Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Guardian hack trolls his own readers

Smugsy Jones copy

Not content with the mobs of vacuous trolls funded by various British intelligence agencies constantly at each other’s throats in its comments sections, it appears the Guardian is now employing an in-house troll to sneer at its own rapidly declining readership.

In an apparent attempt to stretch its withering credibility to breaking, Britain’s leading liberal media foghorn has taken to treating readers as though they are politically and intellectually impaired. You lot don’t know what’s good for you.

On reading the latest torrent of anti-Corbyn bile to flood from the keyboard of Jonathan ‘Smugsy’ Jones you could be forgiven for thinking the ‘art critic’ is mocking his own readers. If it isn’t the case, and even he can’t tell the difference between serious journalism, and trolling for comments, what chance do the rest of us stand?

If it turns out he isn’t attempting to siphon the fluid from our bladders, it must mean the favourite rag of the lemming faction of the Labour Party has taken to paying for the type of schizoid claptrap Smugsy and his pals must dream up over a few too many pints down at the pub. Sounds far-fetched? I haven’t finished yet.

Like many, I started off thinking Smugsy had to be winding us all up by suggesting a Christmas card could pose a threat to national security in a chuckle-packed piece imaginatively headlined ‘Corbyn’s Christmas card? Now there’s a threat to national security’. I mean, what other conclusion are the sane supposed to draw? It seems he wasn’t. Or maybe he was. Anyway, no prizes for guessing who was sending the offending material through the post. The clue is in the headline.

At one moment it seems Jones actually believes a Christmas card can be employed to transmit subliminal messages on behalf of the Kremlin, the next moment he’s not quite so sure. Take a gander at this:

“Perhaps the reason Corbyn loves Christmas is that The Red Flag, which he sings much more keenly than the National Anthem, has the same tune as the German carol O Tannenbaum.”

As a joke it simply isn’t funny; as a serious suggestion it’s hilarious. The idea that, far from wanting just to wish recipients a “Merry Christmas” (like it claims on the front) Corbyn’s Christmas card contains a sinister message, is more than surreal. But Smugsy isn’t one to admit defeat when he’s on a roll. He warns us the real purpose behind Corbyn’s so-called goodwill gesture is to invite Russian ‘soldiers with snow on their boots’ to trample all over British Christmases in order to make them ‘cold and monotonous’. Hang on a minute, Smugs, you’ve lost me there, isn’t cold monotony what British Christmases are all about? Or maybe I’m thinking of cold turkey. Same thing. Anyhow, I fully expect the invading Russkies will spoil UK toddlers’ Yuletide by telling them the whole thing’s been cancelled because Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer got mangled by a double-decker bus and Santa Claus got burnt to a crisp in the chimney.

Smugsy would have us believe Corbyn’s seasonal greeting is nothing more than a treacherous affront to our nation and all it stands for. So let’s take a peek at the offensive material in question.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Christmas card consists of a few bikes cloaked in snow parked outside a snow-capped phone box. And he thinks he’s fit to be Prime Minister of the UK with that! Outrageous!

If you think there’s nothing wrong with that Smugsy soons puts you right with his exposé of the wicked conspiracy behind the innocent scene. Don’t laugh. I did, and Smugsy went on to make me feel real guilty for it.

“It is a nice piece of faux modesty, this picture of a bicycle in the snow. It is humble, ordinary and unassuming. The snow is all around, deep and crisp and even, and there in the middle of it is a bike. Whose bike? Do you need to ask?”

The postman’s? King Wenceslas’s? Honest, Smugsy, I have no idea whose bike it is.

Wipe that smile off your face. He’s not winding us up, after all. It’s no laughing matter, he’s deadly serious. Stop tittering; it’s not fair; the man obviously needs help. On my life, I’m telling you it’s no joke. Play along for a while.

Bikes, bikes, real bikes. Think about it for a minute or two. What kind of crazy nut job would think of parking a bike outside a phone box? There has to be a reason. Then it clicked. Communists, of course, they have to be communists. What could be more Marxist than parking your bike outside a phone box? Does it belong to a Marxist, Smugs?

