Wily Wilson & Tendentious Theresa – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE



It is hard to imagine the cost to the treasury for Theresa Mays sartorial elegance, each day with a new outfit, and rather like Imelda Marcos, a change of shoes. Unlike Harold Wilson, who generally looked like a badly packed parcel, it was he who reckoned that, “What was good enough for my father, is good enough for me,” with a few baggy suits, to prove it.

She represents a time in politics, where the edges have become so chamfered and blurred, that the truth has become totally deniable, during the normal course of parliamentary events, and an inconvenience during question time in Westminster.

He – with too many fingers in post WW2 and Cold War politics, together with an alleged illicit relationship with Lady Falkender – had become the favourite subject of conversation for a largely upper crust Tory secret service, which acted as private contractors to the then Conservative Party.

Two controlling Prime Ministers, from different sides of the House of Commons, one might hardly imagine that they had much in common at all, considering the divide of time and the capriciousness of politics, but they did. In two words, it is stubbornness and paranoia, which draws these two unlikely Prime Ministers together. It is also a fact that neither of them has ever taken a blind bit of notice, of what their cabinet perceives to be the best course of action, either now or in the past.

Rather like the headmistress of some snooty girls’ school, who considers it commendable that her underlings should have well crafted opinions, which she then totally ignores on principal, and he – like a somewhat arrogant Huddersfield secondary modern headmaster – whilst condemning the excesses of Communism, did much the same. But what was, and is, the motivating factor which has influenced these two politico’s?

Both arrogant and contemptuous of their own kind – not just the UK voting public – but manipulative and generally divisive in Parliament, both seem to have enjoyed their fair share of stubbornness. Or, was it paranoia, which seemed to be the their common weakness?

She with her long list of defrocked cabinet ministers, dreadfully feared as possible contenders for her job, and in Wilsons case, because – having lived in the twilight world of Cold War politics – he was finally believed to be a Soviet spy. Blatantly pursued by MI5, he started locking himself in his Westminster office – and refusing to speak to anyone – was where he would conduct UK government business over the phone, with the help Lady Falkender! Oh, dear!

Both having lost touch with reality, one can only suspect that their respective experience of such profound pathological obsessions, was to believe that the gremlins were after them, if not a few million agitated British subjects.

Although Harold Wilson had the good grace to resign on March 16th, 1976, Wilson left us with three well known quotations:

1.A week, is a long time in politics.

2. He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

3. One man’s wage increase is another man’s price increase.

And Theresa May, what is her well documented quote, whist still refusing to resign?

I will get you the best possible deal!

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Britains Brexit Ballsup – Patrick Brigham Live

Suddenly they are all at it, both intellectuals and witless numpty’s, and all saying the same thing –

“We didn’t realize how bad things would be if Great Britain, left the EU.”

Best described as a suicide pact, apparently it is only now that the penny has dropped, and the true catastrophic financial facts finally revealed. Total bollocks! These Brexiteers have known about it all along, and have tried to drive the British public towards a cliff edge, like a bunch of gormless lemmings, from day one.

Three years ago, we journalists were listing all our ghastly expectations, in the realization that Brexit had been on the cards for decades. There has always been a bunch of hard core Brexiteers, since  1993, the Maastricht Treaty, and before when the EU all began. All well and good.

But where do their supporters come from, and are they all wicked conspirators, or simply blithering idiots? Everyone in Europe is fed up with corporate greed, absurd salaries being paid to top executives, and in some cases – especially in Eastern Europe – of politicians being gifted with valuable property assets. That, and the overtaxing of the meagre wages of low paid workers, it has become so obviously unfair that people have reacted in the only way they know how.

Like the yellow vest was in France, a vote for Brexit was a very British cry for help from people in the Midlands and citizens of the North East. Believing that they would finally be noticed, receive a fair a share of commercial investment, and new but meaningful jobs, but all they have managed to do is quite the opposite, and Brexit is loosing money fast.

