The best facial expressions of 2017

Masks of horror.

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The “HE’S LYING TO YOU” MEP


Photo: Twitter/Spiegel_Politik

In one of the most exciting episodes ever to happen in the European Parliament, Labour’s Seb Dance held up a sign with an arrow pointing to Nigel Farage – who was speaking – reading “HE’S LYING TO YOU”. It was to spoil any viral clips Ukip or Brexiteers wanted to get from it. I particularly enjoy his sneaky, mischievous, Europe-loving eyes peering over the card, ready to get told off by a Brussels official – but get a load of engagement on Twitter.

PROUD OF YOURSELVES?

Photo: Twitter

The joy-filled, grinning, distinctly unintimidating faces of Tory MPs who rebelled against the government on getting a “meaningful” Brexit vote – splashed by the Mail in an attempt to make them look evil. I mean, they all look like kindly headmistresses and affable butlers. And very, very proud of themselves.

YOUNG JUSTIN TRUDEAU

If it wasn’t already time to migrate, it is now.

FATHER, INTERRUPTED


Photo: BBC screengrab

This is not just one facial expression, but three. The foreign policy expert drawing the inner strength to carry on. His child, who interrupted the BBC interview, oblivious at the carnage she has caused. The mother, a tableau of panic, horror, and latent viral magic – caught for eternity.

 EDVARD MUNCH’S SCREAM, AKA BRENDA FROM BRISTOL


Photo: BBC screengrab

The moment an innocent woman in Bristol called Brenda was told about the snap election, her face wracked with agony representing an entire nation. Oh, Brenda. Same.

THERESA MAY’S BACON SANDWICH MOMENT


Photo: Getty

Remember when Theresa May tried to eat a cone of chips on the campaign trail? We should’ve known then, really. That’s not a majority-winning fast food experience.

A HAUNTED ALAN PARTRIDGE


Photo: YouTube screengrab

Who could forget Greg Knight, the Conservative MP for East Yorkshire and sad sentient tree, delivering the oddest campaign video of any UK general election ever?

There he was, drowning in oversized chinos and jacket, standing stock-still in a grubby constituency office delivering his message deadpan to a shaky camera– reading some kind of makeshift autocue a little above the top-right of the lens – before finishing with a special Eighties anthem about accountability. It was like the makers of the Blair Witch Project and The Office had united to make an Alan Partridge short.

“I’LL EAT MY BOOK”


Photo: Sky News still

Atoning for the country’s experts, pundits, and literally everyone else’s bad predictions, the politics professor Matthew Goodwin ate pages of his own book on live TV.

On 27 May, he tweeted: “I’m saying this out loud. I do not believe that Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, will poll 38 per cent. I will happily eat my new Brexit book if they do.”

So the University of Kent academic stayed true to his tasty, tasty word.

SOME CRANK DELIVERING A COMPLAINT TO THE BBC

In the most photoshoppable moment of 2017, Nigel Farage had himself videoed as he marched to the front door of BBC’s New Broadcasting House with a letter of complaint – turning to camera and posing with… what looked like a blank piece of paper. Cue the parodies.

DAVID LAMMY’S BEEF FACE


Photo: BBC screengrab

The Labour MP for Tottenham won Parliament’s best “OUCHHHH!” reaction in this face he made after Frank Field burned his fellow Labour MP Hilary Benn with the retort: “I always bought my houses, I never inherited them.”

Anoosh Chakelian is the New Statesman’s Britain editor.