Let’s face it readers, everything is rubbish. It’s just awful isn’t it. We’ve just clawed our way through a global pandemic, now we’ve got a cost of living crisis, ministers who made us look like morons, monkeypox heading our way and Putin has lost the plot.
I should be glad about that though shouldn’t I? Because if everything was fine there would be no need for comedians. It’s a little known fact that there are no comedy nights in the Bahamas. You want to know why? Because they’re happy. There’s no one walking down a sandy beach, sipping a cocktail, saying, “oooh, isn’t everything dreadful, you know what I need, a laugh!” that’s not happening. But we’re desperate aren’t we? I’m the keyworker now, step aside nurses, the comedians are here! Don’t forget to clap for us, but just time it with the punchlines, otherwise it gets annoying.
But there is no denying it, things are becoming eye wateringly expensive at the moment. The cost of energy is soaring.
The Government decided to vote against the windfall tax on energy companies, whose profits have hit record levels in recent times. Some of them have made more than a billion pounds and that was before the price hike. We haven’t got the latest figures on their current profits, but one can only assume we’re now at what can be termed, “Lex Luther levels of money”
They claim it’s to be used to reinvest in green energy. What are they planning? Wind turbines made from ivory, powered by unicorns on treadmills?
It does seem like the government are going out of their way not to be liked at the moment. If the energy companies were the school bully, putting your head down the toilet, instead of telling the teacher and getting you a towel, the Tory cabinet are in the cubicle with them, flushing the chain, and repeatedly kicking you up the backside.
We’ve just got a smart meter at home now, or as I call it, the anxiety portal. Having one of those is like being mugged by your own house and you’re being forced to watch it in real time.
We don’t bother with the telly now, we just put on three fleeces and stare at that instead. Every now and then I will send my children around the house to switch things off and on, just to see what effect it has. You know It’s a sad state of affairs when your slowcooker is on a better hourly rate than you are.
I regret using that time in lockdown to bake Banana bread and watch boxsets, I should have spent that time digging an allotment and stockpiling diesel in my wheelie bins.
Inflation is now creeping over 9%. Some have said that we could be heading towards a winter of discontent not seen since the 70’s. It’s not going to be pretty, but at least it gives me some common ground to talk about with my Mum, other than the bake-off.
UK Highest rate of inflation of any European country, we’re on a roll at the moment, first Eurovision and now this.
Inflation has hit 9.1% that’s more than a can of special brew. When the cost of living surpasses the special brew index, you know we’ve got problems.
Rishi Sunak has said that the next few months will be tough. For us obviously, not him. He’s a man who is worth over £730 million pounds and married to someone worth billions. Yet, despite this, he is tightening his belt. I’ve heard this week he’s going to have to get rid of one of his pool men, which can’t be easy for him.
What’s made everything worse is that the politicians seem to have behaved like teenagers left home alone for the weekend. We are still waiting for the Sue Grey report into the Partygate fiasco. I always thought that Sue Grey sounds like a new Dulux paint colour, probably something in between “Misty Buff” and “Total Whitewash”
The lockdown rule breaking now seems to have been rampant. Boris and has crew were having more parties than students in freshers week. Although he didn’t realise, as he wasn’t even sure he was there. Enough of the silly excuses Boris, this was a party mate, not one of your kids.
Boris has not only lied to us, but to the people of Northern Ireland too. He’s now going back on the Northern Ireland protocol on trade as he thought the EU wouldn’t implement the changes. This isn’t like the covid rules, you can’t fob this off with some wine and soft cheese, people are checking on this stuff.
He’s kicked the hornets’ nest and the Good Friday agreement is under strain, the government have made such a mess of it, the best we can hope for now is a “reasonable Wednesday every two weeks”
We’re in an era where politicians, from every party, are out of touch with the people.
They’ve offered solutions to get us out of this whole mess, all of them totally missing the point.
One MP says we should work more, citing the fact that there are more jobs than people at the moment. The reality is that this just means there is a massive skills shortage in the country, this is obviously positive news as we’ll all need three jobs soon just to be able to switch the kettle on.
Lots of the workforce are leaving, taking early retirement. I don’t blame them. If you could tap out of this absolute bin fire you would, wouldn’t you?
Employers are being asked to remove age bias to encourage the 50-64 age bracket back to work. They can be a real asset to the work force. This is a wonderful idea. It’s essential that young working people are exposed to the views of colleagues who are mortgage free, have pensions and don’t have to be there.
My dad had to retire from the fire service at 55. He wasn’t ready, every night we’d be trying to wind down, he’d be setting fire to the curtains and trying to cut my mum out of the recliner.
