And what a week it was!
A week in which Theresa May was so excited about all the money we’re going to drain from Africa that she couldn’t stop dancing! A week in which her trip was largely portrayed as British benevolence! And a week in which May simply could not stop dancing!
But what else happened?
Let’s look back and see:
It’s been ten years since the financial crash; it’s been eight years since austerity began, and it’s been two years since the EU referendum. Conversely, it’s been 0.5 seconds since a wealthy commentator asked:
What are all these plebs so angry about?
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One popular theory is that widespread anger is an unfortunate side-effect of Twitter. An award-winning journalist noted:
When Twitter first came out, it was pictures of cats and titillating missives from Stephen Fry. Now it’s angry twats going on about how angry they are. I’m not sure what they’re angry about – having not looked into it – but clearly giving people the ability to speak their mind was a massive mistake.
Another theory is that ‘tribalism’ has driven a wedge between people. As many well-to-do types who don’t need a support network are prone to note:
Tribalism is ruining politics.
A professor of obviousness at Salford University pointed out the flaw in this argument:
These dunderheads are ignoring why tribes exist. People aren’t in the ‘anti-austerity tribe’ for a lark; they’re in it because the ‘pro-austerity tribe’ launched austerity against them.
A recent poll showed this still isn’t understood by 97% of political commentators. Of these, 48% were surprised to discover austerity was still going on.
There are others who claim people on the left are riling up victims of austerity. To an extent, that’s true. They’re riling them up by telling them there’s an alternative to being victims of austerity.
If you want people to stop being angry, you have to offer them an alternative to what they’re angry about. Or – you know – tell them they’re a bunch of hostile, braindead cultists.
Whatever works for you!
Great Britain has done a great job investing in itself. That’s why the NHS is…
…well, maybe not the NHS. But infrastructure is… hmm… not great since we outsourced it all to Carillion. But at least our roads are free of… potholes… ah.
But anyway, having done all that, we’re now looking to fuck up invest in someone else’s country.
Theresa May has been visiting various leaders throughout Africa and promising:
We will do for you what we’ve done to our own country.
This hasn’t gone down well with the heads of these fast-developing nations. In response, they’ve asked questions like:
Is that a threat?
Do you mean you’ll gut public services, or sell everything that isn’t nailed down to Richard Branson?
I’m sorry, but did you just say the building cladding you want to sell us is flammable?
When South Africa refused May’s offer, she threatened a gang of children with her martial arts. The children faced her down, though, and the PM was forced to return to Britain empty handed:
When asked why he wasn’t interested in Britain’s offer, the president of Kenya said:
It would be like taking hair styling advice from Donald Trump.
Frank Field has harboured many unpleasant views throughout his 40-year career as an MP. In 2018, he voted with the government at a point when doing otherwise could potentially have forced an election. As a result, he was deselected by his local party.
He’s now resigned the whip because Labour no longer represents him. This is obviously a real tragedy. No way should it have taken a person like him that long to realise he was in the wrong party.
Although Field was on his way out, the media has wholeheartedly accepted his claim that he’s leaving over the ‘antisemitism crisis’. Similarly, they foregrounded John Woodcock’s ‘attack on the hard left’ when he quit. This was despite Woodcock leaving while being investigated for alleged inappropriate behaviour towards a female member of staff.
According to one leaked report, the media is preparing to accept the following, obvious deflections from the following, obvious MPs when they eventually resign:
- Kate Hoey: set to resign because Labour has been taken over by crab people.
- Chuka Umunna: set to resign because he suspects Corbyn is using his allotment to grow tiny clones of Stalin and Mao.
- Chris Leslie: set to resign because he feels personally intimidated by Corbyn’s beard.
It’s worth remembering that Field and Woodcock aren’t the only terrible MPs to have left Labour since it became a mass-movement party. The party has also lost deadweights like Simon Danczuk and Tristram Hunt.
In other words, putting the power in the hands of members over individual MPs is working.
When President Trump visited the UK, a balloon of him looking like a baby was flown over London. The joke was:
- President Trump is somewhat less than mature.
- President Trump is exactly the sort of person who would be annoyed by a balloon.
In response, critics of the original protest have created a balloon of Sadiq Khan – a mere two months later. The joke this time is… err… we’re not sure.
Heads in the clouds
Off The Perch spoke with the Khan balloon maker – one Eric Bubble:
OTP: What was the point of this ballon?
EB: Well, the people who did the first protest were saying Trump is a balloon, so now we’re saying Khan is – you know – a balloon.
OTP: They weren’t so much saying he’s a balloon as accusing him of being a wailing toddler. Are you not worried that coming back with “we know you are, but what are we?” amplifies that accusation?
EB: That’s what we’re saying – Sadiq Khan is a balloon.
OTP: Ah. I think it may have gone over your head.
EB: Obviously it went over our head; it’s a balloon.
OTP: No, I mean the joke went over your head.
EB: It’s a balloon! It’s supposed to go over your head!
OTP: Nice talking to you.
Swing and a miss
The original balloon worked because it played on Trump’s Achilles heel – which is any sort of ridicule.
If the people behind the new balloon really wanted to upset Khan, they should have come out in favour of mild, Scandinavian-style social democracy.
The Guardian is still finding unpopular politicians to step forwards and tell Corbyn to change direction. The most recent was a policy adviser to the junior minister in New Labour’s short-lived Ministry of Pet Grooming. The former advisor claimed:
If Yvette Cooper was in charge, we’d have 250% of the vote – easy! She’s like diet Tony Blair, and people love diets, right?
Despite the Guardian giving this person their own daily column, no one seems to be paying attention. It’s almost like this constant chatter of politicos with no ideas beyond ‘get Corbyn’ has become little more than background noise.
As Britain’s premier left-ish newspaper, the Guardian could have used the momentum of the Corbyn movement to reverse its failing fortunes. Instead, it’s opted to commission the same article about Corbyn every day for the past three years. But why?
A former Guardian editor told Off The Perch:
When Corbyn got into power, a man called us and claimed he’d planted a bomb in the Guardian offices. He said that unless we published 60 anti-Corbyn articles a week, he’d blow us all up. He claimed he wasn’t Tony Blair, but he sounded like he was, and he referred to himself as ‘Tony B’.
Of course, the real victims are the Guardian columnists who have to attack Corbyn’s moderate social programme. It must take a lot of energy to hit copy and paste every week. Hopefully someone more right-wing gets in soon so they can get back to pretending they’re at the forefront of progressive politics.
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