Reading Time: 5 minutes


By Stevedore McCormack (sic)


Kenneth Pringle took a long drag on his cigarette, exhaled a mighty cloud of smoke and delivered his coup de grace: ‘I am now 100% certain that Stephen Kinnock is a mind-controlled asset. His wife, Helle Thorning-Schmidt is his de facto handler; just as Glenys was his father’s mind-control handler. It is generational; they like to keep it in the family.’ He registered my open-mouthed expression.
He sighed, crushed his cigarette out on the Formica table-top and leaned back.
‘You remember the Westland Affair?’ He asked, patiently
‘Vaguely’, I replied. ‘Wasn’t it something to do with helicopters?’
He chuckled. ‘Thatcher was on the ropes, it was up to Kinnock to merely pick his spot and bury her. By all accounts the Iron Lady was ashen as she took her seat on the front bench. But somehow, miraculously, Kinnock blew it. It was an open goal and he managed to hoof the ball right up into the gallery. He waffled on and on about nothing – it seemed to onlookers like the mutterings of a madman. It made absolutely no sense. That is until – until – you realise this: Glenys, his erstwhile wife and handler had suggested a game of cards to calm his nerves beforehand’.
He sat back triumphantly, and waited. Unfortunately, once again I had absolutely no idea what he meant.
-‘I’m sorry, a game of cards?’ I shook my head, really none the wiser. He sighed again.
‘I take it you’ve never seen the Manchurian Candidate, with Angela Lansbury?’ I had to admit I hadn’t, so that night I downloaded and watched it again. I now believe I understand why Kenneth Pringle placed so much importance on that seemingly innocent ‘game of cards’

(Above) Glenys Kinnock, 1986

But why would Glenys Kinnock want her husband to fail? …

Ultimately Kenneth Pringle is in no doubt that Kinnock’s one and only job as Labour Leader was to put all the ‘cards’ in place: expel militants; float the idea of ditching Clause 4; and hold the seat until the right ‘candidate’ was put in place. For all this to be accomplished the country had to be allowed to lurch further to the Right, this was in order that Labour’s rightward lurch would seem lesser in comparison. Ultimately Thatcher had to be allowed to remain in power for as long as possible.

(Stephen Kinnock and father Neil; pictured with their respective handlers)


One ex-Camden Labour councillor I was introduced to claims he witnessed, on several occasions, magickal rituals taking place in the basement of Camden Town Hall. These ceremonies, he insists were often presided over by Frank Dobson, who was regarded as a kind of ceremonial high-priest.

(Above) Frank Dobson: High-Priest and chaos magician?

“Initially Camden was a very socialist borough”, explains the ex-councillor. “The ceremonies were power-rituals, but they were generally intended to further the socialist cause. Then one day Frank wasn’t there and in his place, wearing Franks’ robe was this younger, slimmer man. Suddenly the candles were darker, the whole thing was darker: the energies I mean. We were being steered away from these gentle Wiccan ceremonies and toward something far darker and insidious.
“Who was the young man?” I asked.
“He soon went on to be communications director for Neil Kinnock, that’s all I’m saying”

(Above) Neil Kinnock receives instructions from his Communications Director.



Whilst all of this was fascinating I was still no nearer to cracking the enigma that is Jeremy Corbyn, and neither, it seemed, did either Pringle or Meeks.

Kenneth Pringle did however permit me an afternoon to trawl through his extensive notes whilst he was attending the Truth-Seeker Expo at Chelmsford. Having tried to make sense of his extensive notes on the Labour Party-occult connections (Barbara Castle as the Scarlet Woman anyone?); eventually I stumbled across this intriguing piece of paper:

It seems Pringle was indeed at some point following up some intriguing leads, but for some reason they seemed to have been halted (or maybe he had become distracted; there seemed to be an inordinate amount of research into Hazel Blears for instance). To my untrained eye his ideas did appear a little far-fetched, but then again I was by this time so far through the looking-glass I had no idea of what the truth of anything was anymore.


The question I started out seeking to answer somehow got lost along the way. The question was, am I part of the Cult of Corbyn? It is after all, an accusation bandied around by various worthies such as Dan Hodges; Julia Huntley-Brewer; and even esteemed authors such as J K Rowling.

– In truth I feel I am no closer to a definitive answer (and I worry that this may be due to my successful brainwashing). Yet upon reflection it now seems more likely that I am, (along with so very many other Labour members) merely a hapless pawn, a pawn like so many others who is caught in the crossfire between two eternally warring camps.

Perhaps I need to turn to metaphor to get closer to the truth. So, with that in mind, imagine this:

Two shadowy wizards are perched high upon facing mountaintops. No one knows how long they’ve been up there. In different guises, perhaps they’ve been up there forever; throwing magical lightning bolts at one another. Currently upon the right-sided mountain is the wizard Mandelson; steeped in the dark magic of Crowley; his thunderbolts are composed of media spin and soundbites. Upon the left is the wizard Lansman; versed in the arcane magic of the Kabala; his thunderbolts are comprised of social media memes and carefully targeted cyphers.

Ironically the faction once known as New Labour employs the devices of Old Magic (via old media), whilst those who are decried as representing old and hopelessly outdated Labour, conversely use the devices of New Magic. Each side are wedded to their own visions; both camps are immovable; each accusing the other of encouraging cult-like devotion.

We each pick our side; we each employ our own trusted, if lesser weapons.
Yet all the while, as this unseen and eternal war rages, there is a man who engenders both hatred and devotion. He is a bearded man, and he looks remarkably like David Nellist.

Now finally, picture this:

It is night-time, and in a relatively modest kitchen in North London, the bearded man screws shut the seal on yet another pot of jam. He slowly and carefully wipes his hands upon his tracksuit trousers and crosses the kitchen in order to turn out the kitchen light, but he does not exit. Instead he walks back into the now darkened kitchen, cups his hands around his face and peers out of the window. He allows his eyes to adjust awhile, until he can see the few remaining stars not quite obliterated by the glare of the sodium streetlights outside.

He hums a tune; the tune is unrecognisable at first.

Dum tum-te-dum …
He starts to sing softly at first, and now the song becomes evident….

Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here

He pulls his face back from the window, lowers his arms and smiles secretly to himself.

He exits the kitchen.

All is quiet and still now within the darkened kitchen, until -the solitary jar of jam is briefly illuminated by the flashing lights of a passing police-car, or maybe an ambulance. Upon the jar there is a sticker, and upon that sticker is written one word.

And that word is…



You can read Part One of My induction into the Cult of Corbyn here, and part 2 here

By Steve McAuliffe

You can read more from the collective here, or listen to a range of left views on our podcast


Reading Time: 3 minutes

 by Stevedore McCormack (sic)

Read Part One of the Cult of Corbyn Series here

I have a confession: on marches and demos in the 80’s I never quite knew who I was listening to up on those makeshift stages. I often got confused between Dave Nellist and Jeremy Corbyn (I suppose in retrospect it must have been the beards).

Jeremy Corbyn (left) with Dave Nellist (on the right)

Nonetheless, Corbyn and/or Nellist always seemed to be present at these events; firing up the righteous anger. Whether it was calling for an end to racism; an end to apartheid; supporting the miners; or opposing Clause 22, Corbyn/Nellist was always present it seemed. They were fringe-players; protest leaders within an increasingly pro-monetarist party (at least that is how it seemed to us). I mean, who would have thought that three decades later they would go on to shock the world by becoming leader of the Labour party?
But I digress….



A decade before Neil Kinnock triumphantly took to the stage like a deranged fool, pumping the air and proclaiming ‘well all-riiigh’; all- riiiigh’!!’ To a delirious and equally delusional crowd, Labour was in disarray. Gerald Kauffman, (seemingly oblivious to Proust’s opus ‘In Search of Lost Time’) had described the 1983 Labour Manifesto as ‘the longest suicide note in history’.

Meanwhile Michael Foot was accused of wearing a donkey jacket to the Cenotaph, despite the fact it was actually a rather expensive coat (one which the Queen Mother herself had even complimented him upon); and all the while the dreaded Margaret Thatcher was merrily scything her way through the Industrial North and preparing for an unnecessary jingoist war in the Mid-Atlantic.

During those dark days of Thatcherism, all seemed lost for those of us who were ideologically positioned on the left. But all the while, behind the scenes, the militant wing of Labour was biding its time, and plotting. A certain Mr Corbyn would be at the centre of this ‘long march’ to power; as too would a man once famously described by the Daily Telegraph as, ‘the embodiment of purest evil’, John McDonnell.


I remember one of the Ruskin lecturers telling us that within little over a decade’s time the political information war would not be fought through our television screens, or via the pages of the newspapers, but on the internet. A few of us laughed at the very idea. For back in 1997 the internet was still something of an unknown quantity to many of us. I think we just assumed that too many people would be far too busy wanking to bother with politics.

Little did we know that many would perfect the art of doing both simultaneously.

Whilst the left, through so-called grass-root-movements like Momentum (via Twitter and Facebook) have perfected the art of the soundbite and meme, there has been a potent counter-thrust from the alt-right. They have successfully infiltrated so-called conspiracy sites like
One blogger in particular, the now-infamous ‘X’ has become something of a legend in alt-right circles.

