Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock win worst of lockdown awards

Health secretary Matt Hancock talks at the government coronavirus briefing at Downing Street on March 1, 2021

Health secretary Matt Hancock talks at the government coronavirus briefing at Downing Street on March 1, 2021 - Credit: Photo by Ian Vogler - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Welcome to the 2021 Maskies! Yes folks, commemorating 12 months of lockdown, it’s the first - and oh please dear God ONLY - annual Maskies Awards, in which we celebrate those who’ve made the job of being a satirist just that little bit easier over the course of this last plague-ridden year. 

THE ‘SNAP YOURSELF OUT OF IT’ AWARD GOES TO:

The Americans, for belatedly realising that being ruled over by a crazed jumble of toxic personality disorders stuffed into an ill-fitting suit with a stupid haircut on top is perhaps not what you need during a time of pestilence and turmoil.

Nicely done, guys.  Any tips?

THE ‘NEWSPEAK’ AWARD FOR SERVICES TO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE GOES TO:


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Whichever bright spark it was who coined the delightful term “chumocracy” to describe acts of grotesque public corruption, embezzlement and money laundering carried out in plain sight. Makes it sound much nicer.

In keeping with this new drive towards semantic anaesthesia, burglary will henceforth be known as “declutterage”, mugging as “spontaneous involuntary street charity” and murder as “death-helping”.

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THE ‘HORCRUX’ AWARD FOR SUBTLE HARRY POTTER REFERENCES GOES TO:

Matt Hancock, for making regular Zoom-addresses to the nation from what certainly appeared to be the cupboard under the stairs.

THE JOHN CUSACK AWARD FOR SERVICES TO LUNATIC ROMANTIC GESTURES GOES TO:

Dale McLaughlan of Irvine in Ayrshire, who, last December, decided to breach Covid regulations in order to visit his girlfriend on the locked-down Isle Of Man by secretly crossing the sea from Dumfriesshire to the aforementioned island... on a jet ski. In December. Having never used a jet ski before, and being under the impression (thanks to Google Maps) that the crossing would take 40 minutes (it took four and a half hours).  

Astonishingly, Mr. McLaughlan survived the voyage and met up with his girlfriend, with whom he was staying when he was arrested a few days later.

You see, that was his mistake; what he SHOULD have done was left her a box of Milk Tray with an enigmatic card on top, got straight back on the jetski and gone home…

THE JURGEN KLOPP AWARD FOR BEING GRACIOUS IN VICTORY GOES TO:

New Zealand, for not spending the last ten months laughing their collective ass off at the rest of us (as far as we know; they’re a pretty long way away).

Last week, tens of thousands of COVID-free New Zealanders crammed into the Auckland Spark Arena to see the reunion tour of Kiwi rock legends Crowded House.  Here in the UK, it’s still illegal and indeed dangerous to be inside a crowded house.

THE ‘PATIENCE OF JOB’ AWARD GOES TO:

Scotland, for not running a huge bandsaw across the whole place from Gretna to Berwick and furiously rowing towards Norway. Yet.

THE JAMMY DODGER AWARD FOR SECTORS OF INDUSTRY WHO CAN’T BELIEVE THEIR LUCK GOES TO:

Flag-makers and plexiglass manufacturers.

THE RICHARD DAWKINS AWARD FOR SERVICES TO ATHEISM GOES TO:

Boris Johnson, who, by uttering the following at last week’s prime minister’s questions...

“We have to address the fundamental issue of the casual everyday sexism and apathy that fails to address the concerns of women, that is the underlying issue.”

... without either bursting into flames or being struck by lightning, provided final, clinching and irrefutable proof of the non-existence of God.

THE ‘BUTTONING UP YOUR OVERCOAT WHILE LEAVING YOUR FLIES UNDONE’ AWARD FOR SERVICE TO VIRAL TRANSMISSION GOES TO:

The UK government, who despite spending the whole year issuing, revising, re-issuing, clarifying, rescinding and re-reissuing COVID restrictions on an almost daily basis, nonetheless remained steadfast and unwavering in its commitment to keeping ports and airports open and incomers unhindered by inconveniences like virus tests and quarantine for as long as was possible (slightly longer, in fact).  Because whoever said Brexiters hate freedom of movement? 

They did. They said it. A lot. But they just meant YOUR freedom of movement.



THE ‘SATIRE-KILLER’ AWARD FOR DESCENDING DAUNTLESSLY INTO OUTRIGHT SELF-PARODY GOES TO:

Jacob Rees-Mogg.  Because look at him.  Seriously, just look at him.

A POEM FOR ONE YEAR OF COVID

Every dawdle and delay
The weeks our leaders threw away
So tabloids could all print “Hooray!”
We will not forget

All the weeks spent twiddling thumbs
And passing vast uncounted sums
On the quiet, to their chums
We will not forget

Every needless loss incurred
Every voice no longer heard
Gone without a parting word
We must not forget

All those lost before their time
In their dotage, in their prime
In this futile pantomime
We must not forget

All the numbness and despair
Every soft unanswered prayer
Every vacant easy chair
We must not forget

When this idiot game’s played out
And rival fools no longer shout
You are what it’s all about
And we will not forget

What do you think? Have your say on this and more by emailing letters@theneweuropean.co.uk

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