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A Poundland Sun Tzu

25 Jan 2024 4 minute read
Grant Shapps and Sun Tzu

Ben Wildsmith

Isn’t our 21st century bingo card filling up nicely? We got off to a storming start with 9/11, followed by the still unexplained decision to address this incident by attacking a country that had nothing to do with it.

We’ve enjoyed the financial crash which, in retrospect, seems to have been the logical end of Western capitalism, austerity – which any sixthform economist could have told you would only make matters worse, the murderous Brexit campaign which left an MP dead and the UK’s international reputation shredded, a pandemic managed by the bloke off The Apprentice and the bloke off Have I Got News For You, Liz Truss’s 45day Monte Carlo or Bust reimagining of high office, an upcoming environmental apocalypse that half the world thinks is a prank, artificial intelligence, an attempted coup in Washington, the return of war in Europe, and Elf on the Shelf.


Its not enough, is it? Sensing that the nation’s blood pressure had dropped below fatal levels for half an hour, our Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps, sprang into action.

A hitherto unimaginable phenomenon in his own right, Mr Shapps informed the numbed-by-decades-of-abuse British public that the easy times are over.

We have, Mr. Shapps explained, moved from a ‘post-war period’ to a ‘pre-war period’.

It’s easy to underestimate our Defence Sec, possessed as he is of an airy persuasiveness that helped him sell business advice in happier times, but you must concede that he made a splash here.

Firstly, in this era of unremitting crisis, Mr. Shapps seems to have eliminated the very concept of hope.

If the ‘post-war period is followed by the ‘pre-war period’, it suggests that a ‘no-war period’ has been deleted from human imagination.

Orwell in the raw

This isn’t Orwellian, it’s just Orwell in the raw: war as a permanent condition that fluctuates only according to its perpetual cycle.

And let’s be clear, this isn’t the sort of pastime war we’ve engaged in recently, where the other side is making up the numbers while the USA explodes its newest bombs over themon telly.

The war foretold in the Book of Shapps involves the UK a country that has recently given up on its dream of building a railway line taking on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea at the same time.

‘Now, hold on,’ you might protest. ‘We have far too many immediate problems at hand to be worrying about a potential event in the distant future,but this is the very complacency that our get-rich-quick salesman turned prophet has been sent to dispel.

We’ve apparently got to get our act together in readiness for this exciting new challenge within five years.

Has the UK ever accomplished something within five years? For context, HS2, until recently the British equivalent of the pyramids, was proposed in 2009.

So, it’s taken the UK government 15 years to discover it can’t be done.

I don’t wish to sound defeatist, but it’s going to take a hell of a Joe Wicks pep talk to get Project David & Several Goliaths over the line in time for kick-off.

Chill out

My sincere advice is to chill out as best you can. You’ve been impoverished, diseased, had God knows how many needles stuck in you, locked in your house for months, enraged daily, neglected, stolen from, lied to, and been betrayed by these clowns for decades.

If they try to start World War III, you can pretty much guarantee they will arse it up so comprehensively that we’ll be annihilated within ten minutes, or else accidentally stumble into unintended perpetual peace.

These aren’t the drums of war, but the kazoos of self-promotion. I opt for pre-Shappsarian bliss.

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3 months ago

That’s not Shapps pictured, that’s Micheal Green.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Looks more like Sebastian Fox or Corinne Stockheath to me.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago

Mr Alias Alias MP is my first candidate for Anthrax Island… He has had no military training whatsoever but is a master of disguises. Right now he is playing the roll of Tub Thumper the War Monger… Before he takes on Putin’s Russia he should test his superpowers on North Korea after a couple of years of National Service sweeping up on the streets of Gaza… Mums and Dads this little runt would happily see your kids in body bags as would General Wastemoreland… Truly it would be a new role for him leading Fred Carno’s Army. I know what… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
3 months ago

Thanks Ben. A comprehensive doomsday piece which amused me and chilled me out all in one. Shapps is a total no mark who needs to make a mark in a role he hasn’t a clue about. Let’s not forget he was the 3 minute Home Secretary under the 5 minute Prime Minister. He was the limp outer leaves of the lettuce in another role he was clueless about.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
3 months ago

The peoples of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea have enough problems with their governments without us adding to them with this “pre-war” bullish*t..

The main reason why a lot of countries are our (so called) “enemy” is because at some point in the recent past we (government/military of uk) interferred in some way or imposed rulers of our choosing.

I have no issue with them and would certainly NOT be willing to go to war with them, especially NOT for the defence of the uk or the monarch!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago

The talk of war with Russia is bringing home the stupidity of Brexit and the dangerous criminality of our government for the last decade and a half. The truth is though as the UK is basically owned by other countries a coalition of offshore share holders would have to fight to protect their interests including of course Fat Shanks’ Russian friends…You could not make it up unless you were a thriller writer…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Sabres are being rattled and the call to arms is ringing out from ambitious ministers and retiring generals yet when the moment to step up to the plate arrived and unanimously support Ukraine the opportunity was missed… However the Ukrainian forces have shown how vulnerable armoured fighting vehicles are to the cheapest UAVs and they have reduced Putin’s land forces considerably so the idea that massed tank attacks are the order of the day can be dismissed… Add that today’s drones are the modern equivalent of the Maxim and Vickers machine guns and will keep the poor bloody infantry pinned… Read more »

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