Hallo Readers,The Mighty Wizard of Oz, surrounded by fire and smoke, promised Dorothy that if she brought him the Wicked Witch of the West’s broomstick, he would help her return to Kansas, help the Scarecrow to get a brain, help the Tin Man to get a heart, and help the Cowardly Lion to find some courage. But when Dorothy handed over the broomstick, the Wizard seemed reluctant to keep his side of the bargain until Toto, Dorothy’s dog, pulled back the curtain to expose a feeble old man with a sound system. And that, Readers, is our Prime Minister. Tug at the curtain with your little doggy teeth, take away the bluster and the bombast and the joie de vivre, and what have you got? A feeble, fifty-five-year-old with a microphone, telling you that yes, it was imperative for you to stay indoors, even if your elderly mother was on her own, even if your father was in a home with dementia, even though your child was in a hospital bed all alone, even if you had to say goodbye to your dying spouse using the doctor’s iPhone, even if you have not seen your grandchildren for weeks on end, even if your business was going down the drain. But his Spccial Adviser Dominic Cummings was entitled to get in his car with his wife, who was positive for Covid-19, and his little son, and drive 260 miles up to Northumberland in case they both got too ill to look after the lad, in which case his sister could do it. Or something. And he was entitled to go for a sixty-mile round trip on a beautiful day with his wife and son because he needed to ensure that his eyesight was good enough for him to drive back to London the next day. To a beauty spot. On his wife’s birthday. Apparently his wife does not drive. So had, 30 miles out, Cummings discovered that his eyesight was too dodgy to go another foot, who was going to get the family back to Durham? Was the little boy going to do it, talked through the motions like the air stewardess in Airplane? Cummings was apparently following ‘his instincts as a father’ – something Boris Johnson would know very little about. Hell, he probably does not even know how many children he is father of.The Brits can forgive a screw-up. They can accept an apology. But they really, really, hate someone taking the piss. And Cummings was not just taking the piss, he had removed our kidneys and was squirting the contents all over us, the rule of law, and the sacrifices decent people made to ensure that this bloody nightmare abates as soon as possible. And they do not want to told that Cummings’ instincts as a father permit him to do what many other people have not done, or that their not having done it makes them bad parents, or bad children, or bad siblings, or bad partners. Or to be told it with sputtering disdain. Or to hear it parroted out by the dim, craven, nonentities who make up the Cabinet. They want their Prime Minister to stand up for the people who kept to the rules, not for the person who broke them. And when the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Church of England, Sir Roger Gale MP and Alastair Campbell all think that you are in the wrong, you probably are. Toto has pulled back the curtain, And we can all see what lurks behind it.
Readers, WTF got so excited when researching this Footballer Fashion Special last week that she pressed ‘publish ‘instead of ‘save draft’. Apologies to those who received a wordless blog last week only hours after the WTF Scarlet Pimpernel Special pinged into your inbox or flashed up on Twitter Don’t worry – there have been some changes to make it even better, (or should that be even worse?) plus the comparison pics and the commentary. Never was the phrase dick pic so appropriate. So read on.If anything defines the phrases ‘more money than sense’, and ‘fashion victim’, it is a footballer paid £££££££££££££££ a week. The football suggestion came from WTF aficionado and stalwart Leslie of Lisson Grove. Leslie harkened nostalgically to the days of Watford, Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes, a very classy player and a very ridiculous dresser. Here is John (far right) and some Liverpool colleagues from the 1996 FA Cup Finalist team wearing ludicrous Emporio Armani suits. (They lost to Manchester Utd 0-1).Although this was well outside the period which is usually covered by these fashion retrospectives (2012 onwards), this one features John in deference to Leslie. Liverpool’s players looked like the Man From Del Monte ads. Only he said yes. WTF says no.Here we are in October 2012 with then-Liverpool footballer Djibril Cissé, wearing Givenchy.Who knew Mohicans could be Beefeaters? And why is that loo-chain pull hanging around his neck ?Now we are in September 2013 with Gareth Bale, formerly of Tottingham Hotspurs, now Real Madrid and Wales, wearing Louis Vuitton.WTF is unable to tell whether that was a LV-logoed teeshirt under the cardie or a cardie with a peplum. Whichever it was, it was shocking, like designer long johns but without the lunchbox.In September 2014, we featured Mario Balotelli, formerly of Inter Milan and Manchester City, out on the town in Manchester wearing who knows what?WTF does not even know what this was supposed to be. There is distressed, and there is frenzied.In April 2015, we saw Charles N’Zogbia formerly of Newcastle, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa, wearing this flowery concoction. He had been dobbed in by a fed-up teammate, who put the pic on Twitter.WTF cannot better the observation of a tweet at the time, which observed that Charles looked as though he had been shat out by Cath Kidston. Speaking of whom….April 2015 also saw Alex Song, formerly of Arsenal and Barcelona, wearing this. Alex was clearly channeling Pharrell Williams, but he was more of a prat in a hat, like a Mountie wearing his toddler’s denim jacket.In October 2016, we found Manchester City, then Stoke, player Wilfried Bony,wearing something preposterous.WTF does not mind the yellow leather jacket, but she is in the greatest indignation at the Masonic Apron and the shoes like something out of The Magic Flute.This one hurts. A lot. Here is Arsenal legend Tony Adams in April 2017 in a truly terrible suit.WTF has retinal fatigue. Bigly. Tony resembled Harry the Horse from Guys and Dolls.Another Arsenal player, Spanish full back Hector Bellerin seen in January 2019 at London Fashion Week, wearing Prada.Another prat in a hat, only this hat was last seen on Inspector Clouseau. The eyebrows were pure Groucho Marx and the trousers were borrowed from Charlie Chaplin.We are how in Paris in February 2019 where we encounter Brazilian captain and Paris St Germain player Dani Alves, celebrating teammate Neymar’s birthday.Good grief. He looked like a town crier with tattoos and a can of Red Bull.And here is the aforesaid Neymar Jnr as he launched a joint fragrance with Diesel in May 2019.\If Neymar went to a fancy dress party as singer Billie Eilish, this is what he would look like. You could get the whole PSG team into those shorts and have room for the training staff.We cannot go on without David Beckham. Here he is in December 2019 wearing Dior.Look, Becks used to be handsome. Now he is seedier than a newly-reopened garden centre. And his mega-expensive suit looks like an oil slick.And we have saved the best till last. February 2020 saw Everton player Tom Davies wearing Michael Kors at New York Fashion Week.He is wearing a dressing gown like Noēl Coward, only Sir Noēl would have sneered at the yellow glasses, arranged his cravat properly, and eschewed the pointy purple pumps.
This week’s It’s GotTo Go comes from WTF aficionado Bindy from Wiltshire who is rightly appalled by the new-format, Covid-relevant episodes of the long-running radio soap The Archers, which now has only badly-written monologues or one-sided-phone-calls. It is more wooden than Oliver Stirling’s apple orchard.
As Bindy rightly remarks, if she wanted monologues she would go to Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads. It’s Got To Go.
OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. Please keep on sending in your comments, as well as your excellent suggestions for It’s Got To Go and your nominations for the fashion celebrity retrospective. Let us meet again next Friday. Be good, STAY INDOORS AND WASH YOUR HANDS. x
Terrific rant, spot on X
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