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How Keir Starmer took matters too far

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer listens to Rod Humphris, The Raven pub in Bath, shout at him on Monday April 19, 2021 - Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

Mitch Benn told Labour leader Keir Starmer to be a little less stiff – but getting thrown out of a pub is taking matters too far…


Sir Keir Starmer, about whom, you may recall, I was complaining last week; specifically about how he’s taking so subtle and reserved an approach to opposition that one could be forgiven for thinking that he’s not actually doing a damn thing.

So you could have knocked me down with a small piece of polyurethane duvet filling on Monday last when I switched on the TV to see Sir Keir getting himself slung out of a pub in Bath!  At noon!

Whoa there, cool your jets, Keir lad!  Surely you can find some sort of happy medium between wallflower and full-on rowdy boy?  And anyway, even if you’ve decided that getting yourself barred from licensed premises is the way to win the nation’s hearts, you’ve got to work your way up to that sort of thing.

Start small, play your music too loud after dark, that sort of thing.  Get a scary-assed dog.  Have a few afternoon sessions on a park bench and leave all your empty tinnies lying around.  Maybe pick a fight outside a bookie’s. THEN you might be ready to unveil Keir Starmer: Pub Psycho.  

Yeah, it’s not really you, is it?  Stick to the lawyerly composure.  But this does NOT mean you get to vanish back up your own – I mean, back into your own office again.  


Her Majesty the Queen resolved a dispute among her kids in time-honoured mum fashion when it seemed that Prince Andrew, the increasingly old but diminishingly grand Duke Of York, had announced his intention to attend the funeral of his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh dressed in the uniform of an admiral, a rank he’s never actually been awarded. 

The Duke (York) had been due to receive a promotion to admiral on the occasion of his 60th birthday last year but this was postponed in light of his having withdrawn from public duties due to… something or other.  In the end, it seems that HM the Q stepped in and sorted things out by decreeing that NO uniforms were to be worn to the funeral.

There is no truth in the rumour that other members of the household suggested that the Duke consider wearing another uniform; one which he may actually have earned recently.  Besides, an orange boiler suit would have clashed with the solemnity of the occasion.  


…was that accepted by the owners of the six biggest clubs in the football Premier League to break away and join a new trans-European “Superleague” with the leading clubs of the other UEFA nations.  This despite the fact that no-one else wants this to happen: not the sport’s current governing bodies, nor moreover, the fans, or even the players and managers of the teams in question.

Understandable, given that post-schism, these clubs could be barred from all existing competitions, both domestic and international, and their individual players may find themselves disqualified from ever playing for their national teams again.

Still, it will make a change to see Britons being dragged INTO a European union against their will.


NASA’S Mars drone, the miniature helicopter which took to the Martian skies this week, becoming the first human-built aircraft ever to fly through the air of another planet.

Plans are already afoot to build a permanent airstrip on Mars; it will serve as RyanAir’s new ‘Mars London’ airport (yeah I know, 2009 called and it wants its reference back; cut me some slack, it’s been a slow week).


Anyone who doesn’t watch BBC1 at 9pm every Sunday, and who has, and as such, been left feeling utterly bewildered and adrift by the constant onslaught of Line Of Duty references and specifically bad Ted Hastings impressions which have been assailing them from all quarters these last few weeks.

Hang on in there, folks; only two episodes left.


Why is there so much astonishment?
Why do you look so surprised 
That our government’s merrily miring itself 
In corruption right up to the eyes?

Perhaps you’re too young to remember
But trust me, this ain’t nothing new
This isn’t peculiar to this lot
This is just what Conservatives do.

Or perhaps you were in some confusion
About what “Conservative” meant
Just what do you think they’re conserving?
It’s not the environment…

It’s their privilege that they’re protecting
Their own and their wealthy friends
The only difference is this time
They can’t even be arsed to pretend.

If a party’s raison d’être
Is preserving its status and wealth
Then it’s bound to abuse that status
To whip up more wealth for itself.

Don’t let cynicism defeat ya
While the government rots through and through 
It isn’t a bug, it’s a feature
It’s just what Conservatives do.

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