The week in Tory: tax, Channel 4, #partygate and more…

As some of you might expect, the latest banshee howl that is #TheWeekInTory is quite lengthy, and I advise a deep dive into your preferred sedative before beginning.

Let us begin where the last one ended, which is, astonishingly, a mere five days ago [cue wobbly screen]…

1. Having spent a week insisting there was nothing wrong with avoiding £20 million in tax while being responsible for raising tax, Space Family Sunak have now concluded that for PR purposes their monumental, sickening greed is “not compatible with British fairness”.

2. Sunak insisted he should not be associated with his spouse for tax purposes.

3. This came as a shock to the rest of us, for whom our spouse’s income affects every personal tax matter, every mortgage application, and all benefits claims.

4. But you can’t you expect poor, bewildered Sunak to understand the UK’s rules, especially as it seems he’s spent half his time as chancellor accidentally pledging allegiance to a foreign state for tax purposes, and promising to make USA his forever home.

5. Parliamentary rules state MPs must be UK residents for tax purposes, so Sunak broke both MPs’ rules and the Ministerial Code, both resigning matters. He didn’t resign.

6. And then it was revealed Sunak had listed his wealth in the Cayman Islands to avoid even more domestic tax.

7. He also failed to list his wife’s £690m stake in Russian businesses in the register of members’ interests, even though the govt of which he is a senior member has given that company multiple contracts, and even though he told us all not to invest in Russia.

8. So by Sunday we’d discovered Sunak was chancellor of one country while legally domiciled in another (green card issue), claimed his wife didn’t pay tax cos she was from a third, got paid by a trust fund in a fourth, and was secretly breaking the rules of his job to give money to a fifth.

9. So to prove he’s now 100 per cent committed to his job, his nation, and our struggle, he moved out of 11 Downing St and into one of his four giant luxury houses

10. Furiously glaring testicle Sajid Javid leaped to Sunak’s defence, saying it would be “morally wrong” not to put up taxes.

11. And then Javid admitted he’d spent 20 years as a non-dom avoiding paying those taxes, but there was “nothing immoral” about it.

12. He then pressed SHIFT + F5 in his brain, and announced Tories would “tackle aggressive tax avoidance and evasion”, like all the stuff he did.

13. Sunak, laser-focused on what was really pissing us off, decided “divulging the tax status of a private individual is a criminal offence”, and he HATES criminal offences, as we all know.

14. So Boris Johnson – yes, Boris Johnson – ordered an ethics inquiry into Sunak.

15. In all the kerfuffle, you may have missed the news about Nadine Dorries, which is understandable, since she’s so dense no light can escape her.

16. This week the exuberantly-befuddled Nadine claimed opponents of her plan to privatise Channel 4 were “ill informed”.

17. This claim is only slightly undermined by the fact she’d argued for the privatisation whilst still not having the faintest idea how Channel 4 operates.

18. She said only 7 per cent of TV production companies get money from Channel 4.

19. It’s actually over 50 per cent.

20. She said privatisation would finally force the majority of TV to be made outside London.

21. 66 per cent of Channel 4’s UK content is made outside London.

22. She said Channel 4 was currently a debt-risk and should be more like Netflix.

23. Netflix is has over $15 billion of debts.

24. She said Channel 4’s advertising revenue has collapsed.

25. All advertising collapsed during the pandemic. Channel 4’s has recovered.

26. She said Channel 4 becoming like the big streamers would protect its news service.

27. None of the big streamers provides a news service.

28. Let’s visit Boris Johnson, a leaking bin-bag full of custard and Viagra, who began the week by heroically facing a terrifying inquisition from GBNews interviewers Esther McVey and Philip Davies, who just happen to be Tory MPs to whom he gave jobs…

29. The interview probably breached Ofcom rules because we are in an election cycle, meaning press interviews must meet defined impartiality standards, such as not being a cosy chat between people with one brain between them.

