Primed Minister – who really holds the reins of power?

The main entrance to 55 Tufton Street, London, UK. A shared office space for a variety of lobbying organisations and think tanks. Wikimedia Commons

As it appears that the mainstream media are finally beginning to take an interest in the insidious power of opaquely-funded think tanks, Ian Shaw expresses, in his inimitable, quirky style, his contempt for the current government and his concern for the influence these shadowy backers wield – hitherto largely ignored or. worse still, showcased and indulged.

Have you noticed how, in the last few days, the BBC, news anchors, journalists, commentators, the BBC, Huw Edwards, the BBC, the BBC and the BBC, oh, and the BBC…have started to…


What NOW, for goodness’ sake?

Just observe. Enter stage far-right: some seemingly innocent little words. Words like ‘institute’, ‘research group’, ‘policy group’, ‘advocacy’, ‘strategy, ‘affairs’, ‘alliance’; Huw Edwards (yes, I’m actually watching the BBC) has even hesitated, with furrowed brow, on the words ‘governmental’ and ‘policy.’

Who will break first? All the decent journos have sodded off to Podcastfordshire. Or LBC.

These non-governmental organisations are fine – as long as you know who funds the darlings.

What’s alarming is the lollipop in the room (much nicer than that poor, body-shamed elephant, plagued by a crick-neck with nowhere to show off her beautiful trunk), the LOLLIPOP IN THE ROOM: how horribly quickly we’ve got used to hearing these institutanks mentioned and consulted on the acceptably sage, respected and beloved (by and large) old auntie Beeb up the Portland. And that’s not to mention the vogue for shoving out some poor millennial no-one’s ever seen before, crisp in a Paul Smith shirt, to talk utter bollocks.

The reliable old Tory farts of yesteryear have now said ‘no’. to invitations to appear on the box. What is there to say? If you’ve spent ninety-eleven years of your life as a ‘decent Conservative’ – you ain’t gonna spaff all that by coming over all that-Scottish-one-on-Dads Army and, eyes wild, voice Karloff-like, whisper ‘Have you read 1984 or Animal Farm or Five Go To Spiggy Holes?’ down your zoom, on the wife’s conservatory computer.

You journalists out there. Someone. One of you. ANYONE of you. Ask: “Who pays your wages, shirtboy?”

Ask Kate Andrews: “Who paid for your office roof extension? Your first-class flights to New York? WHO ARE YOU? WHO FUNDS YOU?”

Isn’t this pretend pre-dystopian? But darker, no? Hmmm, as if we weren’t there already, I hear you howl. Or have we got used to this massively connected Tory disconnect. In just one week?

“Dear oh dear” muttered King Charles the Third, to Elizabeth the First. “Lovely to be here”, she mumbled.

It was almost as joyful as seeing Patel, back-benched, probably thinking … “Just. Watch. This. Next. One. You thought I was bad. I swear I saw her tip the TicTac box.” The first humanised action, recorded on film.

“We invited someone from the government … no one was available” , the media repeat; blah, blah etc. But here is someone you’ve never heard of. Again. They’re from an alleged ‘advisory’ background. Very recent background. Trussle-type advice background. Cos Liz The Fizz … well, she just struts, simpers and when scrutinised, presses a secreted sub-cutaneous button in her hip, and out tumble the pre-programmed non-answers.

She’s a bit like Tressy with the growing hair. Or that slightly sinister vent doll toy that was available from 1969 to 2010 – that one with the orange hair, purple lips and an uncanny Linda Blair-like ability to rotate its head around, fully, to make your little sister properly faint. Or just turning halfway to spew out foul, imperious orders. Truss leaks out the stock phrases: all the vowels, none of the meaning.

Bet Shirtboy suggested Movin’On Up , and sat in his Asos trollies, Pimlico flat, Deliveroo on the way – Face Timing his Oxford PPE mate, who works for The Bank That Likes To Say … F*ck, no!

“Look what I made her do, dude!”

It doesn’t matter that Trussles and Kwarteng are looking fragile. Party politics is fading. Holding the dead-eyed, slogan-shagging PM to any form of account? Pointless. PMQs? Pointless.

Just tune into the podcast of Britannia Unchained – read, dulcetly, by Jacob Rees Crackers. He’s happy to play in anyone’s tent these days, soon as he’s finished floffling to the BBC on what impartiality means. He should try reading the news. It’s ALL EXACTLY AS THEY WRIT. We are all useless, thick idlers. We shall all perish.

You can feel the house-horror and see it in the faces of the Truss-gazing Mordaunt, Coffey, Mcdonokey, Twankydoddle, Spiddlrabble and the rest. Just keep the f*ck going – “your people need you.”

Two years will whizz by, even if you think you’re in an actual nightmare. You are.

But this? All this pretending to care? This is mere fairy dust. Tufton Street has finally sent the shirts out. And nobody seems to really notice.