Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Cynical Business Poet

I heard John Cooper Clarke, the punk poet, on Desert Island Discs the other day, I found it really inspiring. So much so that I'm adapting much of the copy from my A-Z of Cynicism in the Workplace into some cynical poetry. Here's the first one.


The alpha-male

The alpha-male
Will never fail
To drive you fucking insane
His ski-ing prowess
Will create much stress
With endless tales of Gastein.

He's sold more than you
And clients love him too
He'll lead you to understand
His bonus is massive
And his Rolex is magic
Wiping his arse with its minute hand.

He causes office division
Whilst oozing narcissism
With slicked-back hair
And a leather office chair
From which he can wipe his jizm.

His car's a Maserati
And his bit-on-the-side is nasty
With a mouth only made for slagging
She'll insult your suits from her Gucci boots
Not knowing who else Alpha is shagging.

I'll stay in my baggy suit for now
Waiting for my chance to wow
Like the alpha-male does
With his designer fuzz
And a wife he refers to as 'Cow'.

D Eckhoff






Sunday, 31 March 2019

The Remlic card



Brexiteers: put your money where your mouth is!

The Remlic Card, pre-Brexit life for Remoaners on plastic

It looks the men of the people like Rees-Mogg, Johnson, Farage, etc, have persuaded (some of) the people that despite their public-school backgrounds and careers that their parents worked so hard for them to be given, that a vote their way is a vote against the establishment. So, if you’re a Brexiteer you’ll have won for them what they wanted. Let’s just hope they look after you when things don’t go as well as they promised you they would.

No doubt you’ll be proud of what you’ve achieved. Maybe you can write down what exactly this is in a quiet reflective moment. But in the mean time I’d like to propose something that will make it easier to push through what you wanted so much, and enable you to confidently back what the Daily Mail, Sun and Daily Express recommended you do with your vote.

As a dedicated Remoaner who never wanted your country handed to over to the hard right, who never wanted to see a neo-Nazi preaching and being lauded by our cenotaph, who didn’t want to see your standard of living wrecked, your jobs decimated and your services lost, I’m suggesting that all Remoaners down tools and let you get on with it, on one small condition, that you put your money where your mouth is.

I’m suggesting a two-tier society where you get exactly what you voted for, it’s the Remlic card: the Remoaner Life Insurance Card. You got blue passports (made in France), we want a good British Remlic card. This will provide us with:
  • NHS queue jumping over Brexiteers. There will be less money for the NHS after Brexit so we want better odds of getting treatment for the tax we paid. We want that money to be spent on our bunions and haemorrhoids, not on ensuring your heroes got a crack at being Prime Minister.
  • Access to health services overseas like we had with our EHIC cards. If you go to Spain and fall off a bar stool after sixteen pints of Tennents, get your mates to sort you out and drive you home.
  • If there is any rationing, double coupons for us and our families, a bit like double Green Shield stamps from the halcyon days of the 60s. I’m slightly concerned that some warnings on this might be a bit overkill but don’t want to take the chance.
  • 20% more than you on foreign exchange. When you go overseas and you suddenly realise a pint costs you nearly as much as those crimplene trousers in the back of the Daily Express, you can always blame the EU, like you’ll be told to do, and that’ll take your pain away. We will blame you but as we’re not allied with the BNP or Stephen Yaxley-Lennon we won’t give you the good hammering you deserve. Knowing that we’ll get our drink cheaper will sort us out.
  • Discounts on goods that get a Brexit mark-up. Again, you will blame the EU. You will also blame our politicians, yet before the referendum you agreed with me that they were useless and never did what you wanted. But I will blame you, you were warned about this, yet you chose this.
  • We can resort to those pesky EU laws that the Daily Mail told you that you didn't want. So if your shoes or union flag fall to bits after one wearing or waving you can just buy some more. We can have a two-year guarantee on ours.
So, what have you got to lose? It cannot go wrong for you, Johnson and Nige said so! You can register your agreement by leaving some poorly spelt abuse through the comments link.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Crime, punishment and hypocrisy - at Tottenham Hotspur


