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Rod Liddle

A wonderful time was had by all at the Utter Arse of the Year awards

It’s been an amazing year for complete idiocy – perhaps the best ever

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

A glittering cast list, delicious food and spectacular entertainment — I just wish you could have been there. But tickets were at a premium for The Spectator’s prestigious Utter Arse of the Year awards ceremony held, as ever, in the council chamber at Tower Hamlets. The meal, prepared by the exciting left-wing lesbian cook Jack Monroe, consisted of her famous kale pesto pasta on a bed of shredded back copies of the Guardian. As we munched away, a troop of locally sourced Bangladeshi mime artists enacted the setting up of an east London caliphate and — to the delight of the audience — silently decapitated several infidels sitting near the stage. As the black flag of the Islamic State was raised above our heads, the compère for the evening, Jon Snow, from Channel 4 News, took to the rostrum and the real business began. It has been a fabulous year for arses, he told us, perhaps the best year on record. Arses everywhere you look, he chuckled — and at that moment, through fiendishly clever technology, a giant hologram of the revolutionary comedian Russell Brand appeared beside him, transmitted live from his £76,000 per year flat in nearby Hoxton. The Russell hologram entertained the audience with a stream of indecipherable, pretentious, sub-adolescent balls before (again, praise to the technical team) disappearing in a puff of smoke up his own backside. How we all cheered!

That was an excellent foretaste of the proceedings. Snow then welcomed the leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband, on to the stage to do his famously hilarious impersonation of someone trying desperately to appear normal while undertaking a range of simple everyday tasks — such as standing still, eating a sandwich, breathing etc. On the screen behind his head was displayed a strange photomontage of nine or ten distressed people, some wearing restraints, others gibbering maniacally, two of them in a permanent vegetative state. These troubled souls, it transpired, were the remaining British citizens who think Ed would make a competent prime minister.

There was then a break while we enjoyed Jack Monroe’s marquee dessert — kale pesto dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream accompanied by Fair Trade organic gravel. Yum. We had scarcely finished this scintillating coda to our repast before the former government chief whip, Andrew Mitchell, arrived — flanked by patently low-born police officers — and began issuing writs to every table in a delightfully arrogant manner.


This was by no means the final appearance of our police force. To the great surprise of the audience, a body of 200 officers from the famous Operation Yewtree detachment arrived and immediately began arresting people willy-nilly, putting their mobile phones and tablets in black plastic bin liners and explaining that all those arrested would be free to watch the rest of the night’s entertainment on bail and that charges might or might not be brought against them several years hence. A phalanx of Monstrously Transgressed Women howled their approval, among them two Liberal Democrat ladies who had once been asked by Lord Rennard if they would like a cup of coffee.

The next surprise was a wonderful rendition of Al Jolson’s ‘Mammy’, performed in blackface by a contingent of racist footballers, managers and club owners and — the star guest for yet another year — Sepp Blatter, the president of Fifa. There was a hush as Mr Blatter revealed that the 2026 World Cup would be jointly hosted by Iraq and Syria. A team of self-righteous, Lycra-clad cyclists then swooped on to the stage, scattering the footballers hither and thither and yelling abusive comments at anyone who got in the way.

It was time for the big guns to arrive. Our much-loved and respected former prime minister Tony Blair has already received several awards for his astonishing philanthropy this year, but this was surely his crowning moment. The Utter Arse of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him in person by the Isis head-chopping video star Jihadi John. John expressed his deep gratitude for the opportunities afforded to Isis as a consequence of Mr Blair’s brilliant foreign policies and added that he hoped both Tony and Cherie would continue to line their pockets with vast amounts of dosh from third world dictators. Blair’s award was a large golden commode, ineptly decorated by Tracey Emin. The Polly Toynbee Award for Specious, Duplicitous Cant was presented by Jon Snow to the former SNP leader Alex Salmond, who thrilled the audience by revealing that there would be another referendum on Scottish independence next year, given the astounding success (if erroneous consequence) of the last one. This time, he said, voting would be extended to foetuses in the womb and iconic Scottish wildlife — razorbills, stormy petrels, pine martens and red deer. An ovation ensued.

A brief entertainment followed with the arrival of a troupe of morbidly obese, tattooed northern chavs with pitbulls, who treated us to a display of synchronised flatulence and bellowed threats. They were followed by a team of Romanian pickpockets and sex-traffickers, and a choir formed of escapees from Sangatte who ululated magnificently. After the wonderful singer Madonna had shown us her breasts once again, it was left to Jon Snow to announce the main award winner: Utter Arse of the Year. The prize — a real human sphincter muscle, steeped in formaldehyde and studded with diamonds by Damien Hirst — was accepted by the comedian Stephen Fry on behalf of the ‘Tweeting British Public’. What an incredible twist! We had all won! ‘Never in human history have people given of themselves so magnificently,’ Mr Fry declaimed. ‘Never has so much time and energy been expended on vapid, fatuous or banal observations, confected hyperbolic outrage, cretinous conspiracy theories and general idiocies. Well done, well done!’

Carriages were at 11.


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