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.
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
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