Register dissent by writing a letter in your head: Priti Patel's guide to reasonable protesting

HI, Priti here. Don’t reply, that would be far too noisy and you’ll be detained. Protest will be allowed under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, in these forms: 

Wait until the pandemic is over, plus five years

Protest is the cornerstone of democracy, however there’s a time and a place for democracy. Pandemics are unsafe for protestors as are the months and years following. If there’s one person with sniffles anywhere in the UK, your protest’s cancelled. Public health comes first.

Keep it to less than one person

Angry mobs of one person are incredibly dangerous and disruptive. If you’re thinking of attending a protest, and there’s a chance that your presence could raise numbers to as many as one person, call it off. We cannot have our police feeling threatened.

Shut up

The human ear is very delicate, so no shouting, talking or whispering should take place. Some fonts are also be very loud, and pictures can say a thousand words, so let your lack of any objections or demands do the talking. Call off your protest silently.

Think nicer thoughts

Protesting is a horribly negative way to live. It leads to anger, and anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. Not my words – the words of Jedi master and peacebringer Darth Vader. Call off the protest within your own mind or we’ll crush it by force.

Stay inside and don’t move

Try sitting in an empty room and being grateful that I haven’t put you in prison. If you have the perverse wish to protest, write it in a letter, inside your own head, and never send it. Then call it off. Then turn yourself in to the police.

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A single Pritt Stick, and other things delivery drivers have risked their lives to bring you

BORED? Identified a possible need in your life and gratified it with a click? A chain of people now battling to bring it? Here’s how your purchase affects them: 

A Pritt Stick

So scared are you to lick envelopes in case you got Covid that you ordered a tiny tube of glue for same-day delivery. The van driver travelled 50 miles to bring it to you, caught the virus at a service station and indirectly killed three species of beetle with the carbon emissions.

Charcoal barbecue

An impulse buy because all socialising will be outside this summer, you fondly imagined post-lockdown summer nights grilling sausages even though you live in a top-floor flat without even a Juliet balcony. A 55-year-old fork-lift driver took too long getting this from 18ft up a shelf and was fired.

Only Connect board game

You bought this because you thought moving to the catchment area of a good school had automatically turned your family into intellectuals. But after none of you got any of the first ten questions, you gave up and sent it back. The resulting lost profits mean all shift allowances have now been cancelled.

Sourdough baking steel

Your loaf could have looked great on Instagram during the sourdough craze, which is why you shelled out on chef-standard equipment before downing a bottle of wine, dozing off and dropping the burnt black lump of sourdough in the bin. A warehouse picker lost two fingers getting you this steel, but that’s fine.

Antique glass melon cloche

Meant to be for growing melons under, but you thought it might look nice on the occasional table in the bay window and paid for next-day delivery. The driver, who has had four hours sleep in three days, span out under a bridge and caused a seven-car pile-up closing the A50 all day. He’s being cut out of his vehicle. You’re at home, irritably clicking ‘Track My Parcel’.