The right wing cotton tops and conservatives were equally misled by our squirming government – who changed their tune and contradicted themselves daily – but the cotton tops had their eyes set on a new and invigorated British Commonwealth, past imperialism, and UKs reinstatement as a colonial and commercial world power.

They must have looked at the future through their cataracts with growing anticipation, and a great deal of optimism. Ships lining up outside African ports, stuffed to the gunnels with jars of Marmite and Branston pickle, and all those other wonderful things made in the UK that the world has been so unreasonably deprived of since joining the EU. Not forgetting container loads of delicious Cadburies Milk Chocolate, and tins of Ovaltine bedtime drinks, all sent to nourish the natives of our colonial past. Bullshit! These conniving little governmental weasels never even got past the first post, because they thought that it could all be done with smoke and mirrors.

What with cotton tops eulogizing over the past exploits of Lord Kitchener, Gordon of Khartoum – the Duke of Wellington triumphing over Napoleon at Waterloo – and the oft repeated, “we won the war,” I am not entirely surprised. This is because very little of it is strictly true, or at best is an exaggeration. But nostalgia has this effect, when we look through the prism of time , conveniently bypassing the back to back slums, the appalling mortality rate of children, and people dying in their thousands of the flue. Yes, those were the days.

Them and us ‘Western’”societies don’t work any more. Knowing your place and the class system has mellowed into a kind of multicultural potpourri, being posh is gifted to absurd clowns like Rees-Mogg and Boris; who are as phony as hell, and who practice their bad impersonation of Hugh Grant, by saying silly things during interviews on the telly, and the opposite tomorrow. People with double barrel names, and cockney accents, living in a society which seems almost lost, is Great Britain now to be called Little England?

Maybe it’s a wake up call to the British? Whilst our Theresa does the dance macabre throughout Europe and perhaps our daily lives, threatening and cajoling, pleading – and spitting venom at any Brit who tries to stand in her way – are we all now lesser people because of her?

Surplus to Requirement? – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

All that the Brexit debacle has proved, is the utter irrelevance of the Westminster parliament, the House of Commons is a joke, the British Government a version of The Muppet Show, and Theresa May is a charlatan Prime Minister, who is busy wrecking our country.

There are decent MPs of course – who are largely ignored – but most are a bunch of mendacious clowns, clinging to their salaries, and kowtowing to their ever changing party lines, with little hope for the future. I think that the best solution is to close down both Houses of Parliament completely, and hand over the keys to Brussels. Thereby ripping up Article 50, and dispersing with the bloody fools who agreed to it, we could all then sleep peacefully in our beds. Ah, that’s better!

In a way, what I have said is the underlying reason for Brexit. British politics has never been the same since WW2, when to Divide and Conquer Europe, became a thing of the past. With no more pointless wars to conjure up from nothing, no more territories to colonise, and with only the memory of our valiant past, perhaps Great Britain is not so great any more.

Powerful, rich, but decidedly paunchy, with the antics of the current Tory government in full flow – and getting up the nose of the whole of Europe – how long will it be before we talk of Little England, Ireland as a one nation state, with Wales and Scotland as federated parts of Europe.

“We would never allow it,” I hear our noble parliamentarians say. But, you don’t seem able to do anything these days, without appearing to be neutered, pointless, and quite frankly, boring. “They couldn’t organize a piss up in a brewery,” seems to be the general consensus of the present government, and, “She couldn’t run bloody a sweet shop,” refers to our very own weaseling Theresa May.

With only days to go, and politics running at the same level as parts of Eastern Europe, I am ashamed of my country, for the first time in my life. What say you?

Full English Brexit or Petit Dejeuner? – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

If I could choose, my question would be, “Is the British appetite ready for a sudden influx of high calorie torment, or a continued and moderate consumption of continental angst?”

The first choice – and a somewhat mixed metaphor – is rather like a game of snakes and ladders, which rather depends on a roll of the dice to determine the outcome. Chance, because it is as unclear as a cup of lukewarm English tea to most of us – including the British government itself – what the positive outcome could possibly be.

