Omnishambles & Jubilympics: Mick Twister’s Review of 2012


It was the year of the Omnishambles and the Jubilympics, when Savile unravelled and Mitchell cried “Stitch-up”. We had plebs versus whips, celebs versus zips, medals for Tweddle and Ennis – and Murray in tennis – Kate’s tits and Harry’s bits. So here’s the year in limericks.


In pastygate, the government’s half-baked decision to levy a tax on warm snacks from bakers led to a debate about whether David Cameron was partial to a pasty or craved caviar – all this as the government admitted to hosting lavish No 10 dinners for party donors. He was truly kebabbed.

There is a PM known as Dave

Who swears Cornish pies are his fave

But Labourites castigate

Tories on pastygate

Knowing it’s donors they crave.

Faced by the threat of a strike by tanker drivers, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude’s inflammatory advice was to park a few full jerrycans in the garage or porch. Strangely this got off the health and safety police fired up, and Maude was unable to find anyone to carry the can – literally or metaphorically.

A minister named Francis Maude

Advised petrol-buyers to hoard

But experts disparage

The use of a garage

When flammable stuff’s being stored.

Jeremy Hunt should be rewarded for services to limericks merely for his surname. But then to have an accident with the end of a bell when ringing in the Olympics in July was priceless.

Culture Sec Jeremy Hunt

Has cocked up a bell-ringing stunt.

As he was town-crying

The bell-end went flying

(It did. I’m not just being blunt).

If there was one person capable of upstaging Hunt’s stunt by going one better, it had to be Boris Johnson. The men among you will know how painful it is when one’s Johnson gets caught in a zip.

There was an exuberant mayor

Well-built, with a mop of blond hair

Who ran out of luck

When a zip wire got stuck

And left him to dangle mid-air.

And so to Gategate, also known as Plebgate. Ousted Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell admits he got a little tetchy with police who wouldn’t let him ride his bike through the Downing St gate, but denies calling them plebs. Though he may have used the F-word. Now the Feds stand accused of fitting him up. Here’s one from December, after Channel 4 News exposed the holes in the police account.

A former Conservative Whip

Denied giving officers lip,

Midst doubts on the fitness

Of one supposed witness

Who said he saw Mitchell let rip.

Another minister in trouble was Grant Shapps, over his relationship with businessman Michael Green – so close that they were in fact revealed to be one and the same. Green was an alter ego used by Shapps to sell dodgy internet products. Mr Green even took business associates on a tour of the House of Commons, to which Mr Shapps had privileged access!

There once were a couple of chaps

But apparently both were Grant Shapps.

The Tory MP

Had another ID

He attempted to keep under wraps.

The tabloid phone hacking scandal rumbled on, with the Leveson inquiry hearing evidence, and eventually reporting. And it emerged that not only was Rebekah Brooks an old hack whose hacks hacked phones, she had also got hold of an old hack of the equine variety, from the police.

There once was a very old horse

Who after some years in the force

Was lent to Ms Brooks

Who had cops on the books

(A fact unrelated, of course.)

It then transpired that someone else had been out hacking with Rebekah on Raisa the ex-police horse (deceased):

That tale of the nag from the force

(Whose name is Raisa, of course)

It seems has a coda,

For Cameron rode ‘er –

To flog, as it were, a dead horse.

We also learned more about the close relationship between Cameron and Brooks from their texts, in which she said his speeches made her cry, while he told her to keep her pecker up and signed off LOL – intending it to mean Lots of Love, though it gave the rest of us Lots of Laughs.

When Cameron texted with Beks,

Who backed him in general elex,

They got on so well

He signed off L.O.L

(And probably xxxx).

Meanwhile our friend Jeremy Hunt was also accused of getting a bit too close to the Murdoch empire, while in charge of the BSkyB bid. Luckily, he had a fall guy in the shape of his special adviser, Adam Smith.

The special adviser, or SPAD

Is a highly expendable lad,

Who will carry the can

When the shit hits the fan,

So the minister doesn’t look bad.

And amid all these Tory scandals, we’d better mention the Lib Dems. Nick Clegg apologised for having promised to raise tuition fees.

Liberal Democrat Nick

Made a pledge to which he didn’t stick

Now sorry for making it

Rather than breaking it,

Conscience-wise, Nick feels a prick.

And Labour? Well, there was Denis MacShane MP, who had to resign over elborately falsified invoices for expenses he claimed. But he insisted he was never in it for the money – so that’s OK.

