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Week 19 Predictions: Jason Sinclair

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, Jason Sinclair, co-author of The Little Red Book of Corbyn Jokes, guides you through the weekend’s fixtures.

Liam Fox vs Rebekah Brooks

Disgraced former disgraced ex-minister Liam Fox is very much the coming man in the arsehole world, as a string of his trade advisors would no doubt testify. This is a salesman who, if he was in Glengarry Glen Ross, would have been murdered by Al Pacino in the first reel, making the rest of the film nothing more than a courtroom drama. Alec Baldwin’s “Always Be Closing” monologue would be replaced by “Never Be Liam Fox”. And Baldwin would be right. The key to being a good salesman is not being Liam Fox. Have a set of steak knives, Alan Arkin, you’re better than him.

Set against this we have the lead actress in Michael Winner’s live-action remake of Brave. Undoubtedly an arsehole, but yesterday’s arsehole, joining Andy Coulson, David Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Harold Shipman in some sort of arsehole upside-down. Her time could come again, but Fox by plenty.

Fox 75 – Brooks 25

 Louise Mensch vs Tony Blair

This is a dream match-up, if your dreams have been affected by an entire sheet of 1968 acid that you found behind your parents’ cupboard over Christmas. But I think it’s the game that these two arseholes have been secretly waiting for. I’ve never been to a football match where both teams strip off and have at it in the centre circle as if creating an elaborate new category in an unseen drop-down menu on Pornhub, but if I had then that would be an accurate comparison point to the Mensch/Blair fixture.

There’s no getting away from the fact that Mensch’s arsehole game is more practiced, and for that reason I’m predicting a convincing – some might say guiltily erotic – win for the brain-mashed typing machine, whose time in the Major League of Arseholes has done nothing to dull her abilities.

Mensch 65 – Blair 35

Jeremy Hunt vs Kelvin Mackenzie

Where to start? There really are no easy games at this level. Kelvin Mackenzie is not a real person. He is a character in the fantastic novel of moral depravity, ‘Stick It Up Your Punter!’ by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie. In the book, the lead character, “Kelvin”, spent thirty minutes weighing up his two alternative headlines, “THE TRUTH” and “YOU SCUM”, in the week after the Hillsborough disaster. He asked executives at a conference what happened at the end of the film Gandhi after it was shown on TV, having switched channels because he was (direct quote) “not interested in a load of bollocks about an emaciated coon.” He printed a report from an anonymous “psychologist” saying “all homosexuals should be exterminated to stop the spread of AIDS.” When Sun staff expressed concern, he responded by shouting: “Come out have we? Watch out, there’s a botty burglar about!” Such a character.

Hang on, I’ve just been told the book is non-fiction. What an absolute arsehole.

On the other hand, Jeremy Hunt, a man who would pay an ungodly sum of somebody else’s money to have a management consultant take off his watch and tell him what time it is – before deciding for himself it’s actually eleventeen o’clock on the 32nd of Febtember – is actively trying to ensure your mother dies alone and terrified propped up against the wall in a lightless corridor. So, swings and roundabouts.

Hunt 48 – Mackenzie 52

Theresa May vs Mike Ashley

“Arsehole means arsehole”, says Theresa May, while pointing at her elbow. Very much the Bournemouth of the Arsehole Premier League – nobody quite knows where she came from or how she got here, but it looks like she’ll somehow be around for quite some time – the Prime Minister has been showing some good arsehole form over the past few months, with definite echoes of the 1970 Brazil of arseholes, Margaret Thatcher.

Mike Ashley, like other high-profile toot-merchants Alan Sugar, Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones, exists in the etymological nether-zone between “arsehole” and “cock”. Unless the poll is skewed heavily towards Tyneside, where – in almost Brexit levels of delusion – they think Ashley is more of an arsehole than Freddie Shepherd, then I can’t see him besting May. In the event of his death, Ashley has also had the grace to donate his body to science, although science is expected to contest the will.

May 70 – Ashley 30

Michael Gove vs Katie Hopkins

Experts would suggest that this is a lock for Katie Hopkins, and what do experts know, Mr.Gove? More than you, I expect. Michael Gove, a man who’s had more Vine than a German alcoholic, does bring some pretty good form into this game, but that will count for nothing against the malfunctioning outrage machine of the Devon Frauenschaft.

Hopkins currently seems an unstoppable behemoth of concentrated arseholery, striding the nation like an amphetamined Godzilla who’s three days late for her therapist’s appointment. The only saving grace is realising that Hopkins’ power rests entirely in her own rejected-muppet head. However, unless a large libel action (feasible) or sobering dose of humility (impossible) takes Hopkins out of the game completely then like fellow spectral supergiant arseholes Chelsea, who I incidentally wouldn’t put it past Hopkins to be a supporter of, it’s hard to see her losing another game this season.

Gove 10 – Hopkins 90

Melanie Philips vs Iain Duncan Smith

Seems like a low-key fixture, a sort of Southampton vs Stoke, if Southampton and Stoke both had their political development arrested at the age of eleven when they walked in on their father masturbating in front of a grainy VHS that probably came from EUROPE.

Philips is quite an inconsistent performer, tending to write her columns blindfold by throwing a succession of darts at a dictionary held over the face of a quivering London-born third-generation Bengali. Meanwhile, as leader of the Conservative Party, Iain Duncan Smith was so electorally toxic he made Jeremy Corbyn look like, well, Iain Duncan Smith. Repeated winner of the award for MP who most looks like he was at the Wannsee Conference, Duncan Smith has exploited the fashions for both Brexit and incompetence to become a serious player and I can’t see him losing to someone who is, after all, a bit metropolitan, if you know what I mean.

Phillips 30 – Duncan Smith 70

 Piers Morgan vs Philip Hammond

I see Philip Hammond as the Hull of the Arsehole Premier League. He shouldn’t really be here, he might half-heartedly show a few promising touches while he is, but soon he’ll be gone and nobody will remember who he is, or that he used to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer and a large ferry port.  A long time ago I worked with a girl from Hull and literally nobody could understand a word she was saying. I’d have to write up transcripts of transatlantic interviews she’d done that read: “Laura: ‘Ullurrr. Ut’s Luurruurrr ‘urrrr. Ur er yuurr? Interviewee: What?” for pages on end.

