Rod Liddle

A wonderful time was had by all at the Utter Arse of the Year awards

It’s been an amazing year for complete idiocy – perhaps the best ever

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

A glittering cast list, delicious food and spectacular entertainment — I just wish you could have been there. But tickets were at a premium for The Spectator’s prestigious Utter Arse of the Year awards ceremony held, as ever, in the council chamber at Tower Hamlets. The meal, prepared by the exciting left-wing lesbian cook Jack Monroe, consisted of her famous kale pesto pasta on a bed of shredded back copies of the Guardian. As we munched away, a troop of locally sourced Bangladeshi mime artists enacted the setting up of an east London caliphate and — to the delight of the audience — silently decapitated several infidels sitting near the stage. As the black flag of the Islamic State was raised above our heads, the compère for the evening, Jon Snow, from Channel 4 News, took to the rostrum and the real business began. It has been a fabulous year for arses, he told us, perhaps the best year on record. Arses everywhere you look, he chuckled — and at that moment, through fiendishly clever technology, a giant hologram of the revolutionary comedian Russell Brand appeared beside him, transmitted live from his £76,000 per year flat in nearby Hoxton. The Russell hologram entertained the audience with a stream of indecipherable, pretentious, sub-adolescent balls before (again, praise to the technical team) disappearing in a puff of smoke up his own backside. How we all cheered!

That was an excellent foretaste of the proceedings. Snow then welcomed the leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband, on to the stage to do his famously hilarious impersonation of someone trying desperately to appear normal while undertaking a range of simple everyday tasks — such as standing still, eating a sandwich, breathing etc. On the screen behind his head was displayed a strange photomontage of nine or ten distressed people, some wearing restraints, others gibbering maniacally, two of them in a permanent vegetative state. These troubled souls, it transpired, were the remaining British citizens who think Ed would make a competent prime minister.

There was then a break while we enjoyed Jack Monroe’s marquee dessert — kale pesto dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream accompanied by Fair Trade organic gravel. Yum. We had scarcely finished this scintillating coda to our repast before the former government chief whip, Andrew Mitchell, arrived — flanked by patently low-born police officers — and began issuing writs to every table in a delightfully arrogant manner.

This was by no means the final appearance of our police force. To the great surprise of the audience, a body of 200 officers from the famous Operation Yewtree detachment arrived and immediately began arresting people willy-nilly, putting their mobile phones and tablets in black plastic bin liners and explaining that all those arrested would be free to watch the rest of the night’s entertainment on bail and that charges might or might not be brought against them several years hence. A phalanx of Monstrously Transgressed Women howled their approval, among them two Liberal Democrat ladies who had once been asked by Lord Rennard if they would like a cup of coffee.

The next surprise was a wonderful rendition of Al Jolson’s ‘Mammy’, performed in blackface by a contingent of racist footballers, managers and club owners and — the star guest for yet another year — Sepp Blatter, the president of Fifa. There was a hush as Mr Blatter revealed that the 2026 World Cup would be jointly hosted by Iraq and Syria. A team of self-righteous, Lycra-clad cyclists then swooped on to the stage, scattering the footballers hither and thither and yelling abusive comments at anyone who got in the way.

It was time for the big guns to arrive. Our much-loved and respected former prime minister Tony Blair has already received several awards for his astonishing philanthropy this year, but this was surely his crowning moment. The Utter Arse of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him in person by the Isis head-chopping video star Jihadi John. John expressed his deep gratitude for the opportunities afforded to Isis as a consequence of Mr Blair’s brilliant foreign policies and added that he hoped both Tony and Cherie would continue to line their pockets with vast amounts of dosh from third world dictators. Blair’s award was a large golden commode, ineptly decorated by Tracey Emin. The Polly Toynbee Award for Specious, Duplicitous Cant was presented by Jon Snow to the former SNP leader Alex Salmond, who thrilled the audience by revealing that there would be another referendum on Scottish independence next year, given the astounding success (if erroneous consequence) of the last one. This time, he said, voting would be extended to foetuses in the womb and iconic Scottish wildlife — razorbills, stormy petrels, pine martens and red deer. An ovation ensued.

A brief entertainment followed with the arrival of a troupe of morbidly obese, tattooed northern chavs with pitbulls, who treated us to a display of synchronised flatulence and bellowed threats. They were followed by a team of Romanian pickpockets and sex-traffickers, and a choir formed of escapees from Sangatte who ululated magnificently. After the wonderful singer Madonna had shown us her breasts once again, it was left to Jon Snow to announce the main award winner: Utter Arse of the Year. The prize — a real human sphincter muscle, steeped in formaldehyde and studded with diamonds by Damien Hirst — was accepted by the comedian Stephen Fry on behalf of the ‘Tweeting British Public’. What an incredible twist! We had all won! ‘Never in human history have people given of themselves so magnificently,’ Mr Fry declaimed. ‘Never has so much time and energy been expended on vapid, fatuous or banal observations, confected hyperbolic outrage, cretinous conspiracy theories and general idiocies. Well done, well done!’

Carriages were at 11.

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Show comments
  • Tiger Lily

    Congrats for winning that award, Rod.

  • Yorkieeye

    I love you Mr Liddle ❤️

    • Ooh!MePurse!


      • gelert

        Thirded 😉

        • skeptik

          is fourthed a thing? Is so I fourth!