In April of 2017 ‘X’ posted a typically cryptic yet incendiary thread via one of the open forums on TruthGun – the thread soon ‘caught fire’ and many ‘Truthers’ -who had long decried the pernicious influence of Cultural Marxism – began to believe that the ‘Shadow Chancellor of the United Kingdom’ was, and is, in possession of a Time Machine. The thread ran as follows:

Marxist Chancellor of UK government (in waiting) has possession of device to make good on his word
See 2010 speech to Union congress
Leading ‘Blairites’ know he has this thing, hence terrified.
Hence trying to remove the Bearded King
Think Iron Lady
Think grassy knoll
Think reality altered
See patent below.
Now imagine UK future altered to accommodate Marxist future. Long time in planning
Fruition imminent.

Beneath his seemingly cryptic message was a copy for a patent (see below)

The patent (above) is breezily headed ‘Time Machine’ and it supposedly displays the signature ‘John McDonnell’.

According to X, ‘the shadow chancellor has yet to confirm or deny whether the signature is in fact his, as many have claimed’.

If we follow X’s advice (as many did) and go back to the headlines of 2010, we see that yes indeed, John McDonnell did ‘jokingly’ tell members at a union hustings that if he could have just one wish, it would be to possess a time machine; then travel back in time to the 1980’s; whereupon he would happily assassinate Margaret Thatcher.

Thus in alt-right circles many to this day still believe that the endless smearing and attempted coups from within Labour’s ranks are not intended merely to unseat Corbyn, but to prevent a Chancellor of the Exchequer from gaining power and utilising his dreaded Time Machine.

Stephen Kinnock MP. What does he actually know?
(TruthGun July 2017)



By Steve McAuliffe


You can read more Ungagged Writing here, or listen to a range of left voices on our podcast


Reading Time: 3 minutes


By Stevedore McCormack (sic)


By January 1997 I was a mess, both mentally and physically. As I stumbled aboard the Gatwick-bound plane in Prague my head was throbbing and beating like an illegal rave was taking place in my brain. I needed to focus on something, on anything. There was a copy of the Guardian newspaper on the seat beside me. I opened it and idly flicked through the pages as all around and all about me various arseholes fussed and struggled with their hand-luggage and overhead lockers.
Then, all of a sudden, a strategically-placed advertisement caught my eye.
The world was suddenly stilled. John Prescott’s big beaming face leapt out at me. It was an advertisement for Ruskin College, in Oxford. The relentless drum-beat in my brain was silenced, and my whole attention was focused then upon that advertisement. This was exactly what I needed, it seemed like destiny. There was a hole in my life that needed filling, and after all, had I not always proclaimed myself to be a socialist? – Well this was surely a sign: and now was the time to put that sign to the test.
I was of course blissfully unaware that a pernicious seed had been planted. In my naivety I actually thought I had found a purpose.


Ruskin seminar, 1997

When I arrived at the brutalist building on Brown Street, I knew very little about John Ruskin, other than he had been appalled to discover that his wife possessed pubic hair.


I knew even less about Vladimir Lenin, but when I and an ex-miner from Barnsley were tasked with the job of collating the contents of a recently-deceased tutor’s study, it was a Lenin book that I pilfered: The Development of Capitalism in Russia by V P Lenin.


Despite the snappy title I found the book to be something of a slog truth told. But I was relieved to find Noam Chomsky’s Class War – if not a rollicking read exactly – at least far more readable and relatable.


Although I was ostensibly studying English Literature, every subject at Ruskin College was viewed through a socialist perspective. Thus Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was approached as a warning: a parable illustrating the inhumanity and slavery necessary for the launch of a capitalist Industrial revolution. When it came to poetry, Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy took centre-stage.


That year the avuncular Tony Benn came and gave a talk. The year previous I had heard that a certain man by the name of Corbyn had been invited to speak.


I was enthused and caught up in the solidarity of it all. Plus in between the lectures and seminars I was having lots of sex (It was only later I would come to realise that sex is an essential component of all brainwashing cults).





I first met my wife Julie (sic) in a pub in King’s Cross (close to Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency incidentally). She was introduced to me by an ex-fellow-student (or should I say inductee) from Ruskin.
It transpired that Julie (sic) was down in London for a Trade Union Conference. We hit it off immediately, not only politically, but she seemed to find my jokes genuinely amusing. I was instantly hooked (or should I say snared).


It is only now, two decades later that I realise my wife was quite possibly working for a Russian agent who in turn was working for a Corbyn-linked cabal that had already infiltrated the Trade Union movement.


*This infiltration would later pay great dividends to Corbyn when union support helped him become leader of the Labour Party





As I sit here now, after conducting much research and having watched many YouTube videos I now am under no illusions that I was, for many years a de-facto sleeper-agent.


I was initially indoctrinated by Bolsheviks at Ruskin College, and then my re-education was enforced and accelerated by my militant shop-steward wife, Julie (sic).


I now realise that I was, for all intents and purposes waiting to be activated, along with many hundreds of thousands of fellow ‘sleepers’.


Corbynistas, or awakened ‘sleeper agents’ mass-applauding at a Corbyn rally.




It was like a switch had been flicked; suddenly all I could think about was Corbyn, Corbyn, Corbyn. I was introduced to Twitter and in no time at all I had learnt the combined power of the soundbite and the hashtag: I ignored all those sane voices that were warning of an emerging cult (Dan Hodges; John McTernan; Nick Cohen etc.) and fired with the righteous, unblinking zeal of a true cultist I began tweeting in earnest.






By Steve McAuliffe


You can read more Ungagged writing here, or listen to more left views from the collective on our podcast


Reading Time: 9 minutes


Disunity, disloyalty and hundred-foot-high turnstiles on the Irish Border

Steve McAuliffe

The inside scoop on what really happened at that fateful meeting at Chequers




(There is general hubbub and conversation around the table)


PM Yes thank you everyone, thank you for coming.


(The conversation and hubbub continues unabated)


PM:  If we could just….


(The conversation continues)


PM:  For the sake of the country I think it is imperative that we get this meeting underway


(The Ministers continue chatting)


BORIS:  Silence!


(Everyone abruptly stops talking and turns to Boris. Boris points to the PRIME MINISTER)


PM:  Thank you Boris. — (Clears her throat) Now if we can begin…. Firstly we thought it would be a good idea to put everyone into little factions.


    LIZ TRUSS interjects


AR  ‘Factions’ Prime Minister?


LT  Groups. I meant to say groups. Thank you Liz.


     GAVIN WILLIAMSON interjects


GW   (adopting a mock-creepy voice) Oooh yes, thank-you Liz.


LT:  Oh piss off Gavin.


    LIAM FOX turns to GW


LF: Maybe the right honourable minister for South Staffordshire should (adopting a high-pitched child-voice) ‘Just shut up and go away’.


    GW folds his arms, sulkily.


PM:  Please, I have called this meeting for purposes of unity. So if we can just-


BJ:  Prime Minister before we …. before we no doubt commence with um… with great enthusiasm armed with a fiery commitment toward this, toward this absolutely vital, vital  matter in hand … as it were … I do have one question I’d like to ask. If you would be … if you would be good enough – nay kind, kind enough to indulge me on this one interjection.  As it were.


PM: – Are you saying you’d like to ask a question Boris? …


BJ   I am indeed Prime Minister.


PM  Well, I was hoping to push on with the exercises, but providing it doesn’t delay us for too long –


BJ  I am indebted to you, as always


    THERESA MAY smiles thinly.


BJ  And in that spirit, the question I would like to ask, indeed I think we would all like to ask at this crucial time, is this.


    (He stands, and with his hands resting on the table, he looks around at his colleagues, with a Churchillian bearing)


— When so few among us have given so much….


The question – nay the burning question. Is this ….


-Where the hell is David Davis’s trifle?


PM   …‘trifle’ Boris?


BJ   Indeed, trifle. The agreement was that David Davis was going to bring a trifle. -Am I wrong on that? Was I somehow misinformed?


    Amidst much shaking of heads, all heads turn to DAVID DAVIS


PM (Sighing) – David would you mind -briefly, and succinctly explaining to Boris the ‘trifle situation’. -And then, hopefully we can push on with somewhat urgent affairs of state.


DD: No, that’s a fair question, the Foreign Secretary makes a very fair and valid point. And indeed, as my honourable colleague has made clear, at the Downing Street briefing it was agreed that I was – indeed – allocated the task of bringing along a trifle – just as Govey would fetch the finger sandwiches – which if I may say, are delicious as usual by the way, Michael.


    MICHAEL nods demurely.


DD  To that end, the ingredients were purchased and the original recipe was initially agreed upon (in principle) with my, as I like to call her, better half – but as the execution of the recipe proceeded, there arose – how best to put it — some disagreement over a few – shall we say ‘trifling’ issues


DD chuckles to himself and looks around at the stone-faces of the unsympathetic gathering.


