II’m back on the road until August with my five-star stand-up show, snowflake tornado, delivering confirmation bias to packed halls of masked elitists. For six nights at the Oxford Playhouse I saw the familiar and friendly staff and crowds return, although the historic Eagle and Child pub sadly appears to have closed. It was here in 1933, apparently, that JRR Tolkien dreamed up the terrifying crack of the Crack of Doom after hearing a cubical CS Lewis struggle against the afterburner of a particularly powerful Old Peculiar. But I’m waiting for an investigation by the very experienced civil servant Sue Gray to decide if this story is true. Dominic Cummings claims to have recorded evidence of the incident, but skeptics suggest it could just be a tape of him crushing his hand under his own armpit. That’s why Sue Gray is looking at every detail. Let Sue Gray do her job.
Sadly the two-year pandemic hiatus has made my 20-minute routine about what I imagined the new woke Bond movie would be like irrelevant, but a section summarizing Boris Johnson’s sad career of flabby dishonesty now makes a satisfying conclusion to the show for the performatively disgusted crowd, hopefully until the end of the tour in August. So, I’m probably the only champagne socialist who wants the blind prime minister to stay. But the safest thing is to wait for Sue Gray to report. Sue Gray is a very senior civil servant. Sue Gray is very capable of leading this investigation.
In his co-authored treatise Britannia Unzipped in 2012, Justice Secretary Dominic Calais Raab said: “Britons are some of the worst idlers in the world. We work some of the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is low. Thankfully, despite their well-documented love of raiding the recently purchased £142 Downing Street wine fridge every week for Wine-Time Fridays, it seems the staff at No 10 are the exception. Raab himself justified their right to bring their own bottles to work, saying they had “worked phenomenally hard under grueling conditions”. Maybe the refrigerator was bought for Johnson to hide in case Beth Rigby asks him a question. Nobody knows. That’s why Sue Gray is looking at every detail. Sue Gray is all over these issues. Let Sue Gray do her job.
On the BBC on Monday, the Prime Minister was inconsistently defended by Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, whose taxpayer-heated horses were never knowingly underheated, and on Sky, the Health Secretary culture, Nadine Dorries, said, eerily: “We are awaiting an investigation from a very fearsome servile servant, Sue Gray, to conclude. Did Dorries’ “servile” blunder betray her inner hope that Sue Gray would exculpate with complacency the boss she has to answer or was it just a slip? Who can be sure? The most prudent thing now is to wait for Sue Gray to show up. Sue Gray can follow the evidence wherever it leads. We must be patient while Sue Gray investigates.
On Sunday, the Tories launched Operation Red Meat, a transparent attempt to appease the hungry wolves on the far right of the party with the announcement of a host of ill-thought-out populist policies. But the Royal Navy, which like all armed forces is increasingly portrayed as a relief agency whose personnel carry rifles, was not keen on murdering children in the sea just to harm the wine of Johnson and the usual Doritos; and the whole country of Ghana, touted by Priti Patel as a possible offshore processing plant for migrants, sent out a press release announcing, with unintended Dorries-like levels of precision, that he did not want to be part of ” Operation Dead Meat”. Why did Patel say Ghana was on board? Sue Gray will look at all the different issues. Sue Gray is very capable of leading this investigation. Sue Gray will do an absolutely meticulous job.
On Twitter last Sunday, Dorries said the BBC’s next licensing fee settlement would be the last, but in Parliament she later said that was not the case, having created some confusion to further deflect the attention of the generally supposed criminality of its leader. On LBC Wednesday, Conservative Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman tried to argue that Dorries’ two contradictory positions were simultaneously correct, a sort of settlement of Schrödinger’s license fee that was both the last and not the last. But what was the truth? Sue Gray is through all of these issues. We need to know the facts and that’s what Sue Gray does.
Taking us back to where we started, David Davis wrapped up PMQs on Wednesday by addressing Johnson with the very famous quote attributed to incontinent Christian and incontinent mystic Charles Williams, as he waited patiently outside the cabin of Eagle and Child toilet still occupied by flatulent CS. Lewis: “You sat there too long for all the good you did. In the name of God, go. But has the prime minister sat too long? That’s what the Sue Gray investigation is for. Sue Gray is through all of these issues. Sue Gray will look at all the different issues. That’s why Sue Gray is looking at every detail. Let Sue Gray do her job. The safest thing now is to wait for Sue Gray to show up. Sue Gray is a very senior civil servant. Sue Gray is very capable of leading this investigation. Sue Gray will do an absolutely meticulous job. Sue Gray can follow evidence wherever it leads. Anything Sue Gray has to do, she will be able to do. We need to know the facts and that’s what Sue Gray does. We ask for patience while Sue Gray conducts her investigation.
The rescheduled 2022 national dates of Stewart’s 2020 tour, Snowflake Tornado, are on sale now; the autumn 2022 London dates of his new tour, Basic Lee, are also on sale; Stewart Lee winter hats are available here