Ed Lines

ONE OF the big difficulties of writing a newspaper column like this for 22 years (and counting) is finding new and creative ways of insulting people.

It’s not easy. You can only call the Prime Minister of the day (four and counting) a moron and an idiot so many times, before people tire of it.

I am somewhat fortunate in having a ‘friend’ in the village to practice on. We walk the dogs, have a pint, occasionally play golf and as a pair of miserable gits, bear a slightly more youthful resemblance to the two old curmudgeons from The Muppets, Statler and Waldorf.

The main thing is, that as we trade insults and jibes, we do make each other laugh out loud quite often. There is an edge to how creatively we can do each other down, though, unfortunately, most of the verbs and adjectives are not fit for reproduction in a family newspaper. They do sow seeds for literary consideration however.

Indeed, as someone who insults people for a living, it never fails to amaze me how few insults come hurtling back the other way – a testimony I suppose to the underlying truth of the expression “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.

I do sometimes wonder if I’m losing my touch though, so dimly inactive have some of my stalkers been of late.

Dewsbury’s foremost Marxist Carl Morphett, who posts most of his rantings online using the pen-name Simon Cressy, has long had to do his anti-Lockwood hate work himself.

Morphett, plus former MP Mike Wood’s ex-gimp Peter Ward, and Shahid Malik’s toyboy Terry McKay, have long been the backbone of a Facebook page obsessing over the contents of this column.

I even joined it myself to join in the ‘we hate Locky’ debate, but they blocked me.

Still, the group has a decent-sized membership – but only because Morphett physically adds his ‘friends’ (I use the term loosely) to it. Most of the poor saps probably don’t even know, let alone have a clue who I am. Just look at the screenshot (above) as an example. Member after member … ‘added by Carl Morphett, added by Carl Morphett’…

It’s sad really. Quite disappointing. Is my infamy so insignificantly parochial?

And I’m afraid I’m going to have to let them down further. You see, I don’t think I’m going to be able to stir up my creative insult-juices sufficiently to do their new hero Jeremy Corbyn justice.

Calling people names in a newspaper column is like cheering on the terraces when your football or rugby team scores. It’s cathartic. It gets things off your chest – and for you as readers, you can either cheer along in agreement, or, as with Morphett and his fellow drain-dwellers, you can boo and hiss at Locky the pantomime villain.

I don’t mind that you kick the cat through the patio doors, or swear out loud while visiting your mum in the old people’s home, because I’ve got on your wick. It’s good for you! No, no, I don’t need thanking...

But here’s the thing – to be convincingly insulting, you have to mean it.

What Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust boss Stephen Eames and his dimwit directors have done to healthcare in our district cancels out whatever admirable human qualities he might otherwise have.

Loving dad and husband? Supports charities? So what? His policies and his managerial incompetence is causing misery. Have a figurative bunch of fives.

Kirklees chief executive Adrian Lythgo falls into the same bracket – no cover-up is too great to maintain the politically correct project of his directorate.

He runs a donkey sanctuary? Spends Saturday nights feeding the homeless? I don’t care. I can’t care. Because I believe he turns a blind eye to potential criminality based on the ethnicity of the offenders. So one on the nose for you too, Adie.

But the new/old Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn? Sorry, I can’t bring myself to put the verbal boot in.

I looked and listened to Corbyn at the Labour Conference in Brighton and just thought, “aw, bless!”

Rant at him? I want to get a hanky and wipe away the dribble running into the befuddled old man’s beard.

Besides, isn’t there a law against mocking the afflicted? He’s confused, doesn’t make sense, waffles … I think there might be some Alzheimer’s going on already.

Giving poor Jeremy a ration would be like stealing a blind man’s stick, or, to use a more current analogy, firing your bow and arrow at a Syrian refugee’s rubber dinghy.

To get upset at a public figure, you have to be able to take real umbrage, get overheated at their vanity, deceit and malign incompetence. Jeremy? He’s a figure of fun, is all.

And it’s not nice to be unkind to such a sad and sorry example of life’s losers. Best if we all ignore him until he fades quietly away...

I’D NOT been near London all year until a couple of weeks ago when I was at the House of Commons and, among other things, presented a trophy to Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland.

The Communications Cup was won by Greg’s ‘Political Animals’ rugby team, against my rag-tag and bobtail assortment of journalists. I had it commissioned after the first trophy, which we won, disappeared.

Greg and I failed to agree on a name for it and so, because I was buying, I chose. As I told the assembled dignitaries, it was because MPs ‘communicate’ the electorate’s wishes to Her Majesty’s Government, and the media ‘communicates’ back to the voters their abject failure to take a blind bit of notice.

But actually, despite the ramblings of Jeremy Corbyn (see above) and the warped priorities of David Cameron – this week committing £25 million to build a prison in Jamaica so we can deport the 600 Jamaicans in our jails – it should be a doddle to run this country. All the government needs to do is listen to us for once.

That Jamaican farce – what’s the betting, when it’s finished, Jamaica refuses to accept its villains back anyway? This week their PM was still ranting about Cameron apologising for the slave trade (and paying compo, naturally).

Still with prisons, three Libyan soldiers we idiotically brought here to ‘train’ (at a cost of £15m) and who were jailed for sex attacks, are now claiming asylum.

Preventing non-UK citizens from accessing legal aid would probably crank a party up five points in the polls for starters.

I doubt these sex fiends have the wit to play the system, but we have an industry of Human Rights lawyers fine-tuned in it. They say the three can’t safely go back to Libya because they brought the country into disgrace.

Imagine if that succeeds? The clear message to all and sundry would be to arrive in the UK, commit a crime, and get your asylum claim in. Bingo!

Listen. Throw them on a plane, let them get a lawyer back in whichever hellhole they land, and axe the funding to these Human Rights cowboys. Another dozen seats won at a general election.

Simples, isn’t it?

PS: Believe it or not, the Communications Cup ‘disappeared’ from the Houses of Parliament within an hour of being presented. It’s a viper’s nest, I’m telling you…

BACK TO London tomorrow (Saturday) to meet up with a group of old friends from my California days, over here for the Rugby Union World Cup.

At least I won’t have to look at the smug mush of Mrs L (born in Croydon but swears she’s Welsh) when Australia puts the hapless English team out of their misery in front of 80,000 deluded patriots at Twickenham.

If I sound defeatist, can I make the argument that, actually, I’m being a realist?

England have more players and clubs than the rest of the Six Nations countries combined. And how many times have they won that tournament (in which Scotland and Italy are makeweights) in the last 11 years? Once.

The England coach Stuart Lancaster, like England RL coach Steve McNamara, is a nice guy who, unfortunately, couldn’t win a raffle if he bought all the tickets. If those two fell in a bucket of boobs, they’d both come out sucking their thumbs.

It’s at times like this I’m so relieved at being mostly Irish… come on the Paddies!

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