People with dodgy hips who take five different types of tablets a day renewed calls this afternoon for the UK to commit to a course of action that will exacerbate near-crippling levels of NHS staff shortages and lead to a potential scarcity of vital medical supplies.

The purple-nosed attendees of the Brexit Party rally in Fylde were adamant that a few preventable deaths in hospital corridors is a price worth paying for ideological purity, non-burgundy travel documents and less choice at the deli counter. The very idea of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May plotting to deliver a significantly harder Brexit than anyone advocated during the referendum campaign was enough to send many of the Daily Mail wielding bastards into fits of frothy-mouthed rage at how soft this hard Brexit would actually be.

“Look, when the Leave campaigners said in 2016 that no one was talking about leaving the single market, they were speaking figuratively,” said Reg, a retired dickhead from Blackpool. 

“What they actually meant was that we should sever all ties with these unelected bureaucrats before we have to waste time with any more elections, and worry about running out of fucking insulin after that.”

Wayne, a racist taxi driver with angina and a carefully curated set of opinions gathered exclusively from the pages of the Daily Express and UKIP election leaflets, agreed.

“This isn’t about whether my Aunt Brenda can get hold of clean tubes for her catheter, it’s about democracy. We knew exactly what we were voting for, even though the ballot paper never mentioned no deal and Liam Fox said it would be piss easy to get a deal, all 17 million of us were definitely voting to be worse off and possibly dead.”

When asked whether they were worried about the inevitable staff shortages that would occur in the event of a no deal Brexit, the response was emphatic.

“We didn’t have German doctors during the war, did we?” shouted Denise, a detestable busybody from Lytham St Anne’s who was born in 1956, “and we seemed to get through that ok.”

I pointed out that a great many people had actually died during the Second World War, and that the spirit of friendship and cooperation with our European allies since then had been instrumental in repairing a fractured continent after decades of violence and upheaval, in response to which Denise muttered something about me being a ‘traitorous cunt’, before heading off to ask a South East Asian couple in a food van what the fuck they thought they were doing there.

One of the speakers at the event was the partially reanimated cadaver of former Conservative MP and open casket of horrors, Anne Widdecombe. I asked Ms Widdecombe for a comment on the suggestion that her party’s approach to this matter was rooted in bigotry rather than the practicalities of ensuring the issue is resolved in a manner that ensures the UK remains prosperous, to which she replied,

“Fuck off, you mincing cock-juggler. I don’t speak to poofs.”

We don’t get more than one chance at life. The more fortunate among us might get to enjoy eighty birthdays, eighty Christmases, eighty first days of spring, when the smell of the blossom and the gentle warmth of the sun mark the end of the cold, dark winter days and thrill us with the promise of the summer to come. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s over. The world moves on, but we do not. It’s precious and fragile and fleeting.

Imagine, then, if you had to spend the early part of the brief time we have on this Earth feeling alone, afraid and ashamed. Imagine if the very essence of who you are had to be hidden away like a dirty little secret, because who you are is bad, wrong, sinful. Then imagine what it would say about you if your actions were responsible for inflicting this misery on another person, perhaps even your own child.

When I was five, I liked my friend. I’m gonna call him James, because that was his name. He was my best friend and, when we were at school, we did everything together. We sat together in class, we played together at break times, we ate together, giggling and swapping bits of our lunches. 

We held hands. 

I liked holding hands with James. It felt nice. I had neither the emotional maturity nor the linguistic dexterity to describe what I felt for him, but I knew I liked him a whole lot more than my other friends, and that I liked him in a different way.

There was a day in year two when we were on our way to assembly and I took James’ hand, just as I had always done. He pulled it away and held it behind his back. I looked at him, confused.

“We can’t hold hands anymore,” he said. “It’s gay.”

I remember this exchange like it was yesterday. I didn’t know what ‘gay’ meant, I’d never even heard the word before, but the look on his face told me everything I needed to know: Being ‘gay’ was a Very Bad Thing indeed.

James and I were still friends after that, but it was never the same. For me, anyway. I still feel that loss today, not because relationships are particularly serious or enduring at ages 5 and 6, but because I didn’t only lose James that day, I lost a part of myself. It was the first day I knew that there was something wrong with me, something shameful that I had to hide.

My secondary school was a dark place. Literally and figuratively. Eight or nine dismal blocks of grey concrete full of Section 28-fuelled homophobia and low-level violence. I was routinely hit, kicked and punched, and I spent most of my days there with the words ‘poof’, ‘queer’ and ‘faggot’ ringing in my ears. I wasn’t out, but that didn’t stop them. They had the weight of the media, the government and their homophobic parents behind them. Fighting the good fight, bashing the queers.

It’s little wonder, then, that by the time I left school, I was so far in the closet that there was the very real possibility I would never make it out. I think at one point I almost managed to convince myself I was straight. I just needed to ignore all the bad feelings, push them right down, and everything would be fine, right?

Needless to say, it wasn’t fine. 

