The Chancellor and the mugs (in the Lobby)

... why do they keep handing over their wallets so compliantly? Because that's how the system works.

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Rishi Sunak’s wife is the daughter of a billionaire. He is a man of the people in the same way that Scrooge McDuck’s plunge-pool full of gold coins is similar to a Local Authority sports centre’s swimming baths. It is in this context that we should approach the pictures released by the Treasury’s coterie of PR flunkies showing the Chancellor with his ‘smart mug’ — a gift from his wife — and a Tupperware box in which he allegedly carries leftovers from last night’s dinner into the office for his lunch. Rishi Sunak’s leftovers are not like your leftovers. His leftovers are so expensive that you would baulk at paying that price in a classy restaurant. Rishi Sunak thinks Nando’s is a a Pixar film.

But you are unlikely to hear this kind of perspective from the Lobby — the dancing bears of the political journalism establishment who are allowed to beg for scraps from the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson. No, the Lobby is analysing that smart mug — which keeps tea or coffee at a consistent temperature — and the Tupperware as if a new Turin Shroud has been discovered and revealed that Christ actually looked like the cursed web image known as Goatse (do not look that up). We live in a nation of sycophants, but it must be said that the Lobby work especially hard at their sycophancy — they are professional bumlickers.

The Lobby loves to do ‘analysis’ with the emphasis on the ‘anal’. They spend so much time in the government’s anus that head torches are issued on a new member’s first day. Do not expect the Lobby to really understand how a story will ‘play’ in the rest of the country. The last time they met a normal person, that individual was scrubbing their kitchen and just nodded deferentially at them. These people are not normal. They just play normal people on television, or in print columns where their byline pictures were updated at some point during the second Blair administration.

Why are they so excited about these pictures? Because it’s something to talk about beyond Coronavirus. And because they like to play a game where they imply that they, the experts, are the only ones who can detect the real symbolism of these items. It’s bollocks. The smart mug is there to show Sunak is down with technology and loves startups, while the Tupperware shows the public school educated son-in-law of a billionaire is a man of the people.