Joy to all women, children and men in this season of pantomimes and circuses.
We seem to be living through a seven-ringed conflation of the
two. Ho, ho, ho ho.
Overseeing it all we have our very own grey Mother Goose and what a
gigantic goose she is. Off she goes to church, the Vicar's daughter, in her Dolce and Gabbana shoes costing £600 while her
government cheerfully cuts and delays benefits to the disabled and barely-managing across the land. Ho ho ho.
Behind her, the stage is filled with mugging, smirking, prat-falling clowns tumbling from Stage Right and, as ever, these clowns aren't remotely funny... But they
are bigly sleazy, scary and sinister.
You have to appreciate the sheer audacity of the humour. Shiny, smarmy 'Calm down, dear,' Clown Cameron completely misjudges his referendum, trips
over it and falls smack on his face. But up he skips, to announce that he will see the negotiations with the EU through to the end. Then, quick as a blown raspberry -- such timing! -- he's
running off-stage to hide in his £25,000 'shepherd's hut' that's never seen a sheep (apart from him) and never will. Oh, the laughter at his slippery, cowardly, insulting antics! -- I thought it
would never start.
The clowns run and prat-fall about the stage for a while and then Mother Goose comes from the church to lead them. How can she possibly top Cameron's turn? She manages it with a superb piece of
surprise business. Leading forward Bozo the Buffoon, she makes him foreign secretary.
The whole theatre rocks with disbelief. Oh no, she can't --
Bozo Buffoono, the 'highly educated Eton classicist' representing us to other nations? No, no! Oh no, she can't!
But oh, yes, she can, she does! What can possibly go wrong? Hilarity must ensue.
Buffoono is celebrated for his comic skits, like the famous one where he plotted and planned to push Clown Cameron off the top spot by lying himself Tory Blue in the face while pretending to be a
'Leaver.' He managed the difficult trick of never allowing even the tiniest, loneliest thought to cross the great echoing, empty chambers of his Eton educated head about what he was going to do
if 'Leave' should actually win.
After all, what highly Eton educated classicist career-politician could ever have been expected to see that possibility coming? It was a 50/50 chance
-- how could a highly Eton educated classicist career-politician with advisors coming out of his ears possibly be expected to calculate difficult odds like those? (Though you would have thought
the Russians might have mentioned to him that, for their money, Leave was going to win.)
And so we were were treated to the wonderfully comic sight of Buffoono running around Westminster, trying to avoid reporters while also trying not to think of how
he was actually going to untangle the UK from all the treaties and agreements made with the twenty-seven different countries of the EU.
Give us one of your famous jokes, eh, Buffoono? How about a bit of speechifying on a subject that you haven't bothered to research or learn or rehearse? Such is
your Eton-educated highly intelligent respect for us, your unfortunate audience.
Original artwork, copyright Andrew Price
You might think antics so ridiculous couldn't be topped, but after the Leave win, Buffoono was joined by his comedy side-kick, Gove-o, the other half of the
Loathsome Brothers, who at once comically stabbed him in the front. This bit of slapstick allowed Mother Goose to take centre-stage in her £600 shoes and sing, 'Strong and Stable.'
Interminably. Where's the Fat Lady when you need her?
Mother Goose can't match the rough and tumble of the Brothers Loathsome -- but with a nice echo of Clown Cameron's theme, she astutely called for a General Election, thus demonstrating that she
matched her predecessor in keen political nouse and understanding of the country she pretends to govern. In one move, she lost the Tories their majority. Ho
ho ho. It seemed we might be rid of them.
But in one of the transformation scenes so beloved of pantomime, Mother Goose was able to make a Magic Money Tree grow before our wondering eyes. One of those Magic Money Trees she'd told us
didn't exist almost as often as she told us her government was strong and stable. From this glittering tree, she plucked a billion juicy bribes to pay for the shoring up of her half-derelict
house with planks from the DUP. Hooray! And also: Ho, ho, ho.
But what is this? The leader of the DUPpies, Arlene, steps from behind the magic money tree. She pockets the dosh with one
hand but, with a big wink to the audience, uses the other hand to present Mother Goose with a big parcel. A big ticking parcel. What will come of that, do you suppose, boys and
Bozo the Buffoon claimed centre-stage again, and found a dozen different ways to embarrass the UK and insult the funny foreigners that Mother Goose hopes to trade with after we crash out of the
EU without a deal.
