Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Blackmail Bombshell Blasts Bozo

The right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, from its morning coverage, clearly believed that a little gaslighting would see off calls for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to stand down. Bozo was safe. Business as usual could be resumed. And then came a statement from Tory MP William Wragg.

Are you going to resign, Prime Minister?

In recent days, a number of members of Parliament have faced pressures and intimidation from members of the Government because of their declared, or assumed, desire for a vote of confidence in the party leadership of the Prime Minister. It is of course the duty of the Government whips’ office to secure the Government’s business in the House of Commons. However”. It’s a significantly-sized however.

Behind the hot water pipes, third washroom along, Victoria Station

It is not their function to breach the ministerial code, in threatening to withdraw investments from members of Parliaments’ constituencies which are funded from the public purse. Additionally, reports to me and others, of members of staff at Number 10 Downing Street, special advisors, Government ministers and others encouraging the publication of stories in the press seeking to embarrass those who they suspect of lacking confidence in the Prime Minister is, similarly, unacceptable”. There was yet more.

The intimidation of a member of Parliament is a serious matter. Moreover, the reports of which I am aware would seem to constitute blackmail. As such, it would be my general advice to colleagues to report these matters to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. And they’re also welcome to contact me”.

As if that were not bad enough for those fully invested in The Adoration Of The Boris, it soon got worse: ITV political editor Robert Peston revealed “I understand Sue Gray has found the email from a senior official to PM’s principle private secretary Martin Reynolds warning him the 20 May party should not go ahead, as per Cummings’s revelation and my blog below … So huge question now for Gray to determine how PM could have thought this party was a legitimate work event as per his narrative”. Huge indeed.

Add to that the widely shared reports that those who wavered when Bozo and the member for times long past Jacob Rees Mogg tried to change the rules to save Owen Paterson were threatened in a similar manner to that described by Wragg, and you have the makings of premeditated and seriously unparliamentary behaviour. And it gets worse still.

Ben Kentish of LBC recalled “I was told by Tory MPs, at the height of the Rashford row, that members of the govt were threatening to withhold money from schools in their (deprived) constituencies if they voted to extend free school meals. These practices aren’t new but Will Wragg has shone a light on them”. So was this just normal arm-twisting?

The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog thought it was, although they are Bozo boosters first, last and forever. In between smears of Christian Wakeford, the Tory MP who defected to Labour yesterday, they sneeredWragg needs to put his big boy pants on”. But one former head of the PM’s policy unit disagreed.

Camilla Cavendish, who served under Young Dave, observed “[Will Wragg] allegations unprecedented - whips often strong arm MPs but if they have really threatened to withdraw money, that’s mafia territory”. Time for Bozo to be given a leaving offer he can’t refuse.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Oh Tommy Tommy - THE MONEY

Last seen lying low somewhere supposedly out of reach of law enforcement agencies while promoting his upcoming exposé on all those Scary Muslims™, Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, has once again found himself the subject of mainstream media attention, and once again, it is for all the wrong reasons.

Lennon declared himself bankrupt last March. The month before that, he and his wife Jenna had divorced. These events occurred before the defamation trial at the High Court where Lennon defended himself in a case brought on behalf of teenager Jamal Hijazi, a case that Lennon lost. As a result, he owes around $1.5 million in legal costs, plus another £100,000 in damages. There are other creditors after him, as the BBC has reported.

They “include HMRC, a former business partner and Barrow-In-Furness Borough Council”. During that defamation trial, as the Beeb report notes, Lennon “failed to convince the High Court his claims that Jamal Hijazi had attacked ‘young English girls’ in his school in Huddersfield were true … The legal costs are before any accrued interest”.

Those creditors have a significant interest in recovering their money before Lennon emerges from bankruptcy in March. So, one might think, might all those who donated to his appeals over recent years. Put directly, they, and the official receiver, would very much like to know where all the money went. Has Lennon been effectively hiding his assets?

