Do you have to wear a face mask at a foam party? Asking for a politician.
Europe’s party island, Ibiza (apologies to the runner-up, the Isle of Man), is back in the news because yet another politician couldn’t resist its charms, sunshine and buy one, get one free offers on flaming sambucas.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister, unveiled his pandemic plan for schools from a college in Villefranche-sur-Mer. No, wait, that’s not right. From his office? Wrong again. It was from — and you’re ahead of me here — Ibiza.
Blanquer was “working remotely with his team,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said and was on the island “for four days in a private capacity.” A quick Google search reveals there isn’t a nightclub called Private Capacity in Ibiza although there is one called Privilege.
Ibiza has form when it comes to political impropriety, of course, having lent its name to the scandal that brought down the first, but not the last, Sebastian Kurz-led government in Austria.
Ibiza-gate, you’ll doubtless recall, involved Heinz-Christian Strache, the far-right leader of Kurz’s junior coalition partner, trying to trade public contracts for party donations from a woman he believed to be the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch. To be fair to Strache, let those of us who haven’t tried to trade public contracts for party donations from a woman we believed to be the wealthy niece of a Russian oligarch cast the first stone.
The next political scandal to involve Ibiza is hard to predict. Who am I kidding, of course it isn’t. If we wait three, maybe four days, footage of Boris Johnson, his wife, his entire Cabinet and a Tory-supporting pop star — Gary Barlow? — in Ibiza will surely surface and Johnson will claim he didn’t realize that a foam party was an actual party and not a work event.
Deputy heads will doubtless soon roll in the U.K. as Johnson tries to deflect the blame for all that partying onto others as part of what the prime minister has dubbed Operation Save Big Dog. It’s an apt nickname for Johnson as he isn’t allowed on the furniture in Downing Street in case he soils himself.
But it isn’t the best nickname for a British prime minister, as that’s either “The turf macaroni” — nickname of Augustus FitzRoy, PM from 1768 to 1770 — or “God’s only mistake” — nickname of William Gladstone, PM on four occasions between 1868 and 1894.
Another ex-PM, David Cameron — whose best nickname is “Hameron” because of claims that as a student he put his genitals inside the mouth of a dead pig — was criticized back in 2013 for taking a holiday in, you guessed it, Ibiza.