I might be drifting here. Where were we? Hammond. It can’t be easy for him, having all the verve and optimism of Ingmar Bergman reading from Morrissey’s autobiography, but better to be told ”You’re fucked. You fucked yourselves” by the shadow of death than by a somersaulting Jim Carrey, or for that matter Piers Morgan. Morgan, who I last saw on a lovers’ lane holding hands with himself, is an international standard, Amsterdam-grade arsehole who would beat stronger opponents than Hammond with his eyes, and indeed his arsehole, shut. Only one winner here.

Morgan 95 – Hammond 5

 Paul Dacre vs Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is such an arsehole that he can trace his roots back to the biggest arseholes of both the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, yet he still takes to the field against Paul Dacre like Warwick Davies asking Kobe Bryant for a quick game of one-on-one. Dacre is such a mendacious leviathan of pure, unadulterated, straight from the Colombian farm arsholeness that Pablo Escobar could have cut him into a million pieces, diluted each one with seventeen tonnes of Aptamil, and still one line of him would have been enough to turn Nelson Mandela into Arron Banks.

Yes, Johnson couldn’t be more full of shit if Eric Pickles had been using him as a septic tank, but we’re in the big leagues now and no amount of Latin is going to stop Dacre running away with this in the second half.

Dacre 60 – Johnson 40

Nigel Farage vs Toby Young

Some of the great mysteries of the world: The collapse of Mayan civilization; the wreck of the Mary Celeste; John Bishop’s career; how Nigel Farage isn’t punched in the face every single day. The man likes pubs. He’s in pubs a lot. He’s an absolute arsehole. Arseholes often get punched in the face in pubs. Why is he not among them? Seriously? Has he some sort of invisible shield like a Marvel superhero or James Corden? Somebody needs to get the Discovery Channel on this, stet.

Toby Young used to edit The Modern Review, which was like one of those vanity blogs that Vice twentysomethings have now talking about what Baudrillard would have thought about Chicken Cottage, except The Modern Review wasn’t all in lower case. Showing great arsehole potential, he’s used a combination of rank incompetence, sociopathic obliviousness and plain old-fashioned stupidity to fail upwards into a well-deserved position in the Arsehole Premier League. When Simon Pegg portrays someone in a film of their life but even he can’t quite capture what a total weapon they are, you know this is a talent to watch. But Young is up against Farage. Farage would be the biggest arsehole in any room he’s in, including the chamber of the House of Commons. Not that he’d ever, ever get there.

Farage 90 – Young 10

 Rupert Murdoch vs Richard Littlejohn

Is this the week Rupert Murdoch loses his undefeated record? In defence of Murdoch, we can cite The Simpsons. In defence of Littlejohn, we can cite Richard Littlejohn: Live And Unleashed. Oof. Half-time and Littlejohn has a four goal lead while the opposition goalkeeper has birds tweeting around his eyes like Daffy Duck after a piano has just fallen on his head.

But wait. Can Littlejohn, like his beloved Spurs, lose from such a strong position? Of course he can’t, he’s an arsehole, a 1980s relic made flesh, like Banjos or Toffos or the hundred other justifiably discontinued carcinogens that Peter Kay talks about on clip shows. Littlejohn can’t lose it from here, but could Murdoch win? He’s been winning arsehole matches his whole life, and he’s, what, about 103 now? He’s going to show Littlejohn that grandpa’s still got game. He picks up the ball (of course he picks up the ball – he’s an arsehole) and slaloms his way past a frankly out of shape Littlejohn to place it triumphantly in the net. “Five-four. Full time” says Murdoch. “What?” cries Littlejohn, “it’s still four-one to me”. “Fuck off. I make the rules, you talentless fat fuck” says Murdoch. And he does.

Murdoch 100 – Littlejohn 0

You can follow Jason on Twitter here, and if you’re wondering what to spend your Christmas gift vouchers on, you can buy The Little Red Book of Corbyn Jokes here

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Guest predictions: How did John Rain do?

We asked John Rain to predict the results of the weekend’s fixtures. The results are in, so let’s have a look at how he did.

10 points are awarded for getting the result bang on the money, 5 points for predicting the correct winner and 2 bonus points for getting within 5% of the score (Only if the correct winner is predicted).

Nigel Farage vs Richard Littlejohn

John’s prediction: Farage 97% – 3% Littlejohn

Correct score: Farage 91% – 9% Littlejohn

Correct winner: 5 points

Rupert Murdoch vs Iain Duncan Smith

John’s prediction: Murdoch 98% – 2% IDS

Correct score: Murdoch 79% – 21% IDS

Correct winner: 5 points

Louise Mensch vs Katie Hopkins

John’s prediction: Mensch 30% – 70% Hopkins

Correct score: Mensch 16% – 84% Hopkins

Correct winner: 5 points

Jeremy Hunt vs Philip Hammond

John’s prediction: Hunt 98% – 2% Hammond

Correct score: Hunt 95% – 5% Hammond

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Theresa May vs Rebekah Brooks

John’s prediction: May 45% – 55% Brooks

Correct score: May 47% – 53% Brooks

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Michael Gove vs Tony Blair

John’s prediction: Gove 51% – 49% Blair

Correct score: Gove 72% – 28% Blair

Correct winner: 5 points

Piers Morgan vs Mike Ashley

John’s prediction: Morgan 87% – 13% Ashley

Correct score: Morgan 75% – 25% Ashley

Correct winner: 5 points

Liam Fox vs Boris Johnson

John’s prediction:  Fox 10% – 90% Johnson

Correct score: Fox 34% – 36% Johnson

Correct winner: 5 points

Paul Dacre vs Kelvin MacKenzie

John’s prediction: Dacre 35% – 65% MacKenzie

Correct score: Dacre 52% – 48% MacKenzie

Nil points

Melanie Phillips vs Toby Young

John’s prediction: Young 90% – 10% Phillips

Correct score: Young 62% – 38% Phillips

Correct winner: 5 points

John scores 49 points!