For instance, his ex-wife “owns a large detached house in Bedfordshire where there have been extensive building works over the autumn and winter, including the creation of a gym in the old double garage, and a games room above a new garage being built in the garden … [Lennon] has been seen at the house talking to builders, sometimes with his ex-wife and sometimes alone, according to anti-fascism activists”. But it’s not his house, right?

Even though it may be worth around £1.2 million. Which brings us to a group that has not always appeared to be in the corner of those targeted by Lennon. I can’t speak for all the others whose lives were interrupted by having him rock up on the doorstep - in my case, in the dead of night, and twice - but my recollection is that Hope Not Hate covered Lennon’s first visit, yet later on went quiet. Still, at least they’re after Lennon now.

As the BBC report tells, “The anti-fascism campaign group Hope not Hate is fundraising to pay for the cost of the independent insolvency expert, Heath Sinclair of Richard Long & co … The expert has until 3 March to try to find any assets or money that Robinson could be hiding, otherwise he will come out of bankruptcy without having to pay all the money he owe … the creditors hope the independent expert will uncover more assets”.

HnH “believes [Lennon] may have access to up to £3m in assets earned through property, investments, donations and book sales”. Note the phrasing: “may have access to”. That’s the problem - demonstrating that those assets, if found, are really Lennon’s, and are being effectively hidden away to prevent his creditors from being paid.

So good of HnH to throw their expertise behind the campaign. Let’s hope they remain highly visible and help see off Lennon’s latest campaign, which could cause serious unrest within the Telford area, and elsewhere. Anti-fascism needs their support. And yours.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Guido Grovels To Save Bozo

As the rumours swirl around alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and the no confidence letters mount up in Graham Brady’s in-tray, there is one corner of the media establishment that can be counted on to shill shamelessly for Bozo, and that is the corner occupied by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Yesterday they turned the shamelessness up to the max.

The Great Guido in his natural habitat

This should surprise no-one: The Great Guido has been heavily invested in The Adoration of the Boris for years now, from before Bozo became Mayor of London and subsequently sowed the seeds for hobbling TfL’s finances, which the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press then blamed on Sadiq Khan. Staines should worry: the great Brexiteer who lives not in the UK, but an EU member state. Principles, what principles?

So it was that the Fawkes blog inflated Bozo’s faux reticence way beyond reality, proclaiming “Boris’s Emotional Apology For April 16 Parties”. Readers not yet asleep are told “An uncomfortable watch as Boris bows his head in shame today over Partygate. This is also the first time Boris has said he apologised to the Queen - previously it was only claimed that Downing Street had expressed remorse to Buckingham Palace”.

He's honestly so fucking sorry

This came hard on the heels of a post warning Tory rebels not to ditch Bozo, and tellingPoll Shows Rishi Wouldn’t Save The Tories”. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has, it is true, not been the most steadfast in his defence of his next-door neighbour. But all of this may not have been enough, and so came a little citation-free flag-waving.

Coming Soon: CCHQ’s Red Wall Ribbon-Cutting … CCHQ’s Impending Campaign Boostwas the headline, the post telling “The Tories look set to imminently boost their red wall presence – and given recent polling, not a moment too soon. A party source tells Guido that their long-awaited Leeds campaign headquarters - first announced by Amanda Milling way back in September 2020 - is set to open in mere weeks”. No citation.

CCHQ opening at Leeds University? Er, WHAT?

And nor is there one anywhere else. No matter, The Great Guido has a second citation-free source: “Another source suggested given recent events the party will be keen for the moment to be noticed by the media. Guido looks forward to Dowden’s forthcoming ribbon-cutting”. And there is a photo of Oliver Dowden cutting a ribbon.

But, wait a moment, what’s that building in the background? That’s the Leeds University building on Woodhouse Lane. Which is not in the city centre, where one might expect the new CCHQ outpost to be. Have the Fawkes massive confused the Uni building with Leeds Town Hall, which really is in the city centre? Desperate times, desperate errors.

They’re still at it this morning, claiming that the Tories are going to try and shore up Bozo’s support by dispensing with most remaining Covid-19 related restrictions and lamenting “No. 10 will not only be angry with the so-called ‘pork pie plotters’ for their treachery, they also managed to knock what would have been the day’s biggest news off the front page”.

