Well, Tsar Vladimir must be crapping himself; receiving a public ticking-off from a woman whose own Cabinet pays no heed to her authority must be like being asked outside by Walter the Softy. The PM last night used her speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet to issue a warning to Russia over its alleged cyber interference in recent European affairs, as well as the US Presidential Election of 2016. Trump remains unconvinced Russian online infiltration had any part to play in his unexpected victory last year, though to be honest he’s hardly likely to say otherwise. Granted, no concrete evidence of cyber skullduggery on the part of Moscow has yet to emerge, but the rumours persist.

If the desperate straw-clutching of our Democrat cousins across the pond a year on from Hillary’s disastrous attempt to return to the White House isn’t demoralising enough (for further details, see her whinging blame-game of a book), the need to attribute one’s own failure to another party has continued apace as all responsibility is absolved yet again. In case you didn’t already know, the reason a majority of Brits voted to leave the EU was due to the Russians. It’s official. No proof is available, naturally, but it had to be down to a malevolent alien force influencing the thought processes of those too stupid to make their own minds up, of course. It couldn’t be that many in this country were sick and tired of being dictated to by wealthy elites of tax-evading wankers and told that the grandiose gravy train of unelected Brussels bureaucrats was something their lives would be immeasurably poorer without.

I don’t believe Bob Geldof or Eddie Izzard truly understand the daily struggles of making do and mending at the bottom of the social ladder any more than Iain Duncan Smith does. The latter has never had it hard, so his perspective is formed by a lifetime of material comfort; on the other hand, the former may have both begun in humble surroundings, but were beneficiaries of eras when the edgy side of the entertainment industry offered a way out for terminal waifs and strays. For Izzard, it was the arse-end of ‘Alternative Comedy’; for Geldof, it was Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The Boomtown Rats reaching No.1 with ‘Rat Trap’ in November 1978 was a hugely significant pop cultural moment and shouldn’t be underestimated. No act from the Punk/New Wave scene had scaled the summit of the charts up to that point; yes, The Sex Pistols had unofficially done so the year before, but the music biz had conspired to prevent ‘God Save the Queen’ from hitting No.1 during Jubilee Week, so it was down to a bunch of Oirish Oiks to curtail the reign of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John a year later. More significantly, the success of ‘Rat Trap’ opened the floodgates for Blondie, The Police, The Jam, Tubeway Army and others over the following couple of years, so it was no mean feat. Sadly, it’s an achievement Geldof himself has summarily trashed with his post-Live Aid activities.

Izzard at one time appeared to be a breath of fresh air, particularly during the ‘Loaded’ Lads era of the mid-90s, challenging stereotypes by openly flaunting his penchant for feminine cosmetics and making those of us who didn’t subscribe to the prevailing masculine trends feel as though we weren’t alone. Since then, however, Izzard has sabotaged his credentials by becoming a self-appointed spokesperson for every ‘phobia’ and ‘ism’ to pollute the dictionary and has engineered an atmosphere in which a teacher can be suspended from his job for the crime of (I kid you not) ‘misgendering’; yes, such a thing apparently exists amongst stupid people obsessed with identity politics trivia that most of us don’t have the luxury of being distracted by.

The late 70s and even the mid-90s are both a long time ago, though; whatever relevance either Geldof or Izzard once possessed is something that has no currency in 2017, certainly not for those who once bought the records of the former or applauded the outré appearance of the latter. Their willing submission to the Gina Miller manual plays upon the cultural importance both could lay claim to in their youth, but one that means bugger all as they career towards their pensions. Narcissistic egos, confronted by the uncomfortable reality of achievements with a vintage of 25-40 years, require fresh injections of the zeitgeist and they have hitched a ride on the Brexit bandwagon as a means of keeping their respective hands in. The mistake both have made is to attach themselves to a vehicle whose passengers are the kind of figures whose detachment from the day-to-day lives of the uneducated multitudes is as potent as hereditary peers of old, and one that inspires similar loathing.

Geldof and Izzard are contemporary cheerleaders for a trait characteristic of the left for decades – the paternalistic ‘we know better than you’ approach to the plebs, one that complements the contempt of the right for the lower orders, and one that treats them with equal condescension. It assumes the position that those who rose from the bottom of the heap in a distant era of easy social mobility are somehow qualified to preach to those that haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of following suit – and are more qualified than those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths as opposed to those that waited until they could afford said utensil. The distance of the rise, however, renders the opinions of Geldof and Izzard out of touch and out of reach. Both have long moved in exclusive circles, and their grasp of reality is rooted in the reality of their pasts, a reality that is irrelevant to the here and now.

Geldof making a particular hand gesture on a flotilla hired at great expense to cruise down the Thames in the run-up to the Referendum is as detached from the concerns of the average voter as Izzard calling upon half-a-dozen Met Officers to wrestle a pleb to the pavement for nicking his silly beret. Neither has any real notion as to why those they view with such patronising cluelessness voted in a way that jeopardises their tax-evading lifestyles, and the more they sponsor Icke-esque conspiracy theories over Russian involvement in a democratic process, the more they remove themselves from those they purport to support.

