Sunday 11 February 2024

The Sunday Ishmael: 11/02/2024

 It is embarrassing, in the same way that hobble-de-hoys, trying to join in grown up conversation and impress their elders with their wit, are deeply, dreadfully embarrassing, their mothers pinning on a proud smile, while flushing unbecomingly brick red, as the pubescent son launches off-colour jokes and swear words that they have just discovered, and their fathers don a rictus grin, thinking, dear god, did I father that? What was I thinking of? Surely it is the product of a steamy afternoon liaison whilst I was away at the office?
It's embarrassing and nasty, vicious little jibes crafted by spads and apparatchiks, with the tribe baying, hooting and catcalling, jostling to hold their man's coat as he yells - there, your mother's a whore, and the leader of the opposing tribe shouts with equal gusto, so's your mammy, didn't I see her on the internet last night, having sex with a pig, at least it's honest work, not like you, you stinking gabshite? And his tribe laughing and gurning, there, got you. What you going to do about that?
It's undignified, the opposite of statesmanlike and nofuckingway to run a country. But it is the corner stone of Great British Parliamentary Democracy in the Mother of All Parliaments - public school boys writhing on the green benches, jeering, sneering and smirking, just like they learned in their expensive, exclusive and ancient "charitable" educational establishments. Wiki tells us that the now famous disorderly behaviour of MPs during PMQs first arose as a result of the personal animosity between Harold Wilson and Edward Heath; before this PMQs had been lively but comparatively civilised.
For our overseas readers and those UK readers who don't pay much attention, (and who can blame them), Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs, officially known as Questions to the Prime Minister,) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom, currently held as a single session every Wednesday at noon when the House of Commons is sitting, during which the prime minister answers questions from members of Parliament (MPs). The Institute for Government has described PMQs as "the most distinctive and internationally famous feature of British politics." The leader of the opposition asks six questions at PMQs, and the leader of the third largest parliamentary party asks two questions. It is all a bit of a game, with everyone taking their turn to be rude, kicked off by the first formal question on the Order Paper, posed by simply saying "number one, Mr [Madam] Speaker",  to ask the prime minister "if he [she] will list his [her] engagements for the day". The prime minister  replies: "This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today."
The reason for such a ridiculous format is that, historically, the prime minister may be questioned only as to those matters that (s)he is directly responsible for. These are relatively few in number, because most stuff falls into the purview of other Cabinet ministers. By requiring the prime minister to list his/her engagements, the follow up question is ought the prime minister be engaged in some other activity or be taking some other action. Or, in the common parlance, all hell breaks loose. As mr ishmael put it:
"fawned-upon, pampered, dishonest as the day is long, these two chancers swing handbags at each other as each milks the dead for all they are worth".
And that's what happened this Wednesday, with Starmer turning Sunak's personal jibe about his uncertainty about defining what a woman is (an adult female of the human species) into mockery of the 16 year old trans girl, Brianna Ghey, dead at the hands of her two 15 year old chums, whilst - you couldn't make this stuff up - her mother was visiting the Chamber, in pursuit of her personal crusade to get something done about all this. (see The Sunday Ishmael 4/02/2024). She's probably about to be sainted, Esther Ghey, as the media falls over itself to praise her cool intelligence, her quiet composure and her nose ring, her determination to make a public figure of herself instead of staying home quietly grieving, then getting on with the rest of her life.
So, sucks to Rishi, with his tin ear for what is allowable, even in the bear pit of PMQs, but I really wanted to slap Starmer, up on his high horse, with his "I can't believe you said that, with Saint Esther in the gallery."
Sunak is refusing to back down and say sorry, just sticking to his line of that's what we do, in the Mother of all Parliaments, insult each other every Wednesday. Great Tradition.
Compounding his foolishness, the skinny (he fasts for 36 hours every Sunday through to Tuesday) Leader of our Great Nation, had just taken a bet with Piers Morgan, on television - a thousand pounds says you won't get illegal immigrants extradited to Rwanda before the election. Rwanda, the UK Government asseverates, is a safe country because "most alleged human rights violations" are against its own nationals who criticise the government. Like journalist Dieudonne Niyonsenga, who was acquitted in the Rwandan courts of fraud, illegally impersonating a journalist and obstructing public works, but retried following the Rwandan Government appeal and found guilty on all charges and a fresh one of "humiliating state officials" and jailed for seven years, where he is held in solitary confinement and beaten daily.