You can follow John on Twitter here, and if you got a gift voucher for Christmas you can buy his book here

Predictions League Standings

1. xxxy 59

2. Unnamed Insider 54

3. Paul Auntie 53

4. Rich Smith 51

5. John Rain 49

6. Jason Spacey 48

7. Summer Ray 46

7. Barney Farmer 46

8. Sean Biggerstaff  44

9.  The Sun Apologies 41

9. Gary Stanton 41

10. Oonagh Keating 37

10. Jim Smallman 37

10. Sir Michael 37

11. Professor Jack Darcy 35

12. Doc Hackenbush 32

13. Tiernan Douieb 24

14. Otto English 22

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Week 18 Predictions: John Rain

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, writer, author and bassist John Rain guides you through the weekend’s fixtures.

Nigel Farage vs Richard Littlejohn

While Littlejohn is using up all prickidge via print, this fixture is all about Farage for me. He is a lone wolf of arseholery, a Golden Eagle of cunt, flitting from country to country, causing unrest and boosting sales of golliwog tea towels. It’s just not a competition. Yes, Littlejohn spends most of his time sitting in America moaning about burkas on Alsatians and whether or not Sussex has banned Christmas, but Farage is out there poking his shit covered sticks in bushes, getting paid 85k a year to work as an MEP and leading his twatty brigade of Ovaltine Droogs – he is also Jed Maxwell to Donald Trump, and that for me, is a resounding home win.

My vote: Farage

Prediction: Farage 97% Littlejohn 3%

Rupert Murdoch vs Iain Duncan Smith

We all know that Iain Duncan Smith’s favourite dinner is a wheelchair sandwiched betwixt two benefit forms, that he washes it down with a pint of disabled people’s tears, and goes to work every day on a gondolier made of human skulls, but when it comes to being an arsehole, no one can stand in the way of Rupert Murdoch. He essentially owns the entire planet and rather than using this power for good, he chooses to wield this power like a cunt and spread nothing but hatred, bile, lies and tits. The only consolation is that he has married Jerry Hall and can probably only ejaculate mouldy salt from his three-hundred year old bishop.

My vote: Murdoch

Prediction: Murdoch 98% Duncan Smith 2%

Louise Mensch vs Katie Hopkins

This is a very tricky fixture. Where do you even begin here? On the one hand you have Mensch, who clearly hasn’t got both paddles in the water, and on the other Hopkins, who knows exactly what she is doing and probably doesn’t actually believe anything she says. Mensch can at least operate under the umbrella of being as thick as a Dinosaur sandwich, while she ambles around on social media looking for things that aren’t there and posting them on a website that is so irrelevant it may as well not exist. Hopkins on the other hand, is just a shit-take offend-o-meter juke box that the Daily Mail pays into on a weekly basis. She is definitely the biggest arsehole, on purpose, out of the two.

My vote: Hopkins

Prediction: Mensch 30% Hopkins 70%

Jeremy Hunt vs Philip Hammond

The fact that Jeremy Hunt does a job, the Tory standard-bearer of being a dick to the NHS and everyone involved in it, that literally no one wants and still hasn’t walked into the sea, means he probably enjoys it and is therefore a total arsehole. Couple this with the fact that Theresa May didn’t get rid of him means that she could see in his eyes that he bloody loves it. He’s carefully built up a reputation of being a sort of Wild West undertaker, hurriedly running around British hospitals, measuring operating theatres during delicate operations and selling the kidney to Iceland as soon as it’s removed. Phillip Hammond on the other hand is merely a smug soft-Brexit-bellend, not in Hunt’s league at all. Home win.

My vote: Hunt

Prediction: Hunt 98% Hammond 2%

Theresa May vs Rebekah Brooks

*Adam Curtis voice* “This is a story of a plan with no plan”.

After David Cameron (not quite) literally leapt from the window of 10 Downing Street, Theresa May has had a problem. A massive problem that has no solution, like a Rubick’s Cube covered in glue; Brexit. It’s all very “Bart’s Elephant” from The Simpsons in that it’s something we have won and that we have no idea what to do with. The only solution Theresa May has offered is to say the word Brexit and attach other words to it, such as “Brexit means Brexit” or “Red, White and Blue Brexit” or “Brexit’s good, Brexit’s good, Eber-Brexit’s good”. She is flailing more and more each day, meanwhile Cameron is earning big money telling Americans how shit it all is. May is looking more and more hopeless with each day and based on Nicky Morgan’s leather trouser experience (sounds like a band), more and more of an arsehole, too. Rebekah Brooks on the other hand is a complete and total arsehole of the highest order. She’s probably the worst woman in the World at the moment, so she wins, as she always should. Away win.

My vote: Brooks

Prediction: Theresa May 45% Brooks 55%

Michael Gove vs Tony Blair

This is a tough one. Gove has recently “awoken” into some sort of self-awareness vacuum, simultaneously attacking the “MSM” (while writing for The Times) and simultaneously suggesting that modern art is shit (after having cut arts funding not so long ago). Tony Blair on the other hand has risen above water of late, like some sort of arsehole leviathan, spouting opinions that no one really wants to hear (what with him being partly responsible for the World being a fucking awful place for so many people). As bad as Blair is, I think Gove shades it based on current form, the terrible arsehole that he is

My vote: Gove

Prediction: Gove 51% Blair 49%

Piers Morgan vs Mike Ashley

Gríma Wormtongue vs Bill Sykes, it’s a difficult one seeing as both men are completely awful in every possible way, but Morgan is the stand out of the two based on the fact that he is a wholly ubiquitous at present. A thoroughly awful human specimen that happily backed a lying, misogynist, KKK endorsed Presidential candidate to reach the highest office in the World, and still is smug as fuck about it. Top, top arsehole. Home win.

My vote: Morgan

Prediction: Morgan 87% Ashley 13%

Liam Fox vs Boris Johnson

Disgraced M.P. Liam Fox, the current Secretary of State for International Trade, is a blundering pillock, that’s for sure. He has embarrassed himself over the years, but he isn’t Boris Johnson. This cannot be said enough times. Boris Johnson is surely in the top 5 of the biggest arseholes of 2016. He stood in front of that bus and spouted nothing but bullshit for months and months, only then to be hilariously stabbed in the back by Gove and his Lady Macbeth wife. Beloved by idiots for being stupid, he’s a proper arsehole and wins this one hands down. Away win.

