The Top 20 Most Bizarre Political Moments of 2017

After 2016, which was arguably the most unpredictable political year in recent memory, 2017 has had a surprising number of dubious moments too. Since this list will mainly focus on political gaffes and mistakes (mainly in Britain and the USA), shocking events such as the suicide of Slobodan Praljak or the resignation of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe last month will not feature in this list.

20) Tim Farron being constantly quizzed on gay sex

The then leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, raised controversy when he refused to deny that the act of gay sex is a sin which eventually played some part in his resignation. Farron came into my college (he’s a former student) earlier this year, just before the election was called, for a Q&A and I asked my Twitter followers if there was anything they’d like me to ask him. One person suggested that I should quiz him on his comments about gay sex, but since I wasn’t fully aware of the story at the time I instead asked him whether he would rather go into a coalition with Labour or the Conservatives. Of course, he avoided the question.

19) Strong and Stable Bananas

How many times did we hear the words “strong and stable” over the election campaign? Perhaps the most memorable time was when Jeremy Corbyn was offered some “strong and stable bananas” on a visit to Leamington.

It turns out the prankster was a young Conservative member, and student at Warwick University, who did this to point out that Corbyn’s policies were “a bit bananas.”

18) Corbyn Accidentally High-Fives Emily Thornberry’s Chest

The morning after the election, Jeremy Corbyn was celebrating a remarkable result in his home constituency, with fellow Islington MP Emily Thornberry. However, many noticed that an attempted high-five by Corbyn did not go quite to plan.

The high-five was then successfully recreated which you can watch by clicking here.

17) Tom Watson dabs in the House of Commons

During Prime Minsiter’s Questions back in February, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson decided to dab after Corbyn made a point about saving the NHS. Afterwards, Watson claimed that his dab was “inadvertent” as he had been dabbing with his kids over the holidays. It’s still not as cringy as Hillary Clinton dabbing, right?

16) Philip Hammond – “There are no unemployed people”

If you thought Diane Abbott’s misjudgement about police figures was bad…

There are in fact 1.4 million unemployed people.

14) Covfefe

Back in May, President Trump left the entire world confused when he tweeted the following sentence:

“Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

People tried to work out what on Earth “covfefe” meant and the results were hilarious.

The original tweet was deleted 6 hours later and corrected. Technically the President is not allowed to “withhold public information” under The Presidential Records Act of 1978, and this can include tweets now.

13) UKIP leader declares “I could strangle a badger with my bare hands”

UKIP leader Henry Bolton (don’t worry, I don’t know who he is either) says that he could kill a badger with his bare hands.

12) Melania Trump body double conspiracy theory

Yep. Some people really believed that Melania Trump was replaced by a body double.

11) Trump Plagiarises Batman Villain Bane

Yes it was unintentional, but it’s still quite funny. But to be honest, that entire inaugural speech felt like something Bane would say.

10) Trump calls Kim Jong-un “short and fat”

In perhaps his most outrageous tweet since becoming President, Trump continued to display the public tension between him and the North Korean leader by tweeting:

9) The Rise of Jacob Rees-Mogg

Continuing the trend of the political underdog, an unlikely Conservative MP gained popularity this year. Despite his controversial views on abortion and same-sex marriage, Jacob Rees-Mogg has gained popular support amongst Tory members. From correcting Channel 4’s Jon Snow on the definition of a “slaughterhouse”, to the formation of ‘Moggmentum’ (to rival Corbyn-supporting group, Momentum.) Even the winner of I’m A Celebrity, Georgia Toffolo, described him as a “sex God.” Rees-Mogg responded to this by tweeting that she “should have gone to Specsavers.”

And of course, there’s always one who took it too far…

8) Boris Johnson recites Kipling in Myanmar Temple

As always, 2017 has been full of BoJo gaffes, including calling Jeremy Corbyn a “mugwump” (which is actually used to describe someone who is loyal to their political party.) But his most embarrassing and controversial mistake of the year involves the UK ambassador to Myanmar, Andrew Patrick, forcing Johnson to stop reciting Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Road to Mandalay” at one of the most sacred Buddhist sites. The poem is about a retired serviceman reflecting on his colonial service – something which Johnson should probably not be reminding the people of Myanmar of.

