Andy Richardson: Burger plea is no whopper

Hell has frozen over. We’re not talking about track and tracing finally working – it doesn’t – we’re talking instead about a far greater volte face.

Let us explain. Burger King and McDonald’s are the Noel and Liam Gallagher of fast food, the Donald Trump and Joe Biden of beef patties. Forever warring, forever sparring, there is no love lost between the multi-national chains when it comes to quarter pounders.

Burger King, however, has reimagined itself in a remarkable new light. Descending from a virginal white staircase as angels played harps, the BK social media team posted this: "Order From McDonald’s."

It wasn’t a spoof. It wasn’t a belated April Fool. The company that invented the Whopper was literally encouraging people to chow down on a Big Mac. And not just that. The order from BK HQ was to feast on KFC, Subway, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Five Guys, Greggs, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, Leon… you get it.

Though they never thought they’d do it – and though they offered the caveat that buying a whopper was still best – BK UK made a plea on behalf of hospitality outlets every where as lockdown starts to bite.

There are, of course, a million and one things that some might like to change about a multi-national like Burger King. But bringing together the four-burger nation in one delightful Tweet showed rare insight. If BK and McD can work together, maybe Boris and Sir Keir can. Hell, maybe there’ll even be that Oasis reunion after all.

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The prospects of politicians showing similar harmony is scant, of course, particularly as test and trace continues to ail. The PM says too few of us are self-isolating, which means the virus can spread. But that doesn’t address the fact that the outsourced system, run by a company that’s being paid billions, is not very good. Too few people are being contacted, the app is ineffective and behavioural experts say 14 days of self-isolation is too long, which makes it noxious.

Mass testing is the latest weapon being deployed and Liverpool will be the nation’s guinea pig.

Talking of guinea pigs, the koalas are back. After the horrific bushfires of January, Australia’s natural wildlife is ready to return. They’re not the only ones making a break for it. In Oxford, a huge boa constrictor is on the loose. Oxford has shrugged its shoulders, assessed the massed problems of 2020 and told the snake: ‘not now’.

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