openDemocracyUK: Feature

Dispatches from Westminster Greggs: BYOB, wine time and Big Dog’s dank beats

An oD contact ‘found’ this dossier under a pile of napkins. Investigations as to its authenticity have been hampered by a large red wine stain

Stewart Kirkpatrick
18 January 2022, 4.46pm
What the Met Police aren't saying about partygate (we hope)
Composite by openDemocracy, via Radharc Images and Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters/Alamy

What follows is a flight of fancy but you can read our serious reporting on this issue here – and sign an open letter telling the Met to investigate partygate.

As requested, I have carried out an in-depth assessment of whether or not to conduct an investigation into the allegations of lockdown rule-breaking by staff at Downing Street.

I attach the relevant expenses incurred during the entire period of this piece of work. (One Yum Yum and a regular cappuccino.)

I should flag that a number of journalists have contacted me about this issue, primarily ones who were at the events in question.

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Here are my conclusions:

  • BYOB is a standard working practice in Downing Street, as are 70s Nite, Beer Pong and Bez-ageddon. Apparently, Never Have I Ever has been dropped as a work interaction because a person referred to as Big Dog kept losing.
  • ‘Wine time’ is a typo, referring instead to an allocated period for staff to complain (‘whine’) about lockdown rather than, say, an occasion for Bacchanals of a kind that Caligula would have found a bit much.
  • No parties took place, only work events. It was made clear to me that no member, official or employee of the Conservative ‘Work Event’ would ever be ‘work event’ to any rule-breaking.
  • All social-distancing rules were observed if we take ‘two metres’ to mean ‘two glasses’ and by distancing we mean ‘eating cheese’.
  • The member of staff who visited the Co-op to buy wine accepts they made a grave, personal error as a branch of Justerini & Brooks was just a few minutes’ walk away.
  • Suitcases always clink loudly, apparently.
  • The bouncy castle pumped full of Chateau d’Yquem was a necessary facilitation and orientation tool.
  • I am given to understand that the Ebeneezer Goode mentioned in a document marked ‘playlist’ is a government employee. In a touching testimony, I was told that he is an extraordinary fella, like Mister Punchinella. Further it was drawn to my attention that he's the kind of geezer who must never be abused.
  • There would be animal welfare implications in conducting any investigation as there are grave worries about a Big Dog’s chances of survival. It also transpires that a number of felines have expired unnecessarily to no effect.
  • The swing in question was unable to give a convincing statement
  • This is all a distraction from the pressing issue of law and order in this country: that of making sure that anyone who offers even a squeak of criticism against the government is banged up PDQ.

The above assurances were given to me directly by the Secretary Of State For Won't You Take Me To Funky Town. I did try to get further verbal confirmation from them at 5.15pm last Friday but my questions were drowned out by the thumping sound of what I believe are called ‘dank beats’.

As a result, I cannot recommend a formal investigation taking place, believing instead that the most robust way to get at the truth is for the government investigation led by a government-appointed government employee to decide whether or not the government broke government rules.

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