7) Lord Buckethead and Mr Fish Finger

The 2017 election was full of plenty of bizarre candidates. For example, Mr. Fish Finger ran against Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron after an online petition became popular (“can this fish finger gain more likes than Tim Farron?”) and won 300 votes!

Similarly, Lord Buckethead ran against Theresa May and also won 300 votes. Elmo showed up in that constituency as well, but sadly only got 3 votes.

6) Theresa May mistakenly congratulates Corbyn on the birth of his granddaughter

Laughter could be heard on both sides of the chamber as Theresa May congratulates Jeremy Corbyn on the birth of his granddaughter, only to find that this was untrue.

Of course, she blamed her advisers

5) Fields of Wheat

Who could forget that bizarre interview when Theresa May was asked what was the naughtiest thing she ever did? Her answer, “running through the fields of wheat”, inspired many memes and encouraged Alex Salmond to upload a photo of himself standing in a field of wheat with the caption “feeling naughty.” Many farmers were furious to report that many of their crops had been damaged after people had ran through their fields imitating Theresa May. This was just one of many awkward interviews for Theresa May in the run-up to the election campaign.

4) Grime 4 Corbyn

Corbyn inspired a whole generation of young people to vote at the election in June, including many who had never been engaged in politics before. Major Grime artists including Stormzy and Jme encouraged young people to vote for Corbyn which predictably inspired many memes including a Corbyn version of Stormzy’s “Shut Up” (see below) and Corbyn appearing as a ‘current member’ of Grime group “Boy Better Know” on Wikipedia. Corbyn even presented Stormzy with his Best Solo Artist award at the GQ awards in September.

3) Greg Knight

The East Yorkshire Conservative MP rose to fame this year with this unorthodox Alan Partridge-esque method of campaigning. Whatever you may think of the song, it worked, and Knight was re-elected to his seat in June.

2) Theresa May’s Disastrous Conference Speech

When I saw this over Twitter I had to check that this really happened. I simply couldn’t believe that Theresa May was actually handed a P45 halfway through her conference speech. The prankster, who it was later revealed was Lee Nelson, handed her the P45 whilst saying “Boris told me to give this to you.” He then approached Boris Johnson, giving him a thumbs up, before being escorted out of the conference room.

Everything seemed to go wrong for Theresa May in her speech. In addition to the P45, she introduced policies that the Tories had mocked Labour for in the past, entered a coughing fit so had to be given throat lozenges whilst in the middle of talking, and some of the letters fell off the display behind her.

Armando Iannucci (the creator of Alan Partridge and director of The Death of Stalin) said that Theresa May’s speech was so surreal that it would be deemed as simply too unrealistic to appear on his political sitcom, The Thick of It.

1) “Ohhhh Jeremy Corbyn”

It had to be. I found it impossible to go to anywhere on a night out, post-June this year, without hearing someone chanting it. From surprising everyone by making gains at the election in June, to appearing on the front page of GQ in November, this really has been Corbyn’s year. I had the pleasure of attending two Corbyn events this year – the first was a rally on the beach at Southport in August, and another was the North-West regional Labour conference in early November when Corbyn actually came and personally spoke to the group I was with. It has to be said: I’ve never known a British politician in my lifetime to have such a positive widespread following in the same way as Corbyn has.

We should celebrate the fact that so many young people turned out this year to vote. We are the future of this country, and if we emulate the same levels of enthusiasm in the next election that we had in the last, then our future is looking very bright indeed.


This year has been another political rollercoaster and I know that 2018 won’t be any different. Do you agree with my list? What moments have I missed out that you would have included?


Anti-Gay Marriage, Anti-Abortion: PM Rees Mogg would be a disaster

It might be a cliché for a left-wing blogger to rant about every MP linked with the possibility of becoming the next Tory leader, but I am seriously convinced that as bad as I believe Theresa May to be, Jacob Rees-Mogg would be on another level. And that’s not just because he was hilariously made a fool of by Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ali G character in 1999 (which you can watch here:, but because he has many controversial stances on progressive issues that we should celebrate in a society as liberal and tolerant as the United Kingdom.


