Category Archives: media

04 Nov

The Ladies Misbehaving

Michael White is that rare – perhaps unique? – thing: a lefty with a sense of humour. His political articles and sketches in The Guardian have been making me laugh for decades. But this week Michael was not joking.

He was a guest on BBC Radio Four’s The Media Show, hosted by Andrea Catherwood and of course the subject was the “inappropriate behaviour” of the naughty MPs and so many others that Andrea wondered if to our concept of institutional racism we should add  institutional sexual misbehaviour. This was when Michael roughly interfered with the feminist, politically-correct prejudices of the BBC.

He said that inappropriate sexual behaviour was not exclusive to men but that “Clever, attractive young women can play the power game too.”

Outrage was swift and violent. Andrea expostulated – which is a polite way of saying she went into full bollocking mode: “D’you mean to say these women are at fault?”

Good grief! Didn’t Michael understand that he was talking on the BBC where it is an article of the severest dogma that women can never be at fault?

No, he didn’t understand or, brave man, he didn’t care. He said, “I’m going further than that. I’m saying women too can be predators.”

He spoke the truth – however unacceptable to the politically-correct establishment. We were given an example only this week of a woman prominent in society exhibiting inappropriate sexual behaviour. Kenneth Branagh reported that Dame Judi Dench had exposed herself to him backstage. Poor Ken, I understand he’s still receiving counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder!

Moreover, Michael didn’t merely speak the truth: he spoke the universal truth that there have always been women sexual predators. I don’t suppose they read the Bible much at the Beeb, but they might make a start with the story of those two randy young tarts the daughters of Lot who got their father drunk and took advantage of him: “And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him” (Genesis 19: 31-32).

Well, if they haven’t read the Bible, surely they have glanced at bits of bawd in Chaucer and Shakespeare – to say nothing of the misconduct of some of the Borgia ladies. I won’t get on to the psychopathic predations of such as Rosemary west and Myra Hindley.

Even nice girls have been known to lay hands unseemly on men and boys

My first job out of school was in a textiles warehouse in Leeds. My bosses wanted me to gain experience and advancement in the trade, so they sent me on a week’s course to the cotton mill in Barrowford, near Nelson in Lancashire. Here I came across a most unladylike custom. When a new lad, aged fifteen, started at the mill, the girls would leave their looms and shuttles, womanhandle him into the ladies and black his balls with boot polish.

I rush to add that I don’t think even Andrea Leadsome in all her fury at Michael Fallon would have bent so low as to smear the former defence secretary’s scrotum with a coating of Cherry Blossom

Quite posh girls have been known to misbehave. In my late teens I worked in the stats office at the Ministry of Labour. In those days before computers, all official letters and documents were typed by young women specially employed for the task. I would be sent down from the third floor to the typing pool on the first floor, there to enter on a scene so intimidating I nearly dropped my documents and ran straight back up the staircase, In the scented haze, thirty or forty miniskirted nubile females sat at desks in ranks. When a man opened the door, the clattering keys would cease and the timorous visitor, if he was a handsome – or even a passable – man would be ogled and whistled at.

At my theological college I quickly learned to heed a word of warning concerning the lecherous assistant cook and housemaid, “Don’t let yourself get talked into shelling peas with Celia!”

Sexual misconduct has always gone on and it always will even if Mrs May  passes a Bill for the Abolition of Original Sin. So let’s ditch the shock and mock horror and get on with the serious business of running the country.

I am just a little concerned to know whether Michael White got out of that BBC studio alive 

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22 Sep

Spare a thought for the BBC

I sympathise with the writers and performers of W1A, the BBC comedy drama which has just begun its third series. W1A is advertised as a satire on the BBC itself

This is an impossibility, for the BBC is beyond satire. How would you go about satirising a Corporation…

Whose economics and political presenters constantly bash the bankers and other fat cats but then pay some of the trashiest of their own staff hundreds of thousands of pounds?

Whose charter obliges it to “inform and educate” but which bans all discussion – a necessary part of informing and educating – of important subjects such as climate change?