Treachery! Well, at least it isn’t infamy (insert Carry On Cleo joke which in itself was recycled from Muir and Norden). But this time the Fawkes rabble may be out of time.

The only pity is that if Bozo goes, the Fawkes blog won’t go with him. Another fine mess.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Polecat Has Bozo In Check

While some in the Tory Party, and within our free and fearless press, remain in denial at the reality of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s predicament, out here in the real world it is becoming more and more obvious that Bozo is permanently tarnished, a dead politician walking. And it is down to one individual’s actions.

That person is former chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, who appears to have amassed sufficient evidence of his time with Bozo to be able to guide anyone in the media prepared to listen to him to where the bodies are buried. It is down to him that we know of the 20th May 2020 party. And it is that party which could finally finish Bozo.

The PM has already stood before the Commons and claimed that he did not know that the party was actually a party, that he “believed implicitly” that it was a work meeting. Now he stands accused by the Polecat of lying when he made that claim, with a second prong of attack bringing yet more lockdown busting revelations from March 2020.

Bozo told the nation on March 23 that year “From this evening I must give the British People a very simple instruction - you must stay at home”. But the people at Tortois media claim that not only was the broadcast pre-recorded, but that Bozo went that day from Downing Street to Chequers. His then partner Carrie Symonds was also involved.

She allegedly went to Chequers on March 20 (apparently contravening the “non-essential travel” advice of March 16), then back to Downing Street on the 24th, back to Chequers on the 25th, and finally back to Downing Street on the 28th. It seems the last move was forced on her, as Chequers was forced to close following Covid related staff absences.

But it is the latest broadside from Cummings that is Bozo’s greatest problem. And this is his pitch: “The PM’s PPS invited people to a drinks party … The PPS was told to cancel the invite by at least two people … He checked with the PM whether the party should go ahead … The PM agreed it should … They both went to the party … It was actually a drinks party … The PM told MPs repeatedly that he had no idea about any parties”.

The Polecat’s conclusion was as straightforward as it was stark: “The events of 20 May alone, never mind the string of other events, mean the PM lied to Parliament about parties … Not only me but other eyewitnesses who discussed this at the time would swear under oath this is what happened”. Only one more piece of this jigsaw is now missing.

And that is the proof, the smoking gun email maybe, that backs up Cummings’ claim. It should be remembered that without that, Bozo will keep on trying to bluster his way out of it. So far, the Polecat has played this with the precision of a game of chess, gradually manoeuvring his opponent into a progressively tighter corner. If he has done that with an endgame in mind, then he has now to pony up the final piece of that jigsaw.

It may come via another of those anonymous and non-attributable leaks; he may make the move directly. What is becoming clear is that Bozo’s hold on the Premiership is at a tipping point: one sufficiently powerful shove and those Tory MPs who have so tenaciously backed him will fall away, leaving him exposed, alone - and facing removal from office.

Cummings has Bozo in check. The question now is - can he make it check mate?

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Monday, 17 January 2022

BBC Funding And Dooda Stupidity

As the travails of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson continue, with the Mirror revealing today that he attended yet another of those Downing Street parties that he didn’t know about because they were really work meetings, so the more unpleasant and vindictive part of the Tory Party, and its allies in and around our free and fearless press, has latched on to a suitable scapegoat, a repository for blame.

To no surprise at all, the BBC has been selected for this purpose, and now stands accused of hounding poor Bozo mercilessly. But here a problem enters: every revelation regarding Partygate has come from elsewhere: ITV, the Mirror, even the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph. So the Beeb bashing excuses have had to change accordingly.

Cue self promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, who has recently reminded us that she wrote an article for the increasingly wayward Mail on Sunday last year sneering at those attending the G7 summit while not wearing face coverings. “Any pub landlord who’d allowed such a large group to behave like this in their pub garden would have risked losing their licence” she trilled, thus demonstrating a total lack of knowledge on the rules.