For those who still don’t know the answer, Smugsy gives a little hint as to whose the bike is. It belongs to either Charles Dickens, or the Victorian artist Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, I think. Anyway, this isn’t any ordinary phone box; it’s a red phone box. Yeah, I know a lot of phone boxes are red, but this one’s got snow on it. White snow. We all know what all that adds up to, don’t we? Well, for those who don’t, Smugsy spends almost a thousand words telling us.

And somehow, after a few scotches and a handful of tranquilisers, it all starts to make sense. It’s the very devil hisself, I tell you. If my postie turns up with a Christmas card from Jez, I’ll tell him to stuff it up his jacksie. Don’t you fret, Smugs.

And then I remembered. In years gone by, my brother-in-law used to get a greeting card from a Conservative MP each Christmas. They usually pictured nervous pheasants in frosty rural settings, glancing anxiously about for whisky-soaked Tories armed with shotguns out on the prowl. Or were they peasants? Sometimes, there’d be a frozen robin on a sprig of holly in one corner. I don’t remember any featuring Baby Jesus, or jolly Santas, for that matter. The fact my brother-in-law is a Muslim didn’t come into the equation. Understandable, when you take into consideration all the other stuff MPs have to think about; like voting to bomb Muslims out of their homes in the Holy Land in time for the festive season. So, whereas Tories put no thought into Christmas cards, Labour leaders spend an inordinate amount of time filling them with hidden messages.

Politicians can have a bit of a problem with Christmas cards. The further up the fir tree they climb the more constituents they have to try not to offend. If David Cameron sends King Salman of Saudi Arabia a Christmas card it probably avoids mentioning Christmas altogether. And heaven forbid it would have more than one king on a camel.

To get back to Smugsy. Taking comedy to another level, he neatly gift wraps Charles Dickens up with Karl Marx. In what future students of the corporate media will probably label the Broadmoor school of journalism, he writes:

“Or is it that Christmas is a secret socialist festival? Charles Dickens thought it was a time to care for your fellow humans. Scrooge starts as a capitalist and becomes a socialist.”

Deep, very deep. Another level indeed. Such depths have never been plumbed before, even in the ‘New’ Guardian. But then he starts to get serious. You have to read the entire piece to see it’s yet another of the constant snipes The Guardian was filling its pages with back then.

Lest we forget, in another recent article Smugsy’s confessed his idea of a jolly good prank – and inspirational work of art at the same time – was setting fire to doors to buildings with people inside. Though you and I might consider it a life-threatening act of criminal vandalism, and Special Branch might regard it as an act of terrorism – especially were someone to torch the portals of MI5 – when Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky set fire to the doors Federal Security Service Building on Lubyanka Square in Moscow it became “a superbly well-aimed piece of political art” according to Smugsy. I expect not seeing the funny side would make you akin to a party-pooper at an arsonist’s house-warming barbecue.

Though certainly not very Christmassy to criticise someone just because you don’t like his Christmas card, obviously Archangel Gabriel didn’t mean us to include Jeremy Corbyn and Russians in celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus with peace and goodwill to men.

Jonathan Jones comes over as the sort of bloke who has to tell everyone before he tells a joke so they can pretend they think it’s funny. If you don’t laugh he’ll bash you up. We all know sad bastards like that. They possess about as much joy and humour as a wet weekend stuck in a Llandudno bed and breakfast with Theresa May for company might.

It’s just a bloody Christmas card, you blithering idiot!


4 comments on “Guardian hack trolls his own readers

  1. auntyuta
    December 18, 2015

    Hi Bryan, I thought you would like to listen to this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Colltales
    December 18, 2015

    Great piece. Incidentally, about this business of setting up doors on fire, it was what landed David Gilmour’s adopted son in trouble a few years back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      December 19, 2015

      Indeed it was. Charlie Gilmour was caught trying to light a little bonfire, he’d made from a few copies of the Socialist Worker, by the doors of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Strangely enough, Jonathan Jones did not see fit to declare that particular act “a superbly well-aimed piece of political art”.


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