Normally, I like to keep it clean and above the waistline in this column, however matters of a sexual nature have been brought to my attention that merit further discussion, dear readers.
I am of course talking about the resignation of the Government’s chief adviser on all matters Covid-related, Neil Ferguson, who handed in his notice after seeing his married lover twice in the last month or so – thus breaking his own advice on social distancing.
Professor Lockdown was quickly labelled Professor Pantsdown, by the usual media suspects and rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins, for providing Antonia Staats with some essential Fergie extra time. Man has sex with woman shocker! The news left Matt Hancock “speechless” which you may say is no bad thing, before he burst into tears and demanded a police investigation into reports of people up and down the country having rumpy-pumpy behind his back. Although not exactly giving Fergie the hairdryer treatment, the Health Secretary demanded the polis lift the ‘deviant’ epidemiologist and throw him in the Tower. “Off with his head.”
Elon Musk, the minted technology entrepreneur, named after a 70s aftershave, took time out from calling his new baby X Æ A-12 and selling all his worldly possessions so he could devote more time to “Mars and Earth” to chip in with his ten cents worth of criticism.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday night prompted by images of the Telegraph story, Musky called the Prof an “utter moron” and “tool”, followed up with “this guy has caused massive strife to the world with his absurdly fake science”.
Well I suppose if you call saving 250,000 people from Boris Johnson’s original and presumably Dominic Cummings-inspired eugenics masterplan for herd immunity and certain death “fake science”... then he maybe he does have a point.
‘Working his socks off’
Now obviously Fergie has messed up royally here by thinking he was immune, having self-isolated for 14 days after picking up the ‘Billy Ray Cyrus’, and I’m not defending his actions before you all start giving it the old ‘one rule for one, do as I say not as I do’ routine.
What he did was wrong no doubt and places him firmly at the head of the ‘middle-class twit’ brigade with Dr Catherine ‘two homes’ Calderwood as vice chairperson.
His employer Imperial College is standing by him but he may lose the large amounts of taxpayer-funded grants he receives for his research which would be stupid given his track record for dealing with nasty diseases.
Even the intervention by his mother-in-law Mrs Pirie – who said he had been “working his socks” off and was it such a big deal because he invited a woman into his flat? – won’t spare him the public indignation.
Although the majority of us have been practising a uniquely British form of ‘lockdown lite’ totally unrecognisable to our French, Spanish and Italian neighbours, who had to have the correct permit before being allowed to buy groceries.
Mrs Pirie said that Fergie and her daughter Kim, who have a 16-year-old son together, separated a few years ago but are still “incredibly close as a family”.
She added: “I just cannot understand how someone who has done so much good for this country can be vilified in this way.”
Professor will be missed – by some
Hard to disagree with her, but the shake-your-head devil is in the detail with this fine romance. It was reported that the couple met on the OKCupid dating app. Antonia, a social campaigner, is in an open marriage with a Fergie doppelganger called Chris, who speaks at least six languages and is an expert in Middle East issues and they live together in a mortgage-free £1.9m bought hoose with their two kids.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard have said that, while the Prof’s behaviour is “plainly disappointing”, officers would not be taking any further action because “he has accepted that he made an error of judgement and has taken responsibility”.
Not since Jean the dinner lady was spotted having a fly drink in the Coaledge Tavern with wee Bert the taxi driver, while her husband was in the Queen Margaret getting his varicose veins done, has an affair caused such a stink.
But as any member of the British Legion will tell you, good committee men are hard to find and no matter where you stand on this issue Fergie was a ‘good committee man’ worth his weight in gold to the Sage and SPI-M advisory groups.
An expert on swine-flu, Mers, Ebola, Zeka fever and no doubt athlete’s foot, his knowledge will be sorely missed by some, but not by others who didn’t agree with his lockdown strategy in the first place. ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’
The whole thing has more than a whiff of the ‘good day to bury bad news’ about it, breaking at the same time as Sir Patrick Vallance, Britain’s chief scientific adviser, expressed regret that the UK did not “ramp” up its testing capacity at an earlier stage of the coronavirus outbreak.
This is as close as you’re going to get someone with that level of seniority to admit we messed things up big time.
It was always likely an advisor was going to get thrown under the proverbial bus at some point, given the controversy over lockdown, but the timing and the method are a bit shabby even if Fergie did present them with the easiest of open goals.