My vote: Johnson

Prediction: Fox 10% Johnson 90%

Paul Dacre vs Kelvin MacKenzie

This is like Godzilla vs Kong. Dacre vs Mackenzie is a tough draw. They are both up with there with Murdoch in terms of pure evil bastards. While Dacre is responsible for the hate preaching of the Daily Mail and the borderline noncery that features within, MacKenzie is a rancid piece of shit that happily printed lies about dead children the day after the Hillsborough Disaster, while also saying that if you go to Brighton you’ll get AIDS. He can fuck right off and is always top of the list of arseholes.

My vote: MacKenzie

Prediction: Dacre 35% MacKenzie 65%

Melanie Phillips vs Toby Young

If you had infinite numbers of monkeys, sat in front of infinite numbers of typewriters, there will never be worse takes written than the ones pumped out by Toby Young. He is the worst writer in the world and seems to revel in it. Melanie Phillips is bad, but by fuck, she is not in Young’s league. This is the man who asked if “friendship was a myth” because no one came to his stag night. He is the king of the bellends and a total and utter arsehole.

My vote: Young

Prediction: Young 90% Phillips 10%

You can follow John on Twitter here, and if you get a gift voucher for Christmas you can buy his book here

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Guest Predictions: How did Barney Farmer do?

We asked Barney Farmer to predict the results of the weekend’s fixtures. The results are in, so let’s have a look at how he did.

10 points are awarded for getting the result bang on the money, 5 points for predicting the correct winner and 2 bonus points for getting within 5% of the score (Only if the correct winner is predicted).

Richard Littlejohn vs Jeremy Hunt

Barney’s prediction: Littlejohn 56% – 44% Hunt

Correct score: Littlejohn 27% – 73% Hunt

Nil points

Katie Hopkins vs Piers Morgan

Barney’s prediction: Hopkins 59% – 41% Morgan

Correct score: Hopkins 81% – 19% Morgan

Correct winner: 5 points

Kelvin MacKenzie vs Theresa May

Barney’s prediction: MacKenzie 37% – 63% May

Correct score: MacKenzie 60% – 40% May

Nil points

Tony Blair vs Nigel Farage

Barney’s prediction: Blair 39% – 61% Farage

Correct score: Blair 17% – 83% Farage

Correct winner: 5 points

Mike Ashley vs Liam Fox

Barney’s prediction: Ashley 31% – 69% Fox

Correct score: Ashley 40% – 60% Fox

Correct winner: 5 points

Iain Duncan Smith vs Michael Gove

Barney’s prediction: IDS 49% – 51% Gove

Correct score: IDS 46% – 54% Gove

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Philip Hammond vs Melanie Phillips

Barney’s prediction: Hammond 45% – 55% Phillips

Correct score: Hammond 46% – 54% Phillips

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Boris Johnson vs Rupert Murdoch

Barney’s prediction: Johnson 26% – 74% Murdoch

Correct score: Johnson 32% – 68% Murdoch

Correct winner: 5 points

Toby Young vs Louise Mensch

Barney’s prediction: Young 44% – 56% Mensch

Correct score: Young 26% -74% Mensch

Correct winner: 5 points

Rebekah Brooks vs Paul Dacre

Barney’s prediction: Brooks 46% – 54% Dacre

Correct score: Brooks 42% – 58% Dacre

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Barney scores 46 points!

If you’re not following Barney then go here immediately!

Predictions League Standings

1. xxxy 59

2. Unnamed Insider 54

3. Paul Auntie 53

4. Rich Smith 51

5. Jason Spacey 48

6. Summer Ray 46

6. Barney Farmer 46

7. Sean Biggerstaff  44

8.  The Sun Apologies 41

8. Gary Stanton 41

9. Oonagh Keating 37

9. Jim Smallman 37

9. Sir Michael 37

10. Professor Jack Darcy 35

11. Doc Hackenbush 32

12. Tiernan Douieb 24

13. Otto English 22

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Week 17 Predictions: Barney Farmer

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, writer of Drunken Bakers and other Viz creations Barney Farmer guides you through the weekend’s fixtures.

Richard Littlejohn vs Jeremy Hunt

In snooker terms this is a 1984 Hexagon semi between Ray Reardon and Jimmy White.

Littlejohn has been an arsehole for decades, and enjoyed a lengthy stint as the country’s top sphincter – by a comfortable margin. Never strayed far from the top table, and on his day still capable of turning in a shocker, but very much in managed decline.

Hunt is a comparatively new arsehole on the block but already in his pomp. Flowing natural skills, enervating to watch, an obvious favourite. But late December is a nostalgic time, so I’m feeling Littlejohn will pinch it on the strength of his lifetime’s cuntribution.

Littlejohn 56-44% Hunt

Katie Hopkins vs Piers Morgan

An odd meta match-up. Katie is a failed soldier who thinks she’s a journalist, because her horrible thoughts are published in a newspaper. Piers IS a journalist, and of many years standing, but he was originally given the bum’s rush from newspapers because he failed soldiers by telling everyone they pissed on Iraqis. Stunning arseholes both, this will probably be determined by their public brain vomits from now until the whistle blows. I’ll go with Hopkins, because her consistent racial barrage becomes gradually more wearing on the soul at this time of year, as we pay lip service to vague notions of goodwill to all.

Hopkins 59-41% Morgan

Kelvin MacKenzie vs Theresa May

Arseholes come in all shapes, sizes and hues, and here is a match-up that illustrates this clearly. Say what you like about MacKenzie, his arsehole chops rest wholly on doing what he does VERY well. Still lying, smearing and carefully upsetting people at the highest level, he remains a titan of MSM arseholedom. May too is at the summit of her arseholery, but her unique brand derives chiefly from levels of ineptitude which make thinking citizens flinch as if scalded. In the event I expect her to prevail easily, especially if she farts out another stench-meme to rival ‘red, white and blue, Brexit’ before battle is joined.

