Each week we’ll be asking a carefully selected guest (who is definitely not the first person we can find who’ll agree to do it) to predict the outcome of the next round of Arsehole Premier League matches.
This week, John Madden from The Sun Apologies runs through the weekend’s fixtures.
Louise Mensch vs Rupert Murdoch
“Always two there are. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” So said Yoda of the evil Sith in Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Of course, such comparisons to Mensch and Murdoch would be off the mark – they’re far worse than the Sith. With the offensiveness of the Death Star but all the credibility of Jar Jar Binks, Mensch has made a career out of not being much good at everything she tries. The only thing she seems to have been able to turn her hand to with any great aplomb is bullying people on Twitter. Still, it’s no contest really. Rupert Murdoch has poisoned political debate, sowed division and caused hatred wherever the tentacles of his media empire have spread. A comfortable victory for a truly vile man.
Mensch 31% Murdoch 69%
Rebekah Brooks vs Richard Littlejohn
A titanic struggle between two stains on the underpants of journalism. On the one hand you have Rebekah Brooks, Teflon-coated CEO of News International, cleared of all charges of phone hacking at the News of the World while all around her ended up in prison. On the other, Richard Littlejohn. A man who really should be commended for achieving the seemingly impossible feat of having views so repugnant they seem a bit strong even for the Daily Mail. A close match.
Brooks 48% Littlejohn 52%
Piers Morgan vs Paul Dacre
Piers Morgan, chunky-faced sofa-warmer on Good Morning Britain and former editor of the Daily Mirror has carved out a career by having an opinion on all subjects while having expertise in none (see also Rod Liddle and Tony Parsons, surely two contenders for promotion to the league next season). Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, has done more than anyone to fan the flames of xenophobia in the UK. A staunch critic of the EU, while benefiting from at least £460,000 of EU agriculture money since 2011. Another close match but Morgan’s penchant for the limelight means he’ll take this
Morgan 58% Dacre 42%
Liam Fox vs Jeremy Hunt
Fox resigned as Secretary of State for Defence in 2011 for letting his best mate tag along at MoD meetings and pretend he was his adviser. A walking security risk who is now bringing a similar degree of expertise to his role as Secretary of State for International Trade in post-Brexit Britain. God have mercy on us all.
He’ll be smashed by Hunt though. His attempts to smear junior doctors as uncaring militants, his wilful distortion of NHS weekend mortality figures, his determination to impose new contracts which will bring junior doctors to breaking point, his gormless face and rictus grin – all of these will see him romp home.
Fox 19% Hunt 81%
Tony Blair vs Iain Duncan Smith
Tony Blair has the spectre of Iraq hanging over him. That deadly combination of having a powerful military at your disposal while thinking you have God on your side never ends well. It rightly overshadows some of his positive contributions while in office but at least there were positive contributions.
What has IDS contributed? Devastating cuts to the most vulnerable in our society and outright lies about how the NHS would benefit from Brexit.
Blair 45% IDS 55%
Nigel Farage vs Philip Hammond
Nigel Farage. An unrelenting wanker – if only his dad had been too. Once the referendum result had been announced, Farage rightly judged that he was now completely out of his depth and so he promptly pissed off. A xenophobe and a coward. Essential arsehole ingredients.
Hammond tried to blame the 2008 financial crisis on those borrowing money rather than the banks. He’s also an outspoken opponent of same sex marriages. An MP clearly in touch with the people. A tonking at the hands of Farage.
Farage 82% Hammond 18%
Mike Ashley vs Katie Hopkins
As boss of Sports Direct, Ashley has screwed over his workers in pretty much every way imaginable. Such is the culture of fear at the main warehouse, one woman gave birth in the toilets of the warehouse rather than ask for time off.
While Ashley is content to see babies end up on a toilet floor, Hopkins takes pleasure from seeing them washed up dead on the seashore. She wins hands-down.
Ashley 15% Hopkins 85%
Michael Gove vs Kelvin MacKenzie
Hats off to Michael Gove. After the referendum result and subsequent backstabbing of Boris Johnson, he achieved the impossible by uniting the Conservative Party… in hatred of him. That can only be commended. Kelvin MacKenzie on the other hand cannot be. His coverage of Hillsborough alone makes him the biggest arsehole in the league by a mile. However, if you add into the mix the homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and sexism that has permeated his writing over the years then you have a firm favourite to win the Champions League of Arseholes should it ever happen. The Barcelona of arseholes. Arsehole Loner if you will.
Gove 40% MacKenzie 60%
Theresa May vs Melanie Phillips
May gave the green light to the infamous “Go home or face arrest” immigration vans, an idea so repugnant that even UKIP criticised it. Oh and she wants to scrap the Human Rights Act. Now she’s Prime Minister so that’s nice and nothing to worry about at all.
Melanie Phillips has the distinction of having made more appearances on Question Time than David Dimbleby. A staunch opponent of gay rights and a climate change denier, she famously said of Barack Obama that he’s a “sulky narcissist with an unbroken history of involvement in thuggish, corrupt, far-left, black power, Jew-bashing, west-hating politics.” Using her columns to voice her sustained opposition to the MMR vaccine was as dangerous as it was stupid and for that she’ll edge this one.
May 49% Phillips 51%
Toby Young vs Boris Johnson
I’m not sure what it is about Young but I can’t get that angry about him. Any person who can say with a straight face on live TV “I think actually, if anything, it reflects quite well onDavid Cameron”, when discussing David Cameron sticking his Boris Johnson in a dead pig’s mouth, deserves some kind of begrudging respect. Speaking of Boris Johnson, it’s a blessed relief that his clown mask has finally fallen and more people have wised up to his bumbling buffoon shtick. Underneath the shambolic exterior is a deeply unpleasant bigot. Ideal Foreign Secretary material apparently. He’ll win this easily.
Young 12% Johnson 88%