Last night I was asked to accompany a friend to Wembley to see his beloved Spurs, at Wembley as their house isn’t ready yet. I’ve been lucky enough to visit many grounds across the UK, but all of them feature ‘football fans’. Last night’s special subject amongst Spurs fans holding court over various sections was ‘Fernando Llorente and his contribution to Tottenham Hotspur’. It wouldn’t have taken Stephen Hawking to work out that Fernando was unpopular. He was described for 80 minutes as “useless” and a “c*nt”. Some of the more mathematically gifted worked out and argued over how much he was being paid per minute to besmirch the lily-white shirt with his Spanish body. Derision was also aimed at Spurs’ manager, who apparently had ‘no balls’, when there were two substitutions yet Fernie was left on.
And then he scored.
I’m not saying that football fans are fickle but the calculators were put away and every positive thing the heroic Fernando had ever achieved for Spurs was recounted lovingly. He could have married their daughters, and whilst waiting for the wedding he would have been invited round for Sunday afternoon intercourse with their wives whilst the husbands looked on and admired his technique.
And then poor old Fernando needed a rest. He knew that after he’d scored he could go down if a Watford player so much as gave him a sideways glance, and then stay there whilst waiting to be tucked up in a duvet by Spurs fans now concerned about what his ‘work rate’ had done to his geriatric 33-year old body. Contrast this with the reaction of the Spurs faithful who had demanded throughout that Watford’s keeper, Ben Foster, be executed for time-wasting each and every moment he got the ball.
The other observation is about fans of the same team fighting amongst themselves. In football crowds things are said that couldn’t be said elsewhere. They are not always ‘politically correct’ and thankfully most of outright racist comments have disappeared. And some of the things said are very funny.
But an incident I saw last night was funny in its abject hypocrisy. A man of about 70 stood up and laid into another, younger man. “Don’t you f*cking swear in front of my son!” he screamed. “You can f*ck off to another seat if you want to f*cking swear you c*nt!” The son looked on bemused; he was about 45, and looked as though he’d like a good swear himself. Eventually the stewards intervened and settled them down. But then it all erupted again and the protective, sweary father and sensitive son decided they would move to two of the other 70,000 seats available in the stadium.
The only other crowds I’ve been in that are as amusing as this are at the ballet, and possibly the rugby where you can drink with abandon and trade insults with opposing fans who won’t try to murder you in return. At baseball you can sleep and eat your own weight in burgers as the ‘sport’ is as dull as the audience. At cricket you can also get a*seholed but as it goes on for so bloody long you can leave and visit an art gallery during a game and not miss anything so drinking yourself into oblivion won’t waste any money spent on the ticket.
Who wants to take me to another game?

Friday, 27 October 2017

Wetherspoons, bitten by the hand it feeds

 

Sometimes, something happens that demonstrates so well what you'd struggle to convince anyone would happen until it happens. And here it is.


So simple, yet beautiful and tragic at the same time. Of course, anyone actually interested in the news and what's happening in the UK currently (and the US) would spot instantly that a company run by one of Britain's most outspoken Brexiteers would be most unlikely to make such a statement around poppies. It's also bleedin' obvious that not many Muslims (the usual target of anti-multiculturalism commentators) ever visit a Wethie's for a pint and a full English.

But that didn't stop Britain's army of anti-social commentators delivering hate by the pint at Wetherspoon's and its Brexit-batty owner Tim Martin.


Which is funny because it's the exact audience that's turned on Martin that he went after with all his matey petty nationalist Brexit nonsense, along with Britain First, Murdoch, the Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Gove, Johnson, Farage and a whole host of other horribles that you wouldn't want to drink next to.



Because the truth is that apart from a few nutcases, no-one finds the poppy offensive; what is offensive is using the poppy to generate hate and being gullible enough to be sucked in by this nonsense.

