Ed Lines – November 1, 2019

Ed Lines – November 1, 2019

THEY’RE under starter’s orders for the 2019 running of the General Election Stakes … and they’re off!

Making the early going, riding yet another brand new filly, the clear favourite Deal or No Deal, is Boris Johnson in the light and dark blue silks of Eton and the Conservatives. 

Tucked in behind him but already coming under pressure is Jeremy Corbyn aboard Red Revolution – a reminder that this gelding has dubious form, failing to last the course on various tracks, from Moscow to Cuba and most recently Venezuela. 

Corbyn had some terrific success early in his career when riding around Europe on his mount Mad Abbot, but he’s found it tough to get a win lately. 

Connections were fairly confident Red Revolution would have lots of appeal this time out, but right now he’s losing ground to Jo Swinson’s mount, that wild-eyed stallion, Busted Flush.

A reminder for viewers that Ms Swinson has already declared that if she wins today she’s going to ban horse racing – oh, and there goes Busted Flush careering off the racecourse towards the M25 with the jockey in floods of tears and demanding that the race be re-started.

Slow out of the stalls and trotting along seemingly without a care in the world, in the white chevron on dark blue colours of the SNP is Nicola Sturgeon. It looks like she’s riding side saddle aboard her Shetland pony Wee Jimmy Krankie – to be fair, it’s tough to tell the jockey and the nag apart – but I don’t think these English tracks much suit this pairing, so they’re just along for the ride.

And what’s this – we have a non-runner! Ulster Mule is known for being a stubborn ride, and it looks like DUP leader Arlene Foster and her jockey Nigel Dodds can’t even drag the beast out of its stall. What a shame.

Back to the action, and there’s a commotion as they round Tattenham Corner – it looks like a protestor has thrown herself in front of Deal or No Deal. No, wait, it’s former Home Secretary and Remoaner rebel Amber Rudd – she’s after Boris Johnson’s whip, but he’s not giving it back!

They’re into the last furlong and the runners are closing up … on the rails Deal or No Deal is coming under pressure. Red Revolution has found his second wind and is within a head, but bolting up the stand side, making a late charge for the line is the grinning visage of Nigel Farage and his thoroughbred mount Brexit Boy. 

It’s a first time out for this novice son of Ukipper out of Sod EU but as they head for the line it’s neck and neck ... oh, there’s a coming together of Brexit Boy and Deal or No Deal! Could they have left an opening for Red Revolution?

At the line, it’s too tight to call. It looks like a photo finish folks and if the stewards can’t separate them, it appears we’ll have to wait for the renewal perhaps in February at the Groundhog Day Plate. This has been Scott Brough at the Epsom Salts racecourse in Sorry. Sorry, Brough Scott at Epsom in Surrey. Not Epsom salts – although they might come in handy given the belly-aching the next six weeks will bring...


SO, a general election, finally. It’s Boris’s deal that’s dead in a ditch and not the Prime Minister himself. 

I’m sure three quarters of Parliament were queuing up with ropes, knives and various weaponry as 11pm passed on Halloween – when we were supposed to leave the EU – keen to assist the PM in his wishes.

Now they’re going to find out exactly how in tune they are with the British people. There will be daily declarations of optimism, polls coming out of every orifice, and all will be equally meaningless, because I don’t think anyone’s got a clue.

Are people voting for a new government, or to get Brexit? Or both? Or have people had enough of the broken Parliamentary system to the point of not being bothered any more? That’s the current danger to our imperilled democracy. Or are they – I hope and pray – so incensed by the deceits and betrayals of elected members, that they will get off their sofas on December 12 and exercise their franchise, whatever the winter weather?

Aforementioned Amber Rudd has fallen on her sword, probably persuaded by her tiny majority in Hastings and Rye, but Theresa May, who turned voters off in droves leading to the Parliamentary impasse we’ve had the past three years, has the cheek to say she’s standing again!

Mind you, talking of cheek, the attempt by Labour to enfranchise 16 and 17-year-olds, plus millions of EU citizens, was as brazenly brass-necked as it was misguided. Yes, we need to change the voting age – but not that way.  I’d happily see it moved to 25 or 21 at a push although 30 would be nice. 

And yes I know that’s entirely undemocratic – but I didn’t start this rubbish. The rats infesting the House of Commons did that, and I so, so hope that hundreds of them are turfed out on December 12, so we can have a proper fresh start.


AS THE publisher of a rugby league newspaper (League Weekly – highly recommended, especially by Mrs Lockwood who wants a new bathroom), when the Great Britain Lions kick off against New Zealand in Auckland at 4am on Saturday, I’ll be … deep in the land of Nod.

When I arise at 8am however I will be transfixed – but not to GB/NZ, instead to the World Cup final in Japan between Eddie Jones’s mighty England and those devilishly dangerous Sith Ifrikin Springboks.

Did you see England’s semi-final against the All Blacks? It was awesome. I’m afraid RL’s GB vs Tonga was on ‘record’ then as well.

I’ve played Union in England, Wales, America, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand – despite being predominantly a League man – and the petty rivalry between the two rugby codes has always beguiled and disappointed me.

But I would observe that it’s very much a British thing. Indeed, once on the south bay of Auckland, I turned up for a game and the captains tossed up to decide whether to play League or Union. Really. You couldn’t see that happening here.

But on Saturday morning, I truly hope the United Kingdom is completely behind England – as indeed I’m sure most will be.


WHEN news came through of the death of ISIS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, my mind turned strangely towards an image of Jeremy Corbyn, kneeling by his bed, his worn copy of Das Kapital clasped before him like a prayer book.

In my mischievous imagination, the Labour leader (and next inhabitant of 10 Downing Street – Allah and Sinn Fein be praised!) was giving thanks to none other than Donald Trump. Yes, The Donald. That most shameless and embarrassing of political pygmies.

In what imaginable, perverse circumstance could old beardy be praying to Trumpton? 

Well, by recovering what was left of al-Baghdadi’s body parts and dropping them in the ocean, the USA saved Jezza from the mortal embarrassment of having to break off his electioneering to go attend another terrorist’s funeral.

Just saying.

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