30. Johnson still lied, telling McVey he would introduce more lockdowns, despite promising MPs there would be no more lockdowns back in February.

31. Don your biohazard suits and let’s see what’s been happening to Priti Patel, answer to the question “what did Bellatrix Lestrange do next?”

32. This week Patel surprised us all with her first ever attempt at an apology, in this case over the Ukrainian visa fiasco.

33. Let’s be honest, even for a first attempt it wasn’t a wildly successful apology.

34. She admitted it was “always easy to blame someone else”, and then immediately blamed somebody else, claiming her insistence on shellshocked Ukrainian children completing byzantine visa application forms in a foreign language “is not the problem”.

35. She insisted she couldn’t let refugees into the country without visas just in case we ended up with a repeat of the Windrush scandal.

36. The Windrush victims all had visas, but the Tories locked them up and kicked them out of the country anyway. Details schmetails.

37. Patel boasted of a “surge of staff to Calais” to cope with applications.

38. Reporters found she’d actually sent “two guys, a table, and some crisps”.

39. So nobody can get in, and in news that will shock 48 per cent of us and be ignored by the rest, nobody can get out either.

40. Brexit is going so well that we had to close 23 miles of motorways in Kent.

41. Instead of tackling crime, Kent police now have to patrol the 30-hour queues of HGVs to ensure weeping drivers don’t simply abandon their vehicles as their livelihoods gently rot in the back.

42. Boris Johnson, who won an election telling us Brexit was done, has now become so bored with Brexit not being done that he told German leaders he was ready to rip up the protocol.

43. A committee of MPs concluded Brexit will make us more reliant on imported food, not less.

44. But MPs found we probably can’t that import food, cos by the time HGV drivers finally escape our shores, most of them have concluded it’s not worth coming back.

45. Such is the demand for food that as inflation reached a whopping 7%, the cost of basic foodstuffs rose by 12 per cent.

46. More than 550 foodbanks warned parliament they were at “breaking point” because supporters can no longer afford to give donations, and rising poverty sees centres overwhelmed by desperate demand.

47. Foodbank use has doubled since January.

48. John Redwood said the govt needed to sort out import/exports at Dover, finally catching up with where everybody else was in June 2016.

49. Well, everybody except for Dominic Raab, a betwattled, box-faced Etch-a-Sketch dingbat who famously didn’t know what Dover was for.

50. This week Raab applied his fierce wisdom and keen intellect to a spiffing new Human Rights Act, and introducing something he was SURE would be better, because it would “counter wokery”, an indefinable, shape-shifting curse that makes people have basic manners.

51. Raab’s human rights plan was immediately condemned by the Joint Committee on Human Rights for “weakening protections”, for not being based on any evidence, for undermining the right to a fair trial, and for suggesting some classes of people should have fewer human rights.

52. To Westminster, or maybe Pentonville: and despite a ban on MPs employing wives, 2 aides to gropy cocaine enthusiast David Warburton said they were unable to report his misconduct, because the person paid £52k of public money to handle complaints against him was his own wife

53. Fellow Tory MP Simon Hart defended this arrangement, claiming MPs – such as Simon Hart – who employed their wives delivered “real value for money” for the taxpayer, presumably on the basis that it minimises the risk of MPs facing costly criminal prosecutions.

54. Even so, brace for another prosecution soon: it seems Warburton had secretly lobbied on behalf of an iffy Russian businessman without revealing that the Russian had given him a £150,000 loan, and that he wasn’t able to repay it.

55. A former Tory minister said, “This is symptomatic of a party in terminal decline. We are in a death spiral”.

56. Also on Monday… no, really, we’re just on Monday… Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

57. Crispin Blunt, Tory head of the all-party group on LGBTQ+ rights, said the conviction of his friend Khan for abusing a child was an “international scandal”.

