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A failure to follow the party line is almost unbelievable

Comedian MITCH BENN presents his take on the news of more lockdown parties in Downing Street and Nigel Farage coming to Novak Djokovic's aid.

Is Liz Truss having a laugh when she says she’s ready to invoke Article 16?. Photo: Phil Noble/Getty.

JAW-DROPPING REVELATION OF THE WEEK

The British political establishment has been rocked to its core in the past few days, with the startling revelation that on a couple of occasions during the first two lockdown phases in the spring and winter of 2020, there were NO parties, barbecues, cheese-and-wine evenings, karaoke nights or piss-ups of any form in 10 Downing Street or any other government building.

This has in turn led to the horrid realisation that, while the country suffered under the full weight of the twin burdens of lockdown and the pandemic, there were high-ranking UK government officials TURNING UP TO WORK, stone-cold sober and trying – apparently in all sincerity – to “make things better”.

An anonymous government source said: “There may not be any way back from this one.

“People weren’t really that shocked to discover that we’d been lashing it up behind closed doors while everyone else hid inside, and pubs and restaurants went under – we’re the Tories; blithe entitled hypocrisy is what we DO.

‘‘But the idea that whole government departments were actually engaged in the business of trying to ameliorate the effects of the outbreak – and STILL presiding over the most incompetent response in the western world – may just be too much, even for our keenest and stupidest supporters.’’

It’s understood that a concerted and coordinated leaking effort is now underway, with news and images being disseminated of more and more illegal drinks parties and other gatherings, including some which might not even have happened.

‘‘We need to restore the public’s belief that there was lots more we could have done if we’d been arsed,” said the source.

MAGICAL PANACEA OF THE WEEK

We read – indeed we seem to have been reading for some time – that foreign secretary/Brexit secretary/ Lucrezia-Borgia-in-waiting, Liz Truss, is ‘‘prepared to invoke Article 16” if arrangements with the EU over the whole Northern Ireland fustercluck don’t miraculously improve.

This gives rise to many questions, principally: “What is Article 16”, “Article 16 of what”, and, most crucially, “Does Liz Truss actually know what Article 16 does, or is this just an easy way to sound tough and implacable?”

My own rather scattershot research yields only that Article 16 is some sort of abort switch that would send the post-Brexit NI protocol negotiations all the way back to square one, so threatening to invoke it MIGHT work as a coercive tactic if post-Brexit NI protocol negotiations had ever reached square one in the first place.

As it stands, invoking it now would just involve a bit of futile flag-waving while achieving nothing very much – except making ourselves look a bit foolish.

Boy, I’m glad we haven’t been doing THAT for the past six years.

UNWANTED INTERVENTION OF THE WEEK

The Unflushable Turd himself, Nigel Farage, mysteriously turned up in Australia this week, apparently intending to intercede on behalf of the stranded tennis champion Novak ‘No Vax’ Djokovic, who was, at the time, in deportation limbo having been denied entry into the country to play at the Australian Open for refusing to get himself Covid-vaccinated.

Farage’s intervention – which could only have been more bizarrely incongruous if he’d rocked up with a chicken and a fishing rod – is especially ironic when you consider that not only does he currently occupy no position of responsibility or authority whatsoever (whatever the bookers for Radio 4’s Any Questions? think), or even appear to be gainfully employed just now (unless you include GB News, and who does?).

This was Farage railing against some of the very things he’s been campaigning IN FAVOUR OF for his entire ‘career’. Specifically, a country taking control of its borders AND an “Australian-style points-based immigration system”.

Ah well, at least he got back on the telly for a few seconds, and that’s all he really wanted.

Djokovic himself, meanwhile, has, at time of writing, just had his deportation order revoked despite STILL not (as far as anyone knows) meeting the vaccine requirements for entry.

How has he pulled this off?

Wait – did Novak Djokovic invoke Article 16?

POEM OF THE WEEK

I lock my doors and windows
And all day long I hide
I hear them cough as they go off
To walk the world outside
Soon hunger forces me to go
Creeping like a miser
To perform my tasks, armed with spare masks
And bottles of sanitiser
Among all the infected hordes
My story has exploded
I am legend, the Omega Man
I’m the last man not to get COVID
At night time they surround my home
I hear their howls of protest
But still so far there’s just one bar
On every lateral flow test
They say that I’m the monster now
A threat to their community
They’d love to break on in and make
Me taste some herd immunity
But I must live, my tale to give
Of how the world eroded
When Delta’s gone, and Omicron
I’m the last man not to get COVID

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