Since the weekend, I have been running in my revived 2020 standup show in impressively Covid-secure Scottish comedy clubs, filled with the forgiving laughter of the simply-glad-to-be-alive. On Sunday night I walked the south side of York Place, Edinburgh, towards the Piccante chip shop on Broughton Street. Crossing to the north side of the road to avoid a pile of human excrement, I found myself sidestepping a puddle of human vomit instead, Odysseus steering between Scylla and Charybdis toward the Ithaca of my steak pie. But those two horrors of the Edinburgh night, or three if you include the picture of the deep-fried Mars bar in Piccante’s window, were by no means the worst images I saw last week.
The photo of the Christmas 2020 party of the London Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey made for even grimmer viewing than the filth-soiled Scottish footpath, or the fat-fried chocolate bar. Was it really worth Bailey risking the mass hatred of the distraught and the bereaved just to attend an event that looked about as much fun as the retirement event of the disliked supervisor of a logistics hub based in the perineal scrublands between the M42 and the A5? Apparently so.
No one can deny that the photo ought to end Bailey’s career, and should see him face the same criminal prosecution and fines a similarly celebratory member of the general public would. But at the time of writing Bailey has simply stood down as chair of the police and crime committee. This is a shame, as Bailey could easily have helped the police solve at least one crime, although the cowed force seem increasingly answerable to the Conservatives’ whims alone, and is about as independent from government influence as the Daily Telegraph.
Will Johnson’s puppet emu, Cressida Dick, decline to investigate Bailey’s festive canapé atrocity, just as she has declined to pursue the 18 December Downing Street party, even though it turns out an actual police officer may have entered it when an alarm was set off, and therefore could confirm exactly who was there, whether they were socially distancing, and whether the canapés looked as if they had been provided by the same caterers that did Bailey’s Conservative mayor campaign party three days earlier? Will Emu Dick investigate the Downing Street quiz on 15 December, where human resources told players to “go out the back”, presumably to avoid detection by Emu Dick’s super-sleuths?
We are used to the police covering up corruption and death in custody, but they will not win back public trust by covering up evidence of professional catering as well. Emu Dick is like Sherlock Holmes if, instead of having to extrapolate who had murdered the dead Dartmoor aristocrat from the evidence of a lone walking stick, was instead shown a verifiable film of the murder in progress, but was still unable to figure out if any crime had even taken place.
Now both Bailey and Allegra Stratton, designated expendables, have been hurled under lying Boris Johnson’s party bus, while Turds himself continues to ride on the open deck undaunted, shouting the same three old jokes through a megaphone: “They jabber, we jab. They dither, we deliver. They vacillate, we vaccinate.” Did Jethro die for this?
If you can bear to scrutinise its foulness, the Shaun Bailey party crime scene photo is horrifyingly illuminating in terms of what it tells us about who makes up a random selection of young contemporary Conservative activists. Behind Bailey is Conservative councillor Adam Wildman, associate director of the PR firm Teneo, a man whose grasp of what makes good PR should mean he considers his position. On Wildman’s Twitter header he amusingly describes himself as a “recovering policy wonk”, or at least he did until he deleted the account on Wednesday, meaning Emu Dick won’t be able to find him simply by using social media.
To Bailey’s left, raising a glass of wine to toast the thousands of grandmothers expiring alone in care homes, is the property developer and Tory donor Nick Candy, husband of the Australian singer Holly Valance, who is soon to release a joint single with him entitled We Dance, Laughing, on the Graves of the Covid Dead. Surely Valance’s role as an ambassador of the Children’s Trust must now be in question, due to Candy’s contempt for humanity. Indeed, the American word for sweets is considering changing itself to Ebola by deed poll.
In front of Bailey, in his Christmas jumper and crouching on bended knee, beard-cheeked and enviously eyeing a depleted plate of canapés, is Timothy “Tim” Skeletor, whose blue-skulled ancestor Skeletor of Eternia envied the might of Castle Grayskull and saw the meek as futile worms who did not deserve to thrive.
And lying on the floor at the front of the photo, again raising a glass to honour the then 72,000 Covid deaths, is Jubal the Hutt, great great great great great great great grandson of the gluttonous slave-girl enthusiast Jabba the Hutt, of Star Wars fame. The legacy of Jabba’s ill-gotten galactic criminal gains, discreetly laundered in London of course, are a major source of finance for the Tories, from a trust fund anonymously managed by Bailey’s braces-wearing pal, the ostentatiously prostrate Jubal.
Bailey’s party not only reveals the contempt in which his party holds the common man, it also reveals the nature of the company it keeps. On Wednesday morning, from Newcastle to London, I listened to local radio phone-ins. Distressed Tory loyalists, who had never quite grasped the more intricate deceptions of the Brexit campaign, could nonetheless easily decode the Shaun Bailey party photo. The people they had voted for thought they were collateral, just old meat to be shovelled into a furnace. I got a Greggs’ corned beef slice south of Leicester and drove home.
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