Thousands of Muslims died in the two World Wars, some Muslim associations sell poppies. Yet even when we've got past this latest 'poppygate' we'll be into the Mail/Express/Sun telling us people 'somewhere' are being forced to say 'Winterval' instead of 'Christmas', or 'We can't have Christmas decorations/nativity plays because they offend Muslims'. The latter always confuses as to how people are taken in by this as the UK is literally dripping with Christmas lights and other paraphernalia, and complaining that Christmas has come too soon.

So congratulations to @Wetherspoon_UK. A tiny step to demonstrating to the UK how it's been shafted on Brexit by some of Britain's greatest manipulators.


Oh yes, £350m for a pint anyone? Before Turkey joins the EU. All our beers are made in Brussels, and so on.We can sort Brexit over a nice pint of beer. Watch your pockets though...


https://twitter.com/TankardAnthony/status/923693748181131264


Monday, 19 June 2017

Propaganda


 

"Start questioning what you hear, even if you think you agree with it."

 

If you don't, Farage, Hopkins, Banks, Waters and Robinson will have got what they wanted from you, and I promise you this: when you are on fire, they will not urinate on you.

 
I quite like the Facebook post (below in italics) from Al-Radaideh Moh'd, it makes some good points and demonstrates very well how our mainstream press simply lies to its audience, saying what it wants hear, to support sales and political ends.
 
Propaganda has been used for 1000s of years to help achieve the objectives of a few, through manipulating many.
 
In more recent times Hitler used it to turn the population of Czechoslovakia on itself in order to make his invasion easier. He claimed atrocities against people of German descent; some of these were real (he had whipped them up through propaganda like ISIS uses idiot right-wing hate propaganda here so that it can recruit saying "Look they hate you!" to idiot Muslims who fall for propaganda) and some were simply made up for media that he controlled (sounding familiar?).
 
It's happening here in the UK with the likes of Farage, Hopkins, Banks, Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon, son of Irish immigrants, hates immigrants), Anne Marie Waters, The Daily Mail, Express and The Sun, all of whom want salaries, power and/or sales. And in every incident we experience you can see the hand of propaganda getting those to act who will not question what they've been told.
 
You're better than this UK. I don't care who you listen to, moderate right, moderate left, or moderate middle but start questioning what you hear, even if you think you agree with it. Otherwise you'll end up hating someone who at worst might be indifferent to you. If you don't do this, we will all suffer, apart from the likes of Farage, Hopkins, Banks, Waters and Stephen Lennon; they will have got they wanted from you, and I promise you this: when you are on fire, they will not urinate on you.
 
Facebook post by Al-Radaideh Moh'd after A van was been driven into a crowd of pedestrians near a London mosque, killing one man and injuring eight other people.

To clarify a few things.

1.) Anyone trying to justify this attack as some sort of "revenge" attack, are themselves supporting terrorism. The same exact logic is used by ISIS members to justify attacks on British civilians. Eg that they are revenge for Western military wars, attacks and strikes in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

There is NO justification for the killing of innocent civilians, least of all in barbaric acts of terrorism.

2.) If you believe Muslims didn't come out in force to condemn all the ISIS terrorist attacks then you are ignorant, perhaps likely even a bigot or racist, who only sees things that suit your own particular preconceived agenda. Tens of thousands of Muslims, like me, came out to offer thoughts, prayers and support for terrorist victims, and donated money too.

3.) If you believe Sadiq Khan stated that "terrorism is part and parcel of living in a big city", you are woefully ignorant, misled by the right wing media.

Here is Sadiq Khan's full quote to that infamous lime.

"What I do know, is part and parcel of living in a great global city is you've got to be prepared for these things, you've got to be vigilant, you've got to support the police, who are doing an incredibly hard job. You've got to support the security services." - Sadiq Khan

Are you all suggesting that being prepared for terrorist attacks isn't or shouldn't be part of living in a great city? That we should instead stay unprepared??

Khan NEVER suggested terrorism was part and parcel of living in a big city. Just that being prepared for terrorism was!