© The Editor


IzzardHat Crime! A new subsection is added to existing Hate Crime legislation. The paragraph reads as follows – ‘In the event that a showbiz celebrity pertaining to seriousness Viz. attaching him or herself to a political party and/or a politically-correct protest movement seeking constitutional reform, it is beholden to officers of the law that said celebrity should receive protection from any person or persons of non-celebrity status seeking to remove any headgear attached to the cranium of said celebrity during a public appearance. Any such offence must be punished severely by officers present, preferably numbering upwards of half-a-dozen.’

It’s just as well this had been added to the Hate Crime law in time for yesterday’s gathering of sad bad losers demanding the democratic EU Referendum result be reversed; if not, how would Eddie Izzard have got his fetching pink beret back? Like his fellow social crusader Bono, a hat to Eddie is more than mere icing on the costumed cake; it is an aesthetic challenge to the uniformed homogeny of corrupt corporate capitalism, subverting the elitist establishment symbolism of Frank Spencer. Mr Izzard (54) was dressed in an eye-catching ebony ensemble consisting of matching black jacket and trousers, a figure-hugging black top with plunging neckline giving a tantalising glimpse of moob cleavage, chic Anne Robinson spectacles, and stylish stilettos exclusively manufactured to order by Maurice of Paris – all topped-off with that iconic pink beret demonstrating Mr Izzard’s solidarity with non-binary LGBT Islamic Corbynistas; and what’s betting pink berets are set to become this autumn’s must-have cranial accessory?

Yes, it was pretty pathetic, though not especially surprising in the current climate. We shouldn’t really expect anything less from a Police Force that has downgraded one of the most emotionally upsetting of crimes – burglary – but can devote endless amounts of manpower to investigating the deluded abuse fantasies of serial fraudsters, not to mention unjustifiable illegal snooping around the private past of law-abiding citizens as an off-the-record favour to a friend (regulars will know to what I’m referring there). The sight of Eddie Izzard’s silly hat being whipped off by a bystander at a loser’s pride parade and then the hat thief being swamped by a swarm of coppers on the pavement would be laughable were it not such an appalling demonstration of police priorities in 2016. Mind you, I saw a gang of skinheads whip off the hat of an elderly Indian man in Leeds city centre when I was a kid and there wasn’t a Bobby in sight, though this was long before Hat Crime was a recognisable offence in law, of course.

Eddie Izzard, one-time comedian (allegedly) and actor has reinvented himself in the public eye over the past four or five years. Back in the 90s, his transvestism initially bracketed him with previous outré comics in terms of visual presentation such as Julian Clary; however, unlike Clary, Izzard always strove to be regarded as an intellectual cut above seaside postcard innuendo, peppering his act with surreal, rambling monologues not necessarily guaranteed to induce laughter. He also made it clear he wasn’t gay, and I believe his high profile genuinely helped to dispel the lingering myth that any form of male flirtation with female clothing automatically equated with homosexuality. This was a good few years before artist Grayson Perry could appear on ‘Question Time’ dressed as Alice in Wonderland, so he probably did make a degree of difference.

Where to go, though, Eddie? Good Causes was a good start, and with charadee naturally being beyond reproach, it was the ideal vehicle for the Izzard rebirth. David Walliams swam the dirty old Thames in 2006, so Eddie embarked upon a mental marathon project which saw him run 43 of them in 51 days in the name of Sport Relief. A celebrity running a staggering amount of marathons to raise money for charity? Amazing that no celebrity had ever thought of that before, isn’t it, guys ‘n’ gals? Anyway, all of this is a fairly routine process when a once-cult figure seeks wider public acceptance, I suppose; it was Eddie’s next move which has served to transform him into the man he is today – politics.

I’ll be honest; whenever someone I either previously admired or didn’t especially dislike acts as a cheerleader for a particular political party or politician my heart sinks. Kenny Everett appearing at the Conservative Party conference in 1983 made me wince; the collection of Showbiz Luvvies propping-up Neil Kinnock’s ill-advised Sheffield Arena rally in 1992 made me wonder who was using who; and despite his presence at several Labour Party conferences in recent years, it was Eddie Izzard’s pre-Referendum appearance alongside Nigel Farage on ‘Question Time’ that altered my opinion of him forever. Rather than allowing the UKIP leader to dig yet another Farage-shaped hole, Izzard grabbed the shovel from his hands and proceeded to dig a veritable trench big enough to house the evident Izzard ego.

Anyone who has seen a sample of the way in which Gore Vidal rose above Norman Mailer’s provocation on an early 70s edition of US TV’s ‘Dick Cavett Show’ by calmly rebuffing his literary rival’s aggressive verbal punches will know there are clever ways and means of highlighting an opponent’s ignorance. Izzard clearly isn’t as clever as he likes to think he is, for the incessant squawking hectoring of Farage every time Nige attempted to make a point was a master-class by Izzard of counter-productive foot-stamping petulance that turned the studio (and television) audience against the celebrity panellist and could well have made a small difference to the eventual result. The Remain argument was utterly lost by a performer whose me-me-me ego made him incapable of sharing a stage and incapable of being exposed to another viewpoint without drowning it out with incoherent screeching. It was embarrassing.

Now Eddie Izzard has attached himself to the Second Referendum brigade and is apparently trying to get himself a seat on Labour’s NEC; selection as a Labour Party candidate for a safe seat is surely the next move. Message to Eddie: You’re not Glenda Jackson. You’re not even Russell Brand.

© The Editor