At the end of last week’s post on Democracy, I asked

And 1,000 years of glorious autocratic rule at
Where “this” = puns, whimsy, and dated British indie music, obviously

I was quite pleased with the turnout, although I wouldn’t call it overwhelming. Nevertheless, we have a decision and I intend to carry out the wishes of the apoplectic public. Although I suppose that after my triumph, I should resign from the blog and let another blogger pick up the pieces. Someone with high level experience, and a knowledge of dated British indie music and puns. And a mum, preferably. A mum of kids. A mum of kids who can maintain the high moral tone of the blog. But who fits the bill???

And a Mum!!!
Resumé: Prime Minister of UK, 1979-1990; Lyricist for Bird’s Fate, 1991-1994; Countdown’s Dictionary Corner, 1994-2014

Andrea Leadsom writes: Not long after I plumped up my c.v.  with a visit to the Democrats Abroad convention in Berlin, Mrs Stroke Bloke took a trip to London to meet the Queen.

[Update: as the blog was being prepared at 12:14 on 11 July, Andrea Leadsom withdrew her campaign to be Chief Blogger at]

Stroke Bloke resumes: Since I wasn’t invited to see the Queen with me sponge and rusty spanner, I hopped on the Tube to Westminster to wander past The Mother of All Parliaments. And that’s Mother of Parliament, very much in the Andrea Leadsom sense of a mum. A mum of kids. A mum of kids that can teach those kids the value of lying your ass off then telling everyone you said the opposite of that thing wot you said.

"And what do you do, exactly?"
This is exactly what the Queen said when she heard Beth was visiting. Exactly.
(h/t Friendofthebloggennette)

Like the BBC and the British papers, you’ve probably forgotten that the Chilcot Inquiry on the UK’s war of aggression in Iraq reported five days ago, and statements were subsequently made at Westminster in the House of Commons. Since I studied the law of international conflicts at law school, I feel pretty comfortable telling you that Sir John Chilcot did not say that the UK’s participation in the Iraq War, 2003-20?? constituted an illegal war. He just said that it met all the conditions of quacking like an illegal war, without qualifying for any of the safe harbours that would make it not walk like an illegal war.

Says me and my army
“Yay! He didn’t say it was an illegal war – I’m clearly cleared!”

American friends will be aware that Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons has a cult following in the States for its Yah-boo-sucks! form of debate. This approach is encouraged by

  • the format
  • the arrangement of the benches of government and opposition which are serried and arrayed against each other, and
  • not least,  the way in which Westminster political correspondents cover the event.

Give or take the Magnificent Robert Peston.

Presume away, Big Man. Cos Westminster’s undignified bullshittery has plumbed such depths that, as Jeremy Corbyn was heckled by MPs from his own party as he responded to David Cameron’s statement on the inquiry.

Labour MP for Dudley North Ian Austin heckled the Labour leader, telling him to “shut up” and shouting “you’re a disgrace”.

To be clear, that’s the same Jeremy Corbyn who was one of the few MPs who backed millions of British citizens as they protested against a war that would lead to the deaths of – at a conservative estimate – hundreds of thousands of civilians. And the same Ian Austin who voted in favour of that war.


A few days later another Labour MP, Angela Eagle, launched her campaign to unseat and replace Corbyn as leader of the party. In fact, the “launch” took place at almost exactly the same time Andrea Leadsom MP aborted her campaign to write the stroke blog.

Et voila, the funniest thing you’ll see on the blog this year. I’d suggest you cue up Luciano Michelini‘s Frolic in another window as an accompaniment to this video.



Between my visit to Westminster and the launch of Angela Eagle’s Incredible Clown Car 3000, we were back home in Edinburgh, and I had a chance to visit the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

  • What happened at Holyrood?
  • Can Angela fit 172 Labour Party MPs in her tiny battle bus before its square wheels fall off?
  • Will Stroke Bloke find a safe pair of hands to handle the blog?

Find out next week, in another incredible instalment of!!!



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2 thoughts on “Monarchy

  1. So as I said on the tweety box, the constant stream of news was not improving my life. So I’ve left twitter for a bit. Sort of a summer hiatus. I guess it’s the only #Leave which makes any sense to me.

    But that said, shifting my news consumption to daily still makes british politics seem pretty remarkable right now. Before I left twitter, watching Armando Iannucci say he doesn’t have to update In the Loop because it was just as bad as his satire thought gave me pause.

    And it looks like Ms. May will be the next PM. So there’s that. I enjoyed the observation that the next G7 could have Clinton, Merkel and May. But of course it could have Trump and Corbyn also. And thoughts like that are why I left twitter and sat down at my piano to think about what I would do if I wanted to enter this

    1. One of my more insightful friends this side of the Atlantic has just done the same thing, and Mrs Stroke Bloke is encouraging me to cut back on the tweetie box and get back into the Instagram groove. This is clearly the right approach – Instie seems like the most What are my pals up to? soshul meed for stroke blokes of a certain age. And yes, Armando must be at a loss. More or less. He can’t be as bad, but he can re-up his old absurd game. The Day Today (or Friday Night Armistice) style. Or Time Trumpet, which is easily accessible on the You Choob (or certainly used to be).

      [Sorry, who‘s the Foreign Secretary?! OK. Out-absurded.]

      And the thoughts I have when I think about the shortcomings of Clinton and May (and their male ilk) are why my fiction is taking a dark turn.

      But then there’s this.

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