Homage to Rudyard Kipling who will be spinning in his grave

19 Jul 2018 at 11:19

Tear down the bloody statues
of those who thought in a different way.
Take joy in reducing to rubble the heroes of yesterday.

Free speech is just a weapon of those who are born to oppress
women, blacks, students and those in tribal dress.
And welcome to a new world where we the people set the scene.
But be sure to draw the curtain that shows that the people are
really me.

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Will someone show some leadership. This country is in mortal peril and all the goverment does is appease the purists. Wake up and be strong.

17 Jul 2018 at 11:45

I really don’t want to write another word about Boris Johnson. I have almost said it all. But there is a question which will mark the mettle of the man. Will he have the courage to make a personal statement tomorrow? My gut instincts tell me that he won’t. Like all bullies he is at heart a coward. His resignation was so calculated and so cynical that he is despised on both sides of the House. Without the trappings of office he will be a much diminished figure. Can he take the jeering, the cat calls the humiliation? And that’s just from his own side.

I have seen the great and the good destroyed when they don’t have the armour of the despatch box. I served in one parliament with Roy Jenkins. He was a towering figure, a Bletchley code breaker, a humane Home Secretary, a masterful Chancellor, a powerful president of the European Commission. And he was the leading member of the Gang of Four which really broke the mould of British politics. Out of nowhere the SDP were only 462,144 votes behind Labour in the 1983 election. It was a stupendous result and Jenkins had won a by election in the unlikely constituency of Glasgow Hillhead. He should have bestrode the chamber like a Colossus. Instead he became a figure of fun. He was humiliated, jeered at and became a broken figure. It was tragic to see this great, humane and rather proud man treated like dirt. And totally destroyed. Eventually he lost his seat to George Galloway in 1987.

Why? Because the Labour Party never forgave him for leading a desertion of their MPs to the SDP. It is instructive to remember precisely why. With the election of the saintly Michael Foot Labour had drifted to the left. And moderate MPs had the courage to set up a new party. But Michael Foot would look like a right winger compared to Corbyn and his gangsters.

If only Labour moderates today had the courage of Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rogers and Shirley Williams. They are a gutless rabble and deserve to be deselected. This is the modern tragedy of Labour.

There are two rules in politics which never fail. Firstly the public are reluctant to vote for a divided party. The Conservatives learned this lesson in 1997. The Bill Cash brigade infected with the theology of Brexit wanted to throw moderation to the wind and cast their party into the wilderness for a generation. They elected two ideologically pure leaders who could never win a general election. IDS and Howard. It was Theresa May as party chairman who warned that we had become the nasty party. It took David Cameron to detoxify the brand.

John Major had to put up with a lot. But it is nothing compared to the vile abuse that May has to put up with on a daily basis. The Chequers proposal was the beginning of something sensible. There has to be a compromise in politics as there is in trade deals. What astounds me is that If May had the courage to face down her Cabinet why can’t she face down the Mogg brigade? Not all the members of ERG are cultists. Many, like David Davies, want to exit the EU with as little damage to the economy as possible. It is common sense to have a Customs arrangement of some sort and a common rule book (as we would have to have in any trade deal) as long as Parliament call the shots. It is common sense to take account of decisions of the ECJ provided our courts call the shots. None of this is brain surgery.

The trouble is that moderate MPs are terrified of their associations and electors. And it’s their own fault. If they persist in spouting this nonsensical mantra that we must be bold, business is wrong, we need more belief in ourselves and little old Blighty will always muddle though, it’s not surprising that anything other than a clean break is regarded as a betrayal. Why don’t MPs just tell the public the truth? Silly me.

Only Michael Gove has bothered to spell out the importance of Chequers. Where is everybody else? I’ll tell you. They are spineless wimps hiding in their bunkers and praying for someone else to do the heavy lifting.

So what options do we have? A General Election? On what policy would we stand? Madness and it would let those committed Marxists and Brexiteers Corbyn and McDonnell in. They would declare a state of emergency and it would probably be the last free election we would ever have.