The second choice, and more of the same, is about staying put in a known environment, and continuing to benefit from a union which has so far proved to be very successful over a number of years, and a bit of a no brainer, you might say. Well, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The alleged UK political elite has generally raised a Gallic finger, not only to their voters, but unquestionably to each other. For affirmation of this sweeping statement, please hit the YouTube button and watch Prime Ministers Question Time.  Not exclusively on the subject of Brexit and the future of one of Europes greatest and oldest nations, Westminster these days is about political infighting, and dare I say it, personal malice and vindication.

Dominated by a very skilled and determined prime minister – but only in the House of Commons – it seems to me that Theresa Mays politics are more Churchillian in nature than one might presuppose. Never giving in – despite what her parliamentary votes may tell her – she still sticks to the My deal, or No Deal mantra, rather like a deranged telephone answering machine, knowing that a further parliamentary rebuttal is around the corner.

I often wonder if it is her intention to quash Brexit, by attempting the impossible task of trying to make it happen, and then failing dismally. If it turns out that supporters of such a deranged suicidal attempt are a tad disappointed, well, good!

Crucial Brexit Choices? – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

It seems that Theresa May has worked her magic again, and turned much of the UK and Europe into simpering psychotics. By repeating her favourite mantra, like some deranged metallic speaking clock, we are informed each day that “It’s either my deal or no deal.”

Absolute bollocks, which any sane person must surely know, it takes me back to Monty Pythons Flying Circus, when – in one of their more alarming skits about a then-current TV panel game – a prizewinning contestant is asked, “What would you prefer, a kick up the arse, or a blow on the head?”

Any sane person would immediately reply “Neither,” but in the strange world of politics, where speaking gobbledegook is quite normal, Mays proposal has become a kind of irrational choice; an understandable translation being, “Would you prefer a bad choice, or an even worse one?”

In the end, of course, she has only one argument, which concerns the Will of The People, because the rest of her rhetoric is drivel. Full of false promises and demagogic crap, it is hard to forget how certain politicians – in fact, most – treated the referendum as a good laugh, and an opportunity to indulge in irresponsible sixth form debating society antics, making sure that today’s truths were cynically hidden from voters eyes and ears.

A government which couldn’t run a sweet shop, a Tory cabinet at odds with itself, an opposition which is tearing itself apart – whilst wise heads are ignored – all this adds up to the EU’s own project, to Divide and Conquer Great Britain. The imagined fate of the European Union itself – by a somewhat thick and a comically treacherous Conservative Party – it has tragically backfired, leaving a country in a total division, and gasping at the prospect of a bottomless black hole.

A Westminster Dream Factory? – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

It used to be called The House of Commons, then as the EU progressed, it was renamed a Talking Shop, but anybody with two brain cells can now see how parliament has completely lost touch with reality and has become Britains very own Dream Factory. It now seems that, short of rediscovering an old DVD of Morecambe & Wise, or even our beloved Tommy Cooper, for amusement and light entertainment, the House of Commons will keep you in stitches – just like that!

The secret about fiction is not to go too far,  because in essence fiction is the Suspension of Disbelief, and that is what this largely incompetent Tory government tries to do with the British public. Like many, I adore the theatre, the way that a skilled playwright can invite an audience to share his or her flights of fancy, so that – on leaving the theatre – one is left with higher thoughts about morality, and the human condition.

These days, the British Parliament and the government now seem more akin to Bertram Mills Circus. Of course, there will always be clowns, I grant you, but there are also trapeze artists, jugglers, a few performing bears, and even the odd elephant in the room as well.

The ringmaster – or Speaker of The House, as they call him – has his work cut out to control the noisy gesticulating, and often mindless interruptions made by these entertainers – most of whom believe that they are serving their constituents’ interests – but gifted with a loud voice, he somehow manages to keep order.