  • sam

    oh thankyou thankyou , adjunct to vodka to face this year

  • Rik

    Rod i laughed so much i will have to sue you for causing me GBH but only after you have served your jail sentence for slaughtering so many sacred cows.
    Fabulous sir fabulous long may you continue.

  • The evening then ended abruptly with Yasmin Alibhi Brown bursting in with a sawn-off shotgun and blowing the heads off every third white middle-class male in the room.

    Brilliant article, well done, sir!

    • Damian Hurts

      I challenge you to team up with that other hideous (fat) lefty Michael Moore and script the plot for Bowling for Columbine II.

    • frank marker

      Are you quite sure it would be white middle class males she would finish off? I thought white working class males were her particular bete noire. White middle class males would be full of collective guilt and sucking up to the likes of YAB.

    • Ricayboy

      Along with Diane Abbott.

  • flippit

    Well done Rod

  • Patty O’Heater

    Brilliant, just brilliant!

    • skeptik

      That’s the best nick I’ve seen in years kudos!

  • CharleyFarleyFive

    Thank you.

  • GarethSoye

    Is it ironic that I’ve just Tweeted this article?

  • Claraver

    Rod, the line up you put on stage is the best pantomime I’ve seen for many a year. A diamond encrusted sphincter, what more could an Arse want. I salute you sir.

  • Cornelius Bonkers

    Well, what more is there to say? I’m delighted that my own favourites – Fry and Snow – topped he list. That said, any prognoses for 2015? Malala perhaps or, more ironically White Dee? Yum Yum…

    • Swanky

      My god, it’s Bonkers! Where’ve you been?

      • Cornelius Bonkers

        Yo Swanky, Bonkers has been on a secret mission; but the quality of Rod’s awards were too tempting to remain undercover…

        • Swanky


    • Mr B J Mann

      On an “off-topic”(?) serious note:

      Why is it OK for Westernized trendy-lefty “liberal” parents to brainwash their kids into “fighting” and dying for their cause, yet when a Taliban parent does the same thing there is outrage in the Western meeja?!?!?

      • Cornelius Bonkers

        Yo Mr Mann, well indeed it’s a very difficult question you pose. I guess it must be a matter of motivation and legitimacy. Coming from, say, a religious background (to compare like with like) trendy lefties’ like Jon Snow probably hold to Just War theory (Thomas Aquinas) as their motivation for sending their progeny to war. Whereas Taliban parents are I suppose just arseh.les. I hope this helps!

        • Mr B J Mann

          True, but the “fighting” was in quotes for a reason!

          And I was referring to “Westernised”, not Western, “liberals”.

          I was thinking, for example, about that Malala(?) girl who was clearly too young to decide to put her own life at risk to advance her parents progressive “liberal” agenda.

          And who actually believes she wrote her own speeches for those western photo-calls which could get home-grown “fighters” targeting her?!

          • Cornelius Bonkers

            I get it. But whether they are western or westernised makes little de facto difference. The truth is that fundamentalism of ANY kind is dangerous and needs to be dismantled by the rational argument fundamentalism cannot countenance. Am watching Ed Milipede’s “speech” on TV, pretending his family came as poor immigrants – he really thinks we believe him and that he understands “us” – woop, woop!

  • Mike

    A welcome change from some of the dross we read here and not a mention of UKIP !

    • Condelfan

      Rod Liddle, you are nearby charged with racism in its most vile form.
      How dare you think that you could write a political article and not even make one single derogatory attack on Ukip ?
      Well, that’s it.
      You’ll never work for the BBC again.
      Go off and join David Belllamy on the never to be heard of again step.

  • Mr Grumpy

    The account of Mr Mitchell’s obnoxiousness has been embellished in the interests of revolutionary justice, but as this has no impact on its essential veracity we shouldn’t allow a quibble to spoil anyone’s memories of a delightful evening.

  • martin

    Magnificent article. It describes much of modern Britain so well.

    • Alexsandr

      no. the elf and safety bloke didnt win anything.

      • Doh

        The Elfen Safety executive should have won some award or other for allowing an Ebola-infected nurse into the UK, when all animals are quarantined routinely.

  • Very good! If the BBC broadcast stuff as funny and mocking and well written as that all would be forgiven. But they never will so they won’t.

    • The Masked Marvel

      That’s because Liddle was mainly mocking everything done by Left-wing darlings. The last remnants of his beloved old Labour have faded away, and the modern Left has very little to do with anything Rod supports. The BBC don’t have any pet comedians or comedy writers capable of it, never mind producers who would ask for it in the first place.

      • Neil Saunders

        It makes you wonder why he clings to the husk of the Labour Party, though. Does he think that there’s anything left to redeem?

        • The Masked Marvel

          Probably not. But it’s based on emotion. Why else would he have ranted about the “faux Left” and all that? It’s killing him that they’ve abandoned their proud Northern, working class roots, etc., preening and enriching themselves with no benefit to society, caring more about power and controlling others than helping the poor and punishing the rich. To him, the Left have lost the plot, with all the focus on PC Newspeak and doublethink. Granted, it does seem rather silly to those of us who always felt that the Left was a lost plot to begin with and that situation Rod bemoans today is the inevitable result of letting them take over national discourse and institutions.

