I see your leather jackets, your tousled hair, your sickly face. You’re a man perpetually on the verge of retching, your throat forever tickled by a body full of bile. You always look one dodgy cough off a full shart, Steve Bannon, a mouldering slab of bin meat that’s loosely holding itself together into a bad John Goodman impersonation. White supremacy has never been so grey and shiny, like the contents of a toilet bowl after a socialite’s clay cleanse.
Never mind all that though – it’s not like you to let being six Horcruxes down stop you, is it? There’s just enough gas left in the windbag to carry on farting all over basic human decency well into your dying hours. Having been bumped out of the Trump inner circle you’ve set yourself a new target in Europe and your greasy little fingers are already leaving their skidmarks. Boris Johnson may be the one making the headlines, but his flirtation with provocation is straight out of your playbook – a toe in the waters of moral outrage, knowing full well that the backlash would be an explosion of media analysis and attack that both raises his stock and infuriates those he’s trying to appeal to.
Once again, it’s wrapped in a joke, and it becomes an issue of ‘free speech’ as opposed to a very careful and deliberate political experiment. Never mind that he’s a politician, not a comedian; the fact that it’s supposed to be his calling to empower and elevate people rather than ridicule and divide them becomes irrelevant. All that matters is that we can say what we like, and it’s the left that are the true fascists for suggesting otherwise.
Can you imagine the role reversal if John McDonnell had written an article taking the piss out of the yamulke? He’d be out on his arse so fast he’d be picking gravel out of his taint before Margaret Hodge had finished spitting her tea out. Boris isn’t shifting focus from the Brexit he helped cause for no reason – he’s deliberately writing articles that court the right, winding them up over a relative non-issue so he can step into the gaping competence void May’s downfall leaves behind. He’ll waltz in on the false impression that he’s a no-nonsense hero who sneers at the PC elites and says what he thinks. That what he says is entirely dependent on what’s politically expedient for his career at that given moment will pass his supporters by, and if we’re dumb enough to think he won’t win votes for it, the joke is on us.
The burqa isn’t beyond debate provided it’s an honest one. But make no mistake, Steve Bannon – Boris didn’t take a leaf out of your book by ridiculing it because he gives a shit about women. He did it because it serves him to do so, emotionally manipulating the issue on the tacit advice of a master who knows exactly how to play identity politics off those who find them absurd.
I see them, Steve Bannon, the four travellers on your yellow brick road, their arms linked, their legs swinging. I see Nigel Farage, with his luscious mane and constantly braying mouth, desperate for the courage to actually stick it out with politics rather than run away to talk radio from every mess he creates. I see Jacob Rees-Mogg, desperate for a heart so he can recapture the brief flutter of genuine empathy he felt as a child when his nanny smiled at him. I see Boris, with his unkempt mop of straw for a head, desperate for the brain that will help him calculate just how to manoeuvre around the poor ditz in their centre.
Theresa May, with her sparkly heels, completely out of her depth in this upside-down Brexit world. She didn’t vote for it and doesn’t much care for it. All she wants is to go home. She’s not in the Home Office any more, is she, Toto?
And at the end of the road? It’s curtains for her, and behind the curtain for her three companions. They’re here to fawn at your altar, to borrow your megaphone in order to turn their feeble whining into a roaring call to arms. You’re the wizard in the wings, Steve Bannon, a cackling liar peddling smoke and mirrors and misdirection. You’ll divide the kingdoms and keep the minions warring, safe in the knowledge that the flying monkeys will shriek their outrage and descend on any target you send their way.
Who needs facts when you’ve got noise and the gnashing of teeth, after all?
I see you, Steve Bannon. I fucking see you.