The full quote is in the video I've linked above, and is the source of ALL these articles. There is no other. But here's how the Daily Mail reported it.

Terror attacks are 'part and parcel of living in a big city', claims London mayor Sadiq Khan The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has said that living with terror attacks - like the one that hit New York at the weekend - is 'part and parcel of living in a big city'.

Notice his full quotation is missing from the article completely. The Daily Mail and other right wing rags only actually quote one piece of the his full quote, and essentially fill in their own fabricated version of the rest.

A classic propaganda technique used to mischaracterise or misconstrue the facts or actual truth. Written in a way to intentionally target and misinform the already ignorant.

4.) As the second far right terrorist attack in just a year (Thomas Mair killed Jo Cox June 2016) it is clear that far right or White supremacist extremism is also becoming an issue here in the UK, and as such I think it's only fair that far right leaning supporters are also watched, vetted and investigated, the way thousands of mostly innocent Muslims are. At the end of the day, it's about the security of British people, irrespective of race, religion colour or creed.

5.) Just remember, British people died in this attack, even if they were Muslim.

6.) In the same way people call for Mosques etc to be monitored, it's clear we now need to monitor far right organisations and media for potentially breeding terrorists or hatred too. This means taking a look at The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Express, Britain First, EDL, Tommy Robinson and so on, who have all in certain less indirect ways, inspired division, hatred and discourse.

7.) Hopefully we can come together to reject terrorism on all sides, and show unity, love and compassion, the exact thing that ISIS and Far Right extremists do not want, since creating division, fear and hatred is their modus operandi.

In any case, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and all those affected, as they do each and every time an evil, heinous attack like this tales place.

Peace and love.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

SOUTH-EAST LONDON CAB DRIVERS DEMAND KNIGHTHOOD FOR SOUTHEASTERN'S MANAGING DIRECTOR

  • Southeastern Railways' management of derailment situation for passengers who still insist on going to work (and home again) causes more carnage than ASLEF or RMT ever managed through strikes at sister-company Southern Rail
  • Southeastern's contingency plan trapped behind filing cabinet. Manager with long fingers still off sick.
 Cab drivers in south-east London today called for Southeastern Railways managing director to be knighted after a complete lack of ability to provide any trains on a scale unprecedented since the week before, the week before that, the week before that and the week before that (ad infinitum).
 
 
"This'll cheer you up, it's our new strapline!"
The lack of trains led to many of them buying second and even third homes (third homes come really cheap if they are situated near Southeastern Railway stations) after working 25 hours a day, eight days a week transporting Southeastern's season-ticket holders around south-east London. Such were the carbon emissions generated around New Eltham that Donald Trump has agreed to 'look again' at climate change.
 
Cannon Street 24 January 2016. No trains running but all listed as 'on time'.
What a difference five minutes makes! All now 'delayed'... Apparently the information system is called Darwin. However, it has failed to evolve into a system that actually provides any useful information. When passengers asked if there was a manager on the station who could give us information we were informed that he "is on a 'break'"
Sidcup cabbie Bert Streatham-Rothschild said: "I've made Philip Green look like Billy No-Notes with my new found wealth. I'm so rich now that me and my Nissan are listed on the New York stock exchange. Southeastern has done me a right favour and it's only right that its MD gets recognition for the carnage that has led to my success. Mind you them passengers can be a bit miserable after they've been camping at a railway station since Christmas, no wonder those Southeastern Jonnies hate them so much."

London First, the organisation set up to make London look well tasty to work in by only protesting about the state of London's train services when there's a strike, could use pictures like this to show how much more time you get in London last thing at night, courtesy of Southeastern. You too can be transported to a station nowhere near where you live, with an even longer delay than advertised, to find all the staff gone and the cab office shut.

London Assembly Member, Dave Ham, said: "Is there a strike? It must be a strike. Bloody unions crippling London with their tea breaks and making British Leyland go bust. When I said before the election I'd challenge Southeastern I actually meant to a duel but that's illegal now so I can't do it. Good luck getting to work! Keep those emissions down though, get a bike or something. Let me know if there's a strike though and I'll wade in straightaway."
 
