Philomena explains the election

It’s less than an hour and a half until Philomena is on Charlie Brooker’s “Election Wipe” special in the UK (BBC2, 9 pm). So make your plans now, have a Sambuca and a gin-and-tonic, and read Philomena’s guide to the election from yesterday’s Guardian.  An excerpt:

Can you explain Farage, Clegg, Cameron, Sturgeon and Miliband?

Farage is the new one who looks like Fozzie Bear trying to sneak into Parliament by putting Kermit on his shoulders, poking out the top of a stolen suit.

Clegg – I’ve got a trick for remembering which one he is: I think of which one I can’t remember and that’s him. . .

What is a coalition?

It’s when two cars bump into each other, but not so badly that anyone’s dead.

I expect reports.


h/t: Brian, Julian


  1. Posted May 6, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    You know…her definition for a “coalition” is, on further reflection…frighteningly accurate no matter which angle you approach it from….


    • FiveGreenLeafs
      Posted May 6, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Ha, in a complete disjointed (brain)jump, that reminds me of Fritz Zwicky memorable definition of a “spherical bastard”, i.e. a bastard form whatever angle you view him.

      Looking forward to Philomena with great anticipation 🙂

    • dongiovanni
      Posted May 6, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Eh, I don’t know. We’ve had coalition governments in New Zealand since the early 90’s. It seems to work alright.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Stop confusing political paranoia with facts. You know that facts, however unpleasant, are not permitted in political discussions.

        • een
          Posted May 7, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Not strictly correct. What we have is a minority government – a grouping of several parties who can out-vote the opposition. The minor parties have agreed to “confidence and supply” but are not bound to support the government on anything else. i.e. they won’t vote to overturn the government, and will allow the government to set its Budget.

          Unlike a coalition government, the minor parties get to keep their own electoral policies and can vote against the leading party rather than everyone having to agree to a new set of electoral policies.

          So we can have a Minister in the Government criticising aspects of Government policy that aren’t in his/her own portfolio. The doctrine of collective responsibility means that one shouldn’t criticise decisions in his/her own portfolio – because they were in the tent when the decision was made.

          • dongiovanni
            Posted May 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

            OK, that is true. Notwithstanding, it’s still a system where no party has an outright majority, which I think is the salient point.

            • een
              Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

              Yep. And no party has been able to govern without support from the minor parties since 1996.

              • dongiovanni
                Posted May 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

                well, there was that one election where Labour and National almost formed a government just to keep Winston out.

  2. Posted May 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Oxtapus *blueAction.

  3. Kevin
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    That’s my trick too…think of the one that I can’t remember!

    Reminds me of: it is easy to find someone, something, some song, some picture or video online when you know the name, but the reverse can be ridiculously hard.

  4. Posted May 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to get some “Cunk” on the telly. The UK [BBC] has a pretty vigorous firewall up for us’ns in the US. Dangit. The same with BBCTBQ. Great sunday show, got to wait at least a month to see it on the UTube.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Not just the US!

  5. MorsGotha
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I can report that the websites official sweetheart does not disappoint.

    • MorsGotha
      Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      She does a ‘moment of wonder’ about democracy. Much information was gained.

      • Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Oh goody! I knew the Cunkster would come through for us.

      • Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        The Greeks also invented thick yoghurt, sodomy and triangles.

        • MorsGotha
          Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          I’m still laughing at that one, stop reminding me!

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

          But it took the Marquis de Sade to combine all three into one wholesome (?) recipe. And he was French!

  6. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    It was one of her best.

  7. Posted May 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Catching up on iPlayer now!


  8. rickflick
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Can we get the video in the U.S. later?

  9. robert van bakel
    Posted May 6, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Er, dongiovanni,

    the coalition governments you talk about since the 1990s in New Zealand are cravenly cowardly. Slowly and inexorably wittling away at rights ensured over 100 years of battling.

    Our Unions are destroyed; almost. Our health Care, is a shadow of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Our Education is fine, if you have cash.

    I have no problems with coalitions. But please don’t portray our political situation as anything than it is; bankrupt, beholding to wealth and privallage, vilely corrupt: Kind of like the rest of the world really.

  10. TJR
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Democracy was invented by the Magma Carta, which is latin for cardboard volcano.

    – Philomena Cunk

    Does nobody remember Magna Carta? Did that brave Hungarian peasant girl die for nothing?

    – Tony Hancock

    • MorsGotha
      Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      The thing about the magna carta is that it only applied to the lords of english monarchy.

      I am often confused why people hold it up as some kind of enlightened document like the american constitution. It just isn’t.

      • rickflick
        Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        Confuse no more. The reason it is revered is that it represents a major shift of power away from the monarchy. It is at this point that the establishment of laws no longer requires the king’s approval. Gradually, as we know, the shift became an avalanche ending in widespread representative democracy. It might be said that this was the most important political change ever. At least that’s what our 6th grade teacher said.

        • TJR
          Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

          And don’t forget its really Magna Carta 2.0 that’s the important one, rather than the one signed at Runymede.

        • MorsGotha
          Posted May 7, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          I can see that. Very interesting if true. I should learn about english history, and i’m English!

  11. Posted May 7, 2015 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    I did record it on DVD… it was good but I am hopeless at critiquing such things. It made me angry because it showed what a – pardon my language – bunch of TWATS the party leaders (mostly) are, how they protected themselves from contact with the great unwashed, but Charlie Brooker was spot on with so many of his beautifully caustic remarks, & Philomena wonderfully straight-faced while standing in a green screen doing the graphics that are so beloved of election programmes.

    And a great take-down of Russell Brand (surely the bastard son of Russell Grant & Jo Brand?!)…

    Put my mark on the ballot paper…

    • MorsGotha
      Posted May 7, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Oi! Jo brand is awesome! I take offence at you implying she would sleep with Russell Brand!

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 7, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Oi! Jo brand is awesome! I take offence at you implying she would sleep with Russell Brand!

        I assumed Royhypnol. For her. For him … I’d consult Diane Blood as someone who knows how to get the sample.

  12. kieran
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    • kieran
      Posted May 7, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      11:11 start

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