Llast week, on ITV This morning, jolly rodent Phillip Schofield and his margarine mold familiar, Holly Willoughby, offered a desperate member of the public the chance to get his energy bills paid at the whim of a seeing spinning wheel of chance. Schofield is a cruel god, to whom we are but flies, our sufferings merely a sport. The former gopher handler launched his misery roulette, taunting his victim with possibilities, as the viewer’s financial security in the punishing winter ahead hung in the balance. This tasteless fiasco was actually the perfect prologue to the Liz Truss era. Pray, poor peasants, and turn the wheel! Life is a lottery! And you lost it when you were born! But why don’t we meet some of life’s winners?
Despite the fact that the new government is largely made up of people born to win, the fates have conspired to bring Truss to power in the most ridiculous way possible, losing him. On Tuesday, a cavalcade of coiled snakes of conservative Range Rovers slowly drove Truss towards Downing Street as the heavens suddenly decided to open up, like an incontinent old seer soaking his leggings as he explored what lay ahead for the nation. Outside No 10, trying to guess the weather, a pair of technicians ran back and forth with the Ricky Gervais-style desk from which Truss was to deliver his opening speech, as if the Chuckle Brothers had been booked as his warm-up. law. “Tome! Your turn! That’s it. A little more to the right. No. More to the right. To the right. Further. More to the right. To the right! The right!”
Truss’ sodden stand was eventually positioned in front of the door to No 10, with a rubbish bag placed over it to protect its upper surface from the rain. I sat with the kids and laughed at the bizarre BBC footage that followed, no doubt shot deliberately by Marxists, where the caption ‘Liz Truss named Prime Minister’ appeared for some time under the image of a crumpled black trash bag on top of a lectern. To hell with the BBC! What is the next? Jokes about politicians on comedy shows? A wet Nadhim Zahawi grimaced. He once had a fine stable heated by the taxpayers in the countryside. Truss could have made his speech there, all warm and dry, like his publicly warmed horses.
Truss’s speech was the usual potpourri of lies, distractions, fantasy and misinformation we’ve come to expect from Tory politicians in the age of Brexit, making her the perfect candidate for Boris Johnson’s continuity. According to Truss’ nonsense speech, Johnson delivered Brexit – except in no form anyone wanted or acknowledged, and in doing so crippled the economy and our reputation overseas; the energy crisis that preceded the conflict in Urkaine is apparently “caused by Putin’s war”, the 4% of energy we take from Russia providing the same helpful fig leaf cover that Covid did for Brexit damage; One way or another, Truss will cut taxes and increase public spending, to reward the hard work of British workers who she has previously described as “some of the worst idlers in the world”. There was only one statement that rang true: “History will see [Boris Johnson] as an extremely important prime minister. Yes, in the same way my Premier Inn toilet testified to an “extremely substantial” lamb phaal I had last month in Birmingham.
Because no Tory with the slightest integrity could support filthy Johnson or unworkable Brexit, the party is being purged of talent and Truss’ cabinet is made up of indistinct particles of grey-green matter that get stuck in the hole of the drain when you wash up after a particularly heavy one. Sunday roast. Michelle Donelan, who wants to quit studying the arts at university, is culture secretary; Brandon Lewis, a former cabinet minister for having his sorry ass slapped on a plate by old women yelling at him in the street, is justice secretary; and a bit of boiled potato with gravy on it and a sprig of rosemary sticking out of the top is the minister without a wallet. Oh no, sorry, it’s Jake Berry.
The top table seems filled with ministers whom I think history will come to judge as genuinely evil; Suella Braverman, who said there would be no Brexit bills to pay for leaving the EU and there would be no increased Brexit delays or Brexit inconveniences for businesses; Kwasi Kwarteng, Johnson’s former Golem enforcer, who tried to bully independent regulator Kathryn Stone into retiring last November for investigating Owen Paterson, unaware that CCHQ had already decided to dump the bent lobbyist under the bus; Jacob Rees-Mogg, who denounces “climate alarmism” as a third of Pakistan is drowning, with 1.4 million hectares (3.5 million acres) of crops and 800,000 head of livestock lost; and James Cleverly, who recently tweeted that he “liked Stewart Lee much better when he was funny”. To be honest, I’m glad he left me, because the 25 years of hanging around all my shows asking me to sign his dick with a Sharpie was getting tiresome in the extreme.
Thérèse Coffey is the new deputy prime minister and health secretary. Anyone shocked by the sudden rollback of abortion rights in the United States should be worried. We guess ‘it couldn’t happen here’, but Coffey voted against the availability of abortion pills and against extending abortion rights to women in Northern Ireland. However, Coffey said she “would rather people didn’t have abortions but I’m not going to condemn people who do”. And critics’ fears should be allayed by the announcement of the NHS Christmas abortion lottery. With reduced funds affecting core services, Coffey said on Christmas Eve Phillip Schofield will take to a makeshift stage in Trafalgar Square to spin another wheel of chance, making a woman’s dream of expert care instantly available a reality.