Putin Cackles as Watching Kremlin Activates Agent COB

At the Kremlin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin settles into his golden throne to watch Prime Minister’s Questions and the accompanying statement. As a jack-booted servant flicks over from Russia Today, Vlad wonders aloud: “Who’s the thin old beardy bloke in the red tie?”

“That’s Jeremy Corbyn”, replies the trembling aide. “Who?” demands Putin, never more than a moment from a nuclear-level rage, or worse, offering to make an adviser’s tea. “You know, Mr President. Codename COB…”

The almond-eyed tyrant purses his lips then raises a smile. An FSB man never forgets a codename.

“Ah, da, da,” he whispers. “Activate Agent COB…”

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A Bloody Difficult Woman Hung The Absolute Boy Out To Dry

A bloody difficult woman just rinsed the absolute boy. Completely, stunningly, beautifully hung him out to dry. And there was no doubt in the Chamber of the House of Commons this was a girl’s job well done.

The true strength of Theresa May’s killer line – that Corbyn had “mansplained” to her about International Women’s Day – wasn’t just in the delivery (though to the Prime Minister’s credit she nailed it; the House loved the funniest, best-targeted and pithiest one-liner she has ever used at PMQs – and perhaps her single most memorable). Those leopard-print kitten heels would have roared if they could.

The great joy of Theresa May’s set-piece salvo on Jeremy Bernard Corbyn’s sexism was even more simple. It worked so well because it is true.

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Give Jezza the (High Tariff) Boot

Two centimetres of snow in Westminster provided excuse enough for Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, to arrive at the set piece event of the political week (watched by millions around the globe, the premium export of British democracy) in hiking boots. Yes, he actually wore a pair of grey, rubber soled hiking boots on the frontbench. Ugg boots and an ‘El Gato’ onesie next week? Spats? Clown shoes? Bowling sneakers? Summer’s on its way: sombrero? Why not get into the spirit of the upcoming World Cup and pitch up in full Venezuela strip? Or how about a mackintosh, trilby hat, sunglasses and a newspaper with eye-holes cut out? 

Your correspondent retraced the route from Corbyn’s office on the Parliamentary Estate to the Chamber of the House of Commons. 99% of that route is inside, under cover, in halls carpeted and heated at your expense. Snow-booted Jez took around five steps exposed to the elements in the course of passing from one palatial building to another – but it’s a path, not a Himalayan pass strewn with the fallen corpses and discarded oxygen bottles of weather-beaten climbers. And unlike the glacial pavements the rest of us have to contend with (despite ever rising council tax), Parliament’s outdoor walkways are cleared of snow by a gang of lackeys (also at your expense). We wouldn’t want any of our beloved politicians to slip over, God forbid! Moreover, it is worth pointing out – not to labour the obvious – that even the most apocalyptic of snowmageddons is yet to bring that white stuff actually inside House of Commons chamber. Why? The place has a roof. As a certain former Prime Minister almost put it, put some proper shoes on, you absolute scruff-bag, the way you dress is now nothing less than a matter of national disgrace. 

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May Brought Statistics to a Knife Fight

Armed and dangerous they roam the dingy streets of London at night, drink fuelled and deadly, with nothing less than murderous intent. Increasingly they are the talk of Britain: in newspaper headlines their threats are made with malice, this is an outbreak, a veritable epidemic, some have said, a wave, little less than a plague. Yes, Theresa May’s Cabinet presents a knife crime threat like no other London gang, and as Jeremy Corbyn tried and failed to slam the PM to rights over law and order it was her own front bench that sat sharpening their weapons. As the pair traded barbs over crime numbers – recorded or otherwise –  it was the unknown, secret statistic that increasingly played on the Prime Minister’s mind. The precise number of letters of no confidence in Graham Brady’s safe… 

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Big Chief Thornberry Fails to Land a Blow

“YABBADABBADOO” screams Emily Thornberry, beating her fists against her plenteous chest like a gorilla as she dances around the Corbynista totem pole while dawn breaks over the plain. It’s only Lidders today, a mere sliver of a chap, no match for our club-swinging, man-eating Big Chief Thorners, 2018’s Boudica. It is said Emily Thornberry is the only woman to share a bloodline with Cleopatra, Elizabeth I and Marta Hari. It is said that Emily Thornberry never speaks to men, but when she does, she breathes fire on them and they spontaneously combust. A man for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and a dozen on a bad day.

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PMQs Sketch: NHS Smears

What’s longer than an A&E trolley wait but completely devoid of its, critical, life-threatening danger? A question from Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions, of course. The Labour leader seemed to shock himself as he began with a snappy scalpel of inquiry, attacking the PM for “under-funding” our-best-in-the-world-envy-of-the-world-we-love-it-Our-Our-Our NHS (peace be upon it, God bless the staff, hallowed be its name, check out my lapel badge). It didn’t last: Jezza soon slipped back into windbag mode.

