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Honesty is one of a range of options

It has been great news that the Covid vaccine programme has been so successful. With any luck, I’ll soon be able to stop having all that sugar-free kombucha and kimchi which Gwyneth Paltrow has been making me take , which will be a relief for all concerned.   With the ongoing vaccination rollout, the government has set out its proposed roadmap out of lockdown. The Telegraph reported that you’ll first be able to meet a friend on a park bench, then have an outdoor picnic, which will be followed by outdoor sports such as tennis or golf. Pubs and hospitality will come later. Sounds good! I remember going on a stag-do with much the same itinerary. Don’t invite Richard Bacon though, or at the end of the evening we’ll be having to deny snorting cocaine off the back of a tortoise again. With government successes in the pandemic rarer than a postman in long trousers, it seems ironic that the government has looked at the outstanding work of the NHS vaccination programme and concluded that
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Will Johnson The Pleasure Bot Have a Premature Relaxation?

Asked last year at Prime Minister’s Questions to empathise with families grieving for relatives lost to Covid, Boris Johnson appeared unable to take it seriously, instead inappropriately heading below the waistline to make a poor joke about underpants. It seems Johnson has often struggled throughout the crisis to treat it with sufficient gravity, with a tendency to trivialise it through his language, talking about “squashing the sombrero” and “Operation Last Gasp”. This week at PMQs, Keir Starmer revisited the question about bereaved families, once again seeking empathy for them. It was nice to see that Johnson’s claim at the previous day’s press conference that he took “full responsibility for everything the Government has done” lasted less than twenty-four hours, rather like the responsibility Johnson has taken for impregnating his mistresses. Johnson seemed stuck in a loop, replying to all Starmer’s questions with the same response: “SAY SCHOOLS ARE SAFE! SAY SCHOOLS ARE SAFE!” It

Operation Close Stable Door

In another addition to the pile of exhibits in the “You’d Honestly Think We Might Have More To Worry About” museum, Robert Jenrick, the Housing Minister, last week wrote an article for the Telegraph declaring that “We will save our history from woke militants”. I must admit, I’m never quite sure what qualifications are needed to get a ministerial portfolio. I suspect Jenrick was made Housing Minister because he owns a lot of houses – as far as the Conservatives are concerned, that means he must know all about housing, right? There are the two houses in London, plus the manor house in Hertfordshire. Then, of course, he rents another house in his constituency at £2,000 a month, which we are paying for on his behalf through the ironically named ‘second homes allowance’ for MPs. Maybe it could be renamed so it was clear it includes fourth homes too. Anyway, the Conservatives are always telling us that handouts from the state simply lead to welfare dependency, so I’m sure they’ll be dealing

The Lockdown Threequel

  There have been some shocking recent scenes, with an unruly mob of extremist right wingers forcing their way into the seat of government, making an assault on democracy, creating chaos and sowing discord and division. But enough about the Tories – have you seen what’s been happening in the USA? After Donald Trump succeeded in inciting a riot, it’s going to take more than an injection of disinfectant to sanitise his reputation; the case for imbleachment is stronger than ever. Trump defended himself a few days later, channelling his inner Keanu Reeves to comment that “People thought what I said was totally appropriate”. I expect he’s been watching Keanu in Point Break, in which the actor was, purely coincidentally, the leader of a group of criminals that were known as the Ex-Presidents. Back in Britain, we’ve gone for a new lockdown sooner than expected. Lockdown III (brought to you by Pfizer, makers of vaccines and Viagra) is anticipated to be longer and harder. And with the return

So long, and thanks for all the fish

 Another deadline has passed for Britain to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. So far, we’ve passed deadlines in July, October, two in November and another couple in December. I wouldn’t worry about it though. Like Covid waves and lockdowns, there’s always another one coming along. The bottom line is that it’s all about the bass – the sea bass, that is. The only thing the two sides still seem to be arguing about is fish. Fishing is, of course, a vitally important industry to the UK, employing nearly as many people as Debenham’s, and we’d never let something that size collapse, would we? Oh. In this failed relationship, as the Brexit divorce is finalised our government seems to be rather more concerned about who gets the tropical aquarium than with working out who will look after the children. But for Boris Johnson, when it comes to looking after children, it’s always someone else’s responsibility. After all, this is a man who can recite the opening of the Iliad in ancient Gree

You can't beat a bit of bully

After the abrupt departure of two of the Prime Minister’s most senior advisers (Cummings and Cain, or, as I like to think of them, the C&C Bullshit Factory), it was widely trailed that it was now time to reset the government. First up in the list of new announcements was a gazillion pounds to be spaffed on military technology so that we could create a “swarm of drones”, an army of clones, and a Death Star. Or something like that anyway. I may have misremembered the exact details. This is so that we can use our military prowess to restore the Empire’s rightful place as ruler of the waves (and the icy wastes of Hoth). The reset went awry (maybe try ctrl-alt-delete, Boris? Didn’t Jennifer teach you anything?) because the key thing the government didn’t change was Johnson himself. After describing Scottish devolution as a disaster - which should help make up a few minds in the next independence referendum - he was then forced to self-isolate after yet again getting too close to an MP

I'm a nonentity - get me out of here!

  With the departure from Downing Street of the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, it has been reported that the PM is searching for “a new team to run the government”. Might I suggest Keir Starmer and the Labour Party? Or, failing that, Big Sam Allardyce is always available. He can usually save a team from relegation. The previous Head Coach – Cummings – had most definitely lost the dressing room, with a falling out between his star striker (Lee Cain) and the new defender (Allegra Stratton), who had been brought in over his head by the Director of Football (Boris Johnson). Think John Terry and Wayne Bridge. All we’re missing now is a statement from the club thanking Cummings for his efforts but insisting that they were left with no choice after a series of disappointing results. Cummings was last seen exiting No. 10 carrying a cardboard box that appeared to be on the verge of a failure of structural integrity. Admittedly, Cummings never had much integrity in the first