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Friday, 8 May 2020
VE Day - Cover For Lockdown Foul-Up
Today is the 75th anniversary of the day when war in Europe was ended, with the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. Millions had died in the fighting; millions more were murdered in acts of genocide. Britain was a country physically and economically exhausted. Now we are being exhorted by those in our free and fearless press to remember that time, but for all the wrong reasons.
Look over here, readers ...
One reason for majoring on VE Day is that newspapers then actually did proper journalism, rather than being glorified propaganda sheets, nowadays mainly in the service of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his less than stellar array of ministerial talent. So there is lots of archive copy, and photography, to fill the papers and their inevitable souvenir supplements. But there is a yet more pressing reason.
... not at this clown ...
And that is to divert readers from the chaos caused by over-enthusiastic briefings from those “Senior Downing Street Sources” on Wednesday evening, which resulted in headlines yesterday trumpeting an end to lockdown - while managing to ignore the death toll from Covid-19 passing the 30,000 mark, making it the highest in Europe.
... or the bloke working him
That chief polecat Dominic Cummings and his obedient droids had fouled up big time was effectively admitted by whichever one of them was talking to ITV political editor Robert Peston: “Huge anxiety at top of government about the newspaper front pages, which imply - though don't quite say - there'll be massive liberation from lockdown next week … Don't expect VL day on Monday. The road back to ‘normal’ will be long and arduous”.
It then got worse in very short order at the daily Downing Street briefing, taken yesterday by Bozo’s de facto deputy Dominic Raab. As Paul Waugh of the HuffPost told, “Slightly strange that [Dominic Raab] didn’t formally announce another 3 week extension of the lockdown rules, as he's required to legally? Even if PM has plans for Monday, the rules need renewing. Maybe the Q&A will find out”. Another cock-up?
Then Raab spat it out. “‘There is no change in the guidance or the rules’. There he did it, but only after being asked by [Laura Kuenssberg]”. Press people had by now seen enough, with former Sunday Mirror editor Paul Connew musing “Obvious Boris blurted Trumpesque [move that] lockdown easing starts Monday idea cos Starmer was scoring forensically at PMQs. Raab tries a backtrack, Sturgeon rightly fires warning shot, Govt science advisers privately horrified by Boris's blunder”. There was more.
Former Sun editor David Yelland warned “Boris Johnson/Cummings brief print press to say one thing whilst policy is quite another. He follows the science and the editors at the same time and that way disaster could lurk”. Pippa Crerar of the Mirror wondered “Dominic Raab is ‘very clear’ there is ‘no change in the rules’ ahead of sunny Bank Hol weekend. But confirms PM will set out his ‘roadmap’ on Sunday for ‘what steps will be taken at what moment in time’. Will public think screw it, rules are changing, let’s go for a sunbathe?”
Well, quite. Meanwhile, Miranda Green concluded “Sunday is too late for a clear line from the PM. This is now a mess”. So it is. And that is the main reason the Tories and their press hangers-on are so keen that as many punters as possible look over there.
Remember VE Day, everyone! Anything to take our minds off those useless leaders.
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