58. So half the LGBTQ+ members resigned from the group, because Blunt refused to quit.

59. And then Blunt quit anyway.

60. So now, only a week after we had to cancel an LGBTQ conference because 100s of LGBTQ groups objected to Tory policy on “conversion therapy”, a Tory MP has managed to make half the gay members of parliament stop being members of the group for gay parliamentarians.

61. Meanwhile (former) Tory Rob Roberts is still acting as an independent MP, and refusing to step down from his seat a year after being suspended from the Commons for making repeated unwanted sexual advances.

62. This is despite his suspension leading to a recall petition of his own voters, which he lost, therefore the regulations mean he now has to face a by-election. He still hasn’t agreed to step down. He’s just sat there, immoveable, undermining democracy.

63. And so to the big news of the week, as Boris Johnson, a crapulous Honey Monster crammed into a suit he’s borrowed for a tribunal, got a fixed penalty notice for attending parties during Covid lockdown, thus becoming the first sitting PM ever convicted of a breaking the law.

64. Johnson still insists he hadn’t lied to parliament, because he had naturally assumed the rolling stream of parties involving suitcases of booze, DJs, birthday cakes, party hats, tinsel and people playing on swings in the garden were simply standard government meetings.

65. Johnson wrote in the forward to the Ministerial Code that to “win back the trust of the British people we must uphold the very highest standards of propriety, and this code sets out how”.

66. That very same Ministerial Code says ministers must resign if they lie to parliament.

67. Johnson has told parliament the following lies:

a. “All guidance was followed completely in Number 10”

b. “There was no party and no Covid rules were broken”

c. “I have been repeatedly assured there were no parties”

d. “I follow the rules”

e. “There was no Christmas party. Covid rules have been followed at all times”

f. “I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules, because I was also furious”

68. Rishi Sunak – last year’s Best Available Tory whose primary skill now appears to be removing his jacket on Instagram – also got fined, even though he had told parliament “I did not attend any parties”, which was another flagrant lie.

69. Sunak didn’t resign either.

70. A whole fesnying (google it) of Tory MPs rushed out to independently tweet nearly identical messages of irrumating (don’t google it) support for Johnson.

71. These were led by be-Tangoed Party Chairman and adenoidal Morph cosplayer Oliver Dowden, who said he was “fully behind” the PM, the ideal position from which to stab him if the polling turns bad.

72. It turns out it was absolutely right for Allegra Stratton to resign for making a joke about illegal parties she hadn’t attended, but absolutely wrong for Boris Johnson or Rishi Sunak to resign for attending those illegal parties.

73. Later, somebody who was genuinely prepared to admit that he is Grant Shapps was sent out to defend Johnson, immediately got confused by his brief, and said Johnson’s actions were “indefensible”.

74. Various floundering attempts at avoiding consequences were deployed, such as: Johnson can’t resign cos we’re at war.

75. We’re not at war. Although don’t put it past them to declare war if it buys them an hour to clean up Johnson’s latest stinky brown gift to the nation.

76. The next attempt to keep Johnson in power came from a backbencher struck with the brilliant idea of stating in public that all the alternative potential Tory leaders were “damaged people”, which isn’t exactly wrong, but is a monumentally stupid thing to admit out-loud.

77. Another Tory argued Johnson couldn’t resign, because that would send a message to Russia that we’re a soft touch, somehow convincing himself Russia hadn’t figured this out for themselves during all their years of giving money to Tories so they could avoid the law.

78. Reports emerged that the world-leading PM wanted to recall parliament to discuss the risk of chemical weapons in Ukraine.

79. And then reports emerged that Ukraine could go f*ck itself, cos there was no way our world-leading PM wanted to face parliament right now.

80. The next desperate gambit was to insist the PM hadn’t broken any laws because he’d only broken the law for 9 minutes.

81. So presumably the “party of law and order” is now behind the notion that an 8-minute burglary doesn’t really count. Especially if nobody eats cake.

