The Last Chance Saloon

July 19, 2011

In many ways, it’s the best birthday present I could have asked for.

I only ever got into Eastenders for about a year, but during that time there was the most incredible episode. Steve Owen and poor hopeful Mel were going to rip off Phil Mitchell and run off to Spain, I think. It had all been brewing for about six months, and then suddenly it all kicked off in some kind of ultra-drama episode, which culminated in some kind of frenzied car chase and Steve Owen trapped in a burning car with Phil Mitchell’s baby and Mel waiting all hopeful for Steve to turn up with the (money? plane tickets?) and meanwhile Steve hands Phil his baby out of the window of the burning car and then everything blows up. I think there were various other equally tense sub-plots. It was INCREDIBLE.

My housemate Rich set up his video camera and secretly filmed us watching it and whooping and shrieking. To be honest, I don’t think it was long after that I gave up watching entirely. It didn’t seem like they were ever going to top that. Neighbours is another story. But I guess it’s the best thing about a soap opera, the fact that something can be building for six months and then culminate in a ridiculous apocalyptic conclusion that brings everything together. Like some kind of technicolour Dickens, I guess.

And that’s what’s been kicking off over the last couple of weeks. Even on quiet news days, I’m mildly hooked on 24 hour political coverage. Live feeds, tweets, the New Statesman, dubious looking blogs, the Daily Mail, EVERYTHING. And with the whole News Corp saga kicking off big-time, it really is like it’s been plotted by a soap-opera extraordinare. Bang! Dead teenagers hacked! Pop! The News of the World goes down! Oh! Coulson goes! Click! Red Ed kicks off! Crunch! Jeremy Hunt gets roughed up! Whistle! What’s Paddy Ashdown doing over there? Bang! Ed forces a debate on the bid! Swoosh! Nick comes to his aid! Clatter! Dave gets hammered at PMQs! Swirl! The whole bid is dropped! Huss! Brooks is out! Pow! Enter the FBI! Growl! The “Wolf Man” is working for the cops! Pompt! The cops all resign! Whoosh! Murdochs and Brooks summoned to select committee! Clow! Lance Wilkinson gets stung by a bee! Hey! The original whistleblower is found dead (although this may be a coincidence). Oh! Rebekah’s bag containing laptop is found in a bin! Wow!

I was going to say that I bet Rich wishes he had a camera trained on me over the last couple of weeks, but he probably doesn’t. But suffice to say, I’ve been on the edge of my seat. But who knows what could happen next? FIND OUT NEXT WEEK.

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I was going to write about entering an entirely new decade and various adventures in the countryside and the island, but I got carried away ranting on about SERIOUS POLITICAL DRAMA. I’ll write about the other stuff soon, I promise. Unless Ed Miliband gets caught slipping envelopes full of cash to Alan Rusbridger over a skinny latte.

So I wrote this a few months ago, and I’m still not really sure what to do with it. File under doggerel, I guess. It’s mostly a bit of fun. And dedicated, of course, to lovely dancing Ann on the telly. And yes, I know that there isn’t such a word as ‘deportion’.

Rehabilitating right-wingers through the medium of dance

I’ve done the tarantella with David Mellor

Grabbed the mace with Heseltine

I’ve can-canned Cameron

Tapped shoes with Clarke

And poured my heart out to Jeremy Vine


Can’t underestimate the importance of the defence of the realm

A swirling bicycle ballet with Lord Tebbit at the helm


So we forget that you’re so fond of forcible deportion

Of ‘prison works’,

Of ‘get a job’

Of outlawing abortion


Former Home Secretary

We haven’t seen moves like that since you were last on Question Time

A sidestep here, a tiptoe back

U turn if you want to

I call it a doe-sie-do


So I’ve got my crepe soles and I’m ready to move

With steps so quick Pinochet would approve

I’ve tangoed round with Thatcher

Pay attention and you’ll learn

For when we do the pirouette

Then you’ll see the lady turn


A plethora of Tories cut shapes to pounding trance

We’re rehabilitating right-wingers through the medium of dance


In the line at the Job Centre plus

When who should leap out of a bus

Iain Duncan Smith with a cunning plan

To bring some work to the idle young man

I’m still not working, I don’t have a chance

But the Quiet Man is leading the dance

We’re cheek to cheek and slow-quick-slow

Your JSA is the first to go


Theresa May I’m ashamed to say dances twenty jitterbugs every day

William Hague though his footwork is vague performs the Charleston like it’s all the rage

George Osborne his face forlorn, dances the horn …

pipe with clogs on his feet

And as for Michael Portillo…

… You should have seen him go, go, go!


Roll up! Roll up! We’ll do the Liam Fox-trot

So much more appealing than polka with Pol Pot

So kick up your heels and dance some more

Just don’t ask them to cross the floor

They’ll dance all night if they get the chance

Rehabilitating right-wingers through the medium of dance