Which is charged to be impartial but which blatantly and relentlessly takes sides on key issues – for example, its editors’ and presenters’ opposition to Brexit? (It was a BBC man himself who, on the morning after the referendum result, said he couldn’t find a single member of staff in Broadcasting House or the Television Centre in favour of Leave).

Which earns £billions from the worldwide commercial sales of its programmes and yet demands a massive annual subsidy through the universal tax misleadingly described as a “licence”?

Which announced the channel BBC Four with the slogan “a place to think” – and yet fills every Friday evening/night with six hours of rock music?

Which is staffed by illiterate presenters who say such as “I’m sat…I’m stood”; “Deteriate”; “Mitigate against”; “refute” (for “repudiate”) etc ad nauseam.

Whose same presenters are emotionally incontinent and whose standard question is about feeling – for instance, “How did you feel when your mother died in that house fire?”

Besides, why is the BBC presenting yet another satirical show, W1A, when it already broadcasts so many other programmes which can only be described as satires, such as Strictly Come Dancing; Mrs Brown’s Boys;  Woman’s Hour; Songs of Praise; Celebrity Money for Nothing; The Andrew Marr Show; The Today Programme and anything fronted by Lucy Worsley?

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30 Aug

The art of the impossible

I have long wondered what makes Janet Daley’s writing so tenebrously dull. A recitation of the fat stock prices would have more interest, the speaking clock subtler nuance. If she were to write about a kaleidoscope, it would be in black and white.

It can’t be because she’s American. Mark Twain was American and he wasn’t dull. Neither was Ezra Pound who wrote, “The reader deserves from time to time to be refreshed by shards of ecstasy.” Daley’s prose is as refreshing as a lorry-load of slurry.

Happily my puzzlement has at last been dispersed. Writing (about herself) this week in the Daily Telegraph, Daley says,

“Political argument and debate seem to me to encompass – or at least affect – almost everything that matters in the human condition. How we are governed defines our social relations, our life opportunities, our moral choices and our civil responsibilities. In democratic societies, there is a particular responsibility for people to make informed decisions, not only about who is  to be in power but about the limits and function of government itself.”

See what I mean?

What does she know of politics who only politics knows?

Political conversation  is not everything – not even “almost” everything – that matters in the human condition. What scope, beyond that of leisurely diversion, does her definition of what matters leave to art, literature, music, philosophy  and even, God help us, theology?

We practise these things, Ms Daley, so that we do not die of politics.

Politicos themselves sometimes acknowledge this truth. Even Ken Livingston has his newts, John Major could be not inconsiderably interesting on the subject of motorway cones and Matthew Parris has written gaily about his exploits on Hampstead Heath.

I wonder if there is a cure for Janet’s political monotony?

I think there is. She could try writing her memoirs. Suggested title: Homage to Catatonia

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18 Aug

WW2: Don’t blame the Germans–it was the terrorists wot dun it

The front pages are full of it with headlines: “Massacre….Terrorism…Evil strikes again…Holiday horror…” The always enterprising Sun sports “BASTARDS!”

Why will none of these editors tell the true story?

We know who the “Terrorists” are. We know who are inflicting “Massacre” and the “Horror.”  In every case they are Muslims. “Muslim” is the most accurate description of the perpetrators. Some may be Somali – but not all. Some Pakistani – but not all. Some Palestinian – again not all.

But they are all  Muslims. Moreover, they commit their atrocities explicitly in the name of Islam. Before bombing a tube train or driving a truck into a crowd of shoppers, they don’t exclaim, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” Or “The serenity of Gautama be always with you.”

They yell, “Allahu Akbar!” which translated means, “Our god is greater than your god.”

Muslims are committing these atrocities every day of the week  across four continents.

Only when we acknowledge this fact might we learn how to beat this enemy. But no, we pussyfoot around with evasions and euphemisms. The West is dying of political correctness.

Lake me take you back to the Blitz on London. The BBC newsreader didn’t come on the wireless the morning after an air raid to inform the nation, “Last night terrorist aeroplanes once again bombed the capital, destroyed many homes and killed more than a hundred Londoners.”

