Opinion

Jake O'Kane: My good looks have disappeared across the Rubicon... and Suella Braverman shows us what this Tory party is really like

Jake O'Kane

Jake O'Kane

Jake is a comic, columnist and contrarian.

Meanwhile, 'James the Third' – known to us as Jake – reckons he has been blessed with a wonderful personality...
Meanwhile, 'James the Third' – known to us as Jake – reckons he has been blessed with a wonderful personality... Meanwhile, 'James the Third' – known to us as Jake – reckons he has been blessed with a wonderful personality...
'James the First' – Jake's great uncle James, photographed during the First World War, was famous for his handsome good looks
'James the First' – Jake's great uncle James, photographed during the First World War, was famous for his handsome good looks 'James the First' – Jake's great uncle James, photographed during the First World War, was famous for his handsome good looks

THESE three photographs prove that good genetics can – if you're unlucky like me – jump a generation.

First is a photograph of my great uncle James, taken during the First World War. Having emigrated to the US, James was shipped straight back to fight in the trenches in France. Thankfully he survived and, for his time, was a handsome man standing over six feet tall.

The second photograph is of James the Second, my father. Named after his great uncle, he was known as Jim and again, standing over six feet in height, possessed movie star looks.

'James the Second' – Jake's father – also possessed movie star looks
'James the Second' – Jake's father – also possessed movie star looks 'James the Second' – Jake's father – also possessed movie star looks

The third photo is of James the Third: me, known as Jake, to differentiate myself from my dad Jim, who was called Jim to differentiate himself from his uncle James. I know what you're thinking – why didn't they just choose other names? The difference this time is that I'm only 5ft 9ins and my looks... well, a kind person would describe me as having a wonderful personality.

Meanwhile, 'James the Third' – known to us as Jake – reckons he has been blessed with a wonderful personality...
Meanwhile, 'James the Third' – known to us as Jake – reckons he has been blessed with a wonderful personality... Meanwhile, 'James the Third' – known to us as Jake – reckons he has been blessed with a wonderful personality...

This all brings me neatly to the crossing of the Rubicon. This oft-used term dates back to ancient Rome, when victorious generals weren't allowed to cross the Rubicon river and enter the city until given permission by the Senate, for fear they'd make a power grab, which happened in 49BC when Julius Caesar crossed without permission, setting himself up as dictator of Rome.

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This wasn't Caesar's best military decision as, one year later, angry senators deposited so many daggers in his back that he resembled a pin cushion.

Today, the term "crossing the Rubicon" has taken on the popular meaning of passing the point of no return, and the fact we were on holiday in Rome last summer is probably the reason the term popped into my head on the momentous day the incident took place.

Jake O'Kane in Rome
Jake O'Kane in Rome Jake O'Kane in Rome

I was walking with my 16-year-old son, looking for a restaurant for lunch. Enjoying the glorious weather, most people were dining al fresco on tables placed on the pavements.

Our search for lunch was complicated due to my being coeliac and needing a gluten-free option, although surprisingly in Rome the choice on offer was possibly the best of any of the European cities I've visited, including London.

My wife and daughter waved, indicating they'd found a suitable establishment. As my son and I made our way towards them we passed a table with four stunningly beautiful young Italian women having lunch.

I couldn't help but notice that all four looked up in unison, their gaze following us as we walked past and then, having realised they'd been caught, returned to their meal in a fit of giggles.

Jake O'Kane in Rome
Jake O'Kane in Rome Jake O'Kane in Rome

My chest increased in girth by a few inches as I inwardly congratulated myself on not having lost my touch. Then, with horror, the reality hit me – they hadn't been looking at me at all; rather, it was my son who had caught their attention. This was indeed a Rubicon-crossing moment as I forlornly watched as the baton of sexual attractiveness was grasped from my sweaty hand and passed to the next generation.

Of course I'd been deluding myself and should have realised that at over 6ft tall and with a head of glistening curls tumbling to his shoulders, my son had the appearance of having just stepped out of a Botticelli painting.

Blessed with Mediterranean skin and chiselled features, he looks like a different species in comparison to his poor father. Possessing a deadly combination of looks and positive personality, he will traverse a life alien to those of us not so blessed by the gods.

I would have added his photo to the three above but after a short family meeting, it was decided doing so would infringe his privacy, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Unlike many of his generation he'll have no need for photographic filters, as genetics have in his case usurped computing. He's a sensitive young man who could very well marry his first love, making him alien not just in looks but also temperament to his father.

For one thing is certain, if I'd been blessed to look like him, half this country would now look like me.

Rishi Sunak has faced growing calls to sack Suella Braverman as Home Secretary (James Manning/PA)
Rishi Sunak has faced growing calls to sack Suella Braverman as Home Secretary (James Manning/PA) Rishi Sunak has faced growing calls to sack Suella Braverman as Home Secretary (James Manning/PA)

SUELLA Braverman's statement that street sleepers are making a lifestyle choice demonstrates all we need to know about this Tory party.

Beyond shame, empathy or basic human decency, and facing certain rejection at the next election, they feel unshackled and confident in pulling back the curtain to show who they truly are.