Anthony Clavane: It has been a mad, crazy and surreal week

What would Mr Blobby make of Brexit? (PA).
What would Mr Blobby make of Brexit? (PA).
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Politics, these days, is a fast-moving business. So fast that, by the time you read this, I expect Theresa May to have been replaced by Boris Johnson, Mr Blobby to be hosting Question Time and Noel Edmonds to be in charge of a “deal or no deal” referendum on Brexit.

This might all seem a tad far-fetched.

But every time I switched on the news this week, mad, crazy, surreal events seemed to be taking place. Look, there’s Hollywood star Rob Lowe making a cop-based drama about Brexit in Lincolnshire. And there’s our prime minister attacking the EU for demanding a “backstop to the backstop” when she knows as much about baseball as Lowe does about the East Midlands.

And, finally, there’s distinguished political correspondent Chris Mason trying to make sense of May’s deal by quoting a yellow-spotted inflatable with a toothy grin and jiggling eyes who wheezes like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Mason – a plain-speaking Yorkshireman, obviously –went up in the whole world’s estimation when he offered the following analysis on BBC Breakfast: “People like me are paid to have insight and foresight and hindsight about these things, and to be able to project where we’re going to go. To be quite honest, looking at things right now, I haven’t got the foggiest idea what is going to happen in the coming weeks. I think you might as well get Mr Blobby back on to offer his analysis, because frankly I suspect his is now as good as mine.”

Or as good as Nigel Farage’s. In a predictably furious tirade, the former Ukip leader condemned May’s proposed EU withdrawal agreement as the “worst deal in history”. Sorry Nige. Everyone knows that was when Leeds United sold Eric Cantona to Manchester United for a paltry £1.2million.

I was always terrified of Mr Blobby. And Noel Edmonds for that matter. But it would be interesting to get both men’s views on how to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

Perhaps Noel, who has never been backward in coming forward, can explain the backstop to Harry Redknapp, John Barrowman, Fleur East et al in the Australian jungle. And, in between munching on kangaroo’s testicles in the new I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here series, perhaps he could elaborate on such controversial comments as “negative thoughts give you cancer” and “I tell the universe what I want, and the universe gives it to me”.

This promises to be the best I’m A Celebrity yet. For a start I know who most of the celebrities are. And, for a change, they are actual celebrities, not people who once appeared in a reality show, soap or 1980s TV series.

Talking of 1980s TV series, in a week when Jacob Rees-Mogg – channeling Margaret Thatcher via Mr Blobby – actually used the phrase “middle, muddle, fiddle, fuddle” to describe the May fudge, how refreshing to be reminded of a show which seemed, in its own perverse way, to make sense of the mad, crazy, surreal world of politics.

Roger Law, the 77-year-old co-creator of Spitting Image, revealed he was donating original scripts, puppet moulds, drawings and recordings from his legendary show to Cambridge University.

For those of you who think The Mash Report, Have I Got News For You and The Last Leg are the ultimate in cutting edge satire, please spend an hour or two perusing the latex puppets which Law, and his partner Peter Fluck, created during the Thatcher years. The show, which at its peak reached an audience of 15 million, was anarchic, scandalous and hilarious in equal measures.

Who can forget Maggie ordering a meal in a restaurant, surrounded by sycophantic ministers. “And what about the vegetables?” asked the waitress. “Oh, they will have the same as me.”

Like nostalgia, satire is not what it used to be. “It’s sort of died,” explained Spitting Image writer John O’Farrell. “There’s no pedestal to pull politicians off. The public hold them in such contempt.”

This, after all, is the era of fake news, Donald Trump and the mad, crazy, surreal world of Brexit. How do you compete with that?

Like Mason, I haven’t got the foggiest.