Another MP George Eustice has suggested people buy cheaper value foods to help manage their spiralling budgets. Yeah, great idea, it’s been a while since I’ve played a game of “is it horsemeat” roulette?” That’s not dinner, that’s more like a bushtucker trail. The ironic thing it might be a Kangaroos testicle, but at least you know what you’re eating.
One of our local MP’s in the midlands Lee Anderson, stated that food banks wouldn’t be needed if people could only learn to cook and budget for themselves.
He made the claim that at his local foodbank they have been showing people how they can make meals for just 30p a day. Great, I wonder what’s on the menu? A single raw potato eaten by candlelight?
Maybe he’s thinking that people won’t need to switch the heating on, if they are preparing food? Is his plan for the poor to spend those dark winter months keeping warm, by frantically chopping fennel in their puffer jackets.
This is the same man who said in 2019 that nuisance council tenants should be forced to work in a field, picking potatoes then have cold showers and lights out at six o’clock. I’m guessing he’s revised his stance on that now, it would be 8 o’clock, just give them enough time to turn those potatoes into a lovely dauphinoise.
What Mr Anderson failed to point out was that the 30p price is because they are making 150 meals at a time. Which isn’t practical for a working family, unless you have more freezers than a branch of Iceland. This isn’t dinner time, this is challenge on Masterchef, where they find themselves cooking for an entire regiment.
Food prices have made the government abandon their strategies on tackling obesity. This makes sense. How can they expect the paupers to eat cake if they can’t afford to buy it?
Many ministers think that addressing the obesity epidemic is peddling a nanny state which they object to? Why do these people have such an issue with a nanny state, is this because most of them were brought up by one? Let it go guys, she couldn’t breastfeed you forever.
Speaking of food, Mcdonald’s pulled out of Russia this week. I’m not surprised. It’s a brave company who can sell a Happy Meal in that country right now.
They’ve begun dismantling the restaurants. A process called “de-arching” which means removing the famous golden “M” not, as I first thought, assassinating the cast of the Radio 4 programme “The Archers”
I sort of wish they would stay in Russia though. This is the best way we can help the Ukraine win this war. Widen the drive thru’s so they can take their tanks through, supersize every meal, increase the salt on those fries. Let’s give them opponents who are overweight, sluggish and can’t go into battle without taking a hipflask of Gaviscon with them.
So many brands and outlets have done now. Russia will have to do their own versions. Ones that sail close to breaking copyright law but do not quite getting them into court. Expect to see chains such as, McPutins, Tsarbucks, Kalinyengrad Fried Chicken, or a charming noodle bar, Vladamamas!
At these times we return to nostalgia to help save us. That warm comforting cuddle of familiarity. As I write this we find ourselves in the week of the new Top Gun sequel. Just a mere 34 years after the original was released. It’s a sequel no one asked for but everybody needs. I was surprised to find that Maverick is back and flying again. The retirement age for a pilot is 55, so I’m interested to see how this would work. Will he be the only fighter pilot with a beaded seat cover? Will he eject himself by accident because he’s forgot his readers? I think at that age, the “highway to the danger zone” probably just refers to your rising cholesterol.
Still, I think its wonderful, we need pure escapism right now, we need to re-activate our inner child. After the last few years we’ve earnt the right to switch our heads off for a bit, it’s therapeutic.
Recently I went into my daughters primary school, for a “what does your parent do day” I sat on a table, amongst Police officers, Scientists, Nurses and Architects and was interrogated by six year old children. For the kids it was like a speed date with their own future.
They asked me questions such as, “what happens when you’re not funny?” “Why aren’t you famous?” “Are you rich?” “Are you better than Sing 2?” It was brutal, and this is coming from someone who has been reviewed by the Guardian.
I told them some jokes, they told me some. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” “I don’t know” “Because Spiderman had stolen him” Very surreal the humour these days. I blame the Mighty Boosh. The other parents did well of course, but the kids were fascinated with the idea of comedy as a job. I’m sure the headteacher soon regretted asking me along. All these people with jobs that need training, degrees and qualifications and I roll in and tell them they can forget all that and be a clown for money.
The thing is though, they got it. They understood what comedy could do. I could hear them telling their friends jokes afterwards or talking about their favorite moments from funny films and programmes. It was inspiring. I felt like some sort of Bob Gelfof, but with jokes.
Obviously comedy can’t solve the world’s problems, but it can certainly help to medicate you against them. We needed it after the pandemic and we need it now. We need it to puncture the powerful, to motivate the masses and to find ways to cope with the chaos we are in.
There are comedy clubs in every city. I urge you to go along. Think of it as a prescription from Dr Bennett. You can’t get laughs on the NHS, but this is the next best thing. For those few hours you’ll forget all the misery, let’s have a laugh together, a proper giggle, and let us party like a Tory minister in May 2020!
Scott Bennett Comedian
Twitter – @scottbcomedyuk
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