OK, which minister's mate charged the government £2.6 million for this?

The new No. 10 Downing Street press briefing room, built at a cost of just £2.6million

The new No. 10 Downing Street press briefing room, built at a cost of just £2.6million - Credit: ITV News

Which minister's mate charged the government £2.6million for the new No.10 Downing Street press briefing room, asks Mitch Benn as he hands out political awards to Boris Johnson and Priti Patel

Hello and welcome to this, the first of my columns to be 100% compliant with the terms of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2021! Hope you’re having a wonderful time in this, the greatest of all nations! 

And remember, if for some unimaginable reason you’re NOT having a wonderful time, keep it to yourselves! On pain of punishment!

(WARNING: laughing at this column loudly enough to cause a public nuisance is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment)

STAUNCH DEFENDER OF TRADITION OF THE WEEK

Our wise, noble and immaculately turned out leader, Boris Johnson! Has there ever been a man so steeped in the traditional British way of life?

You only have to look at him to know that only here, here in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and all her Dominions, could such a man have risen to greatness. Rarely has a leader so encapsulated everything that’s... SPECIAL about the land he calls home. 

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Tirelessly defending our borders against everyone (else) born overseas who would seek to come to this country, seize power and corrupt our way of life forever, Boris Johnson is a man who stands foursquare for home and family, having several of both himself. 

ENDANGERED SPECIES OF THE WEEK

Statues! Save our statues!

Those distinguished gentlemen (all of whose names we can remember without looking them up) didn’t spend their lives conquering the undeveloped world, exterminating and enslaving whole populations just so that a bunch of YAHOOS could go around desecrating their bronze effigies centuries later. 

Well, no longer! From now on our statues will get the protection they deserve! The hearts of our valiant boys in blue must surely swell with pride to think that the precious man-hours and resources which might previously have been squandered on helping ordinary, living people will now be spent wisely on preserving the dignity of long-dead bureaucrats and generals. 

And rightly so! Statues are people too! Statues have feelings! Unlike, say, women.

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK

The magnificent new press room at Downing Street, from which the prime minister and our other betters will henceforth address a grateful and attentive nation. It was unveiled this week, having been completed at a cost to the taxpayer of a measly £2.6 million!

How did they bring it in at such a modest budget? Where did they source blue nylon office carpet at just £30,000 a square metre? Or two flat-screen TVs for just £220,000 each? Or 24 uncomfortable steel chairs for only £20,000 a unit? Or an MDF lectern for just £1.2 million?

We wanted to ask the contractor responsible for the installation (believed to be a close family friend of someone or other) how he managed to complete the work for such a meagre sum, but he was unavailable. Perhaps his yacht was out of radio range.

NUISANCE OF THE WEEK

World-famous ‘cellist’ Yo-Yo Ma ‘entertained’ people awaiting Covid vaccinations in a clinic in Massachusetts by ‘playing’ his ‘cello’ in the waiting room, having just received his own vaccination. 

This is JUST the sort of reckless noise pollution and DISRUPTION which our own wise leaders have so wisely sought to outlaw in our own country. Rest assured Britons; if any so-called ‘virtuoso’ pesters YOU with their offensively audible scrapings or tootings while you wait for your jab, the local constabulary will be down on them like a ton of bricks.

DAMNED UNGRATEFUL FOREIGNERS OF THE WEEK

The Germans, French, Italians and those perennial belly-achers the Irish all suspended use of the fine, Oxford-developed AstraZeneca vaccine this week. They have decided to prefer shooting foreign muck into their swarthy arms, just because a handful of feeble, pampered Norwegians complained of blood clotting after being granted doses of the fine British preparation.

Well, yah boo sucks to ‘em! Not only is there no proof whatsoever of a connection (this is actually true - Ed) but even if there were, then perhaps some good honest British clotting is just what their wimpy, runny Scandinavian blood needed! 

Take your Morten Harket, your “Norvège nul points”, your pickled herring (that’s the Norwegians isn’t it? Ah, who cares?) and stick ‘em up your fjords!



SONG OF THE WEEK

Priti Patel
Priti Patel
She’ll close down your protest
And nick you as well
To see her chills your blood
Yes every cell
Priti, Priti Patel

The smirk of her lips
Can scare full-grown men
They fired her that once
But never again
With all the warmth
Of antiseptic gel
Look out for Priti Patel

Now some have said
That Priti is a bully
Although she can’t be more
Than five feet tall
We’re happy to report
She settled out of court
And so there is no truth in that at all

Her destiny she
Has yet to fulfil 
She’ll be the PM
And won’t rest until
Everyone who’s in her way is in a cell
Priti, Priti Patel

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