People made to dress in pink or powder-blue vests by
Southeastern specifically to say "I don't know" in eight different languages.
Southeastern Railways said: "It's an honour but we'd actually like the cash instead, is that possible? We don't know what passengers expect, we invested in thousands of gallons of paint and painted each of those pole things on the platforms hundreds of times over and now we give them the chance to inspect them whilst they wait for trains, literally for hours, they get miffed! By the way, that'll be £20 for that interview, or the full single fare from Wick."
 
"We hate you, inconveniencing us with requests to get our sh*t together..."
It is true that this week it's a derailment, and not a broken-down train or signals (or both), missing staff or sun too low in the sky. But cabbies were delighted when promises of services on other lines meant passengers had to get to stations much further away. Cabbies were positively orgasmic when services on those lines failed too and passengers re-emerged from stations waving wads of cash at them after Southeastern said what was happening to services was a 'secret' between it and its maker.
 
See here for January 2016 article celebrating Southeastern's achievements.
 
 
 


Thursday, 15 December 2016


 

A UKIP Christmas yet to come...


 
Christmas 2018. After Farage was rejected by the UK government as ambassador to the US in 2016, Trump requested that he be Prime Minister. A build up of US forces in the UK aimed at tackling Syria turned out to be something else altogether and with only a few ships (most without working engines or fuel), an army that could barely fill an average football stadium, an air force bereft of its best planes after the previous government had sold them to the US for a fiver and no friends in Europe anymore, the UK was in no position to resist. The nightmare had come true, UKIP, backed by Trump, was in charge.


It was freezing. The central heating wasn't working and there was no-one to fix it. Gary could have paid to find someone who could do it but he needed to keep the money for food. You could still get hold of the basics, and even something more fancy if you knew who to speak to, and he needed to do this as he wasn't just feeding himself anymore. Gary had always wanted a family and now he had two: a Hindu couple and their child and a Muslim family of four. Like many others in the UK, he was hiding them in his house.

 

After UKIP took over people were worried but the puppet government had insisted that all it wanted was a return to 'British values' like going to church without fear of retribution from Muslims, going to the pub without fear of retribution from Muslims, flying flags of St George and union flags without fear of retribution from Muslims or having them confiscated by the police. UKIP collaborators had many stories of how they were prevented from going about their normal lives during the days of rule by woolly left-wingers like David Cameron and Theresa May. However, things turned out to be more sinister and after a night of looting of Asian shops and smashing their windows, a programme of rounding up Asian and black people had commenced. There was no need to round up the Poles, Romanians, Czechs, etc, they disappeared as soon as Farage was installed and the unchecked 'visits' from the thugs began.




UKIP appears to be quite keen on gas.
Like so many others Gary was horrified. He lived on his own and though he was far from brave he knew he had to do something. Two of his friends at work were affected, Aziz and Atul. They came in each morning, faces bruised from another beating either from a raid on their houses or just an attack in the street. And each day there were fewer of them.

“I can get a van and pick you up tonight,” he told Aziz. It had become clear that unless he acted now it would be too late. He wasn't sure what he could actually do but he knew if he got them to his place they would have a bit longer before they were sent to the rumoured ghettos. He couldn't ask anyone for advice because you didn't know who UKIP's informers were, the lack of goods and food available since currency collapse made people do terrible things. He thought to himself, naively, that he could pretend he didn't know they were living in his cellar.




Julian Deverell was UKIP's Bath
Parliamentary candidate
Fuel was very scarce and very expensive, much of it was stolen from the Americans and sold on the black market. As a result, borrowing vehicles was easy as the owners had little use for them, they just wanted a bit of fuel left in as payment. Gary had trudged to the owner's house with a jerry can on a supermarket trolley, a common site now as so many vehicles ran out of fuel so he didn't look out of place. And there were crowds of people on the streets now, bigger than ever before, that he could hide in as there was no-one to drive the buses or trains, not that there was much fuel or electricity for them either.

