Hey Russ, didn’t you just do #TheWeekInTory on Monday?
Yes. Yes, I did.
But you’re having to do another on Thursday?
I don’t make the rules. And apparently, Boris Johnson doesn’t either.
Anyway, here we go again…
1. Boris Johnson said “The rules are very simple”
2. Then he got the rules wrong
3. Then he said “the rules are confusing”
4. Then he said he’d fine anybody breaking the rules £1000
5. Then his dad broke them
6. Then Boris immediately didn’t fine him a penny
7. This week's fabulous quote from an anonymous Tory MP: “[Boris Johnson] genuinely doesn't give a flying fuck what the policy is, he's never done the homework, so he doesn't know anything. There really is no point in talking to the Prime Minister about policy at all”
8. To make life less confusing for Boris, the Tory MP for 1950s Jaguar showrooms, Desmond Swayne, suggested every pub should just make up its own rules
9. Mr Swayne refused to take unconscious bias training: said he didn’t need it
10. Last year he was caught wearing blackface
11. Mind you, a poll found 60% of Tory members are openly Islamophobic, so [shrug]
12. In March Rishi Sunak, the nicest Tory, said “Nobody will go hungry as a result of Coronavirus”
13. This week, Sunak rejected calls to end cuts to benefits for the poorest 300,000 children
14. Let's move on to this week's best bewildering assault on logic. The Tory leader of Herts Council (which presumably means he’s the best one they've got) said the govt should abolish local councils so that local councils could remain Tory. Read that twice. I had to.
15. Over 80 Tory MPs confronted Boris Johnson, concerned about increasing length of his shortcomings, and demanded a say in future policy
16. Then they voted for the Internal Market Bill, which removes their say over future policy
17. Theresa May said the Internal Market Bill, which also breaks international law, was “reckless and irresponsible” and “risks the integrity of the United Kingdom”
18. See if you can guess who didn't vote against the bill. Go on, have a guess. Yep. Theresa May
19. Hard-line Brexit cheerleader and Beta-version human Steve Baker said on Radio4 “many members of the Tory party are seriously concerned about parliamentary democracy and the rule of law”
20. So obviously, the next day, he too voted to break the rule of law
21. And the Lord Chancellor, the Attorney General, and the Solicitor General for England and Wales all voted against a clause in the bill “requiring Ministers to respect the rule of law and uphold the independence of the Courts”, cos why would they? They're only in charge of law
22. So the EU, the other signatory to the deal, launched a legal action to stop us breaking it
23. We now have 3 months to resolve this case so we can get a vital trade agreement
24. An Argentinian / EU trade dispute has been ongoing since 2012. That's a bit more than 3 months
25. All of this is, of course, to let us Get On With Brexit, primarily, judging by the rhetoric, so we can save our fish; which must be why this week, heroic Boris Johnson, our very own Sir Plankton Churchill, quietly gave away our fishing rights for another 3 years
26. It was revealed Financial Services businesses operating in the UK have relocated $1.6 trillion in assets to the EU ahead of the Brexit deadline
27. For context, the UK’s GDP is $2.8 trillion. Fairly simple maths, I don't need to point it out to you.
28. It was revealed UK data about terrorists and serious criminals would "legally, have to be deleted" in the event of No Deal, because it would become illegal for the EU to share the information with us. So we would no longer be able to track terrorists.
29. To avoid import tariffs on car parts, we spent this week attempting to pretend Turkey was actually British
30. Sadly, the EU owns a map, so yep: we’re paying tariffs on car parts
31. The car industry said this would mean £100bn in losses, and be “catastrophic”
32. Fortunately, this week the govt admitted it is preparing finances to support “around 4 million unemployed for a significant period of time”. The maximum unemployment benefit is £74.35 a week, so… sleep well.
33. However, whilst preparing for mass unemployment, the govt doesn’t see much value in spending a penny saving jobs in the £12bn arts and culture sector, because who needs London to remain a major global destination for millions of tourists who love our arts and culture?
34. Doesn't matter: we’re not keen on foreigners anyway, as Priti Patel was keen to point out when she genuinely suggested we build machines to generate massive waves to drive them all back into the sea, like a modern-day Cnut. This is not a typo. You just think it is
35. Next, she suggested we ship migrants to uninhabited Scottish Island, until it was pointed out all the ones you can land on are inhabited
36. Undeterred, the cabinet’s favourite Rosa Klebb impersonator suggested building concentration camps for migrants on a literal volcano
37. This idea wasn’t rejected cos it’s insane – it was rejected because it’s expensive
38. And we need the cash for Deloitte, who we pay to run a national Test & Trace programme that doesn’t work, whilst simultaneously selling a programme which *does* work to local councils
39. Matt Hancock told the Commons the govt trial on the use of Vitamin D as a treatment for Covid “sadly, did not appear to show any impact”
40. There has been no govt trial on the use of Vitamin D as a treatment for Covid
41. But in seemingly good news – no, really! – we now have four times as many ventilators as we had when the virus first hit
42. Oh, hold on: we can only use one fifth of them because we forgot to train enough staff. That’s more like it.
43. The govt pressed on with appointing Charles Moore as Chair of the BBC, even though he was fined for refusing to pay the licence fee, and even though the Tory head of the Culture and Media Committee said Moore being appointed would be “beyond the pale”
44. Charles Moore said “The Korean sets up a grocery store, which the black then robs – that is the caricature. One explanation is that there really is something different about blacks”
45. And he can also “detect in black men an indifference to normal social constraints”
46. And finally, a leaked letter from the Cabinet Office Minister to all heads of department said governance was “infantilised” and “unacceptable”, so at least one person in Whitehall is aware of the things the rest of us have known for years
Editor: I’d like to add this little horror:
Can’t imagine Bercow would have let that go…