At the time of the G7, gathering indoors in pubs, with provision of food and drink by table service, was not illegal. So it was in St Ives at G7 time that BBC Host and pundit Andrew Marr caught The Rona. Sitting at the same table was someone I know personally: he and his wife also caught it and were seriously unwell. More in the same pub caught it.

Having seen Ms Hartley Dooda parading her ignorance and lack of research so openly, it should surprise no-one that she has not only waded in to the BBC funding debate, but has managed to display a significant amount of sheer stupidity while doing so: “I pay the BBC licence fee and these are the only services I ever use. Good value for money…?

So she “only” uses BBC One, BBC Two, BBC News Channel, BBC Parliament, Radio 4, Radio 5 … and BBC iPlayer, That’s the same BBC iPlayer that allows you to summon up every recently broadcast item of content. Everything the Beeb has to offer. Including offerings from all those channels she doesn’t watch. That’s stupidity #1.

Not stated, but blindingly obvious, is stupidity #2 - that she, and everyone else who pays any kind of tax, does not use all the services she, and they, pay for. Those without school age children pay for schools. We all pay for the fire service; most will, thankfully, never have to call on it. We don’t, generally, call on the armed services. But we pay for them - and the nuclear deterrent, a pointless waste of rather more than the BBC budget.

How much do the alternatives charge, compared with the 43p a day for the BBC? Netflix? Sky? Disney Plus? Moreover, Ms Hartley Dooda says she doesn’t use BBC Online, but her Twitter feed contains screen shots from it. Perhaps she’s a secret Beeb sleeper agent, making opposition to the Licence Fee look so stupid as to ensure its continuation.

The BBC does not always get it right, and has been pointlessly bending over backwards to appease the Tories of late, but as Joni Mitchell put it, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater (hello left-wing critics).

Rupert Murdoch’s going to have to get himself a better critic. Cos this one’s bust.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Sunday, 16 January 2022

Piers Morgan Still Obsessed

For reasons best known to its management, the BBC today invited former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan to review the papers on the temporary replacement for The Andy Marr Show™, Sunday Morning, hosted by Sophie Raworth. This gave him the opportunity to promote his upcoming daily “global” TV show, for which it is alleged he is being paid, along with a regular Sun column, £50 million over the next three years.

And what's more, Ron ...

So what positives would he bring to the studio? What reasons would he give sceptical viewers to tune in to The All-New Percy Moron Show™? What would a seasoned and experienced broadcaster have done? What would a sensible person have done? What would Nietzsche have done? They might not, whisper it quietly, have bored the audience crapless with the parading of sad obsession. Which is what Morgan duly did.

The Great Man was not doing too well on the news du jour: he was all for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson doing the decent thing and resigning (as if), but when Ms Raworth bowled him a curve ball, mentioning that Morgan was now at the Sun, asking why the paper appeared reluctant to cover Partygate and mentioning the presence there of one James Slack, the stream of confident hot air suddenly dried up.

Piers who?

Sad to say, it started up again as soon as the word Sussex was pitched. Haz and Megs are apparently considering a UK visit - along with their family. As the BBC has reported, “Prince Harry is seeking a judicial review against a refusal of the Home Office to allow him to personally pay for police protection when in the UK. The US-based Duke of Sussex says his private security team does not have adequate jurisdiction abroad”.

There was more. “Prince Harry wants to personally fund police protection, ‘not to impose on the taxpayer’ … [He] is arguing that his private security team cannot replicate the work of police protection in the UK, with their access to local intelligence and legal jurisdiction … A statement said: ‘Prince Harry inherited a security risk at birth, for life. He remains sixth in line to the throne, served two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan, and in recent years his family has been subjected to well-documented neo-Nazi and extremist threats'”.

Yeah, Piers who?

None of that troubled Morgan. It was “these two” causing more trouble and embarrassment for the Queen (Gawd Bless ‘Er). He didn’t care that Haz was offering to foot the bill, and went on a rant about how the Sussexes were making hundreds of millions of Dollars, while not seeing that Himself was making many millions of dosh, too.