A referendum? But on earth would be on the ballot paper? And it would be dirtier and more dishonest than the last one.

A new moderate party drawn from Labour and Tory moderates? Sadly, nobody has the courage to put their heads above the parapets.

But the purists are spooked. They are beginning to realise that their dream is turning into a nightmare and are screaming betrayal. It’s all the fault of the elite. Business, bankers and anybody who is not a true believer. They are cornered, dangerous, seriously deranged and will stop at nothing to achieve a no deal crash out.

Could someone somewhere show some leadership? Some balls. Something. Anything. Our country is in mortal danger and we just stand like frightened rabbits in the headlights of the oncoming juggernaut. Hoping that something will turn up. It won’t.

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Poor Boris must be a very lonely man, the Archie Rice of politics, going through his routine dead behind the eyes and despising his audience.

12 Jul 2018 at 08:02

In many ways I feel desperately sorry for Boris Johnson. He may be a vile, vainglorious, selfish steaming pile of horseshit with the principles and morality of a Kremlin hitman, but deep down he must be achingly lonely. Behind the melting mask of Bon moted bonhomie he is friendless.

Oh, there are the hangers on. Those who want to bask in his reflected glory. And those who want to grip his tawdry coat tails for a white knuckled ride to glory. But who trusts him? Who respects him? And who loves him? Who can he ring in the black dog hours of the night to pour out what is left of his soul that is not in hock? I doubt if there is anyone. No man is an island but Boris gets pretty close to it.

He must know that he will never hold high office again. That his leadership dreams are dashed and that the best that he can hope for is for the Daily Telegraph to give him well paid vanity publishing rights. And spew unconscionable bile and poison against Mrs May. For any newspaper to accuse the Prime Minister of being a traitor when she is just doing her best to hold the crumbling fabric of her party and country together is obscene. If the Barclay brothers had an ounce of decency they would throw Chris Evans to the wolves. He makes Paul Dacre look like a shy and retiring Church of England curate.

But back to Boris. What will happen when the laughter stops? When the adulation fades away? When he finally realises that whatever laughter that is left is at him? Already, he is transforming into the Archie Rice of politics going through the motions of his routine, despising his audience and dead behind the eyes. Or will he just turn into the Rector of Stiffkey? A broken man so desperate for public attention that he locked himself in the lions cage until the lion turned on him and mauled him to death. His sad but poignant dying words were, “will I make the last edition?’

David Davis will. He at least behaved with honour, dignity and principle. And Boris? If he does it will be as the man who sacrificed both the Conservative party and the country on the altar of his ambition. In the meantime let him burn in the hellfires of tedium in Uxbridge.

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May achieved what Thatcher was famous for but never achieved, the outmanoeuvring of her Cabinet which would make Machiavelli blush. She owes Gove a lot

8 Jul 2018 at 09:44

I have never been a May enthusiast. I have always been of the view that she is hefted to avoid making decisions. That her instinct is to throw every tricky one into the long grass. Yesterday I was proved wrong.

Very often the threats that are leaked from Number 10 are nothing more than wind and piss which are eventually flushed away through the sewers of the Mail and the Telegraph. Yesterday I was proved wrong again.

It is not beyond belief that yesterday’s rout of psycho Brexit was the culmination of a long term plan. After all this month heralds the first blue moon in many years and a distinct possibility that England could win the World Cup. But that seems ungracious. The truth of the matter is that this rather awkward vicar’s daughter did something that Margaret Thatcher was always famous for but never really achieved. She routed her enemies in cabinet. She out manoeuvred them with a skill that would make Machiavelli blush. It was the man in the pub approach. ‘The only way you can get politicians to agree to anything is to lock ‘em in a room, take way their phones and threaten to take away their fancy jobs’. This was not just a sentiment, but the brutal reality. The Big Beasts, with their macho posturing, their empty threats and their pitiful attempts at bullying have been publicly humiliated. As Orwell might have said, he who controls the news controls the present. And he who controls the present controls the past. For the moment. At the moment the public are enjoying the sunshine and the football. They don’t give a damn about what Boris, Leadsom and the increasingly ghastly McVey claim to have said. They signed up. They backed down. They blinked first.

