By John Richardson
While history holds many lessons in the fine art of the self-inflicted wound (SIW), I think July 2016 will go down as our biggest bloodbath to date.
SIW#1: This month saw the Nation mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme
The Battle of the Somme began at 7.30am on 1 July 1916 and lasted for 141 days, resulting in over one million casualties on all sides.
The first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, saw the heaviest loss of life in a single day’s fighting in British military history. The entire battle lasted until 18 November 1916 and eventually caused over a million casualties. By the end of the battle, in November 1916, the British had lost 420,000, the French lost nearly 200,000 men and the Germans 500,000. Many speak of the “lost generation”, finding it difficult to justify the near 88,000 Allied men lost for every one mile gained in the advance.
SIW#2: We also saw the spectacular stabbing in the back of Boris Johnson by Michael Gove, only to kill his own chances of success.
The world reacts:
“There’s a deep pit in Hell reserved for you, Michael! Boris Johnson allies react with fury”
“Meet Michael Gove, the man who just turned British politics into an episode of ‘House of Cards’ “
SIW#3: Brexit’s bloodbath
But as I look at the bloody aftermath following the Brexit vote to leave the UE, I’m struck not only by the ghastly behaviour of our leaders, but also by the fact that there was no actual contingency plan following the Leave vote. As a consequence, the pound today replaced the battered Argentine peso as the world’s weakest leading currency. Oh, and the Brexit panic has wiped $2 trillion off world markets.
SIW #4: Nigel
So now that he has done what he set out to do, Nigel Farage has reportedly been offered £250,000 to be dropped in the jungle for the next series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Mr Farage, who announced this week he was stepping down as Ukip leader after the Brexit vote, has been offered the huge sum this week, the Mirror reports.
A source told us:
“It would be TV gold to see Farage chomping on kangaroo anus or a turkey testicle in a Bushtucker trial.”
If confirmed, the 52-year-old would be the latest in a string of politicians who have undergone the show’s dreaded trials. Previous contestants included Lembit Opik, Edwina Currie and Nadine Dorries, along with ex-Ukip politician Robert Kilroy Silk.
SIW #4: Iceland
To add insult to further self-injury, one that was wholly avoidable, we led our lads onto the field and played the world’s worst game of football ever witnessed and then got deservedly and royally thrashed by Iceland.
SIW #4: Our Tony
Yes, I saved the best example of SIW until last.
Sir John Chilcot concluded that Mr Blair had overstated the case for military action in March 2003 as there was “no imminent threat” posed by Saddam Hussein and it was not the “last resort”.
Others think him a zealot driven by vast self-belief and an urge to save the world.
A brief look at the former prime minister’s influence on global affairs and its terrible consequences and I concluded that he is deluded, messianic, needy, narcissistic and very rich. And so, parading around in his silk jim jams he has concluded that he would “Do it all again” and that the 150,000 lives were not lost in vain.
When I contacted his office to offer him a luxury holiday in Iraq I was told that I was out of my mind.