Seven occasions when a George Cross is better than money, by an NHS worker

SURE, money is great, but midwife Eleanor Shaw and other NHS staff awarded the George Cross agree that it’s nothing compared to a notional medal. For example on these occasions: 

When paying at the supermarket

Nurses’ wage not left enough to cover your grocery bill? Having to humiliatingly go through bags and put stuff back? Show the cashier the letter the Queen wrote you. Pride restored.

When paying rent

Struggling to pay rent now nursing bursaries have been cut? Inform your landlord that you have a medal for ‘acts of the greatest heroism’. His nod of recognition will be worth it.

When catching a train

Short of the fare? Explain that you have the ‘enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation’ of the whole country and are therefore exempt. Be ready for a lengthy debate.

When claiming benefits

Entitled to universal credit because of your low pay, but facing a four-week wait for it? Mention to HMRC that, like Malta and the Royal Ulster Constabulary, you hold the George Cross. Watch them move.

When trying to prove you meet minimum income thresholds to the Home Office

Home Office threatening to deport you because your salary no longer meets their minimum income threshold? Drop in that you’re a national hero, rewarded by Her Majesty. Let them try that hostile enviroment bollocks then.

When selling your treasured possessions on eBay

Trying to scrap together enough cash for a second-hand fridge? Selling family heirlooms and other treasures off cheap? Add the George Cross to your listings. You don’t actually own a physical one but surely that doesn’t matter?

When parking at work

Sick of paying sky-high parking fees at your hospital? Especially when you get fined for overstaying your shift to save a life? Tuck a print-out of the Queen’s letter under your windscreen wipers. Because some things are worth so much more than money.

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Michael Gove's guide to getting back in the game

REGRETTABLY and for no apparent reason, I have split up with my wife Sarah Vine. So here’s how I plan to get back in the dating game and take a beauty home every night: 

Practise pick-up lines

Long-term relationships can make your pick-up game rusty. My spad’s been good enough to set up a folder of solid gold lines, including ‘What’s your favourite post-Brexit trade deal?’ and ‘Fancy coming back to my grace-and-favour apartment so I can stimulate you with my engorged member?’

Make sure you’re over your ex

Don’t date a new parter as revenge. It’s unhealthy and unfair to them. Though I am very much over Sarah as she’s a foul, stunted troll who kept writing articles for the Daily Mail which managed to portray both of us as a massive twats.

Prepare for non-stop shagging

Bulk-buying 4,000 ribbed condoms is as prudent as it is anonymous online. I’ve read up on all the hot new sex acts like doggystyle, and imposed a rigorous three-a-day masturbation routine to increase my sexual stamina. I expect you’re grateful I shared this with you.

Hit the gym

After comfy married life, long evenings in hating the poor and so on, you’re probably out of shape. So I’ve been hitting the gym for five hours a day. My personal trainer Steve assures me I’ll soon resemble The Rock with Penfold from Danger Mouse’s head grafted on. Not sure who that is, probably another handsome actor.

Update your look 

My new super-tight skinny jeans are getting a lot of admiring stares in the street. I’ve also invested in some new NHS glasses and a pair of Air Jordans. Once my skateboard arrives from Amazon I am going to look, as young people call it these days, ‘fly’.

Don’t be tempted to get back with your ex

Don’t mope about your ex. It will bore friends rigid (note to self: get friends) and the reasons for you splitting up won’t have changed. You’ll still be a semi-aquatic arsehole and she’ll remain a loathsome cow who gets paid for poison. Nothing personal.