MacKenzie 37-63% May

Tony Blair vs Nigel Farage

A clash of the titans, the defining arsehole of the late nineties/noughties versus a contender for Time magazine’s Arsehole of the Year 2016. Tony’s played a canny hand this past few months though, with Brexit being sufficiently disastrous that millions are apparently prepared to forgive him his pivotal role in starting the biblical refugee crisis which, ironically, has so helped Nigel hammer home his message of hate this past few yonks.

Farage will take this. Arsehole-wise he’s so hot right now.

Blair 39-61% Farage

Mike Ashley vs Liam Fox

A straightforward ‘disgrace off’. Ashley’s disgraceful record as an employer has really come to the fore this year, and you can be sure that in the eyes of his staff there is no greater arsehole currently grubbing on the globe. But can anything really compare with Doc Fox’s disgraceful contempt for democratic norms? Factor in the sheer brassneck required to posture and preen right back into government as if nothing ever happened and it is hard to look past him. An easy winner.

Ashley 31-69% Fox

Iain Duncan Smith vs Michael Gove

A fascinating clash. Smith, blunt, ignorant, made-up qualifications and Gove, educated, erudite, surely the loneliest arsehole in the world. Now most renowned – regardless of what he might say or believe – for publicly ramming a knife between a supposed political ally’s shoulder blades then twisting it this way and that, Gove’s must be an existential 9-5. Then home to the wife…

Every day a carnival for Smith though. Having long established his arsehole credentials most notably at Work & Pensions, he is now free to intrigue and dissemble to his heart’s content, one eye on a sickening return to high office.

Gove on penalties.

IDS 49-51% Gove

Philip Hammond vs Melanie Phillips

A cadaverous encounter which makes me think of the sword waving skeletons from Jason & The Argonauts scrapping amongst themselves. A Battle of Brexits, Soft vs Hard, this has all the makings of a short tough slugfest reminiscent of Hagler-Hearns. Every cautionary note Hammond has sounded in Number 11 with regard to the EU must splash as fresh piss on Melanie’s sizzling chips, and I expect her to blast out of the traps like a greyhound on PCP and prevail.

Hammond 45-55% Phillips

Boris Johnson vs Rupert Murdoch

A grotesque mismatch. That Boris is an arsehole of the finest water is beyond debate, but Murdoch is a constellation of such arseholes, in and of himself. His is a media empire made up of a million blazing arseholes, one which has just parked a cosmic turd right across Downing Street in the form of the Fox-Sky deal. Will this go to Ofcom? Depends what he engraved in May’s flesh when he summoned her to his den in September. A cakewalk.

Johnson 26-74% Murdoch

Toby Young vs Louise Mensch

Whatever else Toby Young might be he is not a deranged arsehole. Quite the reverse. His recent hatchet job on I, Daniel Blake for the Mail confirmed that here was a cold, calculating operator, identifying and pulling all the right levers to reassure readers there was nothing to see, let alone merit international honours.

Louise, by contrast, IS a deranged arsehole. From misquoting elderly US soldiers and threatening to jump their bones to calling for precision strikes on Russia because its tanks are rusty, the cry for help has grown deafening. But we don’t help. We laugh. And she gets worse.

Louise wins.

Young 44-56% Mensch

Rebekah Brooks vs Paul Dacre

Nothing personal about this one, and in ordinary circumstances here are two far right arseholes who you’d imagine might happily share a bucket of chicken or other equally intimate moments, up to and including a jacuzzi. Simply a matter of reach, for me, and on this basis is tempting to view Brooks as the top arsehole of the two. As CEO of News she does after all have her fingers in two daily rags and two Sundays, while Dacre plugs gamely away Monday to Friday on the Mail alone.

The Mail, however, might just as well be hooked up to Dacre’s twitching brain, and it is likely harder for Brooks to ensure her titles tow the utter nutter line at ALL times to such a degree. Close, but Dacre.

Brooks 46-54% Dacre

If you’re not following Barney then go here immediately!

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Guest Predictions: How did Sean Biggerstaff do?

We asked actor and musician Sean Biggerstaff to predict the results of the weekend’s fixtures. The results are in, so let’s have a look at how he did.

10 points are awarded for getting the result bang on the money, 5 points for predicting the correct winner and 2 bonus points for getting within 5% of the score (Only if the correct winner is predicted).

Philip Hammond vs Theresa May

Sean’s Prediction: Hammond 30% – 70% May

Correct score: Hammond 18% – 82% May

Correct winner: 5 points

Rebekah Brooks vs Rupert Murdoch

Sean’s Prediction: Brooks 20% – 80% Murdoch

Correct score: Brooks 13% – 87% Murdoch

Correct winner: 5 points

Katie Hopkins vs Paul Dacre

Sean’s Prediction: Hopkins 70% – 30% Dacre

Correct score:  Hopkins 69% – 31% Dacre

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Tony Blair vs Jeremy Hunt

Sean’s Prediction: Blair 70% – 30% Hunt

Correct score:  Blair 27% – 73% Hunt

Nil points

Mike Ashley vs Louise Mensch

Sean’s Prediction: Ashley 60% – 40% Mensch

Correct score:  Ashley 28% – 72% Mensch

Nil points

Richard Littlejohn vs Boris Johnson

Sean’s Prediction: Littlejohn 10% – 90% Johnson

Correct score: Littlejohn 38% – 62% Johnson

Correct winner: 5 points

Kelvin MacKenzie vs Melanie Philips

Sean’s Prediction: Mckenzie 70% – 30% Philips

Correct score: Mckenzie 88% -12% Philips

Correct winner: 5 points

Toby Young vs Liam Fox

Sean’s Prediction: Young 40% – 60% Fox

Correct score: Young 39% – 61% Fox

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Iain Duncan Smith vs Piers Morgan

Sean’s Prediction: IDS 80% – 20% Morgan

Correct score: IDS 52% – 48% Morgan

Correct winner: 5 points

Michael Gove vs Nigel Farage

Sean’s Prediction: Gove 10% – 90% Farage

Correct score:  Gove 21% – 79% Farage

Correct winner: 5 points

Sean scores 44 points!

