Andy Richardson: Circling those wagons in the wrong place

By Andy Richardson | Opinions | Published:

The Downing Street Press Conference used to be Hancock’s Half Hour. More recently, it’s become DoorMatt At Teatime.

Matt Hancock - making up policy on the spot

Matt Hancock is the Government’s lightning rod; the man who takes the flak for things others haven’t done.

On Dominic ‘Dr Specsavers’ Cummings, a vicar asked if there’d be a reprieve for those who’d driven to provide essential childcare?

DoorMatt said he’d talk to the Treasury. Yeah right. Rishi Sunak has already burned through more wonga than Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit programme. “Lend us a fiver, Rishi? It’s for a vicar.” “Sorry, mate, I’m skint.”

Within a short while, journalists were being briefed that no review would take place, Matt had just made up policy on the spot. Like his ultra-successful 100,000 tests-a-day idea. The vicar was informed that caring parents who’d behaved like Dr Specsavers would not be pardoned. Fools; should’ve gone to Barnard Castle.

The number of excess deaths in the UK is around 60,000. There has been a cull in care homes. The UK has the third worst death rate in the world, behind the laissez faire Swedes, whose idea of lockdown is an ice-skating party while pirouetting to Dancing Queen, and the Brazilians, whose Bad Trump President enjoys late night hotdog-eating expeditions and swearing at colleagues.

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Dr Specsavers, meanwhile, continues as BoJo’s Ideas Man. The Government has circled the wagons in the same way they didn’t circle the wagons around care homes. Which is nice, unless you’re over 65 or have a relative you’ve not seen in more than two months.


Still, DoorMatt Hancock had some good ideas. Perhaps he was after Dr Specsavers' job? Regional lockdowns may come into force to prevent the spread. Smart idea, DoorMatt.

Lockdown is over in all but name. The general public has all but given up since Dr Specsavers’ jaunt to Barnard Castle – sorry, what was it for again? Ah yes, a 60-mile eyesight test beside his perfectly-capable, licence-holding wife. Just like the unsweating Prince Andrew visits Pizza Express, and kids fail to revise for exams because they have Quidditch practice.

It’s not just the beaches of Kent and Devon that are full. It’s the parks of West Bromwich and Shrewsbury, the nature reserves of Shropshire and Staffordshire. Do as I say, not as I do has never been a good way to run a country.

Andy Richardson

By Andy Richardson
Feature Writer - @andyrichardson1

Feature writer and food critic Andy Richardson interviews celebrities, writes columns and hangs out with chefs for stories that appear across all group titles.


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