          • Neil Saunders

            I come from a traditionally Labour-voting family who have never voted Conservative (we’re Old Labour to the core, only we realise that we’ve been permanently cast our of that particular Garden of Eden). The Conservatives have never had anything to offer us and are never likely to, but when we saw the way the Labour Party was going in the 80s we became increasingly disillusioned. How anyone could vote for the party once Blair had become the leader and deserted the core beliefs of the movement is beyond me. I can understand why poorly-informed, ill-educated people might continue support Labour tribally (since they do so unreasoningly and in defiance of the facts), but Rod Liddle hardly fits this profile.

            In the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s there were substantive issues on which the Conservatives were overwhelmingly wrong, and Labour broadly right, which is why people like my family supported them. The tribal white working-class Labour voter now, however, is a turkey voting for Christmas.

            The world changed some time in the 70s and it has changed yet again from the mid-90s. Mass immigration and Islamisation represent an “existential threat” (to the indigenous peoples of Europe and their cultures) that was not obvious to any but the most prescient 40 or 50 years ago, and it is clear to me that nationalism will gain increasing traction in the next few years, despite transparent attempts by the mainstream parties and mass media to slur and discredit it. A nationalist party in England that is protectionist and social democratic (in consensus-era terms) in economics will have great appeal for many disaffected Labour voters, while one that is socially conservative will also appeal to many grass-roots Conservatives alienated by the social “liberalism” of the neoliberals.

            The real divide now is between collectivist, traditionalist nationalists (who believe in the common good for members of an ethnically and culturally defined nation-state) and the individualist, libertarian globalists (who support gay marriage, open-borders and no-holds-barred free enterprise). The old political boundaries no longer apply.

          • Picquet

            I’d love to be told where ” the individualist, libertarian globalists (who support gay marriage, open-borders and no-holds-barred free enterprise)” are to be found. Might be one or two in Brighton, I suppose.

          • Neil Saunders

            They’re in power, Picquet. You obviously haven’t been paying attention.

          • MikeF

            So would I unless it is possible for there to be ‘individualist libertarians’ who seek to enforce conformity to their ideological precepts through force of law.

          • Neil Saunders

            Such seeming paradoxes are not unheard of, MikeF. We are being “forced to be free” by people who are imposing their own choices upon us.

          • Grace Ironwood

            Forced to be free, forced to be right, forced to be good and forced to be liars.

          • The Masked Marvel

            No, Rod Liddle exactly fits that profile.

          • Neil Saunders

            No, he doesn’t.

          • Pacificweather

            Although socialists, your family were national socialist not international socialists? Now where have I heard that before?

          • Neil Saunders

            Oh, how very witty! It might surprise you to learn that it’s possible to be nationalist and socialist without being a Nazi. Hitler’s political movement had absolutely nothing to do with the bread-and-butter, fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work socialism that I grew up with in the 1960s, or which my father, as an active trade unionist for most of his working life, fought for, so I think you’re just trying to smear me by association with something that actually repels me. I’ve read William Shirer, Alan Bullock, Lord Russell of Liverpool, etc., so I have a reasonably sound grasp of what the Nazis stood for.

          • Pacificweather

            As an active trade unionist, your father would have supported the international labour movement. He would have known that, because trade is international, labour must organise internationally. You, by your own admission, have become myopic and parochial. I was merely pointing out what that can lead to and I was giving you a reminder not an admonition. Your fellow workers, wherever they are from, are never the enemy. Socialism is international or it is nothing.

          • Neil Saunders

            No. He simply wanted Social Democracy in England. He hated Marxism.

            He would have seen internationalism in all its forms as utopian and impracticable.

          • Pacificweather

            That probably explains why trade unionism is in decline and the major car manufacturers in the UK are German and Japanese (countries that have high worker participation). It also explains why socialism (who said Marxism?) has declined in Britain. Too many thought and think like you and your father. As for social democracy, I’d settle for democracy. 80 years of minority elected government before getting a democratically elected one by accident. The good news is that we might get another one. Let us hope it is one that pleases both of us.

          • Neil Saunders

            A complete non sequitur, from beginning to end. As for your drivel about “a democratically elected [government] elected by accident”, I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re on about.

          • Pacificweather

            Now that is a shame. Take a look at the Excel spread sheet for the 2010 elections of the Electoral Commission web site. Then compare it with the 2005 spreadsheet. That will enlighten you.

          • Neil Saunders

            It would enlighten me to know what the f@%k you’re on about.

          • Pacificweather

            You mean it would enlighten you if I spoon fed you rather than you doing the work. OK.

            2/3 of MPs are selected by less than half the votes cast by their constituents. In 2005, 65% of votes weren’t for Labour. 52% of votes were completely ineffective. It averages 50% ineffective votes in UK General Elections. In 1997, 58% of votes weren’t for Labour. In 1979, 58% of votes weren’t for the Conservatives. In 1983, the Conservatives lost 2% of their 1979 vote and gained 52 seats. In 1951, Labour gained the most votes but lost the election.

            In 2010, the electorate voted for a ConLD coalition and got it. Of course, nobody actually wanted it but that’s what they voted for and, by a fluke, that’s what they got. The first democratically elected goverment since 1931.

          • Neil Saunders

            No, it would enlighten me and others if you’d just explain what you mean as lucidly as possible, and not leave us to work out what you might possibly mean on the strength of hints and clues that might lie hidden in your comments.

            I still don’t understand precisely why you are citing these statistics, unless you somehow want to expose the absurdity of the FPTP electoral system, in which case I heartily agree with you!

