:sunglasses: 37.5 % :pray: 50 % :laughing: 12.5 %
By Bones McCoy
You can imagine the panic behind the scenes.
Bloody hell. Patel's shat it on the refugee issue, we can't send her out to smirk about hospitals being bombed.

Bring me a more compassionate face to represent modern conservatism
And a hapless SPAD was dispatched on this fool's errand.
* Ben Bradshaw - God no, the man's a grinning oaf and a cunt to boot and liable to expound on heir economic potential as sex workers.
* Sir Edward Leigh - Another cunt who's liable to go 1938 Daily Mail at any second.
* Jake the Snake - Too busy laundering roubles at his day job - also a fucking weirdo.

Feel free to ad your own.
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By Andy McDandy
Double Marina Hyde dosage today. Here's her on the Deripaska squatters and perhaps the most on the spot bit of policing since the Sarah Everard vigil.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... via-london
I can’t help feeling Monday’s ridiculous tableau in Belgrave Square is symbolic of a wider discombobulation, as Londongrad struggles with the pivot to this new era. A whole series of compromised institutions, from the legal profession to the police to the politicians, are going to require a significant reset if we truly do mean to stop enabling some of the worst individuals in the world at the expense of pretty much everyone else.
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By Andy McDandy
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... es-release

John Crace on Liz Truss's self serving handling of the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe affair.
Liz was careful to reserve her greatest praise for herself. In her short six-minute statement, she managed to use the word I at least 15 times. A hymn to her.

It wasn’t entirely clear how Truss had managed to pull off this high-level diplomacy. Though the gist of it seemed to be that she had neither been quite so averse to repaying a legitimate £400m debt nor to having the repayment quite clearly linked to the return of hostages. Indeed she protested extremely loudly that the timing was entirely coincidental and that the Iranians had undertaken only to use the money for humanitarian purposes.
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By Andy McDandy
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -employees

Marina Hyde on P&O. Harsh.
Things we know about DP World? They have a £146m unpaid debt with the Merchant Navy Ratings pension fund, which is supposed to offer P&O Ferries staff security in their retirement. And they’ve also just spaffed £147m sponsoring golf’s European tour. Which seems a little on the nose, even by the debased standards of the age.
The boundaries of existing practice appear to have been not so much pushed as shat on. Dimly and belatedly realising that perhaps he ought to say something, P&O Ferries’ chief executive, Peter Hebblethwaite, wrote to staff on Friday morning, touching euphemistically on what he called “changes we’re making to our crewing model”. Why do people talk like this even in their employees’ hour of anguish? It’s not “changes to a crewing model” – it’s sacking them. I see he’s also claiming it is “essential” that staff “avoid posting any comments or views on social media”. So I’m happy to point out that Peter will be paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to be this much of a cowardly arse.
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By Andy McDandy
John Crace on Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe:

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/m ... conference
She wasn’t going to settle for anything cosy and heart-warming. It wasn’t her job to make the rest of the country feel better about itself.

So while she loved her husband to bits, she couldn’t go along with his expressions of thanks to the government. How many foreign secretaries had it taken to get her home? It had taken five when it should have been just the one. She should have been home six years ago. Her daughter had been two when she was detained. Now she was nearly eight. No one could give her back the years that had been lost.

But that was as much as Nazanin was prepared to let the media see of her true feelings. The rest was for her and her family alone. She wasn’t going to emote for the hell of it. She wasn’t a performing seal. She was a woman with her integrity and sanity to maintain.
Philip Barton, permanent secretary at the Foreign Office, was being questioned about the discrepancy between his testimony and that of a whistleblower who had said that the prime minister had prioritised the evacuation of Pen Farthing and His Pets from Afghanistan over Afghan interpreters. Nazanin might ruefully have concluded that she would have been better off being a cockapoo. That way she might have caught the Suspect’s attention and been home years ago.
Marina Hyde is a little more blunt.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... speaks-out
Are you a man who’s got a massive view about how a hostage should behave after a lengthy incarceration? Are you 90% throbbing forehead vein? Do you like your prison victims pliant, and super-obsequious about having spent pretty much their young daughter’s entire life as the cell guest of a theocracy? If so, we really, really want to hear from you!
But one does sometimes wonder if this whole generational cohort is becoming coddled. Nobody tells them to shut up and buck up. Nobody tells them to get some perspective and ring off. It’s just possible we’re raising a generation of entitled middle-aged men who think their every needy opinion has to be listened to.
There it is. Gratitude. I’m never sure whether it means “being thankful” or “not being uppity”. However, I can tell you it heralds some important Venn diagram news: the people sticking it to Nazanin for not being “grateful” enough are the same people who boo footballers for taking the knee. Yup, just like the old knee-taking, it all comes down to gratitude – the UK’s sole remaining virtue after the others were sold off to oligarchs and Middle East sovereign wealth funds.