Of course they are entitled to leak their versions of events. The heroic words. The fighting talk. The Boris bon mots. They can just about get away with it. Briefly. But anything more will lead to their dismissal. This is not a threat but a welcome return to reality. Collective responsibility is coming home.

It would be foolish to underestimate the importance of the political rehabilitation of Michael Gove. His forensic analysis was the catalyst for unity. I have said this many times, but he is one of the few ministers in my memory who actually improves every department that he has run. He may be quirky but he masters his briefs and then thinks about them. This is sadly a rarity in modern politics. Ministers tend to be spoon fed by their Spads.

Gove has sensibly come to a pragmatic analysis. We are where we are. It is not a place where we wanted to be but let’s make the best of it. Although I am a fervent Remainer it is my analysis too. Gove can unite the likes of me and moderate Brexiteers. For those on the extreme ends of both arguments the game is up. It’s time for the grown ups to take back control.

Madame underestimates the pivotal role of Gove to get a respectable deal with Brussels at her peril. She must put behind her the old animosities as he must abandon Cummings and his kind. They must work together. Closely.

I give Boris a week, maybe two, to step over the mark and book his Uber ride from Downing Street. Micheal Gove would be an ideal replacement. He has averted catastrophe and deserves to be rewarded.

And what of Mogg and his ERG acolytes? They will huff and they will puff but they will not blow the house down. Their threats of leadership elections are just that. We have been there before. And Graham Brady will knock sense and grim reality into back benchers. Three words should do the trick. Corbyn and McDonnell.

Tomorrow will be a crunch day. Madame’s address to the 22 must be carefully orchestrated. Leading lights of both camps must publicly support her. I would be amazed if they didn’t. If Gove and Greg Clark can write a joint article there is more than hope.

Personally I still think leaving the EU is a terrible mistake. But I can’t turn back time nor indulge in the fantasy that the referendum decision can be reversed. We are where we are so let’s make the best of it.

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A government paralsed by Europsychosis, an alt left opposition who wants to fuck capitalism and Trump who wants to fuck NATO. What could go wrong?

30 Jun 2018 at 09:35

The world order as I have always known it is dead. It’s rotting carcass is being ripped apart by the hyenas of Trump, Putin and Xi, whilst an emerging swarm of European populism circles like vultures to pick over whatever is left.

I was born in 1953. The Korean War had ended. Germany and the rest of war torn Europe was being rebuilt. Spain and Portugal were dictatorships. Greece a poverty stricken mess. France was in psycho analysis over war time betrayals and collaboration with the Nazis. China was a mystery and the brute Shadow of the Soviet Union terrified us. The tangible fear of nuclear war hung over my childhood. I can still remember the monochrome public information ads grimly warning us that with some old newspapers and a kitchen table we could survive the conflagration. It was a celluloid lie.

But there was always hope. Warring Europe became jawing Europe. Good and decent men and women were coming together to pool resources and ambitions to try and ensure that the continent never sent their sons to slaughter again. The United Nations was beginning to mean something. And we had the protective umbrella of NATO. Harold MacMillan ruled over us with a benign paternalism. He was my hero. This was the age of idealism.

When I was elected to Parliament in 1983 most of the old boys had fought in the war. Their collective memories were fascinating and instructive. The horrors that they had witnessed tempered their views from gung ho ideologues into a gentle pragmatism.

I am not looking back to those days through roses tinted spectacles. There was a hell of a lot wrong. But there was a naive belief that the great institutions were there to protect us. They are now being torn down.

But what have we now? The continent of Europe is sleepwalking back to its old ways. The Commission is totally out of touch with reality and there is a very real threat that nationalism coupled with a genuine fear of immigration will bring the whole edifice down. This will cheer clowns like Mogg, Boris and the whole ghastly bunch of Europsychotics who want to push Madame and the country into economic and political oblivion. And unless these people are faced down and shown the door it will happen.

