‘Buckle up!’ Russ takes us on the harum scarum ride that is the week in Tory

Conservative constituency office, Southend Image @ScotteeIsFat

Amazingly, this is my third #TheWeekInTory in 7 days, and if anybody wants to pay for me to go somewhere comparatively sane and relaxing for a week, I’m up for it.

I hear Mogadishu is nice.

Anyway, buckle up, here we go…

1. Previously on The Week In Tory: the government campaigned for Brexit so we can “look after our own”, and then immediately voted not to

2. Instead they opted to let up to 900,000 children go hungry during school holidays, including – bless you Santa Johnson – Christmas

3. In July, when the govt lifted the original lockdown, Rishi Sunak, the nicest Tory, tweeted “I can’t wait to get back to the pub”

4. This week he voted to let thousands of kids starve, and as a result was barred for life from his local

5. Ben Bradley, a Tory MP and Al Murray character made of Lego, spent last week appealing for justice and opportunity for “working class white boys who have been left behind”

6. He then voted to deprive them of food

7. Then this stout defender of the working class said food vouchers for poor kids will just end up being used in brothels and crack dens

8. He said he knows kids living in these conditions, and yet, like a true humanitarian, he appears to have done absolutely nothing about it

9. He also overlooks the fact that the vouchers can only be used to buy food, and I’ve yet to find evidence that crack dens commonly set up a tuck shop

10. He then invited his critics to visit “one of the country’s most deprived schools, who’s Head agrees with me”

11. The school’s governors replied to say neither they, nor the Head, agreed with him

12. It’s Monday, and most experts estimate that by Wednesday afternoon, Ben Bradley will have dug himself a hole deep enough to see kangeroos

13. Tory MP Gary Sambrook said it was OK for kids to go hungry during holidays, because they’ve “been benefiting from free school meals during term time”. It will come as a shock to Sambrook to discover humans require food on quite a regular basis

14. Tory peer Baroness Barran went on radio and said Tories had done other things to help poor children, such as extra money for emergency Universal Credit

15. So the govt announced it was reducing emergency Universal Credit by £20 a week

16. Tory MP Selaine Saxby said if businesses help starving kids she “very much hopes they will not be seeking any further govt support”

17. Selaine Saxby consistently votes against measures to reduce tax avoidance, cos avoiding tax is the sort of govt support she’s fine with

18. McDonalds offered 1m free meals over half term, proving to the govt that it is possible for clowns to make moral decisions

19. At a Downing St press conference, the govt repeatedly declined invitations from the media to praise businesses providing meals to hungry children

20. Matt Hancock said local councils had been provided with “a huge amount of extra investment” to feed kids

21. Since 2010, Tories cut funding to local councils by 60%

22. The Tory council in Boris Johnson’s own constituency joined the campaign to give free school meals

23. Matt Hancock, a sentient teaspoon and ever-dependable master of detail, went on radio and said there had been “lines of communication” between Boris Johnson and Marcus Rashford

24. Marcus Rashford said there hadn’t

25. 2000 paediatricians condemned the govt

26. The Children’s Commissioner it was “like something out of the pages of Oliver Twist”

27. An anonymous Tory MP said it was a “political disaster” and he had “never known so many Conservative MPs and council leaders so angry”

28. Senior Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said the govt had “misunderstood the mood of the country”

29. Tobias Ellwood, Tory MP and spine-donor, voted with the govt, but is now openly calling for the policy to change

30. Multiple Tory MPs have predicted a U-turn, which means at least the govt won’t go hungry over the holidays: it’ll have all those lovely words to eat

31. And then, cos they don’t know when to stop, the govt cut the laptop allocation for England’s most deprived schools by 80%

32. In a not-at-all-obvious attempt to distract attention, 112 Tory MPs (98% of whom had just voted to let children starve at Christmas) wrote to Keir Starmer to complain of the “widespread abuse” they received as a result of Angela Rayner calling one of them “scum”

33. They must have been unable to find a pen and paper when there was a 375% increase in Islamophobic incidents after Boris Johnson referred to Muslim women as “letterboxes” and "bank robbers"