          • Pacificweather

            The absurdity is one way of describing it. The fact that it bears no relationship to a democratic system of electing a government (even under the almost two party system of 1951) is why you should be worrying about democracy rather than the loss of social democracy. There is democracy in this nation. The N.I. and Welsh assemblies and the Scottish government are democratically elected. But what is truly absurd is that in May 2011 Britain became the first nation in the history of the world to vote by a 2/3 majority to continue to have 2/3 of its MPs elected by a minority of the votes cast in the constituency thereby proving that the thought of being responsible for electing their MPs or their government democratically frightens the English to death.

          • Neil Saunders

            You’re certainly right about the Scottish Parliament and the two assemblies, which are far more democratic than anything available to English voters. I disagree that the democratic deficit in England “frightens the English to death”; if you’re talking about the rank-and-file English, as distinct from the elites, I think we’re actually seething with resentment, but either fail to see what can be done about the situation or succumb to a sense of futility and defeat.

            Still, I’m still puzzled as to how this relates (except very tangentially) to my earlier comments regarding my family’s political affiliations and my father’s trade union activity in the 60s and 70s. I take your point, however, that FPTP reflected public opinion far better in 1951 than it does now. I’m not sure what my late father’s opinions on electoral reform were (or indeed whether he had any), but I think he would have acknowledged the need for it if the reasons had been clearly spelled out to him.

          • Pacificweather

            You and your father wanted social democracy. That requires that MPs act for the majority not the minority. MPs elected by a minority will act for a minority. Until we have MPs elected by a majority of of their constituents it will be impossible to have a social democracy. Social democracy requires that the government considers the majority; the greatest good for the greatest number.

            There can be only two reasons why 2/3 voted for FPTP. One, as I say, they are frightened of the responsibilitity of democracy. The other is that they do not understand how the current electoral system prevents them living in a democracy and why MPs believe it is their duty to act for the minority not the majority. In short, they are stupid or they are cowards. Harsh? Yes, but one of them is true.

          • Neil Saunders

            I see what you’re driving at! – the rejection of AV. As it happens, I also voted against it, since I didn’t believe it offered a palatable (or even genuine) alternative to FPTP, even though I oppose this vehemently, too.

          • Pacificweather

            AV’s isn’t PR but it does ensure that MPs are the preference (albeit second or third preference) of 50% of those that vote. The theory is that an MP who has to attract a majority is more likely to act for the majority of constituents. Australia uses AV to elect its MPs.

            The second advantage is that if you vote for change you are likely to get asked again sooner than if you reject change. It is unlikely that we will now be asked to vote for an alternative electoral system for a generation unless, perhaps, if we continue to achieve democratic governments instead of the minority elected governments that the two main parties prefer.

          • Pacificweather

            BTW, in 1951 FPTP failed to serve the electorate as it does today because, of the two major parties, the one gaining the most votes failed to win the election.

          • Neil Saunders

            I don’t think FPTP has ever served the electorate, but I would suggest that its distortion of public sentiment was far less in 1951 than it is now, since the two main parties had clear ideological differences and represented coherent, well-defined socioeconomic groups.

            Politics is now more homogenised, while society – coincidentally or not (but certainly ironically) – is more fragmented and atomised than ever.

          • Pacificweather

            The distortion seems worse in 1951 because there was a clear difference between Labour and the Conservatives. The electorate voted for Labour and got a Conservative goverment. Today, with very little between the parties, the distortion would be much less noticeable were it to happen in 2015. Which is why the smaller parties change the game. A Labour SNP coalition would be very different to a Tory UKIP coalition. Politics may get interesting again.

          • Neil Saunders

            I think today the difference lies not between the parties, but between the parties and the electorate, large swathes of whom are effectively disenfranchised. In 1951 there was a good chance that a party representing on or other of two clearly defined alternatives would gain power.

            The mainstream parties of today all subscribe to a combination of crony capitalism and political correctness, which leaves both traditionalist conservatives and old-style, “consensus era” social democrats without any representation.

          • Major Plonquer

            Good grief! Socialism is about “bread-and-butter, fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work”. I must run out and tell all my Socialist friends here in Beijing. I’m a bit surprised they missed that bit.

          • Neil Saunders

            Chinese Communism never had anything to do with European Social Democracy. You reveal yourself as a w&%ker by referring to Peking as “Beijing”.

          • Condelfan

            and correct.
            Why isn’t the BBC reporting views like these ?
            Don’t they live in the real world ?

          • Neil Saunders

            What do you think?

          • Condelfan

            Well, I used to think it was left wing biased, I was wrong. It’s Nazi controlled propaganda station, or Soviet era censorship at the Beeb.

            I go further. Their comedy panel shows.
            95 percent HampsteadIslington champagne socialists, sneering, ridiculing ordinary folks concerns, never once supporting views that maybe, just maybe there is an overcrowding problem in the country.

            When did the BBC ever pay a comic who made a joke about overcrowding ?
            Cos if a comic ever , ever, joked about us being a tad overcrowded, he’d never work for the BBC again. So his career would be over.

            Free speech At the BBC ?
            Don’t think so.

          • Neil Saunders

            Actually, I agree with you on the whole. I just think that you’re mistaken in believing that the left can never be authoritarian, censorious, punitive and corrupt. George Orwell, who was a sincere socialist until the day he died, recognised this, and showed it in “Nineteen Eight-Four”.