Some people can’t take no for an answer, and the star of the show – the obnoxious Theresa May – is no exception. Rather like any Prima Donna, she can’t stand criticism, and as a result spits venom and hurtful remarks at anyone who deigns to disagree with her fantasy solutions, to the UK present Brexit conundrum.

 Not only does she shout down any disagreement with a lot of irrelevant piffle, but the contempt she shows to each and everybody, even made Good Queen Elizabeth – with one of her delightful off stage remarks – recommend further thoughts of compromise.

There is a difference between fiction and fantasy, because the former is creative, and the latter delusional, but Brexit has gone one stage further, and now resides within the realms of total denial.  Most of Europe is laughing at the UK government’s antics and so-called British democracy. Especially at the lies and blatant drivel – which is still being bandied around – by those who have come to believe that the British are a bunch of thick, half-educated and gullible fools, who will believe anything they are told. Let us hope that in future there may be an honest government which can actually govern, which in truth, might be better left to Brussels.

Chose A Subject or Just Write? – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

Author Patrick Brigham

My views are not always popular, now the internet is swamped with ‘How To Books,’ mostly written by people who don’t really know, but know a lot about SEO and publicity. It almost seems that – if you don’t choose Murder Mystery or Young Adult Romance as a genre – you are a dead duck, and you better wise up! But in a world which dreams of instant gratification, and overnight success, how much of this is true?

In an interview on Greek TV last night, author Hillary Mantel quickly discovered that her two interviewers were not fawning numpties, but a couple of well-read critics; now her books have been translated into the Greek language. Greece is a cultured country, with many popular indigenous authors, and despite their internal political and financial problems, they do look outside the box.

Hilary Mantel, English writer, twice Booker prize winner, photographed at Aldwych Theatre where her plays Wolf Hall and Bring up the bodies are playing, Drury Lane, London, UK,.

Hilary Mantel was very honest about her own work, and made it quite clear that short of a memoir or two, she only writes on subjects she finds personally comfortable, and about things she is familiar with. She also admitted that – up and until Wolf Hall, and Bring Up The Bodies – she had always had very good reviews, but had not sold many books. She told viewers that ‘the numpties’ often asked her how it was that she had become an overnight success, to be told that she had been writing and publishing books for fifty years.

So, once again, we find ourselves as writers, gifted with the ultimate reality check, and faced with every writer’s dilemma. Do we write about what we know and understand, or do we join the queue, and trot out cheap fiction, which is treated with as much respect as a spam sandwich or a magazine about lipstick?

What am I writing about today? I am fictionalizing my former life, unmasking some very unpleasant and shallow people from the past, and having a good laugh!

A Very Peculiar Choice – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

I have been strangely quiet over the Christmas holiday, New Year and my birthday in January, but having now returned home to Greece from London, I have a few final remarks to make about Brexit, and the moral decline of the political classes in the House of Commons. I won’t go over old grounds – my views are very clear – but why do people like Theresa May and her cohorts, continue to insult the intelligence of the British MPs? Unless she is a good judge of character, and they are really quite stupid, what is so terrible about remaining in the European Union, and of openly discussing it?

I have likened it to a very short play, called A Very Peculiar Choice:-

I have watched the debate in Parliament with interest, and in each and every speech, either for or against PM Mays horrifying EU draft agreement, none have had the guts to try and kick it into touch, despite Party whips, mandates or policies. They all seem to want to engage in elegant and contrived rhetoric, where their thin and ambiguous words, hardly touch the sides. Are they all jobs-worths?

In or out of the horrid deal, does not mean the end of life as we know it, it means UK stays where it is in the EU, and to prosper as before. Before we had to listen to speculative, mendacious, and the downright lies of certain politicians – excluding Michael Gove who seems to have a brass neck – who seem to have gone away on holiday; and if they had any sense at all, would bloody well stay there.

On To The Next Book – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

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Spring has sprung in Northern Greece, the signs of winter are  disappearing and I no longer have to light my pellet stove in the evening, to keep warm. But that is not the only change, because once again as an author, I am moving away from my usual murder mystery genre with another stand-alone novel, and into the realms of literary fiction. Why the change, I should explain?

