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Monday 27 April 2020

Polecat Censorship Pushback

Yesterday, the Observer had bad news in advance of the return to Downing Street of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson: a new poll showed that public confidence in the Government’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic had slipped during the past fortnight. Worse, the numbers on testing were grim.
So Toby Helm was justified in telling readersThe public’s confidence in the government’s ability to handle the coronavirus crisis has fallen sharply in the past fortnight, with less than half of voters now having faith in decisions made by ministers, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer”. How about some detail, then?

A particularly low proportion of people (15%) believe the government is handling the key issue of testing well (down from 22% two weeks ago). Some 57% disapprove of the way testing has been handled, up from 48% on 7 April”. Not good.
The numbers on whether the Government acted swiftly enough to prevent the virus spreading were bad, and deteriorating. A majority approved of the Government’s handling of the crisis, but only just, and the trend was downwards. A majority of respondents were confident in the Government’s ability to handle the crisis, but again, the trend was adverse.

On top of that, a majority of respondents considered that the UK had handled the situation less well than France, and a lot less well than Australia, South Korea and especially Germany. The article’s headline, “Public trust plummets in Britain's handling of pandemic, new poll reveals”, was wholly justified. Downing Street was not best pleased.
But this is a democracy, and we have freedom of speech. The Observer is carrying on the tradition that its weekday stablemate, the Guardian, emphasised back in 1956 when it stood against the triumphalist majority over the Suez débâcle. It was right to do so.

The right to free dissenting speech, however, was apparently lost on chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings and his pals, as Helm revealed “Downing Street trying to get us to say trust in government not declining and to rewrite this story with new headline. Request refused. We are not edited by Downing Street”. And there was more.
I am told Downing Street also barred Sunday Times from asking questions at its briefing because they dared to criticise govt's response to Coronavirus. Surely not so in an advanced democracy”. But Toby Helm, of all journalists, knows Polecat Dom of old. It was Helm whose tenacious investigation of the Free Schools project provoked such vitriol from the infamous @toryeducation Twitter feed, whose main author was Cummings.

The difference between then and now is that back then, Cummings was just another SpAd. Now, he’s effectively running the Government, the real power behind the flabby and overweight frame of Bozo The Clown. And, it seems, that transformation has gone to the chief polecat’s head and turned him into a new version of The Great Dictator.

Except, of course, Chaplin was funny. And Cummings is not.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a time on both sides of the Atlantic when we had a few individual mainstream journalists capable of this:

Now all we get are ranting righties faction-fighting each other. Craven cowards to a man and woman.