“Yfel æthwôn uppan innera innerfram m¯æle of squirelleye. ð¯ær yfel weargbr¯æde brægen wunian cwildb¯ære. Ale, yfel myniansingalliciansagu onwealg bollokovi oððætðyllic pro stund lêo hit hê beran me ðanon ðone as nutyejob cribb.” Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell Grainger is difficult to understand at the best of times, but his latest fixation with the Anglo-Saxon England of Alfred the Great is ‘odd’ to say the least. Using the protection of parliamentary privilege as an outlet for his ‘fantasy role play King of Wessex’ project he has been leading some (totally mythical) army into some (totally fictitious) battle.
King Alfred -the only English king to be called ‘the Great’ was famous for hiding in the Swamplands of Somerset, burning cakes while he was thinking about something else and then raising up an army to defeat the Viking invaders at Edington. Probably the one in Wiltshire, but for the sake of a good story let’s say it was the one near Chilton Polden.
And this time round in his quest to ‘Make Wessex Great Again’ the King’s deadly enemy is another mighty (read ‘Tory’) warlord Fóðurgyll Höfðingjablóð –‘Fothergill of the Bloodeagle’ or ‘Dave’ as he’s better known.
Mr Fothergill, the Tory leader of Somerset County Council, is unfortunate to have a Viking surname as it presumably explains why he’s here. The Vikings would land in their scary longships and then push inland ravaging the place for food and pillage. So ‘Fother’ (food -fodder-forage) and ‘Gill’ (steep valley-ravine-basically the area around North Curry) is clearly here to devastate the lands of the West Saxons defended by the noble Sir Ian. ‘Lidell’ (er, well that’s a Scottish name to start with) and ‘Grainger‘ (some medieval Farm Bailliff who oversaw the collection of rents on behalf of the lord of the manor)…..but hey, what’s in a name. Determined to revive those good old ancient Saxon days when England was divided amongst Tory warlord fighting Tory warlord poor old Fotherblood is getting both barrels from Ian the Cake.
Heregield, blOd ond loðrung
Under the Saxon shield wall of parliamentary privilege (so no one can legally twat him with a double headed axe) Ian the Cake has accused Fotherblood’s Dark Hordes (read Tory controlled ‘Somerset County Council’) of misusing Government Covid funds(some £32million) to spend on ‘whatever they fancy’. This he claims amounts to £10million and he calls it (obviously) the ‘Danegeld’ – that’s the money the Saxons used to pay to Viking armies to stop them ravaging them. He even says “Somerset’s Vikings have to be stopped!” and then with a brilliant grasp of history “Let us bring to bear the spirit of King Arthur-I mean King Alfred…”
It should be pointed out that it was indeed the Saxon King Alfred that defeated the nasty invading Vikings, whereas it was the Celtic King Arthur that fought against the ..er…nasty, invading Saxons…..a couple of centuries before.
Rising from Valhalla (well, County Hall) and swinging his mighty hammer in fury (well, putting out a press release) Fotherblood said “We would like to make it clear, once again, that all Covid-19 funding has been used as intended – to support Somerset residents, communities and businesses during the pandemic. Not all funds have been spent yet and we have £10.8m in a specific Covid-19 reserve to provide additional support for 2021/22. This approach is in line with Government guidance and is clearly and transparently set out in our budget papers.”
Deáþwang feald od beadu
So battlelines are drawn, tempers are at breaking point and Daft King Ian is probably stood somewhere out on the Somerset levels up to his knees in swampwater and elvers waiting for Fotherblood’s mighty hordes to descend on the unsuspecting peasants who he can once again lead to victory wielding his mighty Excalibur. Or ‘Barry’ as I think he now calls it.
So what does this tell us about the state of politics in Britain today?
Ian Liddell Grainger is the most popular politician Bridgwater has ever elected. At the last election in 2019 he received more votes than any MP in Bridgwater history. So despite being as mad as a packet of Trebor mints he’s genuinely the one chosen King. The one that the people of Bridgwater (and West Somerset) WANT to lead them.
And what do the people of Bridgwater (and West Somerset) want? Well, it must be a bit confusing for him because it’s a bit mixed signals…He can’t possibly GET any more Tories to support him. He’s mopped up the UKIP vote and they’ve pretty much disappeared as a party even though their last leader Dick Brain gave way to their new leader Peter Gammon and even though only this week the legendary (and don’t we wish she WAS actually fictitious) Katy Hopkins joined them and he’s drained every last vote out of Brexiteers too, so….. well, it’s only the Tories to go for!!
And he has history with this – a few years back he was caught out doctoring a photo of the Leader of Tory West Somerset council so it appeared that he wasn’t in the picture…so there’s already some Tories who don’t like him.
And of course he always has new friends to impress. ILG is now also the Chairman of the European Conservatives Democratic Alliance grouping on the Council of Europe, moving the previously ‘moderate’ British Tories out of the centrist bloc of European Conservative parties, into a bloc of far right parties such as the AfD in Germany, the Norda Liga in Italy and the Freiheit Party in Austria.
That’s what ‘Getting Brexit Done’ meant. Moving your party to the far right and linking up with other EuroCrazies!!
But now he’s got his claymore focused on the County Tories, who he sees as being under the thrall of Mr Fothergill. The Tories run the country, the Tories run the County, all the Somerset MPs are Tories……’CHAAARGEEE!!!!!’. It’s the next Battle of Edington! Tory warlord v Tory warlord with ILG (the actual and real and I’m not making it up 359th in line to the throne) versus the Nordic invader Councillor David ‘Forkbeard’ Fothergill of Monkton and North Curry.
And …who follows either of them are welcome to….there’s a lovely big swamp over Burrowbridge way….ideal for a pitched battlefield for 2 rival Tory armies…..