He clears his throat and hurriedly removes, then chews upon the arm of his glasses


DD: To clarify: the sticking point, as far I see it was – at the negotiating stage – the age-old sherry problem. Essentially, Prime Minister, it boils down to two options, and the options are these: sherry or no sherry; there was a clear division of opinion on this. One that couldn’t be bridged. Unfortunately.


MICHAEL GOVE interjects.

MG It’s just a bloody trifle David, we don’t need impact assessments.


LIAM FOX: (Mutters) – Neither did he, apparently.


BJ: This is precisely the point. -Why is it everything *sooo* bloody torturous with you Davis? – I mean, Gove made the sandwiches: I supplied the Eton Mess without any undue fuss or hullabaloo.


DOMINIC RAAB mutters under his breath


DR: Boris Supplied an Eton mess. – No change there then.


BJ: Fuck you Dom, I heard that


The PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY climbs to her feet.


PM: Now, now – please! This is exactly what I’m talking about. We need a unified, collective face.


BORIS:  That’s a grotesque image.


PM  – All this bickering and back-biting is getting us nowhere…


    MICHAEL GOVE stands up


MG  I would like to add another question Prime Minister


PM (Sitting back down, issuing forth and exasperated sigh) — Yes, alright. -Go on Michael.


MG  Will we be claiming back the ingredients and associated travel on expenses?


(There is unanimous and enthusiastic roar of encouragement upon this point)


PM:  As always Michael, all food and transport is claimable on expenses.


(A good natured cheer erupts from the assembled ministers)


PM:   (Under her breath) We await your Fortnum and Mason bill…


    (The Cheering eventually dies down)


PM:  — Now, moving on to matters at hand if we may. -David, I believe you have been exploring options for the Irish border..


    (Some groans and eye-rolling from various ministers)


DD  Well as you know Prime Minister – we have of course prioritised the ‘Irish question’ -for want of a better term – and have actioned this prioritisation by immediately putting – what I believe is a workable solution – out to consultation.


(There is a pause as The PM and Ministers await further elaboration.

DD takes off his glasses, folds them up and places them in his breast pocket. He sits back, hands behind head)


PM  –And this workable solution is — ?


DD looks around at his colleagues, before realising it is he who is expected to respond.


DD  Oh I beg your pardon I didn’t realise you expected a full-analysis….


PM:  I think that would be rather helpful at this stage, yes.


He replaces his glasses and lifts a briefcase onto the table. After some struggling with the combination he opens the case and takes out a sheath of papers. He immediately sets them to one side


DD   Ignore those, they’re bollocks…


DAVID DAVIS scrabbles around in the case. He pulls out a aluminium-foil wrapped sandwich….


DD:  …That needs throwing.


    There are impatient sighs and groans from around the table as he continues scrambling around in the case. He removes an FHM magazine, followed by a flask…


DD  I’m very sorry about this Prime Minister, I know for certain it’s in here. I distinctly recall putting it in here myself .….


BORIS JOHNSON lets forth with an exaggerated yawn.  There is some giggling.


Eventually DD pulls out a napkin and carefully unfolds it


DD  And, voila! (To BJ) – You see! – Have faith Boris, have faith.


PM  -A napkin, David?


DD  –Prime Minister, discussions went on deep into the night, culminating in a late supper, at an all-night Salsa bar in Ladbroke Grove ….. Let’s put it this way, as morning loomed, things got a little – shall we say, ‘interesting’


DAVID DAVIS winks at a visibly unamused ANDREA LEADSOM


BJ  Cut to the fucking chase David -.


MG:  -That would make a refreshing change.


DD  OK, sure. -Well, we were throwing a few ideas around – batting to and forth so to speak – seeing what stuck… the drink was flowing, and the music became frightfully loud … they started removing all the tables for the dancing, so I ended up scribbling the conclusions on a napkin. Well, conclusion, singular, to be exact.


PM  (Sighing audibly) – And the conclusion was?


DD  Yes, i’m just trying to decipher what was written… but there seems to be a slight sauce stain on here – maybe red wine – hard to determine ….

       (He leans in close to scrutinise) ….. bear with me a moment….. I’m having a little trouble making that particular word out –


DAVIS shows the napkin to SAJID JAVID.


DD   Have a look at that Saj, does that say ‘turntables’?


SJ  (Leaning in close to read it) It says ‘turnstiles’.


DD  Oh yes, of course, yes, well that makes sense in the context of – er – of determining the – er – the Irish border question, as it were.


PM  O for God’s sake David what does it bloody say?


DD …Well …..


    SAJID JAVID impatiently interjects.


SJ  It says, and I quote: “100 foot-high turnstiles shall be manned by dwarves”  


DAVIS takes off his glasses and chews upon the arm.


DD  That’s pretty much the gist.

       -At this early stage.


(There is a protracted and stunned silence).


PM  ….. ‘Dwarves’ – David?


DD nods. The PRIME MINISTER sinks back down into her chair and sighs loudly.


DD ……. Yes. (He chews nervously on an imaginary toffee) — dwarves. Not necessarily dwarves obviously – I rather think the MJB guys were using -er – artistic licence there… We like to call it ‘blue-sky-thinking’… the consultation process will refine it further, obviously.


    DD looks around at the shocked, open-mouthed expressions of his colleagues. Some shake their heads pitifully.


DD   I’m sorry …, is ‘dwarves’ not the correct term these days? –


    There is a few moments of hostile silence – until BORIS JOHNSON leans across the table.


BJ  Have you completely lost the plot David? — Or, maybe you tumbled into a sodding Lewis Carroll novel?


    MICHAEL GOVE interjects


MG  Actually I’m beginning to think a hookah-smoking caterpillar would be preferable as Brexit Secretary


    SAJID JAVID interjects


SJ  – How would that even work David? – A hundred foot-high-turnstiles on the Irish border? —Just on a practical level, you’d need giants to guard those surely, not dwarves.


    GAVIN WILLIAMSON interjects


GW  Davis is *such* a  twanger!


    DOMINIC RAAB interjects


DR   I think prick is the word you’re looking for Gav. -. You’re an absolute prick Davis.


DD Leaps to his feet, he bunches up the napkin and throws it at Raab


DD  Tell you what ‘Mr Workhouses-for-the-poor’ – why don’t you spend up to 2 hours a day, 3 days a week trying to unravel the shit we’re in?


DR  Is that an offer?


DD  I’d like to see you trying to please both factions of this bloody party


DR  Just say the word Mr. Impact Assessment.


PM  Now come on David, why don’t you sit down …


DD  No, sod it. In fact, bugger it.  I’ve had enough of all this snickering and name-calling and – this, this – endless whining about trifles … and hard-borders and impact assessments and all the endless, relentless SHIT.  


BJ:  Getting very red-faced isn’t he?


MG:  Positively puce I’d say.


DD:  Give the job to that smug fucker (POINTS TO DOMINIC RAAB) – see how well he does. Tell you what, I tell you what Prime Minister, you can deny him his own private jet as well.  -See how he likes travelling to Brussels by train.


PM  Your objections have been noted David, now if you will just take a seat.


DD  No. No Prime Minister I will not. On point of principle, I resign.


    Much eye-rolling and groaning around the table


BJ:  God spare us, he’s threatening to resign again


MG:  Quelle surprise.


DD: I mean it. You will have my resignation letter in the morning.


    He leans across and picks up the screwed-up napkin, puts it in his case.


MG:  Golly, I think he actually means it this time.


BJ:  Bugger it: he’s pushed the button


MG:  The nuclear option


PM  Are you saying you are actually resigning David?


DD I am Prime Minister. I’m afraid I am left with no other option but to resign.


PM  This could trigger a general election David, please consider your position


BJ:  (whispers to MG) -Or a leadership election (MG nods sagely)


DD  I understand that, but my position is untenable. I could handle the trifle gags and all that public school silliness, but the level of abuse I have had to suffer


PM  Please David, wait. We’ll …. We’ll have a reshuffle — (Hurriedly) you can have Boris’s job.


BJ   WHAT??!


PM  No, not Boris’s job, sorry – I’m a bit ….


BJ  If someone takes my job it’ll be on my say-so


PM  I meant to say, Andrea’s job, you can have Andrea Leadsom’s job.


AL  (Looks up from her phone) Wait…what? —


DD  I don’t want her shitty job.  (POINTS AT JOHNSON) I don’t want his shitty job, (POINTS AT JAVID) or his shitty job, I don’t even want your shitty job Prime Minister, respectfully – which I can tell you makes me a rare beast amongst this … nest of vipers. No – that’s it, I’m done.  -I’m out of here (DD GATHERS UP HIS CASE AND PAPERS)  — Thank you for everything


    DOMINIC RAAB sitting back, smiling, calls after him –


DR  Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out David!


    DAVID DAVIS pauses at the door and walks back in.


DD  Before I go –  I’d just like to wish you the very best of luck in your new position Dom


DD angrily gives DOMINIC RAAB the finger, right up to his face, before turning on his heel and heading to the door



The door slams behind him as DAVID DAVIS exits the room.


A stunned silence fills the room.


In disbelief Ministers look around at each other.


