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Everything I know about Brexit I learned from Janey Godley, including the stuff about Big Theresa’s flute

Janey Godley in happier times

By David Futrelle

Some days I just can’t stand the thought of immersing myself in raw hate long enough to produce a post. Today was one of those days, so instead of the usual stuff I thought I’d offer you all a sort of crash course in Brexit, the ongoing political disaster that’s sort of the UK’s equivalent to us Americans (or at least a minority of us) voting Trump into office.

Your professor in Brexit Studies will be Scottish comedian Janey Godley, perhaps best known for the time she showed up outside of Donald Trump’s Scottish golf course, welcoming the then-candidate with a handmade sign calling him a name that is extremely bad here in the US but which in Scotland is apparently used in roughly every other sentence. (See the photo above for a hint as to what that word might be.)

Anyway, Godley is no more a fan of Brexit than she is of Trump, and so she had prepared a series of videos in which she does her own voiceovers for news clips related to the ongoing political wrangling over the impending geopolitical disaster that is already tearing UK politics apart.

I can only understand about half of what she’s saying, but the videos are weird and hilarious and probably more informative than the original news clips, even though I’m beginning to suspect that they may not be completely accurate representations of what is going on, what with all the references to flute-playing, houseplant-eating, and holidays in Torremolinos.

Here are a few of them, in rough chronological order, starting last December and taking the story up to the extremely nerve-wracking present moment. I don’t know all of the various characters involved here but three that come up again and again in these videos are British Prime Minister Big Theresa May (obviously), Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and right-wing politico Arlene Foster from Northern Ireland. Hopefully some of the Scots who read this blog can wade in and explain some of the references the rest of us might be missing.

You can find a bunch more like these on the #janeygodleyvoiceover hashtag on Twitter.

She also did this one starring a couple of wee dogs.

And… to bring us back to the more traditional subject matter on this blog, here’s a little commentary she did recently after discovering the existence of MGTOWs.

If there are any MGTOWs reading this, and you’re thinking of taking up her suggestion of going to live on an island with other MGTOWs and a bunch of sex dolls, I have some specific islands I’d like to suggest.

Back to the regular stuff tomorrow!

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28 replies on “Everything I know about Brexit I learned from Janey Godley, including the stuff about Big Theresa’s flute”

You know when Sideshow Bob kept stepping on those rakes on the Simpsons? That’s Brexit in a nutshell also John Oliver had a brillaint commentary on it that should be watched if you haven’t already

‘Playing the flute’ might be a reference to ‘marching season’: around Easter particularly, Protestant groups have parades, including marching bands, that are ostensibly about commemorating old battles, but in reality more about how much they hate Catholics.

Theresa May relies on the DUP (right-wing Northern Irish Protestants) for a majority, and in return has had to give them various concessions–hence she’s learned to play the flute from Arlene ie she’s joining a sectarian marching band.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Sadly region blocked here in Canada. I have no idea why. It’s so ridiculous when we get John Oliver here.

It’s not so much that the laws haven’t been updated, as it is that the companies that own and sell ‘content’ (including news) have often responded to the internet and ubiquitous computing with ‘oooh, we can get even more fine-grained in our rent-seeking now, and not have to rely on actual law enforcement to stop people from getting around paying us’.

The word ‘cunt’ is used very frequently in Glasgow and West Central Scotland as a fairly mild insult, term of endearment or just a colloquial synonym for ‘person’ (“Every cunt here knows that XYZ”). It’s considered more rude, and consequently used less, in the East (including Edinburgh), North and South. Source: I live in Glasgow, in a part of the city which is considered moderately ‘rough’—that is, working-class people live here.

In one more generation (if we don’t blow ourselves up), “trump” and “brexit” will both be slang terms for shooting oneself in the foot…

re Marching in Northern Ireland: And of course, those who march just HAVE to go through Catholic neighborhoods. Very reminiscent of the KKK marching through Black neighborhoods. 😛 [full disclosure: I have distant rellies who are/were Orangemen. The rest of the family (Protestant and Catholic both) hate/d their guts.]

re: wee dugs…

Clouseau: Duz yeur dug baat?
Inn Keeper: No
Clouseau: I thut yeu sed yeur dug deed nat baat!?!?!
Inn Keeper: That is nut maa dug!

I don’t pretend to be any expert on UK politics, but in all the coverage I’ve seen of Brexit, I’ve seen very little room for hope. It’s part of why I’ve been avoiding that topic, much like climate change: just feels like I can do so very little personally.

Somebody who knows more can set me straight, but why can’t the Tories just admit this was a stupid idea and pretend that dumb referendum didn’t happen? I suppose it’s too far along for the issue to disappear, but it’s almost like the right-wing UK government has anchored itself to a weighty economic fig-leaf only barely obscuring the racism underpinning support for Brexit. But for what?

Ugh, I’m getting discouraged about Canadian politics too. Trudeau keeps shooting himself in the foot, the media smells the blood in the water over a “scandal” that is so far just smoke and mirrors, and Brother of Crack Mayor is out slashing benefits for children with autism. Only the Ontario NDP seem to have any traction at all in trying to sort out these terrible messes.

