Saturday, 26 January 2019

Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd: the Bonnie and Clyde of British politics?

What’s the difference between Cabinet Ministers Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd, and American gangsters from the Great Depression era Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow? Hmm. Let’s think. One of those couples started off as a minor irritation before progressing to become a confounded nuisance, rejoicing in their own arrogance as they defied public opinion, and eventually met a gruesome sticky end. The other couple were a pair of American gangsters…

Hang on, that’s not quite right. Hammond and Rudd have not met a gruesome sticky end. Not yet, anyway. But their determined efforts to defy the result of the Brexit referendum might mean that their political careers are hanging by a thread. Hammond has hinted this week at resignation if the UK leaves the EU on WTO terms (he probably said “No Deal” but there is no need to encourage use of this misleading phrase), and Rudd only has a 346 majority in her Hastings & Rye seat.

If it were to be fair to suggest that Hammond and Rudd are fast becoming the Bonnie and Clyde of British politics – and it may indeed be fair – the lyrics of Georgie Fame’s 1967 No 1 single “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde” are too tempting to ignore when there is a parody in the air, especially when it looks like a good fit for solo acoustic guitar: -

Hammond and Rudd were shifty looking people
And I can tell you people
They were Remainers’ sweethearts
Hammond and Rudd began their evil scheming
While Theresa May was dreaming
Down Westminster way

They mocked the vote
And spread their gloom around town
Got clean away in the Cabinet
And wouldn’t let the heat die down

Hammond and Rudd enhanced the consternation
And made the graduation
Into the wrecking business
“Brexit's no good”
Sour talking Rudd would holler
As Hammond played the scholar
Of sabotage

The scared PM
So weak, she left them alone
They dragged her crying through a pool of mud
And laughed about her feeble groans

Hammond and Rudd got to be public enemy number one
Rudely defying their own manifesto when Leave had won

They used to laugh about Brexit
But deep inside them they knew
That if they ruined the exit
They’d hit the ground together
Burning in Hades and shamefully supping the devil’s brew

Acting upon a tide of indignation
The forces of the nation laid a deadly ambush
For Hammond and Rudd – ‘twas Hammond’s deselection
And Rudd’s robust rejection at the ballot box

Hammond and Rudd
Remainers close together
And now they’re gone together
For good

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