THE PRIME MINISTER lets out a low protracted moan; rests her elbows on the table; cradles her head in her hands.


ANDREA LEADSOM appears to be weeping.


BORIS JOHNSON stands and casually walks to the corner of the room. Seemingly unconcerned, he piles finger sandwiches onto his plate.


Eventually MICHAEL GOVE speaks:


MG    Dwarves??!  


As laughter fills the room, amidst the collective jollity, unnoticed, Gove’s smile slowly fades, his gerbil-eyes gradually narrow as he sets his steely gaze upon the Prime Minister’s bowed head.


Standing beside the food- table BORIS JOHNSON chews on a finger-sandwich, and narrows his eyes as he fixes his steely gaze upon MICHAEL GOVE.


-Outside a big black cloud passes over the sun and the room momentarily darkens.


You can read more from Steve on his Ungagged Writing page or listen to him on our podcast

The day of the Royal Baby Drop (An on the spot report)

Reading Time: 8 minutes

We’ve been on the scramble for the scoop. The run down of just what happened in that fucking hospital. And they’ve closed ranks. Even the Middleton’s uncle Pauline wouldn’t say a bastard thing. Johnny and I absolutely barked questions at Witchell and plied the greasyshit with@_Ungagged‘s annual entertainments budget (a fucking tenner. There’s nothing entertaining about Ungagged!) Luckily the fucker loves Tonic Wine. Johnny and I polished off a bottle of Gordon’s as we drilled him, but to no avail. He just kept crying, “I was once a war correspondent! ” and was sick over his shoes. “Fucking get him more booze! ” I shouted, and Kirkwood the weather showed up just in time with the BBC. “I’ve pointed at weather pictures for twenty years,” petty cash cheque book.

The next thing I see are two walking Union Jack’s saunter into the pub, as if madmen like that are entitled to fuck with our brains! Johnny shot up, grabs a fucking dolly, YES A FUCKING DOLLY! from one of them, opens the door and throws it like he’s a fucking All Black. One of the horrors, grabs Johnny and starts shouting filth that sounded like, “Yoir aw fukin ripublicin muthdirin batathrd!”

The bar was in uproar. Witchell was sobbing, Kirkwood was taking the opportunity to grab a few bags of salt and vinegar and the Murdoch mob almost had their old chaps polished to nothing.

Weatherall, the barman with the wit of a fucking cow on Mary Jane, crashed through the plywood bar door, grabbed the screaming Union Jack Jock and threw him after his fucking doll. His little side kick squealed something Glaswegian and ran out. Thing is, he forgot HIS doll.

We are in lock down while we decide a course of action. More later. Out.

Next Morning…

Fuck. Things degenerated last night. The Prince Doll is in a secret location. Weatherall guarded the premises all night, while we debated our next course of action over three bottles of gin, a bottle of vodka, and many reviving euro-lagers. Let’s see how this plays out…


All taking turns watching the door. Shut-eye in the toilets only. Staying alert. The madness that has overcome the nation could be infectious. The Prince Doll owner has been seen again outside, grinning with other Windsor Worshippers. It’s only a matter of time. Witchell has been given leave to chase the next story. Could be a death, anniversary or birthday, WHO KNOWS? We plan to stake out the Albert Hall, The Mall and that fuckng hospital. And the brewery isn’t due for a day and a half. Ends. (More later, as it happens)

Much Later…

Prince Doll owner broke through our defenses. Weatherall had to open the cellar for a local plod – a few bottles keeps them from dispersing our late night journalistic plenaries.

I was on point, but had been reviving Johnny with one of those caffeinated alcho-fizz concoctions  – he’d fallen asleep during a particularly frantic description of the scrum around the Duke of Wessex opening ceremony at a state of the art traffic cone emplacement training facility in Hull, by Roderick, the intern at Halt! magazine, the industry publication for traffic diversionary logistics.

He missed the sorry tale of Wessex fending off questions about his great nephew. According to Roderick, Wessex seemed to know as much about the sprog, the mother and the father as he did traffic cones, and almost ran through the grinning mob of halfwit local press nine-to-fivers.

Anyway, as I was administering said pick-me-up, the union flag clad working-class chap walked across the fucking Rubicon River like a triumphant, cross-eyed, vacant looking version of Caesar returning from his victory over a fucking deer filled forest.

The chap walked unadulterated to the bar, annoyingly after 27 hours of our strategy and rotational keeping dick. Johnny immediately came round stood up and without saying anything, ran straight out of the bar! With Weatherall in the cellar, Witchell already digging for the next Windsor event, and everyone else fucking sleeping, I was left to deal with the threat! More later. ENDS

30 mins later…

London, 2018.

And a grown man dressed in a Union Flag three piece suit and tie, is sobbing into a pint of British Lager. He’s lost his doll. His baby doll. Not just any doll, but a Prince Windsor Doll. I have a dilemma. I need this scoop. I need to get to the heart of darkness.

But, I know who has the doll. I don’t exactly know where the doll is, but I know where the person is who hid the doll. He’s in the cellar, with a police officer. And I’m here, with perhaps the most dangerous Scotsman in London.

What would you do? I’m a journalist. I’ve got to understand. Or at least, I must report. I’ve got to find the facts. I’ve got to stay neutral. I’ve got to get on that dingy and navigate the Nùng and befriend this Colonel Kurtz. There is only one thing to do.

30 mins before…

I got up from the table and moved slowly towards the gammon dressed in a deckchair. He was grinning. They all grin. Or weep. Or curtsy. The Windsors think most of us do. Their public either chase them on fucking mopeds or weep, grin or curtsy. They really do think we are cunts.

The Dolly man walked over to the bar. And waited. Grinning. And I knew Weatherall and the officer were sampling a few Jameson’s.

“Yes?” I was trembling. I had walked through crowds of them at Royal do’s before.

But they are distracted at those. This was an isolated one, and we HAD to talk… I needed to find out. Where does this madness start? Is it dangerous? Can anyone catch this… This condition? “Ahm doon tae see tha we’an.” He spoke. He could speak.

“Do you like booze, my good man?” I replied.

I felt stupid. Somehow inferior. This man was here, displaying for all to see, all that he was. An honest man. And here was I, about to dissect him & read his entrails. He looked me up and down, and smiled wider.

“Yoo tha barman?”

“No, but I can get you booze,” is all I could reply.

My mind was all over the place, and it’d been half an hour since my last gin.

Fucking war correspondents? Fuck them. War is predictable. Soldiers, drones, terrorists even-they have physical laws.

A Scot dressed in a Union Jack in Ye Old Cheshire Cheese is something the late Stephen Hawking could never have predicted. More later… ENDS.


Nature’s gentleman. Le bon sauvage. Here he was, standing, a human labarum. The very essence of all Royal Propaganda, since Julius Caesar and before, had created. This was not a man, but the epitome of the fealty Aristocracy ventured to create since the legions finally left the Britons, defenseless and ready for exploitation. I poured him a Lager.

“Do you dress like this every day?” This was me dallying around the edges. But I had to work around the circle to find a gap in the defenses. I needed to know his purpose. His raison d’etre.

What culture was this? Was there a place where such nobility roamed?

“Aye man. Me an ma da, we are Sco’linds biggest Royal fans, man.”

I was in danger territory here. I could tell this warrior could turn on me if I pressed the wrong keys. I could sense this man was highly tuned. His senses were on alert. He knew the doll was here. At this point, I have to tell you, it was not my intention to torture this soldier. My intention was to help. And giving him the doll was not a kind thing to do. And I knew.

He was playing with me. This could end in violence. I almost collapsed with the weight of what was happening. It had to stop.

“You are here for the doll,” I said, unwavering from my mission. I had been deserted by the corps. But I was going to take out the machine gun myself.

“Aw pal, hae ye saw it, ye ken whurr it is, like?” His language, his sentence structure was unfamiliar, but I was getting the gist. His eyes bore through to the back of my head. This gladiator was close to winning. I was sweating, and almost ready to cave in. But I pushed on.

“There may be others who do. But I am not obliged to say, dear chap.”

I turned away. I couldn’t bear his fucking eyes! Heavy, empty, like the blackest part of the universe, sucking in light, but unseeing. I poured something into a glass. Fuck knows what it was, but I downed it.

“Ye ken whurr tha babbie is?” I was trembling. I poured something else and downed it.

“ITS DEAD! THE PRINCE DOLL IS DEAD!” I turned & looked at him, ready to grab the ice bucket in my defence… And the fucker cried.

This was a weapon I had not thought about using.

This was a man with an armoury like the Tower of London, and he chose his weapon well.


I thought about throwing up down my shirt. I thought about pissing myself. I thought about playing dead. But none of these could out manoeuvre his globular tears splashing in the pissy British Lager.

And then Witchell walked in. He looked as if he’d been wrestling with Katie Melua’s new album. His brow was pinched like a dehydrated pugs anus. And he spotted the sobbing wild man at the bar. It was too much. I tried to shout,

I WANTED to shout, “NO! THINK OF THE SCOOP!” But Witchell was on him like Trump stuck in a lift with Macron. Only the passion was played out through Witchell’s long nails, gouging, scratching, ripping at the bust mattress that had been Scotland’s only Royalist.

