We pick out the wrong and unstable leavers of the week
10. Boris Johnson
Granted a rare day release from Lynton Crosby’s secure facility, the Foreign Secretary visited a market in Newport and told a comic book seller that his favourite character was The Hulk.
No clue why Boris should relate to Bruce Banner, an intellectual who transforms into a irrational, mindless, destructive force and regularly wakes up to find his trousers shredded. But fair play to the comics salesman, who told Johnson: ‘If you don’t mind me saying, you’re halfway there already.’
9. Daniel Hannan
Some have hailed the MEP for South East England as the Tories’ ‘brain of Brexit’. It’s a sobriquet they might want to reconsider after reading his musings on record levels of food bank use, which he calls ‘the go-to prop for people who lack actual statistics…. if you’re determined to point to rising penury, and can find no other data to sustain your hunch, you’ll jab at whatever you can. ‘Food bank use is at record level!’ Yes. So is smartphone use, and for the same reason: neither existed 20 years ago.’
One might also note that fuckwittery has risen significantly in the 45-plus years since Hannan was born in Lima, Peru – a notorious haven for immigrants hell-bent on coming over here to eat all our marmalade sandwiches. But let’s just point out that since Labour left office in 2010, the number of three-day emergency supplies given by Trussell Trust foodbanks in a single year has risen from 61,468 to 1,182,954.
So Hannan is wrong and the simple fact is food bank use IS at record levels. Why? No doubt he would say it’s down to an expanding number of food bank centres. But it’s also because people are hungry.
8. Glenn Preedy
Perhaps inspired by Boris Johnson’s love of The Hulk, UKIP’s vice-chairman in the north east turned up for a live television debate with councillors from the three main parties nattily dressed in a T-shirt from 2011 comic book movie flop The Green Lantern. The film, which leading man Ryan Reynolds concedes ‘just didn’t work’, lost £70m at the box office – which Glenn and Boris would no doubt say we could have given to the NHS instead.
7. Paul Nuttall
The far right’s Mr Bean used a Sunday Telegraph interview to assert that he would remain UKIP leader after June 8’s cataclysm-in-waiting, in order to ‘professionalise’ the party. An interesting choice of words for Nuttall, who earlier this year was forced to remove from his website two references to being a ‘professional footballer’, when Tranmere Rovers pointed out that was untrue.
That led to a memorable confession on The Andrew Marr Show, when Tweedledumb Paul said he had ‘never claimed to be professional’. As if to prove it, Nuttall followed his Telegraph interview by climbing into a big bus with claims about higher NHS funding after Brexit on the side (this has always worked out well in the past), which then got stuck down on a narrow lane in the Lincolnshire village of Stickford.
6. Kirsty Adams
The Tory challenger in marginal Hove and Portslade has a novel approach to Brexit – she won’t tell voters how she feels about it. The former Bedford councillor told the local Argus newspaper: ‘I didn’t campaign for the outs and I didn’t campaign for the ins. I think we’ve got to look to the future and that’s what I’m about.’ Asked which way she’d voted in the referendum, she replied: ‘I’m not going to answer that question.’
While refusing them a glimpse of her beliefs, Adams did give locals a look into her kitchen and garage when she hinted that a post-Brexit Britain would not be subject to punitive tariffs from the remaining EU members. She explained: ‘On a practical level, in my house all my white goods are German. And that’s because they don’t break down. And my car is German. And it doesn’t break down. So I think it’s in the best interests of Germany and other countries to make sure they get a good deal and we get a good deal.’
And if the Germans won’t listen, she has a trick up her sleeve. In 2010 the devout Christian claimed to have healed a deaf man with her bare hands by placing them over his ears and saying: ‘Be healed in Jesus’ name.’ Someone send her to dinner with Juncker immediately!
5. Kate Hoey
The twizzle-haired Brexiteer, standing again for Labour in Vauxhall, airbrushed Lib Dem rival George Turner out of a picture of them both at a children’s event, yet forgot to remove his legs, which could be clearly seen at the bottom of the photo.
Hopefully Kate will experience her own feeling of being cut off at the knees on June 8 and can head into retirement on another boat trip with Nigel Farage, like a latter-day Babs & Sid in Carry On Cruising Over The Brexit Falls.
4. James Delingpole
The self-styled ‘God Emperor’ of alt-right drivel dumpster Breitbart London delighted social media at 22:08 on Monday when he Tweeted simply ‘Pictures of dogs having sex’. Was Delingpole, whose climate-denying, Tommy Robinson-excusing work has graced Mail Online and The Spectator, merely repeating a catchphrase from E4 show Bad Robots? Or, as several followers suggested, had he temporarily mistaken Twitter for Google?
Perhaps we shall never know the truth, so for now let’s just congratulate Twitter user @thewaether for pointing out that ‘James Delingpole’ is an anagram of ‘Male Dog Penis Jel’.
3. Richard Littlejohn
When is something which seems at first glance grossly distorted and borderline racist not actually so? When it’s a ‘comedy reimagining’ of the New York Times’ £4,600 ‘Brexit tours’ of the UK written for the Daily Mail by ageing gorblimey merchant Richard Littlejohn, of course!
To use language Richard would understand, there’s more dog-whistling in this one column than you’d find in all four days at Crufts. Here come ‘several dozen planeloads of asylum-seekers from the Third World’! There goes ‘the fast-track lanes… reserved for visitors from… Romania and Bulgaria’! Did you know that ‘very few people in London speak English as a first language any more’ or that in London hotels you’ll ‘be sharing a bedroom and toilet facilities with recently arrived New Britons from more than 23 different countries, including Afghanistan and the Yemen. If you see any unusual activity, such as bomb-making, please stay calm.’
As someone whom Richard Littlejohn makes look like Woody Allen once quipped, and there’s more. Hyde Park has an ‘authentic Roma gipsy camp’ where you’re likely to be pickpocketed! The police who turn up to help wear uniforms ‘designed to attract recruits from the transgender community’! Then, in Parliament Square the officers come under attack as ‘thousands of embittered Remain campaigners in Guy Fawkes masks and intifada headscarfs throw petrol bombs… because the Brexit vote didn’t go the way they wanted’! Hope you remembered to wear dark trousers and gaffa tape your sides before reading, because this stuff is COMEDY GOLD!
They pulled down the final curtain on Littlejohn’s beloved White Hart Lane last weekend. How long before the Mail’s only demolition unit wields its wrecking ball on another roomy edifice long since past being fit for purpose, the man himself.
2. Nick Harrington
Like Scooch and Jemini before him, the Tory councillor and former magistrate had his career ended by the Eurovision Song Contest. Clearly disappointed when Lucie Jones got the dreaded nul points from one of our neighbours, Harrington Tweeted: ‘Thanks Ireland. You can keep your f’king gypsies! Hard border coming folks.’
After a photo later emerged of a golly-style scarecrow apparently made by Harrington, along with remarks in which he compared it to Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu, he resigned from the bench and was suspended by his party for six months. Wonder what he’s got planned for the Brits.
1. Nigel Farage
The former UKIP leader ended an appearance at Eastleigh’s Concorde Club by warning the audience that while he was enjoying semi-retirement, ‘if they don’t deliver this Brexit that I’ve spent 25 years of my life working for then I will be forced to don khaki, pick up my rifle and head for the front line.’
The military metaphor seemed to go down well with the £60-a-head audience; it sounded extraordinarily crass to the rest of us who remember that during the referendum 11 months earlier, Farage laid flowers in Parliament Square for a woman killed with a rifle by a man in khaki.