IN 2020 Priti Patel said she’d call the police to report a neighbour holding a party but now she’s defending Boris Johnson’s. Here’s her guide to whether a party breaks the law.
Could the party easily be mistaken for a work event?
Look, sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re engaged in the vital work of running the country or at a garden party. The two are very similar. Well, they are if you’re very important like me. If you’ve got an ordinary job and you’re having a few cans with the neighbours in the garden it’s definitely illegal, as well as common.
Did you stumble on it by accident?
If you have an exceptionally large garden, as many members of the Conservative party do, it can be hard to keep track of what’s happening in it. Sometimes a party will suddenly spring up, and you’ll stumble into the middle of it on your way back from the orangery. Not illegal, just accidental.
Did you spend less than 25 minutes there?
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an event only becomes a party when it enters its 26th minute. So even if you’ve downed a bottle of Shiraz and done a round of flaming sambucas in the time leading up to that, it’s not technically a party. This is an indisputable fact.
Did any of the guests arrive in a small boat?
I don’t mean a dinghy full of terrorists and freeloaders that has just crossed the channel. I mean a pleasure cruiser or a punt that’s been lazily poled down a river by a rich prick wearing a boater. The first is absolutely criminal and must be stopped at all costs, but the others are fine, especially if your vessel contains a hamper of Dom Perignon.
Are you a toadying sycophant who wants to lick the party host’s arse?
The best way to decide whether a party is criminal is to consider whether you are desperate for the party-holder to like you. Which I do, so Boris has done absolutely nothing wrong.