As they clawed, screamed, slapped and flapped, I knew I had to wait. Witchell was the professional. If anyone knew how to get to the essence of the story, it was him.

The name of every Royal baby in living memory has been announced by Witchell.

His disappointment this time is so great in being involved in another story that, this time, will go with him to the grave. Louis was not to be his. This was given to the new boys on the block The Sky News Sharks. The propagandists employed by Putin. CNN. The wannabe Jennie Bonds of the Alternative Media. Breitbart heiled a new leader of men, Buzzfeed proclaimed the name ten minutes before Kate was told she came up with it.

And Witchell was behind bars, sobbing the name “Louis,” like a dying Charles Foster Kane.

How did it end like this? Well, the Royalist Scottish walking Union Jack wasin Ye Old Cheshire Cheese, searching for his baby doll. I was raiding the bar, unable to carry out my duties as an investigative reporter. The fucker had defeated me like no one since Diana had.

This symbol of Royal power-the essence of power- the axle around which the whole British system turns, stood crying into his pint knowing the rest of us had to turn as he did. No power in Britain would exist without this man and his doll. And he couldn’t have it. This man denied the chance to demean himself, kissing and caressing this battery operated Prince “Louis” Doll could bring down the whole institution of hereditary power.

Or not.

We knew this was a test.

But, Witchell, frustrated by the younger, e-journos beating him to Royal announcement after Royal announcement was too much. He saw his scoop dead, drowned, shattered. And there in the bar, stood the diversion, the image that encaptured all that was wrong with the succession of new media “journalists” sitting on his rightful throne, the one he had taken from Sergeant Major Jennie Bond after she had retired.

He grabbed Union Jack Jock by the neck and pulled him off the barstool, just as Weatherall walked in from the cellar with Constable Barns, who was grinning from ear to ear holding the fucking doll aloft!

 Everyone froze.

I’ve never heard a silence like it.

Almost as quiet as the News of the World Christmas do, 2016.

I ducked behind the bar, saving the nearest bottle of something, unscrewing the lid and glugging  something sickly sweet down my gullet.

When I awoke, Weatherall was brushing up glass, and the bar seemed to have lost the seige atmosphere.

“What happened?”

“They named it Louis.”


“Mr Witchell, the doll man and the doll are in custody.” And bail was posted by a Mr Cambridge, showing how our press, our public and tat are bought, recycled and trussed up by our betters.


Prick Knobinson, Royal Correspondant 

Prick Knobinson, Royal Correspondant

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Prick Knobinson

Philip Richard (P. Ric., or “Prick”) Knobinson-Canute is a journalist best known for his weekly column, “Last Orders,” in the high end magazine, “Fox and Turf,” and also notorious for a feckless and chaotic career and life of alcohol abuse.

He became associated with the louche and bohemian atmosphere that existed in London’s Soho district, Glasgow’s Merchant City, and Milton Keynes, “Cock and Bull Bar,” the hang out for the new city’s literati, in the early seventies.

Early Life to Present:

Knobinson’s father, Lord Freire Knobinson-Canute was the hereditary Lord traditionally tasked to clear animal excrement from path the Monarch of the United Kingdom if they had to walk on public paths. This role was made largely symbolic in the late 20th century , though was more recently reinstated for Prince Philip’s 1998 visit to Liverpool. This reinstatement of the role (taken up by P. Ric’s older brother Arthur), led to the resignation of the Prince’s advisor for insensitivity after riots and Liverpool temporarily leaving the Commonwealth. This led to the famous Tony Blair brokered Liverpool Peace Deal on Ash Wednesday that year.

Knobinson’s mother was the Opera Singer, Dame Ethel Appleby, who famously said about the Beatles in the early sixties, “They are common Cockroaches for plebs.” Appleby left her husband in the late sixties, and joined the famous Andy Warhol led Operatic Society, “Quod Fabrication,” had an affair with Lou Reed, the singer with The Velvet Underground, and was found dead in Hotel Chelsea, New York, lobby after a session of snorting cognac with William Burroughs.

Knobinson attended Abbotts Chalmsley school for Boys in Chelmsford, for two and a half weeks, but the Principal ordered him onto a train back to London as he was, “Quite simply, uneducatable.” His mother home tutored him until he attended Cambridge, majoring in the Literature of Henry Miller, Anais Nin and William Wordsworth.

When he left University, he was given a job on The Times, through a contact of his Father’s. He reported mainly on Debutante events and Public School sporting events for around a year before, as he put it in one of his later columns for “Fox and Turf;”

“I discovered jazz, women, gin, hashish, vodka, wine, my penis and that my father had a huge stash of bonds lying around his study he didn’t even know were fucking there.”

He asked his editor if he could change the nature of his column to one of reporting on his Soho adventures. This was granted after money changed hands, according to his ex wife, the classic knitter, Estelle Lauder (an allegation he has always denied). Part of the alleged deal was that he use his Royal contacts to report on Royal events.

After his infamous interview with the estranged wife of Prince Charles, Diana Princess of Wales in which he caused her to cry and then slap him after he asked her why she “hated Britain,” he was sacked.

This led to him being hospitalised after what he described as,
“Six months of living in clubs, pubs and sleeping in the bedrooms, cars and wardrobes of rich and famous celebrity wives.”

Knobinson joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and then successfully sued them for a reportedly £1m for refusing him entrance to their groups after some of the meetings he was involved with transformed into riots.

Knobinson by chance, met Prince Philip, an old family friend, in a drinks reception at a polo match in Argentina (“I have no fucking recollection of how I managed to be in South America,” he wrote in 1992) who arranged a column in The Guadrion, which along with his “”Fox and Turf” columns formed the basis of a west end play based on his life, starring the TV actor Don Estelle in the leading role.

His new found fame earned him a late night TV chat show, “Jazz with Prick,” in which he interviewed famous jazz, pop, rock and blues artists over the course of a six hour drinking session. After three episodes, one in which he and the pop star Peter Andre drank seven bottles of champagne and a bottle of brandy, then drove a golf cart through a Tescos window to, “give access to the homeless” the TV company, “Shit-stir Productions,” went into liquidation.

Knobinson made a return to writing columns about the seedier side of life in the late nineties Lads Magazine, “Gonads,” while reporting on Royalty for Steve Wright in the Afternoon for Radio 2, then in 2008, The Sunday World.

He was absolved after accusations of phone tapping for the News of the World, when it was found that everything he wrote about Jeremy Clarkson, Prince Andrew and the Irish girl group B*witched was verifiable and in actual fact, had been videoed.

Knobinson has recently been employed by online magazine, Ungagged.

Introducing Our Royal Correspondant

Reading Time: 6 minutes

As the British Queen hits 92, Prick Knobinson introduces himself and his remit in this article.

Prick Knobinson, Royal Correspondant

Welcome to my Royal column. That’s what I say regularly at night to the wife. She hates that.  The feeling is mutual.

Anyway, enough about me, I’m going to drink my daily bottle of London Gin while I talk to you about my favourite fetish, the British Royal Family, all of whom I have intimate relations with.  Well, I report on them.  Which is hard work.  Its like, “here we go again, another plaque unveiling, or another royal baby has been dropped,” one day, and, “fuck me if its not another affair we cant report on because Prince fucking Duke of York or Wessex will sue us if we publish the awkward pictures,” sort of thing.

I was delighted to see my old drinking partner, Prince Charles, voted in as the next leader of the Commonwealth.  His story, one of adversity and humble beginnings, is one that shows anyone can become what they want to be.

Charles, brought up in a council house, and who ran away to the Navy after he was given a boat, had no ambition beyond talking to plants.    It’s a testament to his determination in later life that he has at last, toppled his mother from the position she has held most of her life in the unanimous decision made by despots, puppet Presidents and dodgy “Royalty” across the Empire.

Its all go.

369 years ago, the British abolished the Royal family.  After a dreadful few months or so, the Royal Head was stuck back on (not literally, as the axe had fallen on his neck and lopped it off… metaphorically, as we found a new person to brighten up the pages of Ye Olde checkout magazines.)

How miserable we would all be if we didn’t have the Royal’s to brighten our lives here in Britain, and now hopefully soon in the new series of “Suits?”  Megan Markle will no longer be worrying about who her next series affair is, as the spoilers are out.  She is to marry the Prince with the wonderfully colourful Celtic hair colour.  If you aren’t interested in all of that shit, and hate them, you are just a miserable old bastard who has no sense of decorum, or are a democrat or some stupid thing that has no place in Britain.

So, some of my favourite facts about the Windsors…

1.    Prince Charles has got a huge collection of medals.  These range from doing things like not sinking the unsinkable boat he was given by his mum’s pals to stay away from wars on during the seventies, and for adding capital letters to stuff what he wrote for the first time when he was in Year 6.  He is also a General in the Army, an Admiral in the Navy (its nice he kept his navy career going , even when his only ambition was to be tampon for his now related wife) and he is a Chief Marshall in the RAF. His other medals are really those coins you buy for Queen’s Jubilees and Coronations and shit like that because he bravely attended those ceremonies.