The bonhomie, the chatty nature of his earlier pronouncements on Bozo and Partygate, had vanished. It was as if a switch had been flicked: the red mist descended and off he went. It was the same red mist that saw him flouncing off the ITV Good Morning Britain set after Alex Beresford tried to point out the obsessiveness of his Sussex rants.

It looks as if Morgan is still hung up on Megs blanking him. But that is over, and it isn’t coming back. She isn’t going to reappear at the Scarsdale Tavern. She doesn’t secretly fancy him. She hasn’t mentioned him since, because she’s not interested. That will not change. But it will mean he wasted his opportunity to plug his show on Sunday Morning. Because all viewers will remember is him going off on one at the Sussexes. Again.

It was obsession on GMB. It’s still obsession now. And maybe it ain’t worth £50 million.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Saturday, 15 January 2022

Complicit Press Can’t Let Bozo Go

The news that had been bad a week ago has now become dire: lockdown-busting parties were not some kind of occasional aberration in Downing Street, but a regular event, with at least one taking place every week. To assist in the provision of sufficient wine - the Parliamentary estate’s preferred route to oblivion - a fridge was delivered to hold more than 30 bottles of the stuff. Regular replenishment came from a nearby Tesco Metro.

And just to put the lid on alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s protestations of innocence, witnesses (plural) have told how he either joined in with, or at least encouraged, the gatherings. Faced with the reality of Bozo’s serial lawbreaking, and subsequent serially lying his way out of it, what would a sensible press pack have done? What would Nietzsche have done? But here a problem enters.

The straightforward response to the mounting revelations, and the clear contempt in which the Tories have held the little people, many of whom voted them into power, would be to tell their readers that the game was up, he’d run out of road, and duly throw the SOB under one of his vanity buses. But our free and fearless press can’t, and won’t, do that.


Because they are so heavily invested in The Adoration Of The Boris. They, the Tories, and, it increasingly appears, the Metropolitan Police, have merged into one big, happy and worryingly incestuous family. The cops saw nothing, and they won’t investigate. The press will keep on wiping Bozo’s arse for fear that their own party might come to an end.

So it was that today’s Sun and Mail attempted to deflect away from their hero: for the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, the pretend journalist inexplicably elevated to become Sun political editor, this task has been accomplished by lying. “Boris Johnson said sorry to the Queen yesterday” he claimed. Bozo did’t say sorry. Number 10 did.

Look over there at the Royals!

Then the deflection: “The apology piles pressure on Prince Andrew”. Fuck off. Just fuck right off. But thanks for letting us know that Creepy Uncle Rupe doesn’t yet think the time has come for him to anoint Bozo’s successor. Meanwhile, over at the Northcliffe House bunker, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre is reimposing himself on the Mail.

Only the Vagina Monologue (for it is he) has the brass neck to recycle an almost year-old non-story. “STARMER THE COVID PARTY HYPOCRITE … He was pictured drinking beer at indoor gathering when restrictions were in place. But guess what, he says it was a ‘work gathering’”. The blurry photo was run by the Sun last year. Is it beer? Who knows?

Look over there at last year's non story!

And, indeed, who cares? It hardly compares to the apparently regular descent into an advanced state of alcoholic derangement practised by Downing Street staff, other hangers-on, and a variety of Tory politicians including Bozo himself. The PM, meanwhile, is preparing to dump the blame on others within Number 10 and elsewhere, forcing them to resign so that he can save his skin. Which is something else the Mail and Sun won’t tell you.

All the while, Tory poll numbers are in freefall, the only silver lining being the stubbornly high percentage of Don’t Knows. This the right-wing press does not want to hear. So on goes the peddling of lame propaganda and the dumping on someone, anyone, else.

For press, politicians and Police, the message is clear: reality is a state of mind.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Friday, 14 January 2022

Dead Cats Won’t Save Bozo

As yesterday progressed, the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, searching for something, anything, to take the heat off alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, unearthed not one, but two significantly sized dead cats. But alas, even they were not enough to distract from yet more allegations of improper partying.