          • Condelfan

            I agree. I’m tHinking bigger picture for Ukip, it’s growing and there’s total disgust in every strata of current politics. As Ukip grows it’s bringing those stratus together, a genuine chance of a party that’s not left right or centre, a party that’s everywhere, wherever is right for the country.
            Well, that’s my dream anyway, and I think it’s the dream of everyone who is joining up.
            Love to all,
            And vote You know who.

          • Neil Saunders

            I think Ukip constitutes the only serious opportunity for a protest vote against the existing system, of that of the three minimally differentiated mainstream parties whose convergence since Thatcher has been mistaken for (or misrepresented as) consensus.

            Whether it can itself form the basis for a long-term political movement remains to be seen.

          • Bosun Higgs

            Rod hates the fat-cat, privatising, credit-default-swapping, overpaid, New Etonian, beggar-my-neighbour, illegal-nanny-employing, vulgar, braying Right, too.

        • gelert

          Puts me in mind of Dan Hodges.

    • Control Freak

      Obviously, the only thing holding back the BBC is the risk that this incendiary material might be accessed, even if only on the BBC iPlayer, in Scotland. As Allan Massie has warned us in another post, if the “Police Scotland” (or whatever this bunch of Stasi rejects call themselves) were to read it, there could be trouble ahead.

  • Simon Fay

    Pretty good apart from lumping Salmond in with that lot.

  • Icebow

    I have this vision of Polly Toynbee stuffed and mounted in a bow-fronted glass case, her glare perfectly preserved for posterity, in some corner of the Leftie black museum.

    • Picquet

      It’s time she was invited to be a Guest on Top Gear. That’s an hour on my recorder to be kept for posterity.

      • Thomtids

        That’ll be as “the guest who keeps getting knocked down by the other guest in the low-priced heap of junk?”.

      • realfish

        Aaah ‘Top Gear’. The sneering left wing intellectual elite, have ‘never seen anything like it’.

    • Arthur Sanders

      just holding hands would suffice

    • Condelfan

      Surely it would be better to keep her alive, let her watch as the GE results come in, and watch as the Labour Party crashes ?

      • Icebow

        Fine; no particular deadline on the taxidermy.

  • Bonzo

    Happy New Year, Rod. Keep up the good work.

  • Rhys

    With so many palpable hits in Rod’s lampoon, it’s hard to pick out a favourite. I think the bit about Ed’s impersonation of himself made me laugh the most.

  • zoid

    arse of the year and no mention of james corden? shurely shome mishtake?

    • Jankers

      Not as large as it once was but still worthy of some recognition.

  • Shorne

    I suppose Liddle has qualified so often he’s no longer allowed to compete.

    • Swanky

      Funny, would have been funnier if you’d mentioned Ken Livingstone instead. Or George Galloway. Or Gordon Brown.

      • alfredo

        Very few laughs to be had out of Galloway, I’m afraid. Unless you think diarrhoea is hilarious (some BBC ‘comedians’ do, actually).

        • Swanky

          Good point. I just don’t think Liddle deserves the jibe.

        • Jankers

          In August George was battered while posing for pictures in Notting Hill, certainly gave me a laugh. Unfortunately the broken jaw didn’t even shut him up but funny non the less.

      • Noa

        Gorgeous George? Didn’t you lend him your coat once?

        • Swanky

          What the….!?

      • Shorne

        I agree about Livingstone and Galloway but they have been a bit muted of late.

        • Cyril Sneer

          The thorough beating that Galloway received may have had something to do with his silence. Anyway, it was a long time coming but just desserts all the same.

          • Peter Grimes


  • artemis in france

    You’ve scored a few direct hits hère, Rod, my boy, but I personally would have loved to see a mention for Steve Coogan. It’s a shame that such a supremely talented actor and impressionist should feel he must lecture the rest of the world about retaining his right to a private life. When will thèse people who make a living from being well-known get it? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. The récent docudrama about the Jefferies man who was appallingly badly portrayed by the media during a murder inquiry showed Coogan at the end attempting to identify his plight as being as worthy of sympathy as this décent man’s. The arrogant sensé of entitlement exhibited by him is quite nauseating.

    • Cornelius Bonkers

      Yes Art, self-righteousness is the absolute pits; and you be right, Paul Calf and his atavars’ suck, badly. But one omission in Rod’s list must be the intellectual poseur and cretin FERGAL KEANE. Who does he think he is? He’s on my list for “trial by sanctimony” when the time comes….

    • Alexsandr

      coogan talented? hmmmm.

    • MikeF

      Can’t imagine Mr Bragg wouldn’t have strummed his guitar at such an event either.

  • rtj1211

    When will the General Public get to vote on the media Arses of the Year award??

    1. Spongeing liar of the year award – to the sports journalist who best epitomises the moral hectoring from a pulpit to paying customers when they never pay a penny themselves to watch sport?
    2. Cognitive Dissonance of the Year award – awarded to the Foreign Affairs Journalist who most magnificently misrepresents the state of affairs in an area of the world where the Americans are the only people allowed to say what has happened, is happening and should be happening.
    3. Two-faced hypocrite of the year award – to that journalist whose personal peccadilloes most closely resemble those forced out of the limelight/public life etc etc due to supposed deficits in character/abiding by the law etc etc. Expected traits to include adultery, cocaine snorting, alcoholic binges, insider trading, phone hacking, leering at women in bikinis whilst on holiday etc etc.