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PMQs Sketch: Jez The Builder Should Be Privatised

Jeremy Corbyn should have arrived at PMQs ready to swing a wrecking ball at Theresa May over Carillion, but, in scenes beyond parody, Labour’s Bob the Builder forgot his tools. Geriatric Jez ruined his digs at May by digging himself a hole: yet again he forgot to ask the Prime Minister a question, to which May – somewhat surprisingly – responded:

“I’m very happy to answer questions when the right honourable gentleman asks one. He didn’t.”

To remind Jez to do his job properly, Carillion could offer the bearded wonder a few tried and tested techniques. Fix flashing orange lights to his folder beside each question, perhaps, or equip Labour MPs with fluorescent jackets emblazoned with reflective question marks. Rig up a siren to blare “NOW ASK THE QUESTION”, punctuated by loud beeping, like the audible warning emitted by a reversing lorry. Get a demolition team in (there should be a few short of work now), fix explosive charges to the Labour front bench, and detonate one every time Corbyn speaks for more than a minute without asking anything. Alternatively, equip loudmouth Thornberry with a nailgun, and let her remind the fool who’s boss every time he cocks up…

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Anything But Another Year of This

Reality dawns: another year of this sh*t. Every sitting week, for at least an hour, for another year, the torture of PMQs continues. Our Christmas wishes were not granted: no sudden resignations, no personality transplants, no new stopwatch for the Speaker – just the very same, for another year, the perpetual merry-go-round of this utter, horrendous nightmare continues to turn. Could there be a duller prospect than 365 more days? Of these two? End it all now – end it now before it has even begun. 

Despite spending two weeks in Mexico, Jez didn’t even look sun-kissed – but he used his first outing of the year to prove he is still red inside. The Labour leader paid homage to the Sacred God of Health Our NHS (“envy of the world”, Britain’s pride, Britain’s joy). For once leading on something actually in the news, he put the ‘Winter Crisis’ (referred to by May as “winter pressures”) at the top of his list of ‘questions’ – to show the fans he cares – even though he was literally on the other side of the planet while the ‘crisis’ developed. He didn’t mention his holiday. Funny that… 

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Jezza’s PMQs Christmas List

Dear Santa

First of all, can I take this opportunity to thank you for all the hard work you will do this year. Not just you, but Mrs Claus and every one of the reindeer as well. I pay tribute to you and all those who work in our National Elf Service, who, just like our heroic postal and emergency workers, brave snow and hail to provide the services each and everyone of us rely on. We thank all of them.

Our elves haven’t had a pay rise for ten years and many of them do not know how many hours of work they will get until Christmas Eve. We back a pay rise for our NES.

Can I also thank the Grinch, Mr Scrooge, and all those who have ever stolen or threatened Christmas. Let me say this: we support both those who embrace Christmas and those who oppose Christmas. All those involved in this great season, on whatever side, will be investigated and dealt with according to our procedures as appropriate.

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PMQs Sketch: Corbynish for Beginners

“Thank you Mr Speaker, but on her way back to Britain, someone forgot to share the details of the Irish Border detail, deal, with the DUP. Surely Mr Speaker there are one and a half billion reasons why the Prime Minister really shouldn’t hadn’t forgotten to do that.”

Is English Jeremy Corbyn’s first language? During this lunchtime’s ball-achingly pathetic exchange, the Labour leader confirmed once and for all it is not.

When he was 18, Mr Corbyn travelled to Jamaica to volunteer as a teacher. Thanks to the lasting influence of his pedagogy, it is believed that there are now entire communities on that island who speak only Corbynish. Let us decode this mysterious tongue.

If you would like to learn Corbynish, start with Yoda from Star Wars. Say the following sentence in your head in a Yoda-like voice, but imagine you are Jeremy Corbyn: “the Prime Minister really shouldn’t hadn’t forgotten to do that, forgotten to do that she really shouldn’t hadn’t”. You’re already halfway to thinking in Corbynish.

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Emily Makes Damian Choke


Emily Thornberry dominated Damian Green at Prime Minister’s Questions with a touch so light it was but a table cloth flapping in the breeze. She kneed the disgraced First Secretary over and over again – where it really hurts him, the only place it really hurts any of them – in the ego.

Was he “happy to be held to the same standards in government that he required when he was in opposition?” This first, hard, full stroke shook the First Secretary, it landed with the weight of a Sue Gray report – and the moral force of one, too.

Yes, mistress, said Green: “All ministers should respect and obey the ministerial code.” A touching thought. 

