The new episode of Hancock’s Half Hearted was broadcast by Sky News, where The Great Man had faced questioning from Kay Burley on the suitability of failed former Australian PM Tony Abbott as a trade envoy. Abbott was judged such a liability by his own party that they disposed of his Prime Ministerial services after just two years. He then lost his supposedly safe seat last year to an independent candidate.
On top of that was his attitude to women and LGBTQ people. So Hancock should have known what was coming. “As a former Prime Minister of Australia, obviously Mr Abbott’s got a huge amount of experience” he claimed, before Ms Burley countered “Even if he’s a homophobic misogynist?” Come on Matt! “Er [pause] I don’t think that’s true”.
Ms Burley was having none of that. “I’ve just told you what he said, I’m sure you don’t support some of his comments … he’s a homophobe, and he’s a misogynist”. What was the worst thing Hancock could have said at this time? What might make him look even worse than usual? What would make him today’s object of social media ridicule?
You got it. “Well … he’s also an expert in … trade”. Ms Burley was momentarily taken aback. “So one plays off against the other? Really? Is that really what you’re saying, Health Secretary? Come on”. Have another go, Matt. “Well no, what I’m saying is we need experts in areas, and somebody who’s the former Prime Minister of Australia is obviously an enormous expert in the field”. Whose field that is, we didn’t get to find out.
By this time, some observers may have recalled The Producers, where Franz Liebkind (the author of Springtime for Hitler) claims “Hitler... there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in ONE afternoon! TWO coats!” and “Not many people know it, but the Führer was a terrific dancer”. Alex Tiffin had more suggestions to make.
“Hi [Matt Hancock] … Would you say Harold Shipman was good at paperwork? Or perhaps you'll be praising Peter Sutcliffe's lorry driving skills? Rolf Harris as a children's entertainer? Jimmy Saville's philanthropy?” Kerry-Anne Mendoza added “Matt Hancock’s response to Kay Burley is worse than what’s being reported. He didn’t say Tony Abbott’s homophobia & sexism were less relevant than his alleged trade expertise. He said he’s a homophobe, a misogynist *and* a trade expert. As in, ‘Hat trick! All good!'’’
Worse, future trade deals will be done with one eye on lowering carbon emissions, and Tony Abbott is … you guessed it, a climate change denier. Mike Hind had seen enough. “I won't watch that Matt Hancock interview clip. It's theatre, not government. Political news is just content. We already know these repellent people are an integrity & intelligence vacuum, riding around parping their clown car horn & thumbing their noses at us”.
The Tories are no longer even pretending to care. This will not end well.
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