Ed Lines – February 21, 2020

Ed Lines – February 21, 2020

CRIKEY, Boris means business, doesn’t he? I thought I could bear a grudge, but it seems the Prime Minister has taken not so much a page as an entire chapter out of Donald Trump’s book ‘Payback is a Bitch’.

(There isn’t such a book, but I suspect the US President would give homicidal North Korean maniac Kim Jong-Un a run for his money in the ‘settling scores’ department – if he thought he could get away with it).

“I asked for one sugar in my coffee. I am the world’s greatest, most famous ‘one sugar’ coffee billionaire. This is undoubtedly two. Tie that man to a chair in the middle of a field and fire heavy ordnance at him.”

“But Mr President, you clearly told the poor man two sugars, we all heard you…”

“Should you wish to persist in that malicious falsehood, you can go and sit on his knee…”

I’d thought Boris and our Attorney General Geoffrey Cox were peas in a pod, but no – sacked. Andrea Leadsom likewise, much-lauded Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith and then to top it all, it was see-ya-later Saj. The Chancellor of the Exchequer down the road too.

The PM doesn’t strike me as being overly thin-skinned – with his track record you’d think it would be Rhino-thick – so maybe it’s his Rasputin-like No. 10 aide Dominic Cummings (although he looks more like Gollum from Lord of the Rings) who’s whispering in his ear and pointing the dagger at various backs.

What is becoming crystal clear is that having pushed, shoved and grunted Brexit over the line, Boris isn’t tolerating nay-sayers in his new team.

I can understand it on several levels, not least in that Whitehall’s civil service mandarins watch the parade of PMs – Blair, Brown, Cameron, May and now Johnson – through institutionally resistant eyes. 

They see all PMs as temporary inconveniences as they, the ‘important’ Sir Humphreys, meander through decades of well-rewarded mediocrity, hindering not helping ministerial initiative, before retiring to a knighthood or the Lords.

If Johnson/Cummings clear out that most anti-democratic of Whitehall cabals, then more power to their elbows. It’s time for ‘can-do’ people at the steering wheel, not a class of bureaucratic untouchables expert in ‘can’t-do’ obstacles.

AS A newspaperman, I should have supported the industry uproar at 10 Downing Street cherry-picking which journalists to allow into briefings.

Instead I chuckled mightily, as I did at No.10’s refusal to put up ministers for Radio 4’s Today news programme.

The haranguing negativity of Today’s presenters does neither journalism, politics, nor supposedly serious issues any credit at all. So why bother?

I fairly skipped home through Storm Dennis’s howling gales from the paper shop on Sunday morning, clutching my Sunday Times with its headlines ‘No.10 to axe BBC licence fee’. Yes!

I’d pay the full fee just to see smug Gary Lineker thrown out on his overpaid backside, but more than that, the agenda-riddled BBC behemoth no longer speaks for ordinary people. 

We should all resent being forced to pay to be preached down to – and even if we choose not to watch the BBC, we still have to pay.

It’s time to break it up and make the commercially viable parts of it start singing for their own suppers.

VALENTINE’S Day cards are all well and good, but they are a bit on the slushy, soppy side, don’t you think?

We’ve been married 24 years and we’re so much ‘as one’ that we can communicate simply by the looks on our faces and minimal sign language.

You know … I’ll turn around when the wife’s not expecting and see the look on her face – a generation’s-worth of dismal “what did I do to deserve him?” disappointment.

Seeing that I’ll curl my lip up, she’ll flip me a finger and I’ll throw her a ‘V’ back*. Happy days.

I went into a card shop last week and confess to being quite surprised at the entire section of smoochy-woochy cards dedicated to same-sex couples. 

I suppose it was bound to happen, and I have no kind of an issue with it, but still … sign of the times, I guess.

Having browsed the red and glittery ranks of “love you to the moon and back” mush, I selected something as close to a “you’re not too shabby, I suppose I should be grateful” sentiment and took it to the counter.

I am a bit of a natterer, I suppose. I handed my card to the blank-faced young woman at the till and jested “I don’t suppose you have Valentine’s cards for wives or husbands who can just about stand the sight of one another?”

“We ony av wotsout ont shelves…”

“I was joking, love.”

“That’s £1.49 please, cash or card…”

(And no, I did not look at the price before buying the card, I would gladly have paid £4.99 or even north of that. You cannot put a price on true love).

And at least mine was a bona fide Valentine. My Friday morning card didn’t even pretend towards kissy-kissy romance, it was just a plain statement saying: ‘Yorkshire Legend’. 

It was probably meant as a mickey-take, but I donned my ceremonial flat cap and stood it proudly on the mantelpiece.

*Of course I’m only joshing, fools. We had a lovely (if stormy) few days in Anglesey for her birthday the previous weekend, and a cosy movie-night in front of a log fire for Valentine’s.

In fact I even waited until she was sending out Zzzzz’s like an air raid siren before sneaking off to the pub with the dog for a sneaky nightcap…

MEANWHILE a school in Wigan gave 14-year-olds a sex ‘education’ leaflet which suggested sucking someone’s toes is a good way to show them love without having sex.

That must have been what Mrs L was at when I woke suddenly to see her dainty size nine poised inches from my mush. She could have taken off those steel toe-cap boots I bought her for Christmas though...

I’VE got a great idea for a public protest. As readers of old will understand I’m not a fan of West Yorkshire Police – being run off the A64 by armed cops and locked up, to give a Chief Superintendent a bit of a laugh, can have that effect on a bloke.

So if any of you guys are up for it, and because Kirklees Police couldn’t find the holes in their own backsides with both hands and a miner’s lamp, let’s go protest outside Chief Supt Julie Sykes’s house.

Everyone bring a shovel and we’ll dig up her front lawn, in the name of saving future generations of groomed, raped and abused children that her force have sacrificed via 30 years of turning politically correct blind eyes.

It’s fair enough isn’t it? I mean, if the morons of Extinction Rebellion can dig up the pristine lawns of Trinity College, Cambridge, while the law blithely watches on, why isn’t an over-promoted, incompetent copper fair game?

On second thoughts, maybe not. Because before we’d turned a clod, we’d have vans full of tooled-up riot police giving us the full mashing of tasers, batons round the bonce and possibly even a few 9mm rounds if we’re unwise enough to resist.

All of which is what those unwashed, self-righteous, eco-warrior idiots should be getting a ration of, instead of to wall-to-wall coverage from the BBC, while the authorities sit around tut-tutting, shrugging their shoulders and muttering ‘what can you do?’

Turn a flaming water cannon on them and haul them off to the nick. That’s what you can do.

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