A Labour MP named MacShane

Has decided he cannot remain.

A report by MPs

Found him guilty of sleaze

(Though he swears not for personal gain!)

But the biggest fall from grace came not from a politician, but a dead DJ, when Jimmy Savile was outed as a serial abuser whose crimes were a lot more serious than those against fashion.

There was an old DJ named Savile

Whose  image began to unravel

As he was  accused

By girls he abused

But a dead man cannot face the gavel.

The BBC was knee deep in doo-doo over the axing of a Newsnight exposé of Jimmy Savile. I don’t claim great powers of prophecy for this one from October.

There was an old fixer named Jim

Exposed as a paedophile crim.

It looks like the Beeb’ll

Regret being feeble

By shelving a Newsnight on him.

Though the prediction was borne out by the Pollard report in December:

There once was a Newsnight report

That editors chose to abort.

A fellow from Sky

Was asked to find why

And called it a cock-up, in short.

This was a downer after the great unifying event of the London Olympics, when we all sat glued to TVs and computers, exchanging thoughts on the unfolding events – starting with Danny Boyle’s spectacular opening ceremony in July.

There was a director named Danny

Whose sense of occasion was canny;

James Bond & the Queen,

Brunel, Mr Bean,

Were all in his grand hootenanny.

Of course, not everyone liked the pageant – one Conservative MP had to be slapped down by party bosses after calling it “leftie multicultural crap” on Twitter.

The Tory MP Aidan Burley

Sent tweets that were bitter & surly.

Flamed by Twitterati,

Disowned by his party,

He wishes he’d gone to bed early.

Once the Games got going, the early interest was in the pool, where Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever.

An American swimmer named Phelps

Won a medal amid cheers & yelps.

So now he’s won more

Than any before

(He’s in lots of events so that helps).

Meanwhile the 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shewin, a girl, swam faster than the male record-holder, which was generally taken as evidence she must have been training in the Chinese city of Do Ping.

There was a young woman from China

Whose medley could not’ve been finer.

The rest had no hope,

So was she on dope

Or simply a superfast minor?

Then eventually the home-grown heroes and heroines of the Games started to come through:

There is a young fellow named Mo

Who isn’t what one’d call slow:

Over 10,000 metres

He beat the world-beaters,

Just look at that Londoner go.

There was gold for Jess Ennis…

Jess Ennis the world Number One

Can jump, hurdle, throw stuff & run.

She took a firm hold

Of the heptathlon Gold

And seems to win medals for fun.

And even for tennis:

A tennis star named Andy Murray

Took gold at a venue near Surrey.

Repaying old debts,

As he won in straight sets

He resembled a man in a hurry.

And one athlete deserved a medal just for Olympic rhymeability.

Team GB gymnast Beth Tweddle

Has won an olympic bronze medal.

The woman from Cheshire

Was grace under pressure

Despite a last-minute back-pedal.

It was, of course, not merely the Olympics but the Jubilympics, a wonderful coinage from the scarily prophetic TV comedy 2012. So let’s remember the queen’s annus mirabilis with some royal highlights.

A very old Queen known as Liz

Has been 60 years in the biz.

In her time on the throne,

She has made it her own

(Though Charlie Boy wishes ’twas his).

As a special treat, in December they let Her Maj attend Cabinet:

There was an old queen who was able

To sit at the Cabinet table.

She took her position

In Dave’s coalition – 

A bit to the right of Vince Cable.

But to mangle the Sex Pistols slightly, Never Mind God Save the Queen, Here’s the Bollocks. Prince Harry learned that what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there when your new nude friends have cameraphones.

Prince Harry, the tertiary heir

Appears on the Internet bare.

But during the frolics

He covers his bollocks

And treats the crown jewels with care.

His sister-in-law suffered a similar fate when the peeping papparazzi papped her paps. Not having a swimsuit, she took out a lawsuit instead.

The Prince & Princess of the Brits

Are serving a number of writs

Against magazines

In which feature scenes

Containing the princess’s tits.

Despite this constant intrusion, Will and Kate somehow found enough privacy to create a potential heir:

There once was a woman named Kate,

Whom royals expected to mate.

And where, as they say,

There’s a Will, there’s a way

So HRH doth now gestate.

The Queen, of course, is head of the Church of England – but couldn’t be a bishop in it, as the C of E voted not to allow them.  Though the clergy were in favour, they were outvoted by lay members.

There once was an old C of E

That rebuffed its new archbishop’s plea

The synodal laity

Reckons the deity

Can’t bear a she in a see.

