In a routine display of pile-on, righteousness, double standards, deflection, projection and cheap partisanship, the Tories and their fellow travellers have been jumping up and down to the point of wetting themselves over a remark that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn did not mutter under his breath during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.
Three lip-readers have pointed out that Jezza said “Stupid people”, in despair at the Tories treating the governance of the UK as a jolly hilarious pantomime, while they foul up the Brexit negotiations, and preside over a country where homelessness is at record levels, the disabled face the cruellest benefit sanctions, many in work have to rely on food banks, and crime soars to record levels on the back of cutting Police numbers.
\No matter, The Blue Team reinvented this as “Stupid woman” and used it as a stick to beat the Labour leadership. In this, they were backed up by their pals at the Murdoch Sun - telling readers “Labour Sexism Storm … You must think we’re all stupid … Jez denial ridiculed” - and the Daily Mail, which eschewed such subtlety, and instead just thundered “READ OUR LIPS, MR CORBYN: YOU’RE A LIAR”.
Quite apart from both papers having indulged in misogyny, abuse and indeed lying on an industrial scale over many years, there is not only the inconvenient evidence of three specialists in the field of lip-reading, two of whom are deaf and so might be expected to have some relevant experience - the Tories, as Crewe and Nantwich’s new MP Laura Smith pointed out to the Commons later, have no room to call on others for abuse.
This is, after all, the party whose own Chancellor of the Exchequer - the usually inoffensive Spreadsheet Phil himself - called another Tory MP a “Stupid woman”. True, it was Andrea Jenkyns, but it was OK for him, which confirms Ms Smith’s point. And there is more.
When it comes to being abusive towards those on the other side of the House, we have the example of alleged Scottish Secretary David Mundell calling Yvette Cooper a “Stupid bitch”. Mundell, naturally, denied this, but the evidence is all too clear.
Yet worse than that was Anna Soubry, caught calling former Labour leader Ed Miliband a “Sanctimonious c***”, just to prove she was a Derek and Clive fan, or at least that there had been an occasion where this bloke came up to her. And said hello.
Corbyn has had to point out the Tories’ tactic of having an MP hiding away behind the gangway, placed there to shout him down as he puts questions to the Prime Minister. Yet we now see the pathetic sight of James Cleverly, who really isn’t, acting like a real-life Walter as he tells Speaker Bercow “I saw it, sir”. Shine a light. “Aw sir, sir, it was him sir, honest sir, the nasty one on The Red Team sir, I saw it, he done it sir”.
The Tories are supposed to be performing the Government of the UK. On this showing, they couldn’t perform an act of alcoholic derangement in an EU wine lake. Shameful.
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 adding to its Just Giving page at