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Illustration by brian gable

Warren Clements is a former Globe and Mail editorial writer and columnist. This is the 26th year he has published his annual look at the year past, all set to the melodies of your favourite carols.


Boss T., the showman,

Is a man of baseless words.

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“We will wave goodbye to our Syrian guys,

Faithful allies. Bye bye, Kurds.

Erdogan promised

He would leave the Kurds alone.

I was glad to just take his word on trust,

’Cause he spoke well on the phone.”

There must have been some static on

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The line that Turkey used.

As soon as U.S. soldiers left

All the Kurds were much abused.

Boss T., the showman,

Really hasn’t got a clue.

He pretends to know

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Where the pieces go.

It’s disastrous when he’s through.


* * * * * *

Drench the House with howls of Boris.

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Brexit feeds a raging chorus.

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Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Scotland’s full of EU-wishers.

Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

How to deal with all those fissures?

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

See the blazing fools before us.

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Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Did we mention howls of Boris?

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Cam’ron set this ball in motion.

Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Nation ruptured by a notion.

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Fa la la la la, la la la la.

* * * * * *


You bet you’re being watched. You bet you can’t hide.

We’re happy to stick like glue at your side.

Facebook is in charge of your life.

You know you can trust in Amazon’s hands.

Google is just the nicest of brands.

All these firms are running your life.

We know what you’ve been mailing.

We know what you might buy.

We know if you’ve been bad or good,

’Cause we like to probe and spy.

Those personal facts you thought that you hid

Linger on file. We know what you did.

Here’s free stuff, now thanks for your life.

* * * * * *


Away in a yearbook,

No room to retouch.

J. Trudeau, when younger,

Did not think too much.

For wearing that makeup

He must make up now.

His drama-class blind spot

Caused drama, and how.

* * * * * *


I saw ten premiers sailing in.

They hoped to find they’re of one mind.

And sure enough, they’re all inclined

To raid the federal coffers.

We premiers want to lend a hand

To unify this fractious land

And this is our united stand:

Let’s raid the federal coffers.

* * * * * *


Here we come a-topple-ing

The leader, Andrew Scheer.

Working in the shadows,

We made our feelings clear.

Now who’ll serve in his place?

Let’s proceed with a race.

At the end, we will have a more electable face,

But we’re keeping our knives out just in case.

* * * * * *


Once a royal played with Epstein,

Played with girls, and played with fire.

Now he tries to claim his rep’s clean

As he sinks into the mire.

“No, I cannot recollect.

Please, we must be circumspect.”

In the interview, Prince Andrew

Had ice water in his veins.

What more can the royal clan do?

Not much hope for him remains.

Fergie’s toes once shocked the press.

Nothing next to Andrew’s mess.

* * * * * *


Could kin senselessness break out

In a fit of feuding?

William, Harry, Meghan, Kate,

All seem to be brooding.

Nightly spawn the tabloid shows

Details of dissension.

But put next to Andrew’s throes,

Scarcely worth a me-ention.

* * * * * *


Juggle bills, juggle bills,

Who will come onside?

Oh, with a minority

It’s a diplomatic ride. Hey!

Climate change?

There’s a range – Bloc, Green, NDP.

Pipelines need Conservatives

To step up and agree.

Dashing to and fro

In a want-to-horse-trade way,

O’er the aisle we go,

Seeking their okay.

Bills go left and right,

Nailing votes in place.

Oh, what fun it is to feel

A tactical embrace.

* * * * * *


Rue calls he made Ukraine hear –

That is what the House desired.

And if they had their druthers

Donald Trump would soon be fired.

All of his protestations

Can’t disguise the quid pro quo:

Give me the dirt on Biden.

Maybe then you’ll get your dough.

Witness after witness told

Of Trump’s wretched ways.

Acting with impunity –

Thinks he has immunity.

That’s why they sought impeachment,

Hoping that impeach impairs,

But in the end the voters

Have to end the man’s affairs.

* * * * * *


You better not pout on hearing a fib.

McConnell is sure it’s all a damp squib.

Senate leader’s dumbing it down.

The talk with Ukraine was nothing at all.

Extortion is part of any old call.

Senate leader’s dumbing it down.

If Trump shot fifteen people,

Without a single doubt,

Well, that’s okay, old Mitch would say,

He’s entitled to act out.

Republicans want the President safe

No matter how much his policies chafe.

Senate leader’s dumbing it down.

* * * * * *


Away in seclusion.

There’s nothing to hear.

Doug Ford was in hiding

To help Andrew Scheer.

He sent members packing

Till voting day came.

Alas for the Tories,

Scheer lost all the same.

* * * * * *


While schleppers watched their texts by night

In crossing busy streets,

Distracted drivers barrelled through

As if being timed for heats.

And cyclists running through red lights

All sought an open spot.

A happy ending’s possible,

But probable it’s not.

* * * * * *


Arrest your merry jesting ways

In diplomatic halls

Or just like Justin Trudeau you’ll

Spark presidential brawls.

No matter how much Trump upsets,

Bedevils and appalls,

Oh, timing is crucial on these trips.

(Button those lips.)

Yo-our memoirs are the best place for your quips.*

* * * * * *


A vape is a danger,

The experts professed.

Inhaling hot chemicals – who would have guessed?

Fun flavours for kiddies,

Promotions galore –

We know they’re in shops,

But who’s minding the store?

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