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Wednesday 6 May 2020

Neil Ferguson And Press Stupidity

Anyone not yet persuaded that our free and fearless press cares only about perpetuating itself and its own power, and does not give a flying foxtrot about anyone else - including, when push comes to shove, its own readers - saw the evidence for themselves yesterday, as the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph outed Neil Ferguson.
The real main headline yesterday ...

Prof Ferguson has advised the Government on measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. It was his advice that persuaded alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals to order the UK into lockdown at the end of March. And because of that role, Ferguson has become a hate figure to right-wingers.
... and, er, the Dead Cat Spectacular

He was Professor Lockdown. He had taken away peoples’ freedom. He had cost businesses billions in lost revenue. He was unelected. He may have once voted Labour. The minor detail - that without the lockdown, tens of thousands more Britons, including many who read the Telegraph, would now be dead or dying, was not allowed to enter.

So it was that the Tel’s deputy political editor Anna Mikhailova proclaimed an exclusive just before 1930 hours yesterday: “Professor Neil Ferguson resigns from government advisory group SAGE after Telegraph reveals he broke lockdown rules to meet his married lover”.
I’m going to say it: SO FUCKING WHAT? Does this invalidate his advice to the Government? Does it mean the lockdown can be ended? Does it make the Coronavirus magically go away? Everything about the Tel’s article is dishonest: “Prof Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing”. He didn’t lecture anyone. But this suits the Tel.

This is, after all, the paper that has been pushing, hectoring, screaming over the lockdown for some time now, publishing a slew of op-ed pieces telling readers how terrible and unnecessary it all is. And what a coincidence, that something which happened a month ago gets wheeled out on the same day the UK records Europe’s worst death rate.
We don’t get to find out how the Tel came by this story. His friend Antonia Staats had “told friends” about the relationship. But how was the story, er, stood up? Put simply, which hacks also broke lockdown rules to snoop on the Ferguson house? Or did the Tel put a tail on her? Or do we have to accept that the end justified the means (again)?
Was Neil Ferguson the real hypocrite? Were the same right-wing press salivating over his outing any better, turning a blind eye to lockdown busting by Stanley Johnson, Robert Jenrick and Nigel “Thirsty” Farage? Did the Tel forget their long-term employment of Bozo The Clown and his own moral code, the kind that would make an alley cat blush?
It looks for all the world, as Tom Scott concluded, “that this is a *political* operation mounted by people who want an early end to lockdown”. James O’Brien added “I thought they might use baby pictures to keep the death rate off the front pages today, which I realise is pretty cynical. Now I’m wondering how long the Telegraph had been sitting on the Ferguson story”. And John Sweeney had a grim conclusion to take from the story.

Ferguson is a Galileo for the 21st Century; we have just seen a witch-burning. Thousands more may die, while the press whoops as they parade their trophy. Read and weep.
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Anonymous said...

British print and broadcast media and their employees long ago became a despised laughing stock.

But social media is beginning to see them all off. This blog is an excellent example.

Meantime, monopoly owned corporate media will likely get more and more evil as their influence wains. We have just witnessed that with their utterly malevolent lying attacks on Jeremy Corbyn. And their (likely short-lived) praise of pathetic, simpering and ultimately useless Starmer.

It could all have been so much better. Unfortunately, too many Britons have become cowed and wilfully deluded. Nothing will change or improve until enough people gain courage to dump the whole rotten and insensat corruption in the dustbin of history. Until then, we're stuck with lying "businessmen", politicians and their gutless media sock puppets.

Derek said...

Dear Zelo ,
Probably you’re right but actually I see it quite differently , on 13 March the seriousness of C-19 was downgraded and yet only 3 days later the UK decreed Lockdown , and that after Fatman was stood up to do his ‘take it on the chin’ speech . The Govt. line was that the British people would ‘Show the World’ that their Govt cared so little about them that they would once again be ‘cannon fodder’ for the Elite . We have ‘Shown the World’ and now are surely the subject of laughter all around , perhaps especially the Third World , who imperiously we so often castigate for corrupt and ineffective government .
The Govt must now play ‘catch up’ without the British public awakening to the mental flaw of constantly allowing Govt by a body of Public Schoolboys who are brought up not to really regard themselves as part of the Public ,

Anonymous said...

The only person I see being stupid here is Neil Ferguson.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he went for herd immunity and forgot the science.