Highs and Lows in Satire and Sadistic Punishments

Only a couple of weeks ago I was bemoaning the lack of satirists to help me through the next few months of electioneering in the UK. Obviously not everyone felt we had too few satirists, and the next thing I knew some deemed supernumerary by the Kouachi brothers, as well as others not known for their work in this field, were dead.

More about that later.

However, an unlikely hero came forward. Not quite a knight in shining armour, this one was holding a pint of beer. Al Murray announced he would be standing against Nigel Farage in his Pub Landlord persona.

Now if you are not from the UK there are several delicious ironies in this you may not immediately comprehend that Al Murray is playing upon. The most delicious one is that Nigel Farage, who leads UKIP, has a penchant for being photographed with a pint in his hand and a wide grin on his face. Just An Ordinary Bloke. Yes, just an ordinary public school educated bloke who worked in the City as a banker. Haven’t we all?

Here is FUKP’s launch video.

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Looking for a Hero(ine)

Armando Iannucci got me through the last general election with a number of sharply observed and very funny https://isobelandcat.wordpress.com/tag/aramndo-iannucci/ in The Independent newspaper. But last year he said that British politics had become too bland for humour.

With a general election not due until May, you may be wondering why I am thinking about this now. Well, there’s been a change. We now have fixed term elections. So as well as being so legislation-lite there almost wasn’t a Queen’s Speech in 2014, our politicians started their election campaigns yesterday. Heaven help us, we now have four months, four months, of posturing, bickering and oneupmanship to look forward to with neither Armando Iannucci or Simon Hoggart to leaven the dough. It’s a pretty dire prospect.

Hoggart, easily the most entertaining political sketch writer by several miles, died a year ago yesterday from pancreatic cancer. A friend of mine interviewed him once and found him modest and courteous. He used her surname in a piece published the following day in The Guardian. An ex-neighbour worked with him and admired his wit and intelligence, and loved him as a friend. John Crace is alright, but he isn’t the must read that Hoggart was. Though give him his due, they were hard shoes to fill. Here‘s some more of Simon Hoggart’s writing, this time for The Spectator, in case you are not yet convinced. Continue reading