'A press conference to tell everyone to vote for your shit?' my wife says. 'So we are at late Theresa May'

From the diary of Rishi Sunak, Britain’s least patient prime minister

‘YOU remember,’ Akshata says, ‘she did it every two weeks. Press conference, Downing Street, everyone expecting she resigns then she says “Vote for my Brexit.”’ 

‘It’s not like that,’ I snap, not because I’m tetchy but because this line of inquiry is not what the public wants. ‘It’s exactly like that,’ she says, ‘down to where you challenge Labour to vote for it. So desperate.’

‘I was resolute, confident, firm and out of patience,’ I retort. ‘She was in the final stages of an administration that failed to deliver on any of its promises and was beset on all sides by enemies.’ ‘Mm,’ Akshata says.

The truth is I’m testy because it’s been a challenging week. Jenrick gone, the new Rwanda bill attacked, Boris not even having the decency to distract by putting on a show. Instead he’s doing the tears-and-contrition routine to the point I’m surprised he hasn’t claimed the condom broke.

‘We are at that stage,’ my wife continues. ‘The podium out every other week, the rising hope it’s for a resignation, the let-down when it’s a vain attempt to get MPs to back her. Serious late May vibes.

‘You remember? You watched it, cackling at the text from Boris in your little WhatsApp group? When your plan was to take over as chancellor from Zahawi in 2023?’

And, just like that, I’m cast back to happier times. Brexit collapsing, Corbyn in power, forcing lobby journalists to take the Malthouse Compromise seriously, knowing that it was all just nonsense cooked up to destroy a leader so unpopular she’d never win an election.

‘So I… am May?’ I say, haltingly. ‘They hate me as much as they hated her? And Rwanda matters as little as Northern Ireland did?’

‘You are May,’ Akshata says, soothingly. ‘Look how happy she is with it all over. Soon that’s you.’

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A confused Millennial tries to… pay with cash

by Josh Gardner, who will never own a home but does own The Chronic on green translucent 180gm vinyl

CASH is dated, which means it’s problematic. Hitler, Stalin and JK Rowling all paid for things with physical money, so it’s a dangerous road to go down. 

Buying my Shein hauls with my iPhone is much more ethical and doesn’t feel like I’m spending money at all. That’s girl maths, which I use because boy maths is sexist.

Plus money has a picture of the King’s face on it, or it should have by now, she’s been dead for three years. I’d rather not passively endorse colonialism when I buy my Boots meal deals. Contactless lets me maintain a clean conscience.

Not everyone’s caught up, though. I tried to give some money to a fundraiser on the highstreet and he looked baffled as I pressed my card to his donation box.

‘Sorry mate, I only take cash,’ he mansplained, before directing me to an ATM. After quickly Googling ‘ATM’, I set off for a new experience.

‘So that’s what these things are,’ I murmur, on discovering it. Pausing only to shoot a selfie, I enter my PIN and get my card and the plastic notes that are so handy to snort a line though.

Armed with half my life savings of 40 quid, I set off back to the fundraiser. But then I realised I only wanted to donate a quid, which means ‘breaking’ my note as people used to say in the 20th century.

I swung into the nearest Greggs for a vegan sausage roll. The cashier rang up my order, then the bizarre process of a physical transaction took place. I awkwardly presented the note in my shaking, clammy hand, hoping I wasn’t doing this wrong.

‘Got anything smaller mate?’ he asked, triggeringly, before snatching it and huffily counting out metal discs. They weighed loads and rattled in my pocket. Is this really how everyone used to pay for things? No wonder there were two world wars.

Finally, with my desired ‘change’ I made my way back to where it all began, dropped my money into the charity box and it clinked as it hit the bottom. And that was it. No congratulatory text, no email asking for feedback, nothing.

It was really underwhelming. If that’s what paying with cash is like, no wonder it went extinct.