Piers Corbyn is a bad smell that simply won’t go away

Corbyn has released an anti-mask song that states ‘wearing a mask is like trying to keep a fart in your trousers’. This is where we are, folks

Sean O'Grady
Monday 29 November 2021 13:17 GMT
Piers Corbyn's political party release anti-mask song about keeping a fart in your trousers

Like a stale chuff that just refuses to do the decent thing and go away, that outsized personality Piers Corbyn is back on the ultra-small screens of social media.

He’s released a new Christmas single, and a new fragrance of his own by the sounds of it. You can find it quite handily on social media. By way of introduction, it’s very much like a very bad version of those comedy/charity versions of The Road to Amarillo that lovely Peter Kay and Tony Christie do from time to time. Except the Corbyn version is not as well-intentioned, and there’s no Zippy off Rainbow (who is, after all, a mere puppet of the New World Order).

Corbyn and a few of his friends prance down a mercifully empty tube carriage singing about how one shouldn’t wear a mask. Yes, I know, a bit of a self-cover version if you’ll pardon the expression, but the timing, with the emergence of the omicron variant is, from their perverse point of view, felicitous. Maybe the omicron will be easier to catch but nicer than the delta version, or it might be worse, but that matters little to Corbyn and the Corbynettes. They’re singing their protest song and dripping their guts all the way to jail, just the same.

The lyrics aren’t exactly Stephen Sondheim, but I’ll quote the salient one, that “wearing a mask is like trying to keep a fart in your trousers”. Then they start chanting “do not comply”, as if they were all prisoners of conscience rather than prisoners of their own stupidity. Things turn a bit ugly at the end, the Corbynettes grimacing and making revolutionary gestures. Even more sinister, one of the backing vocalists bears a remarkable resemblance to the shadow social care minister, Liz Kendall, but it can’t be her. Though you never know these days. Maybe the illiberal elite have got Liz.

The logic, impeccable in its way, you can understand. It’s true that you can’t prevent every single sub-microscopic particle of aerosol coronavirus entering or exiting a face covering, just as not even the sturdiest pair of cords (such as those I imagine the Corbyn brothers favour), even with supplementary bike clips fitted, could stop hydrogen sulphide escaping during a postprandial snooze. Or indeed like the noxious nonsense emanating from Piers’s gob. Yet that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, and you can mitigate things. It’s just good manners, really.

The counterargument, then, is that, like masks, trousers, even flimsy things like pyjama bottoms or knee-length hiking shorts, do tend to slow the spread of even the most vicious parp, as does adequate ventilation and social distancing. If nothing else, they can provide time to run for cover. The alternative, as the great humourist Christina Martin points out on Twitter, is for us all to let off bare-arsed instead, which really would be bad manners.

Maybe after the Corbyn family Christmas dinner, when they’re done dissing the Queen’s broadcast and discussing socialism, there’ll be a practical controlled experiment demonstrating precisely this point about smelly osmosis. As they quack their way through Christmas day they could exchange quips such as, “that’s working, now try your lights”, “what’s that, sweep?”, and “there goes the elephant”. That’s a video we’d all like to see, and indeed hear, like the famous camp-fire scene in Blazing Saddles.

Piers Corbyn makes speech at anti-lockdown protest

The modern day sans culottes of Covid such as Piers Corbyn really are a social menace as well as a public health one. They are fomenting hate as well as fermenting flatulence. The anti-maskers and the anti-vaxxers, so often the same, want conflict. They are the very people who will make sure that all this – lockdowns, new variant scares, restrictions, crippled economies, NHS waiting lists – is indeed the new normal.

As we’ve now learned the hard way, in a pandemic no one is safe unless everyone is safe, and if large – ie poor – swathes of the world are unvaccinated then it doesn’t really matter what the take up is in the rich west. Some of the failures on global vaccination have been down to the usual short-sightedness and selfishness of the richer countries, hoarding jabs for themselves, but some has also been down to vaccine hesitancy, which in turn is driven by fake news, bogus science, and characters such as Piers Corbyn who should know better.

Even more dangerous are those figures in the media and politics who join in the chorus, and style themselves as champions of universal human rights or something (though they’re usually unwilling to extend the right to life to those people about to drown in the English Channel). They ask where the science is, when it is actually impossible to escape learned journals and official reports carefully laying out the strengths and weaknesses of wearing different types of face coverings in different environments. They retweet clips of the likes of Jonathan Van-Tam from March 2020 saying masks aren’t much use – before the new virus was understood and the advice reversed.

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For the record, the UK Health Security Agency published a survey of the evidence, which is a good place to start. In summary, it states: “Overall, the evidence suggests that all face coverings are, to some extent, effective in reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in both healthcare and community settings.”

If Piers and his fartypants friends want more detail, it’s all in there too, and fairly accessible for the non-expert reader. For example: “N95 respirators are likely to be the most effective, followed by surgical masks and then non-medical masks, although optimised non-medical masks made of 2 or 3 layers might have similar efficiency [to] surgical masks. However, this is based on a heterogenous body of evidence (different settings, different study designs, and so on) that does not necessarily take into account real-world conditions (donning and doffing, consistency of use, and so on) or differences in transmission risks (peak of infectivity, community vs healthcare settings, and so on).”

Anyway, a mask is more use than a song about farts, or Piers Corbyn, and that’s a scientific fact. Stay safe.

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