One question in, it was very clear that the essence of politics was being laid bare. All politics is hypocrisy. All politicians are hypocrites. Continue reading

PMQs Sketch: The Grey-Some Twosome’s Budget Panto

Theresa May and Philip Hammond have the least sexy Prime Minister-Chancellor relationship in British political history. Thatcher-Lawson, Major-Lamont, Blair-Brown: these titanic battles of personality and politics had real zing. There was a dangerous chemistry about each, and like two reactive elements thrust together, the mixtures would eventually explode. Our grey-some twosome are too dull even to destroy one another…

How utterly similar they looked: like two wan Waitrose shoppers. You can imagine them now, plodding down the high street in any nameless provincial town. We are told there is no love lost between them, but today, they co-ordinated to stage the crumbling theatre’s final panto. Both seemed to know they had little to lose…

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PMQs Sketch: Were Her Strepsils Swapped for Performance Enhancers?

At Prime Minister’s Questions, at six minutes past midday, Theresa May almost began to dance. Jeremy Bernard Corbyn had just tried to catch her off-guard – rather like a mugger – by leading on London’s crime wave. That is, the plague of midnight stabbing and acid-ing unleashed by New Labour’s lost children. Cue Theresa: “He might not have noticed but the Police and Crime Commissioner in London is the Mayor…”

As soon as she said “mayor”, Theresa May started to flick her wrist back and forth, finger outstretched, pointing between the government and opposition benches. This is a new action in a limited repertoire of gestures, a far cry from the ‘nothing has changed maniacal double-hand wave’. Turning side on, she paused, then said: “is he one of ours or one of yours?”

Unusually, her backbenchers roared with glee. Damian Green raised a smile wider than a pornstar’s legs. And then it really started to happen.  Riding the crest of the wave, as stand-up comics call it, Theresa May herself smiled and said: “perhaps the leader of the Labour Party thinks the mayor’s not Labour enough for him.”

Had her Strepsils been swapped for some banned performance enhancing drug? How long could this near-symphonic high last for the Prime Minister? She had succeed in delighting the House more with this attacking first answer than she has at any parliamentary appearance since the election. Put more of this in her Benylin!

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PMQs Sketch: House of Commons? House of Wrong’Uns

Westminster is engulfed in scandal, so it was inevitable Jeremy Corbyn would lead on that sordid three-letter-word ending with ‘x’: tax. Importing 957 corporate jets “seems a bit excessive for any island anywhere”, said the Labour leader, once again trying out his tone of jokey understatement, which definitely doesn’t have the ring of having been constantly delivered in front of the mirror.

Actually, who am I kidding? Let’s not bother going through PMQs line-by-line. We all know what’s on your mind. MPs scanned the chamber, their eyes darting from alleged sex pest to alleged sex pest. On the government front bench sat several individuals who had been named in the newspapers in recent days, one only this morning. On the backbenches on all sides there were others. If only there were some kind of spreadsheet to keep track of them…

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PMQs Sketch: Red Sky at Night, Jez’s Delight

Now we know what the red sky meant. This was the week Jeremy Corbyn (68, MI5 watchlist, 2 E’s at A-Level) would finally win at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Before we begin, might we just take a moment to wonder: what does it say about Britain and its government that this outrageous old fool has come so far? This is the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Question time. The eyes of the world are fixed on the ancient, near-holy place. Around the globe in TV news control rooms, in bureaucrats’ offices and Ambassadors’ residences, in palaces and parliaments, serious people with serious faces make communion with this weekly High Mass of democracy.

And who do they see beating up the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, the Frank Spencer of politicians, a man with the intellectual prowess of a peanut and the verbal agility of a concrete bollard. Is this weekly national disgrace behind the fall in the pound? How they must laugh at us in capital cities from Athens to Addis Ababa…

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About “Corbyn’s Best PMQs”…

It only took one of the most disastrous weeks for a Prime Minister in modern British political history to spur Jeremy Corbyn into a barely half-competent PMQs performance. If Jez can install a hard-leftist as May’s ENT specialist, block book the nation’s comic hecklers, get a Momentum plant in a Velcro factory and arrange for Tory conference to be held weekly he’ll be really flying.

Until then pundits are at risk of overstating Jezza’s new-found ‘proficiency’, which entirely consisted in just about managing to ask all of questions on the same half-tricky topic in the right order. Farcically, he still can’t go on Brexit…

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PMQs Sketch: First Dates

PMQs: every Wednesday lunchtime it feels like watching an action replay of the worst first date you have ever been on in your life. Like a cocky sixth-former with horrendously bad chat, Jez always over-plans his opening gambit: this time it was disability rights. Hapless and out of fashion, his first lines hit so far off base that they force May to rely on stock phrases she had mentally planned out for different scenarios. Like an under-confident teenage girl trying to recall what she said to herself in the mirror the night before, May hesitates before every response. Will they ever get anywhere near the hot verbal intercourse we all crave?