In the US, Barack Obama won reelection after what was billed as a tight race turned out to be as loose as Donald Trump’s tongue.

President Barack Obama

Survived an electoral drama

To win re-election

With Romney’s rejection

Across the US panorama.

Trump called on Twitter for a revolution against this unjust election victory, erroneously claiming Romney had won the popular vote. The rest of the world told him to keep his hair on.

Billionaire Donald J. Trump

Has been having a little tub-thump.

But the popular vote

Is Obama’s, I note,

So the Trumpster can go take a jump.

The election was hit by an October surprise in the form of Hurricane Sandy. Here’s the cause.

There once was a tropical storm,

Which merged with a cold front to form

A cyclone so huge

It caused a deluge

That greatly exceeded the norm.

And the effect.

There was a big fire in Rockaway.

The storm tore a boardwalk & dock away.

A levee was broken,

A flood hit Hoboken

And cars reappeared half a block away.

Gun control was thrust back on the US political agenda by the Connecticut school shooting. Wayne LaPierre unveiled the National Rifle Association’s dystopian vision – its solution to the problem being, as ever, more guns.

There was an old gun lobby group

That, finding itself in the soup

Said “Don’t spoil our fun

Give each school a gun”

How low can the NRA stoop?

There was change at the top in China in October, if not in the US.

There was an old fellow named Xi,

And also another called Li.

Today the two men

Replaced Hu and Wen

How and what they do now, we shall see.

Who knew the Muslim Brotherhood would take over in Egypt? I mean it, they did – The Who knew, back in 1971 when they sang “Won’t get Fooled Again, with the lines: “I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution/ Take a bow for the new revolution”, finishing: “And the beards have all grown longer overnight”.

There once was a leading Egyptian

Who broadened his own job description,

Increasing his sway.

Opponents now say

He followed Mubarak’s prescription.

In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi refused to go away – he was convicted of corruption, announced his political comeback, and got engaged to a 27-year-old – all this while the “bunga bunga” trial on charges of sex with a minor rumbled on.

There was an old man with a hunger

For women substantially younger.

But being engaged

May not have assuaged

His taste for the old bunga bunga.

In Iraq, the fallout from the fall of Saddam Hussein took a bizarre twist in January with the arrest of a man for pinching Saddam Hussein’s bottom – that’s to say, a piece of the bronze statue memorably toppled during the war.

A man was arrested this week

For possession of Saddam’s butt-cheek.

He said: “It’s a farce,

It’s only an arse

I’m on a bum rap, so to speak”.

In business news, Starbucks came under fire for swapping money around so as not to pay tax in the UK, despite knocking out gallons of overpriced hot milk.

A tall skinny latte-type chain

Implausibly tries to maintain

That the money it makes

On those coffees and shakes

Results in no taxable gain.

Also under fire was Apple Maps, the app which managed to lose Stratford-upon-Avon and Manchester United FC.

A company famous for apps,

That saw its brand image collapse

Has made an apology

For dodgy topology

Behind its crap app, Apple maps.

And the government gave its go-ahead for fracking in Lancashire – such a good word.

The UK has given its backing

To shale gas extraction or fracking.

Expect a big shock

As we see Blackpool rock

Resulting in Lancashire cracking.

In new media, December saw the launch of the pontifical Twitter feed. “And now the Pope will tweet”, intoned an acolyte – one of 2012’s more bizarre sentences.

The Vatican City’s big hitter

Is newly converted to Twitter,

So follow the pontiff

To get what you want if

It’s blessings, and not a cheap titter.

Our obligatory animal story concerns Tian Tian and Yang. Unlike Kate and William, the pandas were unable to fulfil conjugal expectations with their command performance at Edinburgh Zoo.

She-panda Tian Tian receives. 

The aim of it is she conceives.

Yang don’t give a damn.

Whambam Thankyoumaam – 

The he-panda eats, shoots and leaves.

And then of course, it all came to an end on December 21 with armageddon, as predicted by the ancient Mayans. Or not.

There once was a doomsday prediction

In which few had any conviction.

It owed less to Mayans

And more an alliance

Of hippies & Hollywood fiction.

So when your old calendar comes to an end, do what you always do – get a new one!

Happy New Year,

Mick Twister.

About twitmericks

There is an old fellow called Mick/Who's been penning the odd limerick/I admit he's no Keats/But he does them in tweets/So to follow, you just have to click.!/twitmericks "The limerick master of the twitterati" (The Guardian).
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