When to put the knife in, by Michael Gove

HELLO, Gove here, taking bookings for hook-ups. But when I’m not enjoying single life I like to lurk in the shadows and betray. This is how to pick your moment.

Wait until your victim is feeling good

A man on the ground won’t even notice your blade going in. And that’s no fun. Allow your good, trusted friend who confides so much in you to recover, to rebuild, to believe he’s turned a corner and is going to beat the odds and triumph. Then strike.

Form an orderly queue

One act of perfidy is a gnat’s bite, especially if your target is well used to barbs from former colleagues, underlings and indeed mistresses. Let’s face it, there’s more than one Judas in these disciples! Get a whole group together, like Brutus with Caesar, and make a backstabbing party of it. Catering can supply canapes.

Rehearse your reasons

It’s always good form to have reasons when slaughtering a valued friend like a hog. Line up a few and trot them out as your duplicity dawns in his little piggy eyes: ‘It’s for the good of the party’ or ‘You’ll be happier back at the Daily Telegraph’. Untrue of course. Betrayal is its own reward.

Deny you’ve done it

A good traitor has plenty of time for his targets. He befriends them and learns from them before killing them, and this is a little tip I picked up from my next victim: just deny it. Even with your hand on the hilt of the knife in his back, be outraged. Be as angry as he is about these turncoats. It only adds to the savour.

Enjoy yourself

Remember, the process of making a friend, becoming an ally, putting that minor blip in 2016 behind you and becoming a trusted confidante in the heart of government takes time. So make sure you pause, mid-double-cross, to relish every delicious moment as the blond goon goes down, mouth open and closing like a fish, reaching out to you. Mmm.

Make sure he’s dead

It’s so easy to get carried away with the sheer thrill of bloodletting. That was my mistake last time and I’ve paid for it since. So, once your close personal friend is down, his back bristling with daggers, go over and make sure he’s dead. Whisper what an honour it is to make the killing strike. Then, if you’re anything like me, you’ll fancy a shag.

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'They're just jealous of his pretty wife': Your gran's muddled view of Boris Johnson

EVER wondered why pensioners like your gran keep voting Tory? Here are some strange distortions of the facts a worrying number of older people seem to believe.

Johnson is responsible for the Covid vaccine

Scientists and health professionals did the actual work and Johnson just dressed up in a lab coat. His role in fighting Covid has as much medical value as going to your GP with agonising headaches, them giving you a free drug company biro, and you leaving with no treatment. And being completely satisfied with this.

People are jealous of him and Carrie

Your gran doesn’t understand politics, so she makes up nice, simple, bullshit explanations for things. Excess Covid deaths and lockdown rules are complicated, so it’s obvious Boris’s critics all want to marry young, pretty, blonde Carrie. Your gran would faint if you admitted to thinking she’s an awful, grasping Tory PR who sometimes resembles a frog with huge teeth.

He’s doing his best in difficult circumstances 

Your gran only watches BBC news, so she probably gets this generous view of Johnson from their studiously ‘balanced’ and uncontroversial coverage. Thus she believes the problems facing Johnson just spontaneously happened, like flash floods. Never mind that he’s a lazy bastard who brings more problems on himself and others than Homer f**king Simpson.  

Boris will take us back to the good old days

The good old days is a vague project to create an idyllic Britain with no teenagers, no drugs and no more than approximately 150 non-white people in the UK. No one ever makes any progress with it, because it’s bollocks, but the Tories and therefore Boris are indelibly associated with it. Even if a pathological liar and adulterer isn’t the best person to entrust with bringing back 1940s-style morals and decency.

Boris is standing up for Ukraine

Actually what happened is that Johnson saw a chance to act out his Churchill fantasies and – more importantly – claw back some popularity. It’s not his money, so Ukraine can have as many British missiles as they like. It would be interesting if Johnson had to pay, say, £1 of his own money towards each missile. It’s likely the Ukrainians would suddenly get a box of old Sten guns and some out-of-date field rations instead.

He’s one of us

An actual view expressed by some oldies. How a posh, completely self-interested, Eton-educated borderline sociopath is the friend of a pensioner from Rotherham is anyone’s guess. It’s like a sheep introducing a wolf to his flock saying ‘Don’t worry, Fang is one of us. That red stuff round his mouth is just Waitrose beetroot salad.’