Underhand, overpaid, the Tories are bungling free

Such is the numbing effect of watching our country̵7;s steady, headlong and, moreover, deliberate march toward an alternative apocalypse that one compulsively lurches to the telebox in search of solace. I wish I knew that’s the big show of the moment last of us, HBO’s adaptation of a successful video game, is set in a dystopian future where society has collapsed after an infectious mind-fungus destroys the population’s free will. Very close to home in a post-Brexit Britain, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Finding no refuge in contemporary TV culture, I turn to nostalgia in search of comfort, as I often do these days, and as I scroll through the social media columns, I find the reassurance I need. Looking for…

Last weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the first appearance on our screens Pregnancy, I myself was only three years old at the time, and so I have no recollection of a thunderous world.

What can find any warmer source of joy than the fond memories of Bernard Cribbins-voiced tales of the proto-eco warrior endeavors of a tribe of semi-rodent creatures living in a network of tunnels beneath Wimbledon Common?

I was as big a fan of anything as a three-year-old can be; My first album was Mike Batt’s Wombling Songs, which was given to me a year later on my fourth birthday, and you can imagine my glee that Wimbledon Common is a real place (and I’m sure the Wombles are totally Imaginary).

There have been a few attempts to reboot the series over the years… Well, most of them, both terrestrial and streaming, have now been taken up by “reimagined” versions of old favorites. And it is often pointed out that there is a dearth of good satirical programming on British tell right now.

So maybe we can kill two birds with one stone, or at least wound up and introduce TODAY viewers to a new breed of furry creatures…


(with apologies to Elizabeth Beresford)

The story of a family of different lovable creatures who occasionally break out of their warren-like home in London and try to make the country a better place (that’s the idea anyway) …

Jacob Rees-Mogg is Bulgaria’s Great Uncle

Fussy, grumpy, decidedly old-fashioned and occasionally monocled, Great Uncle Bulgaria is the self-appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Westmibles, delivering epigrams and poorly chosen Latin tags in an attempt to hide the fact that although he may be educated Maybe, he is actually one of the dimmer residents of the Westminster Bill.

Liz Truss is Madame Cholet

After a brief and disastrous spell as leader of the Bills, Madame Chollet is back after a surprisingly brief absence. Her noted eccentricity has, if anything, increased while she was away, possibly due to the stress of being apparently the only female Westmiddle in the entire bill.

Rory Stewart is Tobermory

Sensible, balanced and practical, Tobermory’s job is to understand the constant stream of waste that other Westmibles bring back to the burrow every day and, if possible, put it to some good use. Unfortunately, that rubbish is currently lying in undisturbed piles in the corridors of Westminster as Tobermory hasn’t been seen in the borough for years. Sadly all Westmibles with any real talent (or grip on reality) were left out of the bill…

boris johnson is orinoco

Useless, lazy and pathologically selfish, Orinoco’s presence is still tolerated around Bill, despite the serious failure of his recent tenure as leader of the Westmibles. Although his coup was supported by Great Uncle Bulgaria, it resulted in the Westminbles’ estrangement from the community of children’s TV creatures.

Subsequent attempts at trade deals with Night Garden and Tubbyland failed, leaving Bor in desperate straits, and Orinoco forced to step down from his leadership duties, though it is difficult to tell the difference.

Rishi Sunak is Wellington

Quiet, studious and very keen in maths, Wellington is trying to steer Bill to better times after Orinoco and Madame Chollet’s disastrous attempts at leadership; His efforts have been somewhat shaky so far, but considering he recently married the daughter of one of the wealthiest Mumbles (the Mumbai branch of the family), he’ll probably be fine.

Dominic Raab is Tomsk

Big, beefy and shockingly stupid.

jeremy hunt is bungo

too many “second ones”; Bungo is content to watch Westminbles squabble, bicker and tear each other to pieces while quietly plotting their own rise to power.

poem of the week

up, up in the sky
there is a chinese spy balloon
A-beeping and A-snooping
It will go away very soon.

Americans were not ready
to wait for it to stop
so they fired a couple of missiles
And the espionage balloon burst.