Fantastic news that Skippy the kangaroo will be joining the cast of I’m a celebrity get me out of here, where he could eat Matt Hancock’s testicles in one of the more edifying bush tucker trials. If only Rees-Mogg were there to join them, he could eat an arsehole too.
A diet of worms
Talking of unspeakable creepy crawlies, what does Gavin Williamson’s elevation and resignation tell us? If ever there was a worm, this loathsome serial creep of a man is right up there. We can’t dub him Superworm, as that name has been taken by the finest invertebrate that ever lived – the eponymous hero of Angela Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestseller – so we could call Gav ‘Sir Worm’ instead. But as he should never have been given the title in the first place, we’ll have to settle for calling him just ‘Worm’.
Such playground bants will be familiar to Worm who has made a career of being, as Keir ‘Keith’ Starmer put it, a “school bully”. This reminds us that although we are adults, we acquiesce (by failing to push for PR) to a Tory party and a parliament with a high proportion of ‘kidults’. However, although Worm’s childish imprecations of “Cut your throat” and “Jump out of the window” may pass as bants in the Westminster playground of St Custard’s, in real-life such phrases come across as weirdly violent and controlling; presumably a legacy of his time as a party whip, or should I say school prefect.
Save our satsumas
Easy peelers are taking over the world. Over the years, it’s as if satsumas have been gradually ‘disappeared’ from supermarket shelves, and replaced with the ubiquitous easy peeler. So what’s the difference, and why is the easy peeler in the ascendant? Rather than uncovering a GM conspiracy, I’m disappointed to discover it’s simply down to the satsuma having unwelcome seeds and being prone to damage in transit. I await the Ponkaro and Tangelo with baited breath.
In the absence of satties I’ll fall back on current fave two-handers: veg crisps and chunky salsa, Marmite rice crackers spread with cream cheese, and boiled eggs with anchovies from the tin.
A vanity of bonfires
Talking of marmite and crackers, Bonfire night in Lewes is proper crackers. And like marmite, it seems that even for Lewesians, Bonfire is a love it or loathe it kind of thing. There are those who would happily see it come to an end on the basis of its unwelcome religious narrative, its mild anarchy, inward-looking societies and all those bangs that scare pets and animals.
But all the above miss the point. ‘Bonfire’ is about independence, self-governance, and mischief. It’s something that, just like watching I’m a celeb on telly, if you don’t like it you don’t have to watch it, you can make yourself scarce, dope your pets. Many moons ago on 5 November, I overheard one bonfire boy say to another: “The town is ours.” And that’s the point. We could do with more of that Bonfire spirit to stand up for ourselves against the grifters, gropers and graspers of the British Establishment.
“The place is completely f***. I want to run away”, a friend texted recently. And can you blame him? What kind of a country is it, the sixth largest economy in the world, that allows a child to die from damp spores in substandard housing? A land where “Every death (in the Grenfell fire) was avoidable”, but not one person responsible will go to jail.
Why has it become so difficult to get a doctor’s appointment, see a dentist, get an ambulance, social care, or speak to a human being in customer service? Hospitals, doctors, law courts, immigration, passports, schools, to name a few, are all breaking down. Did the above actually run better even when there was the three-day week, power cuts, industrial disputes, football violence, street riots, smoking in public places, licensing hours etc? Or am I just slipping lazily into a ‘nostalgia meme’ like “Who remembers proper binmen?”
Although Ezra Pound’s poem ‘Hugh Selwyn Mauberly’ was written in 1920, mindful of the First World War, this verse resonates today re. Broken Britain:
“There died a myriad,
And of the best, among them,
For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
For a botched civilization.”