2.    The Queen chose Harold Macmillan over Rab Butler as Prime Minister in the 1950’s and then Alec Douglas Home over Butler in 1963.  This was for two reasons.  One she didn’t really like Butler and two, she thought the Tories actually really had put forward a real butler as a candidate, and those are really just for lifting the corgi poo from the carpet.  She also chose to rid Australia of an elected representative, and Government, in the seventies.  Such is her prerogative, and that’s what a Monarchy is for, so fuck you, right?  Well, sometimes that is the attitude a leader needs to take.

3.    The Royal Family are Britishness all in one family.  They are us.  We are them. Except they have big houses, yachts, the freedom to go wherever they want to without a passport and never have to spend money.  And none of them are yet black, beige, catholic, muslim, jewish, or anything else that is supposed to be British. We all aspire to their clean living Protestantism.  All religions and colours in Britain should.  Being British is eating when the Queen eats and setting down your fork when she does.  When I was last at a royal banquet, I made sure I got all my food (literally, when she stops eating, the plates are cleared!) as soon as she started eating, I belted that food into me.  When it looked like she was stopping, I stuffed the roast potatoes and the meat they’d shot specially for the guests the week before with a fuck off big machine gun in their private shooting place in Scotland, into my pockets. I was the only one out of 200 people who managed to eat every bite, albeit eating the stuff in my pockets when fucking Prince someone or other was being verbally wanked over by some Masterbator of Ceremonies, or whatever his title was.  Poor Nicolas Witchell only had half a starter, a nibble of grouse and a floret of broccoli.  He’s a cunt anyway.  And the Royals fucking hate him. Charles cant bear the awful man. Anyway, meals with the Queen sum up the class divide.  The poor just aren’t that quick in grabbing stuff.

4.     The Christmas message and her speech to Parliament.  The Queen drafts her own speeches.  While she does, she serves us the necessary bland platitudes and the hit with the poor – the usual, “I kind of love you, but don’t touch,” stuff. Then comes the hard hitting message she reads out from her chosen Tory Government, which shows she is no push over and wants to get that austerity out there.  Its like, “I love you, you fucking trilobites, go beg in a food bank, I love my family and yours.”  If you think the Queen is all about family around a Christmas tree, well fuck you.  She can do politics like the rest of them and impose the bedroom tax on greedy poor people with too many rooms in their council houses, but loves them all the same, but don’t touch.

5.    The Royal Houses, with all those lovely spare rooms to walk the dogs. Paid for by a grateful British people.

6.   Our democracy.  Without the Queen, we would not be able to compare our democracy with others like Saudi Arabia or Swaziland.  We can do that and say how shit they are, as she kindly asks their despot leaders and Royals over for tea, and a right old Royal drink now and again, just so the Socialists and that lot can protest outside.  That’s really considerate of her… because the people in Swaziland and Saudi Arabia would be put to death or something for doing those things in their own countries.  Its protest by proxy. Expect Mr Assad for a banquet in the coming years, well, after he has completely crushed those who asked peacefully in 2011 for an election… and let’s see who on the left will protest that nice ophthalmologist.  They certainly don’t want to do that at the moment, eh?

7.    Equality.  The Queen sees all her subjects as her equals.  She regularly says in privy council meetings with her government, “I’m the top socialist in the country!”  We can’t report that, so I’m going to add, “allegedly” to that previous statement, because it is illegal to report or talk about any of her opinions and of course, she is exempt from the Freedom of Information Legislation. She thinks everyone will eventually have the same dole money as her. But I can’t say that. So I won’t.

8.   She strikes agreements with Parliament about her income.  There is no longer a Civil List of those who get our money, she now gets a “Sovereign Support Grant,” which means she gets more money.  Not her fault, of course… it’s just the way things worked out with her relatives, the Tories. She is allowed to choose how much tax she pays.  Charlie’s Duchy company doesn’t pay corporation tax, because if it did, it would go bust.  I mean, who would give that idiot anything to run with the same rules as the rest of us?   The man, for all his wonderfulness and regality couldn’t grow cress without giving the seeds a fucking speech and relying on the Royal fucking arse wiper to water the bloody things.

9.   The BBC.  The BBC, and the ITV channels love to report on the Royal family, as it isn’t real work.  Really, it isn’t, and a good Royal colour parade or sprog drop can help when we don’t want to shop on our tory friends for incompetency, scandal or thievery. Best of all is when they cark it at 120 years old  – then the whole country seemingly comes to a halt.  Well, so it seems if you aren’t in the know.  All sorts of illegal shit goes down when a Royal Highness hits the floor.

10.   They’ve stopped marrying their cousins to have children.  They marry outside Royalty, have children, dump the spouse and go back to shagging each other once the bloodline has a few different strands of DNA.

Let’s hope she gets a new Royal Yacht.

So, I hope you absolutely loved this piece of important stuff about the Royals as much as I enjoyed my bottle of juniper.  All stuff about the Royals is important.  I mean, if you don’t like having a hereditary head of state, why the fuck are you in our country?

We are all British now.

Except those who thought they were.

Until next time, God Save Her and all the rest of the Royals across the world, except those from Royal families not related to and shagging each other and each other’s spouses.

The bottle has been drained. Get another one.

Fuck off.

We’ve Never Had It So Good

Reading Time: 17 minutes
Victoria Pearson


Shit, my head is banging. I didn’t think I was that drunk last night, but I feel like someone has come in when I was asleep and replaced my tongue with a sock full of sand. I can’t even remember the election result, let alone getting home and going to bed. Maybe I fell asleep before it was announced. That was going to be embarrassing at work. Thank God I’m on annual leave.
I never really should have agreed to go to the works election night party . I don’t know what Tim, our manager, was thinking of when he organised it. He had seen the divide in the coffee room whenever the conversation came around to the hot political topic of the day. Nick and I have almost come to blows on more than one occasion. The whole team in a confined space with alcohol and the live election results? Great idea Tim.

I tried to make an excuse about previous plans, but Tim pulled me aside when our break was over and strongly suggested I reconsider.

“Craig, mate” he said in that cringey ‘hey, we’re all friends here’ way that makes my skin crawl. “Just come along, eh? Show willing.”

“I’m really not sure it’s a very good-“
“It’s just, I really want to recommend you for promotion.” He looked at me expectantly “but you aren’t really much of a joiner. I mean, Jason runs the football team, and Nick organises the Christmas party. A few extra curricular things might help keep you in the running.”
I sighed, long and loud and pointedly, but I need that promotion. Our pay has been frozen the last three years running, but the rent hasn’t. Here I am, a single man with a steady job, and no kids, struggling to make rent on a bedsit. You can’t tell me that’s right.
The last thing I remember about last night is making what I thought at the time was a passionate and well thought out speech about the dangers of the rhetoric surrounding the election campaign on all sides. I was disheartened, although unsurprised, when Nick burped hugely, hitting me in the face with a rancid puff of stale beer and pork scratchings, before announcing;
“Well yeah, but the problem is, people can’t talk about the real problems in the country without being called racists.”
I sighed irritably- he clearly hadn’t listened to a word I’d said.
“That’s precisely my point.” I said “The real problems you talk about are caused by chronic underfunding by successive governments. It’s deliberate mismanagement, to justify privatisation. Nothing to do with immigration.”
“More people means more pressure on services” he insisted “it stands to reason.”
I snorted decisively. As if Nick had any capacity to reason. He simply regurgitated what he read in the angry tabloids.
“We have an ageing population” I reiterated tiredly “We need immigration. Who looks after your old mum while you’re at work?” I knew the answer of course. Just as I knew what his response would be.
“Mums carers do a grand job of course,” he said “but there’s plenty of British that could do it just as well. And they get the training for it, don’t they? All paid for by us, and then they take the skills we give them and sod off home.”
“Ungrateful, that’s what it is” Carl chimed in. “after all we do for them.”
“Yeah, how dare they” I said sarcastically “Coming over here, looking after our old people and paying taxes. Going back home before they become a burden on our health and social care services. Bloody cheek.” My sarcasm was lost on Carl though, who seemed to think I had had some kind of road to Damascus style conversion to his point of view.
“They only swarm over here because of our welfare system.” Said Carl, nursing the very end of his pint without quite finishing it. He was adept at making sure he was always just finishing his drink just as someone else was heading getting a round in. “We’re too nice for our own good.”
“True that” said Nick, as Carl and Jason nodded vigorously. “They take all this benefit money in and give it away to their families abroad. We give ‘em all too much. No incentive to work, like.”

