On the Lighter Side…

Except that there isn’t one, is there? Nothing to laugh about in our present political situation. We’re being led and governed by walking and breathing jokes: Boris (‘he’s a card, isn’t he?’), Moggy (Lord Snooty), little Govey (‘we’ve had enough of experts’: how witty), Nigel (oh that saloon-bar banter! So non-PC), and all the rest. But it’s proving to be no fun at all. We can chuckle at the incompetence of our Transport Secretary, ‘Failing Grayling’, commissioning a post-Brexit cross-channel fleet from a company without any boats; but then we need to remember that we, as taxpayers, will be paying the cancellation fees on that. Gavin Williamson’s grand new scheme as Defence Secretary for beefing up the British military so it can confront the Russians head-on is more a matter for scorn, if not alarm – because it’s so stupid – than for humour (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/gavin-williamson-threatens-hard-power-13982359). Theresa May’s witty catch phrases – ‘strong and stable’, ‘Brexit means Brexit’ – and her Tom and Jerry-like headlong charges into European brick walls are becoming rather tedious with repetition. (Maybe that’s the cunning plan: to bore MPs into acceptance.) On the other side, Jeremy’s jam-making is no longer quite the hilarious put-down it used to be, even, one suspects, to the snobby upper classes, who buy all their confiture from France. Even foreigners – Barnier, Tusk, Merkel, Macron and the others – are not as funny, simply by virtue of being foreign, as they used to be. The only kind of laughter all this can generate must be the bitter, hysterical kind.

Here on the Continent, of course, it confirms our reputation for Engelsk humor; but not in a flattering way. ‘We always knew the English were mad.’ We are. And it’s not at all amusing. In our case the road to Hell is paved with bad jokes.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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