Rees Mogg only became an MP in 2010, compared to Theresa May who had been an MP for almost 20 years before becoming Prime Minister last year. However, David Cameron had only been an MP for 9 years before becoming PM (and for only 4 before becoming the leader of the Conservatives) so it’s not unusual for an MP to gain such a high position so quickly anymore.

Rees Mogg’s stance on LGBT rights is extremely worrying. David Cameron’s biggest achievement as Prime Minister was the legalisation of gay marriage in 2013 – something which Rees Mogg voted against on more than one occasion, including the right for same-sex couples in the armed forces to marry outside the UK. If Rees Mogg were to attempt to repeal this vital piece of legislation for equality, then he would be completely isolating the 1.7% of the UK population who openly identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual (according to the Office for National Statistics: as well as all the allies who believe that nobody has the right to take away someone else’s right to love whoever they want, and to be protected under the law. Whilst so many people are persecuted across the world because of their sexuality, Rees Mogg’s stance on the issue is completely regressive and wrong, and conflicts with the popular opinion of the UK public that gay marriage should be allowed. This view could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister, should he choose to run if May resigns. Remember: love is so much stronger than division.

In an interview with Good Morning Britain ( he also stated that – although the law won’t change – he is against abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. The Labour government of Harold Wilson in the 60s made so many progressive social reforms that benefit almost everyone in society, even 50 years later. One of the most important reforms that was passed was the Abortion Act of 1967 which meant that women could finally get safe abortions from the NHS. If Rees Mogg became Prime Minister, we would have a leader who would think it is morally wrong for a woman to decide what should happen to her own body, and therefore taking that right away from half of the population. Again, such a stance would clash with public opinion, as the majority of the UK believe that the woman should have the right to choose ( The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom should not want to restrict the rights for its citizens. Instead, they should inspire change and equal opportunities to work towards a fairer and safer society.

As a leader, Rees Mogg is not representative of the UK population. One MP, who I was speaking tom described him as the “Minister for the Nineteenth Century.” Like Cameron, Osborne and Johnson, Rees Mogg attended both Eton College and Oxford University. Only 7% of the UK population attended private schools so Rees Mogg would be representing the elite establishment who have consistently dominated Westminster politics. Fox hunting, one of the most controversial topics at the last election due to Theresa May’s suggestion of having an open vote on the issue, is also something Rees Mogg feels strongly about, describing it as the “least cruel” method of controlling the fox population ( Rees Mogg’s views seem to only reflect those of the rural South-West where he represents.

Don’t be fooled by Rees Mogg’s personality. We all laughed at Farage didn’t we? Trump too? Look where those two ended up. They managed to have unprecedented influence on arguably two of the most historic votes of the decade. The media seemed to give them so much air-time because of their charisma and unorthodox styles of politics. Don’t be fooled by the attention Rees Mogg has been getting; the media love an outsider candidate, and if he decides to throw his hat into the ring then it’s likely that he would get the most coverage out of everyone.

So, to conclude: if Rees Mogg became Prime Minister then the Conservatives and Labour would become even more polarised than they currently are, offering the electorate an even greater choice between the parties. However, it would be a complete disaster for people who support equality and a fairer society for all. Is it likely to happen? Probably not. But you never know. So continue to spread love and stand up for what is right.


My Thoughts: Why I’m worried about our new Prime Minister

Tomorrow Britain will have a new Prime Minister, Theresa May, who has been the Home Secretary since 2010. May will become the second female PM, after Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. For those who don’t know much about Theresa May, here are my worries about her becoming our new Prime Minister.

Yesterday The Independent (one of the most reliable and politically unbiased newspapers) summarised my argument with the phrase “Theresa May is about to become Prime Minister after a career of opposing legislation that guarantees equality and human rights.” In this article I will be exploring Theresa May’s abysmal voting record.