And you know, I hugely admire people who have whittled down their entire emotional range to a single, extremely compact sentiment: the idea that people should be grateful. Other people, obviously – not them. After all, how can they be grateful when there are ungrateful people out there? Stands to reason. They’re so ungrateful about a world that contains ingratitude that they have to ring a phone-in and lose their shit about it. Look what you made them do.
Amanda Platell – not born here, incidentally – spends the rest of her columns complaining strongly and occasionally erroneously and distastefully about people and events in the UK. Meanwhile, Stormzy – born here, incidentally – doesn’t seem to get to have similarly strong and occasionally erroneous and distasteful views about people and events in the UK. Why?
Just read it. Harsh and necessary.
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By Andy McDandy
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... rse-he-did

John Crace sinks his teeth into Sunak.
Labour’s Angela Eagle observed that the government was presiding over the biggest fall in living standards since records began and that Sunak had chosen to put 1.3 million people into absolute poverty. Rishi immediately went on the attack. Well, what would she have done, he asked? Eagle drily observed that the committee hadn’t been convened to hear her choices.

Sunak then lapsed into fantasy. His was a tax-cutting budget even though the tax burden in the current parliament was increasing to its highest level since the 1940s. And no, he couldn’t do more to help people on benefits, as that would increase public borrowing. Look, it wasn’t his fault there had been a global pandemic and that energy and fuel prices were out of control. If some people had to go cold, then so be it.
Everyone had always known that a change in trading relationships with the EU would cause a hit to the UK economy. Really? That was odd. Because no one could remember seeing “Brexit will make you poorer” on the side of the bus. Maybe it had just been written in German.

Not that Sunak could bring himself to say the B word, even when committee chair Mel Stride followed this up. “Oh no, no, no …” Rishi stammered, suddenly aware he had disclosed the government’s worst-kept secret. The 18-year-old Treasury official sitting next to Sunak went white. The chancellor tried to cover it up by saying it was impossible to disaggregate Brexit from the pandemic, but Stride wasn’t having it. The truth was there in black and white. The OBR had a graph showing the UK worse off because of Brexit.

For the first time Sunak lapsed into near silence. Just waiting for the end. There were no photo ops to be had. No flags to pose behind. If his budget hadn’t been career-ending, then his Brexit indiscretion might be.
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By Andy McDandy
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... new-levels

Crace on Lebedev, and the woeful Tory attempts to defend his peerage. Mainly because they simply don't care any more. They're in power and fuck everyone else.
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By Andy McDandy
Marina Hyde is back. Today, it's the growing problem of a party in power that sees itself as above the law.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... mogg-covid
Are ordinary people allowed to go to a clinic for having to choose between heating and eating? Can they justify lawbreaking on the basis that laws are, as Rees-Mogg whined on behalf of the prime minister, “unkind and inhuman”? No. Or to put it another way, this high-status behaviour by a governing party is increasingly unrelatable. That’s a problem. People don’t accept being told what to do by hypocritical Hollywood stars. And unless politicians realise without exception that they are subject to the same rules, people eventually won’t accept being told what to do by them either.
And John Crace on Michael Grade:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/ ... before-mps
Grade might not be the culture warrior she had hoped. Rather he appeared as, at worst, slightly out of touch with a few opinions, lightly held. If the committee wanted some other opinions, he had them too. He could be whatever anyone wanted him to be. He wasn’t that bothered. His role at Ofcom was to be independent and he could do that. And, in any case, look on the bright side: he wasn’t Paul Dacre.
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