The main course seldom goes better. Jez’s material was again worthy and stale; he overcooked public sector pay with statistics. Meanwhile, the bloody difficult date sat opposite might as well have been in a different restaurant. May is a clock-watching woman, she has no desire to be there: the kind of girl who might just vanish from the table while you’ve gone to the gents. This week, the last PMQs before conferences, it was especially clear she could not wait to get the taxi home. She regards every question as an attempt to dishonour her, yet she is dealing with a man who essentially cannot perform. It is painful to watch her act so defensively against Jez who, when it comes to debate, cannot keep it up…

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McPMQs

What do a McDonald’s worker and Jeremy Corbyn have in common? Two E’s at A-Level. But more than that, in fact: as the hot potatoes of Brexit and immigration policy sizzled unattended in the frying pan of politics, Jez chose to begin PMQs with an ardent defence of Britain’s burger flippers. Why?

Because Jeremy Corbyn feels a natural affinity with the fast food operative; he is no less than the patron saint of sausage shufflers. Jez is deeply aware that nothing more should have become of him in this life, he should have been that unwillingly-uniformed delinquent stood behind the McDonald’s counter, red-hatted and forever destined to fill paper cartons full of soggy fries. In fact, Jez single-handedly undermines the message of McStrike. Jeremy Corbyn is exactly what happens when you pay a McDonald’s one-star worker more than £100,000 a year: you get a woefully over-promoted half-wit unable to correctly follow orders, their salary entirely out of step with their abilities and performance. Then again Vegan Jez wouldn’t fit in at McDonald’s…

Tom Watson would be on the burger station, wouldn’t he? Slipping one out of every two beef patties slyly into his capacious gob, chucking the odd one into the mouth of Emily Thornberry, poised on the other side of the grill. It’d be like feeding one of those plastic bins made to look like an animal. Don’t put Laura Pidcock on the tills for God’s sake; she won’t talk to any of the customers. Come to think of it, could any of these jokers make an even half-arsed attempt at running an average fast food outlet? Extrapolate further and you see the whole thing is little more than McPMQs: the same old diet of junk is still constantly served up, the quality improves not a bit. At least a McDonald’s is over quickly…

And like turning a burger, Jez flips from the private to public sector: for him they are two sides of the same steak, both equally deserving to be thrown on the fire. “Warm words don’t pay food bills. Pay rises will help to do that. She must end the pay cap.” Almost immediately, the PM drops the entire dinner on the floor, saying he wants “money for this, that and the other”. Like a group of hoodlums gathered at midnight in the upstairs of a Maccy D’s in the rough part of town, Labour MPs whooped and hollered. She was doing passably well, but as usual impaled herself with one of her own attack lines, coming out like a kebab on a skewer.

No mention of Jacob Rees-Mogg; well, you wouldn’t catch him dead under the Golden Arches. The only actual news to come out of PMQs was a plea for an ancient driving law to be changed. It’s the first PMQs of the new parliamentary year, and that’s the top line. It’s almost like “nothing has changed”: every week, the menu is entirely the same, and, just like a McDonald’s, it literally ends up down the toilet…

DPMQs Sketch: Shadow Cabinet Ladies Night

With the boss otherwise engaged, Damian Green strolled down to the country pub for a quiet pint. He found himself at the shadow cabinet’s all-women lock-in being held at a suburban All Bar One. This was Emily Thornberry’s lunchtime on the tiles; this was her at 3AM at 12 midday. Clothed from head-to-toe in lip-stick-red – a flash of gold from the earrings – Green could not hope to match the entirely unwarranted yet somehow lethal sass of this plump old lawyer as she played the common cougar. Minutes earlier Thornberry is in the Common’s ladies loo, looking at herself over and over again in the mirror (you suspect Green doesn’t ever look). She winks at herself, blows herself a kiss. Don’t you look good darling. You go give it to him; you are the hen at the party. He’s only a man…

Green would confirm Lady Nugee’s long-held views of all those unfortunate enough to have been born with a penis. Like every doddery old bloke in the history of human race, the First Secretary brought his punishment entirely upon himself. Immediately joking about women and leadership when up against Thornberry is ill-advised. He tried this one: “There are many distinguished people – of both sexes – who have done [PMQs] in this party, because we of course elect women leaders.” If there are two things Emily Thornberry is sure of – and there may only be two such things in the universe – it’s that she is a woman and that she is a leader. Instantly she parries: three Labour women had led at PMQs since Theresa May came on the scene. Don’t start with me boy, I’ll make mincemeat out of you… Continue reading

Robot Wars

Tonight on BBC Two’s Robot Wars, Prime Minister’s Question Time! And here come the competitors once again, rolling their way through the tunnel and into the green-plated arena. The audience is packed behind the crash barriers, and as the lights go up and the smoke clears we see them: MayBot and JezBot![…] Read the rest

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