Comment Macht Frei

Comment Macht Frei was a short-lived satirical website that I used to write stuff for in 2010. We’ve since noticed that the title is now used by right-wing idiot James Delingpole. So, um, sorry about that. Please don’t think we’re him.

Anyway this was written last year sometime, and has probably since been overtaken by events.

Performed and edited by Chriddof

The above video was performed by Chriddof. The below script is the script that he used that was written by me.


Comment Macht Frei

Bombastic music plays

then fades away to almost silence

Freyja: Welcome to Comment Macht Frei, the weekly radio show about all things political. With me, Freyja Williams-Hyde…

Jon: And me, Jon Surname. This week we’re discussing political satire in the 21st century.

Freyja: Its history, its role and relevance today, and what its future might be.

The music blares loudly again, then disappears completely.

Jon: David Cameron.

Freyja: [Laughter] Boris Johnson.

Freyja and Jon: [Laughter]

Jon: David Cameron AND Boris Johnson.

Laughter from what sounds like everyone in the studio

Freyja: [slowly, occasionally interrupted by recurring bouts of laughter] George Osbourne.

Jon: [Laughing] Gideon…

Freyja: Gi-dee-on [giggles]

Jon: Gideon! Gideon! Gideon! Gideon! Gideon! Gideon! Gideon! Gideon! Gideon! Gideon!

Jon: Iain!

Freyja: Duncan!

Freyja and Jon: SMITH!

[More laughter]

Freyja: Jeremy… Hunt!

Jon: [laughter] Jeremy… Corbyn.

A deathly silence that lasts slightly longer than is comfortable

Freyja: Actually, if I can be serious for a minute…

Jon: I was being serious…

Freyja: Yes, but…

Jon: [Hurriedly] John Whittingdale?

Freyja: No!. Well, yes, but… Can I talk about David Cameron for a minute.

Jon: [loudly] DAVID CAMERON!

Freyja: No, not like that. It’s just that, well, sometimes it’s easy to think that we just don’t have the characters in politics anymore, that there’s no-one big enough to really make fun of, satirically I mean. You used to have Margaret Thatcher, her long claws and her witch’s face, stealing the milk from our children and our ice cream. And there was Tony Blair’s teeth.

Jon: He had lots of teeth.

Freyja: He did, and it was good. And what do we get now? Does David Cameron actually even have teeth? Did Nick Clegg even exist? Try to caricature David Cameron and what have you got?

Jon: You could draw him with a condom on his head.

Freyja: Nothing. That’s what you’ve got. Nothing. Just this blank smudge of face lurking at the edge of the page. And yet, and yet… [trails off to silence]

Jon: [prompting] And yet?

Freyja: And yet, our other prime ministers aren’t representative of who we are, of what this country is like. Not really. Not in the way David Cameron is. I mean, Margaret Thatcher — I cried as much as anyone at her funeral —

Jon: [seriously] — as did I —

Freyja: — but… well I don’t know what it’s like for you, but it isn’t Margaret Thatcher who I work for, work with. It wasn’t Margaret Thatcher I went to university with, it’s not Margaret Thatcher leering at me in the pubs in the city centre. But David Cameron, he’s… He’s all of them. He’s perfect.

Jon: Are you going anywhere with this?

Freyja: A while ago now I was invited out for a drink — some friends from school, some from work — mostly people I didn’t really know that well, all public school educated, from better universities than mine. But everyone was polite and nice and we got on well. There’s that sort of effortless charm the upper classes have, offhand and indistinct. It dissolves if you look too hard at it, but you can let it wash over you if you want, let yourself imagine that it’s real. That they do like you, they do care about what you’re saying, what you’re thinking. That you’re interesting, that they’re interested.

After the pub we went back to one of their houses. At some point most of my actual friends had disappeared so I’m on my own by now, can barely remember any of their names, and if I can can’t match them to their interchangeable faces. And they I doubt can remember mine. But they treat me as if I’m an old friend, laugh at some of my jokes. I laugh at some of theirs.

But then I say the wrong thing. Something like “My grandparents were immigrants, they fled here during the war”, or “Well, I’m not sure I think they really deserve to drown just because they’re desperate for something better”, or “You do realise that I’m probably a ‘fucking pikey’, right?”

And the room goes cold and their faces change. “It’s not exactly the second world war their running from now though is it?” they say, and “Well if you like them so much why don’t you let them live with you?”, and “Oh, please, don’t be so fucking precious. They’re just words.”

There’s a tap on my shoulder after a while and a “I think maybe it’s best if you leave” from the host. He offers profuse apologies, “It’s getting late, everyone’s tired” etc etc. But when I get outside and walk past down the drive I look back and I can see him re-joining them all in the living room, every single one of the laughing, laughing so hard by the light of the fire. One of them gets out a phone and they all stand round, listening to what he’s saying, readying themselves — bracing themselves — for whatever the punchline is going to be.

Then the curtains are drawn suddenly shut and I’m left out there in the dark and the cold in the middle of the countryside. It’s miles back to town, down unlit roads.

A car pulls up beside me, and the driver leans over and winds down his window. “You call for a taxi?” he says. “What?” I say. “Do you need a taxi?” he says. “Yes, but I didn’t call one. I haven’t got any money.” “Well,” he says, “You must have done. How otherwise would I know your name?” I’m confused, mostly. Did he know my name? “I don’t think you do know my name,” I said. “It’s Freyja Williams-Hyde,” he said. “Don’t try and deny it. I know it’s you, because on the phone you said, “You’ll be able to tell it’s me because I’m a fat fucking cunt.” And he laughed in my face and didn’t even drive away, just sat there laughing, his face lit by the glow of his satnav.

Jon: So you’re saying David Cameron —

Freyja: Not David Cameron. Just someone like him.

Jon: So you’re saying someone like David Cameron annoyed you by ringing a taxi for you?

Freyja: That’s not what —

Jon: After you got drunk and caused a scene at his house — after you insulted his guests — and he was still considerate enough to ring you a taxi?

Freyja: No. It wasn’t like that.

Jon: Well it sounds to me like it was like that.

Freyja: Anyway, so I got home fine. Although it was quite a long walk.

A long silence follows.

Jon: And you’re okay now?

Freyja: Yeah, sure.

Jon: Well that’s good. I’m glad.

Another silence.

Jon: So, er, Francis Maude?

Freyja: [mild laughter] Chris Grayling.

[laughter, then fade out just as Jon can be heard saying “Michael Gove”]

[Title music plays, then quietens as the continuity announcer speaks over it]

Continuity Announcer: Comment Macht Frei is an Endemol Production for Guardian Media Limited, and was written and presented by Freyja Williams-Hyde and Jon Surname, with research and additional jokes by Stuart Heritage. Owing to complications in Freyja Williams-Hyde’s pneumonia treatment rendering her unfit for the demands of live broadcasting, her words were spoken by one of our interns.

Although Comment Macht Frei does not pay our interns, we believe that the experience and exposure they receive from working with us at the cutting edge of the media industry will provide them with benefits beyond that which mere monetary compensation could provide, and will set them in good stead for a career within our industry or others.

Our current guidelines on staff privacy mean we cannot publically name, congratulate, or provide references for any of our interns, either current or historic. For more details of our hiring practices, job opportunities and charitable donations acceptance policies, please speak to one of our recruitment agents at your nearest Oxford or Cambridge student union office, or Pin us on pinterest.

[Music loudens again to a crescendo of pomposity, suddenly ENDS]