I despair, I really do.
“What I don’t understand,” Jason announced “is where it all stops? We ain’t got enough jobs for all these people. Locals can’t find no work, because the foreigners accept lower wages. You can live like kings in their countries for pennies, can’t you? So they put up with it and we get the rough end of the stick.”
“How is them getting shafted giving you a rough deal? “ I snarled, trying to keep my temper. “You’re angry at the wrong people Jase. You should be angry with the bosses paying slave wages, not the people so desperate they’ll take them.”
“Well it’s all less jobs for the locals, ain’t It? “ Jason retorted. “More of us scraping by on the dole because they take our jobs. Our Mickey is on the job seekers. It’s barely enough to live on, and that’s a fact.”
I had to get up and go to the bar at that point, in case I lost my temper. How can you even argue with people who think the benefits system is at once too generous and not generous enough, that foreigners take our jobs while living a life of luxury on unemployment benefits.
I roll over in bed, half opening one eye against the stabbing white morning light, groping about on the bedside table for my phone. I can check the election result online , it might jog my memory about last night. I better check I didn’t drunk dial my ex too.
My phone is switched off, which is kinda weird. I never switch it off, the first thing I do when I wake up every morning is look at the news online. I must have let the battery die. I plug it in and hold the power button until the screen lights up, then swing my feet out of bed. Judging by the taste in the back of my throat, last night involved kebabs. I need coffee.

I go for a pee while the kettle is boiling, then stare at myself in the mirror for a minute. No one has shaved off my eyebrows or drawn a cock on my face or anything. Maybe I wasn’t that pissed. I look old today though.
I finish making the coffee, dumping the last of the milk into it before carrying it back to bed. I can’t be bothered to fold the sheets and wrestle with the rusted mechanism to turn the mattress into a sofa yet. I pick up my phone and press the twitter icon.
The loading screen fills my screen for a moment and then a dialogue box pops up. ‘Access denied’. It has never said that before.
I press Facebook icon instead and again get the same message; ‘access denied’. I try both my browsers with the same result. It must be a network problem.
I sit and drink my coffee in the silence. I haven’t really got room for a TV here, not unless I got rid of the bookcase. I really want to see the election results, it’s annoying me that I don’t know. It would almost undoubtedly be the centre right party that used to be the centre left party. The country were too annoyed by the right wing party that used to be the centre right party who had been in charge over the last term, surely. The people had endured cut after cut, to public services, benefits, pensions, schools. They wouldn’t be so blinded by mainstream media as to vote them in for more of the same. I itched to be reading analysis, getting involved on the comment boards, finding out about all the key players in the new cabinet.
I fire off a quick text to my brother asking what the election result was.
“Pride In Britain, of course” he replied. He thinks he’s really funny, my brother. A right little comedian. Pride In Britain are barely a party, really, just a group of angry bigots who shout about “taking the country back” and “putting a halt to the eradication of British culture” and burble like idiots when asked to explain what that actually meant. If they got a single seat I’ll eat my hat.
I pull on jeans and a light jumper and search increasingly frantically for my wallet before finding it in the bedsheets. I even still have a few crumpled notes in there. I thought I’d be skint after last night’s skin full. I grab my sunglasses against the bright May glare and head out to the corner shop.

Our street is fairly quiet, but that’s not unusual for a Friday morning. The old man next door bids me a cheery “good morning” as he hoses his car down and I raise a hand in greeting. My mouth is still feeling a bit too acrid for speaking just now, and I know if I engage him any more than that I will end up standing here for the next half an hour hearing about the state of the potholes in the high street, how long it takes to get a doctors appointment at the local surgery, and the entire minutes of the save the library campaign’s last meeting. Not that I don’t want to save the library of course. But I’d rather do that when my head has stopped pounding and the nausea has passed. I need this hangover to hurry up and clear, I’m meant to be driving up to the coast this afternoon. Nice bit of camping, get away from it all for my annual leave.
A girl in a black niqab comes out of the newsagents just as I’m going in, so I step aside to let her pass.
“Thanks” she says, and I can see her smile in her intricately painted eyes. I see her most days, and most days I tell myself that next time I see her, I’ll ask her name.
“Morning Mr Singh” I call out cheerily, then stop dead.
The news rack is a sea of red, white and blue. Tabloids scream “Britain is Great Again”, “A New Dawn in British Pride” and “Pride In Britain” Broadsheets announce “Unprecedented Landslide Hands Pride In Britain Easy Victory”. Simon Dovesly’s smug grin is plastered over the front of every newspaper.
“You’ve got to be joking” I say out loud.
“Had you not heard?” Mr Singh asks.
“No, problems with my Internet today.” I say. I turn and see he has chosen to wear a union flag turban today. Whether he is nailing his colours to the mast, or quietly poking fun, I can’t tell. “I thought my brother was joking when he said Pride In Britain won the election.”
“Can you believe it?” says Singh “They won every single constituency. “
“That can’t be right.”
“It’s what the papers are saying. And it’s all over the TV.”
He reaches over and turns the volume of his tiny portable TV set up. Dovesly is halfway through his speech, spittle flying back out of the corners of his mouth.
“The establishment were against us from the start! “ he raged on screen “we had to fight the leftist media all the way. But we won every constituency. We showed them what Britain really wants. We’re tired of unchecked migration. We’ve had enough of our free speech being criminalised as racist. We’re sick of so called human rights laws dictating how we treat our prisoners. Britain has voted to take back control.”
“is this a wind up?” I say “are there hidden cameras or something?”
“I wish.” Singh sighs, shutting the sound back off again. “it’s a definite worry.”
“I don’t think you’ve anything to worry about mate.” I say “you’ve lived here what, 30, 35 years?”
“Yeah, I was born not far from here mate. I’m as British as chips in curry sauce.” He smiles “Still. Worrying that so many people voted them in.”
Every constituency though? Are the electoral commission looking into that?”
“If they are, I’ve not heard anything about it.” He says. “What can I get you?”
“One of every paper you’ve got please” I say, going to grab a can of fizz and a sausage roll, along with the milk I came in for.
“Even That Rag Which Shall Not be Named?” he asks, his eyes twinkling.
“Please. Internet withdrawals. Need to know what the enemy is saying.”
He rings up the papers and drink and asks if I want them tomorrow too.
“No thanks mate. I’m away for a few days. Camping. Hoping when I get back I will find out this has all been a misunderstanding.”
“We can hope.” He says as he gives me my change. “Hope the weather holds out for you.”
I put the coppers in the charity box and head back out into the sunshine.

I check my Internet connection while walking home. It still reads ‘Access denied’. That’s just weird. I’ll have to complain to the network provider.
I fold up the bed when I get in, opening up the space a bit. The fizz has cleared my head a little. I leaf through the papers while eating the sausage roll. Every one of them, even the usually fairly left wing Daily Voice, was framing this as a victory of ‘common sense’ and ‘free speech’ over ‘restrictive human rights legislation’ and ‘political correctness gone too far’. I couldn’t finish my breakfast. How did we get to this stage? Voting in a fascist, nationalist party in this day and age?
I remember, suddenly, sitting with my friend Giles last November, drinking the good cider and putting the world to rights. Good bloke, Giles. Bit posh, but I don’t hold it against him.
“I don’t understand how people like Hitler even get into power.” I had said “how can people be so stupid?”
“Well, fascism doesn’t come in in jack boots, kicking down doors, darling. It comes in wearing a suit, calling you brother” he said sagely.
“That’s a bit deep”
“Ah well, I’m quoting some clever bugger” he said “point is, it never starts out with transportations and labour camps. It starts with dividing people. It starts with blame.”
I pull my phone out of my pocket and try the Internet again. It still says ‘Access denied.’
I write a quick text to Giles. ‘dropping off grid for a week or two. Fancy a drink when I’m back?’
I get one back almost instantly. ‘don’t blame you – world gone mad! Bastards must have cheated election. Drink sounds good. Text me when you’re back. Having some Internet issues so not on emails just now. Speak soon.’
It feels weird, just sitting in the bedsit, not doing much. I leaf through the newspapers again, feeling panic rising in my belly once more. I thought we had said no more to this sort of thing back in the 40s.
I pack a bag and head out to the car, unable to just sit and read the hatred anymore. I’m fairly certain I’m sober enough to drive now. Might as well miss the weekend traffic.
The open road calms me a little. This is modern Britain, not 1930s Germany. We don’t stand for that sort of thing, we never have. There will be an investigation, I’m sure. They must have cheated. Our country is a tolerant nation. There’s no way a fascist party got in in every constituency by playing fair. It’ll all be sorted out. It might even be sorted by the time I get home. Today will fade into obscurity as a weird little blip in British history. We’ll laugh about it.
My history teacher’s voice echoes across the years.
“Where you have economic instability, extremism thrives.”
Things had been bad recently – I mean, we’d had a recession. We are on our way out of it, but everyone is feeling the pinch. Things aren’t that bad though, not yet. It takes more than a bit of belt tightening to turn the people of this country into fascists. Everything would sort itself out.

