Firstly, let me take up where I left off last week. You may remember that last Friday it appeared that Mrs May was about to be toppled by members of her own party, with pantomime villain Jacob Rees-Mogg as ringleader. Well by the early stages of this week it became clear that Moggy’s little coup had failed – he cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war only to fall well short of the 48 MPs’ letters needed to bring about a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister. How deflating! Rees-Mogg claims to have no aspiration towards Downing Street himself, but I for one think he would have had a good chance – in the general election of 1900, perhaps.
Illustration by Rhiannon Powell
On Wednesday Mogg called a press conference of his gang of Brexit Bulldogs, the rather ironically named European Research Group (or ERG), at which – Last Supper style – a row of pale-skinned, white-haired, navy-suited men made it clear that they were the last line of defence this nation had from the imperial aspirations of a European super-state. God help us! By this time is was clear their plan to remove May had failed and become something of a farce. The whole charade brought to mind the much loved BBC sitcom Dad’s Army – a show about an aging, clueless, and disconnected group of decrepit old men deluded enough to think themselves defenders of merry old England from an evil European empire. Uncanny, isn’t it. In response to this suggestion Rees-Mogg commented “I’ve always admired Captain Mainwaring”, and with that completed the perfect metaphor – although it seems Mainwaring had far more control of his followers than Mogg does his!
On the subject of mad Brexit supporting sects, we move on to UKIP. Yes, that’s right, they’re still somehow a thing…just. Since their infamous leader Nigel Farage stood down in the wake of the 2016 referendum, UKIP has had four different leaders, each more obscure and offensive than the last like some awful Russian doll (which arguably UKIP is). In a disappointingly predictable move this week, UKIP’s current leader Gerard Batten (heard of him? Nope? Me neither) brought the controversial (criminal) figure of Tommy Robinson in as an adviser. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr Robinson’s work, you need look no further than his membership of the British Nationalist Party, a now illegal pseudo-fascist group, and his leadership of an equally far-right and Islamophobic organisation, the English Defence League. Robinson (or to use his real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) has been one of the most hated and most hateful men in the UK for many years and has had many stints behind bars, the most recent of which being in May this year. All this quite clearly gives him the perfect CV to be hailed as UKIP’s advisor on “rape gangs” – quite possibly (to quote Blackadder) the worst decision since the Vikings decided to put the horns on the inside of their helmets. When confronted about the growing Islamophobia in his party, Gerard Batten told the BBC that “Islamophobic is a made-up word… I don't have an irrational fear of Islam, nor does Tommy Robinson”. When it’s got to the stage that even Nigel Farage thinks you’ve gone a bit far, maybe it’s time to rethink eh Gerard?
Also in the news, everybody’s favourite non compos mentis South African billionaire Elon Musk has renamed his rocket in preparation for it to take his first commercial client, Mr Yusaku Maezawa of Japan, into space. Until this week the rocket had been known as the BFR or Big Falcon Rocket which, rumours suggest, is the more PG version of a similar sounding name – Big *cough cough* Rocket, see? Well from hence forth it is to be known simply as Starship, which, although I hate to see a childishly silly name die (remember Boaty McBoatface?), does seem to move us another small step closer to Star Trek becoming a reality.
‘Make it so’, as far as I’m concerned.