This edition of #TheWeekInTory fell on April Fool’s Day, and there was an obvious temptation to slip a fib into this.
So if you feel fooled, it’s only because some of you voted for these gibbering apes.
Anyway, here we go, with the longest, stupidest one yet…
1. Grant Shapps (who has more identities than Jason Bourne, somebody else people would travel halfway round the world to punch) was ooooh, livid about P&O, and demanded workers be reinstated.
2. He tweeted “P&O Ferries has ripped up 800 workers’ rights and hung them out to dry”.
3. P&O’s owners pointed out that they’d told Shapps they were going to do this a year ago, and he’d implicitly given them the go-ahead for the sackings, telling them “you will need to make commercial decisions” that are best for P&O.
4. Boris Johnson told parliament P&O had broken the law – and he hates that kind of thing – so “We will take them to court to defend British workers”.
5. This week the government dropped plans to take P&O to court, leading experts to say “it looks like they’ve got away with it”.
6. Last month’s relaxation of public health measures has been so successful that this week Covid infections reached a record high, and hospitalisations of older people are 15 per cent up on the last Omicron peak.
7. So, obviously, from today, free Covid testing has been scrapped too
8. And funding for tracking Covid has been axed, cos if you don’t look, it isn’t really happening.
9. When presented with the option of reintroducing basic public health measures, the health secretary instead went with advising primary school children to “socialise a bit less”.
10. The “protective ring” thrown around care homes was breached (again) as the cost of tests for visitors rises to £73 per month, and becomes voluntary.
11. And then, to thank health staff for their work, sacrifices and avoidable deaths, Sajid Javid scrapped their free parking.
12. So, sad news for the NHS, but fabulous news for Tory peer Michelle Mone.
13. She was reported to have directly lobbied government ministers to place orders for PPE from a company she was secretly involved in, via a tax haven – cos you wouldn’t wanna pay tax on your profiteering.
14. The Mone-adjacent company bought PPE for £46m, then sold it to the government at three times the price, and pocketed the difference.
15. And the PPE was never used cos it failed inspections.
16. And it looks like the PPE was somehow – surely by accident – issued with fake approval certificates.
17. And the entire thing had been negotiated between Mone and ministers using private email accounts, so there would be no papertrail.
18. Government guidelines forbid the use of private emails for government business. But they also forbid illegal profiteering, and look where that got us.
19. Rosa Klebb tribute act Priti Patel didn’t want to miss out, so made a “flagrant breach” of ministerial code by intervening to get a PPE contract for a company represented by her friend and former advisor.
20. Startled turbot Michael Gove was involved in granting the contract.
21. That company’s profits jumped from £38m to £166m.
22. After the last lobbying scandal – and I know it’s hard to keep track – the PM said he would “crack down” on the practice, and put a cap on MPs’ earnings from second jobs.
23. This week he quietly scrapped those promises.
24. And so ex-social care minister Caroline Dinenage immediately took a lucrative second job at a social care business owned by a Tory donor.
25. The Met continued their Cosmo-questionnaire-based approach to crimefighting, and issued 20 fines for people involved in PartyGate.
26. The fines coincided with the opening of the Covid Memorial wall, and also with the day Tory MPs chose to throw a jolly party for themselves; what larks!
27. Tories entered the shindig via a line of mourners from Covid deaths, and not one Tory MP looked at them. Not one.
28. Follicular fire-hazard Michael Fabricant, having experienced this, was moved to tweet his outrage – not about the flatly ignored mourners, but about the wine at the party being merely a “passable” House Merlot, and not up to his usual standards.
29. On the way in he said “We’re going to have a lot of fun”.
30. On the way out, clearly briefed by somebody smarter, such as the animal corpse on his head, he said it “wasn’t a party, just colleagues having dinner and drinks”, which is exactly what they just got fined for.
31. Months ago, as PartyGate kicked off, Solicitor General Alex Chalk put it in writing that he would resign if there was “a scintilla of a suggestion” anyone had broken the law over Downing St parties.
32. Alex Chalk has not resigned as Solicitor General. I know! I’m amazed, too
33. Boris Johnson suggested the fines simply showed that he was being honest when had told parliament “There was no party and no rules were broken”.
34. The ministerial code says “Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation”.
35. Dominic Raab, the kind of Justice Minister you’d expect to find on Gumtree, admitted laws had been broken.
36. Johnson listened politely, then said he would remain “pretty firmly on his position” that no laws were broken.
37. And then Number 10 said laws had been broken.
38. But Johnson refused to admit laws were broken.
39. To help out, the police said laws had been broken.
40. Number 10 then had some sort of episode, said “we do not formally accept laws were broken”, and began denying Raab had said laws had been broken. Which he had said. On TV.
41. Number 10 then claimed the PM denying parties wasn’t a lie, even though police had fined 20 people for those parties.
42. Faced with a paradox hard for any mind to handle, let alone his, Raab said the PM’s bullshit was merely him “telling the truth, to the best of his ability”.
43. And then, in a magisterial challenge to irony, Raab complained we “can’t believe a word that comes out of Putin”.
44. So, off to the NATO summit, where our world-leading PM, Sir Plankton Churchill, was ignored by everybody, and ended up alone, gazing forlornly at the ground.
45. The government boasted it had sanctioned 18 oligarchs, cos we don’t want dodgy Russian money queue-jumping honest visa-applicants.
46. 8 of those 18 got into this country via the Tory policy of “golden visas”, using dodgy Russian money queue-jump honest visa-applicants.
47. Rishi Sunak, the rejected first-draft of an Aardman sidekick who is pretending to be a chancellor, said “I want to make it clear that there is no case for UK business investing in Russia”.