Perhaps most memorably he magically increased a British citzen's jail sentence in Iran by not bothering to get his facts straight in that bumbling way of his that
is so charming and that we all so love. "Boris is Boris," Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe no doubt chuckled to herself, as she faced another ten years of separation from her family, in an Iran
Another of the clowns, Dimbo Davis, most amusingly can't seem to get a grip on the first thing that he's supposed to be doing. He fumbles and drops things and spins
round and slaps the EU with a plank, spills whitewash everywhere and ran on the spot for 18 months, getting nowhere.
Heckling voices from the audience demand to know if he and his department have looked into what the effects might be of leaving the EU. Of COURSE they have, he
replies. They have drawn up a very detailed analysis. An excruciatingly detailed one. A biglier, more detailed one than anybody in the audience could have drawn up and that's the
Well, can we have a look at it then? -- In a minute. In fact, after we've left the EU, THEN we can have a look.
But we want to look at it now! Before we leave. So we can see what might happen if we do, and if it might be a better idea to stay.
Oh, says Dimbo Davis. Did I say there was a detailed analysis? Sorry! There isn't!
It's behind you! shout the audience.
Dimbo spins round. "Oh no, it isn't!" he shouts.
"Oh yes it is! -- It must be, surely?"
It turns out that in eighteen months Dimbo Davis and his 'Brexit' department have done nothing -- NOTHING -- to prepare for what comes next. And consistently lied about it to Parliament. And
yet escapes from the sack quicker than Houdini. And although contemptible, is somehow not in contempt of Parliament.
It's such a joy being governed by a pantomime troupe.
In December, the pantomime month, the panto understandably ups its pace, with wheels falling off and spinning in all directions.
The strange orange-wigged clown in the Uncle Sam costume who hilariously calls himself 'President of the United States' retweeted a bit of English right-wing nutters'
propaganda, apparently believing it and giving it publicity. What a brilliant piece of surreal comedy! Just imagine the real President of the United States doing such a thing!
When Mother Goose protested that 'The President' really shouldn't have done this, 'Prez' tweeted his reply to the wrong Theresa May. One with
only 6 followers. An understandable mistake. How likely is it that there is more than one woman the whole of the UK named Theresa May?
When his reply was finally retweeted to the real Treeza, it was to tell her to mind her own business. Because, as PM of the UK -- albeit, a terrible one -- the fomenting of unrest among her citizens
is in no way her business. Not in the Prez's zany world, anyway.
Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln aren't spinning in their graves -- they're trying to tunnel to Australia.
Meanwhile there were joyful cheers because -- at last! -- Mother Goose and the Europeans had talked and talked so much that, finally, they could begin talks. At last it
was all going to happen! Buffoono Boris was going to be crowned king!
And then -- KA-boooom! Remember that big ticking parcel given to trusting Mother Goose by DUPpie Arlene? It exploded! Phew! I didn't see that coming, did you?
All the clowns fall flat on their arses with their ruffs in tatters round their ears.
So all of May's donkeys and all of May's men had to stay up all night, sticking everything back together again. The UK and the EU were all stuck back together so they
looked exactly the same as they did before -- only Britain had to pay a great deal of money for breaking it.
No sooner was this agreed than Dimbo stood up and told everyone that sticking things back together again was only 'a statement of intent' and didn't really mean anything.
"Excuse us," the Irish shouted across the sea. "It means rather a lot to us, if you don't mind." And, over in Europe, everyone agreed that nothing the UK said could be trusted. Why, they asked each
other, why, oh why did they put the thickest man in all of Britain in charge of steering the ship?
And then a bunch of Tories, who had been snivelling in a corner, finally found the courage to stand up to Mother Goose and the Loathsome Brothers and Dimbo (though some
of them weren't quite brave enough and ran away at the last minute.) "We don't like this game," they said. "We don't think you're playing by the rules."
But on the game goes anyway. Westminster has, in the past, seen plenty of two-faced crooks, liars, embezzlers, swindlers and cheats. But has there ever been such a bunch of *noggin-headed,
incompetent, goose-saddling*, bed-swerving*, cumber-grounding* malkins*?
I would rather be governed by these two.
Merry Christmas, folks. And a Prosperous New Year. Ho ho bloody ho.