The reason I love writing a current affairs blog is that it gives me the chance to lampoon people in power. To mock the ridiculous things they say. To call out when they get it wrong. Satire, I think they call it.
As a kid I loved Spitting Image. I wasn’t particularly political, but the impressions were good and the comedy, although satirical, was also slapstick and, well, a bit silly. I mean, John Major was funny because he was grey and boring. The late, great England manager, Graham Taylor, had a turnip on his head. they released a single about throwing a chicken in the air, for Christ’s sake.
But the thing with writing a current affairs blog is that now, in 2017, there are so many open goals to calmly pass into the back of the net, that the struggle is getting them all into 600 words.
And so I present exhibit A – the Sun’s remarkable pursuit of, er, Gibraltar I think it is. Or is it Spain? Or is it the EU in general? Whichever the target of their anti-Senor fury this week, the Current Pun have been in full flow. On Tuesday they ranted ‘Up yours Senors’ following it up with ‘We only want to blow the bloody senors off’, on today’s front page.
Now I’m led to believe that the latter splash was an attempt at parodying the classic Michael Caine film, the Italian Job. Or maybe they just really like ‘sucking up’ to Spanish men? An altogether different kind of job…
The Sun are campaigning for Gibraltar – a piece of land measuring 2.6 square miles, situated on the south coast of Spain – to remain part of the UK. Why is Gibraltar part of the UK? A good question. According to my sources, it’s ours because of a war in the early 1800’s. But whatever.
This is a something-and-nothing debate caused by Michael Howard, who gave a pathetic interview to Channel 4 last weekend, in which he claimed Theresa May should defend the ‘territory’ as robustly as Maggie Thatcher had defended the Falklands more than 30 years ago.
Do me a favour, Mike. All these right-wing Tories coming out and giving it the big I am just because they won the Brexit vote. It’s really rather smug and unpleasant.
“Are you seriously suggesting we should go to war with Spain?” a bewildered C4 interviewer asked the former Tory leader.
“No of course not, but I can see no harm in reminding them what kind of people we are,” replied Howard. I think they know, Mike.
The biggest laugh at the Sun’s first Senor splash was the awkwardly positioned advert at the top of the page, promoting £15 summer holidays to, among other destinations, Spain. I wish I could take the credit for this alternative Sun headline, but I confess I found it on Twitter.
Nobody likes the Spanish Juxtaposition.
You may wonder why I’ve had so much time to read the papers lately. Well, I’ve been travelling up to London for a new job I’ve started. I’m ‘going solo’, as one of my literary heroes, Roald Dahl once said, and becoming a freelance copywriter. Scary and exciting times ahead.
London is a unique place. Noel Gallagher’s song ‘Everybody’s on the run’ was presumably written while sitting on the Waterloo and City line. In the space of a couple of journies I’ve had my arm headbutted by a man wanting to get out of the carriage 0.25 seconds quicker than me, and my shoulder tapped on the travellator by a woman again wanting the racing line.
Stand aside the Rock of Gibraltar – a racehorse no less. And it’s the Grand National this weekend. What are the odds?
Until next week.
Peace, love and bananas.