BANKSY’S WEEK: Is the PM pointless?. .the sound of one land clapping…and jokes to bring a smile in sad times

Boris: clever ball of fire or clownish buffoon? No Machiavelli, that’s for sure.
DAVID BANKS used to write his weekly column for The Journal, Newcastle. How it’s back online…

Pointless or Boris? That
is the teatime TV question

No dominoes for me and my cronies last weekend. No Young Farmers Club (average age 72) at the Red Lion, either. Say what you like about Boris, in four months he’s achieved what my wife couldn’t do in 45 years of marriage. He’s stopped me going to the pub.

You can’t miss him. Time was when we teatime TV watchers would switch on BBC1 and get Pointless. Now we get Boris.Will anything keep us safer from coronavirus than the Prime Minister’s daily briefings?

Flitting to Ambridge might be the best move; I haven’t heard of a single case of the virus – let alone a death – down there among those simple countryfolk. Not only that but the Black Bull in Ambridge is still packing in the crowds. Not much social distancing in Borchester!

Of course, for a happier life those of us not holding Mexican passports could always emigrate to the USA.
FARMER MOREBOTTLE: America? With Trump in charge? You must surely be joking!
Certainly not. Now there’s a political leader who knows how to raise a smile on the faces of the fearful millions. Whenever he opens his mouth they laugh their socks off!

Games of Thrones
In the absence of the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Japan how about replacing them with ‘The Great Tesco Fun Run’? Competitors must eat bowel-challenging bowls of porridge and prunes before completing two circuits of the local Tesco store while filling a trolley with toilet rolls and bottles of biological hand gel , eventually returning safely and unstained to join those queuing two metres apart for the supermarket loo.

Failing that, what about an Izal Panic Buyers’ Amnesty? Shamed shoppers who snatched the food from our mouths and the two-ply Bronco from our bums compete to build the world’s highest pyramid of looted loo rolls in return for community forgiveness.

Kindness won’t cure but it does comfort

If there’s one benefit coronavirus has gifted the UK it is a revived and enduring regard for our beloved National Health Service. No government would dare weaken an institution so highly regarded that people in great cities and in tiny hamlets, on buses, trains and in motorway service stations flung open doors and windows on a chilly night to clap and cheer their thanks.

In our strung-out village whose homes straggle along a single road Mrs B returned from applauding the night wondering which of our neighbours she had heard (but couldn’t see) joining her clapping chorus.

The national gesture was moving and heartfelt and not only for the medical staffs and carer fraternity who perform miracles with poor resources and few thanks; it surely celebrated the revival of community spirit.

As in wartime, streets, suburbs, cities and whole regions are looking out for one another in a manner which I thought was lost, particularly in peacetime.

In Crookham, as in neighbouring villages and towns, we have formed a Covid-19 Emergency Support team, a sort of Neighbourhood Watch that collects shopping and prescriptions for the elderly, sick and vulnerable who cannot leave home.

But there’s more to looking out for your neighbours than just running errands. I loved what Bernadette Nixon, a member of the Coldstream Covid-19 community action team, wrote on its Facebook page:

 “Yesterday I was waiting outside the Keystore in Coldstream to pick up a self-isolated friend’s shopping when an elderly lady packing her shopping at the till dropped a carton of cream.

She became very upset by this and when she began crying with her head in her hands it made me cry, too. The poor woman kept saying she wanted to pay for the spilled cream but Noreen Waseem comforted her and asked a second member of staff to get a replacement carton and a drink of water to calm the lady, who thanked Noreen for her kindness .

I waited while the spill was cleaned up and for the lady to calm her nerves and thought, ‘This was just cream dropped on the floor, you can feel the pressure on people at the moment’.

It’s good to be kind. . . and we all need extra patience in these hard times.

Well done, Keystore!

Now more than ever. . . you HAVE to laugh!

Our government is not coming out of this frightening crisis at all well. Two amusing but grimly realistic jokes are currently doing the rounds.

The first concerns three men who DON’T go into a pub. The prime minister says: “Only key workers should be travelling and they must be protected.”

The health secretary says: “To be protected, people should stay at least two metres apart.” Finally the transport secretary says: “Why don’t we cancel lots of trains and Tubes so that people have to sit closer together?”

Did I say it was a ‘joke’?

Then there’s the one about the lawyer with a wife and twelve children, who was about to be evicted from their large rented property.

Trouble was, he found the search for a new property impossible: any deal always disintegrated upon each  estate agent’s discovery of his football team of a family and their fear that the kids might wreck the place. 

Lying about the size of his family was not an option; as an officer of the court he could not lie on penalty of disbarment. So he sent his wife for a walk in the local cemetery with eleven of their twelve kids and took the remaining youngster with him to see potential rental properties with an estate agent. 

“How many children do you have?” the agent asked.  “Twelve” the lawyer replied.

“Where are the others?” asked the agent. 

Employing his finest professional ‘courtroom sad’ look, the lawyer voice cracked as he answered: “They’re in the cemetery with their mother.” 

MORAL: It’s not necessary to lie to achieve what you want, you only have to choose the right words. And remember that many – if not most – politicians are lawyers!

I say, I say, I say!

Who was the bloke on a tractor who drove past me yesterday shouting, “The end of the world is nigh!!”
It was Farmer Geddon, towing a Grim Reaper.

Why are toilet rolls always selling out?
Because every time anybody coughs everyone s***s themselves.

WHAT NOT TO DO IN A CORONAVIRUS CRISIS: I started  an origami club but it folded after the first meeting.

Just thinking. . .

What if we humans are the virus and Covid-19 is actually the solution?
Interesting how many of those “unskilled workers” earning less than £25,000 under Home Secretary Priti Patel’s immigration proposals have suddenly become “key workers” who can still send their children to school while their parents fight our virus crisis. Where would we be without them?
And finally. . . when we put our clocks forward this weekend, can we all put them forward 12 weeks? Then, when we wake up, this whole nightmare will be over!


  1. Much enjoyed, Banksy’s best column yet. Keep encouraging him in the traditional way: kippers, black pudding and single malts!


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