Prat of the Year Award 2015

by Jackie_South on January 3, 2016

Another year is over, and so we turn 2015_PratOfTheYearagain to our annual awards. Our panel of judges have met, carefully considered the merits of each candidate and then taken whatever bungs were on offer before making our final decisions – we’ve learnt well from FIFA this year on how these things should be done.

It is my solemn duty to declare this year’s All That’s Left Prat of the Year. Our previous winners of this highly prestigious award have been Vince Cable, Nick Clegg, Grant Shapps and Ed Miliband.

Before we get to the final five, let us first give some honourable mentions to prats who, whilst carrying out acts of mind-blowing stupidity, did not quite make the cut. So step forward, Grant Shapps, whose doctoring of Wikipedia led to being the only electorally successful chairman of the Conservative Party to be demoted as his reward, before having to surrender that job too in the Mark Clarke debacle. Then there was Nigel Farage, with his racist fibbing in the leaders’ debates and his non-resignation resignation as UKIP leader.

Somehow, we did not have space either for John McDonnell‘s Little Red Book stunt at the Chancellor’s autumn statement, nor for Jeremy Corbyn‘s failure to sign the national anthem or his poorly-timed appointment of Seamus Milne. Nor for Natalie “mental brain fade” Bennett, nor for Sepp Blatter’s apparent astonishment at the corruption within FIFA.

So who were our lucky winners? With no further ado, in reverse order…

5. ChLabour_Pratuka Umunna

Oh, Chuka, how did you manage to fuck it up so royally? There you were, favourite of the right of the Labour Party to pick up the leadership crown after the General Election. And yet three days after you announced your candidacy for the job, you jacked it all in, citing an unexpected media interest in his family.

Remember, at this stage other candidates had yet to declare themselves. Jumping in and jumping back out again so rapidly made plenty of previous supporters think again about whether Umunna really had it in him to ever become leader. If he had spent a little more time thinking about it, the thirty-six year old would have been able to step aside from the contest before declaring, and been well positioned for the next leadership election.

Even without the Corbyn membership boost, it is clear that Umunna can never become the party leader. What is more, the doubts he has raised around his political backbone have probably done for his chances of political advancement in the future – shadow business secretary is probably as far as he will go.

Not that we are shedding any tears here at All That’s Left, so well done Chuka on screwing up your political career at such a tender age.

Cameron_prat4. David Cameron

The Right Honourable member for Witney, The First Lord of the Treasury, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom … and Pig Fucker. All titles that David Cameron has ended the year with.

But it is not only Pig-Gate that wins our Prime Minister our fourth place. There was his incomprehension about the measures that local councils were having to take in response to his cuts to their budgets. There have been the cuts to flood defences. There was getting the country to go to war effectively on the opposite side to the one he was proposing two years ago. There is the continuing embarrassment of his EU negotiations, currently trying hard to deliver four things that already exist and the fifth that does not address the concerns of the Euro-sceptics he is trying to placate.

And we have got another four-and-a-half years of having this porcine-knobbing clown as our nation’s leader.

Trump_prat3. Donald Trump

Donald Trump is a deeply unpleasant man. But he is also a hell of a prat too. He seems to think parts of London are no-go areas for non-Muslims. He thinks you can solve America’s terrorist threat by stopping Muslims coming into the country and you can stop immigrants entering the country by building a wall along the border with Mexico. He thinks the appropriate way to address criticism is to claim that the critic might be on her period.

Not much of this makes any sense if you think about it for about five seconds. Most illegal immigrants are over-stayers rather than people that have vaulted the five-meter high fence along the Mexican border. If a wall would sort it, why does the UK’s twenty-mile wide moat not stop parts of London apparently becoming no-go areas?

We will see in the next couple of months whether Republican primary-goers spot the simplistic stupidity of Mr Trump’s ideas. The fact that they might not is an extremely worrying prospect.

LibDem_prat2. Nick Clegg

Earlier in this post, I recalled that Nick Clegg had twice won our Prat of the Year award. This year’s general election saw all that hard prattery finally pay off. Our erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister saw his party lose 15 of the 23% of the vote it won in 2010 and 49 of its 57 seats.

Clegg was outplayed all down the line by the Conservatives in the early days of the Coalition. His own Tory-friendliness completely blind-sided him to their manipulative behaviour and to the resentment that the electorate would develop to his Faustian pact.

The final insult came from the voters in Sheffield Hallam: despite whittling away his majority they let him keep his seat as one of only eight Liberal Democrats in the Commons: no finding a cushy alternative career, he has to sit in Parliamentary purgatory for another five years.

Of course, that dwindled status of the Lib Dems means that at least Clegg is unlikely to have to bear the indignity of our Prats of the Year awards in 2016.

Speaking of which, time for our winner. My glamorous assistant (well, Ray North in a frock) has passed me the golden envelope … drum roll … Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the great pleasure our Prat of the Year award, for the second year running, goes to…

1. Edstone_pratEd Miliband

Yes, Ed “Stone” Miliband wins our award for a God awful election campaign, featuring a Spinal Tap style Ten Commandments rip off (we like to think that the instruction to develop a 2.6 inch tall pledge card translated into a 2.6m tall, 2 tonne, £30 grand piece of carved stone … “but you’re not paid to be as confused as Ed”).

Miliband managed the great political feat of putting forward a manifesto to the nation that motivated no-one: the left thought it was too pro-austerity, the Blairites that it was a bit too nasty to rich people. A confused strategy resulted in a campaign that focused pretty much solely on funding for the NHS, which was rather blunted when the Tories said that they would put more money into it than Labour. That was a lie, but the party was too clod-footed to nail it, or to make clear what the impact of the Tories welfare cuts would mean to tax credits.

Meanwhile, north of the border, Miliband’s dealings with Cameron over the Vow resulted in all but one of his Scottish MPs losing their seat. That in turn meant that English and Welsh voters turned away from a Labour Party that they thought would be held to ransom by the SNP. All Miliband’s protests that he would not go into Coalition with the SNP looked shifty as people worked out that they still might do a deal on confidence-and-supply.

Ed Miliband is a likable, if slighty wonkishly-distant, bloke.  But his general election campaign sadly makes him our Prat of the Year 2015.

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