Reporters wrote columns, such as: “He delivered his Budget speech with magnificent authority, majestic, imperial, sat astride a golden horse, moving the country to tears by singing in his rich deep baritone voice a series of arias that explained the changes to corporation tax, outlining the balance of payments with his electrifying lips and buttocks rippling like a lake in summer. Chaffinches fluttered through the window and sat gently on his secure, comforting biceps. On top of that, he announced no rise in stamp duty.”
Last year, the BBC portrayed him as Superman, though they later deleted it. They must have worried it was unfair, because Superman becomes helpless around Kryptonite, and Rishi Sunak would never have such a weakness.
In Rishi Sunak’s next press conference, Robert Peston will be called to ask a question, and say: “Chancellor, I’ve written a poem for you: ‘Oh Rishi, Rishi, you’re so soft and squishy/ When you say your plans for business, my heart tremors, I feel dizziness/ Your tax on corporations gives me frantic palpitations/ I lose all my cognitive ability/ When you mention the Office for Fiscal Responsibility.’”
ITV News will broadcast a special feature on Sunak fashion, and during his Autumn statement, a Sky News commentator will whisper: “While the chancellor is explaining borrowing requirements for the next fiscal year, let’s take a look at the fabulous stitching on those sumptuous and slightly mischievous lapels.”
One national news website made a five minute film of his colleagues saying he was “always bound for the top”, and was the cleverest person they’d ever met. They should make another one tomorrow, in which his secretary tells us he was world pottery champion seven years running, and at Scrabble he once made a word out of three Xs and a Q.
Eventually, some of these people will be scouted by the government of North Korea to write about their glorious leader, as they seem to have mastered the style.
One of his triumphs was last year’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which was such a success that 17 per cent of the Autumn Covid cases were a result of it. This is some achievement. How many of us can honestly say, hand on heart, we managed to cause one sixth of a whole season’s Covid?
His defence is that this money was essential to “help out” the ailing hospitality industry. So he could have just given that money to pubs and cafes instead. But there’s no fun in helping out small businesses if you don’t also spread coronavirus. The government’s entitled to get something back for its handouts.
Throughout the year, he refused to raise the level of statutory sick pay, leaving us with the lowest rate in Europe. So people who were sick felt they had no choice but to go to work, which may be one reason why we had a higher rate of infections than the rest of Europe. He could have called his plan “Cough Out to Help Out”.
You can understand why he’s not sympathetic to this predicament, as he has a house in Kensington, a flat in California and a Georgian mansion in Yorkshire. He can’t skive by taking a day off from owning all those houses. Even if he’s sneezing, he has to take a Lemsip and carry on owning them all.
Because Rishi and his family are reported to be richer than the Queen. It’s worth repeating this, he’s RICHER THAN THE F**KING QUEEN. So when the Sunaks visit Buckingham Palace, they must look around sympathetically and say to the Queen: “Are you managing alright? You know if you’re short, you only have to ask.”
If the Queen visits the Sunaks for dinner, they must think, “Let’s try not to look too embarrassed if she brings some cheap wine that’s only 200 years old. We must accept that some people are unfortunate, it’s not necessarily their fault.’
He did make some effort to keep people indoors, so they wouldn’t spread the virus. He refused to give nurses a pay rise, which was handy as it meant they were too skint and exhausted to go anywhere. And he defends the cut to universal credit by 20 pounds a week, which should help stop the spread of poor people, ensuring they stay within their homes, and can’t go out anywhere where their unemployment can easily be caught by others.
Some commentators suggest he’s been generous with the furlough scheme, but each time it’s been extended, he’s waited until the last possible moment before agreeing to keep it going. You can understand why, because if people can’t stand on their own two feet, and carry on working when they’ve been ordered by the government to stop, we shouldn’t expect the government to help them out.
But his biggest advantage is he looks like he has some idea of what he’s doing, because he spends all day next to Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Matt Hancock. They must all secretly ask each other: “How does he do that thing, where he manages to speak for almost a minute without staring into the middle-distance with a terrified expression that conveys utter panic and an overwhelming desire to lie on the floor crying, ‘I don’t know where I am.’”
But we should all be grateful, because if he does become prime minister, we should be congratulated as a nation, because we’ll have said: “The trouble with having leaders such as David Cameron and Boris Johnson, is that they weren’t rich and privileged enough.”