The News Elephant
Seaweed danglers and chicken entrail soothsayers among latest Government weapons deployed to tackle covid crisis

By Leppy Pardalis

An assortment of alternative practitioners have been recruited by the Government after some shiny-faced spin merchant or other wittered on during some meeting or other about thinking outside the box or something.

A spokesperson said: “The current emphasis on science, with its boring reliance on things such as empirical evidence, is exclusionary and unimaginative.

“It’s vital that we interrogate our paradigms at this time of crisis instead of being hidebound.”

Accordingly, several experts from disciplines not usually associated with predicting outcomes of pandemic scenarios, much less suggesting ways out of those scenarios, have been engaged.

One of them, an astrologer, said: “When Mars is in Snickers, Pegasus has run off with the Quality Street and The Great Bear is approaching Uranus with The Plough in the ascendant, the thing you should have done was order a complete lockdown of the country for about three weeks in February of this year, thereby starving the illness of new hosts before it had a chance to take hold.”

Another expert, who usually predicts the weather using folkloric objects, said: “When the seaweed curls widdershins, the sun glints askance from the galvanised bucket and the oak leaves give off a faint whistling in the wind, the thing you should have done was order a complete lockdown of the country for about three weeks in February of this year, thereby starving the illness of new hosts before it had a chance to take hold.”

A woman who learned the art of divining chicken entrails after catching the wrong holiday flight some years ago said: “When the squidgier giblets pulsate a bit on the living room carpet while you’re watching Countdown, the thing you should have done was order a complete lockdown of the country for about three weeks in February of this year, thereby starving the illness of new hosts before it had a chance to take hold.”

A fellow alternative practitioner, who has been reading tea leaves since girlhood, said: “When the PG Tips swirls into a shape which might be a dog, a cat, a marsupial wolf, Henry Kissenger playing a banjo or the late Quentin Crisp driving an open-top bubble car, the thing you should have done was order a complete lockdown of the country for about three weeks in February of this year, thereby starving the illness of new hosts before it had a chance to take hold.”

Every alternative practitioner engaged by the Government has reached the same conclusion, although it is understood that senior civil servants have been trying to persuade them to consider other verdicts - such as that the Government is doing a good job amid the crisis.

This notion was fiercely rejected by umbrella organisation The British Association of Flaky Nonsense-Promulgators.

A spokesperson said: “Even though spouting utter bollocks is our bread and butter, we do have standards.”