82. Johnson, leader of this seemingly eternal gobshite jamboree, has already said he attended a party for 25 minutes, so that idea floundered, and the burglary is off.

83. Next preposterous claim: the PM didn’t understand the rules, and therefore wasn’t immoral, merely stupid.

84. Unfortunately the Tory MPs using this defence have merely shown they’re immoral AND stupid.

85. Gibbering ukulele fanatic and dying palm-tree Michael Fabricant had a go at defending the PM by insisting NHS doctors get pissed at work all the time.

86. Hospitals don’t allow alcohol on the premises – not even in a suitcase.

87. So in a year, we’ve gone from the people of Britain applauding health workers from their doorways to MPs abusing health workers to keep a bullshitting one-man game of Shag/Marry/Avoid in power.

88. Gilead commander’s wife Liz Truss was taking a break from “leading the world on Ukraine” to undertake the urgent task of being photographed sitting with eerie serenity in an haunted orchard, but she somehow found time to say she “fully backs” the PM [photo actually taken two years ago…but still! Doesn’t explain why it was being shared around! Ed].

89. This doesn’t entirely explain why she’s registered 2 domain names for a future leadership bid.

90. Despite Tory MPs attempting to overwhelm us with their panicky blunderbuss of f*ckwittery, only six per cent of the public believe the PM is honest, and 57 per cent of us want him to resign.

91. A rising number Tory MPs have had enough, OK with the 150,000 deaths, but not with this, and have begun sending letters of no-confidence to the 1922 committee.

92. The public are being encouraged help matters along by writing a letter of complaint to their own Tory MP.

93. This, of course, assumes their Tory MP isn’t one of the ones who – in this week alone – have been found guilty of paedophilia, or suspended for railing coke and doing sexual assaults, or celebrated the anniversary of them refusing to step down for being handsy as f*ck.

94. Anyway, minor stories hidden behind the more obvious vortex of broiling chaos – and do try to remember the missing £20 million of Sunak tax as you read these.

95. UK benefits – already the worst in Europe – have now fallen further, reaching their lowest level for 50 years.

96. Meanwhile Minister James Heappey complained that he couldn’t survive on his £106k salary.

97. After every single Tory MP voted against making rented housing fit for human habitation, 1 in 8 privately rented homes are now a “serious threat to people’s health and safety”.

98. And after a decade of the lowest funding in its history, half of A&E patients now wait over 24 hours to be seen.

99. 23 per cent wait more than 2 days.

100. 80 per cent of hospitals reported storing patients in desperately needed ambulances because wards are packed with Covid cases.

101. The NHS said spiralling Covid infections were “being ignored for ideological reasons”, cos stopping spindly, posturing mantis Jacob Rees-Mogg from whining is more important than public health.

102. The NHS said the “living with Covid” policy was “dooming the health service”.

103. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine said the Tories abandoning cheap, workable and basic public health measures in a pandemic was “breaking the basic agreement to provide a health service”.

104. They said the NHS is in “a deeper crisis than ever before”.

105. GP numbers have fallen every single year since the Tories promised to increase them in 2015.

106. This week a study found 44 per cent of teachers said they plan to quit due to “unmanageable workload”, made worse by constant rolling absences caused by unconstrained Covid.

107. And finally, the chairman of Enfield Conservatives has been suspended for dressing up in a Nazi uniform for “perverse-themed” parties, but said he didn’t remember.

108. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d remember dressing up in a Nazi unform for a perverse-themed party.

Despair Wtf GIF

It’s a hard time for millions. I hope you’re doing OK.

If you’ve got spare money (and god, I hope you do) please consider giving it to amazing foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.

And the masochists among you can still support my forthcoming book. It has lots of jokes, even more infuriating shit.

Supporter options end on 1 May, so not much time to get your name printed in the book.

Thanks very much.

Originally tweeted by Russ Jones (@RussInCheshire) on 13/04/2022.