*sigh* I need to draw more.

@ Katamount:

I imagine the right-wing in the U.K. feels the same about the Brexit fuster-cluck as the right-wing U.S. does about the flaming garbage pile in the white house…. “Brexit (and trump) is still a GREAT idea, the reason it’s not working is because the liberals and the mainstream conservatives won’t let it happen”

@ Katamount

Nearest I’ve seen to an explanation is that the Tories attract the kind of personality that makes running the party akin to trying to herd cats. They also have a history of enacting policies that pander to xenophobia, racism, greed and spite. The Brexit referendum was an attempt to get all of them pulling in the same direction, but anyone who’d seen through the usual ‘heady Tory mix’ (see above) had already foreseen this oncoming omnishambles of a clusterfuck.

And not forgetting that there are quite a lot of tory MPs who are personally going to make a fortune.

Either disaster capitalists themselves (such as hedge fund managers who stand to make a fortune from shorting the pound, or who will cash in from buying up broken companies and their assets going cheap if the UK crashes out), or scum who are going to make a fortune from privatisations as consultants/facilitators (such as helping e.g. US companies to buy into the NHS when the UK is ‘forced’ (read: no longer prevented) to privatise more and more of it).

There are a lot of reasons why Brexit is still gonna happen. There is our loathsome tabloid press that still rabidly supports it and there is a huge streak of racism amongst their middle class readers and also their working class ones which is why Labour has been so mealy mouthed over it’s opposition, hard Labour see a UK free of the EU as an opportunity to take many companies back into the public sector.

Also people might not be aware but a seven Labour MPs have left the Labour Party and formed the Independent Group, and three Tory MPs, all Remainers (all women too) have quit the Tory Party and joined it. One of them said that basically the Eurosceptic wing of the Tory Party has won and that the party is basically “Bluekip” (blue being the Conservative Party’s colour) now and they can’t stick all the skirmishes they keep having with the hard Brexiteers any more.

It’s fucked, we’re all fucked. I am taking a lower dose of my brain meds so I can horde a couple of months worth because we are being warned that we may suffer from shortages of medicine when the clock strikes midnight on March 29th. So that’s some reasons anyway.

varalys the dark wrote on
February 21, 2019 at 9:35 pm:
Also people might not be aware but a seven Labour MPs have left the Labour Party and formed the Independent Group

According to the tabloids, they left because Corbyn is a Commie and hates Jews.

(I do not agree with either of these characterizations, needless to say.)

Brexit’s a fookin’ disaster, but naethin’ I can do about it frae New Zealand. Aye weel.

Have now watched the wee dogs approximately 900 times. Still not tired of it.

I have to agree about the wee dogs; they’re brilliant.

@Weird . . . Eddie
Re: That is nut maa dug!
My mother told the story that once she had to call up a neighbor to inform her that her dog had bitten my brother, the neighborhood newspaper carrier. (This was back in the day when kids had this job.)

Not possible, said this neighbor. Her dog had no teeth.

PS: To add insult to injury, this neighbor’s house was built on the side of a hill, and you had to climb approximately one zillion steps to reach it.

I can’t believe that nobody else has mentioned this, but Nicola Sturgeon’s tiny, fluffy cat seems to be on the shoulder of her female colleague who is directly behind her in the video.

Are any Mammotheers in direct contact with Nicola Sturgeon? Or should I email her at

So we have this: Scavenger capitalists on the Right want Brexit so they can profit by it. Lefties want Brexit as an opportunity to enact collectivist economic policies that are much harder to follow inside the EU. Hordes of xenophobes and racists want Brexit for obvious reasons. None of them seem to be taking seriously enough the vexed question of the Irish border, which has to be kept open as part of the Good Friday Agreement which cooled off the Troubles. It also needs keeping open as part of the common travel area the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom have always maintained among themselves. But it will now also be the United Kingdom’s border with the European Union. And ‘control of our borders with an end to free movement of people across them’ was the way Brexit was sold to those who voted for it.

The Irish border has the potential to cause the Troubles to kick off again, or even (and I hope it doesn’t,) a nasty little border war.

Then there’s Spain getting itchy over the sovereignty of Gibraltar – a Spanish warship harassed shipping in Gibraltarian waters a few days to a week ago, which was not widely reported, probably for fear of setting off the sabre – rattlers.

It looks like we could be well and truly fucked.

I honestly have very little hope for the future. But if I were forced to find a silver lining in the Brexit cloud, I’d say:

1. Brexit has exposed quite staggering levels of incompetence in the Tory government. Labour have largely failed to capitalise on this so far, because they’re incapable of hitting an open goal. But in a post-Brexit general election, I hope that voters remember who owned the process from start to finish, and how monumentally they bungled it, and reward them with a defeat of historic proportions.

2. We’ll be so fucked that a Labour government could have a mandate for genuinely radical change.

3. This country suffers from an inflated sense of our importance, partly as a legacy of empire. If our post-Brexit fuckedness leads to us developing a more accurate understanding of our place in the world… well, that’s something, right?

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