I’ve been glued to the news this week waiting for the next Trump time bomb to explode. The latest one has been ticking since 2005, with yet another example of the ‘interesting’ attitude of the Republican candidate for Leader of the Free World towards women. Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up.
However, things have been equally entertaining on this side of the Atlantic over the past few days.
|British Prime Minister Theresa May at the Dispatch Box, House of Commons|
If you’ve ever listened to or watched Prime Minister’s Questions from the House of Commons, you’ll know that British Members of Parliament can be a fairly rowdy lot. There’s a good deal of heckling goes on, and it seems to be the sole purpose of the Speaker – a post currently held by John Bercow – to try to keep some kind of order, much like a grumpy umpire at a tennis match back when John McEnroe was still playing.
But, if the US has Donald Trump, we have the Labour Party, which seems to be undergoing a kind of slow-motion self-destruct at the moment.
And now we have the saga of two Members of the European Parliament from the UK Independence Party. One of them is Steven Woolfe, who has served as a UKIP MEP for the North West of England since 2014.
He is a married father-of-one, forty-nine years old, and a barrister. (I mention these facts only in the context that his parental status should give him some sense of responsibility, as should his age and profession, quite apart from the fact he is an elected representative of the people.)
The other person involved appears to be Mike Hookem, also a UKIP MEP since the 2014 elections, an ex-RAF Royal Engineer, and UKIP’s defence spokesman.
|UKIP MEPs Mike Hookem (left) and Steven Woolfe|
It seems that while they were attending the European Parliament in Strasbourg, they got into a bit of a verbal debate during a ‘clear the air’ meeting. Mr Hookem, in an interview on Radio 4, claimed that Mr Woolfe “took his jacket off, and said, ‘let’s take this outside. Mano a mano’ were his words … It was all a bit handbags at dawn.”
A newspaper reported that Mr Woolfe claimed that 63-year-old Mr Hookem “came at me and landed a blow.”
Mr Hookem denies punching his colleague, adding to Channel 4 news that “I’d backed off, the door opened, Steven Woolfe somehow fell over his own feet and fell into the room, and that was basically it.”
Either way, a few hours later Mr Woolfe collapsed and was taken to hospital to undergo investigations for possible bleeding on the brain.
|Mr Woolf collapsed at the European Parliament, Strasbourg|
It was suggested that he might have hit his head when he fell, although he was still claiming that his injuries proved he had indeed been punched. Reports now suggest that a CT scan has shown no evidence of any blood clot, and he’s due to be released shortly.
|What part of Steven Woolfe's anatomy has UKIP leader Nigel Farage got hold of, exactly?|
Nigel Farage, who is UKIP’s leader-on-elastic (he has stood down and stood in again several times, including again this week when Diane James resigned after less than three weeks in the job) said in another UK newspaper article that “I suspect it will blow over and be looked back upon as one of these things that happens between men.”
|I'm not saying Diane James didn't really want the job of UKIP leader, but the body language here speaks volumes ...|
The kind of thing that men do or say in locker rooms, eh Mr Trump?
But, all this goes to prove two important points, in my humble opinion.
The first is that anyone who deliberately sets out to be elected to government probably should be excluded from eligibility on those grounds alone.
And secondly, the average man is roughly 300 percent less effective in a fistfight than he imagines he’s going to be ...
Charlie Fox would laugh her arse off.
Charlie Fox would laugh her arse off.
This week’s Word of the Week is argle-bargle, which originates from the Scottish phrase argy-bargy, meaning anywhere from a lively discussion or relatively amicable if somewhat heated debate, to an argument or confrontation of moderate intensity, somewhere between a spirited debate and a fistfight. It employs reduplication, a repeat of one part of the first word in the second, much like mumbo-jumbo or another Scots phrase, catter-batter, meaning to wrangle. Argle-bargle would typically be used when the speaker is intending to sound either juvenile or pejorative, take your pick.