!

To be fair to Green, he was having issue with said pants – primarily that they seemed to be on fire. He denied it was the result of lying, though, and claimed it was merely a case of:

Misleading statement-maker, misleading statement-maker, pants on fire.

Lies, damned lies, and day-to-day Tory governance

According to Jeremy Hunt, the police are the real bad guys in all of this. And he’s right. Because we now run the risk of becoming a 1984 style country – a state in which public servants are no longer free to spend all day browsing the internet one-handed.

That was the plot of 1984, right?

blue passportsHungry, homeless child ‘ecstatic’ at return of blue passports

by Kerry-Anne Mendoza

A hungry, homeless child emerged from a wheelie bin in Birmingham today to express her delight at the return of blue passports. The child hadn’t eaten in three days, but insisted her delirious state was entirely due to the changing colour of a travel document she has never used, and probably never will.

‘Ecstatic’

Fourteen-year-old Grace Underbridge has been sleeping on the streets of Birmingham since her mum died in June. But despite enduring winter with no home, she says she is “ecstatic” the government will spend £500m changing the colour of UK passports. She told Off The Perch:

They’ve got no beds in the local residential unit. But y’know, you gotta think about what’s gonna help most people. An’ I reckon these passports going from burgundy to blue is a really big deal.

Asked why she felt so passionately about a document she would quite possibly never own, Underbridge replied:

Well, Tories hate handouts. But if I can pickpocket at least 500 of these things, I could make a wicked shelter. So, it’s like what they say about the ‘trickle down effect’ in action innit?

Off The Perch went to Strangers’ Bar in Westminster to put Underbridge’s reaction to local Conservative MP Bernard Blabber-Twat. Nursing a 25-year-old Talisker whiskey, Blabber-Twat said:

With an attitude like that, this young girl won’t be on the streets for long. It’s a masterclass in ‘Give a Man a Fish’! By removing all lifelines of support, we have triggered this breakthrough in innovation and entrepreneurship. Outstanding and unforgettable!

Tragically, Grace Underbridge starved to death three hours after our interview. Off The Perch contacted the Rt Hon Bernard Blabber-Twat MP with the news. He responded:

Who?

British passports will return to their ‘traditional’ blue and gold after October 2019.

Daily Mail advises readers to block their chimneys to keep out foreigners this Xmas OTPDaily Mail advises readers to block their chimneys to keep out foreigners this Xmas

by John Shafthauer

If there’s one thing The Daily Mail is good at, it’s dehumanising other human beings. Whether it’s making refugees look like vermin or poor people seem like devious scammers, there really is no end to who it’ll hate.

This year The Mail felt like a bit of a challenge though. Which is why it’s turned its hateful eye on the UK’s most popular foreign interloper – Father Christmas.

No, no, no!

The Mail wrote:

Just who is this Father Christmas? I’ll tell you who he isn’t, and that’s British.

This may shock you, but Father Christmas is actually from ABROAD. And besides that, he isn’t even really called ‘Father Christmas’. He’s actually SANTA CLAUS and has been posing as FATHER CHRISTMAS to dupe unsuspecting Brits into thinking he isn’t in fact a devious, foreign kraut.

Realising this makes you ask a few questions. Like what’s under that beard? I don’t know about you, but if I had nothing to hide, I wouldn’t cover half my head with facial hair!

There’s also the question of why he’s giving out free toys to children? Is he grooming them, or is it part of some liberal, European ploy to turn our children against us? Because after all, what is giving out free gifts if not the dreaded SOCIALISM!?

It is time to take action anyway! So please, brick up your chimney this year! And be ready for invasion!

Getting in the spirit

Nigel Farage has taken up The Mail’s challenge, and has vowed to spend Christmas Eve on his roof with a pistol. Father Christmas said this won’t be a problem, as Farage was on the naughty list anyway. Primarily for being, in Santa’s own words:

A massive arse.

He then went on to wish everyone else a Merry Christmas. So Merry Christmas everybody who isn’t Nigel Farage!

Get Involved!

– For more satirical news, you can also follow Off The Perch on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured image via Flickr Flickr / FlickrFlickr / Flickr / WikimediaFlickr / Wikimedia / FlickrFlickr / YouTubeYouTubeWikimediaWikimedia / YouTube / Flickr 

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John Shafthauer