Once he had fuelled and picked up the van he drove to Aziz's house, the roads were pretty clear and he had to be careful as vehicles were conspicuous. He was lucky tonight though as the police were engaged in two major riots, between themselves. Whilst many supported the new regime, others were horrified at what they were being told to do and were attempting to stop colleagues collaborating. He could see the odd Christmas tree in windows, lit by candles as power cuts to conserve supplies were in force; the Russians had cut gas supplies to the UK's power stations. People didn't mind though as they'd been told by the Daily Mail and Express that Muslim terrorists were cutting the supplies in order to prevent Christmas lights being turned on, and many who believed this stood up for their Christmas, as the Daily Mail had asked them to do in its 'Stand up for Christmas' campaign, with candles given away with each copy, resulting in an epidemic of house fires.

The pubs were shut too after right-wing Christian fundamentalist groups, backed by their American cousins, were allied with UKIP resulting in alcohol, the 'devil's buttermilk', being frowned upon. UKIP officials were ok though, they could get their supplies of drink at home undisturbed by the burgeoning number of shouting pastors now turning up in the UK. The Sun was blaming the EU, with claims of bans of alcohol exports to the UK. Sun readers forgot that we used to make most of it ourselves.

Aziz had his family ready and, under cover of darkness now that so few street lights worked, he was able to get them into the van. Atul was not so easy as he lived near a UKIP councillor's house and the street was lit like Wembley Stadium had been in better times at night games, so the councillor felt safe. Nevertheless, the transfer went as planned.

“Lucky the councillor didn't see you,” said Gary.

“Not lucky at all for him,” said Atul. “Anish was easy to pick up by UKIP as he thought he was one of theirs. He was taken days ago.”

Gary was always on tenterhooks about having the families hiding below him but he couldn't have lived with the guilt had he not done anything. The penalties were severe for hiding people, prison at best, often with a charge of sexual offences added on so even friends stood back and perpetrators were truly cut off in the most humiliating way from even those that might have supported them. And it was the single people that did it, who were not frightened for repercussions on their families, so trumped-up charges of sexual offences stuck even more easily.

The biggest challenge was getting enough food. He could always spot those in the same position as him, always carrying around tins and packets of food whilst clearly losing weight themselves. Friends and colleagues not in a position to hide people would silently give what they could spare, having realised what was going on, without asking. The state's operatives, rarely the sharpest tools in the box, seldom spotted anything.



One evening at about 7pm, there was a knock on the door. Gary wasn't expecting anyone. He looked out of an upstairs window and could see one man on his own, not a group of policemen that he would expect if he were going going to be raided. If it was someone official they would only come back he thought, so he decided to open the door. As he did so he saw Shirley across the street looking out of her bedroom window. “Shit,” he thought, he knew Shirley had been a UKIP activist before the coup. A facepainter and UKIP activist, how jolly, no doubt she'd snitched on him. The world had gone mad. A face painter could have sentenced him and his friends.

It was a man in his mid-30s on his doorstep.

“Quickly, let me in,” he said.

Gary let him in. There was no slamming the door in his face, that would have been an invitation for his house to be searched, forcibly. The man walked through Gary's house like he owned it and asked Gary to sit down, in his own house.

“I won't stay long,” said the man. “I know you're hiding people here.”

Gary froze. The man put his hand on Gary's arm.

“It's ok mate, you're one of us. You didn't know it but you are.”

“Who are you?” asked Gary.

“I'm a primary school teacher,” said the man. “Who'll soon be redundant if they pick up any more of my kids.”

“How did you know about me?”

“We have ears and eyes everywhere, and in the most unexpected places.”

“What do you want?”

“The kids, I'm going to get them away.”

Gary was pleased to hear this. But his anger that the UK had come to this would never subside.

“What about the adults?” he asked.