If you don’t follow Sean on Twitter then you should definitely consider doing so immediately. Follow him here

Predictions League Standings

1. xxxy 59

2. Unnamed Insider 54

3. Paul Auntie 53

4. Rich Smith 51

5. Jason Spacey 48

6. Summer Ray 46

7. Sean Biggerstaff  44

8.  The Sun Apologies 41

8. Gary Stanton 41

9. Oonagh Keating 37

9. Jim Smallman 37

9. Sir Michael 37

10. Professor Jack Darcy 35

11. Doc Hackenbush 32

12. Tiernan Douieb 24

13. Otto English 22

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Week 16 Predictions: Sean Biggerstaff

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, actor and musician Sean Biggerstaff guides you through the weekend’s fixtures.

Philip Hammond vs Theresa May

Oh, come on. This is like asking, who’s more of an arsehole: a lump of wood or the cunt that just hit you on the head with it? Hammond has no agency. He’s there to get alternately stroked and smacked into doing what May wants, the fucking idiot. May’s got that lethal combination of having no discernible abilities combined with an absolute conviction that she’s the dog’s bollocks and more than a little streak of cruelty. Her tenure at the Home Office achieved almost nothing even on its own warped terms, and all at the expense of a great deal of harm to a great many people. I’m already getting nostalgic for David Cameron, for Christ’s sake. Heavyweight arsehole.

My vote: May

Prediction: Hammond 30% May 70%

Rebekah Brooks vs Rupert Murdoch

Darth Vader vs Emperor Palpatine. An almost impossible choice. Although Vader at least demonstrated right at the end that there was some sliver of humanity left in him, and I’m not aware of Brooks ever having done this.

Murdoch will win this match as he currently has more evil on his record, but probably only because he’s older. He’s nearly dead and her eminence is yet to peak. One to watch for future arsehole competitions.

My vote: Murdoch, just.

Prediction: Brooks 20% Murdoch 80%

Katie Hopkins vs Paul Dacre

I’ve actually read Mein Kampf, and I’m not kidding when I say most of it isn’t as bad as that Katie Hopkins column about refugees. It’s impossible to tell which of her awful opinions she actually holds and which she just spouts for the sheer sociopathic joy of upsetting every warm-blooded human in the country. Either way, there’s no disputing her fitness for competitive arseholery at the top level.
Still a tough call for me though as Dacre is one of the UKs most capably awful people. He consciously cheers on hate (at the DM they actually call their copy ‘hate’) and stokes up dangerous political unrest at every opportunity, and even his own staff don’t get a moment’s rest from his inexhaustible malicious fury. For me it’s a tie, but I reckon Hopkins current profile will see her through this match.

My vote: Abstention

Prediction: Hopkins 70% Dacre 30%

Tony Blair vs Jeremy Cunt

Hmm. Tough one, actually. Hear me out…⁰Of course the obvious choice is to go for the big ol’ war criminal Blair, but this is a game of arseholes, not the Hague, alas. I reckon ‘Tony’ genuinely has a messiah complex and by his own lights has always done the right thing. (He’s definitely mostly done the wrong thing.)
Cunt, although he has nothing remotely like the prodigious rap sheet Blair has, is a classic Tory with a capital C who knows fine well he’s doing the Devil’s work and doesn’t give two shits because he’s getting on just fine.

My vote: Cunt

Prediction: Blair 70% Cunt 30%

Mike Ashley vs Louise Mensch

Ah, Louise Mensch. The hating man’s crumpet. With a random generator of confused, quasi-Thatcherite horseshit where her brain should be. Headache-inducingly terrible as she is, I don’t think she can hold a candle to Ashley, who actively and cheerfully profits from dystopian worker conditions. He also owns football clubs, and that’s for cunts.

My vote: Ashley

Prediction: Ashley 60% Mensch 40%

Richard Littlejohn vs Boris Johnson

I’ve done my research (i.e. looked at wikipedia for five minutes – more than he ever does) and I cannot find anything positive or even neutral to be said for Richard Littlejohn. He seems to spend just about every waking second thinking up unpleasant and/or untrue things to say about people for money. He’s an unmitigated arsehole.

However… Here he is up against an arsehole of truly historic proportions. Alexander Boris ‘Boris’ de Pfeffel (?) Wankface ‘BJ’ Arsehole ‘Boris’ Johnson will do literally anything in service of his own shitty self. There are Tory cunts, and then there is BJ. There are cynical careerists, and then there is BJ. There are entitled, out-of-touch blue bloods, and then there is BJ. He fucked the entire country in the arse over Brexit for the sake of his own ambition and he KNOWS this and he STILL carries on with nothing whatever but his own advancement in his foggy, half-understood classics tutorial of a mind. I hate him. I fucking hate him. I’ve never in my life had violent fantasies, but since June 24th 2016 I have yearned to feel this cunt’s fat face crumble under my bleeding knuckles. Unbeatable arsehole.

My Vote (and personal preference for the title): Johnson

Prediction: BJ 90% Littlejohn 10%

Kelvin MacKenzie vs Melanie Philips

No contest. Philips is, I think, wrong about almost everything and often quite cruel with it. (Fuck knows what the ‘gay lobby’ is) She’s arrogant, self-righteous and almost completely intolerable, but I don’t think she’s entirely malignant in her intentions.
MacKenzie, on the other hand, is just a blob of nastiness with a central nervous system. The shamelessness required to keep shitting out his own brand of awfulness, even after the Hillsborough verdict, is almost impressive. A pedigree Arsehole.

My vote: MacKenzie

Prediction: Mckenzie 70% Philips 30%

Toby Young vs Liam Fox

To read Toby Young’s review of I, Daniel Blake is to get an object lesson in what it is to be a stupid, ignorant, arrogant, snide, lazy, heartless, clueless, no mates tory hack. But at the end of the day, what Toby says doesn’t really matter. Everyone knows he’s worthless. Whereas the disgraced former defence secretary Liam Fox has all these charming qualities and more and is, amazingly, a fucking government minister, AGAIN. Having this out of his depth, self-serving toad flying around the world representing us in important discussions with other countries is extraordinarily stupid and dangerous. Massive arsehole.