No, newsreaders in those days were honest. they came on and said plainly, “Last night German bombers dropped many tons of high explosive on the City of London.”

Once we had thus correctly identified the enemy, our soldiers, sailors and airmen worked out how to fight back most efficiently. And so in the end – not the terrorists or the anonymous perpetrators of horror – but the GERMANS were defeated.

As in 1941, so in 2017, there is a world war on. And this world war has been going on for a lot longer than the last one.

This is obvious to everyone except politicians and newspaper editors.

Here are some words of Professor Marcello Pera, a philosopher and former president of the Italian Senate:

“Is there a war? I answer, yes there is a war and I believe the responsible thing is to recognise it and to say so, regardless of whether the politically-correct thing to do is to keep our mouths shut.

“In Afghanistan, Kashmir, Chechnya, Dagestan, Ossetia, the Phillipines, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Morocco and much of the Islamic and Arab world, large groups of fundamentalists, radicals, extremists – the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brothers, Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Armed Group and many more have declared a holy war on the West. This is not my imagination. It is a message they have proclaimed, written, preached, communicated and circulated in black and white. Why should I not take note of it?”

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03 Aug

The Sex Olympics

A new plague is stalking the land. It’s not the black death and it’s not cholera, but much more serious than either of these. I know it’s serious because it was the first item on the SKY News website this morning. It’s called binge viewing and it’s destroying the sleep and, says SKY, the lives of those afflicted.

Sadly, this virulent plague chiefly affects people described as “vulnerable”: that is the hordes of intellectually challenged, morally depraved and aesthetically numb who sit up all night watching tawdry shows such as Game of Thrones. Binge viewing, we were informed, is “a syndrome,” so victims who are made to suffer by Game of Thrones are very likely to have their sorry condition aggravated by the fact that they are also addicted to Strictly Come Dancing or Britain’s Got Talent or that top of the range nuts ‘n’ sluts show Say Yes to the Dress in which very fat women – both black and white, so there’s nothing racist about this – giggle and squeal as they try on ludicrously expensive wedding gowns which are then paid for by their fathers.

Back in the 1960s there was a remarkable and at the time shocking television play called The Sex Olympics. The premise was that there would come a time when, under a totalitarian government, millions would gawp endlessly at actors fornicating on screen. This fantasy has now been realised and it’s called Love Island.   

I recall a telling remark by C.H. Sisson: “What makes St Augustine so interesting is that he lived through times very much like ours – and rejected them.”

Indeed, Augustine describes a state in which people are, “…unconcerned about the utter corruption of their country – ‘So long as it lasts’ they say – so long as it enjoys material prosperity.” The downfall of the Roman Empire was preceded by a whole series of financial crises. It was overwhelmed by mass immigration and threatened by barbarian violence. The comparisons with our own time are very striking. Augustine prophesied against “…rulers who are interested not in the morality, but the docility of their subjects; they are regarded not as directors of conduct but as controllers of material things and providers of material satisfaction.”

Doesn’t that make you think of extravagant loans to people who could never afford them; of laws to encourage 24/7 shopping and 24/7 boozing; of the whole world turned into advertisements? Art and culture debased, as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies once remarked of a Damien Hirst exhibition, “…into manufactured artefacts without content, with just a brand tag supposed to guarantee market value.”

A civilisation cannot survive on such debased conduct, on pretend values which are really valueless.

Augustine describes a society where: “Full publicity is given where shame would be appropriate; close secrecy is imposed where praise would be in order. Decency is veiled from sight; indecency is exposed to view. Scenes of evil attract packed audiences; good words scarcely find any listeners. It is as if purity should provoke a blush and corruption give grounds for pride.”

Here we are again on the eve of destruction. Pizza and porn are today’s bread and circuses. Binge viewers everywhere, sit back and enjoy the Sex Olympics.

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17 Jun

The show must go on!

from the office of the Controller Monomedia (incorporating BBC, SKY & ITV) to all staff…

Boys & Girls,

First, congratulations and a million thanks for your coverage on the day after the Kensington fire. Our ratings were off the top of the Richter scale. It’s even more mega than that: forget the death of Jo Cox or Cilla or even Michael Jackson, this is our finest hour since the princess popped it in 1997 and the universal Dianafication that followed.

