Today’s edition of You Couldn’t Make It Up comes courtesy of our old friends at Public Health England.
Clearly, PHE is now represented on the Whitehall standing committee which meets once a week to give me something to write about. Never mind Cobra, this one should be called Coblas.
My colleague Chris Stevens, the Daily Mail sub-editor who has been keeping this column on the straight and narrow for longer than either of us cares to remember, spotted this sign while out on his morning constitutional.
Today’s edition of You Couldn’t Make It Up comes courtesy of our old friends at Public Health England
Fixed to the fence at the municipal tennis courts in Alexandra Gardens, Windsor, Berks, and bearing the seals of PHE and Windsor and Maidenhead Council, it reads:
‘ONLY HANDLE YOUR OWN BALLS.’
As the legendary Wimbledon commentator Dan Maskell would have remarked: ‘Oh, I say!’ I know PHE is a racket, but this is ridiculous.
When I stopped laughing, it occurred to me that this might be an elaborate spoof. But given that it was posted above the official Lawn Tennis Association guidance on how to play tennis safely under social distancing regulations, it certainly has the ring of authenticity about it.
After all, Public Health England has made a lucrative career out of badgering and nannying us, especially during the summer.
Fixed to the fence at the municipal tennis courts in Alexandra Gardens, Windsor, Berks, and bearing the seals of PHE and Windsor and Maidenhead Council, it reads: ‘ONLY HANDLE YOUR OWN BALLS.’ As the legendary Wimbledon commentator Dan Maskell would have remarked: ‘Oh, I say!’
Past initiatives have included instructing us to stay indoors and draw the curtains whenever the sun shines; banning supermarkets from selling daffodils alongside fruit and veg, just in case Chinese shoppers mistake them for spring onions; and organising a campaign to hand out free rubber johnnies at food banks to the over-60s — patronisingly dubbed ‘Silver Singles’ — to encourage them to have safe sex.
They even came up with a catchy title for that one: ‘Jiggle Wiggle’
Obviously, nobody at PHE has any sense of the ridiculous. So it’s not much of a stretch to believe they signed off on the slogan: ‘ONLY HANDLE YOUR OWN BALLS.’
Come to think of it, that might have been one of the contenders left over from the ‘Silver Singles’ safe sex initiative, before they settled on ‘Jiggle Wiggle’, after a show of hands.
Insults to our intelligence are what Public Health England specialises in. Unfortunately, when it comes to anything else, PHE is worse than useless.
By now, we all know how the overpaid clowns who run this £4.5 billion bureaucracy failed to prepare for a pandemic of any kind — the one proper job they were set up for in the first place.
Consequently, when Covid-19 struck with a vengeance, supplies of protective equipment for hospitals were hopelessly inadequate. PHE also refused offers of help from the private sector, which would have taken the strain off the NHS. It has now been revealed that they’ve also exaggerated the number of deaths caused by Covid, something I’ve suspected all along.
Even our hapless Health Secretary Matt Hancock has tumbled the scam and ordered an urgent investigation.
A study has shown that anyone who dies and has previously tested positive for coronavirus is included in the Covid death toll — even if they have fully recovered and then been run over by a bus.
Without in any way detracting from the initial seriousness of the pandemic, it would explain the inflated daily body count read out robotically until recently, like the football results.
We have been given the numbers who died with coronavirus — including those who had either got over it or never displayed any symptoms — yet not how many who have died from it. This dishonesty contributed to the blind panic which has crashed the economy, as millions are still too scared, allegedly, to return to work.
It has also emerged that the focus on Covid may lead directly to 200,000 people dying prematurely because they have been denied treatment for other illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, or from lockdown-related health and social problems.
It has now been revealed that they’ve also exaggerated the number of deaths caused by Covid, something I’ve suspected all along. Even our hapless Health Secretary Matt Hancock (above) has tumbled the scam and ordered an urgent investigation
While no one disputes the magnificent way in which frontline NHS staff responded to the emergency, the pandemic has exposed the dysfunctional, complacent bureaucracy behind the scenes.
