The losing countries in the global race to obtain COVID-19 vaccines were given a brief glimmer of hope that richer nations would help them, right until they saw who made that pledge and immediately realised that they were on their own.
Dr Djimoun Owilyamse, the Disease Prevention Minister of Togo, was one of many to have been briefly overjoyed at a pledge of help until he understood that it came from a man who can’t be trusted to tell you how he likes his steak cooked, let alone do something this altruistic.
“We do not have the financial resources or developed pharmaceutical companies to get the vaccines. So when a G7 leader promised that his country would give surplus jabs to poorer countries, we were overjoyed.
“But then we saw it wasn’t Merkel saying it, but that bizarre diabetic mop you put in charge in the UK. Just because we’re poor doesn’t mean we are as gullible as an English voter.”
Dr Owiliyamse also suspected that any gift of vaccines from the Johnson government would come with a slathering of neo-colonial condescension.
“He’ll probably insist on dancers in grass skirts calling him Great White Chief or some nonsense. Worse will be having to sit through tedious speeches trying to give us patronising advice on pandemic management which, coming from a British official, would be seriously misplaced.
“The entire continent of Africa, that’s over a billion people, has seen fewer COVID deaths than the UK. Not per capita. In total. So we’ll take any vaccines going spare but the days of seeing you as knowledgeable and competent are long gone.
“Put it this way, how’s your Brexit going?”