Kensington represents our biggest touchy-feely extravaganza for decades. And wow, you certainly showed how to sell it!

I’ve just enjoyed looking back at the vids. There were so many highlights but surely the masterstroke was the split-screen shot with “cold fish” May on one side and Comrade “Hugger” Corbyn on the other. Jeremy, “man of the people,” kissing the little ones, while May, beautifully captured scowling behind a line of coppers, was the icing on the cake.

Editors and film crews did excellent work getting close-ups of smiling children of the local riff-raff. And how you captured the delicious “anger”!

Above all you remembered the first law of telly journalism: emotion – especially grief – is “sexy.”

Of course, I realise that all this was not achieved on the hoof. Your preparations were meticulous and cameras were in place early. This reminded me of one of our greatest successes, the Brixton and Toxteth riots of 1981. Every evening before sunset, our crews were on the spot when the oiks emerged and started chucking their petrol bombs. There were some unforgettable moments –  like the close-up of the young thug stepping inside the smashed window of a shoe shop and nicking a pair of expensive trainers.

Your manipulation of the mob’s mood was superb. Every time a presenter said “There is rising anger,” there was rising anger.

The juxtaposition of dispossessed survivors and cries of “heartless” and “cuts” was another stroke of genius.

But the most wonderful Diana moment for me was when one of our prettiest young presenters – tears in her eyes – delivered straight to camera – “Here in Kensington and Chelsea, some of Britain’s very poorest are living side-by-side with the richest fat cats.”

Now, the thing is, you must not let up. The present media bonanza mustn’t be allowed to fade into a nine days’ wonder. It’s your responsibility – and privilege, I might add – to keep it going. Your job is to fan the flames, so to speak!

Emerging themes for the next few days; (1) masses of floral tributes (2) wayside shrines (3) vigils (4) gratuitous – and escalating – violence.

See if you can get a rock singer to dedicate his/her latest “number” to the people of Grenfell Tower.

I must end on a cautionary note. It has come to my attention that some of our people have been heard muttering, “Hey, we’d better be careful what we wish for. If we actually succeed in putting Jeremy in Number 10 and getting a revolutionary communist government, press and telly freedom will be the first things to go.”

Ignore these Jeremiahs. (Gosh, I nearly said Jeremys!)

It’s our show. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Love

Gordon

Gordon Oswald Dickheadson {GOD}

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14 May

Theresa May: the Red Tory

Behold, I show you two mysteries: the one mystery the greater and the other mystery the less.

The lesser mystery is of why the Daily Telegraph is so enamoured of Theresa May. This mystery is only partly explained by the fact that the Telegraph has sacked so many of its intelligent writers – including, by the looks of the layout, the grammar and the spelling mistakes – all the sub-editors. The so called “star writers” remaining there, with a couple of notable exceptions, are would-be dolly birds in their forties and fifties whose subjects are their emotions, the menopause, their self-esteem and their cellulite.

The greater mystery concerns the Daily Mail’s utter infatuation with Mrs May whom they regard as a reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher.

But May is no Maggie.

Mrs Thatcher won over the working class voters by allowing them to buy their council houses. Mrs May says she wants to build 300,000 council houses for rent. Why? To steal support from Corbyn’s Trots. One might say, “It’s the oikonomy, stupid!”

Thus she intends to create a great many more sink estates. Of course, to do this was not her declared purpose but, as the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe pointed out in her book Intention, if you’re pretty certain that your actions will involve particular undesirable consequences and you persist in your actions anyway, then logically speaking you have intended those consequences.

Why does the Daily Mail persistently mistake the socialist Theresa May for a Conservative? Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative party was the party which the Mail knew and loved. But, according to May, this was “the nasty party.”

May will do nothing to reduce the burden of taxation or the other burden of business regulations. She will deliver a Brexit – if at all – soft as a lightly-boiled egg. After May’s Brexit, she will claim job done, we’re out. But the underlying practical reality will reveal that nothing has changed.

She voted Remain, remember.

