The old adage that something which looks too good to be true probably is too good to be true has been proved once more in the wake of the scandal over a four-year-old boy with suspected pneumonia forced to sleep on a pile of coats on the floor at Leeds General Infirmary, which has shown the world the state of the NHS after nine years of less than benevolent Tory rule. It happened. But some would rather it had not.
You wait a while, and then ...
... two gullible fools appear at once
So it was that rather a lot of Twitter accounts sprang into life yesterday evening, pushing two distinct lines. One was to claim “I’m a former paediatric A&E and PICU nurse”, the following wording rubbishing the photo identical in every case, with the other asserting “Very interesting. A good friend of mine is a senior nursing sister at Leeds hospital”. Note that the latter does not say LGI, which would be the case - if it wasn’t a bot.
Soon the fun started, as one Tweeter observed “I’m a former paediatric A&E and PICU nurse and so’s my wife”. Meanwhile, Ian Fraser mused “Uncanny how they all start with the words … It's almost as if it might have been scripted or something”. Daniel Sugarman put the claim over a photo of infamous Iraqi propagandist Chemical Ali.
But while Peter Jukes reckoned “Now we know where all Dominic Cumming’s last minute online ad spending is going. On fake accounts. With defamatory lies against a mother and a sick child. Boosted by the right wing press. Our media in a nutshell”, one gullible pundit was swallowing the claims as if they were true.
Yes, Allison Pearson of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph was that pundit: “So I have detailed explanation from paediatric nurses explaining why photo of child on the floor is ‘100% faked’. I will put in [Telegraph] on Weds. Stage a photo. Cause outrage. Castigate people who doubt it for showing insufficient compassion. Jesus”.
She then went further and claimed “He was not ‘forced to lie on a pile of coats’. The parents staged it”. That was deleted, but not quickly enough. It then got worse, as Sarah “Vain” Vine and Brexit Party MEP (and unrepentant terrorist sympathiser) Claire Fox weighed in. Ms Fox had not, when last checked, deleted her effort.
Meanwhile, Marc Owen Jones has put together a thread on the whole sorry fake medical claims business, noting “This one is about the fake news claiming that a sick boy on the floor of a hospital in leeds was staged by his mother. We know the story is real, Dr Yvette Oade, chief medical officer at Leeds even apologised”. See the whole thread HERE.
And that might have been that, except for the equally gullible presence of TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda, who claimed that there were “question marks being raised about this now”. Jessica Simor was aghast. “JHB accuses mother of staging her child lying on the floor of a hospital with pneumonia and a drip on the basis of ‘unconfirmed reports by nurses’. What the hell are ‘unconfirmed reports’? This is not journalism it’s ‘peddling’”.
Even after being prodded, Ms Hartley Dooda persisted. “We discussed the story. The hospital confirmed that there was a long wait and no bed. They did not confirm other aspects of the story. Paediatric nurses have questioned the photo as staged as it doesn’t tally with how a suspected pneumonia case would be treated. Worth discussion”. Those “nurses” were fakes, and it isn’t worth discussion. Two gullible fools have been conned.
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