How to hold a socially distanced cocaine party, by Michael Gove

JUST because the world is in the grip of an accelerating pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t have friends over to snort a little sherbert. Just follow these rules: 

Separate coke, separate straws

Regretfully, it’s just not safe to share your cocaine with friends any longer. Don’t be rude about it; just say, ‘Sorry, Secretary of State for Whatever, you should have brought your own. Giving you a bump would be in violation of pandemic guidance.’

Meet your dealer outside

Dealers come into contact with hundreds of people a week, many of them foreign to these shores and heedless of social distancing. So it may seem rude but you’ll have to refuse them entry to your office. Meet them on the Star Chamber Court car park by Parliament instead. The Serjeant at Arms is cool with it.

Observe the Rule of Six

If the house is full, no bringing along your mate Dimitri who’s ‘an oligarch and has really good shit’. No matter how big the party donation he’s promising. And if he comes along anyway with his 7ft 2in bodyguard from Uzbekistan, the Camerons will just have to leave.

Everyone gets their own cistern

Don’t share cisterns. Put names on the doors of six of your bathrooms and insist everyone keeps to their specified one. If you don’t have six bathrooms in your house then you really shouldn’t be wasting your money on cocaine.

Wear face shields when ranting

After half a gram, you may find yourself with the urgent need to regale a fellow guest with all the reasons the EU will cave on Brexit and is collapsing anyway. But remember that will produce droplets, so shield up. As a side-effect neither of you will be able to hear anything but your own voices, which is ideal.

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'OK' and four other text replies from dads

IT’S important nowadays to be able to communicate effectively with modern digital technology. Unless you’re a dad. Here are some classic dad text replies:


Whether you’ve told him you’ll be late for tea, made a difficult statement about your sexual orientation, or admitted to murder, your dad will reply ‘OK’. Which is either reassuringly accepting or suggests he doesn’t give a f**k what you’re doing.

‘Who is this?’

Despite fathering you and then living with you for two decades, your dad still hasn’t got your number saved in his battered old Nokia. This means he needs constant confirmation of who is texting him, even when the message says, ‘What shall we get mum for her birthday?’


Need a lift? Want to borrow some money? Asking whether he likes your new partner? It’s a hard ‘no’ from your dad. And it’s a reply that for some reason takes him a fortnight to type and send.

A stream of weird emojis

When you receive 15 crying faces, nine of the one wearing sunglasses, a lion, three pairs of lips and an aubergine, it’s hard to make a judgement call on what he’s trying to say. Has he sat on his mobile phone, or is he drunk? Probably both.

A blurred picture of his feet

Due to a combination of sausage thumbs and being incapable of grasping even the simplest tech, every third text you get from your dad is a photo of his feet. Whilst both useless and aesthetically unpleasing, at least you know he’s still alive.