The Dipstick Papers

Sunday Telegraph

Not many people know this, but I am directly related to Wat Swyne, the 12th century highwayman who robbed only poor travellers, but gave the proceeds to the Sherriff of Nottingham. He was also a pro-am rapist, and frequently fed peasant children to the King’s wild hogs.

I have lived my entire life with the curse of his DNA upon me, but now I feel I must take the knee, and don a placard saying ‘SORRY’ to all those infant serfs who died at his hands, and thus never produced the progeny able one day to see Wrong set to Right by The British Library.

Robert Colvile works for The Times. Hat-tip to Robert, because it takes real courage to stick your neck out, especially when your chin isn’t a lot to shout about. No doubt you had always thought (didn’t we all?) that the only solution to rising debt was to reduce income; but Bobby says no – growth is the only way.

I suspect Colvile has nailed it: the main form of growth we need as a nation is upwards. Had we been grown up enough last March, for instance, we might have spotted that letting £2 trillion of economic activity go AWOL (while blowing £260 billion and counting on track, trace, vaccines and media spin) was a rather extreme reaction to a virus that seems to kill some very old and already ill people twice – thus enabling the Undertakers to carry out their duties without breaking into a sweat.

1 in 1400 of we plucky Brits have so far succumbed to Covid. Expressed as additional deaths in the context of age demographics and seasonal averages, the figure is roughly 0 out of 73,000,000….if one is being led by the science, and including all the migrants so kindly passed on to us by our traditional allies, the French.

Messrs Hancock, Whitty & Vallance take a parallel view to Robert Colvile, in that they’d like to see some upward growth in the death toll as a justification for hammering the British economy on the pharmaceutical anvil of calumny.

Even The Sun these days has experts. Indeed, a recent study by the Hitchens Institute for the Discombabulation of Self-Assigned Masturbation has shown a 31.4% rise in self-taught experts, and a 90% fall in arse-from-elbow discernment.

Sun expert Judi says, “I worry that if we don’t make a few simple tweaks to our body language, moving the focus of sending and receiving non-verbal signals via the eyes rather than the mouth, we will begin to avoid vital communications that make us feel happy and safe.”

Seems to me we’ve strayed somewhat here from who wants Biblical knowledge of you and the sanity of your employer, but then Rupert ‘Toff’ Murdoch has always been High in Claimness and Low in Truthness. No doubt this is the secret to a long life.

And so we arrive at the Mail on Sunday. The Mail used to be alone among the British press titles as uniquely mad, but under its unspeakable toadie editor Geordie Grieg, it’s fallen into line and thus trots out the same Izvestia fairy tales as most of the others. This particular curio, however – with the Mail waltzing in perfect step with Bojo the Covidiot – made me think of watching an episode of Strictly where an erotic tango between Erich Honecker and Ann Widdecombe had the audience fainting in droves at the thought of what they might do in private later.

Bear with me while I drill into it without employing anaesthetic, supplies of which are of course now limited thanks to Brexit:

  • Testing negative for Covid19 twice a week
  • Win a Freedom Pass
  • Living a normal life

The PCR test the Government uses is something of a catch-all, in that every form of virus it catches in the net is automatically called Covid19 except and unless it is Covid19, in which case the patient is dismissed for wasting NHS time.

The idea that you might be given a Covid test twice a week is up there with winning the lottery every day for a month. That reality is going to severely restrict our chances of winning the much-sought-after Freedom Pass; but the sheer totalitarian condescension of the (for want of a better term) promotional concept on offer even I found beyond belief.

It’s like one of those Private Eye press competition lampoons of the 1980s, you know? “Kill a Super-spreader – win a Freedom Pass”.

But finally, the Normal Life thing. Double-Negative Guy is going to click his heels with glee as he leaves the test centre, rips off his mask, tosses it bin-wards, and runs back twelve months in Time to a normal life.

Now what the abnormal sheep shuffling about grimly in their New Normal lives are likely to do is tear him limb from limb for being bare-faced in his disrespect for the hypochondria of others. And as the PCR test is unfit for purpose (perhaps PCR should stand for People’s Contrick Ritual) he may well wind up mortally infecting 27 people in a care home, because that’s where he works. [If you can tell me the difference between that and what happened during the First Wave, go ahead – but given NHS policy at the time, you better make it good]

So there you have it – a Hancock idea dissected: use this test, get permission from us to be free, kill 27 old folks, and then die at the hands of a rabid mob. But it’s OK really, because it couln’t possibly happen.

Never forget The Slog’s distillation of contemporary life: IABATO – It’s All Bollocks And That’s Official.

I hope you had a good Sunday lunch, and found this an amusing end to your week.

John Ward likes football, which helps to explain (but doesn’t exonerate) his decision to watch the Fulham v Everton game live on BBC this afternoon. Technical terms used by the commentators included “they’ve dropped off and been pinned in, but when your midfield is compact it’s all down to the quality you deliver, so you go wide and build to avoid being held up and linked, which gives your strikers the chance to be momentous”. There are people out there complicating a simple game and strangulating the English language at the same time. Mathew Hancock is frantically looking for them to help him through the dead-end that is Government Covid19 strategy.