VLADIMIR McTAVISH – A KICK UP THE TABLOIDS

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This is, indeed, a strange time that we are living through. At the end of last year, when we all were making our predictions for 2020, no one would have forecast that a 99-year-old World War II veteran would become a national hero for walking around his own garden.

Indeed, it’s strange to think that even two short months ago, we were all obsessed with trivialities such as Brexit, global warming and terrorism. Now, everybody is terrified that we’re all going to die, and that the few of us who are fortunate enough to survive will do so in a world where it is impossible to buy toilet paper, tinned tomatoes or hand-sanitising gel.

The lack of hand gel is actually not a huge problem for most of us. Washing our hands with soap and warm water is equally hygienic. Furthermore, since hand gel is basically just alcohol, I have developed a cleansing system whereby I take large amounts of alcohol internally, and self-sanitise with my own sweat. I’m not 100% convinced that it works, but I am willing to carry on with the experiment for the immediate future, as it appears to make the home-isolation less boring.

I am sure I am not alone in that I have been acquiring some new skills during lockdown. I can now bake bread and cut my own hair. Also, thanks to Matt Hancock, I now know how to wash my hands properly. Who knew you were supposed to sing ‘God Save The Queen’ at the same time? Bizarrely, we were never taught that when I was in the Cubs.

I don’t know whether statistics are detailed enough yet to suggest that Rangers fans are less likely to catch Coronavirus as a result. However, it could explain the low rate of infection in Northern Ireland compared to the mainland Britain. Roughly 50% of the population will be washing their hands several times a day. And that’s before the hand-washing season really kicks in this July.

Ironically, the advice didn’t do Matt Hancock himself any good, as the man charged with looking after everybody else’s health immediately caught the virus himself. As did Boris Johnson and Prince Charles. One is left to conclude that neither the Prime Minister nor the Heir to the Throne actually know the words to ‘God Save The Queen’.

Charlie, of course, having already tested positive for the virus decided to re-locate to Scotland before self-isolating in one of his several homes. As a member of an at-risk group himself, he showed a gob-smacking lack of consideration to others by travelling to a country where 5,000,000 have the underlying health issue of being Scottish.

Johnson, likewise, once released from hospital, ignored his own government’s advice to stay in one place, and immediately moved into his second home in the country. What is a resigning matter if you are Scotland’s Chief Officer for Health, is apparently acceptable behaviour if you are the PM or the Prince of Wales.

If you ask me, I don’t reckon Boris Johnson every actually had Coronavirus. Like a lot of people who are under the cosh at work and realise they’re not up to the job, I reckon he just decided the best course of action was to throw a sickie and pretend to be ill for a couple of weeks, and leave someone else to sort out the mess he had made of the whole business.

Initially, the person left in temporary control was Michael Gove, a man who looks like he is riddled with every single virus known to the medical profession. However, the rest of the cabinet then seem to have decided it would be best if Gove were to isolate himself from them, and we were left with Dominic Raab and Rishi Sunak running the country.

Which brings us to the bizarre thing no-one could have predicted back in January, namely that this Tory government would give Britain its most left-wing Chancellor since Stafford Cripps. He has not only pledged that the Treasury will pay 80% of employees’ wages, but that they will also make substantial payments to the self-employed. He promised that, for example, beauticians and tanning salons, would qualify for state hand-outs.

This really is ground-breaking. While a number of beauty parlours and tanning shops are, indeed, legitimate businesses, it is a known secret that many of them are fronts for organised crime. For the first time in history, money-laundering is going to be nationalised.

Of course, there is a possibility this was all talk and little else. At the time of writing, only a pitifully small percentage of businesses and individuals had actually received any government money. It could be that this Big Promise, much like Boris’s ‘positive diagnosis’ turns out to be a big con-trick.

Vladimir McTavish, circumstances allowing, will be performing his solo show 60 MINUTES TO SAVE THE WORLD at The Stand Comedy Clubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle in July 2020. Further details on www.thestand.co.uk

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