Each week The Friday Speed Read does its best to ignore anything to do with Brexit only to spend most of its ample length talking about Brexit but at least it will soon be Christmas hey?
What have you got planned for the 11th of December? Maybe it’s the night of your office party and you’ll be spending the working day counting the seconds as they tick glacially down to the moment your PARTY SELF is unleashed on your innocent colleagues in a blur of prosecco, experimental dance moves and, the morning after, thick-headed regret? Maybe you’ve got a spot of Christmas shopping planned and you’ll be merrily blowing the fat end of this month’s salary on a range of gifts for friends and lovers? Maybe you’ll be shunning Christmas altogether – after all, it will still be two weeks away; if we had our way, The Friday Speed Read Christmas tree would be erected no earlier than midday on the 24th – and you’ll be spending the day on the sofa binging on all 997 minutes of Netflix’s excellent documentary about the Vietnam war? (only slightly shorter than the war itself).
Whatever your plan, you can be sure that in the heart-shaped box of her soul, TM the PM would rather be living out any of these fantastical alternatives to the ashen-faced reality that is likely to be her world on the 11th of December. For this is the date, (you can tell it’s nearly Christmas, we’re beginning sentences with “for this . .” ) announced this week, that Parliament will be casting its so-called “meaningful vote” on the Brexit deal that TM the PM has wrought from splinters of compromise, impossibility and blind faith and was approved by the European Council last weekend.
Problem is, she’s going to lose. Big time.
As was noted in the previous edition of TFSR, the Prime Minister has succeeded where all others have failed this past two years and only gone and united the country, albeit not in joy and reconciliation but in stone-cold antipathy to her deal. From Jacob Rees-Mogg to Jeremy Corbyn and all political shades in between, there’s consensus that this is very much the worst of all worlds and most be voted down. TM the PM remains stoic to the point of farce, believing that she can win this unwinnable vote and she headed off around the country on a sort of Brexit Deal Greatest Hits Tour during which she played songs that no one remembered to audiences that just happened to be there at various seedy bars and clubs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. “Hello Bridge of Weir! It’s great to be back! Here’s ‘My Way or No Way’. . . a one, a two, a one two, three four . . . . .”
Meanwhile, cuddly old Donald Trump was little help to his erstwhile hand-holding partner: “Trump sticks the boot into May” (The Mail); “Trump: May’s deal means no trade deal”. Gee thanks Don. Talking of Deals and No Deals, aside from the Brexit pantomime, many papers have spent the week wondering exactly how Noel Edmonds, who’s turned up on I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here presumably because his perma-tan was beginning to fade, remains so thin and muscular at the age of 69. The answer: something to do with running in the dark, electronic pulses and blobby, blobby, blobby. Probably.
This wasn’t the only Brexit / I’m a Celeb nexus troubling the newspapers this week as it seems that TM the PM wants a largely pointless television face-off with JC (not that one) on the night of the final of the aforementioned reality show (not Brexit, the other one). “Rumble and the Jungle” shouted the Sun as its Photoshop department high-fived each other and got down to work.
And in a FINAL piece of Brexit news (we promise), that archangel of chaos, that dark lord of misinformation, King Calumny of Lie City (i.e. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England) suggested that leaving a 40-year relationship with our biggest trading partner might actually not be such a picnic after all. His “forecast” was along the following lines: we’re screwed. The Governor suggested that no Brexit scenario would leave the UK better off and even some of the “softer” options for leaving will result in GDP dipping significantly. In the case of no deal, well, “CARN-age” (as The Sun deftly put it): the Pound will crash; house prices will crash, GDP will crash; you know The Great Depression? Well yeah, something like that. Only in this version Noel Edmonds gets to be King.
Naturally, all this dark prophecy was “slammed” as “hysteria” by the Ress-Moggs, Goves and Johnsons of this world and what on earth would the Governor of the Bank of England know about economics anyway? You may as well ask Einstein about physics. Pah! But you know, if the whole thing was a tactic to terrify the nation as we count down the days to December 11th in the hope that ‘we the people’ put pressure on our MPs to support TM the PM’s deal then we’d suggest that it’s working: we’re genuinely scared.
Thanks goodness therefore for the deeply strange and oddly comforting alternative reality that exists in the Daily Star. We do love it. We love for its snappy writing, its genuine wit and the fact that while the country falls to ruin around our ears it resolutely plods on in its own special way. Front page, that’s FRONT PAGE, highlights this week include:
“Pantos axe dwarves for kids” – (self-explanatory)
“Knockers in flap over baps” – (them damn Snowflakes are it again, wanting “Nice Baps”, a café in Cornwall, to change its name to something that lascivious men didn’t shout at women in the 1970s.)
“Save our Sally” – (a campaign to win justice for a fictional soap character)
“O Come all ye Snowflakes” – (Grrr Snowflakes, now they’re shunning traditional Christmas decorations in favour of unicorns and dolphins).
“Manicure nearly killed me” (says Prince of Darkness Mark Carney Ozzy Osbourne)
Never change, The Star, never change.
A quick rifle through the “not Brexit” pile of other news stories this week finds the revelation that Princesses Kate and Meghan don’t get on (The Mail, the Telegraph); “snog rat” Seann has been banned from the Strictly tour; rail fares are up again despite record rubbishness in both timeliness and reliability; police will be given guns to help tackle gang crime and this will definitely work and Type 2 Diabetes can be beaten with a combination of shakes and smoothies, the perfect diet as we approach the “party season”.
And that friends, is your lot for this week. Next week marks something vaguely special (for us anyway) in that it will be the 100th edition of The Friday Speed Read. Make sure you tune in to find out how we’re going to celebrate! (by the way, if you’ve any idea of how we should celebrate then do let us know).
To play us out: Christine and the Queens, because she’s been touring the UK this week and because we love her.