Theresa May has spoken in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act and leaving the European Convention of Human Rights. These are the sources of our basic human rights (the right to life, the right of free speech etc.) Although she did support replacing these with a new ‘Bill of Rights,’ it is impossible to know what this new bill would include, and which rights would be guaranteed and which would not. 

Probably Theresa May’s most notorious policy is supporting the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ which would give the police the power to search anyone’s internet history without asking for their permission. In a bid to tackle terrorism, supporters of the snooper’s charter claim that “if you’ve done nothing wrong then you shouldn’t be scared.” Meanwhile, critics claim that the Snooper’s Charter is a breach of personal liberties. The law hasn’t been passed yet, but it’s extremely likely to happen under May’s government.

Theresa May has never supported equality. She has consistenly voted in favour of slashing benefits for the poorest earners in society, whilst voting against measures to tackle tax avoidance. She also voted in favour of invading Iraq, launching further air strikes on Syria, and legalising fox hunting. She voted against banning smoking in a car whilst children are present. May also (extremely controversially) said that sex offenders should he allowed to adopt and that we can never have a fully integrated society where there is immigration. 

Just because Theresa May is a woman doesn’t mean she supports women’s rights. Theresa May voted against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which would give lesbian couples the ability to receive fertility treatment and she also voted against gay adoption rights and repealing Section 28 which bans the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

How Theresa May became Prime Minister is extremely undemocratic. Even if she was chosen by the 150,000 Tory members, that would be undemocratic, but May only became PM because the other candidates dropped out of the race. In the end, our next Prime Minister was chosen by 199 Tory MPs which accounts for 0.000004% of the entire population. How can we call ourselves a democratic nation when our Prime minister was chosen in this way? May should call a general election because she has no mandate from the British people. But she won’t, because she’s in power now and doesn’t want anyone to take that away from her. She believes that her own personal position is far more important than democracy.

Although we can’t be 100% sure what the UK will look like under Theresa May, I am certain there will be further growths in inequality and fewer rights for workers. Young people will have their futures in doubt and there will be a continuation of austerity politics. Like Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May will continue to divide the UK and I believe she will be a terrible role model for young women. Theresa May will be just as bad (if not, worse) than David Cameron.

My Thoughts: Labour Leadership Crisis

The county’s in a mess. British Politics is in a mess. Both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party are in a mess; there’s no doubt about that. Things need sorting out, and they need sorting out fast.

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader I felt a sense of hope. No, I didn’t vote for him, but I still felt the optimism in the party and among the members. Corbyn had been elected with a huge mandate, and had inspired tens of thousands of people to join the Labour Party. More people have joined the Labour Party after Corbyn was elected than the entire membership of the Conservatives. I felt that we were going to start a new era for the Labour Party, but I realise that it was just never to be.

I was hugely disappointed with the EU referendum result last Friday, because I feel like we could have done more to convince people to vote remain and to put our case forward for staying in Europe. For his whole political career, Corbyn had been Eurosceptic which surprised me when he announced that he would be campaigning to keep Britain in the EU. I feel that Corbyn didn’t convince as many people as he could have convinced. Polls suggest that around 37% of Labour supporters decided to vote against the party’s stance which annoys me because I believe that the party had a very strong case for staying in Europe. I don’t think Corbyn raised his argument well enough in the media, and I think at times he was too quiet, or not passionate enough. For example, on his appearance on The Last Leg, he was asked “on a scale of 1 to 10, how passionate are you about staying in the EU?” and his response was “7 and a half.” Had Corbyn been a 10, there is a higher chance that we would have convinced more voters to remain.

I feel that Corbyn hasn’t been strong enough at PMQs and has allowed David Cameron and the Tories to walk all over him. Despite being the more decent person, the majority of the public only care about who can perform better in the House of Commons. Unfortunately most of that majority believe Corbyn is outperformed every week.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire Jeremy Corbyn and believe he has brilliant and humble political views- in a perfect world we’d all want him as Prime Minister, I’m sure. But unfortunately I cannot see him winning the next election, and we need a strong leader to stand up to Michael Gove/Boris Johnson/Theresa May, or whoever the next Conservative leader may be. It’s not just one or two MPs who disagree with him, it’s about three quarters of the Parliamentary Party. Having lost the vote of no confidence, I feel the respectable thing for Corbyn to do would be to resign. Yes, he has a huge mandate from Labour supporters, but you can’t win an election just by having the support of your own members. You need to consider who would be the appropriate choice of a leader who could win an election. At the end of the day, it’s a choice between having Corbyn as leader or having a Labour government.

