Nicki Minaj vs Chris Whitty feels like a key moment in British political history

By Mikey Smith

Some days feel like turning points.

The JFK assassination. The fall of the Berlin Wall. Eric Joyce’s fracas in a Parliament bar.

You remember where you were when they happened, because they sent ripples through every event that followed. Every day afterward could only exist in the context of that thing that happened. It changed the atmosphere and added its weight to the world.

History books had to be rewritten and calendars reprinted with another anniversary. Everything was different.

Now, I’m not saying today has been one of those days, but you’ll probably remember where you were when Nicki Minaj posted a voice message in a fake British accent, claiming to have gone to school with Margaret Thatcher, declaring her (probably sarcastic, but who really knows) love for Boris Johnson and forgiving Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty for dissing her over a tweet in which she claimed her cousin in Trinidad had refused to get vaccinated after his friend’s wedding had been cancelled because his testicles had swollen up, causing impotence.

Seeing it written down for the first time, it’s still easier to explain to a normal person than Watergate.

"I mean, you're so shy and I'm loving your tie" (Getty Images for Harper's Bazaar)
"More of an Azealia Banks man, myself." (Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)

Already, writing about “the event” carries with it a sense of importance (note to editors: Importance, not ‘impotence’. That’s her cousin’s friend).

Like when war correspondents feel the weight of events still happening around them, and the responsibility to express something profound. You are, after all, writing the first draft of history.

And the events are still unfolding around our ears.

Since I started writing this, Ms Minaj has already expressed both admiration and disdain for British political journalism - first tweeting in surprise that Politics Home had managed to get a story about her voice message up in under 10 minutes, then telling BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg to “go away, Dumbo”.

“But hey!”, many will say. “I don’t go to Chris Whitty for his singing voice, so why would anyone go to Nicki Minaj for advice on immunisations?”

Firstly, if you haven’t heard Chris belt out Anaconda at Karaoke, I just feel plain bad for you.

And Nicki has, in fairness, being doing some damage control on the Cousin’s friend’s nuts tweet for most of the day - telling fans she would, herself, get the vaccine, and congratulating people who said they’d got it already.

But while you try to wrap your head around whatever happens next, spare a thought for the hundreds of middle-aged MPs who now have to develop an opinion on Nicki Minaj, an artist who officially retired like five years ago, yet is still too young for them to have heard of her.

Aside from the Matt Hancocks of Westminster, who will pretend to own everything she’s released since Super Bass, fooling exactly nobody - they’re all feeling about 10 years older than they did this morning.

Just wait until Doja Cat releases “Purr-duh! (B**** I’m a Swingometer)", her long-awaited diss track about Professor John Curtice.


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