WTF Scarlet Pimpernel Special

This week’s WTF is for WTF aficionados and dear pals Rebecca, Bindy, Rona, and Claire, all of whom had their birthdays this week. 

Our shitshow Government is as useful as a sundeck on a submarine. As Barack Obama observed of Trump’s admin, ‘More than anything this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge,’ In the case of Boris Johnson, he is not even seen to be pretending to be in charge. Other than his ‘Stay Alert’ broadcast, the logic and clarity of which defeated teams of top rocket scientists, and a weekly trip to the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions, when Keir Starmer rips him apart with surgical efficiency, sightings are rarer than rocking horse shit. He is more elusive than the Scarlet Pimpernel.

‘They seek him here, they seek him there, Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven or is he in hell? That demned elusive Pimpernel’

But not nearly as elusive as any consistent Government policy or direction about anything whatsoever. If there is a Government policy, which there isn’t, it is this:

  1. Make an announcement.
  2. Wait for a flurry of protest and derision.
  3. Reverse the announcement.
  4. Blame Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
  5. Repeat. 

If you are Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Step 4 is sadly unavailable to you, in which case your only option is to hurl insults at Starmer and get told off by the Speaker. Or to get your pals in the media to attack teachers for refusing to return to work in schools, although it is manifestly not safe for either them or the children to do so.

This week’s fiasco started at PMQs on Wednesday. The Scarlet Pimpernel announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge of £400  (which will rise to £624 in October) would still be payable by non-British NHS staff as part of their visa requirements, even though they are risking their own lives with insufficient PPE to save other people’s lives during the pandemic. Indeed, among those hauled back from death’s door was The Scarlet Pimpernel himself. Johnson acknowledged that the two ICU nurses who had saved his life were from New Zealand and the Philippines respectively, and that he had ‘thought long and hard about it’, but the surcharge would nevertheless remain in place, given that it had raised £900m in four years. (By the way the suggestion that Johnson has ever ‘thought long and hard’ about anything other than his next shag is risible). The next afternoon, Matt Hancock told the daily Press Briefing that he and the Home Secretary, the dreadful Priti Patel, had been instructed to change the policy, and now all NHS staff, including health workers, porters, and cleaners, as well as independent health workers and social care workers, would be exempt. So why did we have all this hokey-cokey nonsense? Because between noon on Wednesday and five pm on Thursday, buckets of ordure had been thrown at the decision-makers, including by Tories who dubbed it ‘mean-spirited and immoral’. Which it was. Which this Government is. For shame.


This week’s celebrity fashion retrospective was nominated  by WTF aficionado and stalwart Rebecca from Cornwall – it is singer Katy Perry. We start our review of her fashion flotsam in October 2012, only months after WTF began this blog, with our heroine wearing something really unpleasant in a shade of snot olive and the sort of stout footwear worn by East German factory workers in the 1960s.

If an olive tree went to a pool party, this is what it would look like.

Here we are in December 2013 in Las Vegas, with Katy wearing a Unif Nu Frenz “dress’ and a Chanel mini-backpack.

The apposite questions here are ‘you what?’ and ‘why?’. Like a Victorian child on a bad acid trip.

We are now in New York in August 2014, with Katy wearing a nice leather jacket by Swedish brand Acne (sic), a see-through green dress, matching green hair and a stupid hat.

Here is a WTF rule. Hair should not be green, unless you are a mermaid or you have gone mouldy.  The whole look was inspired by Disney cartoon character Disgust. Two more words of advice for Katy – Factor 30. Her chest was positively radioactive.

April 2015 saw Katy at Coachella, the balls-aching annual celeb-fest in the Californian desert. Fortunately, Governor Newsom banned it this year because of Covid-19, but he needs to think of another reason in 2021. Perhaps his decision was based on sight of this picture of Katy wearing Moschino.

Katy, Jeremy Scott, and Moschino are a bad combination, but this had left bad behind weeks ago and had ended up at putrid. She looked like a medieval Harlequin in a gold leather bra.

October 2016 saw Katy at a Spotify The Creators event in Los Angeles, wearing Dolce & Gabbana.


The girly ‘Guten-Abend-Fraūlein’ plaits and giant crucifix were oddly  discordant with the gold courtesan bustier and unflattering trewsies, while Katy’s head looked awfully flat, like Lurch in The Addams Family.

We are now at the Met Ball in May 2017  in New York, with Katy wearing Maison Margiela.

So here we had a Minge donut and a headdress WITH WING MIRRORS and, even by Met Gala standards, the whole thing was utterly ridiculous. Katy resembled nothing so much as the Zombie Bride.

And then Katy doubled down on an evening of sartorial shockingness by attending the after-party wearing Ulyana Sergeenko.

Wozzis? She was maintaining the zombie theme and looked like a lady of the night walking the streets of Hell. (Do they have streets in hell? If they do, they are probably like the one WTF lives in during these Covid-19 times, with screaming neighbours and fuckers various yelling into their cellphones on loudspeaker, and playing Bryan Adams’ greatest hits far too loudly (ie, anything above mute)). The minge-emphasising belt is foul. It is all foul. Foul.

Here we are in October 2018 at a QVC Shopping Channel event (No, WTF does not know why), with Katy wearing Gallia Lalav. 

Barbie goes street-walking. Plastic was not fantastic. Not even at all.

February 2019 saw Katy at the Grammys wearing Balmain Haute Couture.

Great hair and makeup, but Balmain decided to put Katy into a silver-topped , fluffy, loo-roll holder.

And finally we are back in New York at the 2019 Met Gala, wearing Moschino. The theme, by the way, was ‘camp’.

Camp was one thing. Turning up dressed as the world’s largest chandelier (it’s in Gwalior in India, by the way, and very magnificent it is too), was quite another.

This week’s It’s Got To Go comes from WTF aficionado WTF of Islington, who is madder than a wet hen about supermarket etiquette in these Covid-19 times. It is all very well standing outside in a socially-distanced-two-meters-apart-queue, and then getting inside and trotting around the one-way system, only to stand at the wine shelf or the household items shelf choosing your wares with some wanker sidling up two centimetres from you and reaching across to grab their bottle of Rioja or carton of Ariel tabs. And they’re usually not wearing a mask…. Are people really in such a hurry in the middle of a pandemic lockdown that they cannot wait twenty seconds for you to move off?  Bastards.  It’s Got To Go. 


OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. Please keep on sending in your comments, as well as your excellent suggestions for It’s Got To Go and your nominations for the fashion celebrity retrospective. Let us meet again next Friday. Be good, STAY INDOORS AND WASH YOUR HANDS. x












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2 Responses to WTF Scarlet Pimpernel Special

  1. Julia Palca says:

    Love this. My only query is whether you’ve missed out phase 2a of government policy making -deny you ever made the announcement.

  2. quixote
    quixote says:

    The Balmain haute couture loo roll holder

    Can’t. stop. laughing.

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