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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Stewart Lee

From jungles to bras, Tory sleaze is lurking

Illustration by David Foldvari.
Illustration by David Foldvari. Illustration: David Foldvari/The Observer

For the corrupt Tories and their opportunistic friends, the double whammy of Brexit and the pandemic has been a cash handout bonanza, the clatter of fruit machine payouts drowning the lamentations of millions of mourners. Handsy Matt Handcock even got a £400,000 cow’s anus-noshing, sin-eating television appearance out of his role in the racket.

At least it isn’t as offensive as Handcock’s last reality TV special, where he touched that woman’s bum in an office with his two hands when the rest of us weren’t even allowed to wave to Grandma through a window or go to her subsequent funeral. But it is disrespectful to a dead cow, an animal that is sacred to the Hindu, for example, to have its anus eaten by Handcock.

However, Handcock has done his fellow Conservatives a favour by raising the bar significantly in the disgusting behaviour stakes. David Cameron may have been falsely rumoured to have had sexual relations with a dead pig’s head, but at least he didn’t eat it afterwards, like some kind of Bullingdon Club mantis.

Iain Duncan Smith must be relieved. Next time someone draws attention to the time he sat in the House of Commons, happily eating mucus out of his own nose, he can simply point them in the direction of Handcock gobbling a camel’s penis. It’s reasonable to assume Duncan Smith’s culinary indiscretion is now eclipsed, until such time as he chooses to style out prime minster’s questions while tucking into a paper bag of shrews’ foreskins.

Should Handcock ever return to the Commons, will his newfound taste for the severed genitalia of ungulates mean they have to be added to the menu of the Houses of Parliament restaurants? And, alongside the brut reserve champagne and the seared salmon with a chia crust and pomegranate and fennel slaw, will the beleaguered taxpayer now find themselves subsidising the cost of Handcock’s tenderised okapi prostates?

And is Handcock’s genital-munching a useful distraction anyway? As systems fail and the full extent of their greed is revealed, the corrupt Tories and their opportunistic friends seem like dark-age bushwhackers fleeing a botched raid, as the burning citadel of Brexit Britain collapses behind them, their hands stuffed with whatever treasures they can seize.

The Conservative donor David Meller rides through a smouldering courtyard with £164m of PPE contracts and an elephant’s-foot drinking vessel stashed in his saddlebag; the Conservative donor Lord Bamford leaps a buckling balustrade, a priceless ivory carving of Min the Penis Deity clenched between his teeth, while his Wrightbus-owning son waves £26m of government-backed funding. Handcock ostentatiously vaults an athletics hurdle in tiny tight shorts, for no reason at all, one testicle a-fly, while eyeing the ruins of the temple of Artemis and a lifesize effigy of the thousand-breasted goddess herself. But Handcock only has two hands, 998 hands too few on this occasion, and the crumbling building offers no opportunities for the intimacies he craves.

Finally, the Conservative peer Michelle Mone dodges falling beams, her adult children running alongside her in golden chainmail bras and bikini bottoms, which, like the Medipro PPE contract, are worth more than £200m. An inspiration to self-employed strivers like myself, it is Mone’s mendacity that cuts the deepest. She seemed so nice, her rags-to-£29m-in-an-offshore-trust story giving hope to ordinary, hardworking people everywhere. What happened?

In October 1996, newly redundant from her marketing job with Labatt’s mighty Scottish arm, Mone found herself at a Glaswegian dinner dance wearing an uncomfortable, yet cleavage-enhancing, bra. Racked with pain, Mone’s mind wandered. Leftover neeps were scraped into the pigs’ bin, the pipes struck up a doleful dirge, a listless jig began and Mone wondered if there was something that could be done about uncomfortable bras, while staring gormlessly at a lightbulb in the toilet window.

In what the peer has subsequently described as being “a lightbulb moment”, Mone realised that the answer to the uncomfortable bra problem was to make bras more comfortable. It seemed so obvious, but no one had thought of it before, probably because of the fact that the bra industry was run by men, who were only interested in how easy it was to undo the fastenings in the dark. By November 1996, Mone had launched the Comforto-Bra 2000 ™ ® brand and changed the world bra industry, and bras, for ever.

It’s easy to be facetious about bras, but Mone’s Comforto-Bra 2000 ™ ® changed the lives of millions of uncomfortable women at dinner dances, both in her native Scotland and indeed anywhere that dining and dancing occurred. And Mone’s cleavage-enhancers soon caught the eye of the then Prince Charles. As far as we know, King Charles III does not have any breasts himself, although it is impossible to be certain without checking the inventories of the many properties he has acquired since the death of his mother.

Nonetheless, the future king realised that Mone’s work was important and invested £5,000 of Prince’s Trust money so that he could see millions of women sporting Mone’s cleavage-enhancing bras in every high street in the land as quickly as possible. While the new king’s proclivities are more wholesome than those wrongfully attributed to his perma-dry brother Andrew, they surely raise questions. Did the benefactors of the Prince’s Trust imagine their donations would go towards the enhancement of cleavage? And was it King Charles III’s cleavage-financing donation that made Mone think that money was just there for the taking?

A convoluted chain of VIP-contract corridors and offshore trusts, companies and accounts, appears to be the route via which £29m of profits from pandemic PPE supply made its way into the hands of Mone and her children. The Tories contaminate everything they touch. And now they have made me hate even bras.

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