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Speed Read: Prickly politics & gangland gulls

After the briefest of hiatuses, The Friday Speed Read is back to fly over the beer garden that is life and divebomb tables to strategically snatch the best morsels of news left by unwitting journalists…

So, it’s been quite a fortnight – one which put an end to months of debates, voting and endless column inches. Although there was a list of potential winners as long as your arm this time last month, it was finally whittled down to a select few and who would’ve guessed it… Amber and Greg won Love Island!

Ok, now that I’ve paid lip service to reality TV, let’s get on to the real (and potentially depressing) news of UK politics. Please don’t leave yet, I’ll make it worthwhile, I promise!

So yes, Boris Johnson is our new Prime Minister in news that surprised next to nobody, beating Jeremy Hunt (thanks spell check) in a landslide to become the latest Tory leader to attempt to deliver Brexit. His stance seems to be avoiding the area in which TM the (ex)PM failed most spectacularly – negotiating with the EU. After all, if he doesn’t try to negotiate, he can’t be seen to fail…right?

At this point I could take a satirical look at Boris’ policies and his stance on Brexit. But where’s the fun in that? Instead, I’m going to take inspiration from The Sun after it announced the new PM with a truly inspired headline – ‘House of the rising Johnson’. To repay its sub-editing team for providing many a laugh in the Speed offices, below are a selection of potential Boris headlines we may well witness over the coming months…

  • Woah-Jo – Boris is caught speeding while hurriedly driving to meet an expert to find out what a backstop is
  • Hohoho-Jo – Boris announces a no deal Christmas is best for the economy and cements over all chimneys in the UK
  • Dojo – Boris challenges Donald Tusk to an MMA match for the right to be seen as Brexit’s lesser of two evils
  • JoJo – Boris admits his favourite song of all time is ‘Get Out, Leave’ (Yes, I’m a millennial)
  • Blo-Jo – Boris wins the annual Tory blow football tournament (If you thought that meant anything else, please get your head out of the gutter!)

Before we move on from British politics though, there is some breaking news which proves all might not be lost. The Brecon and Radnorshire by-election results have been announced this morning and despite the Monster Raving Loony Party coming in fifth place, it still managed to beat the Brexit Party by a considerable margin. That’s a party with a Brexit manifesto which legitimately reads as follows:

“We will send Noel Edmonds to negotiate Brexit because he understands Deal or No Deal. There will be no need for a backstop to the Brexit negotiations. We’ll have Alex Stewart as wicket-keeper.”

That’s enough UK politics so we head across the pond, where Donald Trump continues to prove that when it comes to maniacal world leaders, he has Boris’ number. At a Cincinnati rally, POTUS claimed that he will “shortly” deliver a cure for both AIDS and childhood cancer. He also pointed the finger at the “far-left’s destructive agenda” for such cures not being found sooner. How very convenient for a man hoping for re-election in 2020.

Prince Harry made quite the splash in the media this week when talking about the touchy subject of climate change. His cure for arguably the world’s biggest problem is that he’ll only have two children, not three. Whether he means it, or if it’s a thinly veiled dig at his older brother who has three kids already, who knows. Harry wasn’t alone though, he was attending the Google Camp climate change event in Italy alongside a who’s who of A-list celebrities with the aim of making a real difference in the fight against global warming. Unfortunately, instead of putting their combined trillions towards innovation they arrived in 114 private jets and likely tore another hole in the O-Zone layer doing so. Great work!

Back to the UK now as if the tabloids are anything to go by, we’re currently under attack from a menacing adversary the likes of which we’ve never seen before. No, we’re not at risk from an alien species that only Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum (yes, I’m still a millennial) could fight off – seagulls have been causing issues across the country.

It all started last week, when Gizmo the chihuahua was ‘seized and taken by a seagull’ in Paignton. The search continues, although Liam Neeson is currently unavailable for comment to confirm if his particular set of skills includes resolving aerial dognapping. What is clear is that silly season is well underway, as what will now be known as Gull-gate has resulted in a week of seagull shenanigans.

On Wednesday, a Devon pub hired a bird of prey to scare off the colony of seagulls which keep attacking customers in the beer garden. Yesterday, a video of a seagull divebombing and killing a pigeon being fed by an elderly man hit the headlines while there were also reports of gulls terrorising a community in Guernsey – keeping locals awake and damaging school property. Today, it’s become apparent the winged menaces have delayed filming of the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special. If James Corden needs a wingman to resolve the situation, this Speedster is on hand.

Alas, the word count has crept up on me – until next time, I’m off to a beer garden to see how long it takes for a seagull to steal my cider.

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