She was a disaster at the home office, from her passports fiasco to her failure to prevent the rape and sexual abuse of thousands of girls in a score of our towns and cities by Muslim men; from her refusal to intervene in the infiltration of Birmingham schools by militant Islam, to her failure to honour her commission to “reduce immigration to the tens of thousands.” And, when she was confronted on this matter, she said she was powerless to act because she was bound by the EU’s Shengen rules on free movement of populations.

Then she voted Remain anyway! This explains both the shallowness of her mind and the depth of her duplicity.

Mrs Thatcher once said she intended that the Labour government which preceded her would go down in history as “the last Labour government.” In her inflamed lust for the capture of Labour votes, May is moving the Conservative party relentlessly to the left.

And the last state will be worse than the first – for all of us. 

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26 Apr

Two Spectators but differing perspectives

Every week, a friend in Alice Springs sends me The Spectator Australia which is really the London version with perhaps  ten pages at the start given over to Australian  matters. Consistently, these pages are conspicuously better than the rest of the magazine. Let me give an example from the edition for the Easter weekend. After a shocking account of violent assaults by Muslims on Christians in Sydney. Aussie Spec’s editorial continued as follows:

“One of the obvious causes of what is called ‘Christophobia’ is the poisonous, amoral, cowardly effect of left wing political correctness and the simpering attitude of many ‘progressive’ Christian clergy towards Islam. Rather than seeing what has historically been a violent and uncompromising religion as possibly posing an existential threat to their own beliefs, many clergy now choose to embrace Islam in the name of ‘multifaith dialogue’. The effectiveness of this suicidal approach can be seen in France where more than 2000 mosques have been built in the last ten years while 60 churches have been closed – many becoming mosques. Where are the Christians defending their ancient faith? Carry on doing nothing and get ready to bury Jesus Christ once and for all.”

Why do we never get such plain speaking out of the truth in our London edition?

Those early pages in the Australian version unfailingly present a conservative opinion on all political, social and economic affairs.

They make the rest of the magazine – ie the London material – look like what in fact it has become: a collection of evasions and euphemisms and indeed of the very political correctness which the Australian editor deplores.

As a regrettable consequence, we no longer have a mainstream conservative weekly magazine in Britain

(Rev’d Dr Peter Mullen 3 Naomi Close Eastbourne BN20 7UU    01323-655832)

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09 Feb

In praise of Oik Telly

Three cheers for James Purnell, director of strategy at the BBC. He has just announced that “Civilisations,” a new version of cultural history to succeed Kenneth Clark’s original “Civilisation” series of 1969, will, along with all new documentaries programmed by the BBC, be “the opposite” of Clark’s monstrously “elitist” production.

I’m only sorry that the wonderfully egalitarian Mr Purnell fell short of calling the new series by a title more suitable for the emancipated and enlightened age we now live in. He should have been brave and called the series “Barbarism.” But, as they say, brave new world was not built in a day, and I am grateful that Mr Purnell has dared to go as far as he has along the road to pure oikism.

The disgusting patrician Clark – Order of Merit, Companion of Honour, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath and Fellow of the British Academy – is sure to be surpassed by the presenter of the new series who, according to Mr Purnell, will be “a trusted friend” who will deliver “expertise without elitism.”

I’m all for it: let’s hear it for mediocratism!

Even after 48 years, I can still hear Clark’s disgraceful voice, speaking with sickening mellifluousness in grammatical English – in whole sentences, for heaven’s sake! Our new version will feature the iconic demotic of our democratised times innit, like, dropped aitches and t’s, “their” for the, like, sexist “his” and “her,” and as many sentences – though of course these will not be sentences – as possible starting with “So…”

I recall also Clark’s initial reluctance to produce a book of his series, “…because it would have to be without the classical music on the original soundtrack.”

“Classical music”! I ask you – did ever a man so completely condemn himself out of his own mouth?

Purcell, Byrd, Bach, Tallis, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven: the 1969 series was full of such class-ridden rubbish. This was made worse by Clark’s misplaced and undemocratic admiration for so-called “Great Masters”: Giotto, Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and similar trash. I’ll have you know, Kenneth Clark, your vile era of deference to “masters” is long gone.