“I can't help them. They can stay here with you or take their chances elsewhere,” said the teacher. “Let me speak to them.”

Gary let him into the cellar and he heard low voices and sobbing. After 15 minutes the man emerged.

“Expect someone round tomorrow,” he said. “Leave it all to them. Don't ask any questions.”And he disappeared into the night. Shirley's curtains twitched, he saw her face momentarily. It wasn't suspicious having a mate drop round yet was it? Maybe she thought he was gay? That wasn't allowed anymore, well it was if you were a party member and didn't go around in drag. Gary had a momentary rush of adrenaline; he didn't care what Shirley did, he was doing the right thing. He would get the kids out, no matter what.

The next day he realised he couldn't go to work, not if he was expecting someone to come for the kids, he would have to let them in. It was like the old days he thought, when you'd wait in for a delivery or a repair person, or a delivery. None of that happened now. Work didn't matter anyway, it was hard to call in as the phones never worked now, and no-one much cared if someone didn't turn up.

A knock at the door. He jumped up, ran upstairs and looked out to see who it was. It was Shirley. What could she possibly want? He ran down and opened the door. She had a small briefcase with her.

“You going to let me in?” she asked.

“Er, no,” said Gary. “I'm busy.”

“I know you have been,” said Shirley. “But you won't be anymore. Let me in, I've a job to do.” Shirley pushed her way in. “Where are they?” she asked. Jesus, thought Gary, I can't give them up now, so close to getting them away.

“I haven't the faintest idea of what you're talking about,” he said.

“Don't fuck about Gary, the teacher sent me,” she said. Gary realised he'd been tricked. But why in this convoluted fashion? Why didn't they just send the police or the EDL thugs they used for this stuff now?

“Cellar or attic?” she asked. He wouldn't answer. “OK, cellar then,” she said, and opened the door and marched down.

“Don't follow me,” she shouted back up to him.

He heard voices. He didn't know what he expected to hear next, but he didn't expect laughter. The sound of children laughing, a beautiful sound.and it went on for an hour, delighted shrieks of happiness, he couldn't imagine what was going on. And then the sound of footsteps coming out of the cellar. Children with their faces painted, beautifully painted, a tiger, a cat and a dog. Their parents, picking them up with tears of joy.

“Enjoy the party!” They said. And hugged their children like they were never going to see them again.

There was another knock at the door, Shirley opened it and ushered the kids out. There was a minibus outside with more kids on it. White kids, looking curiously at the facepainted kids. The teacher was waiting at the door to the minibus and the kids climbed and the minibus left.

“Expect the unexpected,” said Shirley. And she and her case went back to her house. Gary looked after her, confused. He turned around to see Atul and Aziz comforting their sobbing wives, as he shut the door, the men broke down too.



“Is someone going to tell me what the fuck is going on?” asked Gary.

“They're going to Calais,” said Atul. “They'll be looked after there, we couldn't look after them, we don't even know what will happen to us...”

On further questioning it appeared that the French had set up a camp in Calais to look after kids from Britain whom the Government considered didn't fit in.  The French, of course, along with the Germans, Dutch and others, had turned away from Le Pen, Wilders and Meuthen once they saw what had happened to Britain, and in a turn around from history, British kids were being sent there for their safety. The teacher took kids on trips to Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, where those disguised by face-painting or other means could be spirited away by boat in a new spirit of Dunkirk, the other way around.

Atul, Aziz and their wives refused to go back into the cellar and said they would rather chance finding a way to their kids than spend the rest of their lives hiding, risking Gary's freedom too. They spent one last night sleeping in comfort in Gary's bedroom and his spare room and in the morning opened the front door and left.

They had only been gone five minutes when Gary, on an impulse, ran after them. He saw them up the road being jeered at and hooted at by cars, whilst some people confronted those jeering and hooting. He ran up to them, and begged them to come back. But they turned their backs on him and walked up to a police car: “We're offended by Christmas,” they said to the policeman inside.

Happy Christmas