How to be vigilant when you're pissed, by Matt Hancock

AS the country reopens and venues are once again filled with young punters, I, Matt Hancock, have set out a guide to maintaining a high level of vigilance when you’re five pints deep.

Pace yourself

We have to balance the risk of the virus with the harm that lockdown has done to the economy. Keep necking the alcohol, though, and don’t get tap water – that kind of cheap thinking will destroy the hospitality sector and it will be, as always, your fault. 

Play a coronavirus-based drinking game

The moment you start having too much fun, the virus will strike. That’s why I recommend that any fun is linked to the deadly pandemic that you’re drinking to forget. Take two sips every time someone forgets their mask, take three sips every time someone moans about Zoom, and down your pint and go home if any of you start exhibiting symptoms. 

Drink with people you hate

If you go to the pub with friends or cronies, you’re inevitably going to want to go in for a hug – maybe a celebratory kiss on the cheek after you’ve tendered another PPE contract to their party supplies company. To combat this, I recommend grabbing a drink with an arch-rival, so neither of you will be tempted to break social distancing rules and go in for a cuddle.  

Be paranoid

This comes naturally to some drunks – the kind who accuse you of drinking their pint when they’ve been in the toilet (I’m looking at you, Priti!). Imagine that everyone you’re drinking with is secretly harbouring coronavirus, or a folder of text messages that they’re about to leak to a leftie journalist. Push them at the urinals and let them know who’s boss.  

Drink at a pal’s pub

The best way to stay vigilant is to get drunk somewhere where you know for sure that the landlord will be following the strictest government guidelines – perhaps because he has the inside scoop on the virus’s progression from being close personal friends with a government minister. If your local is run by a normal guy who isn’t privy to public funds, you’re just not being vigilant enough.

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Getting your kids into the right school and other things nobody cared about in the 1970s

IN the 1970s certain things were of little concern to the public. Here are some that look a bit weird now.

Physical safety

If, as a child, you injured yourself, your parents would simply say: ‘Put some TCP on it.’ A dab of TCP would resolve anything from toothache to being run over by a lorry.

A good school for your children

If you were fed mashed potato from an ice cream scoop at lunchtime and did not actually die over the course of a day, parents were fine with that. The actual teaching was irrelevant, so long as you could vaguely remember your times tables. Seven eights are 56. Job done.

Going out and exploring

Not in itself bad. In fact very Famous Five. Until you discover manhole covers and 20-foot drops.

Extremely dangerous fireworks

The public safety films of the time encouraged you to keep them in a biscuit tin. No one gave a shit though so every fireworks night was a high-risk evening of crazed dogs, bonfires close to buildings and blowing your fingers off with small explosives.


Paedophiles had it easy in the 70s. If a PE teacher liked to get a gym class to run around in just their pants, he was ‘a bit unusual’, rather than ‘a sexual pervert’.


Parents nowadays tend to not to want their child to look like a twat. This was not an issue in the 1970s, when children were actively made to wear orange tank tops.