34. They were probably having difficulty with a gummed-up biro when Boris Johnson called gay men “bum boys”. or said black people were “picaninnies with watermelon smiles”, or said in parliament that proven death threats against female Labour MPs were "humbug"

35. And perhaps they didn’t have an address for Home Secretary and Thor’s sister Priti Patel after she made an incendiary speech attacking "lefty" immigration lawyers, one of who was stabbed 4 days later by a far-right activist

36. Speaking of witch – tsk, me and my spelling – more than 800 lawyers and judges wrote to the govt demanding an apology from Priti Patel, and saying her “rhetoric and hostility” risks “undermining the rule of law”

37. After demanding local councils “build build build”, Michael Gove personally stepped in the oppose building in his constituency

38. There’s a fine line between spin and outright lies, and that is just one of many lines Michael Gove has caused to disappear

39. The govt confirmed it was going to start charging 20% VAT on PPE. In a pandemic

40. The govt said it would be fine, cos care homes can claim back the VAT

41. But the govt’s own advice says “Care homes … are unlikely to be able to recover any VAT on PPE”

42. Rishi Sunak said he would provide the NHS with “whatever resources it needs” to cope with the pandemic, which is why the NHS is £1bn short of funds needed to pay wages to the end of the year

43. SAGE said Test and Trace, the centrepiece of our Covid strategy, was “having only a marginal impact”

44. Test and Trace system achieved new heroic heights, as it was revealed of 268m records, just 104 cases had been pursued

45. Labour’s NHS IT System was described by Tories as “one of the worse scandals ever in terms of waste of public money”, costing £12bn over 6 years

46. By contrast, the Test and Trace system has spent £12bn in just 4 months and failed to meet a single target set for it

47. Tory MP Bernard Jenkin called for Dido Harding to be sacked

48. Matt Hancock said he had (finally) published the highly critical 2016 report into the UK’s lack of preparedness for a pandemic, which his dept had seen and then done nothing at all to act upon

49. Due to some terrible and entirely unpredictable oversight, the version he published was incomplete and heavily redacted, cos that’s exactly what you’d do if it wasn’t massively embarrassing

50. Only 211 days since South Korea started mandatory test and quarantine at its airports, the UK govt announced plans to do the same

51. Except unlike South Korea we’ll charge people for tests

53. Deaths per million in South Korea: 8

54. Deaths per million in UK: 665

54. It was then reported that Bankers and Hedge Fund Managers would be exempt from quarantine because obviously the virus, a non-living sub-microscopic entity with no brain or nervous system, will figure out how rich you are before deciding whether to infect you

55. Boris Johnson held a meeting with UK business leaders, and urged them to follow the govt’s guidance in preparing for Brexit

56. The govt hasn’t agreed a deal, so has not yet issued final guidance for preparing for Brexit

57. Then it was reported Boris Johnson won’t make a decision about whether to accept a Brexit deal until he finds out if Trump has won the election, because an important part of Taking Back Control is not being able to decide a thing until we find out what Donald is up to

58. Assuming the election happens cleanly (and Trump is involved, so god knows) this leaves businesses just 31 working days to implement a plan for the end of a 41 year period of stability, in the middle of a pandemic that most believe will be at the peak of its second wave

59. But huzzah! the govt announced a deal with Japan that was “even better than the one Japan has with the EU”

60. But whoops! the EU/Japan deal prevents either side from offering better terms to anybody else, and our deal with Japan is 5% of the one we lose with the EU

61. The former ambassador to USA (under both Tory and Labour govts) said the UK’s plans for handling a Joe Biden presidency are “profoundly clumsy and stupid” and that “Number 10 is absolutely clueless” about how to manage a post-Brexit relationship with the USA

62. Between them, the EU and USA account for around 60% of the UK’s total trade, so deliberately losing one, and then accidentally losing another is definitely a reason to be intensely relaxed about the whole thing

63. And that's why, spurred by their stunning victory over UK trade, a group of Tory MPs led by Steve Baker, a scale model of C3P0 made entirely out of ham, is urging the formation of a “European Research Group for the pandemic”

Gas and air, please. In heroic quantities

Panic Anxiety GIF

Originally tweeted by Russ (@RussInCheshire) on 26/10/2020.