But there is no leadership. Madame is not even fiddling while the country is on the brink of burning. Just trapped in the headlights of the extremists. Paralysed with fear that she could be toppled. But let’s get real. Who is her biggest rival for the leadership? Boris is unelectable since his ‘fuck business’ jibe. It was a bit like the Pope saying ‘fuck Christianity’ or a Mogg saying ‘Fuck nanny’. It was a mortal blasphemy. And who else has a serious chance of winning? Mogg? Ridiculous. Leadsom? Insane. All we have left are people who are just not ready. Javid, Hunt and spider boy.

The first thing she must do is restore collective responsibility. Hah. Some chance. When someone as spineless as Liz Truss, who didn’t lift a finger to protect the ‘enemies of the people’ judges thinks she can get away with taking the piss out of Michael Gove then the whole rationale of government is dead.

Will May have the courage, the tenacity, the sheer bloody bollocks to tell the cabinet before the recess how they will approach Brexit and risk resignations? I would like to think so. Most sentient people who care about their country would like to think so. But on past experience it looks like submarine May will sink to the depths dragging the country down with her.

And when it all goes horribly wrong and big business flees the country, the fanatics will scream that it was all the fault of the enemies of the people, the civil service, the Bank of England, the CBI and the Remainers. While the rest of us will weep for the times when we had a kinder and gentler Britain.

So we have a hopeless government infected by a deadly form of Europsychosis, a terrifyingly alt left Opposition who really do want to fuck business and a President of the United States who wants to fuck everything from Stormy Daniels to NATO.

So what would Danny Dyer say? Actually I really don’t give a flying fuck. The man gives half wits a bad name.

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Prime Ministerial candidates are like buses. You wait and wait and then two appear at once. Time to buy shares in Javid and Hunt

18 Jun 2018 at 08:05

It’s hard to imagine that it is less than a week since President Trump had his historic meeting with Kim Yong Un the bloodied dictator of North Korea. Nobody believed for more than one moment that this was going to be anything other than a glorified photo opportunity.

Both these men are predictably unpredictable. They shoot from the lip.

They threaten, charm, flatter with mood and policy changes as forecastable as the weather at a British seaside resort.

Yet somehow there was a chemistry. Whether is was out of Trump’s desire for his footnote in history or Kim’s not to be strung from a lamp post or dragged in chains to the war crimes court in The Hague, we will never know.

But we have the beginnings of a deal on denuclearisation of the Peninsular. So lets be at least cautiously optimistic. Best give it a chance before condemning it out of hand just because we find both leaders less than attractive. Oh, and in case you are wondering why denuclearisation will take place by 2021 let me enlighten you. It’s when the Presidential election is. So delightfully cynical.

The next day it was business as usual back home in Britain. The government was in crisis over Brexit and in particular the House of Lords amendments concerning remaining in the EEA and giving Parliament a meaningful say in the final deal if we ever get that far.

And if we don’t get that far, for Parliament to take over.

Needless to say that the government’s response give headless chickens a bad name.

The Brexiteers bit the carpet more than usual. And the Remainers threatened to defeat the government.

The usual threats from the Whips followed. This would lead to a general election and the wicked Corbyn and his Stalinist henchmen would occupy No 10 and every first born Tory baby boy would be put to the sword.

Then a fellow called Philip Lee, not even a household name in his own household, resigned on a matter of principle from an opaque ministerial job which allowed him to share a medium sized family saloon once a month with one of the door staff at the Ministry of Justice. Oh, and he could keep his sandwiches in a shiny red box.

So that big red button emblazoned with the legend Something Must Be done was pressed. Klaxons, sirens blared and flashing lights lit up the room as civil servants rushed in chanting,’something must be done’.
And it was. Grieve, Soubry and a scoundrel of Remainers cut a deal with May. A new fluffy bunny, rainbow coated, amendment would be put before the lords provided they didn’t vote with the government.

The Brexiteers thought they had been betrayed and threw their toys out of the pram with the usual screams shouts and threats of beheading the PM and replacing her with General Pinochet, Imelda Marcus or whatever right wing nut case who is neither dead or in an asylum.