However, I do not agree with the infighting and the behaviour of MPs who oppose Mr Corbyn. I think it is immature and unprofessional to publicly criticise your own leader, especially when the country is so divided. I condemn the personal attacks on Mr Corbyn and believe that their differences should be settled in a civilised manner.

In conclusion, ideally I would like to see Andy Burnham or Dan Jarvis become leader of the party as I believe they could unite the members and the Parliamentary Labour Party, as well as being a strong opposition to the Tories.

My Thoughts: The Media Has Too Much Control Over Our Politics

We need to stop the media having so much influence and potential power in our politics. At the 2015 General Election it was quite clear which party most of the newspapers preferred. The press is supposed to be fair, equal and balanced. If there is a disproportional amount of newspapers supporting a certain party then how can we call this fair and balanced?

I set out to investigate the statistics surrounding national newspapers and endorsements. Of the twelve national daily newspapers, six endorsed the Conservatives, three endorsed Labour, and the Lib Dems, UKIP and Workers’ Revolutionary Party gained one endorsement each. So 50% of the national daily newspapers endorsed the Conservatives whilst 25% endorsed Labour. This is hugely disproportional if we take this into account. This also shows a lack of diversity in our press if three quarters of all the daily newspapers backed the two main parties.

However it could be argued that the daily national newspapers have no real effect in terms of seats won since the SNP had no endorsements and still gained 56 seats. However of the eight Scottish newspapers, four of them endorsed the SNP. This still shows that there is inequality in the press. People keep getting fed the same ideas and beliefs. People don’t always see every side of the argument and because of this the outcome of our election is pretty much decided by whoever Rupert Murdoch decides to back.


A lot of the time the press don’t even focus on who has the best policies and prefer to focus on who looks the best whilst eating a bacon sandwich. As Ed Miliband said “If you want this to be a beauty contest or a photo opp contest then I’m not going to win it.” People may laugh at this, but is our politics slowly turning into a beauty contest? How can it be fair that the winner of our general election is basically decided by the media and how they present the party leaders? The media should focus on policies and issues so the electorate can decide who they want to vote for themselves without newspapers making that choice for them. The tabloids seem to believe that their readers are not intelligent enough to make a decision on which party to support by reading policies and instead decide to show them a photo of the party leader to base their choice on instead (The Sun disrespectfully use language so basic that a seven year old could read it and understand it.) It is laughable that people will vote for a politician based on their appearance without knowing any of their policies.

The Sun – for some reason – is the most read paper in Britain. This is a frightening fact when some of the front pages of The Sun are taken into consideration. After the tragic Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when 96 innocent Liverpool fans lost their lives, The Sun claimed on their front page that “some fans picked pockets of victims, some fans urinated on the brave cops and some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life.” Now it has been proven how wrong they were. We should never immediately believe whatever the media tells us. The media (particularly papers like The Sun and The Daily Mail) like to use scaremongering and print highly controversial stories on their front page in order to sell copies and gain more money. It is disgusting and thoroughly wrong that newspapers should be allowed to publish any information that is highly false, although it is unlikely that this will ever become a rule or law because the newspapers will claim that they are using their right to “freedom of press and freedom of speech.” I’m a strong supporter of these two things, but printing stories that are extremely false and inaccurate to a mass audience which can end up ruining lives is not a use of freedom of press/speech.

don't buy the sun

My argument is that the newspapers should allow their readers to make intelligent decisions about which party to support based on facts rather than photographs. I would strongly like to see the press regulated to prevent publication of false or inaccurate stories or headlines- papers should receive a heavy fine or suspension for printing another “Hillsborough- The Truth” type of article. I would like to see more newspapers supporting smaller parties such as The Green Party so we can gain a more balanced representation of UK politics. Finally, readers should become much more aware that not everything that is published in newspapers is true, and to not let a certain paper’s opinion of a politician or party directly affect their own view of them.

