Skip to main content

Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best experience possible, please make sure any blockers are switched off and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help you can email us

Would Sajid Javid have renamed ICU wards ‘Drama Queen Zones’?

Weakened politics... a weekly diary of the latest woes from Westminster and beyond

Health secretary Sajid Javid, who was forced to apologise for language used in a tweet (Getty)
Health secretary Sajid Javid, who was forced to apologise for language used in a tweet.

Credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz/ Barcroft Media via Getty Images

SLAP IN THE FACE OF THE WEEK
Health secretary Sajid Javid took to Twitter on Saturday in order to extend his warmest congratulations to health secretary Sajid Javid on his full recovery from Covid. In evidently bullish mood, he went on to say “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

The tweet was deleted in due course, having elicited a furious response from thousands of people who, having dutifully curtailed their activities for many months, at great personal, professional, and literal expense, in order to avoid spreading the virus, were understandably put out to read that they had in fact been “cowering” from it.

I’m rather disappointed that The Saj backed down on this occasion; I was looking forward to seeing what other forms this refreshingly brutal bedside manner might take. Perhaps A&E units could be re-branded “Clumsy Bastard Departments”; the chronically ill could be re-designated “malingerers” and ICU wards re-labelled “Drama Queen Zones”.

SPACE OPERA OF THE WEEK
Battle was finally joined this last week in the ongoing rivalry between duelling billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to see which of them can have the more dementedly expensive and ostentatious midlife crisis. Oh, and they went into space as well.

The general consensus appeared to be that Jeff Bezos won on points; not only was his flight a good 69,000 feet higher than Mr Branson’s (both billionaires, it should be pointed out, merely blasted themselves straight up into the stratosphere then straight back down again rather than going into orbit or doing any proper astronaut type stuff like that) but the Amazonian truly explored the Embarrassing Divorced Dad potential of the journey by going up in a spaceship that was, quite literally, dick-shaped.

One supposes that a degree of phallic-ness is inevitable where space rockets are concerned, but if you’ve seen pictures of Bezos’s Blue Origin craft, you will know that there were design elements present which definitely looked more like a conscious expression of virility than anything to do with aerodynamics.

Once back on Earth, a cowboy-hatted Bezos gave a historically cringeworthy press conference in which he thanked Amazon’s staff and customer base (i.e., most of the human race right now) by saying “you paid for this”. To which most of the human race right now responded “Yes, we know, don’t rub it in.”

ANNOYINGLY GOOD BIT OF TIMING OF THE WEEK
It’s been a difficult time for religious Londoners; it must be hard to believe that there’s a God when those anti-mask, anti-lockdown, Covid dingbats managed to hold their Trafalgar Square hatefest (now furiously protesting against all their demands having been met, apparently) on the one day last week when London was neither being scoured by 30+ degree sun nor under four feet of water.

Mind you, it’s not easy being a climate change denier these days but they’re still out there. They must be marvelling at the extent to which China is willing to commit to perpetrating this particular hoax.

SUPERVILLAIN SELF-OWN OF THE WEEK
So Dominic Cummings gave a queasily smug interview last week in which it became horribly apparent that what we’ve all suspected for the last five years is true: that he’s presided over the calculated sabotage of our nation purely as an exercise in intellectual vanity and will happily watch the country burn to the ground as long as it proves he’s cleverer than everyone else.

The thing is, if you’re REALLY cleverer than everyone else, a. you don’t go round telling everyone and b. you don’t boast about your evil plans until you’re safely back in your Secret Underground Lair where nobody can get you.

It’s become clear that Dominic Cummings isn’t a genius, just a smarter than average guy who’s managed to surround himself with utter dunderheads for so long that everyone, including him, has come to BELIEVE that he’s a genius. He’s the Noel Gallagher of superforecasters.

POEM OF THE WEEK
Boris Johnson is a liar
It is our job to say
That Boris Johnson is a liar
So say it every day
Boris Johnson is a liar
Repeat it constantly
They can’t say it in the Commons
But we are not MPs.
Boris Johnson is a liar
Of this there is no doubt
And if his mouth is open
Then lies are coming out
They’ll escort you from the House
If you point this out in there
But we are not in Parliament
So say it everywhere.
Boris Johnson is a liar
About topics big and small
His supporters are aware of this
And they don’t care at all
But if you don’t want to sit
And watch the country catching fire
Say to everyone you meet
Boris Johnson is a liar.

See inside the July 29: Flake News! edition

Ervin Zador is escorted from the pool, with blood pouring from a wound inflicted by a Russian opponent.

When cold war broke out in the Olympic swimming pool

Looking back at one of the most notorious episodes in the Games' history, when sport and politics combined in ferocious violence

La Plage, from 1900, by artist Alfred-Victor Fournier.

30 great European books for the beach

Charlie Connelly offers his selection of perfect holiday reading, from the latest new European paperbacks