When it comes to combating coronavirus, Labour has only one tune: Irving Berlin’s Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better).
Whatever the Government proposes, Max Headroom and his motley crew always claim it’s too little, too late and insist they’d have been much, much tougher. So inevitably, the latest plans forcing airline passengers arriving from corona hotspots to quarantine in hotels for ten days have been gazumped by Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.
Ministers have ‘red-listed’ 33 countries with high infection rates or where mutant strains have been identified.
Needless to say, this doesn’t remotely go far enough for Labour, which wants the rules to apply to everyone flying in from everywhere (puts on Clarkson voice) in the wurrlld.
The hotel quarantine plans apply not only to foreign nationals but also to British citizens returning home
Labour wants the rules to apply to everyone flying in from everywhere (puts on Clarkson voice) in the wurrlld
Curiously, this is the same Labour Party which howls ‘yuman rites’ from the rooftops when migrants washing up here in dinghies and in the backs of lorries are billeted in temporary bed & breakfast accommodation.
Yet it has no compunction committing all those arriving here coventionally by plane to confinement, at their own expense, regardless of whether or not they’ve had a negative Covid test before flying.
Labour claims failure to enforce isolation on all passengers will endanger the rollout of the vaccination programme, currently going gangbusters everywhere. A bit rich, you might think, coming from a party which not so long ago was accusing the Tories of putting Brexit before people’s lives by refusing to join the vastly superior EU vaccine procurement scheme.
How’s that working out, then?
Frankly, any attempt to bang up passengers en masse in hotels is doomed to end in tears. Look at what happened when the Home Office put asylum seekers in a disused Army barracks in Folkestone, Kent. Some of the inmates attacked staff and then torched the place after complaining about the conditions.
And these were refugees who had travelled halfway round the world in unimaginable squalor.
So we can only imagine how pampered first-class airline passengers are going to react when they are subjected to the privations of ten days’ isolation in your average budget hotel. How long before every Premier Inn at every airport in the land goes up in flames?
The Travelodge at Luton will be a bit of a comedown after living the Life of Riley in a seven-star resort like the Burj al Wossname
The hotel quarantine plans apply not only to foreign nationals but also to British citizens returning home. I wonder how that will play with the legions of ‘infuencers’ currently lounging by the pool in their various ‘celebrity’ hellholes.
The Travelodge at Luton will be a bit of a comedown after living the Life of Riley in a seven-star resort like the Burj al Wossname.
Frankly, I’d rather sleep in a cardboard box drinking electric soup alongside the Romanian pickpockets in the Marble Arch subway than spend a night surrounded by reality TV trash in Dubai supping Slippery Nipple cocktails.
Still, I suppose that instead of staging I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! in a Welsh castle, ITV could cut their losses by hiring a cheapo airport hotel at Stansted for the next series, filling it with returning Z-list personalities and surrounding it with armed guards.
I have visions of hysterical reality babes in their sponsored skimpies waving their bras from upper-storey windows, all the time streaming the action live on the internet from their bejewelled mobile phones
After a couple of days of congealed room service breakfasts being left outside their doors, the contestants would be gagging for witchety grubs, pig’s uterus and kangaroo penis.
The twist would be that rather than seeing who could survive longest, the winner would be the first to break out. It would only be a matter of time before one of the cast of Love Island broke off from having sex with his hotel chambermaid — or her security guard — dowsed the mattress in Malibu from the minibar and set fire to it in a desperate bid for freedom.
I have visions of hysterical reality babes in their sponsored skimpies waving their bras from upper-storey windows, all the time streaming the action live on the internet from their bejewelled mobile phones. They’d be dangling their hair extensions like Rapunzel for the benefit of firemen scrambling to rescue them before their Botox melted and their implants exploded.
Littlejohn says ‘Frankly, any attempt to bang up passengers en masse in hotels is doomed to end in tears’
Meanwhile, permatanned hunks in budgie smugglers would be hurling themselves from their balconies into the swimming pool below, taking selfies as they fell. It would be a ratings smash.
The Only Way Is Down.
Does Labour still think it’s a good idea? Never mind Anything You Can Do . . .
Welcome To The Hotel Quarantina!
Bog snorkelling is just the jab
This column has long championed Britain’s intrepid competitive bog snorkellers.
So it was a delight to discover that the woman behind this country’s world-beating vaccination programme is a leading practitioner of this exacting, if eccentric, sport.
Not only did Kate Bingham once come 19th in the British Bog Snorkelling Championships, she has pioneered an exciting new variant, which involves riding a lead-filled mountain bike through a water-logged trench. Liquid mud is already pouring into the Extinction Rebellion tunnels under Euston Square. Good.
They should also lower in Kate Bingham on her bike. No one is better equipped to flush out Swampy and his gang.
And once she’s finished that, let her loose on the entrenched civil service. Any woman who can snorkel her way through a bog should have no trouble cutting a swathe through the Blob.
The BBC will insist on using indigenous place names, however confusing. They are currently reporting that there’s been a coup in somewhere called Myanmar, which most us thought was either a market town in Wales or a budget airline.
Turns out it’s Burma. I can remember a BBC correspondent delivering a piece to camera from Mumbai, in front of a sign reading ‘Bombay’, while a van with Bombay Plumbing Services on the side trundled by in the background.
During the civil unrest in Tiananmen Square years ago, a tabloid editor (Kelvin MacKenzie, briefly of this parish) decided to send a reporter to China.
Studying the map, one executive asked: ‘Where the hell is Beijing?’
‘How should I know?’ Kelvin said. ‘Tell him to fly to Peking and hire a cab.’
Speaking of Swampy (see elsewhere), he’s probably the only eco-warrior ever to have a golf hole named after him.
Reader Colin Clark writes to tell me that the second at Donnington Grove Golf Club, close to the Newbury bypass, where he dug his first tunnel in 1996, is known as Swampy’s Copse. Still, by the time Mayor Genghis Khan’s finished turning London’s streets into a crazy golf course, the site of Swampy’s latest tunnel will probably be known as the Euston Road Hole.
A story in the Mail on Sunday about a French police raid on a 100-strong warehouse sex party
had the headline: ‘Orgy Ends In Handcuffs.’ Don’t they always? Some people pay good money for that stuff.
Scientists have found they can tell what food and drink you like simply by looking at your fingers.
Those of us who have a ring and index finger the same length prefer steak and chips, hamburgers, lobsters and hard liquor. Those with a longer index finger like ‘feminine’ food, such as salads. You don’t have to guess which category I fall into. This could help the hospitality sector stay Covid-secure when lockdown is lifted. Restaurants should install airport-style fingerprint scanners, cutting out the need for menus.
Then, by the time I sat down, there’d be a large VAT waiting for me, followed by a lobster cocktail and prime rib and chips in quick succession.
Trebles all round!