Monday, 8th March 2021

Sending a blank PDF: the deadline-dodging tricks of Boris Johnson

THE EU keeps imposing deadlines like idiots who don’t know they’re up against the most experienced deadline-dodger in politics. Here’s how I mock them: 

The old blank PDF trick

Ten to midnight and you’ve completely failed to spot any loophole in level playing field proposals, because the EU are girly swots who check their work? Send a sternly-worded email demanding a response to the attached proposals within 48 hours, then attach blank PDFs. They’ll go mental with their IT.

The tragedy

An oldie but a goodie, this got me out of at least six Eton essays. Simply phone up and say in grave tones that unfortunately the fourth Earl of Barsetshire has passed on, and you are obliged to attend his funeral. They’ll be too intimidated by your connections to follow it up.

Get them pissed

Invite your tutor to a special conference about your dissertation and present them with an expensive bottle of cognac. Get them staggering drunk while waxing lyrical about how brilliant the completed essay will be, then blame them for not remembering the details. Substitute ‘EU’ for ‘tutor’ and ‘trade deal’ for dissertation.

Say you’ve done it

Turn up for a crucial deadline breezily and cheerfully, as if everything’s been settled, then feign incomprehension when challenged. ‘What?’ you reply, shocked, ‘But I’ve given it in. You marked it and gave it back to me. I got an A.’ Sell it right and even Barnier will panic.

Mix-up at HQ

There’s so much of the EU that even they can’t keep track. Tell the European Commission that you gave it to the European Council, the European Council you gave it to the European Parliament, the Parliament that it went to the Commission etc. They’ll never find it and blame themselves.

Steal someone else’s work

When all else fails, steal someone else’s essay and hand it in as your own. Do it late enough and they’ll never have time to check. See, I’ve got a draft free trade deal here from the EU, so I’ll simply write my name on the top and hand it back to them. Suckers.