George Osborne again (or A eulogy for John McDonnell)

Osborne 2

I suppose I should’ve drawn Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell after his toe-curling response to Big George’s spending review last week. But, given that it’s likely to hasten his already fairly imminent departure from frontline politics, I’m not sure it’s worth bothering to learn what his face looks like.

For those who didn’t catch it, McDonnell crowned a toweringly incoherent riposte by quoting from venerable despot and genocidal tunic-enthusiast Chairman Mao Tse Tung’s Little Red Book – an item so incongruous in the House of Commons he could’ve whipped out a massive red dildo and raised fewer eyebrows.

I mean seriously, talk about confirming unhelpful stereotypes. Imagine John Major ironing his Y-fronts on the despatch box or David Cameron going full Bullingdon and announcing, between lusty swigs of Bollinger, the privatisation of the NHS to fund a vast annual subsidy for the British pig farming industry. Perhaps Boris riffling through his Little Black Book and fondly recounting conquests past (or possibly present). That’s the level.

And the thing is it could – if handled with a soupcon more acuity – have been a moment of cautious triumph for McDonnell.

Osborne had just announced two whopping great U-turns on tax credits and police funding. U-turns for which J McD should’ve bounced straight up to claim the credit by having made the anti-austerity case with such formidable verve and eloquence (ha) while at the same time amplifying the vox populi in the palaces of the mighty, doing a passable impression of a united, coherent opposition party and even nursing a few green shoots of economic credibility into the bargain. Utter bollocks of course but who cares? ‘Engine of the North,’ anyone? Yeah, exactly.

Instead, what Johnny McDonny did was to stagger up to the mic like someone’s pissed grandad crashing the after-dinner speeches at a wedding and begin rummaging through the dusty, clutter-strewn attic of his mind. Minute by minute, one by one, Labour faces froze into veneers of clenched, expressionless fury. And, as he brandished his Little Red Career Coffin, political sketchwriters all over Wapping slid their 2012 ‘Omnishamble budget’ write-ups back onto the shelf and, en masse, settled down to craft Mao puns (‘Mao money, Mao problems’ is one I was disappointed not to see).

By the time he concluded with a limp attack on Boris Johnson (who had buggered off about half an hour earlier), McDonnell had succeeded – masterfully and totally – in wiping the Chancellor’s fiscal flip-flopping from a nation’s collective memory.

“I got the point across though didn’t I?” bleated the old goat on the Channel 4 News that evening.

“What point would that be then?” more or less replied a broadly grinning and almost recumbent Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

“The one about selling off our national assets.”

*Baffled ‘what fucking planet are you from?’ silence*

“We wouldn’t be having this conversation now if I hadn’t raised the issue in what was perhaps a slightly jocular manner” he insisted with chuckling derangement.

No, course not. You’re only the Shadow Chancellor of the bleedin’ Exchequer in the wake of the most important economic statement of this parliament. How could you possibly have wrangled yourself a millisecond of air time without transporting us to the People’s Republic of Top Bantz?

I know ol’ Ronald McDonnell had previously promised not to make political capital out of any climb down the government might perform on tax credits. But he could’ve at least let the rancid stench of surrender hang in the air for a few seconds and people’s eyes water a little before obligingly charging in to stink up the place himself.

I mean it’s one thing staying dutifully po-faced when a rival cuts a violent fart in unreceptive circumstances but quite another to take the bullet yourself by immediately wrenching down your own pantaloons and curling off a vast, varnish-melting deuce on the coffee table of the commentariat.

Anyway whatevs. Here’s Gorgeous George who, courtesy of a commendable effort to lead a national tightening of belts literally and by example, now looks like he’s inhabiting someone else’s skin.

Diego Costa

Diego Costa colour

Why do referees have such a beef with sweet, sensitive Diego Costa?

Is it cos he’s a filthy, cheating bastard? Probably. But on a purely instinctive, subliminal level (indeed if Simon Schama’s new documentary, The Face of Britain, has taught us anything), they’re also just reacting to his face. Specifically the fact he appears to have purloined it from a Robert Rodriguez villain.

Though only 26, Costa already resembles the 55 year old love child of Luis Guzmán (Cinematic Puerto Rican warthog lookalike who’s made a living far handsomer than he is by playing chubby 70s Latino gangsters) and Danny Trejo (tattooed, stab-happy Mexican gangster who hones his thespian craft portraying tattooed, stab-happy Mexican gangsters).

His hair looks like something which washed up in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater disaster. His eyebrows resemble censor bars, possibly mandated by Ofcom to draw a veil of decency over the scar-strewn site of myriad headbutt-related atrocities. His complexion recalls the arse-churned soil of a long-jump pit and his stygian stubble looks like it could sand Gabriel Paulista’s teeth down to a size which might actually enable them to fit into his mouth.

When refs they see him smile that blameless, driven-snow smile of his they probably think, having somehow wandered onto the set of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, that they’re about to take delivery of a toothpick in the eye and a pool cue up the arse.

I mean obviously the fact they’ve just watched him stamp on someone’s throat probably also informs their reaction to some extent. All I’m saying is if he looked like Santi Cazorla, he’d probably get away with it a bit more.

Donald Trump

Trump background final

Surely Donald Trump is the pinkest man alive.

Because, in trying to think of equals, I could only come up with Miss Piggy and Krang from the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. And they’re both fictional. Whereas of course Trump – the billionaire property mogul, son of a millionaire property mogul – lives a life firmly grounded in reality.

So salmon-hued is this man’s skin, he looks like he spends the entirety of his down time – when not joyriding choppers across Manhattan’s skyline and mentally ‘firing’ its citizens – in a massive gilded sauna. Then, when he’s called upon to rouse a rabble (shout tabloid headlines), I imagine him being mechanically whisked through some sort of car wash-style set-up where he’s exfoliated, drip-dried, moisturised, glazed and liberally dusted with talcum powder to take the retina-searing edge off that gelatinous shine. He’s then left on a vast baking tray for a while to ‘set’, and finally stuffed into a suit and deposited in front of a microphone to shout things about Rosie O’Donnell. The American dream.

The result is that he basically looks like a powder puff with hair. Well, I say hair, it’s more like peroxide smoke. I mean his hair actually looks like a gas. Which, I suppose, would make him closer in appearance to a flambéd marshmallow.

Or in this case, a fuschia-faced fascist with a massive heap of steaming shit on his head.

Cos you know. Satire.

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage 2

Genuinely saddened to see how ruthlessly the one-track hysteria of the Great British Electorate has done for the Lib Dems.

Still, at least we won’t to put up with Nigel ‘the Marlboro toad’ Farage belching into microphones, taking his pit stains to parliament and smearing his slimy residue all over the green benches. So that’s something.