My Top Ten Political Moments of 2017
I was commissioned by the 'i' newspaper to write a list of my favourite events of this tumultuous year. Naturally my favourites all concern me, but they asked me to broaden it out a little and so here is a comprehensive rundown of the very best in politics from these special twelve "Earth months". You can read it on the "i" website here, but below is the full transcript.
10. Ken Clarke MP's interventions in the House of Commons
Since your EU referendum in 2016, Mr Clarke increasingly wears the look of a man who is watching incredulously as hundreds of parliamentary Neros fiddle while Rome burns. The Father of the House has the power of a mouse, and I find it touching (and quite funny).
9. The Labour Party
It was surprising and indeed illuminating to see the UK’s official opposition party celebrate so wildly and confidently the results of a General Election which they lost by 60 seats. I have since conducted field research on this aspect of human behaviour and I believe a useful analogue is the reaction of football fans when their team miraculously staves off relegation on the last day of the season, when a period of satisfaction and relief is inevitably followed by the realisation that you’re going to need far better players. It goes to show that electoral success, like the quantum variables of space-time in the Zeta Nebula, is relative.
8. Vladimir Putin announcing he will stand for Russian president in 2018
The way in which your planet’s ruthless dictators like to maintain the illusion that they are operating in a fair system when really they are crushing freedom with paranoid despotism is something I find rather quaint and almost endearing. But this Putin fellow is a time-waster. When space lords decide to conquer territories and wield untrammelled power, at least we’re honest about it.
7. Angela Merkel struggles to form a coalition government
The wheel of fortune turns for every great leader, does it not? Chancellor Merkel has grandly bestridden the halls of Europe for more than a decade and seen the likes of Blair, Obama, Brown, Chirac and Berlusconi leave office while she remains at the top table. And yet now, after their election, even Merkel the Magnificent seems unable to form a new government in Berlin and the cracks in her formidable edifice have begun to show. Germany may be in for a turbulent 2018, mark my words. But I still think they will win the World Cup.
6. Julian Assange complains about voluntarily living in the Ecuadorean Embassy
5. Tony Blair's face
Is there any public figure on your planet whose racked and tortured soul is so visible? Whenever he continues to protest that he would have made the same decisions again I can hear a sound, which I have theorised is the ghost of his conscience deep inside him, squealing in pain. It’s not a good look, and he should consider wearing a bucket. In December 2017 he announced that he is actively working to stop Brexit, and surely nothing could redouble the determination of the Brexiteers than this. Mr Blair has become something of an anti-Midas, in that everything he touches turns to faeces. I suggest that he would be wise to leave politics to the experts.
4. Melania Trump's face
The answer to the question I posed at the start of No.5 is yes. And her name is Melania. She is the only Earthling I have encountered so far who appears to be actively pleading to be abducted by aliens. I should add that personally I don’t do that kind of thing. Mrs Trump, you’re on your own.
3. Diane Abbott's Mathematics Academy
One of the most enjoyable aspects of a British General Election is the cast of eccentric joke candidates who appear during the campaign and who, despite not being taken seriously for a second, nevertheless warm the public’s hearts with their mastery of satirical humour. Mrs Abbott might be the greatest such creation to date, and whoever is behind her deserves every award going. From paying £30 a year for a policeman to her sudden capitulation to a bout of SMS (Selective Migraine Syndrome) I loved every minute.
2. Sean Spicer
Your “Wikipedia” lists Mr Spicer as being White House Communications Director, 2017-2017, and in a sense that sums up everything you need to know. As soon as this delightful fellow first popped up on tele-screens I could tell we were in for a treat and so it proved. Although I had predicted the victory of Mr Trump (and indeed won a bit of Earth money in the process), I confess it had not occurred to me that accompanying the dimmest President in US history would be a spokesman fit for the occasion – America’s very own Comical Ali. Was he the least appropriate choice of White House spokesman, or the most appropriate? Either way, the man’s a marvel and much missed. Come back soon.
1. Lord Buckethead vs Theresa May, Maidenhead 2017
I think in modern parlance the correct word is ‘obvs’. In the early hours of Friday 9th June, a truly seismic event occurred in the electoral battlefield that is the Magnet Leisure Centre, Maidenhead. It was there and then that, for the first time in a quarter of a century, planet Earth was visited by a space lord, and not just any space lord. A space lord who came 7th out of 13 candidates! How many Gremloids can claim that? (None). I want to pay tribute to those 249 brave Maidonians who made the most powerful protest vote in the galaxy this summer and let Mrs May know that, while she may still just about have her job as Prime Minister, finally some true opposition has arrived. Buckethead is back!