Matt Hancock’s latest app assignment has proven more of a head-scratcher than that one he released about himself, and as he dithers and delays at his desk over the release of anything serviceable to the country with Europe’s highest Covid-19 death toll, his colleagues have all finished for the day and gone to the pub.
Hancock’s had to watch on as Ireland released its Covid Tracker and South Korea put on a drone display thanking its key workers instead of implying they’re killers, all too aware the UK’s engagement with technology in the age of coronavirus can’t seem to budge beyond Rishi Sunak’s obsession with kettles.
The cleaner’s arrived and has started hoovering up the Tim Tam crumbs around his feet. He should crack on, but it’s just so hard with all these distractions. Rishi’s been sending him the same message, “Pop the kettle on”, every five minutes for the past hour, and Michael Gove’s just gone live on Instagram from the Lord Moon of the Mall toilets. “What’s the prime minister doing with his face on that countertop?!” shrieks the health secretary, before remembering he’s immune.
A voicemail comes through from someone claiming to be Dido Harding: she’s had a breakthrough with the app. “Oh, hallelujah!” he cries, but as she starts singing “White Flag” down the phone it becomes clear it’s Priti Patel on the wind-up. Just go and join them, Matt.