Bernard Ingham: It's not terribly difficult to sit in judgment '“ here are my political awards for 2018

AFTER Margaret Thatcher's triumphant pre-election visit to Moscow in 1987, Tory MPs, I am told, did not know whether to call me 'Bernard the Great' or 'Ingham the Terrible'.

Sir Bernard Ingham has been handing out his political awards - what did Theresa May win?

Given my essential modesty, I offer you only my Ingham the Terrible awards for 2018.

Generally speaking, it has been a doddle judging the deserving among the great, the good and other sad cases.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The winner of the Ego, 
Sacker, Tweeter and Unguided Missile of the Year titles is, of course, President Donald 
Trump who also qualifies for 
the Hair of the Year award now that Boris Johnson is sadly shorn. Trump is unique in the annals of international politics and may the good Lord protect 
us from the possible consequences.

The Stoic of the Year is undoubtedly Theresa May whose fortitude in the face of the European Union, her own party, the UK Parliament and innumerable writers of letters to the Press has had to be seen to be believed.

Sticking my neck out, I forecast that she will next year again run any rival close for 
the Dogged and Persistent awards, which she also amply deserves.

But for China operating capitalism and Communism 
side by side, she would also 
take the Enigma of the Year 
title. No one has a clue whether she is Machiavellian or the principled vicar’s daughter in pursuit of what she thinks best for Britain.

This is because she would never win the communicator of the year. Mrs May is given to talking in slogans such as 
“Brexit means Brexit” without ever precisely defining the 
Brexit demanded by 17.4m voters.

This brings me to the Bore 
of the Year Award: Brexit. I fear that this boring business will bore us to tears for years to 
come.

This is in part due to the winners of the Vindictive of 
the Year award, which goes to 
the European Union, linked with the name of Michel Barnier, 
the Brussels negotiator who 
has done his best to prevent
our escape.

Some may wonder whether I have forgotten Jean-Claude Junker, chairman of the EU Commission. Certainly not. He is the Blotto of the Year – a delightful condition latterly causing him to ruffle a lady’s hair. Naughty boy.

I confess that the title of Has-Been of the Year has somewhat exercised my judgment. In the end it goes to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who hastened her demise by unilaterally – and arrogantly – opening Europe’s gates to the cruel exodus from the Middle East and Africa.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, thus qualifies for the Busted Flush 
of the Year title with the 
outbreak of another violent French revolution, this time 
with the revolutionaries clad in “gilets jaunes”. He deserves no less.

With so much competition, I can award Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s rocket man, only the Humbled award, though whether this condition is permanent is undecided.

You will not be surprised to hear that Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin runs away with the Poisoner, Assassin and Destabiliser of the Year Awards for plunging us to a new era of the Cold War with that singular chemical weapon novichuk.

The Marxist of the Year is shared by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his side-kick John McDonnell. They also jointly run away with the Thickie of the Year award for apparently believing that Russia (20 per cent living below the poverty line) and a shattered Venezuela are working class Edens.

Their sidekick, Diane Abbott, is deservedly Mathematician of the Year.

Faced with this fine trio, the Tory Party inevitably earns the Utterly Stupid award, even if it forbore to reject Mrs May in a vote of confidence. Its performance has been an extreme example of its suicidal obtuseness which once caused Mrs Thatcher to wonder how she could have led that lot.

Inevitably, the Nincompoop of the Year award goes to chief constables for wittering on about cuts while failing to uphold the law. The Incompetent of the Year accolade goes to NHS administrators who have contrived to enter another winter with 102,000 staff vacancies.

Their close rivals in incompetence are those 
parents who can’t even potty train their kids before they go 
to school.

The Hypocrites of the Year are councillors who hoist council tax while drawing £10,000 a year-plus just for turning up.

Finally, The Snowflake, The Disgusted and The Obsessive of the Year titles go, as the cap fits, to students, academics, feminists, hypersensitives and assorted “rights” lobbies? Take your pick.

And keep smiling. A Happy New Year.