This clearly touched a raw nerve in No 10 as you could smell the burning rubber as they did a U turn and went back on their deal with the remainers.

The government won the vote but at a considerable price. They were always despised by the Brexiteers for not having their hearts in the project and now are mistrusted by the Remainers. A lethal combination.

And the whole mess comes back to the Lords for another vote. Nobody has a clue what will happen. Today some are threatening the Lords with abolition.

Nobody having a clue seems to be the hallmark of both the government and the opposition.

However, on Saturday there was an exception. Sajid Javid, our new Home Secretary, did something sensible. He granted Billy Caldwell, the the poor little boy who will die of convulsions unless he receives his illegal cannabis oil medication which was confiscated by the Home Office, an emergency licence to be treated by it. And the day before that he lifted the insane immigrant cap on foreign doctors wanting to fill the massive in the NHS.

It’s good to see somebody doing something right.

We may be seeing the first sightings of someone who might just be up to the job. Of Prime Minister.

But then suddenly Jeremy Hunt appears victorious from a battle with the Treasury. Soon the NHS will be awash with cash and our problems will be solved. I have never met Hunt but he does seem a genuinely pleasant man with a safe pair of hands. In every sense.

He has the sense to realise that this is merely a quick fix and won’t solve the underlying problems. But it is a get out of jail card. And he has been shrewd enough to go along with the utterly bonkers line that somehow this is a Brexit dividend and vindicates the the metal lie that was the Boris bus. It shows he has a sense of humour.

Probably more impressive is that he understands the real problems with the NHS. The Lansley legacy, which he is steadily unpicking and bed blocking due to a crumbling care system. The idea of recovery villages is a good one. In the old days we used to call it convalescence.

Isn’t it strange? Potential prime ministers are like buses. You wait and wait then suddenly two come along at once.

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Treacherous Remainer Grieve duped by May over dick

15 Jun 2018 at 11:34

As our government is a shambles, the Opposition a Stalinist theme park and the Lib Dems as relevant as flairs and vaginal deodorant, I thought I would pen a few words about an outrage that has shocked the nation to its core; the House of Commons has banned dick. And of the spotted variety.

I thought at first that this was an NHS campaign to improve the sexual health of our tribunes. But no. ‘See it, say it, sorted’ is quite different. But Dick will be allowed in the chamber, in the committee rooms and perhaps in Madame’s private room behind the Speaker’s chair. If you ask nicely. But not in the restaurants. Spotted Dick, the fare of Merry Engerlund, the staple diet of the tribe who worship Gammon has been humiliated. As Nigel Farage might have said, ‘without Dicks what would happen to UKIP?’

I suspect that this is nothing more than a Remainer plot. Those traitors, mutineers, saboteurs and grumbling malcontents, Clarke, Soubrey, Grieve and their treacherous running dogs who spit in the eyes of democracy have been spotted in a Commons dining room; eating. The bastards. This is clear evidence of a conspiracy to destroy one of our greatest British dishes and hand it over to Brussels. They even did a deal with May. That in return for their support for the Maidenhead by pass, this great culinary masterpiece would be called Spotted Ricard. But behind their backs this sneaky woman was hijacked by Mogg who demanded that the dish be renamed in honour of the head of his youth movement, Richard, who is laid up in the Priory with a bad case of acne. There will be trouble before lunch time next week.

This has split the Conservative party. Knight of the Shires, Sir Bedlam Broadmoor, is outraged. ‘Not enough of our new backbenchers went to a decent public school. They would have had Dick drummed into them morning noon and night. This is what the country needs.’ But on the progressive wing, Gary Wet-Blanket, chair of the No Turning Your Back Group, commented that the gender of puddings should no longer be binary. ‘We could go straight down the middle here and could compromise for Spotted Rich’. Sadly at the mention of the word Rich, Diane Abbott was taken into a place of safety. Sir Vince Cable, who was guest speaker at a Father Ted fund raising evening, commented, ‘Feck, drink, tits, bum’. His rating in the polls sky rocketted to minus 45.

