Politics

Kevin McKenna: Revealed: How the PM used lockdown parties to test herd immunity theories

Come on over to my place. Hey, girl, we’re having a party. We’ll be sneezing, rasping and wheezing. Baby, come on over tonight

Who knew that the Tories, in an act of supreme self-sacrifice, had volunteered to test theories of herd immunity on themselves last Christmas?

While the rest of the country was selfishly self-isolating over the festive period, Boris Johnson was thinking only of others by turning Downing Street and its gardens into a giant Festival of Covid throughout the winter months of 2020.

It seems that, in order to ensure no Tory could cry off citing bogus health and safety reasons, the Prime Minister had hit on a fiendishly artful way of ensuring maximum attendance. “Let’s have lots of different types of gatherings,” he had told his advisors.

And then, having ordered stacks of DIY lateral flow test kits, he applied a triumphant coup de grace. “Anyone who tests positive for the Covid,” he said, “must attend each and every different party. This will ensure maximum rates of transmission and infection so that herd immunity will be achieved sooner rather than later.”

And lo, it came to pass that there was a Secret Santa; a special Christmas quiz; a sexy Santa for the ladeez and passing the balloon between your legs. An elaborate, open-air working lunch would also be scheduled in the Rose Garden. And there would be industrial supplies of mistletoe to enhance the prospects of everyone getting infected.

Of course, the Prime Minister – an avid devotee of Machiavelli – was hoping for an ancillary benefit. Wouldn’t it be a Brucie Bonus, he thought to himself, if someone like Gavin Williamson or Dominic Raab were to get infected. By Jove, that would save all the unpleasantness of a reshuffle and having to tell lies to all your cabinet misfits that being sent to Northern Ireland or the Department of Sustainability was actually a promotion.

Why, they could simply hold a monthly Covid party and let it sort out the wheat from the chaff. Nature’s threshing machine and all that.

“By the end of the day,” he instructed his aides, “I want everyone squiffy. And there will be a bowl in the centre of the cabinet room for everyone to throw in their house keys. By the time these parties are finished I don’t want anyone leaving with the wife, husband or partner they arrived with. That should provide an accelerant to the proceedings.

“And for all those who arrived with someone else’s wife (pay attention Hancock) well, as Prime Minister, I get the ultimate droit de seigneur.

“If you don’t pick up the infection at the Secret Santa then you’ll just have to keep going around all the other parties until you do.” Accordingly, it would be like a game of musical chairs where they all kept playing until no one was left standing at all. “We need to set a fine example to the country that their government is absolutely taking this lying down,” said the PM.

As expected, Chris Whitty and Jonathan Van-Tam were behaving like a couple of wet blankets about the whole thing. They really were a pair of sanctimonious old trumpets, worrying the nation half-sick with the fear and spoiling everyone’s Christmas. The PM had to tell Whitty that if he didn’t pull up his socks and get with the picture he’d have another young team of special advisors jump him once more in his daily walk.

There would even be a special team of security guards to frisk all attendees on entering the premises to ensure no one was trying to conceal bottles of hand-sanitiser about their persons.

“By the end of these pandemic parties I want everyone to be absolutely rattling with the Covid,” the Prime Minister had told them. “It’ll be like taking a bottle of skoosh, shaking it up and down and then taking the top off. We’ll be asking the nation to put their lives on the line to achieve herd immunity and we must lead from the front.”

The PM had also devised special measures to ensure that none of his ministers would be self-isolating on the never-never. Specialist surveillance equipment would be installed in each of their houses to ensure that they were all coming and going as they pleased. Anyone caught not venturing out much would be visited by anti-lockdown teams to force them into their cars for a drive into neighbouring towns and villages.

The Prime Minister had thought of everything. It had occurred to him that some of his cabinet secretaries might actually die. But he’d asked his good friends at Goldman Sachs to devise an accelerated pension plan so that the deceased’s grieving relatives would be suitably compensated.

As they were asking the army to help out by driving ambulances he thought it only fair to ask veterans in the British Legion homes to do their bit too. The old chaps have been champing at the bit to do their turn for Queen and Country since 1945. So this would be their big chance. “We’ll be removing all PPE gear from them and permitting them visits from anyone they jolly well want,” Boris had said. “That way we get to measure the codger quotient and monitor death rates.”

He’d finished with a rallying cry. “I need hardly remind you all that this is top-secret and mum’s the word. It’ll be our little hidden act of self-sacrifice for the good of the country. But obviously, if the polls are looking bad at any time over the course of the next year we’ll leak some footage to leftie Jocko hacks like Pippa Crerar. The nation will come to know that by starting herd immunity with ourselves we were seeking nothing other than good health outcomes for everyone else.”

Obviously, contingency plans have been made in the event of an outbreak that exceeded predictive models. So a deal had been struck with VisitScotland and the RSPB to commandeer St Kilda as a kind of hospital-island to relieve any stress on the NHS. “I’m told it sometimes gets a bit windy up there,” the PM had said, “so the Covid won’t like it one little bit.”

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