Friday 22 October 2021

Another huge boost for world's most successful union


The UK’s world-leading science sector is very fortunate indeed to be blessed with scientists of the quality of Jacob Rees-Mogg. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that so many scientific advances were made in the past without his input. His revelation this week that Tory MPs don’t need to wear face masks because they all know each other will unquestionably have a huge impact on the UK’s reputation in the hitherto unknown field of viral intelligence. The implications are very far-reaching indeed. He has demonstrated, to his own satisfaction at least (although the detailed analysis has yet to be peer-reviewed or published as far as I have been able to establish), that the virus is sentient (well, more so than Jake, anyway) and that it can only pass from one human host to another if those two humans are strangers to each other. Uniquely in the UK, the virus has also been encouraged to mutate to the point where it has developed a remarkable ability to tap into human brain cells in order to ascertain whether its next potential host is known to its current host or not before deciding whether to attempt a new infection. How it will behave in the case of human hosts with an obvious deficiency in the brain cell department (Jake, we might just be talking about you again) is the subject of an ongoing experiment amongst MPs, in which the Tories have decided to be the guinea pigs whilst the opposition benches constitute the control group.

These astounding discoveries have undoubtedly come as a profound shock to virologists the world over, all of whom have been working to date on the rather naïve assumption that a virus consisting of a mere few strands of RNA could not possibly be sentient enough to determine the pattern of its own spread. At this very moment, top teams of experts in epidemiology around the globe are preparing to descend on the UK to examine this strange new variant, and study the processes which the UK followed in order to channel viral mutations in the direction of sentience. Brexit, of course, has been absolutely key to the success of the government’s management of the viral mutation programme. Freed of the demands of unelected Eurocrats that scientific conclusions should be based on evidence or data, the UK is the only state which was in a position to make this particular discovery, and freed of a requirement that scientists should possess any particular qualifications or experience, Rees-Mogg was uniquely placed to lead the work.

Anyone who chooses not to believe the word of the great Jake is clearly being unpatriotic, and foreigners caught sniggering are just trying to hide their jealousy and embarrassment at being left so far behind. So, crack open the bubbly, raise the bunting, and celebrate another huge success for the most successful union the world has even known. But only with people you know, obviously.


Gav said...

You can put different interpretations on Mr Rees-Mogg's comments. I understood him to mean that the MPs he was referring to (especially those who had been sent away to boarding school) had from childhood become conditioned to sharing everything with their chums including viruses, bacteria, fungi, tuck, fags, contracts, amoebae, worms and no doubt a host of other things; and all of this in the spirit of convivial brotherhood. No need to attribute agency to any of the viruses or other parasites in question.

Jonathan said...

Ho, Ho, Borthlas. Though some of us have been chuckling about viral intelligence for some time. Examples (1) Virus holds off in pubs, checks its watch and moves in after 10pm (or whatever hour some hapless government sets). (2) Virus holds off group of 6 (or whatever the limit is) does a count and waits till there are +1 before moving in. "Oh, what fools these (neurotic, risk-averse) mortals be!" The problem is in our minds, not really the virus.

John Dixon said...

"(1) Virus holds off in pubs, checks its watch and moves in after 10pm ... (2) Virus holds off group of 6 ... does a count and waits till there are +1 before moving in." But these aren't really the same thing as Jake's comments, are they? As far as I'm aware, no government has ever said that stopping activity at precisely 10pm, or keeping groups smaller than exactly 6 actually prevents infections. Both are, in a sense, arbitrary limits. What we do know is that free and open contact for 24 hours per day is likely to lead to faster spread than setting defined hours, and that large groups of people assembling are likely to lead to a faster spread than keeping groups smaller. Those conclusions aren't in anyone's minds, they are simple, provable facts. In introducing such limits, no government, ever, anywhere said that the virus can't spread after 10pm or in small groups, merely that setting limits is an attempt to strike a balance between allowing people normal freedoms and attempting to control the spread of a virus. Whether they've got it right or not is, of course, a matter of opinion. One could argue, entirely reasonably, that 10:30 might be better than 10, or that 8 might be better than 6, and it would be hard - probably impossible - to find hard scientific fact to justify any particular number. The point is, though, that there's a difference between an argument for or against a particular number on the one hand and an argument about whether any number at all has an impact on the other. The evidence for setting a number of some sort is stronger than the evidence for setting any particular number. For what it's worth, I doubt that they know enough to strike a perfect balance, but think that they're right to at least make the effort. Jake, on the other hand, seemed to me to be arguing that Tory MPs are somehow a unique group who know each other so well that the virus won't spread amongst them, putting him in a rather different category, and one, at that, for which there is zero evidence of any sort.