    Short listed should certainly be: Douglas Murray for award two and Piers Morgan for Award Three.

    All should feel free to nominate others, since there will doubtless be lots of inside information not necessarily freely available to the general public.

    Perhaps Ian Hislop at Private Eye could co-ordinate matters??

    • Swanky

      4. Reflexively Envious and Angry About America Award. (See number 2.) I’ll endorse your name for it, if you like.

      We Brits had our time as Top Nation. Considering that America is the most powerful country that has ever existed, more than any empire, how about showing some gratitude for its decency, restraint, and sense of responsibility?

      • Neil Saunders

        Yeah, lovely country: tortures and executes people, bombs innocent civilians in countries it finds inconvenient, produces the Kardashians (who are the “successes” of the society)…

        • Swanky

          You’d like to go on the list, too, would you? And yes, it IS by and large a lovely country, and does far less injustice than most countries do and have done on a daily, hourly, basis.

          • Neil Saunders

            Ha ha ha!

          • Swanky

            I’m sorry the truth hurts so much, Neil. I count myself lucky to be here, and I had lots of options before I became a citizen, being already a Brit by birth and upbringing and a Canadian by circumstance.

    • Noa

      I’d put Hislop in for 3. myself, though adding Oborne in the journalist category would provide him with real competition.
      There is no competition for Cameron In the Politicians class, he wins ‘best in class’ for the third year running.

      • Marissa

        Oborne of Arabia for his credulous sucking up to Islam. Llama fancier Matthew Parris for arrogant ignorance.

    • little islander

      Douglas Murray. Seconded,

  • John Lea

    Brilliant, but no mention of Emily Thornbury!

  • LiamNewcastle

    Hilarious, new year same Rod Liddle. Thanks for the laughs!

  • abystander

    Bitter little Toryboy.

    • Jack Dawson

      Sweetly acerbic, slightly chubby, sometime Labour supporter, actually.

      • abystander

        Have we met?

    • Terry Field

      Tories Rule! The bankrupt State is DEAD.

    • Jankers

      Not since Hague, mostly champagne under this administration.

  • Treebrain


    What a fascinating concept but it only serves to further validate the total cowardice of yourself and your bien-pensant, metropolitan, chattering class cronies!

    No mention of the fact that Ed Miliband was breaking the traditions of his ancestry by eating not any old sandwich but a BACON sandwich?

    No mention of the Muslims in the UK of Pakistani origin involved for decades in the grooming, raping, beating and prostituting of white, Christian, English schoolgirls?

    Of course not, because you and all the other ‘court jesters’ in the mainstream media love to pout, primp and preen in the public eye but would never, ever, dare to address any real issues.

    What a pathetic and gutless person you are!

    • Jankers

      Milliband, bacon, Pakistanis and school girls, a golden opportunity clearly missed, maybe next year.

  • Well done Rod Liddle: SATIRICAL WRITING AT ITS VERY BEST!!! You have cheered me up no end.

  • Fraser Bailey

    Brilliantly written – a marvellous tableau of modern Britain, a land devold of all reason justice or morality.

  • I wanted to laugh, but it all sounded far too realistic for comfort.

    • cambridgeelephant

      Didn’t it just.

  • Swanky

    I hope you laughed writing it as much as I did reading it, Rod. Even if I think that Iraq was the one thing Tony did right!

  • Terry Field

    What great ones do, the less will prattle on. Hello putrid prattlers!!! Happy New Misery!

  • Bert

    Do we have to wait for the “Utter Arse of the Century” awards before mentioning Gordon Brown?

  • Richard de Lacy

    Thank you, Rod Liddle. Reading this is the perfect tonic after glancing at the drivel on the Telegraph website (I know, I know)

    • Swanky

      Golly, Richard. The Tepidgraph is the Guardian’s abused girlfriend these days. I should have thought that like any sane reader you’d have given it up!

      • Richard de Lacy

        Well said, Swanky. I’d love someone to ask the Barclay brothers how many converts to the cause they have yielded, after flooding the DT and Speccie with feeble-minded trolls like Allan Massie, Tom Chivers, The Dame Thompson, Charles Crawford, Nick Cohen, Anne Applebaum and so on. I have a strong feeling the answer rhymes with Lauren Bacall (RIP)

    • skeptik

      reading the guardian and the telegraph requires a special sort of lobotomy where reason and commonsense are removed and feathers are used as a filler

      • Condelfan

        Feathers, love it.

      • Richard de Lacy

        Yep, by God, those papers hate reality. Still, I think reality will survive the onslaught unscathed, whereas the DT and Guardian readers are heading for an almighty kick up the Khyber

  • John Steadman

    Rod – whatever they say about you, whatever they do to you, however they abuse you – please, please – persist!

  • Sean L

    Bullseye! That “thanks to the technical team” elicited a total belly laugh. Just on the subject of arses and their emanations, an authority on the subject was mentioned here last week, Anthony Burgess, whom i’d like to quote in this context: “worrabarrahotwarrerborrel.” That’s Burgess’s rendering of a sub-aqeous fart. I doubt anyone could figure that with no context but it still carries a higher truth value than anything that’s issued from Rusell Brand.

