Ah, how time flies when you’re having fun. Just yesterday you were drinking a beer in the August sun, watching the Women’s World Cup, with Brexit months off in the distance. Now, you’re freezing your arse off in the middle of fucking nowhere north London trying to convince some Tory that Jeremy Corbyn won’t kill billionaires on the street. That’s right, it’s almost December, and there are only 13 days until the general election.
But don’t worry, it’ll be over soon. Then you’ll just have to endure Christmas with your family mere weeks after a monumental political decision that will inevitably cause grave political divides. Bucks Fizz, anyone?
5. WHY IS EVERYONE OFF THEIR NUT ABOUT TREES?
You would think a few things could be left alone in this election. A few sacred things that we could all come together over and just agree were nice. Things like trees, the things that let us breathe.
This week, Jeremy Corbyn announced plans to plant more trees – two billion more by 2040, in fact. That’s a lot of trees. So many trees, that some clever Conservatives had a go at what that would actually mean per minute. Which now makes the numbers seem insane! These crazy left-wingers trying to plant trees! Terrible idea.
Except that's actually possible. India once planted 50 million trees in a day. The UK’s tree-planting rate was at its highest in the 1980s, when there were around 50 million new trees planted a year. While we’d probably have to massively improve the infrastructure around it, the numbers aren’t impossible. We can have nice things!
4. THE RESPONSE TO THE NHS DOCUMENT
Jeremy Corbyn scored a major win this week when he released documents proving the government would consider selling off the NHS. During a thrilling press conference, Corbyn held up the formerly redacted document, then got actual doctors to give out the unredacted copy. Buzzing.
Not everyone considered this quite a success, however. Despite journalists being employed to scrutinise power (i.e. our current government), some felt questionable about reading a document that our current government didn't want us to see. Like that kid in your class who would always get the teacher when no one turned up five minutes into class, the chief political reporter for the Times got very shifty about Corbyn sharing the document.
Please, daddy Boris, can I have a kiss?
3. THE RACISM OLYMPICS
In an interview this week with Andrew Neil, Jeremy Corbyn was challenged on anti-Semitism in the Labour party not being dealt with properly or fast enough. In a damning misstep, Corbyn refused to apologise. Earlier that day, the UK’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, had also condemned Jeremy Corbyn for anti-Semitism.
Johnson has, for years, been accused of racism while in the Conservative party and outside it. In a Telegraph column, he described women in burkas as looking like “letterboxes” and that Nigerians were "obsessed with money" in the Spectator . In his role as the editor of the latter, he also published Taki, a columnist repeatedly criticised for comments in which he railed against "the Jewish lobby in America" and praised the Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.
But instead of agreeing all racism as bad, the debate this week boiled down to “who is more racist?” I'm sure this is fun if you’re a terrible person, but is not the most nuanced way to dissect this. What if... Both are bad!
2. THE BBC
Our beautiful, public-funded broadcaster is a very powerful thing. It is one of the most trusted sources in journalism, with an obligation to remain objective during the election.
Except the beeb has been scrutinised this week for its allegedly partial reporting, after the broadcaster organised an interview between Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew Neil, without actually having one lined up for Boris Johnson. (They're still in talks.) Seeing as it’s pretty hard to leave one of those interview unscathed, especially with an interviewer who also happens to be the chair of Press Holdings Media Group – owners of the Spectator – it only seems fair to line one up with Johnson, too.
Oh, and all that good voting stuff that young people have been encouraged to do? You know, like have their say in politics? Well, the BBC’s own Instagram account seems intent on underplaying the importance of turning out to vote.
My tinfoil hat, please.
1. MOLLY, OUR HERO
There is one small, shining light in this general election, and that's people going off on one at party leaders. There's none of the old: "Well, I'm taking into account all their policies" or "I'm perhaps not a massive fan of him, but we need to get past personality politics". No time to mess about with "balance" when you've lived this long, you know?
Just like 86-year-old Molly, interviewed by Sky News yesterday, who hates everyone. Corbyn, "the red man"? Not voting for him. Boris? She "can't bea the buffoon". Go off.