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Cladding removal should begin not tomorrow morning, not this afternoon, NOW

I KNOW from first hand experience that men can’t multi-task. If I’m wiring a plug, there’s no point asking me what I want for supper, because I’m wiring a plug.

This is why there was no point asking the mostly male Government for help with the post-Grenfell cladding crisis last year. Because it was busy with the pandemic.

Non-compliant cladding must be removed right away


Non-compliant cladding must be removed right awayCredit: PA:Press Association

Now, however, the vaccine programme is going well, which means they have been able to turn their attention to the owners of 4.6million flats in Britain who are up s**t creek without a paddle . . . or even a boat.

So, on Monday, there was a vote in the House of Commons calling for the formation of a task force. Give me strength.

A task force will take six months to set up because it’ll have to be diverse and sustainable and carbon-negative. And then, after it has held monthly meetings for three years, it’ll submit a report which will be rejected on the basis that it was written on paper that can’t be recycled.

That won’t do. We need to see the same drive and energy that got ten million people vaccinated in just a month.

We need an army of builders and a million ladders immediately. Cladding removal should begin not tomorrow morning. Not this afternoon. NOW.

And if the Government don’t do this, then what they’re saying is: “There’s no rush.” Right. Fine.

If there’s no rush, why don’t they form their own insurance company that allows leaseholders to pay the exact same prem- ium they were paying before Grenfell?

If they are saying there’s no risk, this won’t cost them a penny. They may even make a few quid. So they’d be happy.

And so would many of the people in affected flats who’ve seen their insurance premiums shoot up by as much as 1,000 per cent.

However, if they are saying there IS a risk, why are they dithering about with a task force? What they need is a dictator. A man of action. A tyrant with a machine-pistol. I even have a man in mind for the job. Me.

First to get a whiff of Sten would be Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, who seems to think £1.6billion is enough to fix the problem.

Housing Minister Robert Jenrick seems to think £1.6billion is enough to fix the problem


Housing Minister Robert Jenrick seems to think £1.6billion is enough to fix the problemCredit: Alamy Live News

Yes, Robert, in the same way that you could have fixed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina by giving each of the residents a sherbet lemon.

With Robert out of the way, I’d thrash some fiscal sense into his replacement and with the Government’s insurance scheme in place, tour the nation’s construction companies pointing out that they built the damn flats, so they’re going to help fix them.

And I’d explain that if they try to get round the problem by having a convenient bankruptcy, I’ll point my Sten in their general direction and tell them to sell their own houses.

And yachts. And even the Botox in their foreheads. Right now, millions of people are being forced to pay massive bills to insure flats they can’t sell and, in many cases, daren’t even occupy.

So let’s stop the multi-tasking and end this one thing. Now.

Lizard not to scale

FEELING low? Well, cheer up. It could be worse. You could be a male Brookesia chameleon.

Recently discovered in the cloud forests of Madagascar, this tiny little fella is about the size of a sunflower seed.

This tiny little fella is about the size of a sunflower seed


This tiny little fella is about the size of a sunflower seedCredit: Alamy

That’s bad enough. But to make matters worse, the female is three times bigger. Which means if everything is to scale then, ahem, she’s not going to enjoy the mating ritual very much.

To get round the problem, the male’s penis is 20 per cent of his body length and the same girth as his midriff.

In human terms, this means my old chap would be 15in long and three feet in circumference.

Pounds pile on

IN the first lockdown, I ate chocolate and sat around drinking wine until I weighed more than Salisbury Cathedral.

I weighed more than Salisbury Cathedral during the first lockdown


I weighed more than Salisbury Cathedral during the first lockdownCredit: Getty Images – Getty

In this one, I’ve adopted a different strategy. I’ve not had a drink since January 4.

I eat like a mouse. And I’m walking for an hour each day. And so far, I’ve gained two pounds.


THE increasingly deranged Sturgeon woman has been praised in Scotland for her deft handling of the pandemic.

Yeah . . . but it’s easy to make decisions, isn’t it, when you know someone else will pick up the bill.

This is her problem. She’s bribing the people of Scotland with English money.

Too young? To pretty? I don’t Carey

FOR many years, it has not been acceptable for a white actor to “black up” for a part.

What’s more, there were calls recently for all gay roles in films and plays to be given to actors who are actually gay.

Carrey plays Edith Pretty in Netflix's The Dig


Carrey plays Edith Pretty in Netflix’s The Dig

And now people are saying Carey Mulligan should not have been cast in the role of Edith Pretty in ponderous Netflix drama The Dig because she’s far too young. Hmmm. If this carries on, we will soon arrive at the point when acting is no longer necessary.

All bus-driver roles will go to bus drivers and Tom Hanks will get torn apart for playing Jim Lovell in Apollo 13 because he isn’t a real astronaut.

We may even reach the point where someone writes a film about serial killer Rosemary West and they have to get the old bag out of jail because she’s the only one who can play the part properly.

Scare unfair to Tom

CAPTAIN Sir Tom Moore did not start his charity walk to become a superstar. He did not call Hello! magazine to tell them he was doing it and he did not do a commercial deal with Nike before setting off.

It was not a publicity stunt. He simply wanted to raise a bit of money for the NHS and it all got delightfully out of hand.

What IS a tragedy is that Captain Tom's death has been chalked up by zealots and scaremongers to Covid-19


What IS a tragedy is that Captain Tom’s death has been chalked up by zealots and scaremongers to Covid-19Credit: Getty Images

He was obviously a lovely, big-hearted man. But that said, it’s not a tragedy that he’s died.

He was 100 years old and, as he once said of dying: “In the end, everyone has a turn.”

What IS a tragedy is that his death has been chalked up by zealots and scaremongers to Covid-19. Even though he actually died from pneumonia.

We hear every day that Britain has the worst death rate in the world but it’s almost certainly not true. The problem is we are playing cricket while every other country is playing cheat.

Digs for victory

SOLDIERS posted in self-service accommodation have complained that due to cost-cutting, they have to share a two-ring cooker with up to 36 other people.

They also say that two washing machines are shared between 50 people and that both the heating and hot water are unreliable.

Soldiers have to share a two-ring cooker with up to 36 other people


Soldiers have to share a two-ring cooker with up to 36 other peopleCredit: Alamy

Hmmm. Sounds pretty much identical to the expensive boarding school I went to.

Except we didn’t have any washing machines.

Wild swimming

LAST Saturday, when the rain turned to sleet, my girlfriend immediately climbed into her swimming costume and leapt into a nearby lake.

Fans of so-called “wild swimming” say they feel great when they get out.

But not half as great, I suspect, as they would if they hadn’t got in in the first place.

Care Minister Helen Whately vows all unsafe Grenfell cladding will be ripped from buildings by the end of the year

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