The new series will feature the art of the people and its comrade multi-millionaires such as Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and that other hero of our thoroughly-democratised art who fashioned an installation of the siege of Troy on an exquisite pile of (real, his own) shit.

And there will be no problem with the music. How could there be when we have to hand myriads of downloads of David Bowie, Queen, Eminem, Michael Jackson and the sumptuously adenoidal narcissist, St Bob Dylan?

Our new remake will accomplish a total revolution, amounting to an utter repudiation of the repressive “values” of the original. In that old version there was credulous and mawkish piety in the depiction of St Augustine of Hippo, St Benedict, Erasmus, Martin Luther and other devotees of the primitive and superstitious era of so called “Christendom.” We shall present true heroes of modernity and of the people: Marx, Engels, Lenin Stalin, Mao – with a special section on their greatest prophet Eric Hobsbawm.

All together now, let’s join in a thanksgiving chorus of John Lennon’s great hymn of heroically blasphemous praise: Imagine

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09 Jan

“The Governess, Part III”

Take your seats today for the third and climactic act of this three act pantomime starring Theresa May. “The Governess” was the tile given to this show only after other suggestions had been examined and rejected: these included: “The Stunt” and “The Art of Self-advertisement.”

Acts I and II were hugely enjoyable. The first contained the memorably comic scene in which Mrs May, with the assistance of the Department of Cliches and Political Hand-me downs, is seen composing several articles for publication in national newspapers. How we roared with laughter at her subtle articulation of “Let me be entirely clear.” Then came her side-splitting, “My first priority” – for which due credit was acknowledged in the programme to the Department of Tautologies and the EU Commission on Pleonasm.

In the second act, Mrs May pretended to be a serious politician – the prime minister, no less -  and was seen giving an extended television interview. Our theatrical correspondent commented favourably: “This was the most brilliantly effective political satire we’ve seen since the days of that great comic actor Harold Wilson.”

I attended the dress – and what a dress! – rehearsal for today’s final act which begins in total darkness. In mock horror a disembodied voice calls out, “Now then boys and girls, what are the most terrifying words in the English language?”

At this point there was a palpable sense of unease and apprehension. Suddenly the stage was a fountain of light and Mrs May rose from a trapdoor in a gorgeous leopard skin leotard and answered: “Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help!”

I swear the audience laughter continued for all of five minutes.

There were some breath-taking moments of sheer bathos as when Mrs May began to sing the smash hit number “The Shared Society.” It began with the rising chromatic line in parody seriousness: “I’m going to do something about mental illness.” But yet again the tension was relieved quite hilariously as she went on to sing, “Oh no I’m not! I’ve already done that – when I said I want to make Brexit work for the Remainers!”

The rest of the act was the enumeration of all that Mrs May is going to do to make the country better and spread happiness. I won’t spoil it for you by going into details. “”(Actually, Mrs May didn’t go in for details either).

At the end I strolled into the green room which was crammed with theatrical journalists and literary people from the upmarket weeklies. Hieronymus Bosh from The Guardian interestingly denied that what we’d witnessed was a pantomime at all: “It was really a social comment piece – put me in mind here and there of Brecht, particularly in her evocative minimalist phrasing of “The Handouts Song “ and the rousing strains of “immigration, Immigration, Immigration” and its unforgettable refrain, “You ain’t seen nuffin’ yet!”

The Times Literary Supplement’s Jean-Paul Fartre seemed angered by Bosh’s remarks and he screamed back, “Social comment piece my arse! It was pure theatre of the absurd. Didn’t you get the Sam Beckett reference when the demon king character (Boris Johnson) tells her, “You can’t go on!” and Theresa slaps her leather trousers and replies, “I must go on! I’ll go on!”

The editor of The Tablet said, “What really did it for me was at the end of her moving song about all her magnificent achievements, the Theresa May-like-character vowed to make us all love one another and to abolish Original Sin.”

I ventured to ask, Where is the great lady, by the way?”

And the whole chorus erupted, “She’s behind you!”

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