    This is the mildly amusing context, from his novel Earthly Powers (£1.98 on Kindle). What in our culture today would be considered a racist joke, but the norm, the demotic everywhere else people talk and joke about each other:

    “A smoking Sikh taxidriver in the FMS Bar in Ipoh had told me the fable of the origin of the Tamil tongue. One day the Lord God created all the languages of the world, a tiring and sweaty business. The task done, the Lord God doffed his robe and entered a cold bath his number one boy had drawn for him. Cleansing himself, the Lord God felt a timid tap on his shoulder blade. It was a little Tamil complaining in dumb show that he had not been given a language. “No more languages left,” said the Lord God. “You’d better take this.” And the Lord God subaqueously farted: worrabarrahotwarrerborrel. And lo, Tamil had come into existence.”

    • Condelfan

      It’s sad that you have to preface your lovely joke with a politically correct apology.
      Tell that joke to a mixed Indian, Tamil, British audience and the first two would laugh together like hell, and the Brits would just be embarrassed.
      The Tams would then have a crack about sacred cows, and they wou
      D all laugh like hell again,
      It’s natural
      It’s normal
      It’s human
      It’s illegal in England
      So shut up you fucking racist and crawl back under your stone where you and your kind belong.

      • Condelfan

        See, it works every time.
        You lost.
        End of argument.

  • dirkbruere

    Yet again President Putin was not invited. One can only surmise why…

  • WalterSEllis

    I was just surprised that John Snow didn’t award the prize to … himself.

    Bottoms up!

    • Swanky

      Bottoms Up: The Three-Hundred-Year Story Of The Left

      Who shall write it? Who could bear to?

  • In2minds

    So much, so much, however, the bit for me was all about Alex Salmond. This awful man and his silly ideas, or in the case of currency union, the lack of them has a lot to answer for. And now we see the equally horrible Ed Miliband also thinks he can be swept to power by lowering the age for voting.

    • Peter Grimes

      Miliband’s beloved Labour had already lowered the age of consent for non-consensual sex, of course.

  • ohforheavensake

    Oh, Rod. There can only be one winner- and it’s you. Same as last year.

    • Swanky

      I nominate you as next year’s runner-up for Winning Arse, seeing as you didn’t make the shortlist this year….

  • Picquet

    The wind beneath my wings…

  • Bill Kendall

    Brilliant apart from the “morbidly obese, tattooed northern chavs with pitbulls,” I am from the North and was offeneded, these people are found both North, South, East and West,

    • David

      If you were really from the North then I doubt you’d be so easily offended!

    • Condelfan

      Grow a sense of humour. Scots are salad dodgers, scouters are jack the lads, fat northerners with pit bulls, just humorous stereotypes.
      We should all laugh more, and that means at ourselves as well.
      Ps I’d advise you not to put it to the test by laughing at guys with pit bulls on my estate though, just saying.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    …It’s been an amazing year for complete idiocy – perhaps the best ever…

    I saw no mention of the unnamed staff at DECC and the DoE, who have developed the crowning idiocy of trying to run a sophisticated 1st world country on wind power.

    To do this they must have sacked or overridden numerous electrical engineers, all with far greater skills than themselves, and spent untold millions. All in an attempt to bring the UK back to the 1700s…

  • ADW

    I tried to write some additional material, but Harriet Harperson had me arrested for a while. Now I’m attending a surgery at the constituency office of the Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, though apparently she has already made her visit for the decade so this could be a long wait.

  • Ganpati23

    “Never has so much time and energy been expended on vapid, fatuous or
    banal observations, confected hyperbolic outrage, cretinous conspiracy
    theories and general idiocies.”

    Oh, very clever Liddle. How ironic. Your ‘get out of jail free’ laugh at your fuckwit audience.

  • David

    ‘British Obama’ Chukka Umana in his Hugo Boss suit couldn’t attend, because his Lexus hybrid SUV wouldn’t start. The environmentally unfriendly batteries had leaked all over the drive of his millionaire’s mansion in Islington, and he didn’t want to risk meeting a working class person if he took a taxi.

    • Roisin

      Unfortunately the event clashed with Sexy Bitch Wednesday at his favourite trash-free nightspot, Mokai.

      • David


  • Stephen Milroy

    Good to have a newspaper article on arses which doesn’t feature Kim Kardashian. Also if you look in Blair’s eyes, you see he has no soul…

  • willshome

    Does Rod Liddle get paid for this, or do you just let him come in and shout like the man in the woolly hat at the bus stop who thinks he’s hearing voices?

    • Lord Taliesin

      Like you, you mean?

    • Mr B J Mann

      Don’t bother doffing your woolly hat, man, they’re waiting for you back at the bus stop. Must be your shout.

  • Old Holborn

    this has made my day

  • Mark

    no awards for the directors of child safeguarding and police commanders in Rotherham? Shurely, shome mishtake?

  • Rod Liddle just needs to up the intellect a tad, lower the word count and he could be the next Peter Simple (Michael Wharton) who I didn’t think could ever be replaced. Not even Auberon Waugh could hold a candle to Michael Wharton but Rod is close…..

    How about it Mr Liddle?

    • Peter Grimes

      Remind me in which august journal Michael Wharton wrote (as Peter Simple).
      (Well not me but the denigrators here.)

