Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his advisors clearly believed that Friday’s fatal stabbings on or near London Bridge could be leveraged to rescue the Tories’ General Election campaign. Labour had been closing the poll gap after pitching a series of new policies and initiatives, while The Blue Team’s offer to the electorate consisted mainly of anti-Labour scaremongering.
So it was that Bozo The Clown and his equally alleged Home Secretary Priti Patel pushed the line that it was all Labour’s fault. The problem was that their claims were soon debunked as false, not least by the Secret Barrister, whose analysis of suspect Usman Khan’s original sentencing and later appeal you can (and should) read HERE.
Those whoppers were then added to in no style at all by chief Secretary to the Treasury, the ever-confident Rishi Sunak. The Secret Barrister wasn’t convinced by him, either: “This is another lie, this time by [Rishi Sunak], the Prime Minister’s stand-in. The European Court of Human Rights had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the sentence of Usman Khan”. Blame Labour, blame the EU, blame everyone but the Tories, BINGO!
But this was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to the Tories’ advantage, and at the sight of today’s front pages, with the Daily Brexit, still sometimes called the Express, proclaiming “BORIS BLITZ ON FREED JIHADIS BEGINS” and the equally strident Daily Mail thundered “NEW BLITZ ON FREED JIHADIS”, David Merritt, whose son Jack was one of those killed in Khan’s attack, decided enough was enough.
“Don’t use my son’s death, and his and his colleague’s photos - to promote your vile propaganda. Jack stood against everything you stand for - hatred, division, ignorance” he responded. Emma Goldberg added “Jack Merritt, my Cambridge classmate, was stabbed during a terrorist attack near London Bridge on Friday. He was a tireless advocate for prisoner rehabilitation. His dad reminds us to mourn his death without forgetting what he stood for in life”. The Mail and the Express sniffed. But the Independent did not.
Their report told that the Tories’ attempts to use the attack for party political purposes “prompted Mr Merritt to share a tweet by left-wing journalist and academic Ash Sarkar which said: ‘It's beyond disgusting that Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and newspapers like the [Daily] Mail are using Jack Merritt's death and image to promote an agenda he fought against all his life. He was a passionate believer in rehabilitation and transformative justice, not draconian sentencing’”. So have Bozo and his pals stopped and thought?
As if you need to ask. Paul Brand of ITV confirmed what came as no surprise at all. “PM has now cancelled his campaigning this morning to attend to matters relating to London Bridge attack instead”. That means more politicising, more leveraging the two deaths to help the Tory Campaign, more of the press playing Hunt The Jihadi.
Owen Jones asked the question that others should be, but so far are not. “He’s still campaigning, using a terrorist atrocity as a campaigning prop and to promote policies one of the victims dedicated his young life to fighting. His loved ones have asked for this to stop. Is any political journalist going to challenge Boris Johnson on how sick this is?”
QTWTAIN. The Tories are shameless and sick. And the Lobby is beyond spineless.
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