James G Blaine, James G Blaine
Continental liar from the State of Maine
- attributed to the 1884 Democrat Presidential campaign
You probably haven’t heard of James G Blaine, who unsuccessfully contested the 1884 United States Presidential Election for the Republicans, and lost to Democrat nominee Grover Cleveland. But thanks to London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, James G Blaine is back in the news.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
Or rather, a feature of his election campaign is in the news, after Bozza, who had previously been kept away from our own General Election contest, reappeared in order to join the chorus of abuse being hurled at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Jezza, he proclaimed, was a “mutton-headed old Mugwump”. Crikey readers! Beano Boris thinking he’s jolly clever by digging up old Stateside insults! Yikes! Oo-er!
So what, then, is a Mugwump? Well, the only significant recent usage of the word was to name short-lived 1960s band The Mugwumps, whose members split up, two joining The Lovin’ Spoonful and two becoming half of The Mamas And The Papas. The story of The Mugwumps was told in the seminal Mamas And Papas song Creeque Alley (lyrics HERE, video HERE). But it’s doubtful whether boring Bozza does West Coast rock history.
No, we have to go all the way back to James G Blaine to find the true and political meaning of the term Mugwumps. And that meaning shows that Bozza is, once again, talking out of the back of his neck - and whoever subbed his column in the Sun did not bother to do any research either. But Christian DeFeo has done the research for them.
This is his analysis: “So Boris Johnson tried to use a term from 19th Century American politics (‘Mugwump’). Big mistake: it is very clear he hasn’t a damn clue [you don’t say] what the term means and how un-insulting it is. Mugwumps were Republicans who couldn’t stand the corruption of their Presidential candidate in 1884, James G Blaine, so they voted for Democrat Grover Cleveland. In essence, Johnson called Corbyn a principled person, whose principles override [party] politics. Oops”.
Putting that in context, what the Mugwumps of 1884 did was to vote against their party to avoid being associated with corruption. With the Tories still facing the expenses scandal, the Police having sent the CPS a file on the 2015 campaign in South Thanet, the party’s bullying scandal still out there, and the party’s association with the right-wing press under scrutiny as never before, the last thing the Tories need is a clown like Bozza reminding their voters that they have a choice if they disapprove of all the bad behaviour.
That’s in addition to the knowledge that Bozza is also telling them Corbyn is a principled man, something which could never be said about Himself. And what was the effect of the 1884 Mugwumps? They tipped the balance in Cleveland’s favour, and Blaine lost.
Was it so wise to let Bozza out to talk to the media? Cripes! Gosh! Busted!