Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Saturday 11 April 2020

Another Blairite Hearts Boris

Contrary to what some on the left would have us believe, the years when Labour was in power, and Tony Blair was PM, were generally good ones for most Britons. The minimum wage, Sure Start, a better-funded NHS, tax credits, more employment rights, peace at last in Northern Ireland, the abolition of Section 28 - all these moved us forward. Sadly, there was also the Iraq débâcle, and the latterly wayward Blairite acolytes.
John Rentoul ...

Among the last-mentioned was John Rentoul, who, like Desperate Dan Hodges, supported alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson when the latter stood for Mayor of London, opposed Ed Miliband as Labour leader, and attempted to portray Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite without managing to pony up any evidence in support.
... and his new hero

Now, Rentoul is asking “Will a better, fairer Britain emerge from the post-coronavirus recession?” and apparently without even a hint of self-awareness. The short answer is that, no, it will not - so long as he has his way. Because The Great Man has also declared “I hope we don't have an inquiry when this is over. If there are lessons to be learned, fine; but if there is just blame to be spread, forget it”. So let’s translate that for him.
Rentoul doesn’t want us looking behind stories likeThree nurses who wore bin bags on their shifts due to a shortage in personal protective equipment (PPE) have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. Just weeks ago, the nurses had shared a photo of themselves with clinical waste bags on their heads and feet as they issued a plea for proper masks, gowns and gloves at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow”.
He doesn’t want anyone pursuing the story which saw Ian Fraser observe “Hospital consultant Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury who urged Boris Johnson to ‘urgently’ ensure personal protective equipment for ‘each and every NHS worker in the UK’ dies of coronavirus”. Dr Chowdhury was only 53 and had no underlying health conditions.
He would rather the likes of Owen Jones keep quiet, rather than point out “980 Britons died in the last 24 hour period. That's the worst 24 hour death toll of any European country. It is a national catastrophe: these horrific deaths should be the main headline, and the government held properly to account”. Another 900+ died the previous day. And another 900+ died yesterday. But hey, no-one should be held accountable, right?
He’s not going to want to follow up BBC Newsnight’s Lewis Goodall in asking “The question will also be asked: to some extent we had time on our side. Why are our deaths similar to those countries which didn’t (Italy) and against those countries (like us) which did (Germany/Denmark/Norway)?” We wasted 15 days. But in the brave new post-Coronavirus world of John Rentoul, no-one will carry the can for that.
Anyone might get the impression that Rentoul had, like so many others who inhabit the Westminster bubble, become fully invested in The Adoration Of The Boris. We are allowed to learn some lessons, but if the new hero of establishment client journalism has to carry the can for his lousy leadership - forget it. The Great Unwashed aren’t allowed that.

Small wonder Blair’s reputation has suffered, when his supporters turn out, like John Rentoul, to be shameless floor crossers. But it pays well, so that’s all right, then.
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



Derek said...

Dear Zelo ,
Panic stations for the establishment and with the belated and overdue conversion to the S Korean/German/Danish model it’s effectively impossible to defend the UK situation (which is looking like worse than Italy and Spain) from an equation with the description ‘National Scandal’ given by the editor of the Lancet on 26/03/20 . Apart from anything else this is clearly highlighting the corruption and hypocrisy of our Governments in recent decades . Many of us actually despair that a ‘Munich’ moment might occur , since too many Parliamentarians are in corrupted collusion with the endless lies of this period . The UK future looks bleak for progressive politics , with Scotland and the NE going/gone , continued decline in Yorkshire and Lancashire seems inevitable . Metropolitan centralism does not have national credibility ,

Starbuck said...

John Rentoul is no stranger to supporting the Blue Team
for the past 4 years at The Independent, he has been asking readers to give the benefit of the doubt to not only every tory overlord, but also to whatever crackpot brexiteers lunacy of the day.
he's in the same mould as Sebastian Payne, the Barbers and Janan Ganesh of the FT : avid clientelists of no fixed principles

best regards,

Arnold said...

“980 Britons died in the last 24 hour period."
No. There's a few days delay before deaths are included in the daily announcements. Which in any case only include those who die in hospital and have been tested. Not those who die at home or in care homes.

Anonymous said...

Government rejected advice on NHS protective equipment three years before epidemic


In 2017 A recommendation for all frontline NHS staff to be given protective equipment during a flu epidemic was rejected as too costly, an explosive memo reveals.

rob said...

Rather than being an historical Blairite shouldn't he rather be now called a Johnsonite?

Not sure these historical labels do anyone good except for those still fighting past battles?

David said...

Should we abolish nouns? "Blairite" seems to adequately describe someone who supported Labour only whilst Blair was in charge. They then cried "but Corbyn", as if he was the only problem, but it seems they don't support Labour with Starmer in charge.