I wasn’t a bad person when I was closeted. I wasn’t violent or abusive. I wasn’t one of those who used homophobia as a defence mechanism, and, whilst I didn’t always get it right, I tried to do right by people. Helped old ladies across the road, that sort of thing. I was still me to a point, but I felt like a faded facsimile of who I was supposed to be.

And I’m the first to admit that, because of this, I wasn’t always particularly pleasant to be around. I was often frustrated and short-tempered, converting every negative emotion to anger rather than admitting to myself what was really causing that sad, empty feeling inside me.

I did make it out of the closet eventually, as you know, but by that point, I was quite irreparably damaged. After the initial euphoria of coming out had subsided, I became profoundly depressed and anxious, mourning those lost years I knew I could never recapture, plagued with what ifs that would remain forever unanswered, and wondering whether I would ever feel truly at peace.

I was fortunate in that my wife and son were extremely supportive, more supportive than I had any right to expect, and that is a thing for which I’ll always be immensely grateful. My extended family were rather less supportive, but you can’t have everything, I guess.

Anyway, with their love and understanding, some therapy, a bucketload of tears and many months of difficulty, I found my way back. I still have bad days, bad weeks, sometimes, but I have ways of coping with the fallout now that I didn’t have before. I’m happy now, overall, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be totally ok. Three decades of that level of damage is gonna take some rolling back.

So when I look at what’s happening in Birmingham and Manchester, and no doubt other cities across the UK by now, I feel angry. Angry that we’re having to refight battles we’ve already fought, and which belong firmly in the past; angry that narrow-minded people seek to use the protective veil of religious belief to excuse their hateful bigotry and intolerance; and utterly fucking enraged that another generation of children might have to endure what I and so many others like me had to endure some thirty years ago.

Of all the two thousand or so gods man has invented during the ten thousand years of recorded history, I don’t believe in any of them. The idea of a supreme being just doesn’t seem plausible to me. What I do believe is that, if a supreme being were to exist, she wouldn’t be petty, malicious or vindictive enough to describe one human being loving another as a ‘sin’ or an ‘abomination’. Moreover, I don’t believe she would make beings who are attracted to other beings of the same sex, then punish them for acting on that attraction. Because that would be a fucking dick move.

In 2019, more and more Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jews are coming around to this way of thinking. Their belief in their chosen scripture, and their interpretation of it, has evolved over time, as is only right and fitting. So just as it’s no longer necessary for proponents of a particular faith to offer rape victims the choice between marrying their attacker or being stoned to death, it’s equally unnecessary for them to behave like a hateful dickhole to LGBT people in order to appease their favourite deity. Being gay isn’t a choice, but using a centuries-old book to justify your intolerance most definitely is.

If your adherence to a particular faith requires you to oppress those who are different to you, you either need to choose a less abhorrent ideology, or consider whether your interpretation of that ideology might be the problem. Your faith doesn’t trump the rights of others to be safe, accepted and supported.

There is a great deal of debate surrounding how many of us are L, G, B or T. Some studies place the figure at around 5% overall, with younger generations showing figures as high as 8 or 9%. And that’s without including those who are still closeted, so the true figure could easily be in excess of 10%.

But even if we take the lower estimate, if you’re standing outside a school of two hundred pupils shouting anti-LGBT hate into a microphone from the back of a flatbed truck, at least ten of the children present will be left feeling hurt, frightened and alone as a direct result of your actions.

If you are successful in your poisonous, spiteful aim of removing any and all LGBT-related education from the curriculum, those children will grow up thinking that who and what they are is fundamentally wrong. It might even be your own child upon whom you inflict this most grievous and unforgivable harm.

They will remember that day. It will stay with them forever. And just as I am able to sit here as a very nearly forty year old man and shed a tear for the innocent little boy whose life changed forever in a single minute one day in 1985, your own child may very well have to look back and relive the instant that broke them thirty-odd years from now. Will you really be able to live with yourself if the face staring back at them is yours?

Latex-faced Hitler enthusiast, Nigel Farage, announced exciting plans yesterday to march from Sunderland to another bit of Sunderland before getting in a bus full of other horrendous cunts and driving somewhere else.

This ambitious project is designed to raise awareness of the fact that some traitorous elements of the British population are still betraying the Will Of The People by not spending their every waking moment doing a racism, and also to fund that new 60-inch, ultra HD, 5.1 surround sound telly Mr Farage has been after that he might fully enjoy the DVD he just ordered off Amazon, in which Lee Hurst yells the word ‘snowflake’ at people who aren’t malicious fucking pricks for 93 uninterrupted minutes.

For the very reasonable sum of just £50, gullible racist bastards will have the opportunity to walk on roads they can walk on for free literally any fucking time they want to, carrying upside down Union Flags and singing Hitler Youth songs while normal people call them arseholes and empty jars of piss on their heads.

Fascist ham-mannequin, Farage, was in ebullient mood at the event’s launch, saying,

“Honestly, you should fucking see it. The colours are pin-sharp, and you can actually feel the subwoofer right in your fucking taint. I’m off to Curry’s as soon as enough of the dopey little shits have coughed up.”