I relax and switch on the radio. Most channels seem to just be playing static, but the National Broadcast Channel is working. A calm toned female newsreader is talking about the new regime.
“Pride In Britain have vowed to tackle these issues head on, however, unveiling plans to counter non domestic extremism with a firm hand. In a statement, Deputy Leader Sara Polacki confirmed that the party intend to give the police added powers to stop and search those suspected of crimes relating to terrorism. She also confirmed that there will be a general curfew in place, from 7pm until 7am, for the duration of the national emergency. A full list of exempted occupations are available at-“
I turn the tuning nob in disgust, searching for music. Anything to make the world make sense again. The radio searches through fuzz, eventually settling on a talkshow.
“And it’s about time we showed those bully boys in the establishment whose boss!” the caller raged
“So you think that vote is the electorate effectively giving two fingers to traditional politics?”
“I think we’ve just had enough of stuffed shirts telling us what to think.” The caller yelled “Pride In Britain is just what our country needs.”
I hit the off switch in disgust. I can’t listen to that Little Englander crap. I drive the rest of the way to the campsite in a pensive silence.
The next twelve days are good for me. With my phone still not connecting to the Internet, I quickly started to feel like I was the only person on the planet. I went fishing in the cool, clear lake. I sat in the dappled shade and listened to bird song. I drank good bourbon while staring at the fire. I read my favourite books. Somewhere between the rolling green hills and the soaring blue sky, I found peace. If this was the calm before the storm, I would enjoy it.
I fantasised about staying out there, avoiding everyone forever. How easy it could be to just walk out of society, refuse to participate. But real life calls. I’ve only got two days of annual leave left.
I switch my phone on again and text Giles.
‘Are you around for a drink today?’
I reflexively try the Internet again while I wait for an answer, but it says the same message; ‘access denied’. I think I’m slightly relieved. I’m not quite ready to break the silence of this place with full on Internet chatter and noise. My phone chirps.
‘Sure. Come to the house.’ Says Giles’ reply text.
I pack up my few possessions and head to the car. Giles is the ideal person to ease back into being social with. He is measured, thoughtful, a true voice of reason in an increasingly turbulent world. I’ve always looked up to him. He will help me make sense of things.
I don’t listen to the radio on the way home, preferring instead to wear the comfortable silence a little longer.
I park in the familiar drive and knock on Giles’ front door. He opens it quickly, a large, unnatural grin on his face. His left arm and hand are bandaged in a sling.
“So nice to see you, do come in.” He says formally, the strange smile barely moving. “Can I offer you some tea?”
I have known Giles for nearly thirty years. He knows I don’t drink tea.
“You know I drink coffee” I say.
“Oh no!” Giles says “A proper English man drinks tea.”
I’m not sure if Giles is joking or not. This isn’t his usual humour. Why is he pulling that awful rictus grin?
“What did you do to your arm?”
Giles looks down at his splinted arm as if noticing it or the first time.
“Do you know, I’m not sure I recall.” He says, limping toward the kitchen. “How was your holiday?”
“So good. Didn’t see another soul the whole time I was away.” I say. “So what’s been happening? How’s the first fortnight under Pride In Britain gone?”
“Oh it’s been absolutely super” He grins, “We’ve never had it so good. Just what the country needed.”
I burst into uproarious laughter, but Giles doesn’t join in. My guffaws subside to chuckles and peter out to nothing. Giles continues to stare, his eyes blank, that terrible grin fixed to his face like a mask.
“Giles, what are you talking about? Did the result get overturned or something?”
“Of course not, who would dream of such a thing? It’s a real people’s victory!” Giles says with no hint of sarcasm. “We’ve finally triumphed against a system where we weren’t free to voice our concerns about immigration without being labelled racist, we-“
“Giles I know you don’t think this, what’s going on?” I snap. I’m starting to get really scared.
“I’ve woken up I suppose. “ Giles says “Pride In Britain are doing a brilliant job. Inflation has gone up a tiny bit, sure, but it’s short term.”
“You are literally writing a book on countering the rise of fascism. It’s been your life’s work this last decade, Giles.”
“No, no my dear you are quite mistaken.” Says Giles. “My book is on the importance of cultural cohesion, and the civil duty of citizens to obey the law.”
I’m so confused. My head starts to spin. This isn’t Giles. He might look like Giles, but he’s wearing Giles like a mask. This isn’t my friend.
“Giles, would it be okay if I went and used your bathroom for a while? I’ve been camping, I need to freshen up.”
“Of course, of course. You’ll be wanting a shave too I should think. Under the anti terrorism act, all full or partial face coverings are prohibited. Anything more than two day stubble might get you into trouble.” He says it cheerfully, as if that’s no problem at all. “There are disposable razors in the cabinet.”

I run the tap and stare at myself in the mirror for a long time. I should be trying to rationalise this, or be panicking, or something. Instead I am numb. I can’t begin to work out what could possibly have happened to Giles to have changed him so deeply. I owe it to him to at least try to work out what has happened.
When I go back down, my face feeling oddly bare, Giles has set out some tiny cucumber sandwiches, a plate of biscuits, and a pretty porcelain tea set on the coffee table. It’s like an American parody of Englishness. His face is still stuck in that puppet-like grin.
“So what have you been up to these last couple of weeks?” I asked, trying to keep my tone light, conversational. “and how’s Brendan?”
“Brendan…Brendan..” Giles murmured, as if he has no recollection of his fiancée, who he has been living with this last year. “Oh you mean the degenerate boy who I tried to help? Disappeared. You can’t help some people. He was a rubbish lodger, anyway.”
Is this what’s happened to him? Brendan has flounced off after a fight and Giles has had some kind of breakdown?
“Anyway, brilliant news. I met someone.”
“Oh! Already? I…Well, whose the lucky guy?”
“Her name is Cynthia. Beautiful thing. I met her at the education centre.” He takes a sip of his tea. This can’t be happening. Giles has never had an interest in women. “She can trace her lineage back six generations you know. On both sides.”
“I…sorry. where did you say you met her?” I don’t know what to say. Her lineage? This is really scaring me now. Adrenaline is thudding through me. I can’t believe I’m scared of Giles. But I want to run.
“The education centre. I went there to get my Internet license you see. I was allowed to stay a while. Something about my Internet postings. I got the full residential.”
“The full residential?” I think I’m going to be sick.
“Yes, Craig. The full package.” I can’t stop staring at that fixed smile. Has it been done surgically? It shouldn’t be possible to smile like that while speaking.

“I kept getting the access denied message when I tried to log on. Got myself down the education centre quick – if you keep logging on when you’ve been told your access is denied, you can get in trouble. So I went to apply for a license, and got told I was on the VIP list. Stayed for a good week, I think. It was all such a blur. Lots of telly. Relaxing with the tabloids. So many pretty girls there. There were classes I think…and spa treatments? It was so relaxing, I can’t really remember.” He takes another dainty sip of tea.
“Do you know” he says looking at me square in the eye, his fixed grin at once tortured and comedic “I’ve not been able to stop smiling since.”
“I really should be getting on.” I say.
“Of course. You don’t want to have to break curfew. Can’t very well go back to work with broken fingers, can you?” he laughs manically. I try to join in.
“You’re a good patriot, and a good friend, Craig. See you soon.”
I drive away as quick as I can, feeling like I was being chased, even though I know I’m not. Bile rises in my throat. Giles just called me a good patriot. The man who, despite his denials, has spent the last decade working on a book called “Evil and The Nature of Nationalism.”
I pull into my street and idly wonder what has become of the girl with the intricately painted eyes. Out of sheer habit more than anything I pop into Mr Singh for a can of fizz and a sausage roll to take home. I’m going to sleep in my own bed and hope it all makes more sense when I wake up.
“Afternoon Mr – oh. Where’s Mr Singh?” I say to the red haired, plump woman behind the counter. She turns to face me and my blood freezes. Her face is contorted into a fixed, unnatural grin.
“Oh, he relocated” she said dreamily, then dropped her voice to a stage whisper that easily carried as far as her sing song speaking voice. “They’re happier among their own kind.”
I back away a bit, a grab my can of pop. I want to run, but I try to keep calm, avoid spooking her. I put it on the counter with a rumpled ten pound note.
“Would you like the paper?”
“Sure, I’ll grab a Daily Voice if you’ve got one”
“That’s not funny.” She snaps, here voice stern, her face still smiling. “This is a respectable, grateful establishment. We are proud to only stock Britain’s News here. We’d never be caught selling anything else! We know we’ve never had it so good.”
“Sorry. My mistake, I-“
“Good day.” She says pointedly through her smile, her eyes furious. She thrusts 25pence change into my hand. I’m not going to argue. I grab my can and the paper and get out of there, virtually sprinting home.

I fumble with my keys at my front door. It will be good to be back home. I can shut the door on the world. Work out what to do next.
“You there! What’s that book you’ve got there?” An authoritative voice demands. I turn, and see three men, dressed in camouflage, looking serious.
“Sticking out of your bag, there.” The middle one strides forward and grabs at my backpack. My book is indeed sticking out of my bag.
“Isn’t this book on the banned list?” he says, grabbing it out of my bag. “Incitement against the British people”
“It’s Orwell.” I say “He was English-“
“He was a traitor.” The soldier says “Are you a traitor, boy?”
“What? Of course I’m not a-“
But then there was a flash of white light and stabbing pain as someone hit me over the head. The world went suddenly dark as I was hooded. I tried not to panic but they were drawing a string around my throat.
The world went blacker.

A Statement From the BBC

Reading Time: 2 minutes
John McHarg 

A Statement from the BBC

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