It's not that Morgan is a giant - although he is what we used to call "a well-made man" - Rishi really is that tiny, his sweet little braceleted hand lost in Morgan's man-sized fist, as they shake on a really bad-taste bet that simultaneously revealed Sunak's contempt for the migrants and his own vast riches in which a £1000 bet is no more than a lottery ticket is for most folk. I don't do betting - apart from a brief addiction to those penny fruit machines at Blackpool when I was a kiddie about a hundred years ago -
and neither, little Rishi swears, does he. Gambling that is. Unfortunately for him, the BBC has unearthed a clip of him in an interview on the BBC's Test Match Special podcast in July last year, saying spread-betting was "great" and gushing about spending a summer gambling on the cricket.
He really should eat something. I swear he's shrinking. He's about the size of the Dwarf Zelensky now:
and we know Zelensky's diminutive proportions:
That brings me round to Tucker Carlson's interview of Putin. Did you see it? I saw some highlights - I skipped the history lesson on mediaeval Russia, although I'm sure it was most informative. I appreciated Putin's reassurance that he was not going to embark on global thermonuclear war, and kinda believed him when he said that Boris Johnson had scuppered the peace deal negotiations with Ukraine - it was the way he held his finger and thumb about an inch apart when he described the size of the peace document - that had the ring of truth. I can also believe that Johnson would have wanted to torpedo a peace deal - after all, it was his war, he was doing well out of it in the popularity stakes. From my half-remembered history lessons I was sure that there had been a War of Johnson's Ear, which would have been nice. Unfortunately, it turns out to have been called the War of Jenkins' Ear, referring to Robert Jenkins, captain of the British brig Rebecca. Apparently, Jenkins' ear was sliced off by Spanish coast guards while searching his ship for contraband in 1731. Nobody bothered too much about this, apart from Captain Jenkins, until, some seven years later, the incident was used to incite support for a war against Spain in order to improve British trade in the Caribbean, including retaining
the lucrative Asiento de Negros giving British slave traders permission to sell slaves in Spanish America. Has it occurred to anyone else that we were born into the wrong side?
Tucker Carlson, thrilled to be in Moscow and interviewing the great Putin, was a little uncomfortable, but Putin took pains to set him at his ease with a joke or two. When Carlson asked "who bombed Nordstream?" Putin looked him in the eye and said "you did". No, really, has it occurred to anyone else that we were born into the wrong side?
Talking of dastardly politicians, which we always are, I saw Vice this week. It is described as an American biographical political satire comedy-drama film. Which is a bit like Polonius' comment, in Hamlet: " tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral". 
Directed, written, and produced by Adam McKay, the film follows Dick Cheney on his path to becoming the most powerful vice president in American history and the exploiter of the "theory of the unitary executive" - the theory says the president has ultimate control over the executive branch. So, basically he can do what he wants. As CEO of Haliburton (the world's second largest oil service company), from 1995 to 2000, both Cheney and Haliburton did rather well out of the Gulf War. Cheney retired from Haliburton during the 2000 U.S. presidential election campaign with a severance package worth $36 million. As of 2004, he had received $398,548 in deferred compensation from Halliburton while Vice President. He has received stock options from Halliburton.
The film tells us that Cheney's actions lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq, extraordinary rendition, torture and Guantanamo. Cheney is impersonated by Christian Bale, in a fat suit and facial prostheses. Highly recommended, if you don't mind being extraordinarily rendered into a state of impotent fury and the certainty that we were born into the wrong side. You can catch it on i-player, if you are quick.
Here's a fun story that isn't a fun story at all - Scottish Poetry Library's Deputy Director Ali Barr used the Bard chatbot to compile a list of Scottish poetry books published in 2023.  Bard's list contained 12 books, complete with descriptors - for example Kevin Williamson's The House of the Fox "a dark and atmospheric collection of poems that explores themes of alienation, violence and the human condition", and What the Sea Gives by Alan Riach "a collection of poems that explores themes of nature, memory and the Scottish landscape" . Ali Barr wanted to read them, but unfortunately, Bard had made them all up, including titles and descriptors. Only seven of the twelve authors named are real Scottish poets. Barr should have asked Bard to write the poems whilst he/it was in the zone.
Sardonic wit, political satire and biting cynicism from mr ishmael can be found in the four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre, collected and curated by editor mr verge.

Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack, Ishmael’s Blues, and the latest, Flush Test (with a nice picture of the late, much lamented, Mr Harris of Lanarkshire taking a piss on a totem pole) are available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover :
Link for Paperback :

At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.


Mike said...

I didn't realise Dishy Rishi was so puny, until I saw him with Zelensky (who is widely derided as a physical (as well as mental) midget. Not a good luck. I have no idea who is the leader of the Welsh assembly but if it is another person from the "sub-continent" I would not be surprised. A trifecta, as we say Down Here.

The Putin interview was historic. Poor old Tucker was way out of his league. He was off the pace and his soundbite questions were from the American-infantile genre. But kudos to Tucker he gave Putin access to a Western audience, and no doubt will be vilified for it. After 2 days the interview had been viewed nearly 200 million times - and that is just the English translated version. There are other versions out there in Chinese, Japanese etc.

You missed a treat with the history lesson - going back over one and a half millennia. It proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ukraine was an artifact, and modern Ukraine (less than 100 years old) was a Soviet construct from Russian, Polish, and Hungarian lands - whence it will soon return. This was the first sign Tucker didn't geddit as he was getting restless during the lecture.

I hear BBC "fact-checkers" have disputed some of the historical facts, but notice that Vlad gave Tucker a folder with copies of original documents from the time as proof, anticipating nit-pickers. BTW, those copies from the Kremlin archives will be historically precious in themselves.

Vlad put Tucker in his place early on with an off-the-cuff remark that young Tucker applied to join the CIA, but was rejected, which Tucker did not deny. Clearly Vlad had done his homework, and Tucker had not.

The rest of the 2 hours was vintage Vlad - a man at the absolute top of his game, head and shoulders above the mental pygmies in the West.

BTW the question of the peace agreement that Boris scuppers (at the American's behest) is proven fact. There is video of it when Vlad showed it to an African delegation. I was surprised Vlad didn't give Tucker a copy (unless it was in the document folder).

Needless to say, the truth bombs delivered are being ignored in the west. But truth will out.

Mike said...

Update: I totally understated it. Its 1 billion views - and counting.

inmate said...

Agree with everything you say Mr Mike, it was impressive to see a man at the top of his game. No notes, no teleprompter, it all seemed to flow naturally, ffs Sanook can’t even do a five minute party political broadcast without reading it of a screen.

Now, donning my tinfoil flat cap, I’ve read and watched the real plan for Ukie; the new Jewish homeland, a return to their roots for the ruling Ashkenazi, leaving the ‘tolerated’ Sephardic to an uncertain future in Palestine. Just think about it, no pesky Ukrainians left, massive investment, already, by Blackrock (Fink), Vanguard (Rothschild), Statestreet (Rockerfella), makes sense, both Vlad and the EU have to tolerate the wandering tribesmen, mineral and agriculture rich land, a buffer of sorts between east and west and best of all no more sandniggers to deal with. A one state solution for both Israel/Palestine and Ukraine.
Apparently there has never been a Sephardic President or prime minister of Israel since it’s formation.

mrs ishmael said...

I can see that I shall have to go back to the video for the history lesson, mr mike - thanks for the link.
And yes, the BBC are rubbishing Tucker and giving a platform to those who have interpreted Putin's body language and have diagnosed that he's had a left-side stroke - on the basis of him tapping his foot repeatedly and adjusting one hand with the other. The grey folder and the history lesson are being spun as evidence of Putin's unhealthy obsession.
I thought he presented as controlled, kindly and wise - no doubt an image he wanted to project. At least his detractors concede that you couldn't have had a career as successful as Putin has had without possessing an intellect of the highest order.
A vox pop in Moscow of reactions to the interview included an older lady, carefully wrapped against the biting cold (there was floating ice on the river), who respectfully said "I will carefully consider what our President has said."

mongoose said...

What I saw was a man who appeared to be more than somewhat educated about the history of his own country and of europe, especially of eastern europe. He was also quick-witted, and eloquent in a way that Western politicians used to be but are now not. Can you imagine him going toe-to-toe with Biden or Rishi Wee?

mrs ishmael said...

Flash-in-the-pan Tiny Sunak, dressing too young for either his age or position, incapable of uttering anything but soundbites and is always wrong? And very-elder statesman Biden, god bless him, who seldom knows what day it is or, indeed where he is? Both puppets of their respective establishments - going toe-to-toe against Putin, who is in command both of his brief and his country? How embarrassing would that be?
I think Xi Jinping is also under-estimated, denigrated and demonised by the British media, no doubt for political and partisan reasons. He seems to know what he's about and understands Putin in a way that the West refuses to. Moreover, he's got a nice face, unlike Biden, who looks like a frightening vulture with hooded eyes. When you get to that age, you've grown the face you deserve, with sins and greed writ large.