When pressed for a comment on the thinking behind the stupid fucking walk thing he’d semi-organised, his mood changed.

“Did you know that in Britain today, more than 23% of newspaper columns don’t make any attempt to direct hate at Muslamics, coloureds, or even poofs? That’s not including the Mail and the Express, of course, but it’s still a shocking statistic. We will start walking, and we won’t stop until every single column inch is like one of the sweaty, feverish dreams in which I sticky up my jammy bottoms visualising a racially pure United Kingdom. I say ‘we’, I’m probably just gonna do the first and the last twenty minutes.”

Members of the Brexit Party in attendance at the launch were adamant that they weren’t being taken for absolute fucking mugs by the bastard offspring of the KKK and some tweed. Wayne, a hateful dickhead from Stevenage, said,

“He obviously has to fuck off in his private plane after a quarter of an hour because he needs to get back to London and fight the establishment. They’re trying to silence him by just letting him have his own radio show, a couple of newspaper columns and sixteen hours a week of unchecked ranting on BBC News. He can’t possibly be with us for the whole walk, so it’s important he has our support. And also our money.”

I put it to Mr Farage that he might be wasting his time on something that’s likely only to make most people regard him as an even bigger twat than they already did, but his response was unequivocal.

“It’s got Freeview and Freesat built in.”

Piers stirred into some misty semblance of consciousness, disorientated, confused. Where was he? He could feel the ferociousness of an angry sun on his scaly, reptilian back, the hot sand burning beneath his detestable, porcine face.

He remembered.

He couldn’t say how long he’d been on the island, but if he was back home, he’d have known that it had been at least a month since the end of the last of the week-long parties that had erupted following the national outpouring of joy when it was announced that he was missing, presumed dead. 

He had survived for what seemed like an eternity on coconut milk, seaweed and the bits of Donald Trump’s shit that were stuck between his teeth. But he was tired now. So tired. It was time to stop fighting.

But wait. Were those voices he could hear?

He strained to pull himself into a sitting position, the weight of his inexplicably bulbous and yet somehow still loathsomely self-satisfied head proving quite the challenge for his now emaciated skeleton.

As he was finally able to look up, he gazed into the tanned face of a man around his own age, but infinitely more handsome in spite of the weathering inflicted by a life at sea. The man did not recognise him, as the weeks on the island had taken their toll, but if he had, he would surely have headed back to his ship without a second’s hesitation rather than be the person responsible for rescuing the world’s most reviled human being.

With a kindly smile, the man held out a white paper bag, which Piers snatched from him as though it was his right, and not an act of kindness from a benevolent stranger. The bag was warm, and transparent in places from the grease covering the bounty that lay within. He noticed the unmistakable blue logo and his mouth watered. 

He tried to speak, but his voice was weak from dehydration and shouting misogynistic abuse at the mermaid he’d hallucinated. He beckoned the man to come closer. 

The ship’s captain obliged and got to his knees next to this wretched creature he had stumbled upon with his unfortunate crew. He leant forward, slowly, and as he did, he heard that uniquely foul and instantly repulsive voice as it whispered despicably into his ear,

“It’s not vegan, is it?”

The government today confirmed to concerned UK citizens that not shitting up almost every aspect of their already miserable lives sits at the very fucking bottom of the list of Conservative priorities, below ‘arsefisting the NHS to death’ and ‘inflammatory xenophobic posturing’.

Following suggestions before Christmas that the parliamentary break should be cancelled or curtailed that they might actually take steps to defuse the increasingly fucking volatile shitgrenade of Brexit, the laughter of many MPs was so vigorous that their bellies shook like bowls full of jelly in the manner of cunty, self-centred Santa Clauses. So ridiculous was the idea that they might actually make some small sacrifice to prevent the entire nation going to fucking shit, that at least three on the Tory benches threw up their roast pheasant in impromptu fits of uncontrolled mirth.

In a further bid to underline the complete absence of fucks given about the thing that promises to render cardboard our most valuable national commodity, Home Secretary Sajid Javid cut short his family holiday today to deal with a ‘major incident’ in which a handful of people displaced by the bombs we drop all over the fucking Middle East made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the channel in quite a small boat.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office said,

“Look, this is really fucking simple. Although Brexit will adversely affect hundreds of millions of people across the continent, the racist little cunts who keep us in power seem to really want it to happen. Of course Sajid flying home is completely fucking unnecessary, but it panders to those same jingoistic arseholes who’ll ultimately give us the backing we need to continue buttfucking the economy into oblivion for personal gain. Also, when it’s all over, Jacob has offered to take us all out somewhere not as nice as the Ritz but better than a Harvester with his winnings.”

We approached former UKIP leader and current Hitlery jizzpipe, Nigel Farage, for a comment, but he was said to be unavailable, and was last seen heading towards the White Cliffs of Dover banging a yard of metal pipe into his palm and muttering something about there not being any black in the Union Jack.

With Mr Javid set to touch down in the UK in the next few hours, we can at least rest assured that these penniless, non-white immigrants turning up on our shores will be immediately and unceremoniously returned from whence they came, just like his father wasn’t.