James Slack, revolving door user supreme

First came the story of alleged Chinese spying. Labour MP Barry Gardiner was the name in the frame. But it did not take long for a photo to emerge of the alleged spy bending the ear of Young Dave, who, as he had been PM for six years, would have been rather more of a security risk. Hot on the heels of that setback came the claim that release of this information may not have been unconnected to the Home Secretary. A Bozo loyalist.

That loyalty is because Priti Patel owes her elevation to cabinet rank to Bozo. Any other occupant of 10 Downing Street would have her out of the Home Office sharpish. But there was still that second dead cat, the stripping of Royal titles from Prince Andrew. This was front page lead for the Super Soaraway Currant Bun. Which was not a coincidence.

How it works: now you see the lawbreaking ... 

Because last night came news of yet more of those drink-fuelled parties, one of them a leaving bash in the Number 10 basement, complete with DJ - the night before the Queen mourned alone in Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel, as part of a socially distanced funeral service for Prince Philip. Thus turning disrespect up to the max.

This, as with other lockdown-busting parties, has been kept off the front page of the Sun for one very good reason: the basement bash, along with the alleged suitcase full of alcoholic beverages from a nearby Co-Op which somehow evaded the scrutiny of the Metropolitan Police, was honouring the departure of one James Slack from his post as Downing Street Director of Communications - to become Sun deputy editor.

... but today you don't ...

And, in a routine display of double standards, the Sun kept schtum on lockdown-busting parties while, two months after Slack’s leaving bash, grassing up Matt Hancock for a clinch with Gina Coladangelo. There is no finer example in modern times of the power of the press resting not only on what it chooses to publish, but what it does not.

Sadly for Rupert Murdoch and his representative on earth, the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks, their menu of selectively casting dead cats while indulging in unprincipled client journalism did not prevent the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, for reasons best known to itself, from turning on Bozo.

... because THIS

That move may have been prompted by news that some well-known Tory back benchers, notably Andrew “HS2 ate my homework” Bridgen, have also turned on the PM and are openly soliciting his departure from Downing Street. Perhaps, whisper it quietly, the Sundays may bring yet more bad Bozo news. Leaks of Sue Gray’s report suggest that a further dead cat is being readied. Another dead cat means another likely revelation.

It won’t save Bozo. But he will not go of his own volition: nor will Carrie. Both of them will have to be dragged out of Downing Street kicking and screaming, unwilling to depart from the centre of power that Bozo has sought for so long. The Tories have to act.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 claims another 335 lives. Not that press or Tories care, mind.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Thursday, 13 January 2022

Bozo’s Lame Excuse Unravels

George Wigg is a name now long forgotten: he was an MP and later peer, and more importantly a confidant and fixer for Harold Wilson. He became briefly notorious in the mid-1970s. Driving round Soho late one night, Wigg stopped his car; he got out and approached a young woman. Sadly for him, she turned out to be an undercover Police officer and Wigg was duly nicked. It was his excuse that was most memorable.

He mistakenly thought that she was a newspaper seller. In 70s Soho. Late at night. Some of his pals even backed him up. Private Eye magazine was having none of it, and put Wigg on their next front page, showing him getting out of a taxi late at night with the word balloon saying “Hang on cabbie - I’m desperate for a newspaper”.

The Wigg moment was replicated in its lameness yesterday by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson as he finally decided to summon some form of apology for the Downing Street parties that he had been assured were not really happening, but that he had just happened to attend, while the rest of the country was in lockdown.

Private Eye issue 391: a lame excuse to rival Bozo

At a time when individuals could meet only one other person outside their household, and when the cops were breaking up gatherings, no matter how small, in back gardens, Bozo and his staff had a cheese and wine gathering in the Downing Street garden. He excused that one by claiming “those people were at work talking about work”.

Only five days later, though, as the BBC has reported, “About 100 people were invited by email to ‘socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden’ on behalf of the prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds. Witnesses told the BBC the PM and his wife were among about 30 people who attended”. It was a bring your own bottle bash.

