Andy Richardson: Who need Powerpoints when you've got booze?

Andy Richardson gives it to you straight.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not obey the rules he set
Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not obey the rules he set

So it turns out that on the day Boris said he definitely wasn’t at a party he was, in fact, at a party. Quelle surprise. The PM misled Parliament and didn’t obey the rules he set. The gun is still smoking.

While people were grieving at not being able to see dying loved ones, Big Dog was raising a glass to a mate. And we, the idiot public, are supposed to believe that work events where tables are littered with empty booze bottles are perfectly normal. Nothing to see here.

Though we live in a post-truth age, the November party wasn’t within rules, Johnson was involved, and it has, according to every single pollster, cut through with the public.

The question is: if the Met investigated all of this stuff, what’s Boris got on them that means he was allowed to party while junior officials racked up multiple fines and everyone who didn’t live and work at 10 Downing Street also felt the long arm of the law? If it smells like a rotten fish and looks like a rotten fish, it probably is a rotten fish.

In our information age, it doesn’t take much to remind ourselves what Sun King Johnson was telling us just before the party. Here it is: Slacking our resolve at a crucial moment would be the biggest mistake we could make, he said. The death figures were tragically rising and double where they’d been three weeks earlier. We were heading towards the levels of the previous peak and must continue to do everything possible to bring the R rate down. Which, in Big Dog’s case, meant raising a toast and entirely ignoring the rules that led other people to court, punitive fines and a criminal record.

Misleading Parliament when you’re the Prime Minister is a resignation offence, so here’s what Boris said in the House of Commons when he was asked directly whether he’d attend a party on the day when the latest Partygate photos showed he was at a party. Question: Were you at a party on that date? Answer: No.

Poor guy. He was ambushed by cake, crept up on by seven bottles of wine and a cheeky bottle of vodka. The man can’t have two minutes peace without a party hat scaling the wall and jumping onto his honest little head. Elsewhere in the UK that week, people walking dogs were being chased out of parks by the police because they sat down for two minutes to give their dog some water, which was ‘not exercise’. And that’s before we turn to the people who didn’t say goodbye to dying loved ones.

Still, now that the Metropolitan Police have confirmed Boris Johnson did not receive any additional fines because he followed the one rule that was for him, rather than the other rule that was for everyone else, it’s time to move on. And that means in the coming days, Nadine Dorries will furiously announce she is going to privatise ITV as revenge for Paul Brand leaking the party photos.

The Sue Gray report has been clouded by the secret meeting between Boris Johnson and its author. Downing Street won’t be releasing notes from that meeting, of course, because the public can trust the Prime Minister never to influence an investigation into his own behaviour. Thankfully, others have revealed that the PM asked her to drop parts of it which, funnily enough, implicated him.

Unconfirmed reports say Big Dog put the rozzers off the trail by telling them it was only when he saw someone taking his photograph that he realised a celebratory toast was perhaps not entirely necessary to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.

Mind you, to be fair to Big Dog, his works meetings do look as though they were brilliant. Who needs all those Powerpoints when you can just get drunk.

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