I had a life before moving to South Eastern Europe, and I had a life before I moved to London in the 70s. In fact, when I seriously started writing in the late 80s, I believed that the past was all there was. My then warts and all novel was to be about my early life, a rather haphazard marriage, the tragedy of an early divorce, the consequence of near bankruptcy, and my ultimate comeback.

As a young man, it was hard enough for me to deal with all these problems then, but later on it became even harder for me to write about it; I was still far too close. This all happened nearly forty years ago, well before my first attempt at this cathartic novel, which I fondly imagined was going to knock the world of publishing dead. But then I put it away, filed it under the past, and then promptly forgot about it.

Recently opening a bulging box file, having first removed the dust and cobwebs, I rediscovered the early attempt of my great novel, only to find that – far from being cathartic and serious – it was rather funny. From the typed foxed pages, there seemed to be a very little tragedy in my early life, just change. Through the consoling prism of maturity, it now transpires that things which once hurt me, now only amuse me. ‘Did that really happen? What a fool I must have been?’

What was good, was to rediscover strong characterization, and even a good plot. After all, it was my fictionalized history, so there must have an element of truth in it, although, my warts and all prospectus seemed very little like the new me. Perhaps, after all,  the book is about misplaced ambition, youthful endeavor, romantic fantasy, jealousy, rage and intrigue? Or maybe, it is a book that explains how we all feel when we are young, fall in love and make mistakes. I will ask you again in a few months time when it is finished!

The Meddlesome Mr Khashoggi – PATRICK BRIGHAM LIVE

 

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In Jean Anouilh original stage play Becket: The Honour of God, and ultimately his 1964 film – with Peter O’Toole as Norman, King Henery II and Richard Burton as Saxon, Archbishop Thomas O’ Becket – it describes how two young men; who as inseparable friends, in later life become enemies.

The secular versus the Catholic Church, Mr Fixit Thomas, has turned into The Church of Romes henchman, by aligning himself with the Pope against Henry, and against his disagreements with Rome. Surely an analogy with present Saudi royalty; in Anouilh’s script, Henry – who still harbours great affection for his onetime cohort and drinking companion, Thomas – says in desperation: “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

More a rhetorical question than an order, it is enough to encourage some dimwitted Norman Barons to go to Canterbury Catedral, where they butcher Archbishop Thomas. Full of regret, and in the final scene Henry has himself flogged by Saxon monks, in retribution for causing the death of his friend.

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Hardly a flogging matter in Saudi Arabia, and to misquote William Shakespeare, one wonders whether ‘heads will now roll,” as these two historical incidents seem to coalesce, despite the passage of time.

I cannot understand why these incompetent assassins went to all the trouble they did to kill Jamal Khashoggi in this brutal way, when a swift stab wound with a stiletto in a car park or a muffled pistol shot, would have been far more effective; unless of course, they were acting under direct orders. But, under the direct orders of whom; an idiot?

Other than a general comment about Saudi freedom of speech, women’s rights, the ownership of property and assets, the marriage and divorce laws, and who gets the kids – most of which is sacred and established in our modern western society – it is hard to say why Khashoggi offended the Saudi state so much. Many western journalists are also concerned by certain inequalities in Saudi Arabia, a country where little value is put on servants and indentured workers – many who are treated like slaves – but we western journalists don’t seem to get bumped off.

All bad? Yes, but it is not news to anyone who has taken an iota of interest in the Middle East, or since reading TE Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom at school. I expect that the reason for this bloody murder was more tribal than anything else, and getting back to Laurence, it was probably an infringement of some obscure Arab moral code.

In the foreseeable future, and established by Arab custom, there will be a fairly unjust court case, where the minor players will be harshly punished. The major instigators will be severely admonished, whilst forced to pay huge amounts in blood money to the Khashoggi’s family – who in turn will profit greatly from Jamal’s death – and without a hint of sorrow or regret, it will all have been wrapped up neatly and forgotten about!