There is comfort in constancy – like Nadine Dorries still not knowing what Channel 4 actually is

“And… so… although it’s… yeah… and… the… and the.”

Tom Peck (Extract)

This is the verbatim quote, in its entirety – not a word more or less – issued by Nadine Dorries, the actual secretary of state for culture, when, on live TV, she’d got to the end of a weird rant about Channel 4 not providing value for taxpayers’ money, only to be told, by fellow Conservative MP Damian Green, that it had never received any.

By the time she had got to the second “and the”, all she could do was frantically waggle her open palm at a civil servant sitting next to her, desperate for somebody else to start doing the talking before the entire room simply died of embarrassment.

It is, even by the new (and never lower) standards of today, rare for a cabinet minister to so obviously reveal that they do not know anything – anything at all – about the vast area of public life over which they yield significant power.

Nadine Dorries’ “car crash” appearance before the House of Commons DCMS committee meeting November 2021, not entirely on top of her ministerial brief but par for the course for the Boris Cabinet – Owl