My vote: Fox

Prediction: Young 40% Fox 60%

Iain Duncan Smith vs Peers Morgane

Duncan Smith is an elite competitor here, without a doubt. There has been quite a rash of supposedly compassionate Conservatives coming out with actual Nazi rhetoric in the last few years, but IDS takes the trophy. Having previously written about a visit to Auschwitz, and made explicit reference to its notorious welcoming sign – “Albeit Macht Frei“- he can hardly claim it was an ignorant blunder when he came out with the jaw-dropping, “Work actually helps free people.” during an interview on the BBC. Often to be seen sneering dismissively whenever anyone points out how many vulnerable people have died as a result of his policies, this man is an iconic arsehole.

He’ll surely make short work of Peers Morgane who, although he can be an awful cunt, also took a righteous stance on gun control during his stint as a US TV host, and he once punched Jeremy Clarkson in the face, which mitigates hugely in his favour.

My vote: IDS

Prediction: IDS 80% Peers Morgane 20%

Michael Gove vs Nigel Farage

Now, Michael Gove is a vintage twunt and no mistake, but let’s be real. In November, Nigel Farage (Rhymes with ‘garage’ – and no, not the American way) finally dropped any pretence of being anything other than the would-be leader of a fascist uprising when he threatened to lead a 100,000 strong march on the Supreme Court for daring to do their job, you know, independently. This cunt is a Hitler in the making, only lacking the Fuhrer’s charisma and honesty. Fuck Nigel Farage. Fuck him to death.

My vote: Farage

Prediction: Gove 10% Farage 90%

If you don’t follow Sean on Twitter then you should definitely consider doing so immediately. Follow him here

rich-smith-leage-predictions

Guest Predictions: How did Rich Smith do?

We asked NewsThump editor Rich Smith to predict the results of the weekend’s fixtures. The results are in, so let’s have a look at how he did.

10 points are awarded for getting the result bang on the money, 5 points for predicting the correct winner and 2 bonus points for getting within 5% of the score (Only if the correct winner is predicted).

Nigel Farage vs Rebekah Brooks

Rich’s Prediction: Farage 70%- 30% Brooks

Correct score: Farage 86% – 14% Brooks

Correct winner: 5 points

Rupert Murdoch vs Kelvin MacKenzie

Rich’s prediction: Murdoch 75% – 25% Mackenzie

Correct score: Murdoch 72% – 28% MacKenzie

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Louise Mensch vs Philip Hammond

Rich’s prediction: Mensch 80% – 20% Hammond

Correct Score: Mensch 88%- 12% Hammond

Correct winner: 5 points

Liam Fox vs Richard Littlejohn

Rich’s prediction: Fox 40% – 60% Littlejohn

Correct score: Fox 45% – 55% Littlejohn

Correct winner: 5 points

Piers Morgan vs Tony Blair

Rich’s Prediction: Morgan 65% – 35% Blair

Correct score: Morgan 72% – 28% Blair

Correct winner: 5 points

Theresa May vs Boris Johnson

Rich’s Prediction May 55% – 45% Johnson

Correct score: May 39% – 61% Johnson

Nil points

Jeremy Hunt vs Iain Duncan Smith

Rich’s prediction: Hunt 60% – 40% IDS

Correct score: Hunt 61% – 39% IDS

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Michael Gove vs Toby Young

Rich’s prediction: Gove 80% – 20% Young

Correct score: Gove 78% – 22% Young

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Melanie Phillips vs Katie Hopkins

Rich’s prediction: Phillips 20% – 80% Hopkins

Correct score: Phillips 9% – 91% Hopkins

Correct winner: 5 points

Paul Dacre vs Mike Ashley

Rich’s prediction: Dacre 65% – 35% Ashley

Correct score: Dacre 72% – 28% Ashley

Correct winner: 5 points

Rich scores 51 points!

You can follow Rich on Twitter here Go! Now!

Predictions League Standings

1. xxxy 59

2. Unnamed Insider 54

3. Paul Auntie 53

4. Rich Smith 51

5. Jason Spacey 48

6. Summer Ray 46

7. The Sun Apologies 41

7. Gary Stanton 41

8. Oonagh Keating 37

8. Jim Smallman 37

8. Sir Michael 37

9. Professor Jack Darcy 35

10. Doc Hackenbush 32

11. Tiernan Douieb 24

12. Otto English 22

rich-smith-leage-predictions

Week 15 Predictions: Rich Smith

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, NewsThump editor Rich Smith guides you through the weekend’s fixtures.

Nigel Farage vs Rebekah Brooks

Man of the People Nigel Farage managed pull himself away from his billionaire newspaper owning backers long enough to tell us that everything is the fault of the ‘establishment’ this week, thanks to another appearance on Question Time. With his gurning visage fresh in the minds of television owners across the country, I can’t see how Brooks can do anything but hope for a few late consolation votes.

Farage 70 – 30 Brooks

Rupert Murdoch vs Kelvin MacKenzie

I think this is a fixture you could hold at Anfield, for free, and throw in a slap-up meal and a complimentary pint and you’d still get an attendance of precisely zero. Kelvin is a pretty horrific arsehole, and shameless with it, but his chances of beating league leader Murdoch are about the same as him receiving a Liverpudlian Christmas card.

Murdoch 75 – 25 Mackenzie

Louise Mensch vs Philip Hammond

Louise crossed the Atlantic this week to join the Question Time panel to remind everyone once again that it’s perfectly possible to be wrong about everything, all of the time. When she’s not busy bullying teenagers online she’s learning the hard way how screenshots of search histories work, while spending many a pleasant evening questioning whether Jo Cox’s murderer got a fair trial. Philip Hammond may have been Chancellor for a few months, but as yet he’s done nothing even remotely Osborne-esque – so I don’t expect him to hit any form in the league until the spring.

Mensch 80 – 20 Hammond

Liam Fox vs Richard Littlejohn

Liam Fox has spent the week announcing a post-Brexit trading environment that would anger Brexiters and Remainers alike. Any politician should be hoping to unite a nation, be he has achieved it by uniting everyone behind their incredulity at his incompetence. That takes some doing.  Littlejohn meanwhile has been busy criticising the judiciary for applying the sovereignty he so desperately told us we needed, back in June. But things change when you’ve got a column to write and thousands of Brexiters to delight. I’ll be surprised if Fox can get within 10 points.