  • Scradje

    If it wasn’t for the organic gravel I would have bought it as a straightforward news report.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    ‘A brief entertainment followed with the arrival of a troupe of morbidly obese, tattooed northern chavs with pitbulls, who treated us to a display of synchronised flatulence and bellowed threats’

    You’ve met some of me family then Mr L?

  • Stuart Beaker

    You’ve confused me properly – I thought I was a fascist libertarian, but now I’m thinking my left leg might be, well, left-leaning (avoiding the Miliband in the middle). Labels are so important, aren’t they? Is it worth subscribing, or does everyone just blog-vape now? Nice piece Mr Liddle, thanks.

    • Condelfan

      Me too.
      All very confusing,
      Ami right or am I a bit left, what the hells going on.

      Politics is getting very muddled up.
      Or it was, until
      Vote Ukip

  • Malcolm Knott

    I say, Rod, is this true? You’re not making it up are you?

  • ROUCynic

    How can Plebgate Mitchell not get a mention – or was he last years winner?

    • Peter Grimes

      He was, can’t you read?

  • Perseus Slade

    Mice Won Rod

  • jaz

    Based on this article it is clear that there is only one true deserving champion. Step up Mr Liddle and claim your prize. You are the unassailable victor.

  • Condelfan

    Imagine Rod narrating this on the Daily Politics, bet Brillo would be up for it

  • Bosun Higgs

    It takes one to spot one.

  • Doh

    Rod, stop dilly-dallying and join UKIP, most of us are similar to you.

  • Innit Bruv

    “Never has so much time and energy been expended….general idiocies” might well apply to a lot of Rod”oink oink”Liddle’s own endeavours.

  • Richard

    Hilarious, but I was distracted in turn, then seduced, by how horrified doctors are at a secret hair-loss cure, and how Brits are getting up to £3,000 to upgrade their windows.

  • S

    Below I mentioned George Galloway, Red Ken Livingstone, and I think Gordon Brown — who would probably be very nice to anyone he met for the first time but is reputed to be bad-tempered with the help, i.e. his staff and is in any case a rabid socialist. The only case he could make for keeping the Union was a thorough-going Marxist one — unless he threw in something else at the end of his speech, but I couldn’t hold on for that long.

    Anyway, I had thought of adding Rowan Williams to my list of @arses, but thought ‘best not: man of the cloth, means well I suppose’. I was being too generous. With withering humour, look what the very witty and sensible Allison Pearson has to say about the bosh-talking ex-bish:

    The former Archbishop of Canterbury tells the Christian think-tank, Theos, that primary school teachers should be allowed to wear full Muslim veils in the classroom. There is no reason to “panic” over the niqab, he insists, and even young children do not necessarily need to be able to see their teacher’s face.

    Musing from a higher plane than ordinary mortals – a plane so high there must be fears the oxygen to his brain has been cut off – Dr Williams says: “I’ve actually been in public discussions in Pakistan with women wearing full face veil, and you learn to read differently, it’s not that those codes don’t happen … but there’s a cultural obstacle to overcome.”

    Does one of the Church of England’s leading authorities really think that a six-year-old not being able to see their teacher’s face is merely “a cultural obstacle to overcome”? How about “scary and alien”?

    I despair. Just as the country is waking up to the dangers posed by communities which refuse to accept British values, Rowan Williams is busy promoting divisive difference. The former Archbish is talking bosh.

  • Hugh Drover

    I loved Rod’s rant, as usual, but I missed the Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
    award for self-righteous smugness, presented surely to Shami Chakrabarti. And a
    lifetime achievement award for desperate attention-seeking to Gwyneth Paltrow. I
    hope they make his 2015 list.

  • greencoat

    Rod, you are the uncrowned King of England.

    • not my real name

      What about Scotland?

      • Jay Igaboo

        I came across this belatedly.
        Your comment to The Arse of the Year in waiting was perfect, saved me a detailed and forensic evidence-based belated reply to him/her/it.

        • Thanks, Jay. I no longer recall this particular piece of rudeness but have no doubt that I enjoyed it at the time.

  • mixodorians

    It must be great not to believe in anything like Rod. So liberating to just be a nhilistic middle class tosser, who only cares about your car..and dribbling with anemic dogshit and attacking anyone with the balls to make any difference to a world – a world that is crappy for the majority in it.

    Does he just write for priviledged people? People so removed from reality that they get to sneer at everyone in it?
    Does he just write for people overtaken with loathing for self and their fellow man?
    Does he just write for people flooded with mean spiritedness, bile and anger?

    As a person who has to make a real effort to happy in this world (probably like most of you), I just don’t get the pointless sneering smug bile-fest.

    • not my real name

      Hilarious! Your entire comment is a ‘pointless sneering smug bile-fest’. Thanks for adding to the satire.

  • James Phillips

    And a few days later the acceptee of the Utter Arse of the Year award makes the headlines of BBC news after announcing his engagement.

  • Ricayboy

    One of the funniest things I’ve read for ages.

  • Frank Burns

    God…how I wish I could write like that!! You are reading my mind on all of these pretentious people who believe that we hang on their every word…whether it’s on the mind-numbing ‘Twittersphere’ with all of the banalities of life contained on it…or the witless verbiage of Mr Farrage and his followers who millions of our stupid population listen to in awe nodding their heads sagely saying ”He speaks for ALL of us normal Brits you know.” Thank God I’m not normal say I…

  • Benthos

    I thought Fry would have got the award for taking it up the arse.