Banning the name Spotted Dick, is of course quite bonkers. Take a trawl through the internet and see what Johnny Foreigner calls the stuff that is put on his table.

There is a drink which I will give a miss, called Pee Cola. A Macvitie’s biscuit called Finger Marie and French chocolate delightfully named Crap. And then there is a can of pop that should be in Boris Johnson’s cocktail cabinet. It’s an energy drink called Pussy. And it’s manufacturer? Why Erektus, of course. You would probably need a savoury to go with it. Tangy Tit Bits would be the perfect accompaniment.
And don’t let’s forget that Australian Ice Cream, Golden Gaytime, with its marketing slogan, ‘it’s hard to have a gaytime on your own.’ I’m told that it goes down rather well.

If you like pork flavoured rice porridge why not try Pork Me? Which could be served with Cemen Dip. There is a soup mix called Cock and drinks called Fart and Only Puke. But there is a raspberry jam that I will give a miss. It’s called Tastes Like Grandma. Oh, dear.

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Boris and the Cult of ERG must be sidelined. Ignore the whips and vote to remain in the EEA. Sovereignty means sovereignty. It’s time for Parliament to take back control.

10 Jun 2018 at 15:01

The most depressing, humiliating and confusing truth that Labour grapples with is that they are a staggering nine points behind the Conservatives. Yet they have convinced themselves that they were the real victors at the last election. That Britain is yearning for a Labour government, that Jeremy is their saviour. But despite the most formidable grass roots membership in Europe, they have learned that troops on the ground don’t win hearts and minds or votes. There has to be something more. Elections are won by reaching out to the middle ground.

Hardly a week passes without a real and present danger for the government. Dear Old David Davis, with the regularity of a cuckoo clock, presents an ultimatum, reads his latest resignation letter to anyone who will listen, caves in on a meaningless fudge of words and claims some sort of victory. The ghastly Mogg, high priest of the Cult of ERG, swears allegiance to Mrs May, whilst plotting her downfall. And that abomination that is Bozo, becomes outraged when his speech to a rag bag bunch of donor low life is leaked. Poor Boris has had his privacy ravished. He is feeling naked and unloved. Good.

But the most worrying thing about the Foreign Secretary’s stream of consciousness was not so much his well heralded economic illiteracy, but rather his amorality about the catastrophe that will soon engulf the United Kingdom. He nonchalantly speaks of bumps in the road, which is code for those poor devils who will be thrown onto the scrap heap of the dole queue when we Brexit. And then he casually warns of a meltdown, which is a metaphor for those bankers, car makers and investors who will flee the country when the balloon goes up.

Isn’t it depressing, but par for the course, that those who speak of these horrors as a ‘price worth paying’ are never the poor devils who have worked their guts out to create successful businesses and will lose everything? They tend to be the well upholstered and insulated against the shock waves that will put the economy into anaphylactic shock. Mogg will move his money around and Johnson will make a fortune writing articles and books about how the naysayers, traitors, civil servants and the wicked EU strangled the great project at birth. ‘If only they had done it my way all would be very different. Unicorns would have roamed our green and verdant pastures and fluffy bunnies would be hopping joyfully through beautiful rainbows!’he would thunder at a pound a word.

If these people weren’t so cynical the best thing that could be said of them is that they were deranged fantasists.

And now they want to get rid of May. The only person showing any grit, guts and determination to try and reach a solution that is more painful than mortal. Is there no end to this dangerous coup d’twat gibberish? Apparently not.

It is as if the cult of ERG want us to stick rigidly to the Moonies play book. We give up our worldly possessions, live in a restricted community, deprived of facts until we are finally encouraged to drink hemlock on the promise of a better future. Faith through death.

But it’s not going to happen. The Tories have a primal sense of self preservation. A leadership election with no obvious leader as we are about to Brexit is electoral suicide. And most backbenchers are savvy enough to realise. The public will never forgive a party which takes a wrecking ball to the economy out of spite and political opportunism.

