Pick of the Political Pops: Graham Parker “Under The Mask Of Happiness”

This week we found ourselves at something of a loss as to what to vent our spleens on what with everything going swimmingly and everybody being happy. We did think about marking the 35th anniversary of Live Aid but we remember very little of the 1980s and in any case world poverty and starvation are still a thing so that kind of didn’t work. We also thought about marking the 40th anniversary of Concord or Concorde but couldn’t agree on the English or French spelling and were also mindful of the carbon footprint issue so that was out.

In current affairs we noted that The Office for National Statistics has recorded a fall of 650,000 in the numbers of folk on a payroll whilst the official unemployment numbers have scarcely changed. Odd. We also got wind of the fact that serial cocker-upper Chris Grayling failed to become the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Select Committee in the House of Commons losing out to fellow Tory Julian Lewis. Grayling has made a complete bollocks of every other job he has had (including a stint at the BBC) whilst Lewis was a former chair of the Defence Select Committee and the longest serving member of the Intelligence and Security Select Committee and so was obviously completely unsuitable for the task. Putting somebody in a job who can do that job is clearly anathema to the government and, in a fit of pique, they removed the Whip from Lewis. A sensible approach (if your organisation is run by petulant teenagers and incompetent buffoons) we thought.

Speaking of sensible our standout moment of the week concerns the government diktat that we should all now wear masks. Or wear masks most of the time. Or wear masks some of the time. Or wear masks when we feel like it. Or wear masks when someone else feels like it. As far as we can make out you have to wear a mask in a shop. Pubs and restaurants aren’t shops so they don’t count. Takeaways are shops except that Michael Gove was spotted not wearing one in Costa so now they aren’t shops and you don’t have to wear one in takeaways. Nobody has to wear a mask until 24th July which is a sensible date because that’s when the majority of schools close for the summer and no one wants awkward questions about why you do or don’t have to wear one in a school. No one will give you a mask so you have to buy your own so masks don’t actually have to be masks but can be face-coverings, like scarves or old pairs of pants. Maybe socks. Who knows. Shopkeepers will not be expected to police the wearing of masks and that job will fall to the police. You can be fined for not wearing a mask but calling 999 is seen as a bit extreme so don’t do that. Instead we suppose that the Great British tradition of giving a withering stare to non-compliant individuals will suffice.

As usual the most vehement objections to mask-wearing come from the nut-job libertarian right-wing who, amusingly, describe it as ‘nazism’. Our suggestion is that all masks issued in the UK should be adorned by the Union Flag. That’d bring them round in our estimation. The tartan mask, as sported by Wee Nicky Cranky, has worked a treat so what is there to lose? Hopefully the Chinese supplier we have in mind for the contract will get the flag the right way up. Nothing boils our shit like getting the Union Jack the wrong way up like on the spiffing new paint job on Johnson’s plane. So, y’know, wear your bloody mask-like face-covering and worry yourself not that the advice to do so is only three or four months too late. We are not going to be world-beating if you start being picky on the details now.

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