HA ha ha, ho ho ho, and a couple of tra la las – that’s how they laugh the day away in the merry old land of the UK Cabinet. It’s hard to decide what’s worse: either they’re laughing at us because they don’t give a damn whether we live or die, or they’re laughing with nerves because they have absolutely no idea what they’re doing.

Getting the chuckle ball rolling on Tuesday was Michael Gove, who was asked by a radio presenter if he personally would have taken a 60-mile road trip to test his eyesight, as the Rose Garden trespasser claims to have done last month (on a date that just happened to be his wife’s birthday).

Gove’s statesman-like reply began: “Um, er, I have on occasions in the past, um, driven with, um, er, my wife in order to make sure that uh...” At this point he had to stop, give his upper lip a wee wipe and execute a big sniff as he tried to avoid confessing to a criminal offence. “What’s the right way of putting it?” he asked aloud, like a quiz show cheater cueing up a guiding cough. Sadly we won’t ever know what he considered the right way to put it, as the interviewer was so startled that he interrupted.

Following the new Tory mantra of “if you’re in a hole, keep digging, plant some rose bushes then bury your lies under a pile of manure”, guffawing Gove then decided to inform us that actually he’s a terrible driver, having failed his test six times, so isn’t the right person to ask about … his own potential driving offences?

I don’t know what this lot are sniffing or smoking, but watching their interviews feels increasingly like stumbling across a socially distanced Mad Hatter’s tea party.

What excuses will they come up with next? I drove my car to the garage because its wheels were falling off? I shook hands with everyone to check my fingers were still working? I laughed on live TV to test the public’s hearing?

Wednesday saw friendly fire across the virtual meeting place of the House of Commons Liaison Committee, during exchanges about whether having women in the room makes a difference to the kind of decisions that are made about dealing with coronavirus. The Prime Minister said it made a “huge difference”, adding that he would like to have had more women at his government’s daily press conferences. Presumably he would also like to have more children, or even well-trained chimpanzees, on that particular subs’ bench if it meant he could front even fewer of them himself.

But the questioning wasn’t over yet. Tory MP Caroline Nokes pressed him on how many women would be enough, and it was time for a titter. “Oh boy,” replied jovial Johnson, “that’s a question on which I’m not competent to pronounce.” I’m going to keep that one up my sleeve for the next time I’m invited to a Microsoft Teams meeting about something I find boring and irrelevant.

Committee chairman Bernard Jenkin – another Tory – was not impressed. “It’s not a joking matter though, is it?” he asked Johnson. Also, it should be noted that being totally incompetent doesn’t usually stop the Prime Minister from pronouncing on any given topic (see, for example, his expert guidance on the importance of shaking hands so that other people are more motivated to wash theirs).

While viewers and listeners all over Britain boiled with fury at the shower of charlatans who claim to be in charge, Matt “Hilarious” Hancock was taking notes. His response to this palpable rage, as he limbered up for yesterday’s media rounds? Hold my nitrous oxide.

Kay Burley of Sky News only had to mention the name Dominic Cummings for the Ha-ha-Health Secretary to start grinning and swaying about in his seat, like a pensioner on a pleasure cruise being serenaded by Daniel O’Donnell.

As the presenter pointed out that he’d said the track and trace app, promised by mid-May, was absolutely essential to the track and trace programme, he resorted to simply hooting “HA HA HA”, presumably in a bid to drown her out.

When Burley suggested that viewers might not consider it a laughing matter, he tilted his head to give us a better view of a bizarre pop art print of the Queen. The disturbing result was Her Majesty’s smile merging with his manic mug.

Then came story time, with a near-hysterical Hancock claiming it was neither too late nor too soon to start testing and tracing, but in fact just the right time. How convenient for him, and for a government seeking new headlines. It wasn’t quite Goldilocks and the Three Bears – more like Cocky Talk and the 37,000 Deaths.

It’s becoming clear we’ve all misunderstood the rationale behind this government’s Covid-19 response. We’ve been hearing “we’re being guided by the science” but they’re actually referring to the “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.”– the Situation Creating Incredible Embarrassment, Not Clinical Expertise.

Expect the sniggering and snorting to continue. Anything to take attention away from that dreadful death toll. No matter what they do, and regardless of the outraged response, the joke’s on us.