Fox 40 – 60 Littlejohn

Piers Morgan vs Tony Blair

Piers Morgan has made so many people sick in the early mornings that his nickname at ITV is now ‘pregnancy’, and there is literally nothing he won’t say to ingratiate himself with someone who has even a tiny bit of power – just what you want to see from a ‘journalist’. Blair has been mooting a return to frontline politics, though many would hope that the only frontline he would find himself on is the one facing ISIS. Morgan is just too high-profile at the moment for Blair to have any hope of victory.

Morgan 65 – 35 Blair

Theresa May vs Boris Johnson

An interesting match-up between two competitors coming into form. Boris Johnson this week called out Saudi Arabia with all the diplomatic grace of a dyspraxic hippo. Meanwhile, Theresa May expressed her desire for a multicoloured Brexit in the hope she’s hit on a definition that will placate an angry public for ‘five goddam minutes’.  Though I think Boris should win this, purely for his performance over the summer, I think May’s stuttering Brexit positioning means that the only people left who still like her are those who sell leopard print shoes.  May by a nose.

May 55 – 45 – Johnson

Jeremy Hunt vs Iain Duncan Smith 

Jeremy Hunt’s announced this week a plan to stop teenagers sexting, somewhat ironic coming from one of the nation’s biggest wankers. How his relentless attacks on the NHS don’t see him at the top of the league, I’ll never know. Iain Duncan Smith has spent the week reiterating for anyone who cares to listen that he has no idea what the courts in this country actually do, with his vocal attacks on the Supreme Court. But then, if you think the nation has had enough of experts, it’s hardly surprising if you spend most of the time sounding like a moron.

Hunt 60 – 40 Duncan Smith

Michael Gove vs Toby Young

Michael Gove is still going around telling everyone what he thinks of Brexit, despite no-one giving the tiniest of shits what he thinks about it. He continues his metamorphosis from Rent-a-pob to Rent-a-gob this week with a pop at the Turner prize. Maybe he should enter a self-portrait next year, he could call it ‘Irrelevant Gormless Cunt’. Toby Young may be famous for being so unlikeable even his ‘friends’ refused to go on his Stag do, but compared to Gove, he’s a bloody saint.

Gove 80 – 20 Young

Melanie Phillips vs Katie Hopkins

Phillips has her work cut out this week, as despite trying to cultivate a reputation as a ‘harridan for hire’, she finds herself this week up against the queen of the genre in Katie Hopkins. There is nothing so despicable that Hopkins won’t say in order to drive a few more people to her Twitter feed or radio show, whereas you can’t help thinking Philips would draw the line at laughing at drowning migrant children. Hopkins appears to have accepted a charity boxing challenge from Ellie Goulding, which has many people wondering whether Anthony Joshua can do a convincing small blonde singer.

Phillips 20 – 80 Hopkins

Paul Dacre vs Mike Ashley

The man behind the Daily Mail is barely in the top half of the league, which is a testament to his ability to stay below the radar while instructing his staff to demonise minority group after minority group on the front pages. Some people are arseholes for fame, some for power. He just does it for money, which is the worst of the lot. Mike Ashley is also an arsehole for money. A lot of money. Though a bit less this week after he learned that paying people the proper amount of wages means you make smaller profits. Whodda thunk it.

Dacre 65 – 35 Ashley

You can follow Rich on Twitter here! Go! Now!

gary-stants

Guest Predictions: How did Gary Stanton do?

We asked NewsThump writer and liberal hummus-eating bedwetter Gary Stanton to predict the results of the weekend’s fixtures. The results are in, so let’s have a look at how he did.

10 points are awarded for getting the result bang on the money, 5 points for predicting the correct winner and 2 bonus points for getting within 5% of the score (Only if the correct winner is predicted).

Boris Johnson v Jeremy Hunt 

Gary’s prediction: Johnson 45% – 55% Hunt

Correct score: Johnson 37% – 63% Hunt

Correct winner: 5 points

Richard Littlejohn vs Melanie Phillips

Gary’s prediction: Littlejohn 55% – 45 Phillips

Correct score: Littlejohn 73% – 27% Phillips

Correct winner: 5 points

Kelvin MacKenzie vs Louise Mensch

Gary’s prediction: MacKenzie 75% – 25% Mensch

Correct score: MacKenzie 54% – 46% Mensch

Correct winner: 5 points

Tony Blair vs Theresa May 

Gary’s prediction: Blair 60% – 40% May

Correct score: Blair 39% – 61% May

Nil points

Toby Young vs Piers Morgan

Gary’s prediction: Young 30% – 70% Morgan

Correct score: Young 29% – 71% Morgan

Correct score: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Iain Duncan Smith vs Nigel Farage

Gary’s prediction: IDS 50% – 50% Farage

Correct score: IDS 21% – 79% Farage

Nil points

Mike Ashley vs Rupert Murdoch

Gary’s prediction: Ashley 45% – 55% Murdoch

Correct score: Ashley 8% – 92% Murdoch

Correct winner: 5 points

Philip Hammond vs Paul Dacre

Gary’s prediction: Hammond 20% – 80% Dacre

Correct score: Hammond 19% – 81% Dacre

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Rebekah Brooks vs Michael Gove 

Gary’s prediction: Brooks 35% – 65% Gove

Correct score: Brooks 34% – 66% Gove

Correct winner: 5 points

Accuracy bonus: 2 points

Gary scores 41 points!

You can view Gary’s full NewsThump archive here

Predictions League Standings

1. xxxy 59

2. Unnamed Insider 54

3. Paul Auntie 53

4. Jason Spacey 48

5. Summer Ray 46

6. The Sun Apologies 41

6. Gary Stanton 41

7. Oonagh Keating 37

7. Jim Smallman 37

7. Sir Michael 37

8. Professor Jack Darcy 35

9. Doc Hackenbush 32

10. Tiernan Douieb 24

11. Otto English 22