Whether it’s letting Marcus Rashford run rings around them or other avoidable calamities, it’s a wonder that they make it so easy for others to satirise them. They must sit around the Cabinet table saying: ‘Look, guys, let’s not make it easy for Spitting Image this week.’ Perhaps not.
And yet there are others who sashay along the catwalk determined to muscle in on the rogues’ gallery. Take Mark Drakeford – and there are many in neighbouring Wales might say, ‘no, really, please take him’. The First Minister of Wales won’t let you buy a birthday card if you’re in the shop buying bread or milk. Because that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it. Wales received £170 million from hospitals and built 17 Nightingale Hospitals. But 16 weren’t used. Spending £166 million on 46 patients might not have been the best use of resources. Think of the birthday cards it would buy.
It’s not just politicians, of course. In London, the Met Police has started searching black men who fist bump one another, rather than shaking hands. There is method in their madness; they think fist bumps are a way to exchange drugs. Except, of course, they’re not – you’d have to open your fist and the drugs would fall out and…
Other civil servants are just as determined to enjoy their moment in the sun. The Department for International Trade tweeted to say it had struck a UK-Japan trade deal and soya sauce – which, of course, is soy sauce, just misspelled – would be available in plentiful supply.
It headlined its tweet ‘to clarify’ – and who’d have thought a simple clarification would lead to so many more from others. Like: The EU also has a trade deal with Japan, so there’s no difference. The WTO terms have been lauded recently as being fine – ‘Australia-style’ – but now they’re no good. Soy sauce is mostly imported from the EU anyway, so may be more expensive. And, finally, it’s entirely possible the tweet was a coded message from someone who’d been kidnapped and was actually seeking help. The turkeys have voted for Christmas.
Still Oliver Dowden promised pantomimes with Operation Sleeping Beauty. Are those still on? Or was it a case of ‘Oh no you won’t’.