So what say Bozo about that one? “Boris Johnson has confirmed he attended the event, saying he was there for 25 minutes and ‘believed implicitly that this was a work event’”. HE WAS THERE. But he was sorry. Sort of. Sorry for how bad it looked. It got worse.

With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them, and I should have recognised that - even if it could have been said technically to fall within the guidance - there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way”. Work event, eh? But here a problem entered.

If it was a work event, what was the then Carrie Symonds doing there? Drinking something containing gin? Then another problem entered: Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross declined to back Bozo, not least because the PM was unable to reassure Ross that there would not be any more of those inconvenient revelations to come.

On top of that, yet another problem has since entered: much of the excuse making has centred around the gathering being nothing more than staff from offices within Downing Street spilling out into a secure garden. But now it is claimed that Henry Newman and Josh Grimstone, neither of whom works in Downing Street, were there. They are known as FOCs (Friends of Carrie). And so the excuse continues to unravel.

But good of the cabinet to back Bozo and keep him in post while the Tories’ poll ratings, already grim, go down the pan. Bozo is finished; being in denial only makes it worse.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


Wednesday, 12 January 2022

BBC Manager Admits It’s Broken

Looking back on the genesis of what became the BBC series The Age Of Uncertainty, J K Galbraith mused “In the world of responsible television there are the BBC and some others. Its genius lies in the quality of the people it attracts and also in the feeling of everyone … that they have a deeply shared responsibility for the product”.

Tim Davie, current BBC DG

What has also been true of the BBC in the years since is that the Corporation has been subjected to more than occasional political interference: Greg Dyke was effectively forced from the Director General’s chair after a backlash from the Blair Government, and before him, Alasdair Milne had his resignation forced upon him at the behest of Margaret Thatcher. Now the Beeb is once again under pressure from the Government.

So there is an almost obsessive attention to impartiality, or what is deemed to be impartiality by current DG Tim Davie. Staff have had their use of social media severely constrained; the sensitivity of management to attacks by the Tories, and especially their hangers-on within the media class, is palpable. A once great organisation has become as yet another frightened rabbit before the headlights of its opponents’ juggernauts.

That this has led the Corporation astray was laid bare in an appearance before the House of Lords communication committee, as the Guardian has reported. “David Jordan, the BBC’s director of editorial policy … the man who enforces its editorial standards … said the broadcaster should ‘represent all points of view’”. That’s not what impartiality means.

But do go on. “Jordan said everyone should expect their views to be appropriately represented by the national broadcaster - even if they believe the Earth is flat … ‘Flat-earthers are not going to get as much space as people who believe the Earth is round, but very occasionally it might be appropriate to interview a flat-earther. And if a lot of people believed in flat Earth we’d need to address it more”. No. Just no. The earth isn’t flat.

Impartiality is not, repeat not, REPEAT NOT, “both sides-ing” every issue. That way, you end up with “Here’s an emeritus professor of epidemiology to make the case for Covid-19 restrictions, and to oppose him, here’s Allison Pearson (or Julia Hartley Dooda. Or Darren Grimes. Or a Magna Carta wacko)". Jordan’s remarks have not been well received.

Ian Dunt was unimpressed. “This is the BBC's director of editorial policy. It suggests a catastrophic breakdown in basic editorial judgement, grounded in a failure to recognise the notion of objective truth”. Writer Ian Betteridge put it yet more directly.

BBC EdPol (Editorial Policy) has never been more of a mess. The first value on the list for the BBC is ‘Trust is the foundation of the BBC. We’re independent, impartial and honest’. How is Jordan's statement in line with that? When a senior journalist sits in front of MPs and tells them that if more people believed in a flat earth, it would ‘address it more’, they have forgotten what journalism is for. The truth is not a popularity contest”.

He has called on Jordan to resign. Meanwhile, Davie has added “If we’re sensing there is genuine concern about an area or we’re getting more complaints in an area, that will help inform our decisions about where we want to focus our internal reviews”.

What about facts? Or is it really one big popularity contest now? This is not good. At all.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at