But the tectonic plates of our withdrawal have changed. There is no stomach nor a Parliamentary majority for a no deal crash out. We are nudging towards pragmatism. The Daily Mail will be taking a softer line since the ventilating of Paul Dacre and the appointment of moderate Remainer Geordie Greig as its editor.

Much will depend how the Commons votes on the Lords amendments next Tuesday and Wednesday. The trustys will warn that a vote to remain in the EEA will lead to a Labour government. Bollocks.

My message to backbenchers? Ignore the whips. Sovereignty means Sovereignty. It’s time for Parliament to take back control.

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The road to hell in Northern Ireland is paved with good intentions. It must be for the people of the Provence to decide on abortion not Westminster

27 May 2018 at 15:41

That the Republic of Ireland voting by a majority of nearly two thirds to allow abortion is of enormous significance, but is not as remarkable as it might seem.

For years the Republic has been drifting away from the iron fist of the Catholic Church, who for an unconscionably long time had a symbiotic relationship with the government.

They worked hand in glove with each other to the detriment of the human rights and freedoms of the Irish people.

And then the horror stories became horror truths about the abuse of children and unmarried mothers which began to seep out after years of cover up and deception. Faith in the church and the trust worthiness of the bishops and priests were shaken to the core.

First, there was the sensible victory of people voting to allow same sex couples to marry. After this it was inevitable that a vote to overthrow article eight would be carried.

This was not a result of weeks of clever campaigning. It was more a radical shift in mind set that had been happening over a very long time.

This referendum was merely a formal acceptance of what people had been thinking for many years.

The sad and uncomfortable truth is that Ireland has tolerated abortion for years. Just not in Ireland.

There was a stinking hypocrisy that failed women in their very own homeland, sometimes forcing them to give birth to babies that would die in their arms within minutes of them entering the world.

And the hypocrisy? If you had the cash, a short flight to the U.K. could sort out your problems. And the church would turn a blind eye

Yesterday’s vote ended years of misery, hurt and guilt and dragged Ireland into the 20th century.

But across the invisible border alarm bells are beginning to ring in the north.

It should not be forgotten that Donegal, which is almost indivisible with Northern Ireland, was the only constituency to vote NO.

I spent three happy and instructive years at the Northern Ireland office in the nineties. And if there is any lesson any politician should learn about the Provence is that the moment you think you understand what the hell is going on it is a sign that you understand very little.

So a word of warning to those women with good intentions, like Penny Mourdant, who want a free vote in the Commons that abortion should be legalised in the North. Be careful what you wish for.

Her proposal seems eminently sensible at first glance.

After all it is a disgrace that a part of the United have laws that are rooted in Leviticus and Calvinism. Abortion is forbidden as is same sex marriage.

If there is going to be change, and there will be, it must be made by the people of Northern Ireland and not the British Parliament. These matters are rightly devolved to Stormont.

The trouble is that government in the North is in suspended animation. Officials are just about keeping the show on the road. But all of the serious decisions have been put on hold until they appoint ministers.

And at the moment there is not much hope of that in the near future.

In normal times this would be a disaster. But with all the uncertainty over Brexit and what could happen if the there is a hard border, this is a potential catastrophe.

And there is the added problem of the faint possibility of a United Ireland. Recent border polls have rocked the government. And the DUP and Sinn Fein are dangerously close in the polls.

Now Sinn Fein are campaigning for abortion.

There is a perfect storm brewing which could bring back the bloodshed both in the Provence and on the mainland. This is making the government feel very jittery indeed.

Do we really want to pick the scabs on the old wounds of gay marriage and abortion? And that’s just in the Tory party.

Do we really want to light the fuse of sectarianism?

Of course, both laws need to be changed. But now is not the time for a debate no matter how just and well intentioned.

The road to hell in Northern Ireland is paved with good intentions.

It’s time for those with the finest and most honourable intentions to keep calm, carry on and look at the big picture.

And it doesn’t look very rosy.

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The hot gospeller, the Speaker and a blushing radio host

21 May 2018 at 07:17

My Royal wedding days always start in exactly the same way.

