My milkshake brings all the radicalised Remoaners to the yard

My milkshake brings all the radicalised Remoaners to the yard

At 7am on the morning of the European Elections, 81-year-old Don MacNaughton, a retired army veteran and Brexit Party supporter, was setting up as an election teller outside a local polling station in the Garrison town of Aldershot. Half an hour later, “some yob…mid-20s” apparently took exception to his Brexit-blue rosette, proceeded to verbally abuse him, gave him the finger, then, after a ten minute trip to the Co-Op down the road, returned to hurl a milkshake over him. The assailant then scarpered, leaving Don with his shirt and regimental tie covered in strawberry goop.

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Is this who we really are?

Is this who we really are?

I recently saw a video of a threadbare crowd gathering in Swindon town centre, awaiting the arrival of UKIP’s MEP candidate for the south-west of England: Carl Benjamin.

The Swindon Advertiser (circulation: 8,191) described Benjamin as “Rape tweet UKIP hopeful” (a wonderful ‘current position’ update for his LinkedIn profile) who made a “rock star-style entrance” to launch his campaign. In spite of the scene being eerily reminiscent of the time Robert Plant strutted into town carrying a plastic-covered folding patio chair, ahead of an electrifying performance in front of the Swindon branch of Vodafone, Benjamin’s “cheers of support” consisted of approximately 10-20 people chanting “Sargon! Sargon! Sargon!”, which was no louder than a group of imbeciles in a pub beer garden egging on a friend to gulp down a pint of his own piss.

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From Pickle to No Deal Brexit

From Pickle to No Deal Brexit

In January 2011, as a lone security guard sat idly watching television in a small portakabin, a group of urban explorers known as the ‘London Consolidation Crew’ quietly slipped, undetected, into what was generally considered to be one of the most secure sites in the capital: The Shard.

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Let men be damn men!

Let men be damn men!

When I saw that Piers Morgan had been angered by Gillette’s ‘The Best Men Can Be campaign, tweeting: “Let boys be damn boys; let men be damn men,” I immediately thought of that photo of him asleep on a sunbed, laid out like a disappointing and deeply unappetising hog roast at a summer fete.

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The idiot machine

The idiot machine

Until he’d filmed a suicide victim hanging lifelessly from a tree in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, I’d never heard of Logan Paul. If someone had mentioned his name to me, I would’ve assumed they were talking about a budget hair salon located on a traffic-choked high street between a 99p shop and a Dixy Chicken. I never would have guessed they were talking about a YouTube ‘mega-vlogger’ with more than 15 million subscribers and a hairstyle that sits somewhere between Farrah Fawcett and Flock of Seagulls’ Mike Score. But then, life’s a learning process.

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Shut it all down

Shut it all down

I miss the olden days. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss black-lunged street urchins scurrying up hellish, carcinogenic chimneys. Nor do I miss the days of young cotton mill workers getting a vicious strapping for having the gall to complain about exhaustion and a degloved finger. No, I’m talking about a mere 25 years ago, which genuinely feels like the olden days.

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A dispatch from my safe space

A dispatch from my safe space

I hate all this bollocks about ‘safe spaces’, as if the very notion of having somewhere you can go to be content and happy, largely insulated from the hate, fear and bullshit of the world, is somehow indicative of weakness or timidity, or an unwillingness to engage. “Get back to your safe space, snowflake!” seems to be the insult du jour on social media at the moment – often, but not exclusively, used by emboldened right-wingers (let’s call them ‘red caps’) who just love snappy slogans (Take back control! MAGA!). However, it completely loses its impact if, like me, you think of it merely as a kind-hearted suggestion. “Get back to my safe space? Thanks, I will! It’s cosy there and we have Hobnobs.”

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