48. His family has a £727m stake in Russian business, but he blamed his wife for that.
49. He said anyone blaming his wife should be ashamed, but at least he hadn’t gone all Will Smith on their ass.
50. He’ll go slap-happy when he finds out the ministerial code says ministers “must ensure no conflict arises between their public duties and their private interests”.
51. Sunak told MPs he was a “tax-cutting chancellor”, and to prove it he introduced the biggest rise in taxes since the 1950s.
52. Energy bills rose 54%, so his brilliant plan for people with terrifying fuel debt was to force them into deeper debt, with a mandatory £200 loan.
53. He then – and bear in mind he’s supposed to be an expert on this stuff – said just because he was lending money to people who then had to repay it, that didn’t mean it was a loan.
54. David Davis – so good they named him once – said Sunak is “making the economy worse”
55. To celebrate this glowing review, Sunak, who’s primary skill appears to be taking his jacket off, got his official photographer to snap him (jacketless) posing as he filled up his very own Kia Rio.
56. Except he’d borrowed the Kia from a supermarket worker.
57. But he paid for the fuel, bless him, although it wasn’t easy. Footage showed the guy in charge of our nation’s money battling heroically as he got confused between a credit card and a can of coke, while desperately attempting to negotiate a till at a petrol station.
58. After his wily Kia Rio ploy fell through in about 4 seconds, he told MPs he really drives a “battered old Golf”.
59. He seems to have forgotten about the Range Rovers and 3 other luxury cars he owns, some of which he keeps at his modest, man-of-the-people pad in Santa Monica.
60. He told MPs it was impossible to say whether Brexit had hurt the economy, mainly cos he didn’t give a shit, what with him being massively rich.
61. Then, seemingly having cleared the cache in his brain, he told MPs it was “always inevitable” that Brexit would hurt the economy.
62. At the last general election Rishi Sunak had campaigned for a party promising their Brexit would make every person in Britain £993 a year richer.
63. It’s made every household £3,600 a year poorer.
64. That’s very nearly enough money to fill up a Kia Rio.
65. Research found the £20 Covid increase in Universal Credit lifted 400k children out of poverty, so, naturally, Sunak scrapped it.
66.And then, in a major shock to those who have been observing his levelling up plans, it was shown his changes to student loans hurt the poor most.
67. He’s clearly holding his levelling-up-o-meter upside down.
68. Economists said his plans leave one fifth of the UK in poverty.
69. He said “I am comfortable with the choices I made”.
70. 3 hours later, he was reported to be “panicked” into considering throwing his entire plan away.
71. As previous Tory decisions to scrap green investment added £190 a year to energy bills, an SNP MP asked Johnson in parliament how people in Scotland could afford to heat their homes.
72. Johnson – the actual Prime Minister – responded by calling him a fatty. In parliament.
73. Priti Patel, the Gnome of Sauron, promised a “fairer, more compassionate” Home Office after a report found her department was cruel, incompetent, and badly managed.
74. This week the report’s author said in 2 years since then, Patel had done almost nothing to fix her department.
75. Only 8 of 30 recommendations have been even partly implemented, and the report said it was “disappointed” 13 times.
76. So Patel, stalwart in her adherence to reality, said she was “pleased the report says significant progress has been made”.
77. She also designed a scheme for EU citizens to keep living in the UK, which is so good it means 2 million of them now face deportation.
78. A new independent (but Tory) head of Ofcom was announced, responsible for overseeing social media regulation and protecting broadcasting.
79. He immediately said he wants to privatise Channel 4 and scrap the BBC funding model.
80. The man now in charge of regulating social media ,proudly stated that he’s never used social media, but “is aware of it” because his children told him about TikTok.
81. He went on to say how much he admired Laurence Fox, that waxy, lurching manifestation of entitlement and stupidity, because “I know his family”, which I think we can all agree is a GREAT reason to support Fox constantly undermining public health in a pandemic.
82. Nadhim Zahawi, a child’s drawing of pure greed superimposed onto a competitively evil gonad, announced he would force all schools to become academies by 2030.
83. This was because “evidence” showed academies “deliver the best possible outcomes”.
84. The “evidence” actually shows academies perform 23 per cent worse than council-run schools.
85. Then Zahawi proudly announced a bold new idea – never tried before, not at any parents’ evenings ever – of getting teachers to tell parents if their kids were doing badly in school. Cool.
86. Local elections are coming, and the public need honest communications about what they’re voting for.
87. So the government was found to have illegally spent £100,000 of public money on “Tory Propaganda” ads on Facebook, targeted on areas where they are defending small majorities.
88. Etch-a-sketch thunderc*nt Dom Raab was back, with a new bill of human rights to guarantee free speech.
89. But you have to exercise your free speech in monastic silence, cos Priti Patel has simultaneously banned any protests that is loud enough for anybody to hear.
90. Patel, the Shetland Pony of the Apocalypse, was also found this week to have breached human rights by her policy of literally stealing phones off asylum seekers.
91. More human rights news, as Johnson promised to ban conversion therapies that claim to “cure” gayness.
92. He then did a U-turn on that promise.
93. Then he did a U-turn on the U-turn… do we need to coin the phrase “W-turn”?.
94. But he hasn’t banned conversion therapy for being transgender.
95. And then Tory MP Jamie Wallis came out as transgender.
96. And so, as a consequence all this, Jamie Wallis is now a member of a political party with a stated policy – at least for the next 10-15 minutes – of “curing” Jamie Wallis of being Jamie Wallis.
OK, so… first, an apology, cos that must have been a nightmare.
But if you like nightmares, consider supporting my forthcoming book, which has more jokes and less stress, and at least you can burn it for heat when you run out of furniture.