St Albans journalist mocks current affairs in political satire series

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:53 09 October 2018

Jeremy Hazlehurst.  Picture: Ben Richardson

Jeremy Hazlehurst. Picture: Ben Richardson


A St Albans journalist has penned and printed a series of satirical political novellas from his own publishing company.

Jeremy Hazlehurst. Picture: Ben RichardsonJeremy Hazlehurst. Picture: Ben Richardson

Writer Jeremy Hazlehurst, under the pen-name John Kwark, is one of three people who set up Popgun Press to publish novellas Bozo, Mayday, Farrago, and The Big Guy - mocking Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Nigel Farage, and Donald Trump.

The blurb for his newest book, The Big Guy, says: “Whether he is smearing fast food all over his face or cheating at golf, the buffoonish president of the United States is always bumbling from one disaster to the next. Will his gang of incompetent advisers stop him before he destroys himself? No way, because they’re too busy cashing in.”

The little 100-page books are perfect for Remain-voting St Albans commuters, Jeremy says, but are not for the faint hearted.

He said: “A lot of satirical fiction is pretty gentle but I think it should be a lot crueller, I am trying to be a bit nasty.

Jeremy Hazlehurst.  Picture: Ben RichardsonJeremy Hazlehurst. Picture: Ben Richardson

“I don’t care about offending people, they should broaden their shoulders and take little-old-me making fun of them.”

Each paperback took about a month to write and have all proved popular - each title has sold hundreds of copies and Farrago is in its second edition.

Jeremy has flogged the books at St Albans Market: “A few people give me funny looks on the stall. A few people pick them up and roll their eyes and walk off, but that is expected - they are meant to be quite pungent.

“They are not everyone’s cup of tea but I hope people have some fun with them.”

Jeremy has been a journalist for 20 years, working freelance for numerous publications including the Financial Times, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal.

He described fiction as freeing: “The stories are about the people going about their business and going through crises, which they do all the time. You have so much more freedom because it doesn’t have to be true and I can make stuff up, making it funny.”

He moved to St Albans eight years ago with his family.

The books are available through Waterstones and Foyles, or through Popgun Press on its website.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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