These are confusing times. So here is the Man on Ledge ten-point guide to understanding travel, pubs and other new normal mysteries…
1: If you wish to travel abroad, perhaps to Greece, it is worth finding out if you are related to the prime minister. Perhaps you might be his father. If that’s the case feel free to go wherever you desire. The rules don’t apply to you.
2: If you are Stanley Johnson, travel to Greece in breach of Foreign Office guidance. On arrival, if you are discovered by a local camera crew, just bumble, waffle and make upper-class hew-hawing, ahem noises as if you are coughing up a bit of octopus. Also talk in such a rambling manner that the TV crew might wonder if you are a little drunk. That’ll get you off the hook.
3: If anyone asks what you are doing in Greece, say you are Covid-proofing your holiday villa. Everyone’s Covid-proofing something or other right now, so that should do the trick.
4: Oh, and you’ll get away with it times two because you are wealthy and those rules were aimed at the hoi polloi. What would become of the world if the posh and the privileged had to obey the rules like everybody else?
5: If you are an Eton pudding of a prime minister and you are interviewed on the radio about your misbehaving father, make upper-class hew-hawing, ahem noises while smirking at your interrogator. That usually does the trick. If it isn’t smirking, it isn’t working.
6: If you advise the prime minister and are found to have broken the lockdown, just arrange a press conference in the Downing Street garden, look dodgy, refuse to admit any wrong and make robotic bleating noises about childcare. That should do the trick.
7: If you wish to travel to the United States in breach of foreign office advice, just pretend to be called Nigel Farage and say you’re a friend of Donald Trump. Sadly, this ruse does carry the burden of having to pretend Donald Trump is your friend. Donald Trump is nobody’s friend. He thinks as much of you as he does of those golf balls he inexpertly whacks.
8: When you arrive in the US, tweet a picture of your smug chops with a caption about being 24 hours from Tulsa. Then you won’t look at all like a loathsome twerp when nobody turns up to witness your Trump support act at the poorly attended rally, leaving you 24 hours from Tulse Hill.
9: On returning from your Trump tribute tour, don’t fret about quarantine rules as they are intended for normal people, not good honest right-wingers with mouldy old roast beef for brains.
10: When the pubs open, raise a pint to those smug chops and put the selfie on Twitter. Do this in the full knowledge that everyone who hates you on Twitter will point out that you should still be in quarantine. Congratulations – you have generated another storm in a pint pot. Better still, the police may become involved and you can act like a wounded unwoke knight in this cruel modern world all over again. It’s what you were made for, after all.
Sighing footnote one: We’re stuck with so-called Boris for four years, or until the Tory party realises he’s a hopeless liability. But why do we have to put up with Stanley Johnson as well? That’s at least one Johnson too many.
Sighing footnote two: One day Nigel Farage will be a footnote in the horrid history of British politics. If we ignore him – and it’s not easy, I know – he’ll become a footnote all the more quickly.
Happy travelling. Hope this advice helps.