My Thoughts: Tribute to 13/11/15

What happened on Friday 13th November is truly unspeakable. It is devastating to think that a minority of extremists would want to cause harm and distress to many, many people across the world.

Innocent people were killed in Paris- their lives taken so soon, and so selfishly. Some were in the National Stadium, watching their beloved national team win 2-0 against the world champions Germany. Some were at a metal concert, not too far away, and some were in the town centre before the devastating events took place. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those affected.

But Paris was not the only place to have suffered devastation. In Beirut and Baghdad, bombings took place, whilst there were earthquakes in Japan and Mexico. My thoughts are with the victims and families of these unimaginable events as well. Let us not forget them. 

However, all over the world there is poverty and terror, happening every single day. Let us remember all people around the world who are suffering.

Let’s work together by participating in the political process and then we can finally aim to build a better, more peaceful world to live in.  

My Thoughts: Jeremy Corbyn – The First Few Days

It has been an eventful first few days for Jeremy Corbyn, just four days after being announced as the new leader of The Labour Party. Here are some of my thoughts on the different things that have happened so far.

A 50/50 Shadow Cabinet

Mr Corbyn has raised a few eyebrows after naming his shadow cabinet since none of the “top jobs” were given to women (although women were given the roles of Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Business Secretary.) The reality is that half of Mr Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet are women- the first time this has happened in British political history. The Daily Telegraph was one of the first newspapers to criticise Mr Corbyn for this, despite their top 14 most senior positions being filled by men.

Telegraph- male

Andy Burnham

Despite Yvette Cooper doing an excellent job as Shadow Home Secretary for nearly five years, I am delighted that Corbyn has given the role to Andy Burnham this time round. I had backed Andy for leader but I am pleased that he has a major role in the new Shadow Cabinet. I am also proud that he was the only leadership candidate who agreed to serve, with Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper declining the offer. I am sure he will do a great job opposing Theresa May. You can see my interview with Andy Burnham by clicking here.

Andy Burnham2

Avoiding the Press

Jeremy Corbyn reportedly received a phone call from a reporter from The Sun. Mr Corbyn apparently immediately said “goodbye” and hung up the phone. This is exactly what the leader of The Labour Party should be doing- standing up to the right-wing press who never have anything good to say about the party. This didn’t happen in the many years B.C (Before Corbyn.) Check out this quote from the new Shadow Chancellor, Mr John McDonnell:

John McDonnell Quote

Tories Cut Tax Credits

The front cover of almost every newspaper displays this photo. Yesterday, the Conservatives announced cuts to tax credits, leaving tens of thousands of families worse-off. Did that make the front page? No? Didn’t think so.

Morning papers

God Save The Troops

To summarise, Mr Corbyn is actually a republican and this song has no relevance to him or his beliefs, like many others in the UK. In reality, Mr Corbyn decided to pay his respects by remaining silent and remembering those who have died fighting for our country, rather than singing. Mr Corbyn’s parents had both been part of the war. I believe that people should be far more offended by the evil cuts to people’s tax credits rather than this ‘non-news’ item. For those people who find this disrespectful, should remember when David Cameron was caught laughing and taking a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

mandela funeral

Prime Minister’s Questions

Jeremy Corbyn sent out an email to thousands of members asking for their question suggestions to ask the Prime Minister. He received 40,000 replies. Mr Corbyn wanted to change how Prime Minister’s Questions and ensure that the politicians involved would “behave like adults.” I think that Mr Corbyn’s first PMQ as leader of the opposition was successful and finally gave ordinary people the chance to put their questions forward to the Prime Minister (who seemed much calmer than usual.) My personal highlight was when Jeremy said “I am now going to ask a question from Angela..” and Angela Eagle, who was sat next to him, appeared to be mouthing “Not me! Not me…”


ABBA Tribute Act

Finally, in his first speech as leader, Mr Corbyn did say that he would form an ABBA tribute act with Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper. So here it is!