When is a Christmas party not a Christmas party? Why, when the prime minister holds it of course. And when is a lockdown rule not a lockdown rule? Why, when the prime minister is involved of course.
If you ever feel like you’ve chased a floppy white-haired creature down a rabbit hole and now exist in some parallel universe where the ruling party governs as though in the midst of a perpetual Mad Hatter’s tea party, you are not alone. By which I mean, I feel that way too.
For last week it was revealed that during one of the most deadly and terrifying periods of the pandemic so far, December 2020, when we were pre-vaccine and the death toll was at nearly 500 souls a day, No. 10 was reportedly holding a series of Christmas parties. When challenged about this in parliament, Boris Johnson chose not to deny the charge, but only to say that all the rules were followed. Except that the rule expressly forbade Christmas parties of any kind, and in fact there were other good citizens facing the threat of being fined up to £10,000 for gathering outdoors for a sausage and a pint of mulled wine and suppressed misery.