Yet rather than reform the health service, ministers are content to throw unlimited amounts of borrowed money at it. There is no evidence whatsoever of any joined-up thinking. The latest wheeze is offering weight-loss surgery to clinically obese people at greater risk from corona.
This at a time when our over-praised teenage Chancellor has unveiled a half-price meal deal, aimed at encouraging everyone to fill their boots at fast-food outlets to kickstart the economy.
So one branch of government is subsidising Big Mac and chips all round, while another is planning to spend millions fitting Teletubbies with a free gastric band.
Meanwhile, there’s news of a scheme to spend £4 million paying NHS patients to plant trees and take walks in the countryside.
‘Good morning, Mr Jones, how’s your lumbago?’
‘Much better thanks, Doc, but I did myself a mischief planting the monkey puzzle tree I bought with that voucher you gave me for the garden centre. Any chance of putting me on the waiting list for a truss?’
Anyway, it was only last week that the BBC was telling us that the countryside is institutionally racist.
None of this nonsense should come as any surprise. It must be 15 years since I discovered a GP in Scotland was issuing his patients with prescriptions for oily fish, as an alternative to blood thinners.
Herrings on prescription? You couldn’t, etc.
Since then we’ve learned that the NHS has also paid for everything from dance classes to golf lessons, to encourage healthy lifestyles.
It’s probably only a matter of time before Public Health England starts bankrolling tennis lessons, too.
But remember: ONLY HANDLE YOUR OWN BALLS.
Having emasculated every other organisation, the diversity Nazis have inevitably turned their attention to the Armed Forces. The RAF is introducing dress-down Fridays, to promote a more ‘inclusive’ atmosphere.
I have visions of a Top Gun with a handlebar moustache taking to the skies in a taffeta frock and diamante earrings. Now it is reported that the Royal Navy is dropping gender pronouns and replacing titles such as ‘seaman’ with the more neutral ‘seafarer’.
Quite where this would have left Captain Pugwash and his crew is a mystery.
Seafarer Staines and Mistress Bates somehow don’t have the same ring to them.
A dog would be less barking
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle invited a police sniffer dog to sit in his chair in the Commons chamber. Poppy, an explosives detection specialist, was awarded a ‘canine OBE’ for her work during the 2017 Borough Market terror attack.
She has since been employed sweeping the Houses of Parliament for bombs.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is considering scrapping the terms ‘Islamist terrorist’ and ‘jihadi’ to describe, er, Islamist terrorists and jihadis.
Instead they would be called ‘faith-claimed terrorists’ or ‘terrorists abusing religious motivations’. This absurd idea has come from the ambitious anti-terror chief Neil Basu, who pretends the greatest security threat Britain faces is from the ‘Far Right’ — contrary to all the evidence from Borough Market to Manchester Arena.
Basu, who supports ‘taking the knee’ and thinks the Black Lives Matter violence — in which 49 of his officers were injured — was a triumph for enlightened policing, fancies his chances of becoming Met chief when Dick of Dock Green hangs up her truncheon.
He obviously believes spouting woke drivel will improve his chances. Frankly, I’d feel safer if they gave the job to Deputy Dawg Poppy.
Poppy, an explosives detection specialist, was awarded a ‘canine OBE’ for her work during the 2017 Borough Market terror attack. She has since been employed sweeping the Houses of Parliament for bombs
The Summer of Stupidity continues. Snowflake civil servants are demanding the Churchill Room at the Treasury is renamed.
How the hell did anyone who denigrates our greatest Prime Minister, the man who defeated Hitler, as a ‘racist’ ever get a job at the heart of government?
Churchill once said that history would be kind to him, since he intended to write it. We mustn’t let the pig-ignorant, statue-toppling Left-wing fascists rewrite it.