Boris Johnson and his senior ministers have already failed in their bid to give up smirking in 2021. In order to demonstrate that they were totally serious about tackling the many issues facing the country, the cabinet voted to implement a smirking ban from the 1st January. However, every one of them has succumbed to temptation within three weeks. One or two cabinet members have only had the occasional smirk outside the office in the designated smirking shelter, but several are already back up to 20 smirks a day.
Home Secretary Priti Patel was the first to take no notice of the No Smirking signs installed in the Cabinet Office, her resolve lasting less than a day. An extremely heavy smirker, giving it up was always going to be a challenge for Ms Patel, especially as she used to work in the smirking industry.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove did his best to set an example by not smirking in public for almost three days, claiming that his sneering grin did not constitute a smirk. But, after pressure from the public to define what is and what is not a substantial smirk, Mr Gove had to relent and admit that he had failed to overcome his smirking addiction.
The opening and then the immediate closure of schools was too much for Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, and the confiscation of truckers’ ham sandwiches caused Transport Secretary Grant Schapps to take up smirking again. And then the contents of a free school lunch provided by Tory donor Chartwell were revealed, leading to the entire cabinet being unable to resist having a smirk.
Boris Johnson is keen to give the New Years Resolution another go however. ‘There’s nothing difficult at all about giving up smirking’, explained the Prime Minister. ‘I usually give it up about twice a week.’