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- I'm quite relieved that Nigel Farage MEP has only one testicle. When the former leader of the UK Independence party (UKIP) had the other removed in 1987 because of cancer, the doctors offered him an artificial replacement to give him "greater social confidence". But to watch him screaming at Herman Van Rompuy as he did last month, saying the European council president had the "charisma of a damp rag", tearing around with a loudhailer on his campaign to oust John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, from his Buckingham seat, working "100-hour weeks", inhaling whole packs of Rothmans and choffing down hundreds and hundreds of pints, I dread to think what he would be like with ... two.
- What have we done to deserve a man who slept with 2, 000 women telling us what to think about politics, and a man who addresses the nation through his teddy telling us what to think about class?
Some people say judge a society by the way it treats its women. Others say judge a society by the way it treats its prisoners. I say judge a society on the people it offers as its greatest thinkers.
Our society’s leading public intellectual has admitted mistreating women and is famous for sticking a Barbie up his bottom on stage, so make what you will of that.
- "Hush, Russell. I won’t be told what to think by a prancing perm on a stick", The Sunday Times (26 October 2014)
- Revolution, the book by Russell Brand, had recently been published. The reference to "his teddy" is to artist Sir Grayson Perry whose childhood teddy bear is part of his public persona.
- It's weird when someone close to you is arrested. It's as if they’ve been deleted: there’s a stream of text messages as normal, and then there isn't. You think, at first: oh, he hasn’t got reception. Then you think: well, he can't still not have reception. Hertfordshire isn't Lapland. Where is he? For an hour I thought Ben had had a car accident and was unconscious in hospital or dead.
- "Police can’t spot a rapist in their ranks, but they’ll bang up my partner for taking a snap" The Sunday Times (22 January 2023)
- Long's partner, a photo-journalist, was arrested during Just Stop Oil protests on the M25 (London's orbital motorway) in late 2022. He was paid damages for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment. The "rapist in their ranks" was David Carrick, a former Metropolitan Police officer convicted of rape on 28 charges in the week prior to the publication of this article. He was later imprisoned for life.
- You look at the litany of moaning and showboating — never more on display than last week at the empty fawnathon over poor Volodymyr Zelensky — and think: MPs are so out of touch with what ordinary people want, they’ll be giving themselves medals next.
And that, as it happens, is exactly what some MPs are proposing.
To say I howled when I read the recommendations in a new report about "supporting MPs at their point of departure from elected office" is to understate how horrifying and revealing it was.
- "So you’re an MP who isn't a cheating, lying, narcissistic showboater? Have a medal" The Sunday Times (12 February 2023)
- Why does Stanley Johnson even want a knighthood? ... Scan his CV and you will see how incredibly easy life has been for him. He comes from a generation of men for whom jobs, wives, money and houses fell like confetti — knighthoods grew on trees. You can still see the sheer power of this system in, say, the behaviour of Fiona Bruce on Question Time on Thursday, when she rushed to defend Stanley against accusations he'd abused his first wife: friends of his said it was a "one-off", she claimed. "He hit me many times, over many years," is in fact what Charlotte Johnson said not long before she died in 2021.
- "If Stanley Johnson ‘deserves’ to be a knight, maybe it’s time to scrap the whole system" The Sunday Times (12 March 2023)
- Stanley Johnson was reported to have been nominated for a knighthood by Boris Johnson, his son, in the former prime minister's 2022 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours'