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Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.
The column is taking a rest (you can decide if itâ€™s well deserved) but will be back in two weeks.
Good news for JÃ³zsef SzÃ¡jer and his naked friends â€” Belgian police will not be allowed to use drones to seek out violations of the coronavirus restrictions such as lockdown parties.
The news comes days after police in eastern Flanders said they would be using drones to stop people setting off fireworks over the festive period â€” perhaps by attaching a giant, soaking wet sponge or a water pistol to the drone to literally put a damper on anyone planning on sending up a rocket.
Speaking of our old friend SzÃ¡jer, Belgian police had to break up yet another lockdown-busting orgy, this time involving more than 50 people in the southern town of Saint-Mard. The house involved was right next to a coronavirus clinic (of course it was). And everyone involved was French (of course they were). Disappointingly, no MEPs or diplomats appear to have been present.
At the time of writing, the Belgian government has yet to respond to my suggestion for a coronavirus awareness poster campaign with the slogan â€œFor Godâ€™s sake, put it away!â€
Thatâ€™s advice that should have been heeded by Dale McLaughlan of Scotland. The lovestruck 28-year-old wanted to see his girlfriend, who lives on the Isle of Man, so he hopped on a jetski, despite never having been on one before. Alas, it didnâ€™t take the 40 minutes that poor McLaughlan had anticipated but four-and-a-half hours. But he made it and then walked 25 kilometers to his girlfriendâ€™s home.
His girlfriend was no doubt a) delighted to see him b) appreciative of the massive effort made and c) grateful that she has a partner from outside the Isle of Man and whoâ€™s therefore not a close relative. The couple attended two busy nightclubs before McLaughlan was caught by police following identification checks and given a jail sentence for breaching coronavirus rules.
A little further across the Irish Sea and bakeries are trying to mitigate the impact of a no-deal scenario in currentÂ BrexitÂ tradeÂ talksÂ by stockpiling flour and looking for suppliers in the EU â€”Â about 4,000 tonnes of flour are imported into Ireland from the U.K. every week, so itâ€™s a big problem.
Rumors that the Democratic Unionist Party is planning to recreate the Irish border but made entirely out of sponge fingers were unconfirmed at the time of publication.
â€œDaddy looks like that because he and I are splitting up and he has to sleep on the sofa.â€
Last week we gave you this photo:
Thanks for all the entries. Hereâ€™s the best from our postbag (thereâ€™s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).
â€œJust give them this special handshake, say youâ€™re a friend of Fidesz and youâ€™re in. And if the cops come, nip out the window,â€ by Tom Morgan.
Paul Dallison isÂ POLITICOâ€˜s slot news editor.