Wife, ‘are you going to watch it?’

Me, ‘oh, I might just dip in from time to time’.

Then I catch a glimpse. Sit down, and finally become addicted.

Yesterday was no exception. The sun shone. And with the exception of the splendid Sir John Major, who was an official guardian of William and Harry, this was a politician free zone.

Whoop!

It really was a joyous day. Charity workers seated next to entertainment royalty. Brits in dopey outfits swigging bonhomie and prosecco in equally generous measures, joined, it seemed, by the rest of the world just having a really good time.

In an age of the worst political polarisation world wide that I can ever remember, the genuine and unstaged love of two young people united us all in one great woohoo of genuine joy.

There are so many memories and messages from yesterday. The magical grins from the two little page boys as soon as the state trumpeters blew the roof off St George’s chapel with their imperial and majestic blasts.

And that American preacher, Bishop Curry.

All I can say is, wow.

Moving. Relevant, healing. Urbe et Orbe. And the sub text being up yours Trump, Putin and the venal sowers of division.

Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful.

I am not a particularly religious man, but it felt as if an Old Testament prophet had descended in a flaming chariot to be amongst us, preaching not fire and brimstone, but the power of love.

It was as if the nation, if not the world was being touched by the heart of God.

Love each other and you might get to love yourselves.

We will hear a lot more from Bishop Curry in years to come. That speech will join the all time greats, along side Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream.’

Not just because of its power, eloquence and relevance, but because of it’s powerful message of hope.

For us all.

Everyone will have a special moment.

Mine was of Doria Ragland, mother of the bride.

Flown over from LA last Wednesday under a cloud of confusion and hurt over the foolishness and naivety of her former husband for doing deals with the paps and putting up with the bile and barbs of his press hungry vulture daughter Samantha, this seemed the perfect storm for the makings of PR disaster.

How wrong we were. Seated closest to the bride and groom, Doria presented a tableau of demure and dignified elegance.

And this is what her daughter wrote about her a while back.

‘Dreadlocks, nose ring, yoga, interactor, social worker. Free spirit. Lover of potato chips and lemon tarts. And if the DJ cues Al Green’s soul classic Call Me, just forget it. She will swivel her hips into the sweetest little dance you’ve ever seen swaying her head and snapping her fingers to a beat she’s been dancing since the womb. And you will smile. You won’t be able to help it. You will look at her and feel joy.’

So for a few sunny and joyous hours the United Kingdom was united and at ease with itself.

It was a bad day for Republicans.

Talking of which, never mind Trump’s visit in July. A new permanent and very special relationship with the United States of America has been forged.

Not in political necessity, nor trade.

But love.

Well, dump those empty bottles, put the bunting away and let’s get back reality. Damn.

Oh, the irony that is politics. Speaker John Bercow is spared an investigation into allegations of bullying his staff, but may have to retire to Dunrobin sooner than he intended.

Last week he was alleged to have whispered that Andrea Leadsom, the ocean going dimwit who is Leader of the Commons, was ‘stupid and F…..ing useless. And this will be his downfall, although anyone with E in GCSE media studies the intellect of a pot noodle knows that it’s true.

There are the usual howls of Tory outrage, particularly from the sixty six clearly deranged MPs who voted for Leadsom to become party leader. As they have only just been released from a place of safety and given their up to date certificates of sanity, their howls are most likely to be when the moon is full.

It would be very foolish to hound the Speaker out of Office.

The trick is to let him leave with as much dignity that he can muster. Expect a statement in the next couple of weeks whereby he relies on his manifesto pledge to serve no more than nine years.

He will be gone by the summer recess.

And the headline?

‘Shock horror. Politician resigns for telling the truth’.

You couldn’t make it up.

Oh, a footnote. On my Lovesport show yesterday we had a great singer songwriter, a talented lad by the name of Valerio Lysander. I asked him what he was going to sing. His reply was that it was all about the frustration of musicians expected to work for nothing. A fair but embarrassing point. There is no appearance fee on the Jerry Hayes show. Well, apart from me.

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